|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 20-23. - The murder of the prophet Urijah. At first sight, these four verses appear to belong to the speech of the elders, but the appearance is delusive,
(1) because the issue of the affair of Urijah cannot possibly have taken place "in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim" (ver. 1); and
(2) because the passage stands in no connection with what precedes, whereas it is related, and that very closely, to ver. 24 (see below). The case is similar to that of certain passages in St. John's Gospel, where the reflections of the evangelist are put side by side with the sayings of our Lord. Jeremiah, writing down his experiences at a later time, introduces the story of Urijah to show the magnitude of the danger to which he had been exposed. The notice of Urijah has an additional importance, as it shows incidentally how isolated a spiritual prophet like Jeremiah was, and how completely the order of prophets had fallen below its high ideal. We have no further knowledge of the prophet Urijah. Verse 20. - Kirjath-jearim; a city in the territory of Judah, on the west frontier of Benjamin.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the Lord,.... These are not the words of the same persons continued; because the following instance is against them; but of some other persons in the sanhedrim, who were on the side of the priests and prophets; who in effect said, why tell you us of an instance in Hezekiah's time, when there is so recent an one in the present reign, of a man that prophesied just as Jeremiah has done, and was put to death, and so ought he? after this manner Kimchi interprets it; and so Jarchi, who adds, that it is so explained in an ancient book of theirs, called Siphri; though some think they are the words of the same persons that espoused the prophet's cause; and observe the following instance with this view; that whereas there had been one prophet of the Lord lately put to death for the same thing, should they take away the life of another, it would be adding sin to sin, and bring great evil upon their souls; and it might be observed, that Hezekiah prevented much evil by the steps he took; whereas, should they proceed as they had begun in the present reign, they might expect nothing but ruin, which they might easily see with their own eyes was coming upon them: others are of opinion that this instance is added by the penman of this book, either the prophet himself or Baruch, to show the wonderful preservation of him; that though there had been very lately a person put to death for the very same thing, yet he was preserved through the good offices of a person mentioned at the close of the chapter; and which seems to make this account probable. The name of the prophet was
Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim; which was a city of Judah, Joshua 18:14; but who he was is not known, there being no account of him elsewhere:
who prophesied against this city, and against this land, according to all the words of Jeremiah; just as he had done, in much the same words, if not altogether; so that their case was similar.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. As the flight and capture of Urijah must have occupied some time, "the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim" (Jer 26:1) must not mean the very beginning, but the second or third year of his eleven years' reign.
And … also—perhaps connected with Jer 26:24, as the comment of the writer, not the continuation of the speech of the elders: "And although also a man that prophesied … Urijah … (proving how great was the danger in which Jeremiah stood, and how wonderful the providence of God in preserving him), nevertheless the hand of Ahikam," &c. [Glassius]. The context, however, implies rather that the words are the continuation of the previous speech of the elders. They adduce another instance besides that of Micah, though of a different kind, namely, that of Urijah: he suffered for his prophecies, but they imply, though they do not venture to express it, that thereby sin has been added to sin, and that it has done no good to Jehoiakim, for that the notorious condition of the state at this time shows that a heavier vengeance is impending if they persevere in such acts of violence [Calvin].
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