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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Jeremiah 34:8-22

We have here another prophecy upon a particular occasion, the history of which we must take notice of, as necessary to give light to the prophecy. I. When Jerusalem was closely besieged by the Chaldean army the princes and people agreed upon a reformation in one instance, and that was concerning their servants. 1. The law of God was very express, that those of their own nation should not be held in servitude above seven years, but, after they had served one apprenticeship, they should be... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Jeremiah 34:10

Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant ,.... The king had made with the people. Here the princes are mentioned, who were not before, but included in the people; they and the rest of the people are here meant, who having agreed to the covenant, heard that everyone should let his manservant, and everyone his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more ; or any longer, which they had done, contrary to law: when they... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Jeremiah 34:10

Verse 10 He says, that all the princes and all the people heard, who had come to the covenant, that every one should let his servant free, etc. ; and then he adds, And they obeyed The verb שמע, shemo, is to be taken in a twofold sense; at the beginning of the verse it refers to the simple act of hearing, and at the end of the verse, to obedience. Then he says that they obeyed, and that every one set free his servant. By saying that the princes, as well as all the people, heard, he took away... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Jeremiah 34:1-22

The first passage ( Jeremiah 34:1-7 ) is virtually a postscript to Jeremiah 32:1-44 ; Jeremiah 33:1-26 .; it apparently contains the prophecy referred to in Jeremiah 32:3-5 as the cause of Jeremiah's imprisonment. The same prophecy recurs in a shorter form in Jeremiah 37:17 , and, by comparing the context of this passage with Jeremiah 32:1 , etc; we are enabled to infer that the original prophecy was uttered at the renewal of the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, who had... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Jeremiah 34:8-11

Superficial repentance. In liberating their slaves under the influence of terror, and reclaiming them when the cause of alarm had disappeared, the Jews afford a striking instance of superficial repentance. This must be distinguished from an insincere repentance referred to in an earlier prophecy ( Jeremiah 3:10 ). That is nothing but a hollow mockery from the first, a mere pretence of conscious hypocrisy; but this is genuine so far as it goes—only it goes but a very little way. I. ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Jeremiah 34:8-22

False obedience. An incident of the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. At the first alarm the liberation of the Hebrew slaves was declared and solemnly ratified, according to the sabbatic law, which had long sunk into desuetude. The aim of this was a purely military one, viz. the advantage to be derived from the services of the freedmen in the army, and the removal of disabilities that might occasion disaffection within the walls. Yet an appearance of religion was given to it by the form... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Jeremiah 34:8-22

Playing fast and loose with God. See the history. Under fear occasioned by the prophet's earnest appeals and the obvious fact that the judgment of God was drawing near—for the Chaldeans were at the gates—the king and his people solemnly vow to release their slaves. They had no right to retain them; they were sinning against God and them in so doing. Hence they let them go. But the fear departs, they think their danger has disappeared, and they enslave their brethren again. It was an... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Jeremiah 34:8-22

A right act done in a wrong spirit. I. CONSIDER THE ACT ITSELF . It was emphatically a right act in itself. It did not become right or necessary merely by becoming a covenanted thing. It was an act that meant the attainment of liberty to a very considerable number of people who were not their own masters. God is always on the side of liberty, for only to the free individual is full opportunity given of serving God. And yet this must be said with qualification. External liberty is... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Jeremiah 34:10

Now when all the princes, etc. This verse should rather be rendered thus: Then all the princes, and all the people, etc; obeyed, every one letting his slave, and every one his handmaid, go free, not serving them. selves of them any more; they even obeyed, and let them go. read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Jeremiah 34:8-22

It is usual with commentators to say that, the laws dealing with the emancipation of the Hebrew slaves, as also that of the land resting during the sabbatical year, were not observed. The narrative teaches us the exact contrary. The manumission of the slaves on the present occasion was the spontaneous act of Zedekiah and the people. They knew of the law, and acknowledged its obligation. The observance of it was, no doubt, lax: the majority let their own selfish interests prevail; but the... read more

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