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 has pronounced against you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Therefore now amend your ways . . .—The prophet’s apologia consists in repeating the substance of his message. He had not denounced an irreversible doom. He had held out the assurance of pardon on repentance. He had threatened only to bring about repentance. The whole history reminds us of the accusation brought against One greater than Jeremiah. He had foretold a destruction of the Second Temple as complete as that of Shiloh (Luke 19:44). He, too, was accused of having said that He would destroy the Temple (Matthew 26:61). And He, foreseeing that the people would not repent, had pronounced, though not publicly, a sentence on the Temple which succeeded that against which Jeremiah had prophesied, which was irrevocable (Matthew 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 19:44).Jeremiah 26:13-16. Amend your ways, and the Lord will repent, &c. — It appears here again that God’s determination to give up Jerusalem to destruction was conditional: see note on Jeremiah 18:7-10. If the people had repented of their sins, and reformed their conduct, their ruin would have been prevented, and they would have enjoyed a continuance of peace and prosperity. As for me, behold I am in your hand — I have neither any power, nor can make any interest to oppose you; do with me as seemeth good in your sight — I am content even to lose my life, if God be pleased to permit you to take it. But know ye for certain, &c. — Be fully assured; if you put me to death — Who, as you well know, am not guilty of any crime; ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, &c. — You may think that by killing the prophet you will defeat the accomplishment of the prophecy, but you will find yourselves wretchedly deceived: such an act will at once greatly add to your guilt, and aggravate your ruin. Their own consciences could not but tell them that if Jeremiah was (as certainly he was) sent of God to bring them this message, it was at their utmost peril if they treated him for it as a malefactor. For of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you, &c. — Such is Jeremiah’s justification of himself. He reduces all to this, that God had sent him; and his adversaries were able to make no reply. “If God hath sent me, you can have nothing to say against me.” It is upon this that he is declared innocent in the following verse, This man is not worthy to die — Which was the sentence pronounced by the princes and all the people: for the people, who before were forward to condemn him, now, upon hearing his apology, were as forward to acquit him.
and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and that because he is your God, as well as what his word directs to is good, and for your good:
and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you; will do as men do when they repent, change their method of acting, and manner of behaviour; so the Lord is said to repent or turn, when he changes the method and conduct of his providence towards men, though he never changes his mind or counsel.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. your ways and your doings] See on Jeremiah 7:3.Jeremiah 26:1-7. His prophecy that temple and city would be destroyed gave occasion to the accusation of the prophet. - Jeremiah 26:1. "In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah king of Judah, came this word from Jahveh, saying: Jeremiah 26:2. Thus said Jahveh: Stand in the court of the house of Jahveh, and speak to all the cities of Judah which come to worship in Jahveh's house, all the words that I have commanded thee to speak to them; take not a word therefrom. Jeremiah 26:3. Perchance they will hearken and turn each from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil which I purpose to do unto them for the evil of their doings. Jeremiah 26:4. And say unto them: Thus saith Jahveh: If ye hearken not to me, to walk in my law which I have set before you, Jeremiah 26:5. To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets whom I sent unto you, from early morning on sending, but ye have not hearkened. Jeremiah 26:6. Then I make this house like Shiloh, and this city a curse to all the peoples of the earth. Jeremiah 26:7. And the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Jahveh."
In the discourse of Jeremiah 7, where he was combating the people's false reliance upon the temple, Jeremiah had already threatened that the temple should share the fate of Shiloh, unless the people turned from its evil ways. Now, since that discourse was also delivered in the temple, and since Jeremiah 26:2-6 of the present chapter manifestly communicate only the substance of what the prophet said, several comm. have held these discourses to be identical, and have taken it for granted that the discourse here referred to, belonging to the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, was given in full in Jeremiah 7, while the history of it has been given in the present chapter by way of supplement (cf. the introductory remarks to Jeremiah 7). But considering that it is a peculiarity of Jeremiah frequently to repeat certain of the main thoughts of his message, the saying of God, that He will do to the temple as He has done to Shiloh, is not sufficient to warrant this assumption. Jeremiah frequently held discourses in the temple, and more than once foretold the destruction of Jerusalem; so that it need not be surprising if on more than one occasion he threatened the temple with the fate of Shiloh. Between the two discourses there is further this distinction: Whereas in Jeremiah 7 the prophet speaks chiefly of the spoliation or destruction of the temple and the expulsion of the people into exile, here in brief incisive words he intimates the destruction of the city of Jerusalem as well; and the present chapter throughout gives the impression that by this, so to speak, peremptory declaration, the prophet sought to move the people finally to decide for Jahveh its God, and that he thus so exasperated the priests and prophets present, that they seized him and pronounced him worthy of death. - According to the heading, this took place in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. The like specification in the heading of Jeremiah 27 does not warrant us to refer the date to the fourth year of this king. "The beginning" intimates simply that the discourse belongs to the earlier period of Jehoiakim's reign, without minuter information as to year and day. "To Jeremiah" seems to have been dropped out after "came this word," Jeremiah 26:1. The court of the house of God is not necessarily the inner or priests' court of the temple; it may have been the outer one where the people assembled; cf. Jeremiah 19:14. All the "cities of Judah" for their inhabitants, as in Jeremiah 11:12. The addition: "take not a word therefrom," cf. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 13:1, indicates the peremptory character of the discourse. In full, without softening the threat by the omission of anything the Lord commanded him, i.e., he is to proclaim the word of the Lord in its full unconditional severity, to move the people, if possible, to repentance, acc. to Jeremiah 26:3. With Jeremiah 26:3, cf. Jeremiah 18:8, etc. - In Jeremiah 26:4-6 we have the contents of the discourse. If they hearken not to the words of the prophet, as has hitherto been the case, the Lord will make the temple as Shiloh, and this city, i.e., Jerusalem, a curse, i.e., an object of curses (cf. Jeremiah 24:9), for all peoples. On this cf. Jeremiah 7:12. But ye have not hearkened. The Chet. הזּאתה Hitz. holds to be an error of transcription; Ew. 173, g, and Olsh. Gramm. 101, c, and 133, a paragogically lengthened form; Bttcher, Lehrb. 665. iii. and 897, 3, a toneless appended suffix, strengthening the demonstrative force: this (city) here.
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