Jeremiah 22:24
As I live, said the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet on my right hand, yet would I pluck you there;
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(24) Coniah the son of Jehoiakim.—The grammatical structure of the sentence fixes the original utterance of the message, now reproduced, at a time when Coniah was actually king, during his short three months’ reign. The name of this prince appears in three forms :—(1) The abbreviated Coniah, as here and in Jeremiah 37:1 : this was probably the name by which he was known before he was proclaimed as king. (2) Jeconiah, with slight variations, in Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 27:20, and elsewhere. (3) Jehoiachin, also with varied spelling—probably the regal title assumed on his accession (Jeremiah 52:31; Ezekiel 1:2). The meaning of the name “Jehovah establishes” is constant in all the forms. In 2Kings 24:8 he is said to have been eighteen years old when he began to reign. In 2Chronicles 36:9 the age is given as eight. The latter is obviously an error of transcription. His reign lasted for three months only. There is probably a touch of scorn, as in the case of Shallum, in the prophet’s use of the earlier name instead of that which he had assumed as king.

The signet upon my right hand.—The seal-ring was, as in Haggai 2:23, the symbol of kingly power (Genesis 41:42; Esther 3:10; Esther 8:2), authenticating every edict, and was therefore the type of all that was most precious. (Comp. Song of Solomon 8:6.)

Jeremiah 22:24-28. As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah were the signet, or, rather, the ring, upon my right hand — By Coniah he means Jehoiachin, whose name was Jeconiah, 1 Chronicles 3:16, (for all Josiah’s sons had two names, and so had his grandchild Jeconiah,) here, in contempt, called Coniah; yet would I pluck thee thence — Though he were never so near and dear to me, as dear as a signet, or ring, which every man keeps safe, yet his wickedness would make him forfeit all my favour toward him. “The ring was anciently worn as a mark of sovereignty. When Alexander was dying, he gave his ring to Perdiccas, thus, as it were, marking him out for his successor.” And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee — We are informed, (2 Kings 24:15,) that Nebuchadnezzar carried away Jehoiachin, that is, Jeconiah or Coniah, to Babylon, and his mother, and his wives, &c. Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol, &c. — Blaney renders the verse more literally, thus: “A contemptible, broken idol is this man Coniah? Or a vessel in which none delighteth? Wherefore are they cast forth, he and his seed, and thrown upon a land which they knew not?” As if he had said, “Would any one have thought that this man, who was invested with royal dignity, should be rendered no better than a broken image of royalty, a mere potsherd, utterly contemptible and useless?”22:20-30 The Jewish state is described under a threefold character. Very haughty in a day of peace and safety. Very fearful on alarm of trouble. Very much cast down under pressure of trouble. Many never are ashamed of their sins till brought by them to the last extremity. The king shall close his days in bondage. Those that think themselves as signets on God's right hand, must not be secure, but fear lest they should be plucked thence. The Jewish king and his family shall be carried to Babylon. We know where we were born, but where we shall die we know not; it is enough that our God knows. Let it be our care that we die in Christ, then it will be well with us wherever we die, thought it may be in a far country. The Jewish king shall be despised. Time was when he was delighted in; but all those in whom God has no pleasure, some time or other, will be so lowered, that men will have no pleasure in them. Whoever are childless, it is the Lord that writes them so; and those who take no care to do good in their days, cannot expect to prosper. How little is earthly grandeur to be depended upon, or flourishing families to be rejoiced in! But those who hear the voice of Christ, and follow him, have eternal life, and shall never perish, neither shall any enemy pluck them out of his almighty hands.The words "king of Judah," belong to Coniah, and prove that he was king regnant when the prophet wrote. The prophet gives him the name by which he was known when in a private station 1 Chronicles 3:16 as he had done previously with Jehoahaz. These two kings bore their royal names for so short a time that they probably never got into general use.

The signet - The badge of office. To part with it, was to part with the royal authority.

24. As I live—God's most solemn formula of oath (Jer 46:18; 4:2; De 32:40; 1Sa 25:34).

Coniah—Jeconiah or Jehoiachin. The contraction of the name is meant in contempt.

signet—Such ring seals were often of the greatest value (So 8:6; Hag 2:23). Jehoiachin's popularity is probably here referred to.

right hand—the hand most valued.

I would pluck thee thence—(Compare Ob 4); on account of thy father's sins, as well as thine own (2Ch 36:9). There is a change here, as often in Hebrew poetry, from the third to the second person, to bring the threat more directly home to him. After a three months' and ten days' reign, the Chaldees deposed him. In Babylon, however, by God's favor he was ultimately treated more kindly than other royal captives (Jer 52:31-34). But none of his direct posterity ever came to the throne.


Coniah he meaneth Jehoiachim, 2 Kings 24:8, whose name was Jeconiah, 1 Chronicles 3:16, (for all Josiah’s sons had two names, and so had his grandchild Jeconiah,) here in contempt called Coniah. He saith, that though this Coniah were as dear to him as his signet, which every man keepeth safe, yet this should not secure him from Divine vengeance. As I live, saith the Lord,.... The form of an oath, used to express the greater certainty of what is after delivered: swearing by his life is swearing by himself; see Hebrews 6:13;

though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah; the same with Jeconiah, so nicknamed by way of contempt; and it may be to denote the diminution of his glory and kingdom, and the shortness of his reign:

were the signet upon my right hand; ever so near to him, or ever so much valued by him, as he had been before, and so constantly cared for and regarded by him; as a ring, with anything respectable engraved on it, is constantly wore by persons, and greatly valued; especially such as had on them the image or picture of a person loved, as was usual in some countries, to which the allusion is by some thought to be: so the friends of Epicurus used to have his image engraved upon their rings, which they wore on their fingers in respect to him, and as an omen of good to themselves (b); see Sol 8:6;

yet would I pluck thee thence: with great displeasure and indignation: it designs being removed from his throne and kingdom, and out of his native land, and carried into a far country, as follows.

(b) Vid. Alexand. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 19.

As I live, saith the LORD, though {r} Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee from there;

(r) Who was called Jehoiachin or Jeconiah, whom he calls here Coniah in contempt who thought his kingdom could never depart from him, because he came of the stock of David, and therefore for the promise sake could not be taken from his house, but he abused God's promise and therefore was justly deprived of the kingdom.

24. Coniah] Cp. Jeremiah 37:1; called also Jeconiah (both names meaning, Jehovah is firm, enduring) Jeremiah 24:1, Jeremiah 27:20, Jeremiah 28:4, Jeremiah 29:2; 1 Chronicles 3:16; Esther 2:6, and Jehoiachin (Jehovah appointeth) Jeremiah 52:31; 2 Kings 24:6, etc.; 2 Chronicles 36:8. The change to Jehoiachin, as in the case of his uncle Jehoahaz (see on Jeremiah 22:11), was probably made on his accession to the throne.

king of Judah] shewing that he was still on the throne.

signet] even though he were as dear to Jehovah as a precious stone, set by way of seal in a signet ring, is to the owner. See 2 Kings 24:9; also Ezekiel 19:5-9, where he is likened to a young lion that “devoured men” and “laid waste their cities.”

24–30. The judgement on Jehoiachin. This part of the sub-section may also be subdivided, inasmuch as in 24–27 he has yet to be taken to Babylon, while in 28–30 that event is spoken of as in the past. The verb in Jeremiah 22:28 can be taken, however, as a prophetic perfect, implying certainty of fulfilment.Verse 24. - Coniah. A shorter form of Jeconiah (1 Chronicles 3:1), found again in Jeremiah 37:1. Perhaps this was the name this king bore prior to his accession, after which it was certainly Jehoiachin; Jeremiah has already spoken of one king by his earlier name in ver. 11. The Divine speaker solemnly announces that though, as the representative of Israel's invisible King, Coniah were - or rather, be - the signet upon his right hand (a most valued jewel), yet would - or rather, will - he pluck him thence; i.e. depose him from his high dignity. The same figure is used in Haggai 2:23, "I will take thee, O Zerubbabel, and make thee as a signet;" and Ezekiel 28:12, where there is a well-attested reading, "Thou (O King of Type) art a deftly made signet-ring." (For the fulfillment of the prediction in this verse, see 2 Kings 24:12, 15; Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 29:2.) As punishment for this, his end will be full of horrors; when he dies he will not be bemoaned and mourned for, and will lie unburied. To have an ass's burial means: to be left unburied in the open field, or cast into a flaying-ground, inasmuch as they drag out the dead body and cast it far from the gates of Jerusalem. The words: Alas, my brother! alas, etc.! are ipsissima verba of the regular mourners who were procured to bewail the deaths of men and women. The lxx took objection to the "alas, sister," and left it out, applying the words literally to Jehoiakim's death; whereas the words are but a rhetorical individualizing of the general idea: they will make no death-laments for him, and the omission destroys the parallelism. His glory, i.e., the king's. The idea is: neither his relatives nor his subjects will lament his death. The infinn. absoll. סחוב והשׁלך, dragging forth and casting (him), serve to explain: the burial of an ass, etc. In Jeremiah 36:30, where Jeremiah repeats this prediction concerning Jehoiakim, it is said: His dead body shall be cast out (exposed) to the heat by day and to the cold by night, i.e., rot unburied under the open sky.

As to the fulfilment of this prophecy, we are told, indeed, in 2 Kings 24:6 that Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin, his son, was king in his stead. But the phrase "to sleep with his fathers" denotes merely departure from this life, without saying anything as to the manner of the death. It is not used only of kings who died a peaceful death on a sickbed, but of Ahab (1 Kings 22:40), who, mortally wounded in the battle, died in the war-chariot. There is no record of Jehoiakim's funeral obsequies or burial in 2 Kings 24, and in Chr. there is not even mention made of his death. Three years after the first siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and after he had become tributary to the king of Babylon, Jehoiakim rose in insurrection, and Nebuchadnezzar sent against him the troops of the Chaldeans, Aramaeans, Moabites, and Ammonites. It was not till after the accession of Jehoiachin that Nebuchadnezzar himself appeared before Jerusalem and besieged it (2 Kings 24:1-2, and 2 Kings 24:10). So it is in the highest degree probable that Jehoiakim fell in battle against the Chaldean-Syrian armies before Jerusalem was besieged, and while the enemies were advancing against the city; also that he was left to lie unburied outside of Jerusalem; see on 2 Kings 24:6, where other untenable attempts to harmonize are discussed. The absence of direct testimony to the fulfilment of the prophecy before us can be no ground for doubting that it was fulfilled, when we consider the great brevity of the notices of the last kings' reigns given by the authors of the books of Kings and Chronicles. Graf's remark hereon is excellent: "We have a warrant for the fulfilment of this prediction precisely in the fact that it is again expressly recounted in Jeremiah 36, a historical passage written certainly at a later time (Jeremiah 36:30 seems to contain but a slight reference to the prediction in Jeremiah 22:18-19, Jeremiah 22:30); or, while Jeremiah 22:12, Jeremiah 22:25. tallies so completely with the history, is Jeremiah 22:18. to be held as contradicting it?"

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