|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:16-24 When secure sinners are threatened with taking away the Spirit of God, and the kingdom of God, it is what is warranted from the word of God. Hezekiah who protected Micah, prospered. Did Jehoiakim, who slew Urijah, prosper? The examples of bad men, and the bad consequences of their sins, should deter from what is evil. Urijah was faithful in delivering his message, but faulty in leaving his work. And the Lord was pleased to permit him to lose his life, while Jeremiah was protected in danger. Those are safest who most simply trust in the Lord, whatever their outward circumstances may be; and that He has all men's hearts in his hands, encourages us to trust him in the way of duty. He will honour and recompense those who show kindness to such as are persecuted for his sake.
Verses 16-19. - The truth makes an impression upon the princes and the people, who declare Jeremiah to be a true prophet, and therefore innocent.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets,.... Hearing Jeremiah's apology for himself, by which it appeared that he was to be justified in what he had done, took his part, and acquitted him; and the people, who before were on the side of the priests and false prophets; yet hearing what Jeremiah had to say for himself, and also the judgment of the princes, took his part also, and joined with the court in an address to the priests and prophets, who were the chief accusers, and who would fain have had him brought in guilty of death:
this man is not worthy to die; or, "the judgment of death is not for this man"; we cannot give judgment against him; he is not guilty of any crime deserving death; See Gill on Jeremiah 26:11;
for he hath spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God; not in his own name, and of his own head; but in the name of the Lord, and by his order; and therefore was not a false, but a true prophet: what methods they took to know this, and to make it appear to the people, is not said; very probably the settled character of the prophet; their long acquaintance with him, and knowledge of him; his integrity and firmness of mind; the plain marks of seriousness and humility, and a disinterested view, made them conclude in his favour.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. princes … all the people—The fickle people, as they were previously influenced by the priests to clamor for his death (Jer 26:8), so now under the princes' influence require that he shall not be put to death. Compare as to Jesus, Jeremiah's antitype, the hosannas of the multitude a few days before the same people, persuaded by the priests as in this case, cried, Away with Him, crucify Him (Mt 21:1-11; 27:20-25). The priests, through envy of his holy zeal, were more his enemies than the princes, whose office was more secular than religious. A prophet could not legally be put to death unless he prophesied in the name of other gods (therefore, they say, "in the name of the Lord"), or after his prophecy had failed in its accomplishment. Meanwhile, if he foretold calamity, he might be imprisoned. Compare Micaiah's case (1Ki 22:1-28).
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