Jeremiah 39 Jerusalem Falls, But A Remnant Are Spared.
These words come in the context of the third and final wave of the exile in 586 B.C. (vv. 1-2). This was the absolutely last opportunity for king Zedekiah to accept the word of the LORD via Jeremiah, to acquiesce and live, or to rebel and die. The princes of the king of Babylon sat by the Middle Gate, gates being the place where judicial cases were heard and a verdict rendered (v. 3). This came as the fulfillment of what Jeremiah had predicted years before (1:15). Seeing this, Zedekiah and his men of war fled (v. 4), “but the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho” (v. 5a). They then took him directly to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon at Riblah who “pronounced judgment on him” (v. 5b). He then had his sons killed before his eyes, as well as “the nobles of Judah” (v. 6), also a fulfillment of the curses on covenantal infidelity (Dt. 28:34). This was the last thing Zedekiah saw before his eyes were put out, and he was bound in bronze chains and taken to Babylon (v. 7). The walls of the city were broken, and it was burned down (v. 8). Most of the people left were taken captive, accept for the poor, whom Nabuzaradan, the captain of the guard left, giving them the fields and vineyards (vv. 9-10).
Nebuchadnezzar commanded Nabuzaradan to spare Jeremiah and to look after him, granting him whatever he requested (vv. 11-12). There is no indication that the king did this for any other reason than the fact that he had been preaching a surrender to him of the king and people. Straight way Jeremiah was taken out of prison and given lodging in the house of one Gedaliah (v. 14a), “so he dwelt among the people” (v. 14b). We are also told that while Jeremiah was in prison that the word of the LORD had come to Jeremiah to tell Ebed-Melech that he would be delivered when the fall of the city took place as Jeremiah had predicted. It was because this man put his trust in the LORD, that he went to Zedekiah earlier to inform him of the evil that some of his men had done by putting Jeremiah in a dungeon, in the mire without food or water (38:1-15). He may very well have been one of the poor who were left behind and given fields and vineyards. Thus we see the working out of the covenantal curse on the rebellious, but the blessing of the faithful remnant.