Jeremiah 27:3
And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah;
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(3) And send them to the king of Edom.—The princes that are named had, as the context shows, sent their ambassadors to Zedekiah, proposing an alliance against Nebuchadnezzar. They are named in the same order as in the prophecy of Jeremiah 25:21-22, which had been delivered fifteen years before. The prophecy then delivered had been in part fulfilled, but these princes were still struggling against it, encouraged, apparently, by the difficulties which in Media and elsewhere seemed to delay the complete triumph of the Chaldæan king; and the prophet is commissioned to tell all of them alike that their efforts are in vain, and that the supremacy of Babylon was, for the time, part of God’s order, for the chastisement of the nations. In Jeremiah 49 we have a fuller, and probably later, development of the same strain of prediction.

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.Come - Or, are come. The ambassadors of these five kings had probably come to Jerusalem to consult about forming a league to throw off the Babylonian supremacy. The attempt failed. 3. And send them to the king of Edom, &c.—Appropriate symbol, as these ambassadors had come to Jerusalem to consult as to shaking off the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. According to Pherecydes in Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 567], Idanthura, king of the Scythians, intimated to Darius, who had crossed the Danube, that he would lead an army against him, by sending him, instead of a letter, a mouse, a frog, a bird, an arrow, and a plough. The task assigned to Jeremiah required great faith, as it was sure to provoke alike his own countrymen and the foreign ambassadors and their kings, by a seeming insult, at the very time that all were full of confident hopes grounded on the confederacy. It was and is the custom of neighbour princes, to send ambassadors into each other’s countries to reside there, and maintain correspondence on the behalf of their masters. These nations were neighbours to the Jews, and their princes had their ambassadors resident at Jerusalem. Jeremiah is directed to carry each of these ambassadors a yoke with a bond, as a present from God to their masters; the meaning he is also ordered to tell them in the following words. And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab,

and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon,.... All neighbouring kings and states, to whom the wine cup of God's wrath was to be sent, and they made to drink of it, Jeremiah 25:21; and against whom Jeremiah afterwards prophesies:

by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; who were sent by their masters, either to congratulate Zedekiah upon his accession to the throne; or to enter into a league with him against the king of Babylon, and shake off his yoke; or to reside at his court, as ambassadors of nations at peace and in alliance usually do; and it may be for all those purposes. The yokes therefore are ordered to be sent to them, as being the most proper and easy way and method of conveying them, with the meaning of them, to their respective masters.

And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;
3. and send them] We should probably omit the pronoun, which (being in the Hebrew only one letter attached to the end of the verb) seems to have crept in under the influence of the preceding clause. It was the warning only that Jeremiah was to send. Du. points out that it was nothing unusual that an Israelitish prophet should be listened to with respect, when addressing a foreign nation (Jdg 3:20; 1 Kings 19:15 ff.; Isaiah 18:2; Isaiah 21:11 f.).

the messengers] rather (with LXX), their messengers. Ezekiel (Jeremiah 17:15) charges Zedekiah with taking the initiative in negotiations with Egypt against Babylon.Verse 3. - And send them, etc. The letter of the text certainly suggests that Jeremiah actually delivered a separate yoke to each of the five ambassadors. Some commentators, however, finding such an act almost incredible, suppose the statement to be allegorical, and the "sending of the yoke" to mean the declaration of the subjection of the nations to Nebuchadnezzar which follows, somewhat as in Jeremiah 25:15 the "causing all the nations to drink "means the utterance of a prophecy of woe to the various peoples concerned. But we can hardly pronounce upon this passage by itself. We have to consider whether a whole group of similar statements is or is not to be taken literally. It may be enough to instance Jeremiah 13:1-7. Which come; rather, which are come. 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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