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JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 22
JUDGMENT UPON THE ROYAL HOUSE
Here is a series of utterances concerning the last four of Judah’s rulers.
1. Jeremiah is sent to Zedekiah to urge that both the king and his kingdom give attention to the word of Jehovah, (vs. 1-2; 29; Jeremiah 19:3; Jeremiah 29:19-20; comp. Amos 7:14-17).
2. Zedekiah is called upon to administer judgment, with equity, at all levels of national life, (vs. 3).
3. Submission to the divine order of social justice will assure a succession of kings upon the throne of David, and the prosperity of both Jerusalem and the temple, (vs. 4; Jeremiah 17:24-25).
4. If Judah rejects the counsel of Jehovah, her house will become a desolation, (vs. 5-7; Jeremiah 7:14-15; Jeremiah 26:4-9; comp. Matthew 23:28; Luke 13:35).
a. The beautiful forest will be cut down.
b. The choice cedars of Lebanon will be consumed by the fire of divine indignation.
5. When Jehovah swears by Himself, He is reminding Judah of His authority as the Initiator of the covenant-relationship which they have so flagrantly violated, (comp. Genesis 22:16; Isaiah 45:23; Hebrews 6:13 -18).
6. When inquiry is made as to why the Lord has abandoned Jerusalem to destruction, the answer will be quite clear: they have forsaken the covenant of Jehovah their God, to worship and serve no gods! (vs. 8-9; Jeremiah 11:3; Deuteronomy 29:24-26; 1 Kings 9:8-9; 2 Chronicles 7:19-22; 2 Chronicles 34:24-25).
Vs. 10-12: CONCERNING THE DESTINY OF SHALLUM (609 B.C.)
1. JEHOAHAZ was the throne name of this son of king Josiah who succeeded his father on the throne in Jerusalem.
a. Josiah (a good king) was slain by Pharaoh Necho at the battle of Megiddo, 609 B.C., (2 Kings 23:29).
b. Shallum followed his father to the throne - evidently with the support of Egypt.
2. His reign in Jerusalem was very brief; after only 3 months he was deposed and taken captive to Egypt, where he died, (2 Kings 23:31 -35; 2 Chronicles 36:4).
3. Judah was not to weep for the dead - evidently referring to young king Josiah (2 Kings 22:20; Isaiah 57:1), who had been slain in battle; his end was not nearly so tragic as that which would befall his son.
4. They were, rather, to weep for Shallum (Jehoahaz) who was being taken, in humiliation, to Egypt - never to return to his own land, (vs. 11-12; comp. Jeremiah 44:14).
Vs. 13-19: A DENUNCIATION OF JEHOIAKIM (608 - 597 B.C.)
1. Following Jehoahaz on the throne in Judah, Jehoiakim, his elder brother, was compelled to pay tribute to Necho (ruler of Egypt) while he was preparing to attack the Babylonians in northern Palestine.
a. His rule was characterized by selfish luxury and oppression; a petty tyrant, he was not FIT to rule!
b. His wickedness was like that of Manasseh; to oppose him was to court death, (Jeremiah 26:20-23).
2. A scathing denunciation is pronounced against Jehoiakim because of his callous exploitation, and forced labor, of his workmen -concerned only for his own vanity and comfort, (vs. 13-14; comp. Jeremiah 17:11; Micah 3:9-10; Habakkuk 2:9).
3. Does he really think that such luxury and oppression are the true qualities of royalty? (vs. 15a).
4. If he would know the true hallmark of royalty, Jeremiah suggests a look at his father, Josiah, who was A REAL KING! (vs. 15b,16).
a. Though he lived like a king, he practiced justice and righteousness - caring for the poor and defenseless, (Psalms 72:1-4; Psalms 72:12-13).
b. In this he manifested the highest virtue - the knowledge of Jehovah, (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
c. A right relationship with God is impossible apart from a right, loving and caring relationship with one’s brother, (1 John 4:10; 1 John 4:21).
d. Jeremiah saw the abandonment of Josiah’s ideal as a conspiracy against Jehovah - such a breach of His covenant as invited His wrath! (Jeremiah 11:9-13).
5. The eye and heart of Jehoiakim were set on: dishonest gain, the shedding of innocent blood, oppression and violence, (vs. 17; comp. Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 6:13; 2 Kings 24:4; Luke 12:15-20).
6. No wonder Jehovah declares that his death will be unlamented; for him there will be no royal funeral; he will, rather, be buried like an ass - his carcass dumped, without ceremony, on the garbage heap outside the city! (vs. 18-19; comp. Jeremiah 36:30).
7. It is not surprising that the relationship between Jeremiah and Jehoiakim was something less than cordial.
Vs. 20-23: A WARNING AGAINST JERUSALEM’S FALSE CONFIDENCE
1. There is to arise a cry of doom throughout the land of Judah -a cry sounded in Lebanon, Bashan and Abarim (a mountain range located east of the Dead Sea, and including Nebo, from which Moses was permitted to view the promised land, but forbidden to enter it); her lovers (allies), on whom she has leaned, are utterly destroyed! (vs. 20; Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 3:1).
2. Jehovah had spoken to her in the time of prosperity, but she refused to listen; since her youth she has refused to heed His voice, (vs. 21; Jeremiah 13:10; Jeremiah 19:15; Jeremiah 3:24-25; Jeremiah 32:30).
3. The shepherds of Judah (her rulers) are "shepherded" by the wind - driven away with her lovers - leaving her in shame and confusion, (vs. 22; Jeremiah 5:13; Jeremiah 30:14; Jeremiah 20:11; comp. Isaiah 65:13-16).
4. Jerusalem, inhabitress of Lebanon, is pictured as nestling among the tall cedars - smugly confident of her immunity to attack; the pain of her desolation will be like the groaning of a woman in labor, (vs. 23; Jeremiah 4:31; Jeremiah 13:20-22; Jeremiah 30:6-7).
Vs. 24-30: THE DOOM OF JEHOIACHIN
1. Upon the death of Jehoiakim (Dec. 598 B.C.) his son, Jeconiah ; Jeremiah 24:1), Coniah (Jeremiah 37:1) or Jehoiachin came to the throne (at the age of 8); he was allowed to reign for only three months, (2 Kings 24:8-9).
2. The Lord declared, through Jeremiah, that though Jehoiachin were "the signet" upon His right hand, He would pluck him off (vs. 24); His authority was forfeited; there can be no fellowship with Jehovah without the obedience of faith! (Hebrews 10:36).
3. He will be handed over to those whom he most dreads - the Chaldeans, under Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, (vs. 25; 2 Kings 25:27-30).
4. Both Jehoiachin and his mother (Nehushta, 2 Kings 24:8) will be exiled to Babylon where they will die; he will not be permitted to return, (vs. 26-27; 2 Kings 24:15).
a. Eliakim, a steward, was appointed to manage his estate in his absence.
b. Jehoiachin remained a prisoner, in Babylon, until released by Nebuchadnezzar’s successor (Evil-Meredach) in 561 B.C. - after which he was allowed to live there in the royal palace, (Jeremiah 52:31-34).
5. The sarcastic references to Jehoiachin as an unwanted, cast off vessel of inferior quality, suggests something of his lack of character, (vs. 28; comp. Jeremiah 48:38; Hosea 8:8; Jeremiah 15:1).
6. The threefold repetition of the word "earth" (land) is Jeremiah’s lament over the demise of the kingdom of Judah, (vs. 29; comp. Deuteronomy 4:26; Jeremiah 6:19; Micah 1:2).
7. Though seven sons were born to Coniah (1 Chronicles 3:17-18), he was "childless" so far as kingly succession was concerned; none of his offspring would sit on the Davidic throne (vs. 30) -though Zerubbabel, his grandson, was permitted to lead the exodus back to Jerusalem, (1 Chronicles 3:19; Ezra 2:2; Ezra 3:2).
a. Were He dependent on His lineage through Joseph, Jesus Christ could never sit upon the throne of David; Joseph’s descent was from Coniah, (Matthew 1:11; Matthew 1:16).
b. But, since the physical descent of Jesus was THROUGH MARY, He is qualified to sit on the throne THROUGH NATHAN - David’s son, (Luke 3:23; Luke 3:31).
c. Thus, the supreme, sovereign, living God of Israel marvelously works out His own wise designs among men and nations!
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 22". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/
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