Jeremiah 26:11
Then spoke the priests and the prophets to the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he has prophesied against this city, as you 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. Accusation and Acquittal of Jeremiah. - Jeremiah 26:1-7. His prophecy that temple and city would be destroyed gave occasion to the accusation of the prophet. - Jeremiah 26:1. "In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah king of Judah, came this word from Jahveh, saying: Jeremiah 26:2. Thus said Jahveh: Stand in the court of the house of Jahveh, and speak to all the cities of Judah which come to worship in Jahveh's house, all the words that I have commanded thee to speak to them; take not a word therefrom. Jeremiah 26:3. Perchance they will hearken and turn each from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil which I purpose to do unto them for the evil of their doings. Jeremiah 26:4. And say unto them: Thus saith Jahveh: If ye hearken not to me, to walk in my law which I have set before you, Jeremiah 26:5. To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets whom I sent unto you, from early morning on sending, but ye have not hearkened. Jeremiah 26:6. Then I make this house like Shiloh, and this city a curse to all the peoples of the earth. Jeremiah 26:7. And the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Jahveh."

In the discourse of Jeremiah 7, where he was combating the people's false reliance upon the temple, Jeremiah had already threatened that the temple should share the fate of Shiloh, unless the people turned from its evil ways. Now, since that discourse was also delivered in the temple, and since Jeremiah 26:2-6 of the present chapter manifestly communicate only the substance of what the prophet said, several comm. have held these discourses to be identical, and have taken it for granted that the discourse here referred to, belonging to the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, was given in full in Jeremiah 7, while the history of it has been given in the present chapter by way of supplement (cf. the introductory remarks to Jeremiah 7). But considering that it is a peculiarity of Jeremiah frequently to repeat certain of the main thoughts of his message, the saying of God, that He will do to the temple as He has done to Shiloh, is not sufficient to warrant this assumption. Jeremiah frequently held discourses in the temple, and more than once foretold the destruction of Jerusalem; so that it need not be surprising if on more than one occasion he threatened the temple with the fate of Shiloh. Between the two discourses there is further this distinction: Whereas in Jeremiah 7 the prophet speaks chiefly of the spoliation or destruction of the temple and the expulsion of the people into exile, here in brief incisive words he intimates the destruction of the city of Jerusalem as well; and the present chapter throughout gives the impression that by this, so to speak, peremptory declaration, the prophet sought to move the people finally to decide for Jahveh its God, and that he thus so exasperated the priests and prophets present, that they seized him and pronounced him worthy of death. - According to the heading, this took place in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. The like specification in the heading of Jeremiah 27 does not warrant us to refer the date to the fourth year of this king. "The beginning" intimates simply that the discourse belongs to the earlier period of Jehoiakim's reign, without minuter information as to year and day. "To Jeremiah" seems to have been dropped out after "came this word," Jeremiah 26:1. The court of the house of God is not necessarily the inner or priests' court of the temple; it may have been the outer one where the people assembled; cf. Jeremiah 19:14. All the "cities of Judah" for their inhabitants, as in Jeremiah 11:12. The addition: "take not a word therefrom," cf. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 13:1, indicates the peremptory character of the discourse. In full, without softening the threat by the omission of anything the Lord commanded him, i.e., he is to proclaim the word of the Lord in its full unconditional severity, to move the people, if possible, to repentance, acc. to Jeremiah 26:3. With Jeremiah 26:3, cf. Jeremiah 18:8, etc. - In Jeremiah 26:4-6 we have the contents of the discourse. If they hearken not to the words of the prophet, as has hitherto been the case, the Lord will make the temple as Shiloh, and this city, i.e., Jerusalem, a curse, i.e., an object of curses (cf. Jeremiah 24:9), for all peoples. On this cf. Jeremiah 7:12. But ye have not hearkened. The Chet. הזּאתה Hitz. holds to be an error of transcription; Ew. 173, g, and Olsh. Gramm. 101, c, and 133, a paragogically lengthened form; Bttcher, Lehrb. 665. iii. and 897, 3, a toneless appended suffix, strengthening the demonstrative force: this (city) here.

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