37:15 The officials were very angry 1 at Jeremiah. They had him flogged and put in prison in the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary, which they had converted into a place for confining prisoners. 2
37:16 So 3 Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house. 4 He 5 was kept there for a long time. 37:17 Then King Zedekiah had him brought to the palace. There he questioned him privately and asked him, 6 “Is there any message from the Lord?” Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is.” Then he announced, 7 “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 8 37:18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you, or the officials who serve you, or the people of Judah? What have I done to make you people throw me into prison? 9 37:19 Where now are the prophets who prophesied to you that 10 the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 37:20 But now please listen, your royal Majesty, 11 and grant my plea for mercy. 12 Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary. If you do, I will die there.” 13 37:21 Then King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be committed to the courtyard of the guardhouse. He also ordered that a loaf of bread 14 be given to him every day from the baker’s street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah was kept 15 in the courtyard of the guardhouse.
1 sn The officials mentioned here are not the same as those mentioned in Jer 36:12, most of whom were favorably disposed toward Jeremiah, or at least regarded what he said with enough trepidation to try to protect Jeremiah and preserve the scroll containing his messages (36:16, 19, 24). All those officials had been taken into exile with Jeconiah in 597
2 tn Heb “for they had made it into the house of confinement.” The causal particle does not fit the English sentence very well and “house of confinement” needs some explanation. Some translate this word “prison” but that creates redundancy with the earlier word translated “prison” (בֵּית הָאֵסוּר, bet ha’esur, “house of the band/binding”] which is more closely related to the concept of prison [cf. אָסִיר, ’asir, “prisoner”]). It is clear from the next verse that Jeremiah was confined in a cell in the dungeon of this place.
3 tn The particle כִּי (ki) here is probably temporal, introducing the protasis to the main clause in v. 17 (cf. BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.a). However, that would make the translation too long, so the present translation does what several modern English versions do here, though there are no parallels listed for this nuance in the lexicons.
4 tn Heb “Jeremiah came into the house of the pit [= “dungeon,” BDB 92 s.v. בּוֹר 4 and compare usage in Gen 40:15; 41:14] and into the cells [this word occurs only here; it is defined on the basis of the cognate languages (cf. BDB 333 s.v. חָנוּת)].” The sentence has been restructured and some words supplied in the translation to better relate it to the preceding context.
5 tn Heb “Jeremiah.” But the proper name is somewhat redundant and unnecessary in a modern translation.
6 tn Heb “Then King Zedekiah sent and brought him and the king asked him privately [or more literally, in secret] and said.”
7 tn Heb “Then he said.”
9 tn Heb “What crime have I committed against you, or your servants, or this people that you [masc. pl.] have put me in prison?” Some of the terms have been expanded for clarification and the sentence has been broken in two to better conform with contemporary English style.
The masculine plural is used here because Zedekiah is being addressed as representative of the whole group previously named.
10 tn Heb “And where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land?’” The indirect quote has been used in the translation because of its simpler, more direct style.
11 tn Heb “My lord, the king.”
12 tn Heb “let my plea for mercy fall before you.” I.e., let it come before you and be favorably received (= granted; by metonymical extension).
13 tn Or “So that I will not die there,” or “or I will die there”; Heb “and I will not die there.” The particle that introduces this clause (וְלֹא) regularly introduces negative purpose clauses after the volitive sequence (אַל [’al] + jussive here) according to GKC 323 §109.g. However, purpose and result clauses in Hebrew (and Greek) are often indistinguishable. Here the clause is more in the nature of a negative result.
14 tn Heb “And/Then King Zedekiah ordered and they committed Jeremiah to [or deposited…in] the courtyard of the guardhouse and they gave to him a loaf of bread.” The translation has been structured the way it has to avoid the ambiguous “they” which is the impersonal subject which is sometimes rendered passive in English (cf. GKC 460 §144.d). This text also has another example of the vav (ו) + infinitive absolute continuing a finite verbal form (וְנָתֹן [vÿnaton] = “and they gave”; cf. GKC 345 §113.y and see Jer 32:44; 36:23).
15 tn Heb “Stayed/Remained/ Lived.”