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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Jeremiah Chapter 22

Jeremiah 22:1

jer 22:1


Go down--The temple (where Jeremiah had been prophesying) was higher than the king's palace on Mount Zion (Jer 36:10, Jer 36:12; Ch2 23:20). Hence the phrase, "Go down."

the king of Judah--perhaps including each of the four successive kings, to whom it was consecutively addressed, here brought together in one picture: Shallum, Jer 22:11; Jehoiakim, Jer 22:13-18; Jeconiah, Jer 22:24; Zedekiah, the address to whom (Jer 21:1, Jer 21:11-12) suggests notice of the rest.

Jeremiah 22:2

jer 22:2

these gates--of the king's palace.

Jeremiah 22:3

jer 22:3

Jehoiakim is meant here especially: he, by oppression, levied the tribute imposed on him by Pharaoh-necho, king of Egypt (Ch2 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; Kg2 23:35; Kg2 24:4).

Jeremiah 22:4

jer 22:4

upon the throne of David--literally, "or David on his throne" (see on Jer 13:13). This verse is repeated substantially from Jer 17:25.

his servants--so the Keri. But Chetib, singular, "his servant;" that is, distributively, "each with his servants;" Jer 17:25, "their princes."

Jeremiah 22:5

jer 22:5

I swear by myself-- (Heb 6:13, Heb 6:17). God swears because it seemed to them incredible that the family of David should be cast off.

this house--the king's, where Jeremiah spake (Jer 22:4).

Jeremiah 22:6

jer 22:6

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," Num 14:28; "surely," Num 14:35). 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.

cities--not other cities, but the different parts of the city of Jerusalem (Sa2 12:27; Kg2 10:25) [MAURER].

Jeremiah 22:7

jer 22:7

prepare--literally, "sanctify," or solemnly set apart for a particular work (compare Isa 13:3).

thy choice cedars-- (Isa 37:24). Thy palaces built of choice cedars (Sol 1:17).

Jeremiah 22:8

jer 22:8

(Deu 29:24-25). The Gentile nations, more intelligent than you, shall understand that which ye do not, namely, that this city is a spectacle of God's vengeance [CALVIN].

Jeremiah 22:9

jer 22:9

(Kg2 22:17).

Jeremiah 22:10

jer 22:10

Weep . . . not for--that is, not so much for Josiah, who was taken away by death from the evil to come (Kg2 22:20; Isa 57:1); as for Shallum or Jehoahaz, his son (Kg2 23:30), who, after a three months' reign, was carried off by Pharaoh-necho into Egypt, never to see his native land again (Kg2 23:31-34). 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 (Ch2 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 (Kg2 15:13; Ch2 36:1-4). 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. Ch1 3:15, 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 (Kg2 23:31, Kg2 23:36; Ch2 36:1); perhaps on account of Jehoiakim's extravagance (Jer 22:13, Jer 22:15). 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.

He shall not return--The people perhaps entertained hopes of Shallum's return from Egypt, in which case they would replace him on the throne, and thereby free themselves from the oppressive taxes imposed by Jehoiakim.

Jeremiah 22:13

jer 22:13

Not only did Jehoiakim tax the people (Kg2 23:35) for Pharaoh's tribute, but also took their forced labor, without pay, for building a splendid palace; in violation of Lev 19:13; Deu 24:14-15. Compare Mic 3:10; Hab 2:9; Jam 5:4. God will repay in justice those who will not in justice pay those whom they employ.

Jeremiah 22:14

jer 22:14

wide--literally, "a house of dimensions" ("measures"). Compare Num 13:32, Margin, "men of statures."

large--rather, as Margin, "airy" from Hebrew root, "to breathe freely." Upper rooms in the East are the principal apartments.

cutteth him out windows--The Hebrew, if a noun, is rather, "my windows"; then the translation ought to be, "and let my windows (Jehoiakim speaking) be cut out for it," that is, in the house; or, "and let (the workman) cut out my windows for it." But the word is rather an adjective; "he cutteth it (the house) out for himself, so as to be full of windows." The following words accord with this construction, "and (he makes it) ceiled with cedar," &c. [MAURER]. Retaining English Version, there must be understood something remarkable about the windows, since they are deemed worthy of notice. GESENIUS thinks thinks the word dual, "double windows," the blinds being two-leaved.

vermilion--Hebrew, shashar, called so from a people of India beyond the Ganges, by whom it is exported [PLINY, 6.19]. The old vermilion was composed of sulphur and quicksilver; not of red lead, as our vermilion.

Jeremiah 22:15

jer 22:15

closest thyself--rather, "thou viest," that is, art emulous to surpass thy forefathers in the magnificence of thy palaces.

eat and drink--Did not Josiah, thy father, enjoy all that man really needs for his bodily wants? Did he need to build costly palaces to secure his throne? Nay, he did secure it by "judgment and justice"; whereas thou, with all thy luxurious building, sittest on a tottering throne.

then--on that account, therefore.

Jeremiah 22:16

jer 22:16

was not this to know me--namely, to show by deeds that one knows God's will, as was the case with Josiah (compare Joh 13:17; contrast Tit 1:16).

Jeremiah 22:17

jer 22:17

thine--as opposed to thy father, Josiah.

Jeremiah 22:18

jer 22:18

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 Kg1 13:30). 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 Jer 22:15-17, he directly addresses him without naming him; at last, in Jer 22:18, 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.

Ah his glory!--"Alas! his majesty."

Jeremiah 22:19

jer 22:19

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 Ch2 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. Kg2 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 (Psa 49:19). The two phrases are found together, as expressing two distinct ideas (Kg2 15:38; Kg2 16:20).

Jeremiah 22:20

jer 22:20

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 Jer 3:21) the calamity of herself, bereft of allies and of her princes, who are one after the other being cast down.

Bashan--north of the region beyond Jordan; the mountains of Anti-libanus are referred to (Psa 68:15).

from the passages--namely, of the rivers (Jdg 12:6); or else the borders of the country (Sa1 13:23; Isa 10:29). The passes (Sa1 14:4). MAURER translates, "Abarim," a mountainous tract beyond Jordan, opposite Jericho, and south of Bashan; this accords with the mention of the mountains Lebanon and Bashan (Num 27:12; Num 33:47).

lovers--the allies of Judea, especially Egypt, now unable to help the Jews, being crippled by Babylon (Kg2 24:7).

Jeremiah 22:21

jer 22:21

I admonished thee in time. Thy sin has not been a sin of ignorance or thoughtlessness, but wilful.

prosperity--given thee by Me; yet thou wouldest not hearken to the gracious Giver. The Hebrew is plural, to express, "In the height of thy prosperity"; so "droughts" (Isa 58:11).

thou saidst--not in words, but in thy conduct, virtually.

thy youth--from the time that I brought thee out of Egypt, and formed thee into a people (Jer 7:25; Jer 2:2; Isa 47:12).

Jeremiah 22:22

jer 22:22

wind--the Chaldees, as a parching wind that sweeps over rapidly and withers vegetation (Jer 4:11-12; Psa 103:16; Isa 40:7).

eat up . . . pastors--that is, thy kings (Jer 2:8). There is a happy play on words. The pastors, whose office it is to feed the sheep, shall themselves be fed on. They who should drive the flock from place to place for pasture shall be driven into exile by the Chaldees.

Jeremiah 22:23

jer 22:23

inhabitant of Lebanon--namely, Jerusalem, whose temple, palaces, and principal habitations were built of cedars of Lebanon.

how gracious--irony. How graciously thou wilt be treated by the Chaldees, when they come on thee suddenly, as pangs on a woman in travail (Jer 6:24)! Nay, all thy fine buildings will win no favor for thee from them. MAURER translates, "How shalt thou be to be pitied!"

Jeremiah 22:24

jer 22:24

As I live--God's most solemn formula of oath (Jer 46:18; Jer 4:2; Deu 32:40; Sa1 25:34).

Coniah--Jeconiah or Jehoiachin. The contraction of the name is meant in contempt.

signet--Such ring seals were often of the greatest value (Sol 8:6; Hag 2:23). Jehoiachin's popularity is probably here referred to.

right hand--the hand most valued.

I would pluck thee thence--(Compare Oba 1:4); on account of thy father's sins, as well as thine own (Ch2 36:9). There is a change here, as often in Hebrew poetry, from the third to the second person, to bring the threat more directly home to him. After a three months' and ten days' reign, the Chaldees deposed him. In Babylon, however, by God's favor he was ultimately treated more kindly than other royal captives (Jer 52:31-34). But none of his direct posterity ever came to the throne.

Jeremiah 22:25

jer 22:25

give . . . into . . . hand--"I will pluck thee" from "my right hand," and "will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life."

Jeremiah 22:26

jer 22:26

thy mother--Nehushta, the queen dowager (Kg2 24:6, Kg2 24:8, Kg2 24:15; see Jer 13:18).

Jeremiah 22:27

jer 22:27

they--Coniah and his mother. He passes from the second person (Jer 22:26) to the third person here, to express alienation. The king is as it were put out of sight, as if unworthy of being spoken with directly.

desire--literally, "lift up their soul" (Jer 44:14; Psa 24:4; Psa 25:1). Judea was the land which they in Babylon should pine after in vain.

Jeremiah 22:28

jer 22:28

broken idol--Coniah was idolized once by the Jews; Jeremiah, therefore, in their person, expresses their astonishment at one from whom so much had been expected being now so utterly cast aside.

vessel . . . no pleasure-- (Psa 31:12; Hos 8:8). The answer to this is given (Rom 9:20-23; contrast Ti2 2:21).

his seed--(See on Jer 22:29).

Jeremiah 22:29

jer 22:29

O earth! earth! earth!--Jeconiah was not actually without offspring (compare Jer 22:28, "his seed"; Ch1 3:17-18; Mat 1:12), but he was to be "written childless," as a warning to posterity, that is, without a lineal heir to his throne. It is with a reference to the three kings, Shallum, Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah, that the earth is thrice invoked [BENGEL]. Or, the triple invocation is to give intensity to the call for attention to the announcement of the end of the royal line, so far as Jehoiachin's seed is concerned. Though Messiah (Mat. 1:1-17), the heir of David's throne, was lineally descended from Jeconiah, it was only through Joseph, who, though His legal, was not His real father. Matthew gives the legal pedigree through Solomon down to Joseph; Luke the real pedigree, from Mary, the real parent, through Nathan, brother of Solomon, upwards (Luk 3:31).

no man of his seed . . . upon the throne--This explains the sense in which "childless" is used. Though the succession to the throne failed in his line, still the promise to David (Psa 89:30-37) was revived in Zerubbabel and consummated in Christ.

This forms the epilogue to the denunciations of the four kings, in Jer. 21:1-22:30.

Next: Jeremiah Chapter 23