Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison.
Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah,.... For attempting to depart the city, and go off to the Chaldeans, as Irijah had suggested to them, and to whom they hearkened; and perhaps would not hear what the prophet had to say for himself; and if they did, it had no weight with them:
and smote him; either with their fists, or with rods, or a scourge; perhaps he underwent the punishment of forty stripes save one, according to the law; and they may be said to smite or beat him, because they ordered it to be done:
and put him in prison, in the house of Jonathan the scribe; or secretary of state; such an one as Elishama was in Jehoiakim's time, who had a house or apartment at court as he had, who was now dead or removed, Jeremiah 36:12;
for they had made that the prison; which had not used to be; but by the courtiers, and with the consent of this scribe, secretary, or chancellor, it was made a prison; not for common malefactors, but for state prisoners; and a bad prison it seems it was. Very probably this scribe was a very cruel wicked man, who used those very ill that were his prisoners; and indeed, if he had not been of such a character, he would scarcely have suffered his house to have been made a prison.