Jeremiah 29:22
And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
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(22) Of them shall be taken up a curse . . .—We note the characteristic tendency of Hebrew thought to fix on individual cases of highest blessedness, as in Ruth 4:11, or of deepest shame, as here, and to bring them into formulae of blessing and of cursing.

29:20-32 Jeremiah foretells judgments upon the false prophets, who deceived the Jews in Babylon. Lying was bad; lying to the people of the Lord, to delude them into a false hope, was worse; but pretending to rest their own lies upon the God of truth, was worst of all. They flattered others in their sins, because they could not reprove them without condemning themselves. The most secret sins are known to God; and there is a day coming when he will bring to light all the hidden works of darkness. Shemaiah urges the priests to persecute Jeremiah. Their hearts are wretchedly hardened who justify doing mischief by having power to do it. They were in a miserable thraldom for mocking the messengers of the Lord, and misusing his prophets; yet in their distress they trespass still more against the Lord. Afflictions will not of themselves cure men of their sins, unless the grace of God works with them. Those who slight the blessings, deserve to lose the benefit of God's word, like Shemaiah. The accusations against many active Christians in all ages, amount to no more than this, that they earnestly counsel men to attend to their true interest and duties, and to wait for the performance of God's promises in his appointed way.A curse - There is a play here of words. which probably was the cause why the death of these men passed into a proverb. One of them was named ben-Kolaiah; and they are to be made a curse (קללה qelâlâh), because Nebuchadnezzar had roasted (קלה qâlâh) them. Compare the marginal reference note. 22. shall be taken … a curse—that is, a formula of imprecation.

Lord make thee like Zedekiah—(Compare Ge 48:20; Isa 65:15).

roasted in the fire—a Chaldean punishment (Da 3:6).

As false teachers are of the highest sort of transgressors, speaking lies in the name and under pretence of the authority of the God of truth; so God in his providence ordinarily makes them the greatest examples of his vengeance. God threateneth to bring them to an end that should turn into a proverb, that when men had a mind to curse others, wishing them the greatest evils, they should pray to God to make them like Ahab and Zedekiah, whom the king of Babylon burnt, or roasted in the fire; the word Mlq signifieth both, Leviticus 2:14; and roasting signifieth only to burn by degrees, which probably was the specifical punishment of these two false prophets, for we learn from the instance of the three children, Daniel 3:19, that the consuming of persons slowly in a fiery furnace was a kind of punishment in use amongst the Chaldeans.

And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon,.... A form of cursing; when they cursed anyone, or wished him ill, it should be in such like manner as follows; so odious and detestable would these men be afterwards to them, whom they, at least some of them, took to be the prophets of the Lord:

saying, the Lord make thee like Zedekiah, and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire; or "burnt them" (d); not at once, but with a slow fire; so the Maccabees were roasted,

"Then the king, being in a rage, commanded pans and caldrons to be made hot: '' (2 Maccabees. 7:3)

Burning persons with fire, and casting them into a fiery furnace, were ways used by the Chaldeans in putting persons to death, Daniel 3:6; and roasting men at a fire was used by the Chinese (e).

(d) "combussit", Pagninus; "ustulavit", Munster; so Ben Melech says the word signifies "burning". (e) Martin Hist. Sinic. p. 257.

And concerning them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted {m} in the fire;

(m) Because they gave the people hope of speedy returning.

Verse 22. - A curse; i.e. a formula of cursing (comp. Isaiah 65:15). There is here a play upon words, such as the Biblical writers delighted in, partly with the view of assisting the memory. "A curse" is in Hebrew kelalah, and "to roast" is kalah. Roasted in the fire. "Casting into the midst of a burning fiery furnace" was a common punishment both among the Assyrians and the Babylonians, see e.g. ' Records of the Past,' vol. 9. p. 56; and comp. Daniel 3. Jeremiah 29:22After having set forth the divine determination, the prophet's letter addresses itself specially against the false prophets and tells them their punishment from God. Jeremiah 29:21. "Thus saith Jahveh, the God of hosts, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy to you in my name falsely: Behold, I give them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, that he may smite them before your eyes. Jeremiah 29:22. And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the exiles of Judah that are in Babylon, saying: Jahveh make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire, Jeremiah 29:23. Because they have done folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken in my name lying words which I have not commanded them. But I know it and am witness, saith Jahveh." - Beyond what is here told, we know nothing of these two pseudo-prophets. The name אחאב is written in Jeremiah 29:20 without א; thus the Kametz comes to be under the ח, and in consequence of this the Pathach is changed into a Seghol "Smite," i.e., slay. The manner of their death is called, probably with allusion to the name Kolaiah, קלה, roast, burn in a heated furnace; a mode of execution usual in Babylon, acc. to Daniel 3:6. This punishment is to fall on them because of two kinds of sin: 1. Because they have done folly in Israel, namely, committed adultery with their neighbours' wives; 2. Because they have prophesied falsely in the name of Jahveh. Except in Joshua 7:15, the phrase: commit folly in Israel, is always used of the grosser sins of uncleanness; see on Genesis 34:7. So here also. - The Chet. הוידע is expounded in the Keri by היּודע, according to which there has been a transposition of the letters ו and י, as in Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 8:6, etc. Still the article here is extraordinary, since עד has none. Therefore J. D. Mich., Ew., Hitz., Graf suppose we should read הוּ ידע, the א having been dropped from הוּא in scriptio continua, as it often is, especially after י, in הביא and other words, cf. Jeremiah 19:15; Jeremiah 39:16, 1 Kings 21:29, etc. הוּא is then the copula between subject and predicate, as in Isaiah 43:25; cf. Ew. 297, b.
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