|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:18-27 Here is a message sent to king Jehoiakim, and his queen. Their sorrows would be great indeed. Do they ask, Wherefore come these things upon us? Let them know, it is for their obstinacy in sin. We cannot alter the natural colour of the skin; and so is it morally impossible to reclaim and reform these people. Sin is the blackness of the soul; it is the discolouring of it; we were shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by any power of our own. But Almighty grace is able to change the Ethiopian's skin. Neither natural depravity, nor strong habits of sin, form an obstacle to the working of God, the new-creating Spirit. The Lord asks of Jerusalem, whether she is determined not be made clean. If any poor slave of sin feels that he could as soon change his nature as master his headstrong lusts, let him not despair; for things impossible to men are possible with God. Let us then seek help from Him who is mighty to save.
Verse 18. - The extent of the calamity shown in individual instances. For the fulfillment, see 2 Kings 24:15. After a reign of three months, the young prince and his mother were carried to Babylon. And to the queen; rather, and to the queen-mother (literally, the mistress). It will be noticed that, except in two cases, the names of the mothers of the reigning kings of Judah are scrupulously mentioned in the Books of Kings. This and the title of "mistress" are indications of the high rank they enjoyed in the social system. In the case of Asa, we are told that he removed his mother, Maachah, from her position as "mistress," or queen-mother, on account of her idolatry (1 Kings 15:13). The political value of the station is strikingly shown by the ease with which Athaliah, as queen-mother, usurped the supreme authority (2 Kings 11.). From an historical point of view, the "queen-mother" of the Jews is a most interesting personage; she is a relic of the primitive age in which relationship was reckoned with regard to the mother (so with the Accadians, Etruseans, Finns, etc.). It should be added, however, that once (viz. 1 Kings 11:19) the same title, "mistress," is applied to the queen-consort. Humble yourselves, sit down; rather, sit down in abase-sent; i.e. take the station suitable for your abased circumstances (comp. Isaiah 47:1). Your principalities; rather, your head. ornaments.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Say unto the king, and to the queen,.... Jehoiachin, and his mother Nehushta, as it is generally interpreted by the Jewish commentators, and others; who, with many princes and officers, were carried captive into Babylon, 2 Kings 24:12 or rather Zedekiah and his wife; since the captivity after threatened is a perfect and complete one, which Jehoiachin's was not:
humble yourselves, sit down; or, "sit down humbled" (d); come down from your thrones, and sit in the dust; humble yourselves before the Lord for your own sins, and the sins of the people; in times of general corruption, and which threatens a nation with ruin, it becomes kings and princes to set an example of repentance, humiliation, and reformation; though it may be this is rather a prediction of what would be, that they should descend from their throne, and lose their grandeur, and be in a low and abject condition, than an exhortation to what was their duty; since it follows:
for your principalities shall come down; their royal state and greatness, and all the ensigns of it; and especially such as they had upon their heads, as the word used denotes, and as the following explanation shows:
even the crown of your glory; or glorious crown, which should fall from their heads, or be taken from them, when they should be no more served in state, or treated as crowned heads.
(d) "degite humiliter", Castalio; "abjectissime considite", Junius & Tremellius; "loco humili considite", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. king—Jehoiachin or Jeconiah.
queen—the queen mother who, as the king was not more than eighteen years old, held the chief power. Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan, carried away captive with Jehoiachin by Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:8-15).
Humble yourselves—that is, Ye shall be humbled, or brought low (Jer 22:26; 28:2).
your principalities—rather, "your head ornament."
Jeremiah 13:18 Parallel Commentaries
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