Jeremiah 21:11
And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
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(11) Say, Hear ye the word of the Lord.—The interpolated “say” is not wanted, and tends to convey the probably wrong impression that we are dealing with a new message rather than a continuation of the former one. The question whether it is such a continuation has been variously answered by different commentators. On the one hand, the conditional threatenings are said to imply an earlier stage of Jeremiah’s work than the doom, absolute and unconditional, pronounced in Jeremiah 21:1-10, and so have led men to refer the message to the earlier years of Jehoiakim. On the other, it is urged that the words may have the character of a last promise, and therefore a last warning.

Jeremiah 21:11-12. And touching the house of the king of Judah, &c. — The house of Zedekiah, the court, or those who were magistrates. Hear ye the word of the Lord — These, how great soever, are not excused from the common obligations which lie upon all to listen to and obey the revelations of the divine will. Execute judgment in the morning — Do it diligently, do it quickly, and do not delay to do justice upon appeals made to you, and tire out your poor petitioners as you have done. Those magistrates that would fill their places well, and do their duty, must rise early. This is so expressed because it was usual for kings and judges to sit for the administration of justice in a morning. Lest my fury go out like fire — Many commentators have been of opinion that this prophecy, from the 11th verse, belongs to the same subject with chapter 22., and relates to the time of Jehoiakim. And from these words, lest my fury, &c., they infer, that it was antecedent to the prophecy at the beginning of the chapter, and to that peremptory decree published against the king’s house, mentioned Jeremiah 21:7 of this chapter, “But I cannot help thinking,” says Blaney, “that this latter part is but a continuation of the same prophecy with which the chapter begins; for the house of David was still to be visited with more calamities than those which had befallen it in the days of Jehoiakim. And how peremptory soever the decree may sound, (Jeremiah 21:7,) we must remember the rule laid down concerning such decrees, (Jeremiah 18:7-8,) none of which, it seems, are irreversible on the condition of a change of conduct. And, though God may well be supposed to know when no such ground of reversal will take place, yet it is agreeable to the justice of his providence repeatedly to admonish sinners of the means by which his judgments may be avoided, that they may have none to blame but themselves when the threatened vengeance overtakes them.”

21:11-14 The wickedness of the king and his family was the worse because of their relation to David. They were urged to act with justice, at once, lest the Lord's anger should be unquenchable. If God be for us, who can be against us? But if he be against us, who can do any thing for us?Rather, And as to the royal house of Judah, Hear ye. Omit say. The words are no command to the prophet, but form his introduction to the discourse which extends to the end of Jeremiah 23:8. The king and his officers are to hear the gist of all the messages sent to the royal house since the accession of Jehoiakim. 10. set … face against—determined to punish (See on [917]Le 17:10). By

the house of the king of Judah he means the house of Zedekiah, the court, or those (as appeareth by the next verse) who were the magistrates. These, how great soever, are not excused from the common obligation upon all to listen to and to obey the revelations of the Divine will.

And touching the house of the king of Judah, say,.... Or "to the house of the king of Judah" (p); that is, his palace, as Calvin understands it; go to it, and there say as follows, as in Jeremiah 22:1; and some think that this part of the chapter belongs to that, and was not delivered at the time the former part of it was; but before the peremptory decree was gone forth, to deliver the city into the hand of the king of Babylon to be burned with fire; since, upon a reformation, some hope of pardon and salvation is yet given. The Syriac version joins this clause to Jeremiah 21:10; "and he shall burn it with fire, and the house of the king of Judah"; burn the city of Jerusalem, and particularly the king's palace; but by "the house of the king" is not meant his dwelling house, but his family, himself, his sons, his servants, his courtiers and nobles, to whom the following speech is directed:

hear ye the word of the Lord; and obey it; for not bare hearing is meant, but a reverent attention to, and a cheerful and ready performance of, what is heard.

(p) "domui regis", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Schmidt.

And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
11. And touching] rather, And to … Judah, adding thou shalt say, apparently fallen out in the Hebrew. Otherwise we should omit And and make “Touching …” a title to what follows. Cp. Jeremiah 23:9.

11, 12. See note introductory to section. These vv. are quite out of connexion with either the preceding or following. They are made up of Jeremiah 22:3 and Jeremiah 4:4, and seem to be a fragment of Jeremiah, but here misplaced. They refer to an earlier time, when reformation might still be looked for.

Verse 11. - And touching the house, etc. The formula with which this section is introduced shows that it was attached to vers. 1-7 at the same time as vers. 8-10, although obviously written at a much earlier period. Jeremiah 21:11(Note: According to Hitz., Gr., and Ng., the passage Jeremiah 21:11-14 stands in no inner connection with the foregoing, and may, from the contents of it, be seen to belong to an earlier period than that of the siege which took place under Zedekiah, namely, to the time of Jehoiakim, because, a. in the period of Jeremiah 21:1. such an exhortation and conditional threatening must have been out of place after their destruction had been quite unconditionally foretold to Zedekiah and the people in Jeremiah 21:4-7; b. the defiant tone conveyed in Jeremiah 21:13 is inconsistent with the cringing despondency shown by Zedekiah in Jeremiah 21:2; c. it is contrary to what we would expect to find the house of the king addressed separately after the king had been addressed in Jeremiah 21:3, the king being himself comprehended in his "house." But these arguments, on which Hitz. builds ingenious hypotheses, are perfectly valueless. As to a, we have to remark: In Jeremiah 21:4-7 unconditional destruction is foretold against neither king nor people; it is only said that the Chaldeans will capture the city - that the inhabitants will be smitten with pestilence, famine, and sword - and that the king, with his servants and those that are left, will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, who will smite them unsparingly. But in Jeremiah 21:12 the threatening is uttered against the king, that if he does not practise righteousness, the wrath of God will be kindled unquenchably, and, Jeremiah 21:14, that Jerusalem is to be burnt with fire. In Jeremiah 21:4-7 there is no word of the burning of the city; it is first threatened, Jeremiah 21:10, against the people, after the choice has been given them of escaping utter destruction. How little the burning of Jerusalem is involved in Jeremiah 21:4-7 may be seen from the history of the siege and capture of Jerusalem under Jehoiachin, on which occasion, too, the king, with his servants and the people, was given into the hand of the king of Babylon, while the city was permitted to stand, and the deported king remained in life, and was subsequently set free from his captivity by Evil-Merodach. But that Zedekiah, by hearkening to the word of the Lord, can alleviate his doom and save Jerusalem from destruction, this Jeremiah tells him yet later in very plain terms, Jeremiah 38:17-23, cf. Jeremiah 34:4. Lastly, the release of Hebrew man-servants and maid-servants, recounted in Jeremiah 34:8., shows that even during the siege there were cases of an endeavour to turn and follow the law, and consequently that an exhortation to hold by the right could not have been regarded as wholly superfluous. - The other two arguments, b and c, are totally inconclusive. How the confidence of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the strength of its fortifications (Jeremiah 21:13) is contradictory of the fact related in Jeremiah 21:2, does not appear. That Zedekiah should betake himself to the prophet, desiring him to entreat the help of God, is not a specimen of cringing despondency such as excludes all confidence in any earthly means of help. Nor are defiance and despondency mutually exclusive opposites in psychological experience, but states of mind that rapidly alternate. Finally, Ng. seems to have added the last argument (c) only because he had no great confidence in the two others, which had been dwelt on by Hitz. and Graf. Why should not Jeremiah have given the king another counsel for warding off the worst, over and above that conveyed in the answer to his question (Jeremiah 21:4-7)? - These arguments have therefore not pith enough to throw any doubt on the connection between the two passages (Jeremiah 21:8-10, and Jeremiah 21:11, Jeremiah 21:12) indicated by the manner in which "and to the house (וּלבית) of the king of Judah" points back to "and unto this people thou shalt say" (Jeremiah 21:8), or to induce us to attribute the connection so indicated to the thoughtlessness of the editor.)

The kingly house, i.e., the king and his family, under which are here comprehended not merely women and children, but also the king's companions, his servants and councillors; they are counselled to hold judgment every morning. דּין משׁפּט equals דּין דּין, Jeremiah 5:28; Jeremiah 22:16, or שׁפט, Lamentations 3:59; 1 Kings 3:28. לבּקר distributively, every morning, as Amos 4:4. To save the despoiled out of the hand of the oppressor means: to defend his just cause against the oppressor, to defend him from being despoiled; cf. Jeremiah 22:3. The form of address; House of David, which is by a displacement awkwardly separated from שׁמעוּ, is meant to remind the kingly house of its origin, its ancestor David, who walked in the ways of the Lord. - The second half of the verse, "lest my fury," etc., runs like Jeremiah 4:4.

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