Jeremiah 26:11
Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
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(11) This man is worthy to die.—Literally, A judgment of death for this man. The phrase seems to have been in current forensic use. (See Deuteronomy 19:6; Deuteronomy 21:22.) Among the accusers we may think of Pashur, the son of Immer (Jeremiah 20:1). Personal rancour mingles with the class feeling which animates the whole body of the priesthood. They appeal to what, in later language, would be known as the secular arm, to be the instrument of their vindictiveness against the heretic and blasphemer.

26:7-15 The priests and prophets charged Jeremiah as deserving death, and bore false witness against him. The elders of Israel came to inquire into this matter. Jeremiah declares that the Lord sent him to prophesy thus. As long as ministers keep close to the word they have from God, they need not fear. And those are very unjust who complain of ministers for preaching of hell and damnation; for it is from a desire to bring them to heaven and salvation. Jeremiah warns them of their danger if they go on against him. All men may know, that to hurt, or put to death, or to show hatred to their faithful reprovers, will hasten and increase their own punishment.This man is worthy to die - literally, A sentence of death is to this man, i. e., is his desert. 10. princes—members of the Council of State or Great Council, which took cognizance of such offenses.

heard—the clamor of the popular tumult.

came up—from the king's house to the temple, which stood higher than the palace.

sat—as judges, in the gate, the usual place of trying such cases.

new gate—originally built by Jotham ("the higher gate," 2Ki 15:35) and now recently restored.

In the corrupt state of all kingdoms and cities, the ecclesiastical officers always were the greatest enemies to the faithful ministers of God, as we shall find in the whole story both of the Old and New Testament. They speak to the members of the great court, who are called princes, and also to the people who were in the court, charging Jeremiah with sedition, by prophesying falsely, which was a capital crime. It was the charge against Stephen, Acts 6:13, that he spake blasphemous words against the holy place. To prove this they appeal to those of the people that had heard him.

Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes, and to all the people,.... The priests and the prophets they were the accusers; the princes were the court before whom the cause was brought; and the people were the hearers of it; though it does not seem as if they were a sort of jury, or had any vote in determining; though they sometimes had in instigating a court, and the judges of it, to take on the side of the question they were for:

saying, this man is worthy to die; or, "the judgment of death is to this man" (f); he is guilty of a capital crime, and judgment ought to be given against him, and he condemned to die:

for he hath prophesied against this city; the city of Jerusalem; saying that it should be a curse to other nations; or, as they interpreted it, that it should be utterly destroyed, and become desolate, and none should inhabit it:

as ye have heard with your ears; this must be directed to the people only; for the princes did not hear Jeremiah's prophecy.

(f) "judieium mortis est viro huic", V. L. Vatablus, Pagninus, Montanus; "reatus mortis", &c. Schmidt.

Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
11. hath prophesied against this city] Cp. Acts 6:12 ff.

Verse 11. - This man is worthy to die; literally, a sentence of death (belongs) to this man. Jeremiah 26:11Before these princes, about whom all the people gathered, Jeremiah is accused by the priests and prophets: "This man is worthy of death;" literally: a sentence of death (cf. Deuteronomy 19:6), condemnation to death, is due to this man; "for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears." With these last words they appeal to the people standing round who had heard the prophecy, for the princes had not reached the temple till after Jeremiah had been apprehended. Jeremiah 26:12. To this Jeremiah answered in his own defence before the princes and all the people: "Jahveh hath sent me to prophesy against (אל for על) this house and against this city all the words which ye have heard. Jeremiah 26:13. And now make your ways good and your doings, and hearken to the voice of Jahveh your God, and Jahveh will repent Him of the evil that He hath spoken against you. Jeremiah 26:14. But I, behold, I am in your hand; do with me as seemeth to you good and right. Jeremiah 26:15. Only ye must know, that if ye put me to death, ye bring innocent blood upon you, and upon this city, and upon her inhabitants; for of a truth Jahveh hath sent me to you to speak in your ears all these words." - As to "make your ways good," cf. Jeremiah 7:3. This defence made an impression on the princes and on all the people. From the intimation that by reform it was possible to avert the threatened calamity, and from the appeal to the fact that in truth Jahveh had sent him and commanded him so to speak, they see that he is a true prophet, whose violent death would bring blood-guiltiness upon the city and its inhabitants. They therefore declare to the accusers, Jeremiah 26:16 : "This man is not worthy of death, for in the name of Jahveh our God hath he spoken unto us."
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