Jeremiah 26:24
Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.
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(24) Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam . . .—The family to whom the prophet’s protector belonged played a conspicuous part in the history of this period, and may be said to have furnished examples of three generations of Jewish patriotism. Shaphan, the father, was prominent as a scribe in the reformation of Josiah (cir. A.D. 624). He superintended the restoration of the Temple (2Chronicles 34:8). To him Hilkiah the priest gave the book of the Law which had been found in the house of the Lord, and Shaphan took it to the king. He took his son Ahikam with him when he was sent to consult the prophetess Huldah (2Kings 22:12; 2Chronicles 34:20). Here the son meets us, true to the early lessons of his life, as the protector of the prophet, whose work rested so largely on the impression made by the Book of the Law thus discovered. A brother of Ahikam, Gemariah, appears in a like character in Jeremiah 36:12; Jeremiah 36:25. After the conquest of the land by Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah finds refuge with Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam (Jeremiah 40:6), who had been made, apparently through the prophet’s influence, satrap, or governor, of the lands under the Chaldæan king; and he, after a fruitless warning, falls a victim to the conspiracy of the princes of the royal house (Jeremiah 41:1-2). Here stress is laid on the fact of Ahikam’s protection, as showing how it was that Jeremiah escaped the fate which fell on Urijah.

Jeremiah 26:24. Nevertheless, the hand of Ahikam, &c., was with Jeremiah — Both he and his father Shaphan were chief ministers under Josiah, 2 Kings 22:12-14. And the brothers of Ahikam, Gemariah, Elasah, and Jaazaniah were considerable men in those days, with Ahikam, and members of the great council; Jeremiah 29:3; Ezekiel 8:11. So Ahikam made use of his interest with them to deliver Jeremiah from the danger that threatened him. Thus God wonderfully preserved Jeremiah, though he did not flee as Urijah did, but stood his ground. Ordinary ministers may use ordinary means, provided they be lawful ones, for their preservation; but they that have an extraordinary mission may expect an extraordinary protection. 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.Ahikam - See the marginal reference. His son Gemariah lent Jeremiah his room for the public reading of Jehoiakim's scroll, and another son Gedaliah was made governor of the land by the Chaldaeans Jeremiah 39:14; the family probably shared the political views of Jeremiah. 24. Ahikam—son of Shaphan the scribe, or royal secretary. He was one of those whom King Josiah, when struck by the words of the book of the law, sent to inquire of the Lord (2Ki 22:12, 14). Hence his interference here in behalf of Jeremiah is what we should expect from his past association with that good king. His son, Gedaliah, followed in his father's steps, so that he was chosen by the Babylonians as the one to whom they committed Jeremiah for safety after taking Jerusalem, and on whose loyalty they could depend in setting him over the remnant of the people in Judea (Jer 39:14; 2Ki 25:22).

people to put him to death—Princes often, when they want to destroy a good man, prefer it to be done by a popular tumult rather than by their own order, so as to reap the fruit of the crime without odium to themselves (Mt 27:20).

Though Jeremiah’s enemies pleaded this instance of Urijah, which had this advantage of the other, because it was matter of fact done lately, and a case judged in this very king’s reign; yet the hand, that is, the power and interest, of one

Ahikam, who, as appears from 2 Kings 22:12, was one of Josiah’s counsellors, and the father of Gedaliah, Jeremiah 39:14, who upon the taking of the city was made governor, Jeremiah 40:5,

was with Jeremiah. So as, through the good providence of God, Jeremiah was not delivered into the hands of the people, some of whom were mutable, and malicious enough, ready to do any thing the priests put them upon. And the after-advancement of the son of this Ahikam to be governor of Judah may justly be interpreted a reward in this life, which God gave him for his kindness to his prophet. Nevertheless, the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah,.... Though this instance was urged as a precedent to go by, being lately done; or though the king's cruelty had been so lately exercised in such a manner; yet this man, who had been one of Josiah's courtiers and counsellors, 2 Kings 22:12; stood by Jeremiah, and used all his power, authority, and influence, in his favour:

that they should not give him into the hand of the people, to put him to death; that the sanhedrim should not; who, by the last precedent mentioned, might seem inclined to it; but this great man, having several brothers, as well as other friends, that paid a regard to his arguments and solicitations; he prevailed upon them not to give leave to the people to put him to death, who appear to have been very fickle and mutable; at first they joined with the priests and false prophets against Jeremiah, to accuse him; but upon the judgment and vote of the princes, on hearing the cause, they changed their sentiments, and were for the prophet against the priests; and now, very probably, upon the instance of Urijah being given as a precedent, they altered their minds again, and were for putting him to death, could they have obtained leave of the court; and which only Ahikam's interest prevented.

Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam {n} the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.

(n) Which declares that nothing could have appeased their fury if God had not moved this noble man to stand valiantly in his defense.

24. Ahikam the son of Shaphan] He was one of the five sent by Josiah (2 Kings 22:12) to consult Huldah. His son Gedaliah, as governor of the land (Jeremiah 39:14, Jeremiah 40:5), stood the prophet’s friend subsequently. It was in the chamber of another son of Shaphan, Gemariah, that Baruch read Jeremiah’s Roll in the ears of the people (Jeremiah 36:12).

The exact connexion of this v. with the rest of the story is not clear. It may refer back to the outburst of popular indignation mentioned in Jeremiah 26:8, and so may mean that, in contrast to Uriah’s fate, Jeremiah was on this occasion saved by Ahikam.Verse 24. - Nevertheless the hand of Ahi-kant, etc.; i.e. in spite of the prepossession against prophets like Jeremiah which this incident reveals, Ahikam threw all his influence into the scale of toleration.' The same Ahikam is mentioned in circumstances which reflect credit on his religion in 2 Kings 22:12-14. One of his sons, Gemariah, lent Baruch his official room for the reading of the prophecies of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:10); another was the well-known Gedaliah, who became governor of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem, and who was himself friendly to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 39:14; Jeremiah 40:5).

To justify and confirm this sentence, certain of the elders of the land rise and point to the like sentence passed on the prophet Micah of Moresheth-Gath, who had foretold the destruction of the city and temple under King Hezekiah, but had not been put to death by the king; Hezekiah, on the contrary, turning to prayer to the Lord, and thus succeeding in averting the catastrophe. The "men of the elders of the land" are different from "all the princes," and are not to be taken, as by Graf, for representatives of the people in the capacity of assessors at judicial decisions, who had to give their voice as to guilt or innocence; nor are they necessarily to be regarded as local authorities of the land. They come before us here solely in their character as elders of the people, who possessed a high authority in the eyes of the people. The saying of the Morasthite Micah which they cite in Jeremiah 26:18 is found in Micah 3:12, verbally agreeing with Jeremiah 26:18; see the exposition of that passage. The stress of what they say lies in the conclusion drawn by them from Micah's prophesy, taken in connection with Hezekiah's attitude towards the Lord, Jeremiah 26:19 : "Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear Jahveh and entreat Jahveh, and did not Jahveh repent Him of the evil which He had spoken concerning them? and we would commit a great evil against our souls?" Neither in the book of Micah, nor in the accounts of the books of Kings, nor in the chronicle of Hezekiah's reign are we told that, in consequence of that prophecy of Micah, Hezekiah entreated the Lord and so averted judgment from Jerusalem. There we find only that during the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, Hezekiah besought the help of the Lord and protection from that mighty enemy. The elders have combined this fact with Micah's prophecy, and thence drawn the conclusion that the godly king succeeded by his prayer in averting the mischief. Cf. the remarks on this passage at Micah 4:10. 'חלּה , lit., stroke the face of Jahveh, i.e., entreat Him, cf. Exodus 32:11. "And we would commit," are thinking of doing, are on the point of doing a great evil against our souls; inasmuch as by putting the prophet to death they would bring blood-guiltiness upon themselves and hasten the judgment of God. - The acquittal of Jeremiah is not directly related; but it may be gathered from the decision of the princes: This man is not worthy of death.
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