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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 37:15

 

 

Then the officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him, and they put him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, which they had made into the prison.

Adam Clarke Commentary

And smote him - Without any proof of the alleged treachery, without any form of justice.

In prison to the house of Jonathan - In Asiatic countries there is an apartment in the houses of the officers of the law, to confine all the accused that are brought before them. Jonathan was a scribe or secretary, and had a prison of this kind in his house.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-37.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The house - Probably the official residence of the secretary of state.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-37.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah,.... For attempting to depart the city, and go off to the Chaldeans, as Irijah had suggested to them, and to whom they hearkened; and perhaps would not hear what the prophet had to say for himself; and if they did, it had no weight with them:

and smote him; either with their fists, or with rods, or a scourge; perhaps he underwent the punishment of forty stripes save one, according to the law; and they may be said to smite or beat him, because they ordered it to be done:

and put him in prison, in the house of Jonathan the scribe; or secretary of state; such an one as Elishama was in Jehoiakim's time, who had a house or apartment at court as he had, who was now dead or removed, Jeremiah 36:12;

for they had made that the prison; which had not used to be; but by the courtiers, and with the consent of this scribe, secretary, or chancellor, it was made a prison; not for common malefactors, but for state prisoners; and a bad prison it seems it was. Very probably this scribe was a very cruel wicked man, who used those very ill that were his prisoners; and indeed, if he had not been of such a character, he would scarcely have suffered his house to have been made a prison.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-37.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Wherefore the princes were angry with Jeremiah, and beat him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the h prison.

(h) Because it was a vile and straight prison.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-37.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

scribe — one of the court secretaries; often in the East part of the private house of a public officer serves as a prison.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-37.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Here Jeremiah pursues the same narrative, and shews how unjustly he was treated, for he found no equity at the hands of the princes any more than in the keeper of the ward. He was no doubt prepared to defend himself before them, and sufficient proof was ready at hand, only he would have had to speak to the deaf. But here he shews by one word that the liberty of speaking was precluded, for a furious madness seized them that they would not hear him. And here we may notice how much opposed is wrath to just and peaceable decisions; for if we wish to be right and equitable judges, self-government is especially necessary. When, therefore, our minds are inflamed with anger or wrath, it is impossible that any rectitude or humanity should prevail. So Jeremiah complains that he was oppressed, because the princes boiled with rage, so that they suffered him not to give the explanation which he had prepared.

He then adds, that they smote him They no doubt ordered their servants to smite him; for it would have been more than strange, had the princes themselves risen up to strike the Prophet with their fists, or to smite him with their hands. It is then probable that he was smitten by their orders and at their bidding. This is the reason, if I mistake not, why some have given this rendering, “They caused him to be smitten.” But he is often said to have killed a man, who has ordered him to be killed, while he himself had not touched him with his finger. Even so Jeremiah was smitten by the princes, because they had commanded him to be smitten. And this passage shews also, as in a glass, how miserable would be the condition of God’s servants, were he not to sustain them by the power of his Spirit. For here is a holy Prophet overwhelmed with unjust accusations and also reproaches, and the princes abstained not from stripes, and at last he was cast into a pit. Whenever, then, such, a thing happens to us, let us cast our eyes on Jeremiah, and let it not be grievous to us to follow the steps of the holy Prophet; nor let us think it hard to endure the trials with which God was pleased to exercise him. They put him, he says, in the house, and then the word is changed, the prison, האסור easur, but; the same thing is meant. It now follows what sort of prison it was —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-37.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 37:15 Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison.

Ver. 15. Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah.] Upon the captain’s false suggestion, which they should better have sifted into first before they had believed it; for pellucet mendacium, nec per omnia quadrat, a lie is oft so thin, that it may be seen through and soon found out.

And smote him.] Perhaps with their own hands, as bloody Bonner buffeted some of the martyrs, pulling off part of their beards.

And put him in prison.] Causa nondum cognita; before they had heard his defenee. These princes were worse than Jehoiakim’s, [Jeremiah 36:19] or, if they were the same men, they were now grown worse; and here was, as Bernard (a) hath it, sedes prima, et vita ima; ingens authoritas, et nutans stabilitas.

In the house of Jonathan the scribe.] As bad as Lollard’s tower to our martyrs, or the Bishop of London’s coal house, which Mr Philpot thought to be the worst prison about London. (b)


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-37.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 37:15. Wherefore the princes, &c.— And the princes, &c.

For they had made that the prison There is nothing extraordinary in making the dwelling-house of a great man a prison, according to either the ancient or modern manners of the east. See Genesis 39:20. Even in the royal palace itself we find there was a prison; ch. Jeremiah 32:2. Mr. Harmer (Obs. ch. 8 Obs. 37.) gives the following passage concerning eastern prisons, out of a manuscript of Sir John Chardin. "The eastern prisons are not public buildings erected for that purpose, but a part of the house in which their criminal judges dwell. As the governor or provost of a town, or the captain of the watch, imprison such as are accused in their own houses, they set apart a canton of it for that purpose, when they are put into these offices, and choose for the jailor the most proper person they can find of their domestics."


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-37.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

These princes seem more fierce against the prophet than those that were in the time of Jehoiakim, for they proceed here upon the captain’s information, cause the prophet to be beaten, and send him to prison, a prison within the compass of the court, bad enough, as appeareth by Jeremiah’s complaint of his condition there to the king, Jeremiah 37:20, and by what followeth in the next verse.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-37.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

15. Put him in prison — As appears more clearly from the following verse, this was a subterranean prison having its wards or vaults. Its relation to the house of Jonathan the scribe indicates that he was an executive or police officer.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-37.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Jeremiah 37:15. Wherefore the princes were wroth — These princes seem to have been much more hostile to the prophet than those that were in the time of Jehoiakim, (see Jeremiah 36:19,) for they proceed here merely upon the captain’s information, and, treating him as guilty, without any proof, cruelly cause him to be beaten, though entirely innocent, and put into a most miserable dungeon. In the house of Jonathan the scribe — “There is nothing extraordinary,” says Blaney, “in making the dwelling- house of a great man a prison, according to either the ancient or modern manners of the East: see Genesis 39:20; even in the royal palace itself we find there was a prison, chap. Jeremiah 32:2.” Mr. Harmer (chap. 8. obs. 37) quotes the following passage from a MS. of Sir John Chardin: — “The eastern prisons are not public buildings erected for that purpose; but a part of the house in which their criminal judges dwell. As the governor and provost of a town, or the captain of the watch, imprison such as are accused in their own houses, they set apart a canton of them for that purpose, when they are put into these offices, and choose for the jailer the most proper person they can find of their domestics.” Thus Mr. Harmer thinks that Jonathan’s house became a prison in consequence of his being a royal scribe, or, as we should term him, secretary of state.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-37.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Prison. Literally, "lake or pit," (Haydock) such as was used to keep wine. Thus God tries his chosen friends, according to their strength!


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-37.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

smote = scourged.

put him in prison. Note Jeremiah"s prison experiences:. (1) put in on false charge (Jeremiah 37:11-15); (2) released, but confined in the court of the prison; (3) imprisoned again in Malchiah"s miry dungeon (Jeremiah 38:1-6); (4) released again as before (Jeremiah 38:13-28); (5) carried away in chains by Nebuchadnezzar, but released at Ramah (Jeremiah 40:1-4).

in prison = in the house of bonds.

the prison = the house of detention.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-37.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison.

The princes ... put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe - one of the court secretaries. Often in the East part of the private house of a public officer serves as a prison.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-37.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(15) The princes . . . put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe.—The house was probably chosen as being under the direct control of one who, as scribe, exercised functions like those of a minister of police. It had not only the subterranean dungeon and pit common to all Eastern prisons, but separate “cabins” or cells (the Hebrew word does not occur elsewhere) for the confinement of individual prisoners (Jeremiah 37:16). Of the severity with which the prophet was treated there, we may judge from his entreaty not to be taken back there after his release (Jeremiah 38:26). We have fairly adequate data for measuring the duration of the “many days” of his imprisonment. It began before the second siege of Jerusalem, which lasted for nearly two years (2 Kings 25:1-3), and when the city was taken he was still in the court of the prison. The incidents of Jeremiah 32-34 belong to this period.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-37.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison.
the princes
20:1-3; 26:16; Matthew 21:35; 23:34; 26:67,68; Luke 20:10,11; 22:64; John 18:22; Acts 5:28,40; 16:22-24; 23:2,3; 2 Corinthians 11:23-27; Hebrews 11:36-38
put
Genesis 39:20; 2 Chronicles 16:10; 18:26; Acts 5:18; 12:4-6; Revelation 2:10
in the
20; 38:6,26

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-37.html.

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