In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,Jeremiah 27:1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim — Instead of Jehoiakim here, Dr. Waterland, Houbigant, Blaney, and many others, read Zedekiah, because it is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the common reading with what follows. Lowth also, in his commentary upon the place, gives it as his opinion, that “the least forced way of solving the difficulty is, to say that Jehoiakim has crept into the text by the negligence of the scribes, (who might have their eyes fixed upon the beginning of the last chapter or section,) instead of Zedekiah. This emendation is confirmed by comparing this verse with the 3d, 12th, and 20th verses of this chapter, and with the beginning of the next. Such little verbal mistakes must be allowed by all impartial readers to have sometimes happened in transcribing the Holy Scriptures, as well as in other books, and may easily be corrected, by comparing the suspected reading with other parts of the sacred text, which admit of no difficulty or uncertainty.”
Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,Jeremiah 27:2-3. Make thee bonds and yokes, &c. — The prophets were frequently ordered to foreshow future events by actions as well as by words. Thus Isaiah was commanded to go naked and barefoot, Isaiah 20:3. Ezekiel, in like manner, was ordered to prophesy by signs, Ezekiel 4:1; Ezekiel 12:3; and Ezekiel 24:17-19. In making these yokes, putting them upon his neck, and fastening them on with bands, Jeremiah was intended to be a type both to his own people, and also to the people afterward mentioned, that they should be brought under subjection to the king of Babylon. And send them to the king of Edom, &c. — These nations were near to the Jews, and their princes had their ambassadors resident at Jerusalem. They were also some of those countries which God had declared that he had given into the hand of the king of Babylon: see Jeremiah 25:21; Jeremiah 25:24. By the hand of the messengers, &c. — The business of these messengers seems to have been, to engage Zedekiah to join in a league with the nations from which they came, against the king of Babylon.
And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;
And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;
I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.Jeremiah 27:6. I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar — “God is the sole lord and proprietor of the world; and, by virtue of his absolute sovereignty and dominion, has a right to give the kingdoms of the earth to whomsoever he pleases, Daniel 4:17, and he exercises this authority by changing times and seasons, by removing kings, and setting up kings, Daniel 2:21. The king of Babylon, my servant — One whom I have made use of as an instrument to execute my purposes in inflicting punishment on many nations: see note on Jeremiah 25:9. And the beasts of the field have I given him — This is a hyperbolical way of speaking, to signify the most ample authority and dominion.
And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.Jeremiah 27:7-8. All nations shall serve him, his son, and his son’s son — His son was Evil-merodach, and his son’s son Belshazzar, in whom his kingdom ended. Then the time of reckoning with his land came, when the tables were turned; and many nations and great kings — Incorporated in the empire of the Medes and Persians, served themselves of him. The nation, &c., that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon — That will not submit to that servitude, represented by the yoke, mentioned Jeremiah 27:2-3; will I punish with the sword, &c. — With one judgment after another, until they are wasted and ruined. Nebuchadnezzar was very unjust and barbarous in invading the rights and liberties of his neighbours, and forcing them into a subjection to him; yet God had just and holy ends in view in permitting it, namely, to punish those nations for their idolatry and gross immoralities. They that would not serve the God that made and preserved them, were justly made to serve their enemies that sought to ruin them.
And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:Jeremiah 27:9-11. Hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners — These nations, it must be observed, had their prophets as well as the Jews, or rather persons that pretended to foretel future events by consulting the stars, by dreams, and various arts of divination; and they, to please their patrons, flattered them with assurances that they should not be brought into subjection and servitude by the king of Babylon. By these means they designed to animate them to a vigorous resistance: and though they had no ground for such an expectation, they hoped hereby to do them service. But Jeremiah here tells them, that it would prove to their destruction; for by resisting they would provoke the conqueror to deal severely with them, to remove them from their land, and to drive them out into a miserable captivity, in which they should be buried in oblivion, and perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke, &c. — That, upon the first summons, or without making any hostile opposition, shall yield themselves subjects to the king of Babylon, shall continue in their own country and possessions, being only made tributaries to that king.
For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.
But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.Jeremiah 27:12-13. I spake also to Zedekiah, &c. — What the prophet here says to Zedekiah has a particular weight in it, because he was made king of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar, and had taken an oath to be faithful to him, and never to resist his authority. Why will ye die, thou and thy people? — That is, why wilt thou wilfully ruin, not only thyself, but thy people, by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence? by which judgments the Lord hath declared, that all nations who will not willingly yield to the king of Babylon shall be destroyed.
Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD'S house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.Jeremiah 27:16-18. Also I spake to the priests and to all this people — The prophet, being God’s true servant, spared none, but gave faithful warning to all sorts of persons, to take heed of being deceived by the false prophets, who undertook to foretel that the vessels of the temple, carried away in the time of Jehoiakim and his son Jeconiah, (of which we read 2 Chronicles 36:7; 2 Chronicles 36:10,) should be brought back again to Jerusalem in a short time: see Jeremiah 28:3. Hearken not unto them — Believe them not, but acquiesce in God’s providence with respect to you, and be content to be subject to the king of Babylon, that so your lives may be given you for a prey. Wherefore should this city be laid waste? — If you do not comply with God’s will in this instance, your city will certainly be destroyed, and why should you pull down such a judgment upon your own heads? But if they be prophets, &c. — If they be true prophets, and have any power with God, instead of foretelling the bringing back of the vessels carried away, let them apply to him in prayer to prevent the carrying away of the vessels that yet remain, whether in the house of the Lord, or in the king’s house, or in Jerusalem, which can be done no other way than by pleading with God to turn away his wrath, and not proceed in inflicting those sore judgments which he is most certainly bringing upon you.
Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste?
But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city,Jeremiah 27:19-22. Thus saith the Lord concerning the pillars, &c. — These were all parts of the temple, or vessels used in it: see 1 Kings 7. And all the nobles, &c. — Concerning the persons and things which the king of Babylon carried away, see 2 Kings 24:13-15. Yea, thus saith the Lord — The prophet enlarges the divine threatening, and represents it as extending to all other vessels of value in the houses of the king, the nobles, or more wealthy citizens. They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be — See an historical account of the fulfilment of this prophecy, 2 Kings 25:13-16; and 2 Chronicles 36:18; and that they abode in Babylon till the end of the captivity, appears from Daniel 5:2, where we read of Belshazzar’s sending for them, to drink wine in at his fatal feast; until the day that I visit them — That is, until the expiration of the time of the Jewish captivity, which was seventy years. Then will I restore them to this place — Of the fulfilling of which part of the prophecy we have an account Ezra 1:7-9. So punctually was Jeremiah’s prophecy in this place fulfilled, and so exactly does one part of holy writ agree with another, which are irrefragable proofs of the divine authority of the sacred Scriptures.
Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;
Yea, thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem;
They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.