a secret word
Jeremiah 37:11-21 (JDV)
Jeremiah 37:11 This happened when the Chaldean army withdrew from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army,
Jeremiah 37:12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to claim his portion there among the people.
Jeremiah 37:13 But when he was at the Benjamin Gate, an officer of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, and he apprehended the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.”
Jeremiah 37:14 “That’s a lie,” Jeremiah replied. “I am not deserting to the Chaldeans!” Irijah would not listen to him but arrested Jeremiah and took him to the officials.
Jeremiah 37:15 The officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him and placed him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, because it had been made into a prison.
Jeremiah 37:16 So Jeremiah went into a cell in the dungeon and stayed there many days.
Jeremiah 37:17 King Zedekiah later sent for him and received him, and in his house privately asked him, “Is there a word from Yahveh?” “There is,” Jeremiah responded. He continued, “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.”
Jeremiah 37:18 Then Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “How have I failed you or your servants or these people that you have put me in prison?
Jeremiah 37:19 Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, claiming, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and this land’?
Jeremiah 37:20 So now please listen, my lord the king. May my petition come before you. Don’t send me back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, or I will die there.”
Jeremiah 37:21 So King Zedekiah gave orders, and Jeremiah was placed in the guard’s courtyard. He was given a loaf of bread each day from the bakers’ street until all the bread was gone from the city. So Jeremiah remained in the guard’s courtyard.
a secret word
David Guzmic commented on this section:
“Zedekiah made the mistake of thinking there was a personal, secret word for him from God different than what had already been revealed in God’s word, even His written word from Jeremiah. The “secret” word was completely consistent with the written word. God may bring a personal word to an individual; but a secret word should not be sought. Seek God in His written word.”(https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/jeremiah-37/).
Lord, give us the insight to stand by your written word, and not to seek a secret word to avoid to painful truth.