Jeremiah 22:11
For thus said the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:
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(11) Shallum.—Josiah’s successor appears in the historical books as Jehoahaz (“Jehovah sustains,” meant as a nomen et omen), the latter being probably the name assumed on his succession to the throne. Such changes were common at the time, as in the case of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah (2Kings 23:34; 2Kings 24:17). Shallum (= retribution) might probably have seemed a name of evil augury. In 1Chronicles 3:15 a Shallum appears as the fourth son of Josiah, Jehoiakim being the second, and one otherwise unknown, Johanan, the eldest. This may have been the same as the one now referred to (the order of the last two names being in some way inverted), or there may have been two brothers bearing the same name. The short and disastrous reign of Shallum, and the meaning of the word probably account for the prophet’s using the private rather than the kingly name. The fact that the name had been borne by one of the later kings of Israel whose reign lasted but for a single month (2Kings 15:13) may have given a further point to its use, as being full of disastrous memories that made it ominous of evil. The title “king of Judah” belongs grammatically to Shallum, not to Josiah.

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.

Who this

Shallum was is a little doubted. Some think it was Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, 1 Chronicles 3:15, called Johanan: there is also mentioned one Shallum, but he is there mentioned as the fourth son of Josiah. In the Book of Kings we read only of three sons which Josiah had, viz. Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah. Most think that this Shallum was Jehoahaz, or Johanan, (as he is called, 1 Chronicles 3:15) who was indeed the second son of Josiah; for it is plain, from 2 Kings 23:31,36, that Jehoiakim was two years older, otherwise he could not have been twenty-five years old when he began to reign after Jehoahaz, who began to reign at twenty-three years of age, and reigned but three months; but, 1 Chronicles 3:15, he is called Josiah’s first-born, because he was first made king; and here he is called Shallum, for the shortness of his reign, in derision to the Jews, who so called him, upon the account of their good hopes of prosperity under him; and in allusion to Shallum the son of Jabesh, one of the last kings of the ten tribes, mentioned 2 Kings 15:13, who reigned but a month: for this, as some think, could not be that Shallum mentioned after Zedekiah, as the fourth son of Josiah, 1 Chronicles 3:15, for that Shallum, they say, never reigned; this, as the text saith, did reign three months

instead of Josiah his father; which phrase seemeth also to conclude that he immediately succeeded his father Josiah.

Which went forth out of this place; he was carried away from Jerusalem presently after he was set up, 2 Kings 23:31,33, imprisoned at Riblah, and, 2 Kings 23:34, died in Egypt. For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum,.... Not Shallum the fourth son of Josiah, 1 Chronicles 3:15; for it is not likely that he should immediately succeed his father; nor Zedekiah, as Jarchi; nor Jeconiah, as Kimchi; but Jehoahaz, as Aben Ezra; who seems to have had several names, as Johanan, 1 Chronicles 3:15; and Shallum here:

the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father; the same is said of Jehoahaz, 2 Chronicles 36:1;

which went forth out of this place; out of Jerusalem, being put down there from his throne by Pharaohnecho, and carried by him into Egypt, 2 Chronicles 36:3;

he shall not return thither any more; he died in Egypt, or however out of his own land; but was alive when this prophecy was delivered out, which was in the reign of his brother Jehoiakim, as some following verses show.

For thus saith the LORD concerning {h} Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, who went forth from this place; He shall not return there any more:

(h) Whom some think to be Jehoiachin and that Josiah was his grandfather: but it seems this was Jehoiakim, as in Jer 22:18.

11. Shallum] See lntr. p. xiv. Shallum was probably the name which he bore before his accession. Other hypotheses to account for the name being here given to Jehoahaz are unlikely, e.g. (i) that it had reference to the shortness of his reign, as alluding to Shallum king of Israel, who was king for one month (2 Kings 15:13), or (ii) that it means the requited one (from the sense of the Hebrew root), him whom God had marked out for punishment.

Jehoahaz had represented the anti-Egyptian policy, which Jeremiah had always urged. This adds point to the prophet’s lament for him.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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