Jeremiah 22:30
Thus said the LORD, Write you this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) Write ye this man childless.—The meaning of the prediction, as explained by the latter clause of the verse, was fulfilled in Jeconiah’s being the last kingly representative of the house of David, his uncle Zedekiah, who succeeded him, perishing before him (Jeremiah 52:31). In him the sceptre departed, and not even Zerubbabel sat upon the throne of Judah. Whether he died actually childless is less certain. In 1Chronicles 3:17 Assir (possibly, however, the name should be translated “Jeconiah the prisoner”) appears as his son, and as the father of Salathiel, or Shealtiel; and in Matthew 1:12 we find “Jechonias begat Salathiel.” In these genealogies, however, adoption or succession, or a Levirate marriage so constantly takes the place of parentage, that nothing certain can be inferred from these data, and St. Luke (Luke 3:27) places Salathiel among the descendants of Nathan, as though the line of Solomon became extinct in Jeconiah, and was replaced by the collateral branch of the house of David (see Note on Luke 3:23). The command, “write ye this man childless,” is apparently addressed to the “scribes who kept the register of the royal genealogies (Ezekiel 13:9; Psalm 69:28-29). They were told how, without waiting for his death, they were to enter Coniah’s name in that register.

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.Childless - No child to sit on David's throne. See 1 Chronicles 3:17 note.

Jeconiah was the last king of David's line. His uncle indeed actually reigned after him, but perished with his sons long before Jeconiah's death (literally 10): and yet from so dead a trunk, from a family so utterly fallen, that spiritual King came forth whose name is "Yahweh our righteousness" Jeremiah 23:5-6.

29, 30. O earth! earth! earth!—Jeconiah was not actually without offspring (compare Jer 22:28, "his seed"; 1Ch 3:17, 18; Mt 1:12), but he was to be "written childless," as a warning to posterity, that is, without a lineal heir to his throne. It is with a reference to the three kings, Shallum, Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah, that the earth is thrice invoked [Bengel]. Or, the triple invocation is to give intensity to the call for attention to the announcement of the end of the royal line, so far as Jehoiachin's seed is concerned. Though Messiah (Mt 1:1-17), the heir of David's throne, was lineally descended from Jeconiah, it was only through Joseph, who, though His legal, was not His real father. Matthew gives the legal pedigree through Solomon down to Joseph; Luke the real pedigree, from Mary, the real parent, through Nathan, brother of Solomon, upwards (Lu 3:31).

no man of his seed … upon the throne—This explains the sense in which "childless" is used. Though the succession to the throne failed in his line, still the promise to David (Ps 89:30-37) was revived in Zerubbabel and consummated in Christ.

The word translated

childless is but thrice read in holy writ, and by various interpreters translated barren, not increasing, empty, full of sorrow, wanting children, &c. It is thought to be interpreted by the next words,

no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah; for there are seven of his sons named 1 Chronicles 3:17,18. So that he is said to be childless, either because all hies children died before their father, or (which is most probable) because he had no child that sat upon the throne, or ever had any ruler’s place in Judah, but only some that lived in a mean condition in captivity, amongst whom Salathiel is named, Matthew 1:12, as a progenitor of Christ. Thus saith the Lord, write ye this man childless,.... That is, Coniah, or Jeconiah; who though he had children in the captivity, yet they died in it, or however never succeeded him in the throne. This, to show the certainty of the thing, the Lord would have written. The speech is directed, as some think, to the angels, or to the prophets; though the words may be rendered impersonally, "let this man be written childless", it may be set down, and taken for a sure and certain thing, as though it was written with a pen of iron, that he shall be alone, and die without children, and have none to reign after him;

a man that shall not prosper in his days; he sat but three months and ten days upon the throne, and all the rest of his days he lived in captivity, 2 Chronicles 36:9; so that he was a very unfortunate prince;

for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David,

and ruling any more in Judah; none of them were so prosperous and happy as to arrive to the royal dignity, or to sit on the throne of David, and be kings of Judah. Here ended the race of kings of the house of David, until the King Messiah came; for though there were of his line that were governors of Judah, as Zerubbabel, yet not kings. Moreover, Jeconiah was the last of the house of David in the line of Solomon. Salathiel, of whom was Zerubbabel governor of Judah, was the son of Neri, who descended from Nathan the son of David; see Luke 3:29, compared with Matthew 1:12; and See Gill on Luke 3:29 and See Gill on Luke 3:31 and See Gill on Matthew 1:12.

Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this {t} man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

(t) Not that he had no children (for later he begat Salathiel in the captivity, Mt 1:12) but that none would reign after him as king.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
30. Write ye] For the word in the sense of enter in a register of citizens cp. Isaiah 4:3; Psalm 87:6.

childless] In 1 Chronicles 3:17, etc. he appears to have had children, and Shealtiel (Matthew 1:12) is reckoned as his son. Shealtiel was, however, descended from David through his son Nathan (Luke 3:27-31) and not through the line of the kings (Solomon, Rehoboam, etc.), and thus was only counted to Jehoiachin (“Jechoniah” of Matthew 1:12) according to the legal not the natural line. It was thus at any rate true that no child of Jehoiachin succeeded to the throne.Verse 30. - Write ye this man childless; i.e. enter him in the register of the citizens (comp. Isaiah 4:3) as one who has no heirs. He may have children, but none of them shall succeed to his place in the community. This is all that the passage means; there is no discrepancy with history: how should there be, when Jeremiah himself has mentioned the posterity of Jehoiachin (ver. 28 and the latter part of this verse)? Yet the Septuagint thought it necessary to avoid the appearance of such a discrepancy by rendering, not "childless," but "one proscribed" (ἐκκήρυκτον).



Against Jehoiachin or Jechoniah. - Jeremiah 22:24. "As I live, saith Jahveh, though Conjahu, the son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, yet would I pluck him thence, Jeremiah 22:25. And give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them of whom thou art afraid, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans; Jeremiah 22:26. And will cast thee and thy mother that bare thee into another land where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. Jeremiah 22:27. And into the land whither they lift up their soul to return, thither shall they not return. Jeremiah 22:28. Is this man Conjahu a vessel despised and to be broken, or an utensil wherein one has no pleasure? Jeremiah 22:29. O land, land, land, hear the word of Jahveh! Jeremiah 22:30. Thus hath Jahveh said: Write down this man as childless, as a man that hath no prosperity in his life; for no man of his seed shall prosper that sitteth upon the throne of David and ruleth widely over Judah."

The son and successor of Jehoiakim is called in 2 Kings 24:6., 2 Chronicles 36:8., Jeremiah 52:31, Jehojachin, and in Ezekiel 1:2, Jojachin; here, Jeremiah 22:24, Jeremiah 22:28, and Jeremiah 37:1, Conjahu; in Jeremiah 24:1, Jeconjahu; and in Jeremiah 27:20; Jeremiah 28:4; Jeremiah 29:2, Esther 2:6; 1 Chronicles 3:16, Jeconjah. The names Jeconjahu and abbreviated Jeconjah are equivalent to Jojachin and Jehojachin, i.e., Jahveh will establish. Jeconjah was doubtless his original name, and so stands in the family register, 1 Chronicles 3:16, but was at his accession to the throne changed into Jehojachin or Jojachin, to make it liker his father's name. The abbreviation of Jeconjahu into Conjahu is held by Hgstb. Christol. ii. p. 402, to be a change made by Jeremiah in order by cutting off the y (will establish) to cut off the hope expressed by the name, to make "a Jeconiah without the J, a 'God will establish' without the will." For two reasons we cannot adopt this as the true view: 1. The general reason, that if Jeremiah had wished to adumbrate the fate of the three kings (Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jehoiachin) by making changes in their names, he would then have changed the name of Jehoiakim in like manner as he did that of Jehoahaz into Shallum, and that of Jehoiachin into Conjahu. The argument by which Hgstb. seeks to justify the exception in the one case will not hold its own. Had Jeremiah thought it unseemly to practise a kind of conceit, for however solemn a purpose, on the name of the then reigning monarch, then neither could he have ventured on the like in the case of Jehoiachin; for the present prediction was not, as Hgstb. assumed, uttered before his accession, but, as may be seen from the title king of Judah, Jeremiah 22:24, after he had ascended the throne, was actually king. Besides. 2. the name Conjahu occurs also at Jeremiah 37:1, in a historical heading, as of equal dignity with Jeconjahu, Jeremiah 29:2; Jeremiah 28:4, etc., where a name proper only to prophetic discourse would not have been in place. The passages in which the prophets express the character and destiny of a person in a name specially formed for the purpose, are of another kind. There we have always: they shall call his name, or: his name shall be; cf. Jeremiah 33:16; Isaiah 9:5; Isaiah 62:4; Ezekiel 48:35. That the name Jeconjah has not merely the prophet's authority, is vouched for by 1 Chronicles 3:15; Esther 2:6, and by the historical notices, Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 27:20; Jeremiah 28:4; Jeremiah 29:2. And the occurrence of the name Jojachin only in 2 Kings 24; 2 Chronicles 36:1; Jeremiah 52:31, and Ezekiel 1:2 is in consequence of the original documents used by the authors of these books, where, so to speak, the official names were made use of; whereas Jeremiah preferred the proper, original name which the man bore as the prince-royal and son of Jehoiakim, and which was therefore the current and best known one.

The utterance concerning Jechoniah is more distinct and decided than that concerning Jehoiakim. With a solemn oath the Lord not only causes to be made known to him that he is to be cast off and taken into exile, but further, that his descendants are debarred from the throne for ever. Nothing is said of his own conduct towards the Lord. In 2 Kings 24:9 and 2 Chronicles 36:9 it is said of him that he did that which was displeasing to the Lord, even as his father had done. Ezekiel confirms this sentence when in Ezekiel 19:5-9 he portrays him as a young lion that devoured men, forced widows, and laid cities waste. The words of Jahveh: Although Conjahu were a signet ring on my right hand, convey no judgment as to his character, but simply mean: Although he were as precious a jewel in the Lord's eyes as a signet ring (cf. Haggai 2:23), the Lord would nevertheless cast him away. כּי before אם introduces the body of the oath, as in Jeremiah 22:5, and is for rhetorical effect repeated before the apodosis, as in 2 Samuel 3:9; 2 Samuel 2:27, etc. Although he were, sc. what he is not; not: although he is (Graf); for there is no proof for the remark: that as being the prince set by Jahveh over His people, he has really as close a connection with Him. Hitz.'s explanation is also erroneous: "even if, seeking help, he were to cling so closely to me as a ring does to the finger." A most unnatural figure, not supported by reference to Sol 8:6. As to אתּקנךּ, from נתק with ן epenth., cf. Ew. 250, b. - From Jeremiah 22:25 on, the discourse is addressed directly to Jechoniah, to make his rejection known to him. God will deliver him into the hand of his enemies, whom he fears, namely, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans, and cast him with his mother into a strange land, where he shall die. The mother was called Nehushta, 2 Kings 24:8, and is brought forward in 29:2 as גּבירה. On the fulfilment of this threatening, see 2 Kings 24:12, 2 Kings 24:15; Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 29:2. The construction הארץ is like that of הגּפן נכריּה, Jeremiah 2:21; and the absence of the article from אחרת is no sufficient reason for holding it to be a gloss (Hitz.), or for taking the article in הארץ to be a slip caused by על הארץ, Jeremiah 22:27. To lift up their souls, i.e., to direct their longings, wishes, towards a thing, cf. Deuteronomy 24:15; Hosea 4:8, etc. - The further sentence on Jechoniah was not pronounced after he had been carried captive, as Ng. infers from the perfects הוּטלוּ and השׁלכוּ. The perfects are prophetic. The question: Is this man a vessel despised and to be broken (עצב, vas fictile)? is an expression of sympathising regret on the part of the prophet for the unhappy fate of the king; but we may not hence conclude that Jeremiah regarded him as better than his father. The prophet's sympathy for his fate regarded less the person of the unfortunate king than it did the fortunes of David's royal seed, in that, of Jechoniah's sons, none was to sit on the throne of David (Jeremiah 22:30). Ew. has excellently paraphrased the sense: "Although there is many a sympathising heart in the land that bitterly laments the hard fate of the dear young king, who along with his infant children has been (? will be) dragged away, yet it is God's unchangeable decree that neither he nor any of his sons shall ascend the throne of David." נפוּץ, not: broken, but: that shall be broken (cf. Ew. 335, b). Wherefore are they - he and his seed - cast out? At his accession Jehoiachin was eighteen years old, not eight, as by an error stands in 2 Chronicles 36:9, see on 2 Kings 24:8; so that when taken captive, he might well enough have children, or at least one son, since his wives are expressly mentioned in the account of the captivity, 2 Kings 24:15. That the sons mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:16 and 1 Chronicles 3:17 were born to him in exile, cannot be inferred from that passage, rightly understood, see on that passage. The fact that no sons are mentioned in connection with the carrying captive is simply explained by the fact that they were still infants.

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