Jeremiah 26:2
Thus said the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD's house, all the words that I command you to speak to them; diminish not a word:
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(2) Stand in the court of the Lord’s house.—The occasion was probably one of the Feasts, and drew worshippers from all parts of the kingdom. As in Jeremiah 7:1, the prophet had to stand in the crowded court of the Temple and utter his warning. Some critics have supposed, indeed, that in Jeremiah 7-11 we have the full text of the discourse, while here there is only an epitome of the discourse itself, and a narrative of the circumstances connected with it. The command, “diminish not a word,” reminds us of Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Revelation 22:19. There was something in the message that the prophet felt himself called to deliver from which he would naturally have shrunk.

Jeremiah 26:2-3. Stand in the court of the Lord’s house — The great court where both men and women ordinarily worshipped, says Dr. Lightfoot, when they brought no sacrifice; for when they did so, they were to bring it into the inner court, otherwise called the court of Israel, or of the priests, as the same learned author has observed in his treatise concerning the temple service. And speak unto all the cities of Judah — Here it is evident that ערו, cities, are put for their inhabitants; and we may conjecture from hence, that this transaction passed at one of the great festivals, when the people of Judah were assembled, out of all their cities, to worship at Jerusalem. All the words that I command thee — Not in the least varying from them, either to please men or to save thyself harmless. Diminish not a word — Either out of fear, favour, or flattery: declare not only the truth, but the whole truth, and give them faithful warning. Thus must all God’s ambassadors keep close to their instructions, and neither add to, nor diminish from, the word of the truth of the gospel, but must faithfully make known the whole counsel of God. If so be they will hearken and turn, &c. — Not that God was ignorant of their obstinacy, or did not foreknow that they would harden their hearts, and remain impenitent; yet it was for the glory of his justice, mercy, and holiness, to afford them both time for, and the means of, repentance. And he did give them time, for it was at least six years after this before the captivity of Jehoiakim, and seventeen before that of Zedekiah took place; and as for means, God favoured them not only with such as were ordinary, but such as were extraordinary, namely, with the ministry of this prophet.26:1-6 God's ambassadors must not seek to please men, or to save themselves from harm. See how God waits to be gracious. If they persisted in disobedience, it would ruin their city and temple. Can any thing else be expected? Those who will not be subject to the commands of God, make themselves subject to the curse of God.Jeremiah 26 is a narrative of the danger to which Jeremiah was exposed by reason of the prophecy contained in Jeremiah 7 and should be read in connection with it. Jeremiah 26:4-6 contain a summary of the prediction contained in Jeremiah 7, and that again is but an outline of what was a long address. 2. in the court—the largest court, from which he could be heard by the whole people.

come to worship—Worship is vain without obedience (1Sa 15:21, 22).

all the words—(Eze 3:10).

diminish not a word—(De 4:2; 12:32; Pr 30:6; Ac 20:27; 2Co 2:17; 4:2; Re 22:19). Not suppressing or softening aught for fear of giving offense; nor setting forth coldly and indirectly what can only by forcible statement do good.

Stand in the court of the Lord’s house; in the largest court of the temple, where the most may hear what thou sayest, and there speak to all those that dwell in any of the cities of Judah (from whence they were wont to come up, more especially thrice in a year to the temple to worship, Psalm 122:4). In the gate or court of that house wherein they have such a confidence do thou stand, so Jeremiah 7:2 and declare unto them what I command thee. Diminish not a word; neither smoothing what may appear rough, nor suppressing what may offend them, entirely delivering my will unto them, not shunning to declare unto them the whole counsel of God, as Paul, Acts 20:27. Thus saith the Lord, stand in the court of the Lord's house,.... It, the great court of Israel, where the people used to meet together for worship:

and speak unto all the cities of Judah; the inhabitants of them; not only to those that dwelt at Jerusalem but in the rest of the cities of Judah; for what he was to say concerned them all, they having all sinned, and needed repentance and reformation; without which they would be involved in the general calamity of the nation:

which come to worship in the Lord's house; as they did three times in the year, at the feasts of passover, pentecost, and tabernacles; and it was now the last of these, as Bishop Usher thinks, when this prophecy was to be delivered to them:

all the words that I command thee to speak to them: nothing must be kept back, the whole counsel of God must be declared; not a word suppressed through affection to them, or fear of them; God commanded, and must be obeyed, let the consequence be what it will:

diminish not a word; soften not any expression or alter any word, by putting one more smooth for one rough; or change the accent, or abate of the vehemency of delivering it; but both for matter manner, and form let it be as directed, without any subtraction and diminution, change or alteration: a rule which every minister of the word ought to attend to; seeking not to please men, but God that sends him and Christ whose minister he is.

Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the {a} court of the LORD'S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak to them; diminish not a word:

(a) That is, in that place of the temple to which the people resort out of all Judah to sacrifice.

(b) To the intent that they should pretend no ignorance, as in Ac 20:27.

2. the court of the Lord’s house] probably the outer court, as that in which the people would assemble; so ch. Jeremiah 19:14.

the cities of] LXX omit; introduced perhaps to harmonize with Jeremiah 11:6.

keep not back a word] The temptation in the way of suppression would be through natural shrinking from the danger involved. Cp. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32.Verse 2. - Jeremiah is to take his stand in the court of the Lord's house; i.e. the outer court, where the people assembled (comp. Jeremiah 19:14), and preach unto all the cities of Judah; i.e. to the pilgrims who had come from the provincial towns (comp. Jeremiah 11:12). His discourse is not to be an eloquent appeal to the feelings, but a strict and peremptory announcement; he is to diminish (or, subtract) not a word (comp. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Revelation 22:19). No rank is spared. This is intimated in the summons to howl and lament addressed to the shepherds, i.e., the kings and rulers on earth (cf. Jeremiah 10:21; Jeremiah 22:22, etc.), and to the lordly or glorious of the flock, i.e., to the illustrious, powerful, and wealthy. With "sprinkle you," cf. Jeremiah 6:26. Your days are full or filled for the slaughter, i.e., the days of your life are full, so that ye shall be slain; cf. Lamentations 4:18. וּתפוצותיכם is obscure and hard to explain. It is so read by the Masora, while many codd. and editt. have וּתפוּצותיכם. According to this latter form, Jerome, Rashi, Kimchi, lately Maur. and Umbr., hold the word for a substantive: your dispersions. But whether we connect this with what precedes or what follows, we fail to obtain a fitting sense from it. Your days are full and your dispersions, for: the time is come when ye shall be slain and dispersed, cannot be maintained, because "dispersions" is not in keeping with "are full." Again: as regards your dispersions, ye shall fall, would give a good meaning, only if "your dispersions" meant: the flock dispersed by the fault of the shepherds; and with this the second pers. "ye shall fall" does not agree. The sig. of fatness given by Ew. to the word is wholly arbitrary. Hitz., Gr. and Ng. take the word to be a Tiphil (like תהרה, Jeremiah 12:5; Jeremiah 22:15), and read תּפיצותיכם, I scatter you. This gives a suitable sense; and there is no valid reason for attaching to the word, as Hitz. and Gr. do, the force of פּצץ or נפץ, smite in pieces. The thought, that one part of the flock shall be slain, the other scattered, seems quite apt; so also is that which follows, that they are scattered shall fall and break like precious, i.e., fine, ornamental vases. Hence there was no occasion for Ew.'s conjectural emendation, כּכרי, like precious lambs. Nor does the lxx rendering: ἥωσπερ οἱ κριοὶ οἱ ἐκλεκτοί, give it any support; for כּרים does not mean rams, but lambs. The similar comparison of Jechoniah to a worthless vessel (22:28) tells in favour of the reading in the text (Graf). - In Jeremiah 25:35 the threatening is made more woeful by the thought, that the shepherds shall find no refuge, and that no escape will be open to the sheep.
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