39:15 1 Now the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, 2 39:16 “Go 3 and tell Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, “I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it. 4 When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it. 5 39:17 But I will rescue you when it happens. 6 I, the Lord, affirm it! 7 You will not be handed over to those whom you fear. 8 39:18 I will certainly save you. You will not fall victim to violence. 9 You will escape with your life 10 because you trust in me. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’” 11
1 sn Jer 39:15-18. This incident is out of chronological order (see Jer 38:7-13). It is placed here either due to a desire not to interrupt the sequential ordering of events centering on Jeremiah’s imprisonment and his release (38:14–39:14) or to contrast God’s care and concern for the faithful (Ebed-Melech who, though a foreigner, trusted in God) with his harsh treatment of the faithless (Zedekiah who, though informed of God’s will, was too weak-willed in the face of opposition by his courtiers to carry it out).
2 tn Heb “Now the word of the
3 sn Even though Jeremiah was confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse, he was still free to entertain visitors (32:2, 8). Moreover, Ebed-Melech was an official attached to the royal court and would have had access to the courtyard of the guardhouse (38:7, 13). Jeremiah would not have had to leave the courtyard of the guardhouse to “go and tell” him something.
4 tn Heb “Behold, I will bring to pass my words against this city for evil/disaster and not for good/good fortune.” For the form of the verb מֵבִי ([mevi] Kethib, מֵבִיא [mevi’] Qere) see GKC 206-7 §74.k, where the same form is noted for the Kethib in 2 Sam 5:2; 1 Kgs 21:21; Jer 19:15 all of which occur before a word beginning with א. For the nuance “carry out” (or “bring to pass”) see BDB 99 s.v. בּוֹא Hiph.2.b.
5 tn Heb “And they [= my words for disaster] will come to pass [= happen] before you on that day [i.e., the day that I bring them to pass/carry them out].”
6 tn Heb “But I will rescue you on that day” (referring to the same day mentioned in the preceding verse).
7 tn Heb “Oracle of the
8 sn Some commentators see this as a reference to the princes from whose clutches Ebed-Melech delivered Jeremiah (38:7-13). However, it is clear that in this context it refers to those that he would fear when the
9 sn Heb “you will not fall by the sword.” In the context this would include death in battle and execution as a prisoner of war.
11 tn Heb “Oracle of the