Jeremiah 22:4
For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.
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(4) Then shall there enter in . . .—The picture of renewed and continued prosperity gains a fresh force, as reproducing the very terms of Jeremiah 17:25. In both the “chariots and horses” are conspicuous as the symbol of kingly pomp (1Kings 4:26), just as their absence furnished a topic to the sarcastic taunts of Rabshakeh (Isaiah 36:8), and entered into the picture of the true, peaceful king in Zechariah 9:9-10.

22:1-9 The king of Judah is spoken to, as sitting upon the throne of David, the man after God's own heart. Let him follow his example, that he may have the benefit of the promises made to him. The way to preserve a government, is to do the duty of it. But sin will be the ruin of the houses of princes, as well as of meaner men. And who can contend with destroyers of God's preparing? God destroys neither persons, cities, nor nations, except for sin; even in this world he often makes it plain for what crimes he sends punishment; and it will be clear at the day of judgement.Go down - i. e., from the temple to the king's house. Compare 2 Chronicles 23:20. 4. upon the throne of David—literally, "or David on his throne" (see on [918]Jer 13:13). This verse is repeated substantially from Jer 17:25.

his servants—so the Keri. But Chetib, singular, "his servant;" that is, distributively, "each with his servants;" Jer 17:25, "their princes."

If ye do this thing indeed; if ye will not pretendedly, but really, give to every one their due, and look that inferior magistrates acting under you do so. Then, he doth not say, you shall be saved: the promise is only of a secular, temporal nature, of all prosperity, and continuance of the family of David, with great honour and splendour, expressed by those phrases of

riding in chariots and on horses. Though the performance of moral acts of justice and mercy, which men may perform without any special grace of God, be not enough to entitle them to the hopes of spiritual and eternal good things; yet they may entitle them to the hopes of outward prosperity and happiness in this life, Daniel 4:27; which is sufficient to demonstrate that men’s outward infelicities and sufferings under the grievous judgments of God upon themselves is from their selves; they might in a great measure avoid them, by doing such acts as are in their power to do.

For if ye do this thing indeed,.... Or, "in doing do this word" (y); diligently and carefully attend to this word of exhortation, and constantly perform the duties required:

then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David; or, upon the throne for David: in his room and stead, as successors of his; or of his lineage and descent, as the Vulgate Latin version. The meaning is, that should the kings of Judah do the duty of their office, before pointed at, there should never be any want of successors of the seed of David; but there should be a race of kings descending from him, and sitting on his throne in all after ages, who should dwell in the royal palace, and go in and out at the gates of it; and they should also live in great pomp and splendour, in royal dignity, answerable to their characters:

riding in chariots, and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people; the king, his nobles, and other his attendants; some on one, and some on another, when they went out or came in; see Jeremiah 17:25.

(y) "si namque faciendo feceritis verbum hoc", Montanus, Schmidt.

For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.
4. Cp. Jeremiah 17:25.

upon the throne of David] lit. as mg. for David upon his throne.

Verse 4. - Parallel passage, Jeremiah 17:25. Jeremiah 22:4The 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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