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Jer 22:1-30. EXHORTATION TO REPENTANCE; JUDGMENT ON SHALLUM, JEHOIAKIM, AND CONIAH.
Belonging to an earlier period than the twenty-first chapter, namely, the reigns of Shallum or Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah (Jer 22:10, 13, 20). Jeremiah often groups his prophecies, not by chronological order, but by similarity of subjects; thus Jer 22:3 corresponds to Jer 21:12. GROTIUS thinks that Jeremiah here repeats to Zedekiah what he had announced to that king's predecessors formerly (namely, his brother and brother's son), of a similar bearing, and which had since come to pass; a warning to Zedekiah. Probably, in arranging his prophecies they were grouped for the first time in the present order, designed by the Holy Spirit to set forth the series of kings of Judah, all four alike, failing in "righteousness," followed at last by the "King," a righteous Branch raised unto David, in the house of Judah, "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6). The unrighteousness of Zedekiah suggested the review of his predecessors' failure in the same respects, and consequent punishment, which ought to have warned him, but did not.
1. Go down--The temple (where Jeremiah had been prophesying) was
higher than the king's palace on Mount Zion
(Jer 36:10, 12;
Hence the phrase, "Go down."
2. these gates--of the king's palace.
3. Jehoiakim is meant here especially: he, by oppression, levied the tribute imposed on him by Pharaoh-necho, king of Egypt (2Ch 36:3), and taxed his people, and took their labor without pay, to build gorgeous palaces for himself (Jer 22:13-17), and shed innocent blood, for example, that of Urijah the prophet (Jer 26:20-24; 2Ki 23:35; 24:4).
4. upon the throne of David--literally, "or David on his throne"
This verse is repeated substantially from
6. Though thou art as beautiful as Gilead, and as majestic in Mine
eyes (before Me) as the summit of Lebanon, yet surely
(the Hebrew is a formula of swearing to express certainly:
"If I do not make thee . . . believe Me not ever hereafter":
so "as truly as I live,"
The mention of Gilead may allude not only to its past beauty, but
covertly also to its desolation by the judgment on Israel; a warning
now to Judah and the house of David. "Lebanon" is appropriately
mentioned, as the king's house was built of its noble cedars.
9. (2Ki 22:17).
10, 11. Weep . . . not for--that is, not so much for Josiah, who was
taken away by death from the evil to come
as for Shallum or Jehoahaz, his son
who, after a three months' reign, was carried off by Pharaoh-necho into
Egypt, never to see his native land again
Dying saints are justly to be envied, while living sinners are to be
pitied. The allusion is to the great weeping of the people at the death
of Josiah, and on each anniversary of it, in which Jeremiah himself
took a prominent part
(2Ch 35:24, 25).
The name "Shallum" is here given in irony to Jehoahaz, who reigned but
three months; as if he were a second Shallum, son of Jabesh, who
reigned only one month in Samaria
Shallum means "retribution," a name of no good omen to him [GROTIUS]; originally the people called him
Shallom, indicative of peace and prosperity. But Jeremiah
applies it in irony.
calls Shallum the fourth son of Josiah. The people raised him to
the throne before his brother Eliakim or Jehoiakim, though the latter
was the older
(2Ki 23:31, 36;
perhaps on account of Jehoiakim's extravagance
(Jer 22:13, 15).
Jehoiakim was put in Shallum's (Jehoahaz') stead by Pharaoh-necho.
Jeconiah, his son, succeeded. Zedekiah (Mattaniah), uncle of Jeconiah,
and brother of Jehoiakim and Jehoahaz, was last of all raised to the
throne by Nebuchadnezzar.
13. Not only did Jehoiakim tax the people (2Ki 23:35) for Pharaoh's tribute, but also took their forced labor, without pay, for building a splendid palace; in violation of Le 19:13; De 24:14, 15. Compare Mic 3:10; Hab 2:9; Jas 5:4. God will repay in justice those who will not in justice pay those whom they employ.
14. wide--literally, "a house of dimensions" ("measures"). Compare
Margin, "men of statures."
15. closest thyself--rather, "thou viest," that is, art emulous to
surpass thy forefathers in the magnificence of thy palaces.
17. thine--as opposed to thy father, Josiah.
18. Ah my brother! . . . sister!--addressing him with
such titles of affection as one would address to a deceased friend
beloved as a brother or sister (compare
This expresses, They shall not lament him with the lamentation of
private individuals [VATABLUS], or of
blood relatives [GROTIUS]: as "Ah! lord,"
expresses public lamentation in the case of a king
[VATABLUS], or that of subjects [GROTIUS]. HENDERSON thinks, "Ah!
sister," refers to Jehoiakim's queen, who, though taken to Babylon and
not left unburied on the way, as Jehoiakim, yet was not honored at her
death with royal lamentations, such as would have been poured forth
over her at Jerusalem. He notices the beauty of Jeremiah's manner in
his prophecy against Jehoiakim. In
Jer 22:13, 14
he describes him in general terms; then, in
he directly addresses him without naming him; at last, in
he names him, but in the third person, to imply that God puts him to a
distance from Him. The boldness of the Hebrew prophets proves their
divine mission; were it not so, their reproofs to the Hebrew kings, who
held the throne by divine authority, would have been treason.
19. burial of an ass--that is, he shall have the same burial as an ass would get, namely, he shall be left a prey for beasts and birds [JEROME]. This is not formally narrated. But 2Ch 36:6 states that "Nebuchadnezzar bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon"; his treatment there is nowhere mentioned. The prophecy here, and in Jer 36:30, harmonizes these two facts. He was slain by Nebuchadnezzar, who changed his purpose of taking him to Babylon, on the way thither, and left him unburied outside Jerusalem. 2Ki 24:6, "Jehoiakim slept with his fathers," does not contradict this; it simply expresses his being gathered to his fathers by death, not his being buried with his fathers (Ps 49:19). The two phrases are found together, as expressing two distinct ideas (2Ki 15:38; 16:20).
20. Delivered in the reign of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah or Coniah),
son of Jehoiakim; appended to the previous prophecy respecting
Jehoiakim, on account of the similarity of the two prophecies. He calls
on Jerusalem, personified as a mourning female, to go up to the highest
points visible from Jerusalem, and lament there (see on
the calamity of herself, bereft of allies and of her princes, who are
one after the other being cast down.
21. I admonished thee in time. Thy sin has not been a sin of ignorance
or thoughtlessness, but wilful.
22. wind--the Chaldees, as a parching wind that sweeps over rapidly
and withers vegetation
(Jer 4:11, 12;
23. inhabitant of Lebanon--namely, Jerusalem, whose temple, palaces,
and principal habitations were built of cedars of Lebanon.
24. As I live--God's most solemn formula of oath (Jer 46