In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim.—The mention of the name of Zedekiah as king of Judah in Jeremiah 27:3 shows that the Hebrew text has here perpetuated an error, due probably to the transcriber or first editor of the collected prophecies. We have to think, accordingly, of the state of things which followed on the death of Jehoiakim, and the deposition and exile of Jehoiachin. The tone of the prophecy seems to indicate a time about the middle of Zedekiah’s reign. His position was that of a tributary sovereign, subject to Nebuchadnezzar. He and the neighbouring kings, who were in a like position, had not quite renounced the hope of throwing off the yoke, and asserting their independence.Jeremiah 27:1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim — Instead of Jehoiakim here, Dr. Waterland, Houbigant, Blaney, and many others, read Zedekiah, because it is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the common reading with what follows. Lowth also, in his commentary upon the place, gives it as his opinion, that “the least forced way of solving the difficulty is, to say that Jehoiakim has crept into the text by the negligence of the scribes, (who might have their eyes fixed upon the beginning of the last chapter or section,) instead of Zedekiah. This emendation is confirmed by comparing this verse with the 3d, 12th, and 20th verses of this chapter, and with the beginning of the next. Such little verbal mistakes must be allowed by all impartial readers to have sometimes happened in transcribing the Holy Scriptures, as well as in other books, and may easily be corrected, by comparing the suspected reading with other parts of the sacred text, which admit of no difficulty or uncertainty.”Jeremiah 27:3). In the Septuagint the verse is missing. Some scribe has confused the title of this chapter with that of Jeremiah 26.
Jer 27:1-22. The Futility of Resisting Nebuchadnezzar Illustrated to the Ambassadors of the Kings, Desiring to Have the King of Judah Confederate with Them, under the Type of Yokes. Jeremiah Exhorts Them and Zedekiah to Yield.
1. Jehoiakim—The prophecy that follows was according to this reading given in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, fifteen years before it was published in the reign of Zedekiah to whom it refers; it was thus long deposited in the prophet's bosom, in order that by it he might be supported under trials in his prophetic career in the interim [Calvin]. But "Zedekiah" may be the true reading. So the Syriac and Arabic Versions. Jer 27:3, 12; Jer 28:1, confirm this; also, one of Kennicott's manuscripts. The English Version reading may have originated from Jer 26:1. "Son of Josiah" applies to Zedekiah as truly as to "Jehoiakim" or "Eliakim." The fourth year may, in a general sense here, as in Jer 28:1, be called "the beginning of his reign," as it lasted eleven years (2Ki 24:18). It was not long after the fourth year of his reign that he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 51:59; 52:3; 2Ki 24:20), in violation of an oath before God (2Ch 36:13).The prophet sendeth yokes to five neighbour kings, thereby foreshowing their subjection to Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 27:1-7. he exhorteth them to yield, and not to believe false prophets, Jeremiah 27:8-11. The like he doth to Zedekiah, Jeremiah 27:12-18. The remnant of the vessels shall be carried to Babylon, and continue there till the appointed time, Jeremiah 27:19-22.
(a) Concerning the disposition of these prophecies, they who gathered them into a book, did not altogether observe the order of times, but saw some before, which should be after, and contrary wise which if the reader mark well it will avoid many doubts and make the reading much easier.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim] It is clear from Jeremiah 27:3; Jeremiah 27:12; Jeremiah 27:20 that for Jehoiakim we must read (with mg.) Zedekiah (so Syr.). The LXX omit the verse. It is a later insertion in the text either in its present form, or more probably with Zedekiah’s name, as in ch. Jeremiah 28:1, whence the time-heading should probably be transposed here (see above). The substitution of “Jehoiakim” may have arisen through the influence of Jeremiah 26:1.Verse 1. - In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. The Syriao substitutes for, "Jehoiakim" "Zedekiah," to bring the passage into conformity with Jeremiah 28:1, where the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah is expressly mentioned. But is this emendation sufficient? Can the fourth year be called the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah," When that reign lasted altogether only eleven years? Is it not probable that the transcriber has inadvertently copied the heading of Jeremiah 26, which corresponds verbally with Jeremiah 27:1, except that "unto Jeremiah" is wanting? 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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