Jeremiah 27:2
Thus said the LORD to me; Make you bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck,
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(2) Make thee bonds and yokes.—This method of vivid symbolic prediction had a precedent in the conduct of Isaiah when he walked “naked and barefoot” (Isaiah 20:2). We have to realise the infinitely more vivid impression which the appearance of the prophet in this strange guise, as though he were at once a captive slave and a beast of burden, would make on the minds of men, as compared with simply warning them of a coming subjugation. The principle on which the prophet acted was that of Horace (Ep. ad Pis. 180):—

Segnius irritant animos demissa per aures,

Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et quæ

Ipse sibi tradit spectator.”

“Things that we hear less stir the inmost soul,

Than what the eye sees dramatised in act.”

So Agabus bound himself with Paul’s girdle (Acts 21:11). So Ezekiel dug through the wall of his house and carried out his stuff (Ezekiel 12:5-7). We find from Jeremiah 28:10 that the prophet obeyed the command quite literally.

Jeremiah 27:2-3. Make thee bonds and yokes, &c. — The prophets were frequently ordered to foreshow future events by actions as well as by words. Thus Isaiah was commanded to go naked and barefoot, Isaiah 20:3. Ezekiel, in like manner, was ordered to prophesy by signs, Ezekiel 4:1; Ezekiel 12:3; and Ezekiel 24:17-19. In making these yokes, putting them upon his neck, and fastening them on with bands, Jeremiah was intended to be a type both to his own people, and also to the people afterward mentioned, that they should be brought under subjection to the king of Babylon. And send them to the king of Edom, &c. — These nations were near to the Jews, and their princes had their ambassadors resident at Jerusalem. They were also some of those countries which God had declared that he had given into the hand of the king of Babylon: see Jeremiah 25:21; Jeremiah 25:24. By the hand of the messengers, &c. — The business of these messengers seems to have been, to engage Zedekiah to join in a league with the nations from which they came, against the king of Babylon.27:1-11 Jeremiah is to prepare a sign that all the neighbouring countries would be made subject to the king of Babylon. God asserts his right to dispose of kingdoms as he pleases. Whatever any have of the good things of this world, it is what God sees fit to give; we should therefore be content. The things of this world are not the best things, for the Lord often gives the largest share to bad men. Dominion is not founded in grace. Those who will not serve the God who made them, shall justly be made to serve their enemies that seek to ruin them. Jeremiah urges them to prevent their destruction, by submission. A meek spirit, by quiet submission to the hardest turns of providence, makes the best of what is bad. Many persons may escape destroying providences, by submitting to humbling providences. It is better to take up a light cross in our way, than to pull a heavier on our own heads. The poor in spirit, the meek and humble, enjoy comfort, and avoid many miseries to which the high-spirited are exposed. It must, in all cases, be our interest to obey God's will.Yokes - Two curved pieces of wood, the one put over the neck of the ox, the other under, and then fastened together by bonds or cords (compare Psalm 2:3). Compare the marginal references. 2. bonds—by which the yoke is made fast to the neck (Jer 5:5).

yokes—literally, the carved piece of wood attached at both ends to the two yokes on the necks of a pair of oxen, so as to connect them. Here the yoke itself. The plural is used, as he was to wear one himself, and give the others to the ambassadors; (Jer 27:3; 28:10, 12) proves that the symbolical act was in this instance (though not in others, Jer 25:15) actually done (compare Isa 20:2, &c.; Eze 12:3, 11, 18).

God commandeth the prophet to procure, either by his own labour, or with his money, some yokes, with bonds to make them more fast; and to put some one of them upon his own neck, that therein he might be a type both to his own people, and also the people afterward mentioned, that they should be in bondage to the king of Babylon, and their yoke should be so fastened with bonds, that they should not be able to slip them, or get them from off their necks. Thus saith the Lord to me, make thee bonds and yokes,.... The yokes were made of wood, as appears from Jeremiah 28:13; and the bonds were strings or thongs, which bound the yoke together, that it might not slip off the neck, on which it was put:

and put them upon thy neck; not all of them together, but one after another, at different times; and this was very significant; for the prophet being seen abroad with a yoke upon his neck, it would be natural to inquire the meaning of it; when they would be told it was to signify the subjection of Judah, and so of other nations, to the king of Babylon; and that he did wear at times such a yoke, even fifteen years after, in the fourth of Zedekiah's reign, appears from Jeremiah 28:1.

Thus saith the LORD to me; Make for thee {b} bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,

(b) By such signs the prophets used sometimes to confirm their prophecies which they could not do of themselves but in as much as they had a revelation for the same, Isa 20:2 and therefore the false prophets to get more credit, used also such visible signs but they had no revelation, 1Ki 22:12.

2. bands and bars] The former were to fasten the bars together, thus forming a yoke. For the symbolic action cp. 1 Kings 22:11.

2–11. Certain kings having sent to invite Zedekiah to join them in an attempt to overthrow the power of Babylon, Jeremiah warns them to desist as the attempt would be futile. Du. points out that Zedekiah’s visit to Babylon (Jeremiah 51:59) about this time, whether voluntary or at the requisition of Nebuchadnezzar, may have had for one purpose the clearing himself from suspicion of being implicated in the proposed revolt, an unrest that may well have received a stimulus from the change of ruler in Egypt, Psammetichus II. succeeding his father Pharaoh-necoh in b.c. 594.Verse 2. - Make thee bends and yokes; rather, bands and poles; i.e. the bands which secured the two pieces of wood placed respectively above and beneath the neck of the ox, so forming a yoke. Hence, in Leviticus 26:13, we find the phrase, "the poles [Authorized Version wrongly, 'the bands'] of your yoke." It is clear from Jeremiah 28:10 that this account is to be taken literally. The 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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