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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 26

Verses 1-24

  1. Intro:
    1. This ch. jumps back near the beginning of Jer’s public ministry.
    2. Chapters 26-29 were probably written by a biographer, possibly his secretary Baruch.
    3. Here we have a show down at the Temple!
    4. This is a longer account of ch.7
      1. Either preached on 1 or 2 occasions?
    5. The scene: Here we have “Jeremiah on trial”!
      1. A scene from a Jewish court of Law!
    6. Outline: [1] Jeremiah’s Appeal [2] Jeremiah’s Arrest [3] Jeremiah’s Acquittal.
  2. JEREMIAH’S APPEAL! (1-6)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.1 - Background: It was a time of shaky grounds.
      1. “In the last 3 months: Josiah was killed in battle; his successor was deported to Egypt; & this 3rd king was of no scruples, imposed on the country.” {Derek Kidner}
      2. This then wasn’t the best of times(by mans standard) to talk about the Temple or Jerusalem’s destruction!(6)
      3. Just a rumor about it was bad enough ½ of a millennium later, to put a man’s life at risk!
        1. Who? - “Jesus” –Mt.26 trial(accusers).
    2. Yet, Jeremiah is bold again, with another unpopular sermon! (4-7)
    3. Vs.2 – An appeal is to “reopen a case before a higher court”.(2)
    4. Jeremiah’s motto: “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, & nothing but the truth, so help me God!”
      1. A man was out walking in the desert when a voice said to him, "Pick up some pebbles and put them in your pocket, and tomorrow you will be both sorry and glad." The man obeyed. He stooped down and picked up a handful of pebbles and put them in his pocket. The next morning he reached into his pocket and found diamonds and rubies and emeralds. And he was both glad and sorry. Glad that he had taken some -- sorry that he hadn't taken more. And so it is with God's word.
      2. A half-truth is a dangerous thing, especially if you have got hold of the wrong half.
      3. The False prophets preached what the people Wanted to hear; Jeremiah preached what the people Needed to hear!
    5. Vs.4 - The main message is from 4-6.
      1. The emphasis is on hearing the word of God!
        1. “Listen, turn(3); listen, walk(4); heed(5).”
    6. Vs.6 – Shiloh – Q: What do you know…about Shiloh?
      1. The Religious epi-center for Israel from: just into the land(Joshua 18) to 1 Sam 4 event.
        1. Tabernacle set up here(no more wandering)
        2. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, into 1st Sam – [14-10 century]
      2. Why here? Centrally located for the tribes(Samaria); “uncontaminated” by the Cannanites.
      3. Hannah brings Sam here.
      4. Q: Where does the religious center go next? (Jer.)
        1. Q: Who took it there? (David)
  3. JEREMIAH’S ARREST! (7-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​Vs.8 – They seize him…& boy are they mad! "You will surely die!”
    2. Vs.11 – The Indictment(a formal charge of crime): "This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears."
      1. This shows us the leaders can be wrong. They are fallible men.
        1. The word of God is our only safety net!
    3. Vs.12-15 – 3 arguments of defense:
      1. ​​​​​​​[1st] What he had spoken was from the Lord! (12,15)
        1. Therefore to kill me is to kill 1 of Gods prophets.
        2. “Jeremiah would rather be faithful to God & die; then unfaithful & live!”
          1. Remember(Dan) discussing the early churches problem: trying to figure out whether those who denied Christ & therefore were freed, on whether they could ever be accepted in to the faith again?
          2. [2nd] Jeremiah was seeking to rescue them! (13)
          3. [3rd] They were the one’s in danger! (15)
            1. Read Polycarp’s stand!
    4. Vs.14,15 – Q: How safe are those who are faithful to God when everything seems against them?
      1. Whitefield said, “We are immortal until our work is done!”
  4. JEREMIAH’S ACQUITTAL! (16-24)
    1. ​​​​​​​3 factors that led to his release!
      1. ​​​​​​​[1st] Having heard the evidence, the officials decide the evidence is false & that Jeremiah should not die. (16-24)
        1. How wise are those who learn from the past.
        2. These men were able to settle the mob down.
      2. [2nd] Some of the elders argue further, by citing the court case “Micah vs. the people of Judah”. (18,19)
        1. Micah(1:1) during the reign of Hezekiah’s reign (quotes 3:12).
        2. At that time Jerusalem was being threatened by Assyria. But King Hezekiah led the people into confession & repentance.
        3. The point was Micah the prophet spoke judgment against “The City, the Temple, & Zion.”
        4. NOTE: These guys were informed but also well taught in the word of God! They didn’t only rely upon their leaders…but upon the word. 4.1.2.4.1.Know it yourself! – Remember there is no “Insta-scholars!”
      3. [3rd] Ahikam Risk Taker! (24)
        1. A man of courage, one of the officials who proved a friend to Jeremiah & effected his release.
        2. He was one of in a line of faithful family members.
          1. His dad Shapan found the book of the law when Josiah was doing temple clean up.
        3. He was of a small number who would come forward when they were most needed & most at risk!
          1. Q: I wonder if we come to a person’s rescue when even gossip is happening?
    2. Vs.20-23 – Urijah/Uriah – {This seems like…“aahhh can’t we pick some guy who made it?”} L
      1. Heb.11 – says some escaped, others were tortured, others still mocked & scourged…but “all these” obtained a good testimony through faith.
    3. Vs.24 – Jeremiah neither was Heeded(listen to) like Micah, nor was Martyred like Uriah – he survived to be Ignored!
      1. “A fate which has befallen many a prophetic figure.” {Barclay}
      2. Q: Don’t you hate being ignored? Q: What do you do when your kids don’t respond to you when you know they heard you?
      3. When you share God’s word they may listen to you; hate you; or ignore you.
        1. Q: Which of these 3 were more faithful in delivering there message?(all) Q: Which did God smile upon?(all)
        2. Q: Will you be faithful to deliver the message despite the end results?
      4. Evangelism quotes:
        1. Being an extrovert isn't essential to evangelism...obedience and love are.
        2. God is not saving the world; it is done. Our business is to get men and women to realize it. [Oswald Chambers]
        3. You will either make people homesick for God, or sick of God?
        4. Give a man a dollar, and you cheer his heart. Give him a dream, and you challenge his heart. Give him Christ, and you change his heart.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 26". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-26.html. 2017.