For if you do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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 9:9-10.2 Chronicles 23:20.
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.
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.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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 21:11-14 stands in no inner connection with the foregoing, and may, from the contents of it, be seen to belong to an earlier period than that of the siege which took place under Zedekiah, namely, to the time of Jehoiakim, because, a. in the period of Jeremiah 21:1. such an exhortation and conditional threatening must have been out of place after their destruction had been quite unconditionally foretold to Zedekiah and the people in Jeremiah 21:4-7; b. the defiant tone conveyed in Jeremiah 21:13 is inconsistent with the cringing despondency shown by Zedekiah in Jeremiah 21:2; c. it is contrary to what we would expect to find the house of the king addressed separately after the king had been addressed in Jeremiah 21:3, the king being himself comprehended in his "house." But these arguments, on which Hitz. builds ingenious hypotheses, are perfectly valueless. As to a, we have to remark: In Jeremiah 21:4-7 unconditional destruction is foretold against neither king nor people; it is only said that the Chaldeans will capture the city - that the inhabitants will be smitten with pestilence, famine, and sword - and that the king, with his servants and those that are left, will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, who will smite them unsparingly. But in Jeremiah 21:12 the threatening is uttered against the king, that if he does not practise righteousness, the wrath of God will be kindled unquenchably, and, Jeremiah 21:14, that Jerusalem is to be burnt with fire. In Jeremiah 21:4-7 there is no word of the burning of the city; it is first threatened, Jeremiah 21:10, against the people, after the choice has been given them of escaping utter destruction. How little the burning of Jerusalem is involved in Jeremiah 21:4-7 may be seen from the history of the siege and capture of Jerusalem under Jehoiachin, on which occasion, too, the king, with his servants and the people, was given into the hand of the king of Babylon, while the city was permitted to stand, and the deported king remained in life, and was subsequently set free from his captivity by Evil-Merodach. But that Zedekiah, by hearkening to the word of the Lord, can alleviate his doom and save Jerusalem from destruction, this Jeremiah tells him yet later in very plain terms, Jeremiah 38:17-23, cf. Jeremiah 34:4. Lastly, the release of Hebrew man-servants and maid-servants, recounted in Jeremiah 34:8., shows that even during the siege there were cases of an endeavour to turn and follow the law, and consequently that an exhortation to hold by the right could not have been regarded as wholly superfluous. - The other two arguments, b and c, are totally inconclusive. How the confidence of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the strength of its fortifications (Jeremiah 21:13) is contradictory of the fact related in Jeremiah 21:2, does not appear. That Zedekiah should betake himself to the prophet, desiring him to entreat the help of God, is not a specimen of cringing despondency such as excludes all confidence in any earthly means of help. Nor are defiance and despondency mutually exclusive opposites in psychological experience, but states of mind that rapidly alternate. Finally, Ng. seems to have added the last argument (c) only because he had no great confidence in the two others, which had been dwelt on by Hitz. and Graf. Why should not Jeremiah have given the king another counsel for warding off the worst, over and above that conveyed in the answer to his question (Jeremiah 21:4-7)? - These arguments have therefore not pith enough to throw any doubt on the connection between the two passages (Jeremiah 21:8-10, and Jeremiah 21:11, Jeremiah 21:12) indicated by the manner in which "and to the house (וּלבית) of the king of Judah" points back to "and unto this people thou shalt say" (Jeremiah 21:8), or to induce us to attribute the connection so indicated to the thoughtlessness of the editor.)
The kingly house, i.e., the king and his family, under which are here comprehended not merely women and children, but also the king's companions, his servants and councillors; they are counselled to hold judgment every morning. דּין משׁפּט equals דּין דּין, Jeremiah 5:28; Jeremiah 22:16, or שׁפט, Lamentations 3:59; 1 Kings 3:28. לבּקר distributively, every morning, as Amos 4:4. To save the despoiled out of the hand of the oppressor means: to defend his just cause against the oppressor, to defend him from being despoiled; cf. Jeremiah 22:3. The form of address; House of David, which is by a displacement awkwardly separated from שׁמעוּ, is meant to remind the kingly house of its origin, its ancestor David, who walked in the ways of the Lord. - The second half of the verse, "lest my fury," etc., runs like Jeremiah 4:4.
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