This and the two following chapters contain the history of the siege up to the fall of the city. In the first part of this chapter Jeremiah was free. Zedekiah occupied the throne, but was disobedient to the messages of Jehovah. Pharaoh's army had come out of Egypt, and, believing that the movement of Pharaoh was directed against themselves, the Chaldeans who were besieging the city departed for a season.
Then Jeremiah delivered a message to Zedekiah, charging him not to be deceived by the appearance of the moment, declaring the ultimate victory of the Chaldeans over Jerusalem. In the interval of the absence of the Chaldean army, Jeremiah left Jerusalem and went to Bethlehem on family business. There he was arrested on the charge of falling away to the Chaldeans, his constant prophecy of their victory evidently being interpreted as proof of his sympathy with them. From the prison Zedekiah brought him to inquire if he had anything to say. He immediately answered by declaring against the certainty of the victory over the king of Babylon. At the same time he protested against the treatment which he had received, and asked that he might not be sent back to the dungeon from which he had been brought. This request was granted by Zedekiah, but Jeremiah was kept a prisoner in the court of the guard.
the Second Week after Epiphany