Jeremiah 26:21
And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;
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(21) And when Jehoiakim the king . . .—The fact that the princes of Judah, who defended Jeremiah, were against Urijah, suggests the inference either that his words were more vehemently denunciatory, or that he was less fortunate in finding a personal friend and protector like Ahikam. The flight into Egypt presents a parallel to that of Jeroboam 1Kings 11:40), Hadad (1Kings 11:18), and Joseph and Mary (Matthew 2:13-15). Egypt was at all times the natural asylum for political refugees from Judæa. The presence of the deposed Jehoahaz and of other Jews in Egypt may possibly have been an attraction (2Chronicles 36:4; Jeremiah 24:8; Jeremiah 44:1).

26:16-24 When secure sinners are threatened with taking away the Spirit of God, and the kingdom of God, it is what is warranted from the word of God. Hezekiah who protected Micah, prospered. Did Jehoiakim, who slew Urijah, prosper? The examples of bad men, and the bad consequences of their sins, should deter from what is evil. Urijah was faithful in delivering his message, but faulty in leaving his work. And the Lord was pleased to permit him to lose his life, while Jeremiah was protected in danger. Those are safest who most simply trust in the Lord, whatever their outward circumstances may be; and that He has all men's hearts in his hands, encourages us to trust him in the way of duty. He will honour and recompense those who show kindness to such as are persecuted for his sake.His mighty men - The commanders of his army; the princes are the civil officers. 20. As the flight and capture of Urijah must have occupied some time, "the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim" (Jer 26:1) must not mean the very beginning, but the second or third year of his eleven years' reign.

And … also—perhaps connected with Jer 26:24, as the comment of the writer, not the continuation of the speech of the elders: "And although also a man that prophesied … Urijah … (proving how great was the danger in which Jeremiah stood, and how wonderful the providence of God in preserving him), nevertheless the hand of Ahikam," &c. [Glassius]. The context, however, implies rather that the words are the continuation of the previous speech of the elders. They adduce another instance besides that of Micah, though of a different kind, namely, that of Urijah: he suffered for his prophecies, but they imply, though they do not venture to express it, that thereby sin has been added to sin, and that it has done no good to Jehoiakim, for that the notorious condition of the state at this time shows that a heavier vengeance is impending if they persevere in such acts of violence [Calvin].

When Jehoiakim, our present king, and all his great men, heard of it, (probably by the information of others,) they judged it a capital crime, and used means to apprehend him, in order to the putting him to death, upon which the prophet being advertised of it, and fearing the issue, fled into Egypt.

And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men,.... Either his courtiers, or his soldiers, or both:

and all the princes, heard his words; the words of the Prophet Urijah; not with their own ears very probably, but from the report of others:

the king sought to put him to death; as being a messenger of bad tidings, tending to dispirit his subjects, and allay the joy of his own mind upon his advancement to the throne:

but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt; which some understand as a piece of prudence in him; but rather it was the effect of pusillanimity and cowardice: it seems to show want of faith and confidence in the Lord; and the fear of man, which brings a snare; and besides, it was no piece of prudence to go to Egypt, whatever it was to flee; since there was such an alliance between the kings of Egypt and Judah; and the latter, though dependent on the former, yet the king of Egypt would easily gratify him in delivering up a subject of his, and a person of such a character.

And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;
21. with all his mighty men] The LXX omit, and the expression is not found elsewhere in the Book.

Verse 21. - His mighty men. The "mighty men" (gibborim) are not mentioned again in Jeremiah, and the Septuagint omits the word. But it is clear from Isaiah 3:2 that the "mighty men" were recognized as an important part of the community. From 1 Chronicles 10:10 it appears that the term indicates a position of high command in the army, which is in accordance with the notice in 2 Kings 24:16. Went into Egypt. Egypt was the natural refuge for a native of Palestine (comp. 1 Kings 11:17, 40 Matt, 2:14), just as Palestine was for a native of Egypt. The latter, however, proved to be not a safe asylum for Urijah, as Pharaoh was the liege lord of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:34), and the extradition of Urijah as a criminal naturally followed. Jeremiah 26:21The prophet Urijah put to death. - While the history we have just been considering gives testimony to the hostility of the priests and false prophets towards the true prophets of the Lord, the story of the prophet Urijah shows the hostility of King Jehoiakim against the proclaimers of divine truth. For this purpose, and not merely to show in how great peril Jeremiah then stood (Gr., Nהg.), this history is introduced into our book. It is not stated that the occurrence took place at the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, nor can we infer so much from its being placed directly after the events of that time. The time is not specified, because it was irrelevant for the case in hand. Jeremiah 26:20. A man, Urijah the son of Shemaiah - both unknown - from Kirjath-Jearim, now called Kuriyet el 'Enab, about three hours to the north-west of Jerusalem, on the frontiers of the tribe of Benjamin (see on Joshua 9:17), prophesied in the name of Jahveh against Jerusalem and Judah very much in the same terms as Jeremiah had done. When King Jehoiakim and his great men heard this, discourse, he sought after the prophet to kill him. Urijah, when he heard of it, fled to Egypt; but the king sent men after him, Elnathan the son of Achbor with some followers, and had him brought back thence, caused him to be put to death, and his body to be thrown into the graves of the common people. Hitz. takes objection to "all his mighty men," Jeremiah 26:21, because it is not found in the lxx, and is nowhere else used by Jeremiah. But these facts do not prove that the words are not genuine; the latter of the two, indeed, tells rather in favour of their genuineness, since a glossator would not readily have interpolated an expression foreign to the rest of the book. The "mighty men" are the distinguished soldiers who were about the king, the military commanders, as the "princes" are the supreme civil authorities. Elnathan the son of Achbor, according to Jeremiah 36:12, Jeremiah 36:25, one of Jehoiakim's princes, was a son of Achbor who is mentioned in 2 Kings 22:12-14 as amongst the princes of Josiah. Whether this Elnathan was the same as the Elnathan whose daughter Nehushta was Jehoiachin's mother (2 Kings 24:8), and who was therefore the king's father-in-law, must remain an undecided point, since the name Elnathan is of not unfrequent occurrence; of Levites, Ezra 8:16. בּני העם (see on Jeremiah 17:19) means the common people here, as in 2 Kings 22:6. The place of burial for the common people was in the valley of the Kidron; see on 2 Kings 22:6.
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