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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Jeremiah 26

Verses 1-7

PART II

A Mixture of Judgment and Hope

(Chapters 26-36)

JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 26

JEREMIAH INDICTED FOR TREASON

This chapter recalls an incident which took place in the early days of Jehoiakim’s reign in Jerusalem, (2 Chronicles 36:4-5). The preaching of an unpopular message was no light matter in those days; the life of a faithful prophet was valued very cheaply, and was in constant jeopardy.

Vs. 1-7: FAITHFULLY PROCLAIMING GOD’S MESSAGE

1. Jeremiah was commanded by the Lord to stand in the court of the temple in Jerusalem, where people from all the cities of Judah came to worship, (vs. 2; comp. Jeremiah 7:2; Jeremiah 19:14; 2 Chronicles 24:20-21; Luke 19:47-48).

a. There he was to proclaim "all the words" that the Lord commanded him to speak, (Jeremiah 1:17; comp. Jeremiah 42:4; Acts 20:20-21).

b. Nothing was to be diminished, modified or softened, (Deuteronomy 4:2).

c. There is no compelling reason to consider this to be the same occasion as that described in chapter 7.

2. The Lord still had not abandoned Judah; perhaps, through the hearing of what He purposed toward their rebellion, they would so repent (Jeremiah 36:3-7; Isaiah 1:16-19) that He could abandon the judgment that He now purposed to bring upon her, because of her sin, (vs. 3,13,19, Jeremiah 18:7-8).

3. Jeremiah is to remind them of their persistent refusal to obey the words of the former prophets which the Lord had repeatedly sent to them, (Jeremiah 25:4).

4. If they will not repent, and turn from their evil ways, (Jeremiah 17:27; Jeremiah 22:5; Leviticus 26:14-17; 1 Kings 9:6-7); if they will not give heed to God’s law, and walk in His ways, (Jeremiah 32:23; Jeremiah 44:10; Jeremiah 44:23); then He will surely judge them, (vs. 4-6).

a. He will make the temple at Jerusalem as desolate as the one at Shiloh, (vs. 6a; Jeremiah 7:12-15; Psalms 78:59-61).

b. And He will make Jerusalem a curse to all the nations of the earth, (vs. 6b; Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 25:18; 2 Kings 22:18-20; comp. Jeremiah 7:12-15).

5. So fully did Jeremiah proclaim this word that it was heard by all the priests, false prophets and people who worshipped in the temple, (vs. 7; comp. Jeremiah 5:30-31; Micah 3:11).

Verses 8-15

Vs. 8-15: AN INDICTMENT FOR TREASON 8 CRY FOR BLOOD

1. The people, probably agitated by the priests and false prophets, sprang into action immediately upon hearing Jeremiah’s message of judgment against Jerusalem and the temple, (vs. 8-9).

a. Together they called for his heath! (vs. 8; comp. Lamentations 4:13-14; Matthew 21:35-36; Matthew 23:34-39).

b. Why had he dared proclaim such an unthinkable thing in the name of Jehovah, their God? the implication is that he had spoken these words without divine authority, (vs. 9a; comp. Deuteronomy 18:20).

c. Thus were all the people gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, (vs. 9b; comp. Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12).

2. When the princes of Judah and Jerusalem heard what had happened, they left the king’s palace and came to sit in the entry of the "new gate" of the Lord’s house - the place of judgment, (vs. 10; comp. Acts 21:31-32).

3. The priests and false prophets brought an indictment against the man of God - declaring him worthy of death; since the temple represented God’s dwelling-place among His people, Jeremiah’s message was viewed as an attack on the very sovereignty of God, (vs. 11; comp. Matthew 26:66; Jeremiah 38:14; Acts 6:8-14).

4. Jeremiah spoke in his own defense, (vs. 12-14).

a. The Lord had sent him to prophesy against Jerusalem and the temple all that he had spoken, (vs. 12; 1:17-18; comp. Acts 4:19-20; Acts 5:29).

b. He used the occasion to renew his call for repentance -that the Lord might turn from the evil He had pronounced against them, (vs. 13; Jeremiah 7:3-5; Jeremiah 18:8-11; Jeremiah 35:15; Joel 2:12-14).

c. Then, addressing himself to the princes and the people, Jeremiah admitted that his life was in their hands, (comp. Jeremiah 38:5; Joshua 9:24-25) - asking only that they do what seemed to them GOOD and RIGHT, (vs. 15; comp. 1 Peter 2:23).

d. He did, however, warn them that by killing him they would bring a curse upon the holy city for the shedding of innocent blood, (comp. Deuteronomy 19:10; Jeremiah 7:6-7; Numbers 35:33; Proverbs 6:16-19).

Verses 16-19

Vs. 16-19: THE PRINCES VINDICATE THE COURAGEOUS PROPHET

1. Now the princes and the people are arrayed against the priests and false prophets, (vs. 16; comp. Jeremiah 36:19; Jeremiah 36:25; Jeremiah 38:7-13).

a. The professional religious leaders want Jeremiah out of their way!

b. But, the people and princes declare that he does NOT DESERVE TO DIE; he has, obviously, spoken in the name of Jehovah! (comp. Acts 23:9; Acts 23:28-29; Acts 25:25; Acts 26:31).

2. Certain of the elders of Judah also came to Jeremiah’s defense, (vs. 17-19).

a. Addressing the assembly, he recalled how Micah had spoken a similar prophecy, in the days of Hezekiah - calling Judah back to Jehovah, her God, (vs. 18; Micah 1:1; Micah 3:12; Micah 4:1).

b. Hezekiah did not put Micah to death; rather, he reverenced and besought the Lord, who abandoned His purposed judgment, (vs. 19a; 2 Chronicles 29:1-11; 2 Chronicles 32:26; comp. Isaiah 37:1-4; Isaiah 37:15-20).

c. By murdering the courageous man of God, the people of Judah might bring great evil against their own souls, (vs. 19b; comp. Jeremiah 44:7; Hebrews 2:10).

Verses 20-24

Vs. 20-24: A PROPHET WHO DID NOT ESCAPE

1. This incident illustrates the narrowness of Jeremiah’s escape.

2. Urijah was another prophet who pronounced upon Jerusalem a judgment similar to that spoken by Jeremiah, (vs. 20).

3. When king Jehoiakim attempted to murder him, he fled to Egypt; but Jehoiakim sent to Egypt and had him extradited to Jerusalem - a simple matter in the case of one charged with treason, (vs. 21; 23a; comp. 1 Kings 19:2-4; Matthew 10:23).

4. Jehoiakim slew this prophet with his own sword and cast his carcass into the burial grounds of the common people - as if he were a criminal! (vs. 23b; comp. Jeremiah 2:30).

5. Jeremiah’s life seems to have been guarded by the influence of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, (comp. Jeremiah 39:14; Jeremiah 40:5-6).

a. The latter had served as Secretary of State under king Josiah, (2 Kings 22:8-11).

b. Ahikam had also held a high position in the administration of Josiah, (2 Kings 22:12-14).

c. A courageous, spiritual and God-fearing man, Ahikam wielded sufficient influence to run interference for Jeremiah against those wretched false prophets who yearned to silence his lips, (comp. Jeremiah 1:18-19; 1 Kings 18:4).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 26". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-26.html. 1985.