Jeremiah, by the commend of God, goes into the court of the Lord's house; and foretells the destruction of the temple and city, if not prevented by the speedy repentance of the people, Jeremiah 26:1-7. By this unwelcome prophecy his life was in great danger; although saved by the influence of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, who makes a masterly defense for the prophet, Jeremiah 26:8-18. Urijah is condemned, but escapes to Egypt; whence he is brought hack by Jehoiakim, and slain, Jeremiah 26:20-23. Ahikam befriends Jeremiah, Jeremiah 26:24.
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying,In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim - As this prophecy must have been delivered in the first or second year of the reign of Jehoiakim, it is totally out of its place here. Dr. Blayney puts it before chap. 36.; and Dr. Dahler immediately after chap. ix., and before chap. 46.
Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:
If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.
And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,If ye will not hearken - This and several of the following verses are nearly the same with those in Jeremiah 7:13, etc., where see the notes.
To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;
Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.
Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.And all the people - That were in company with the priests and the prophets.
Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S house.The princes of Judah - The king's court; his cabinet counsellors.
Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.The Lord sent me to prophesy - My commission is from him, and my words are his own. I sought not this painful office. I did not run before I was sent.
Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.Therefore now amend your ways - If ye wish to escape the judgment which I have predicted, turn to God, and iniquity shall not be your ruin.
As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.As for me, behold, I am in your hand - I am the messenger of God; you may do with me what you please; but if you slay me, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves.
But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.
Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.This man is not worthy to die - The whole court acquitted him.
Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,Certain of the elders - This is really a fine defense, and the argument was perfectly conclusive. Some think that it was Ahikam who undertook the prophet's defense.
Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.Micah the Morasthite - The same as stands among the prophets. Now all these prophesied as hard things against the land as Jeremiah has done; yet they were not put to death, for the people saw that they were sent of God.
Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.
And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah:Urijah - who prophesied - The process against Jeremiah is finished at the nineteenth verse; and the case of Urijah is next brought on, for he was also to be tried for his life; but hearing of it he fled to Egypt. He was however condemned in his absence; and the king sent to Egypt, and brought him thence and slew him, and caused him to have an ignominious burial, Jeremiah 26:21-23.
And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;
And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt.
And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
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.The hand of Ahikam - was with Jeremiah - And it was probably by his influence that Jeremiah did not share the same fate with Urijah. The Ahikam mentioned here was probably the father of Gedaliah, who, after the capture of Jerusalem, was appointed governor of the country by Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 40:5. Of the Prophet Urijah, whether he was true or false, we know nothing but what we learn from this place.
That they should not give him into the hand of the people - Though acquitted in the supreme court, he was not out of danger; there was a popular prejudice against him, and it is likely that Ahikam was obliged to conceal him, that they might not put him to death. The genuine ministers of God have no favor to expect from those who are His enemies.