Notes on Jeremiah 21

Zedekiah, mentioned for the first time since 1:3 (Judah’s last king), is really king over only Jerusalem by this time in their history (about 588 B.C.). Babylon has razed the surrounding territory, just like the Lord said would occur. They are now surrounding Jerusalem and putting the city into a vice, squeezing the life out of them. Zedekiah comes to Jeremiah through his representatives and asked him to appeal to the Lord for judgment in their favor. The Lord refuses; in fact, the Lord declares plainly that He has set His face against Jerusalem for adversity (21:10; “evil” as used in the ASV, KJV, LXX, and JPS). It is interesting to note that Zedekiah, considered an evil king, was a king who would not turn from the evil ways of the past, but clearly looked upon Jeremiah as the Lord’s prophet, knowing that what the Lord said through Jeremiah always came to past, thus making him credible. He was man who was confused and perplexed with what to do. The king appeals to Jeremiah and uses their history as a point of reference; perhaps the Lord will extend mercy to the nation once again (21:2). As mentioned, the Lord refused this request and He also used history as a point of reference – the history He used was the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 30:11-20 concerning the options before them. Israel and Judah chose poorly, and Judah must experience what Israel already did.