Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at sacred-texts.com
The following commentary covers Chapters 37 and 38.
Chapter 37 gives us Zedekiah in the same state of disobedience. A show of religion is kept up, and, having a moment of respite which excites some hope, the king seeks an answer from the Lord by His prophet. But the favourable circumstances, through which it might appear that the wicked may escape from judgment, do not alter the certainty of the word. Jeremiah sought to avail himself of the opportunity to avoid the judgment which was coming upon the rebellious city; but this only serves to manifest the hatred of the heart to God's testimony; and the princes of the people-accusing Jeremiah of favouring the enemy, because he proclaimed the judgment that should fall on the people by their means-put him in prison. Zedekiah manifests some conscience by releasing him. In general there is more conscience in Zedekiah personally than in some others of the last kings of Judah (see Jer 37:21, and chaps. 21; Jer 38:10; Jer 38:14; Jer 38:16). On this account, perhaps, were those few words of favour and mercy addressed to him in Jer 34:5. But he was too weak to allow his conscience to lead him in the path of obedience (compare Jer 38:2-12). This last chapter gives us the history of his weakness. Nevertheless in the midst of all this scene of misery and iniquity we find some rare examples of righteous men; and, however terrible His judgment may be, God remembers them; for His judgment is terrible because He is righteous. Ebed-melech, who delivered Jeremiah, is spared. Baruch also preserves his life; and even Zedekiah, as we have seen, is comforted by some words of encouragement, although he must undergo the consequences of his faults. The ways of God are always perfect, and if His judgments are like an overwhelming torrent as to man, still everything, even to the smallest detail, is directed by His hand; and the righteous are spared. The prison even becomes a place of safety for Jeremiah, and Jehovah deigns not only to spare Ebed-melech, but to send him a direct testimony of His favour by the mouth of Jeremiah, that he may understand the goodness of God in whom he had trusted.