Thus said the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Thus saith the Lord . . .—The message, delivered in continuation of Jeremiah 21, and therefore probably as following up the answer to the messengers of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 21:1), reviews the history of the three preceding reigns, and apparently reproduces the very words of the warnings which he had uttered in each to the king who then ruled, and which had been but too terribly fulfilled. It was delivered, we are told, in the very palace of the king.Jeremiah 22:1-2. Thus saith the Lord — The prophecy which follows to Jeremiah 23:9, was evidently delivered in the reign of Jehoiakim; for it speaks of his immediate predecessor as already gone into captivity, and foretels the death of Jehoiakim himself. Blaney thinks it followed immediately after what is said in the xixth and xxth chapters to have passed in the temple precincts, from whence, as from a higher ground, he supposes the prophet is ordered to go down to the house of the king of Judah. Hear, &c., O king of Judah — Namely, Jehoiakim, (Jeremiah 22:18,) who was established upon the throne by the king of Egypt, in the place of Jehoahaz, in the year of the world 3394, according to Archbishop Usher. That sittest on the throne of David — Thus the prophet puts him in mind of the promises God had made to David’s family, if they would live in obedience to his will, 1 Kings 8:25. Thou, and thy servants, and thy people — Thy courtiers and other officers, who attend continually on thee, comprehending likewise all the people of the city: all whom this word of the Lord concerned; that enter in by these gates — Namely, the gates of the palace, whereby they went in to the king. The king was evidently at the gate of his palace, with his principal officers, when Jeremiah presented himself before him.2 Chronicles 23:20.
Jer 22:1-30. Exhortation to Repentance; Judgment on Shallum, Jehoiakim, and Coniah.
Belonging to an earlier period than the twenty-first chapter, namely, the reigns of Shallum or Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah (Jer 22:10, 13, 20). Jeremiah often groups his prophecies, not by chronological order, but by similarity of subjects; thus Jer 22:3 corresponds to Jer 21:12. Grotius thinks that Jeremiah here repeats to Zedekiah what he had announced to that king's predecessors formerly (namely, his brother and brother's son), of a similar bearing, and which had since come to pass; a warning to Zedekiah. Probably, in arranging his prophecies they were grouped for the first time in the present order, designed by the Holy Spirit to set forth the series of kings of Judah, all four alike, failing in "righteousness," followed at last by the "King," a righteous Branch raised unto David, in the house of Judah, "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6). The unrighteousness of Zedekiah suggested the review of his predecessors' failure in the same respects, and consequent punishment, which ought to have warned him, but did not.
1. Go down—The temple (where Jeremiah had been prophesying) was higher than the king's palace on Mount Zion (Jer 36:10, 12; 2Ch 23:20). Hence the phrase, "Go down."
the king of Judah—perhaps including each of the four successive kings, to whom it was consecutively addressed, here brought together in one picture: Shallum, Jer 22:11; Jehoiakim, Jer 22:13-18; Jeconiah, Jer 22:24; Zedekiah, the address to whom (Jer 21:1, 11, 12) suggests notice of the rest.God sendeth the prophet to court with promises, Jeremiah 22:1-4, and threats against the king’s house and Jerusalem, Jeremiah 22:5-9. The judgment of Shallum, Jeremiah 22:10-12; of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah 22:13-19; and of Coniah, Jeremiah 22:20-30.
and speak there this word; of prophecy, relating to the several kings hereafter mentioned. This prophecy was delivered some years before that in the preceding chapter, though it stands here. It is indeed by some thought to be repeated here on occasion of what is before said, and for the confirmation of it, putting in mind of what he had prophesied in former times: and they render the words, with which it begins, "thus hath the Lord said" (x); so he said to me years ago; which agrees with what is now delivered.Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1. Go down] from the Temple on the eastern hill of Jerusalem to the king’s house, which was S. of it on lower ground. Cp. Jeremiah 36:10-12; 2 Kings 11:19.Verse 1. - Go down. Not literally, for the royal palace was probably the highest building in the city (comp. ver. 6); but because of the spiritual eminence of the temple (comp. Jeremiah 26:10, "They came up from the king's house unto the house of the Lord"). Jeremiah 21:8. "And unto the people thou shalt say: Thus hath Jahveh said: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. Jeremiah 21:9. He that abideth in this city shall die by sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he that goeth out and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and have his soul for a prey. Jeremiah 21:10. For I have set my face on this city for evil and not for good, saith Jahveh; into the hand of the king of Babylon shall it be given, who shall burn it with fire. Jeremiah 21:11. And to the house of the king of Judah: Hear the word of Jahveh: Jeremiah 21:12. House of David! thus hath Jahveh said: Hold judgment every morning, and save the despoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury break forth as fire, and burn unquenchably, because of the evil of your doings." What the prophet is here to say to the people and the royal house is not directly addressed to the king's envoy, but is closely connected with the answer he was to give to the latter, and serves to strengthen the same. We need not be hampered by the assumption that Jeremiah, immediately after that answer, communicated this advice, so that it might be made known to the people and to the royal house. The counsel given in Jeremiah 21:8-12 to the people was during the siege repeatedly given by Jeremiah both to the king and to the people, cf. Jeremiah 38:1., Jeremiah 38:17., and Jeremiah 27:11., and many of the people acted by his advice, cf. Jeremiah 38:19; Jeremiah 39:9; Jeremiah 52:15. But the defenders of the city, the authorities, saw therein treason, or at least a highly dangerous discouragement to those who were fighting, and accused the prophet as a traitor, Jeremiah 38:4., cf. Jeremiah 37:13. Still Jeremiah, holding his duty higher than his life, remained in the city, and gave as his opinion, under conviction attained to only by divine revelation, that all resistance is useless, since God has irrevocably decreed the destruction of Jerusalem as a punishment for their sins. The idea of Jeremiah 21:7 is clothed in words taken from Deuteronomy 30:15, cf. Deuteronomy 11:26. ישׁב , Jeremiah 21:9, as opposed to יצא, does not mean: to dwell, but: to sit still, abide. To fall to the Chaldeans, i.e., to go over to them, cf. Jeremiah 37:14; Jeremiah 39:9; 2 Kings 25:11; על is interchanged with אל, Jeremiah 37:13; Jeremiah 38:19; Jeremiah 52:15. The Chet. יחיה is right, corresponding to ימוּת; the Keri וחיה is wrong. His life shall be to him for a prey, i.e., he shall carry it thence as a prey, i.e., preserve it. Jeremiah 21:10 gives the reason for the advice given. For I have set my face, cf. Jeremiah 44:11, recalls Amos 9:4, only there we have עיני for פּני, as in Jeremiah 24:6. To set the face or eye on one means: to pay special heed to him, in good (cf. Jeremiah 39:12) or in evil sense; hence the addition, "for evil," etc.
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