- The prophet by removing his stuff, and quitting his lodgings is a sign of Zedekiah's flight out of Jerusalem, verse 1-16.
- By eating his meat with trembling, he is a sign, to set forth the famine and consternation in the city, verse 17-20.
- An assurance that these things shall be fulfilled, verse 21-28.
Eyes to see - They have capacity, if they would, to understand, but they will not understand, what thou speakest.
Stuff - Vessels or instruments, wherein thou mayest put what is portable.
In their sight - Before 'tis quite night, that they, who should learn by this sign, may see and consider it.
Dig - Come not through the door, but as one who knows there is a guard upon the door, get to some back part of thy house, and dig there thyself, either to make the greater haste, or to keep all secret; for all will be little enough for them that must act what thou dost represent. Carry out - Through the hole thou hast dug.
Bare it - In testimony of the servitude they shall be reduced to, who then must do what servants or beasts were wont to be employed in. Cover thy face - As unwilling to be seen or known. For - I have set thee for a sign to them, and thou shalt tell them the meaning of these things in due time.
I brought forth - Here is a transposing of his actions, and rehearsal of that in the first place, which was acted in the second place.
Say - Though they enquire not, yet tell them what I mean hereby, that this prophecy is a burden which the kingdom shall groan under. The prince - Zedekiah.
I am your sign - My person is the emblem of yours, and my actions of that you shall do. And the like shall be done to you, O inhabitants of Jerusalem. We cannot say concerning our dwelling place, that it is our resting place. For how far we may be tossed from it before we die, we cannot foresee.
The prince - Zedekiah. Shall bear - Disguised, as a servant, in hope to conceal himself, chuses the twilight as the time that would best favour his design. They shall dig - This was fulfilled when they broke down the wall to fly, Jeremiah 39:4. Cover his face - Zedekiah did by this aim at concealing himself.
It - Neither the land nor the city; for his eyes will be put out at Riblah.
Declare - By relating those sins, for which God was justly angry, and for which he punished them, though they were his own people. Thy - The Chaldeans. See how God brings good out of evil! The dispersion of sinners, who had done God much dishonour and disservice in their own country, proves the dispersion of penitents, who shall do him much honour and service in other countries!
The people - Thy fellow captives. And of the land - Those that dwell in the countries round about Jerusalem. Her land - Jerusalem's land, so called because it was the head city thereof. Desolate - Because it shortly shall be laid waste, emptied of inhabitants, wealth and plenty. Violence - Injustice, oppression and tyranny of the Jews toward one another.
That proverb - That short saying commonly used. Days - Of wrath and vengeance, are to come a great while hence. Every vision - Threatening vision, which Jeremiah and Ezekiel would fright us with, comes to nothing.
I will speak - There has been and shall be a succession of God's ministers, by whom he will speak, to the end of the world. Even in the worst times, God left not himself without witness, but raised up men that spoke for him, and spoke from him.