Jeremiah (Ch 21-22)

Pashur, the son of Malchiah, was a priest, who was sent by king Zedekiah to Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord regarding the impending attack of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon (Jeremiah 21:1). Pashur was also the captain, or overseer of the temple during Zedekiah’s reign. In this capacity as captain of the temple he had power to arrest and put in prison any who caused any disturbance in the temple.

In Jeremiah 38:1-6, this Pashur was also one of four men who advised Zedekiah to put Jeremiah to death for his prophecies of doom but who ended up throwing him into a cistern.

The list of kings of Judah towards the end; in successive reigns, as Josiah (reign 640–609), Jehoahaz (reign 609), Jehoiakim (reign 609–598), Jehoiachin or Jechonias (reign 598–597), and Zedekiah (reign 597–586).

Jeremiah 21

1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent unto him Pashhur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying, — Pashur, the son of Malchiah, was a priest, who was sent by king Zedekiah to Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord regarding the impending attack of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon (Jeremiah 21:1). In Jeremiah 38:1-6, this Pashur was also one of four men who advised Zedekiah to put Jeremiah to death for his prophecies of doom but who ended up throwing him into a cistern.

— and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest; who was of the “twenty fourth” course; see 1 Chronicles 24:9; in Jeremiah 52:24, he is called the “second priests” like Pashhur; or “sagan”, or deputies to the high priest.

“Inquire, I pray thee, of the Lord for us (for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us), if so it be that the Lord will deal with us according to all His wondrous works, that he may go up from us.” — for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; the same that is elsewhere called Nebuchadnezzar, who was on his way up to Jerusalem, and was besieging it, as had been predicted;

— if so be the Lord will deal with us according to all his wondrous works; which God had done in times past for that nation; as by bringing them out of Egypt; driving out the Canaanites before them; delivering them out of the hands of their neighbours, time after time; and particularly by destroying the Assyrian army in Hezekiah’s time, which was besieging the city of Jerusalem, and causing their king to depart and flee in haste; and their present case being similar to that, it is very likely that that was more especially in view;

— that he may go up from us; namely, the king of Babylon; that he may rise up, and raise the siege, and depart into his own country, as Sennacherib did.

Then said Jeremiah unto them, “Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah, — then said Jeremiah unto them… the two priests, Pashur and Zephaniah, after he had sought the Lord, and knew his mind and will: thus shall ye say to Zedekiah; by whom they were sent.

‘Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans, who besiege you outside the walls; and I will assemble them into the midst of this city. — behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands; they shall hurt yourselves, and be the occasion of your own destruction; so that they would not hurt their enemy, but recoil upon themselves; or like a boomerang;

— the meaning is, that they should be useless and unserviceable; that they should neither be defensive to them, nor offensive to their enemies; but rather hurtful to themselves. It seems to suggest, as if they should fall out with one another; and turn their swords upon one another, and destroy each other; that is, civil wars among themselves;

— wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans which besiege you without the walls; by shooting arrows at them from outside the walls; or by sallying within the city with swords in hand: this shows that the Chaldean army under the command of the king of Babylon was now just outside the walls of Jerusalem, besieging it;

— and I will assemble them into the midst of this city; God himself will assemble the Chaldean army, which when breaking into the city, should cause the inhabitants of Jerusalem to be brought in to them in the middle of the city, and there slay them; or, so that its defenders, who were still attempting to repel the invaders outside the walls, would be compelled to take refuge in the center of the city, their weapons having proved powerless against the enemy.

And I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger and in fury and in great wrath. — and I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, exhibiting His almighty power in punishing them, like the way he destroyed the Egyptian army;

— with an outstretched hand, and with a strong arm; such as he had used formerly in delivering Israel out of Egypt, but now in delivering them into the hands of their enemies; see Exodus 6:6;

— even in anger and in fury and in great wrath; because of their sins and iniquities, this heap of words is used to show the depth of his indignation: this was not the chastisement of a father, but the rebuke of an enemy in hot displeasure; a punishment inflicted in vindictive wrath by a righteous Judge, appearing in a warlike manner.

And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilence. — and I will, that is, God himself will smite the inhabitants of this city Jerusalem, both man and beast, not the Chaldean army.

And afterward, saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants and the people and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life. And he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity nor have mercy.’ — I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants; the king himself shall not escape; though he shall not die by the pestilence or famine or sword, yet he shall fall into the hands of the Chaldeans, and also “his servants” his courtiers and counsellors;

— he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; that is, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, or, whoever the army under his command; for what was done by the one is ascribed to the other: this is to be understood of such that fell into their hands upon taking the city, and who endeavoured to make their escape; Jeremiah 39:4;

— he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy; they had no regard to rank or figure, to age or sex; the sons of the king were slain before his eyes, and then his eyes were put out; princes were hanged up by the hand; and no compassion shown to old or young, man or maiden; Jeremiah 52:10.

“And unto this people thou shalt say, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. — behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death; the way how to preserve their lives; and which, if they did not choose to take, would be inevitable death. The allusion seems to be to a phrase used by Moses, when he gave the law; obedience to which would issue in life, and disobedience in death, Deuteronomy 30:15.

He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword and by the famine and by the pestilence; but he that goeth out and falleth to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him as a prey. — he shall live; that is, surrender themselves unto the Chaldeans; submit to them, so as to obey them, and ye shall live.

10 For I have set My face against this city for evil and not for good, saith the Lord. It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.’ — and he shall burn it with fire; as he did, both the house of the Lord in it, the temple, the king’s house or palace, the stately houses of the princes and nobles, and even the houses of all the people; Jeremiah 52:13.

11 “And concerning the house of the king of Judah, say, ‘Hear ye the word of the Lord,

12 O house of David. Thus saith the Lord: “‘Execute judgement in the morning, and deliver him that is despoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest My fury go out like fire and burn, that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. — O house of David, whose descendants were still occupying the throne of Judah;

— execute judgement in the morning; be at it early, and dispatch it speedily; and do not delay it to the prejudice of persons concerned. The power of judgement with the Jews belonged to the king; he was supreme judge in their courts; they judged, and were judged, the Jews say by whom judgement was executed in a morning, and not in any other part of the day; and the case judged ought, as they say, to be as clear as the morning;

— lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it; or put a stop to it, by all their prayers and entreaties, or by all that they can say or do;

— because of the evil of your doings; it is a sad thing when princes set bad examples; it is highly provoking to God, whose deputies they are; and to lead the people on, or they cannot expect safety for themselves and their people.

13 Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley and rock of the plain, saith the Lord, who say, “Who shall come down against us? Or who shall enter into our habitations?” — O inhabitant of the valley and rock of the plain, saith the Lord; a description of Jerusalem; between the lower and higher part of which lay a valley, called Tyropaeon, which divided the two hills, on which the city was built; yea, the whole city was on high, on a rock, and around it a valley or plain; and because it was built upon a rock, and fortified with hills and mountains, the inhabitants of it thought themselves safe and secure, and even impregnable;

— which say, who shall come down against us? who shall enter into our habitations? who of our neighbours dare to make an attack upon us? they are so weak and would be foolish in any attempt to break through our fortifications, natural and artificial, and enter into our houses, and take away our possessions, and spoil us of our goods?

14 But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the Lord; and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.’” — and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof; not in the forest of Lebanon, but in the city of Jerusalem; whose houses stood as thick as trees in a forest, and which many of them, at least the most stately, might be built or ceiled with cedars from Lebanon; though some understand this of the cities and towns about Jerusalem;

— and so the Targum renders it, “in its cities” and it shall devour all things round about it; the mountains and trees upon them, the cities and towns adjacent.

Jeremiah 22

The list of kings of Judah towards the end; in successive reigns, as Josiah (reign 640–609), Jehoahaz (reign 609), Jehoiakim (reign 609–598), Jehoiachin or Jechonias (reign 598–597), and Zedekiah (reign 597–586).

Thus saith the Lord: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word

and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sittest upon the throne of David, thou and thy servants and thy people who enter in by these gates. — thus saith the Lord, go down to the house of the king of Judah… to the palace of Jehoiakim, who was now the reigning king; the prophet is bid to go down to it, because he was now upon the mountain of the house, or in the temple, from whence to the king’s house there was a descent;

— during the reign of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah 22:18; if so this would be a flashback of about 20 years; but why is this a flashback, from king Zedekiah back to king Jehoiakim, to have a rerun? Perhaps relaying more details into their abominations?

Thus saith the Lord: Execute ye judgement and righteousness, and deliver the despoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, and do no wrong. Do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. — thus saith the Lord, execute ye judgment and righteousness… judge righteous Judgement; give the cause to whom it belongs, without respect of persons, and without a bribe or corruption; do no unrighteousness to any, by withholding from them what is due unto them, which was what this prince was chargeable with, Jeremiah 22:13;

— and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow: or those in similar situation, or in such a condition and circumstances as to defend themselves; and whom God has a peculiar regard unto; and therefore they who are his deputies and vicegerents, as kings and civil magistrates are ought to protect such persons, and neither grieve and injure them, nor suffer others to do it;

— neither shed innocent blood in this place; to grieve and wrong the above persons is a very great evil, but to shed the blood of innocent per tons is greater still; and this is aggravated by being committed by such who are set over men to secure and preserve their laws, properties and their lives; and such heinous sins as these the present reigning king of Judah was guilty of; which is the reason of their being mentioned; Jeremiah 22:17.

For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he and his servants and his people. — the context here shows, that the prophecy is directed, not only to the king’s court in particular, but likewise to the whole city of Jerusalem, one part of which was called the city of David; and the whole looked upon as a royal city, kings sitting upon the throne of David;

— the Targum says, “by my word I swear:” that this house shall become a desolation; meaning not the temple, nor the city, but the king’s palace.

For thus saith the Lord unto the king’s house of Judah: “Thou art Gilead unto Me, and the head of Lebanon; yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. — yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited; though as fruitful as Gilead, yet shall become like a barren desert; and though full of children, courtiers, princes, and nobles, yet shall be like cities quite depopulated.

And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons; and they shall cut down thy choice cedars and cast them into the fire. — they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire; the sons of the king, the princes of the blood, the nobles of the land, and other persons of rank and distinction, comparable to the tall cedars of Lebanon;

— so the Targum says “and they shall slay the beauty of thy mighty ones, as the trees of a forest are cut down, and cast into the fire;”

— or else the stately palaces of the king and his nobles, and other beautiful buildings, which were lined and ceiled with cedar, are here meant; and which the Chaldeans burnt with fire, Jeremiah 52:13.

“And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, ‘Why hath the Lord done thus unto this great city?’ — wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city? so fortified and so full of people; the metropolis of the whole nation; the greatest city in the east; yea, the joy of the whole earth; a city peculiarly dear to the Lord; greatly honoured by him with his presence, worship, and ordinances, and yet now in ruins;

— how comes this to pass? they see and acknowledge the hand of the Lord in it, having a better notion of things than the Jews themselves had.

Then they shall answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.’” — as the Targum says; they left the true God, who had done great and good things for them, and worshipped those who were only gods by name, and not by nature; and served stocks and stones.

10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him, but weep sore for him that goeth away; for he shall return no more, or see his native country. — weep ye not for the dead, so Jeremiah admonished the people of Judah, neither bemoan him, namely, Josiah, the last good king, who had stayed the doom pronounced upon the reprobate people;

— but weep sore for him that goeth away, whose departure in this case is truly an occasion for great sorrowing, for he shall return no more nor see his native country, being dragged into a shameful exile, from which there would be no deliverance.

11 For thus saith the Lord concerning Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, who went forth out of this place: “He shall not return thither any more, — for thus saith the Lord touching Shallum… he was Shallum the fourth son of Josiah, 1 Chronicles 3:15; for it was likely that he should immediately succeed his father Josiah, after he was shot by archers during the battle against Neco of Egypt, where died upon his arrival on Jerusalem;

— Or, Josiah’s successor is Shallum indeed, the fourth son of Josiah; but that he was more commonly known as Jehoahaz; it seems probable that Shallum was his name before he ascended the throne, and that he changed it for Jehoahaz during his short reign;

— And the sons of Josiah were the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum, 1 Chronicles 3:15.

12 but he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive and shall see this land no more. — Shallum or Jehoahaz reigned only for 3 months before being deposed by the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II and taken into Egyptian captivity and died there.

13 “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by wrong, that useth his neighbor’s service without wages, and giveth him nought for his work, — woe unto him, so the Lord now proceeds to call out upon Jehoiakim, the next king, that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, by unjust measures, by impressing people into work without compensation, that useth his neighbor’s service without wages.

14 that saith, ‘I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows, and it is ceiled with cedar and painted with vermilion.’

15 Shalt thou reign because thou enclosest thyself in cedar? Did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgement and justice, and then it was well with him? — shalt thou reign because thou closest thyself in cedar? making a show of wealth which he did not in reality possess and had no right to parade. Did not thy father eat and drink, enjoying the ordinary comforts of life;

— and do judgement and justice? exercising these two virtues according to the demands of righteousness. And then it was well with him, the blessing of the Lord resting upon him for his upright behavior.

16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him. Was not this to know Me?” saith the Lord. — the Targum says, “is not this the knowledge with which I am well pleased? saith the Lord.”

17 “But thine eyes and thine heart are for nothing but thy covetousness and to shed innocent blood, and for oppression and for violence.” — but thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, being directed only to the gaining of his own advantage, regardless of the rights of other people, and for to shed innocent blood and for oppression and for violence to do it, Jehoiakim thus proving himself a tyrant in every sense of the word.

18 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: “They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah, my brother!’ or, ‘Ah, sister!’ They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Ah, lord!’ or, ‘Ah, his glory!’ — they shall not lament for him; these words contrast the death as well as the life of Jehoiakim with that of Josiah. For him there should be no lamentation such as was made for the righteous king (II Chronicles 35:25), therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim… this shows who is before spoken of and described; Jehoiakim, the then reigning king in Judah, whose name was Eliakim, but was changed by Pharaoh king of Egypt, when he deposed his brother Jehoahaz or Shallum, and set him on the throne, II Kings 23:34;

— saying, ah my brother! or, ah sister!  that is, “Alas, His Majesty!” a woman meeting her brother would not say to him, O my brother, what bad news is this! we have lost our king! nor he reply to her, O sister, it is so, the loss is great indeed!

— Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and bound him (Jehoiakim) in fetters (a chain around the ankles) to carry him to Babylon, II Chronicles 36:6.

19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

20 “Go up to Lebanon and cry, and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the Abarim; for all thy lovers are destroyed. — for all thy lovers are destroyed; their friends and allies, with whom they had not only entered into leagues, but had committed spiritual fornication with them; that is, idolatry, as the Egyptians and Assyrians; but these were now subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, and were at least so weakened and destroyed by him, that they could give no assistance to the Jews; see II Kings 24:7.

21 I spoke unto thee in thy prosperity, but thou saidst, ‘I will not hear.’ This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not My voice. — this hath been thy manner from thy youth; from the time they came out of Egypt, while they were in the wilderness; or when first settled in the land of Canaan: this was the infancy of their state; and from that time it was their manner and custom to reject the word of the Lord, and turn a deaf ear to it.

22 The wind shall eat up all thy shepherds, and thy lovers shall go into captivity; surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness. — the Targum says, “all thy governors shall be scattered to every wind;” and thy lovers shall go into captivity: the Assyrians and Egyptians, as before; see Jeremiah 52:31.

23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail? — O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, this picture being chosen because, as the birds of Lebanon make their nests in the cedars, so the princes of Judah built their homes of the cedars of Lebanon;

— how gracious shall thou be, rather, “how shalt thou moan,” when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail! After this digression with its warning to the people as a whole the prophet turns to the consideration of Jehoiachin’s fate.

24 “As I live,” saith the Lord, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet upon My right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; — were the signet upon my right hand; ever so near to him, or ever so much valued by him, as he had been before, and so constantly cared for and regarded by him; as a ring, with anything respectable engraved on it, is constantly wore by persons, and greatly valued.

25 and I will give thee into the hand of those who seek thy life, and into the hand of those whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. — and I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life… cruel and bloodthirsty enemies, whom nothing would satisfy but his life; such were the persons following;

— and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest: being a terrible savage people, to be dreaded both for their number and their cruelty; a strange change this, to be removed out of the hand of God into the hand of such an enemy; even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.

26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother who bore thee, into another country where ye were not born, and there shall ye die.

27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.”

28 Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol? Is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?

29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord! — O earth, earth, earth… either the inhabitants of the whole earth, or of the land of Israel; or rather the earth, on which men dwell, is here called upon as a witness to what is after said;

— to rebuke the stupidity of the people, and to quicken their attention to somewhat very remarkable and worthy of notice, and therefore the word is repeated three times;

— so the Targum says, “out of his own land they carried him captive into another land; O land of Israel, receive the words of the Lord,”

— Rashi mentions another reason of this threefold appellation, because the land of Israel was divided into three parts: Judea, beyond Jordan, and Galilee.

30 Thus saith the Lord: “Write ye this man as childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David and ruling any more in Judah.” — thus saith the Lord, write ye this man childless… that is, Coniah, or Jeconiah; who though he had children in the captivity, yet they died in it, or however never succeeded him in the throne;

— this, to show the certainty of the thing, the Lord would have written. The speech is directed to the prophets; though the words may be rendered impersonally, “let this man be written childless”, it may be set down, and taken for a sure and certain thing, as though it was written with a pen of iron, that he shall be alone, and die without children, and have none to reign after him.

~ by Joel Huan on November 11, 2021.

4 Responses to “Jeremiah (Ch 21-22)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 21 and 22 HERE ~ —— […]

  2. Amen and amen.I receive the blessings.
    May God bless you too

  3. “The Lord bless thee, Evidencemutumbu.”

  4. Thank you so much for sharing.I was blessed!

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