For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house.
For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem,.... And had done so for some time; for the siege began in the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Jeremiah 52:4;
and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house; which showed great stupidity and hardness of heart in the king, and his courtiers, and in the people, to imprison a prophet of the Lord, when surrounded by an enemy's army, and that according to the prediction of the prophet; by which it appeared that he was a true prophet; and they might reasonably expect that the rest of his predictions, which related to the taking of their city, and carrying them captive, would be fulfilled. It is true, indeed, he was in a better prison than before, more honourable, being within the limits of the king's house; and, besides, was not closely confined, but allowed to walk in the court of the prison; and so had a free air to breathe in, and more company to converse with, and could exercise himself by walking about; perhaps he was placed here to keep him from prophesying to the people to their discouragement, and the more to awe him, as he was under the eye of the king and his ministry. Of this prison and its court mention is made in Nehemiah 3:25; it seems to have been for state prisoners.