Jeremiah 22:10
Weep you not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goes away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Weep ye not for the dead.—With this verse begins the detailed review of the three previous reigns, the prophecies being reproduced as they were actually delivered. The “dead” for whom men are not to weep is Josiah, for whom Jeremiah had himself composed a solemn dirge, which seems from 2Chronicles 35:25 to have been repeated on the anniversary of his death.

For him that goeth away.—This is obviously Jehoahaz, the son and successor of Josiah, who was deposed by Pharaoh-nechoh, and carried into Egypt (2Kings 23:31-34; 2Chronicles 36:2-4). The latter passage shows that he was younger than his successor, Jehoiakim, by two years. The doom of the exile who was to return no more was a fitter subject for lamentation than the death of the righteous king who died a warrior’s death (2Kings 23:29), and was thus “taken away from the evil to come.”

Jeremiah 22:10. Weep ye not for the dead — This seems to be spoken of King Josiah, killed in battle with the Egyptians: see 2 Kings 23:29-30, concerning whom the prophet here says that he was rather to be rejoiced over than lamented, since, by being taken soon out of life, he escaped the terrible evils which came upon his country. But weep sore for him that goeth away, for he shall return no more — Namely, Jehoahaz, who was carried captive into Egypt by Pharaoh-necho, and never more returned to his country. He is called Shallum in the next verse, but in all other places Jehoahaz. It seems probable that Shallum was his name before he ascended the throne, and that he changed it for Jehoahaz, as his brothers Eliakim and Mattaniah also assumed the names of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah on the like occasion, 2 Kings 23:34; 2 Kings 24:17.22:10-19 Here is a sentence of death upon two kings, the wicked sons of a very pious father. Josiah was prevented from seeing the evil to come in this world, and removed to see the good to come in the other world; therefore, weep not for him, but for his son Shallum, who is likely to live and die a wretched captive. Dying saints may be justly envied, while living sinners are justly pitied. Here also is the doom of Jehoiakim. No doubt it is lawful for princes and great men to build, beautify, and furnish houses; but those who enlarge their houses, and make them sumptuous, need carefully to watch against the workings of vain-glory. He built his houses by unrighteousness, with money gotten unjustly. And he defrauded his workmen of their wages. God notices the wrong done by the greatest to poor servants and labourers, and will repay those in justice, who will not, in justice, pay those whom they employ. The greatest of men must look upon the meanest as their neighbours, and be just to them accordingly. Jehoiakim was unjust, and made no conscience of shedding innocent blood. Covetousness, which is the root of all evil, was at the bottom of all. The children who despise their parents' old fashions, commonly come short of their real excellences. Jehoiakim knew that his father found the way of duty to be the way of comfort, yet he would not tread in his steps. He shall die unlamented, hateful for oppression and cruelty.In the two foregoing prophecies Jeremiah stated the general principle on which depend the rise and downfall of kings and nations. He now adds for Zedekiah's warning the history of three thrones which were not established.

The first is that of Shallum the successor of Josiah, who probably took the name of Jehoahaz on his accession (see the marginal references notes).

Jeremiah 22:10

The dead - i. e., Josiah 2 Chronicles 35:25.

That goeth away - Rather, that is gone away.

10, 11. Weep … not for—that is, not so much for Josiah, who was taken away by death from the evil to come (2Ki 22:20; Isa 57:1); as for Shallum or Jehoahaz, his son (2Ki 23:30), who, after a three months' reign, was carried off by Pharaoh-necho into Egypt, never to see his native land again (2Ki 23:31-34). Dying saints are justly to be envied, while living sinners are to be pitied. The allusion is to the great weeping of the people at the death of Josiah, and on each anniversary of it, in which Jeremiah himself took a prominent part (2Ch 35:24, 25). The name "Shallum" is here given in irony to Jehoahaz, who reigned but three months; as if he were a second Shallum, son of Jabesh, who reigned only one month in Samaria (2Ki 15:13; 2Ch 36:1-4). Shallum means "retribution," a name of no good omen to him [Grotius]; originally the people called him Shallom, indicative of peace and prosperity. But Jeremiah applies it in irony. 1Ch 3:15, calls Shallum the fourth son of Josiah. The people raised him to the throne before his brother Eliakim or Jehoiakim, though the latter was the older (2Ki 23:31, 36; 2Ch 36:1); perhaps on account of Jehoiakim's extravagance (Jer 22:13, 15). Jehoiakim was put in Shallum's (Jehoahaz') stead by Pharaoh-necho. Jeconiah, his son, succeeded. Zedekiah (Mattaniah), uncle of Jeconiah, and brother of Jehoiakim and Jehoahaz, was last of all raised to the throne by Nebuchadnezzar.

He shall not return—The people perhaps entertained hopes of Shallum's return from Egypt, in which case they would replace him on the throne, and thereby free themselves from the oppressive taxes imposed by Jehoiakim.

Weep not for Josiah your dead prince, for whom there was a great mourning, 2 Chronicles 35:25, mentioned Zechariah 12:11. Josiah is happy, you need not trouble yourselves for him; but weep for Jehoahaz, who is to go, or is gone, into captivity: Jehoahaz was set up upon his father’s death by the people, 2 Kings 23:30 2 Chronicles 36:1, but, Jeremiah 22:3, put down within three months, and carried into Egypt, Jeremiah 22:4, where he died, 2 Kings 23:34; so as he no more returned into Judah. The participle being in the present tense, inclineth me to think that this prophecy was long before that in the former chapter, soon after the death of Josiah, upon the people’s setting up of Jehoahaz in his stead, or presently after he was carried away. Some interpret this of the people that were dead, and those that were going into captivity; but the next verse makes it the more probable that it is to be understood of Josiah and Jehoahaz. Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him,.... Not Jehoiakim, as Jarchi and Kimchi; but King Josiah, slain by Pharaohnecho; who, being a pious prince, a good king, and very useful, and much beloved by his people, great lamentation was made for him by them, and by the prophet also; but now he exhorts them to cease weeping, or at least not to weep so much for him, it being well with him, and he taken away from evil to come; and especially since they had other and worse things to lament; see 2 Chronicles 35:24;

but weep sore for him that goeth away: or, "in weeping weep" (f): weep bitterly, and in good earnest; there is reason for it; for him that was about to go, or was gone out of his own land, even Jehoahaz or Shallum, after mentioned, who reigned but three months, and was put into bonds by Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, and carried by him thither, 2 Chronicles 36:4;

for he shall return no more, nor see his native country; for he died in Egypt, 2 Kings 23:34; Jarchi interprets the dead, in the first clause, of Jehoiakim, who died before the gate, when they had bound him to carry him captive, 2 Chronicles 36:6; "and him that goeth away", of Jeconiah and Zedekiah, who were both carried captive; and so Kimchi; but the former interpretation is best. Some understand this not of particular persons, but of the people in general; signifying that they were more happy that were dead, and less to be lamented, than those that were alive, and would be carried captive, and never see their own country any more; see Ecclesiastes 4:2; but particular persons seem manifestly designed.

(f) "deplorate deplorando", Schmidt; "flete flendo", Pagninus, Montanus.

Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep bitterly for him {g} that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.

(g) Signifying that they would lose their king: for Jehoiachin went forth to meet Nebuchadnezzar and yielded himself, and was carried into Babylon, 2Ki 24:12.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10–12. See introd. summary to section. After Josiah’s death at the battle of Megiddo (b.c. 608), Jehoahaz, though not the eldest son (see Intr. pp. xiv. f.), was chosen to succeed him, but after three months was dethroned by Pharaoh-necoh, and carried off to Egypt, where he died (2 Kings 23:33 ff.). The passage was evidently written very soon after the dethronement.

This is the first of the passages which treat consecutively of the three immediate predecessors of Zedekiah. The sense of the passage is that even the fate of Josiah, who at any rate reigned in prosperity and uprightness for more than thirty years, was preferable to that of his successor. Jeremiah 22:10 is in Ḳinah metre, while 11 and 12 are not metrical. For this reason, and because their contents would be superfluous information to contemporaries, Du. and Co. consider them a later addition.Verses 10-12. - There is a fate worse than that of the dead Josiah. Weep not, in comparison, for him, but weep sore for him that goeth away (or rather, that is gone away). The king referred to is probably Jehoahaz, who, though two years younger than Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:31; comp. 36), was preferred to him by the people on the death of Josiah. The counsel to "weep sore" for this royal exile was carried out, as Mr. Samuel Cox observes (and we have, perhaps, a specimen of the popular elegies upon him in Ezekiel 19:1-4): "A young lion of royal strain, caught untimely, and chained and carried away captive, - this was how the people of Israel conceived of Shallum" ('Biblical Expositions,' p. 120). The conjecture is incapable of proof; and Ezekiel, we know, was fond of imaginative elegies. But probably enough he was in harmony with popular feeling on this occasion. The identification of Shallum with Jehoahaz is confirmed by 1 Chronicles 3:15 (Shallum, the youngest son of Josiah); the name appears to have been changed on his accession to the throne, just as Eliakim was changed to Jehoiakim (2 Chronicles 36:4). There is, therefore, no occasion to suppose an ironical allusion to the short reign of Jehoahaz, which might be compared to that of the Israelitish king Shallum (somewhat as Jezebel addresses Jehu as "O Zimri, murderer of his lord," 2 Kings 9:31). This view has the support of F. Junius (professor at Leyden, 1592), of Graf, and Rowland Williams; but why should not the Chronicler, though writing in the Persian period, have drawn here, as well as elsewhere in the genealogies, from ancient traditional sources? There is nothing in ver. 11 to suggest an allusion to the fate of the earlier Shallum. The king is warned against injustice, and the violent oppression of the poor and defenceless. - Jeremiah 22:1. "Thus said Jahveh: Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, Jeremiah 22:2. And say: Hear the word of Jahveh, thou king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people, that go in by these gates. Jeremiah 22:3. Thus hath Jahveh said: Do ye right and justice, and save the despoiled out of the hand of the oppressor; to stranger, orphan, and widow do no wrong, no violence; and innocent blood shed not in this place. Jeremiah 22:4. For if ye will do this word indeed, then by the gates of this place there shall come in kings that sit upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. Jeremiah 22:5. But if ye hearken not to these words, by myself have I sworn, saith Jahve, that this house shall become a desolation. Jeremiah 22:6. For thus hath Jahveh said concerning the house of the king of Judah: A Gilead art thou to me, a head of Lebanon; surely I will make thee a wilderness, cities uninhabited; Jeremiah 22:7. And will consecrate against thee destroyers, each with his tools, who shall hew down the choice of thy cedars and cast them into the fire. Jeremiah 22:8. And there shall pass may peoples by this city, and one shall say to the other: Wherefore hath Jahveh done thus unto this great city? Jeremiah 22:9. And they will say: Because they have forsaken the covenant of Jahveh their God, and worshipped other gods and served them."

Go down into the house of the king. The prophet could go down only from the temple; cf. Jeremiah 36:12 and Jeremiah 26:10. Not only the king is to hear the word of the Lord, but his servants too, and the people, who go in by these gates, the gates of the royal castle. The exhortation: to do right and justice, etc., is only an expansion of the brief counsel at Jeremiah 21:12, and that brought home to the heart of the whole people in Jeremiah 7:6, cf. Ezekiel 22:6. The form עשׁוק for עושׁק, Jeremiah 21:12, occurs only here, but is formed analogously to גּדול, and cannot be objected to. אל־תּנוּ is strengthened by "do no violence." On "kings riding," etc., cf. Jeremiah 17:25. - With Jeremiah 22:5 cf. Jeremiah 17:27, where, however, the threatening is otherwise worded. בּי , cf. Genesis 22:16. כּי introduces the contents of the oath. "This house" is the royal palace. לחרבּה as in Jeremiah 7:34, cf. Jeremiah 27:17. The threatening is illustrated in Jeremiah 22:6 by further description of the destruction of the palace. The royal castle is addressed, and, in respect of its lofty situation and magnificence, is called a Gilead and a head of Lebanon. It lay on the north-eastern eminence of Mount Zion (see on 1 Kings 7:12, note 1), and contained the so-called forest-house of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2-5) and various other buildings built of cedar, or, at least, faced with cedar planks (cf. Jeremiah 22:14, Jeremiah 22:23); so that the entire building might be compared to a forest of cedars on the summit of Lebanon. In the comparison to Gilead, Gilead can hardly be adduced in respect of its great fertility as a pasturing land (Numbers 32:1; Micah 7:14), but in virtue of the thickly wooded covering of the hill-country of Gilead on both sides of the Jabbok. This is still in great measure clothed with oak thickets and, according to Buckingham, the most beautiful forest tracts that can be imagined; cf. C. v. Raumer, Pal. S. 82.

(Note: In 1834 Eli Smith travelled through it, and thus writes: "Jebel 'Ajlun presents the most charming rural scenery that I have seen in Syria. A continued forest of noble trees, chiefly the evergreen oak, covers a large part of it, while the ground beneath is clothed with luxuriant grass and decked with a rich variety of wild flowers. As we went from el-Husn to 'Ajlun our path lay along the summit of the mountain; and we often overlooked a large part of Palestine on one side and the whole of Haurn." - Rob. Phys. Geog. p. 54.)

אם לא is a particle of asseveration. This glorious forest of cedar buildings is to become a מדבּר, a treeless steppe, cities uninhabited. "Cities" refers to the thing compared, not to the emblem; and the plural, as being the form for indefinite generality, presents no difficulty. And the attachment thereto of a singular predicate has many analogies in its support, cf. Ew. 317, a. The Keri נושׁבוּ is an uncalled for emendation of the Chet. נושׁבה, cf. Jeremiah 6:5. - "I consecrate," in respect that the destroyers are warriors whom God sends as the executors of His will, see on Jeremiah 6:4. With "a man and his weapons," cf. Ezekiel 9:2. In keeping with the figure of a forest, the destruction is represented as the hewing down of the choicest cedars; cf. Isaiah 10:34. - Thus is to be accomplished in Jerusalem what Moses threatened, Deuteronomy 29:23; the destroyed city will become a monument of God's wrath against the transgressors of His covenant. Jeremiah 22:8 is modelled upon Deuteronomy 29:23., cf. 1 Kings 9:8., and made to bear upon Jerusalem, since, along with the palace, the city too is destroyed by the enemy.

From Jeremiah 22:10 onwards the exhortation to the evil shepherds becomes a prophecy concerning the kings of that time, who by their godless courses hurried on the threatened destruction. The prophecy begins with King Jehoahaz, who, after a reign of three months, had bee discrowned by Pharaoh Necho and carried captive to Egypt; 2 Kings 23:30-35; 2 Chronicles 36:1-4.

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