Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,II. MAIN DISCOURSE
CHAPS. 22 AND 23
AGAINST THE WICKED KINGS AND PROPHETS
1. Against the wicked kings, (22:1–23:8)
a. The alternative offered the royal house
1 Thus saith the LORD [Jehovah]: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, 2and speak there this word. And say, Hear the word of the LORD [Jehovah], O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and 3thy people that enter in by these gates. Thus saith the LORD [Jehovah]:
Execute judgment and righteousness,
And rescue him that is plundered out of the hand of the oppressor,1
Strangers, orphans and widows oppress not, nor be violent towards them,
And innocent blood shed not in this place.
4 For if ye indeed do thus,
Then through the gates of this house,
Kings, sitting for David on his throne,
Shall enter in chariots and on horses,
He, his ministers2 and his people.
5 But if ye hearken not to these words,
I have sworn by myself, saith Jehovah,
That this house shall become a desolation.
6 For thus saith Jehovah concerning the house of the king of Judah:
Gilead art thou to me, summit of Lebanon!
Surely a wilderness will I make thee,
7 And I consec ate against thee destroyers,
The man and his weapons,
Who shall fell thy choice cedars,
And cast them into the fire.
8 And many nations shall go by this city and say one to another,
Why has Jehovah done thus to this great city?
9 And they shall say:
Because they forsook the covenant of Jehovah their God,
And worshipped other gods and served them.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
The prophet receives the command to go down to the king’s house and to deliver to the king and his servants, and to the people, the following divine message (Jer 22:1, 2): if they would practice justice and righteousness (Jer 22:3), kings of David’s line should possess the throne in royal power and glory (Jer 22:4); if not, the king’s house should be made desolate (Jer 22:5). For though hitherto like Gilead and Lebanon, it is to be devastated (Jer 22:6). Destroyers shall come and shall fell the cedars and cast them into the fire (Jer 22:7), so that afterwards it shall be asked in astonishment, why such a great calamity has come upon the city (Jer 22:8). To which no other answer can be given than that they forsook the covenant of the Lord and served idols (Jer 22:9).—As to the relation of these verses to the preceding (21:11–14), the former appear almost only like an extension of the latter. Not only is the fundamental thought the same, but even in details there is great, in part verbal, agreement. The admonition which forms the basis, is found in 21:12 and 22:3, partly with the same words, only in the latter passage somewhat extended (comp. the second half of Jer 22:3) As to the promises and threatenings based on the admonition, the form of the alternative is not found in 21:11–14, for here the idea of non-fulfilment reigns exclusively. But in the form in which the punishment is announced there are great similarities; both times the royal house is compared with a wooded height, the wood of which will be consumed by fire. Since now repetitions occur so frequently in Jeremiah, there is nothing against the supposition that we have here before us two utterances, related in form and purport because they proceed from the same historical situation. That this situation was in the reign of Jehoiakim and before the crisis of the battle of Carchemish appears to me to admit of no doubt. For 1. there is no mention of the Chaldeans; 2. the king addressed is warned against despotic acts of violence. This warning corresponds neither to the character of Josiah nor to that, of Jehoahaz, who was most probably elected by the people, because he was supposed to be free from despotic inclinations, and besides he reigned only three months. The warning, however, corresponds entirely to the character of Jehoiakim, who is also afterwards reproved for such acts of violence (Jer 22:13–17). 3. Jehoiakim is in Jer 22:13–15 especially reproached with his lust for building, which he gratified by despotic means. His cedar palace was a monument of this. Jeremiah is to go down to this proud house (Jer 22:1 coll. Jer 22:23), and announce to him the judgment of fire (Jer 22:7). It follows that 1. the section 1–9 refers to Jehoiakim; 2. it is closely connected with Jer 22:13–23.
Jer 22:1-5. Thus saith … become a desolation.—Go down. Out from the temple. Comp. 26:10; 36:12 coll. 18:2.—Thou, etc. Not the king alone, but his servants, and the people also are to hear the word of the Lord. All are to co-operate in complying with the admonition, as they will all be affected by the consequences.—Execute judgment and righteousness. Comp. 7:6; 21:12; Ezek. 22:6, 7; 45:9.—The stranger. Comp. Exod. 22:20, 21.—For if ye will, etc. Comp. 7:5.—There shall enter. Comp. 17:25 coll. 13:13.—But if ye will not hear. Comp. 17:27.—I swear by myself. Comp. Gen. 22:16; Isa. 45:23; Jer. 49:13.
Jer 22:6-9. For thus … and served them. Gilead, which taken in its wider meaning, comprises Bashan (comp. V. RAUMER, Palästina, S. 229, sqq.), is a type of luxuriant fertility, especially with respect to pasturage. Comp. Num. 32:1; Mic. 7:14; Jer. 1.19.—Lebanon, the far-reaching, adorned with cedars, is also frequently elsewhere an emblem of the lofty and splendid: Isa. 2:13; 10:33, 34; 35:2; 60:13; Hos. 14:6–8; Zech. 11:1, 2.—The figures of blessing and exultation are applied to the house of David, not on account of its present prosperity, for this does not exist, nor only on account of its former prosperity,—under David and Solomon—for this is a secondary consideration with the Lord. From the words to me we perceive that the Lord has here in view rather the significance of the Davidic house, which He has most at heart, its universal and transcendent mission (2 Sam. 7.). For this reason we must not translate: Thou wast to me, but Thou art to me. The comparison with Lebanon is one of the points of coincidence with 21:31. Although the royal house of Judah thus stands before the Lord in such ideal glory, He will make it in outward form a desolation and ruin. (comp. Isa. 53:1–5).—On uninhabited comp. Comm. on 2:15. But why cities in the plural? Evidently because the prophet wished to intimate that the judgment on the king’s house will be declared in the desolation of the land and the destruction of the cities, especially the capital (Jer 22:8). It follows that Jer 22:6 stands to Jer 22:5 in the relation of more particular explanation, that for, Jer 22:6, is therefore to be regarded as an explicative. For not only the reason but the manner of the desolation is more particularly defined in Jer 22:6–9.—Consecrated. It is commanded by God and therefore a holy war. Comp. rems. on 6:4. Therefore both the warriors and their weapons are designated as holy.—They shall fall, etc. The house of David is still regarded as a wooded mountain (comp. 11:14). At the same time the remembrance of the cedar palaces (Jer 22:23; 2 Sam. 7:2, 7; 1 Chron. 17:1, 6; 1 Ki. 7:2) seems to prevail.—Cast them. Comp 21:12, 14.
Jer 22:8, 9. The prophet has Deut. 29:23 sqq. in mind. Comp. also 1 Kings 9:8, 9.
Jer 22:3.—עָשׁוֹק, if not written by mistake for עוֹשֵׁק, occurs here only. It is formed like נָדוֹל, meaning oppressor.
Jer 22:4.—[“A great number of MSS. and two of the earliest editions, read עֲרָדָיו his servants, or ministers, according to the Keri.” HENDERSON.—S. R. A.]
Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.B. PROPHECY RELATING TO THE PERSON OF SHALLUM
10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him:
Weep, weep rather for him that goeth away;
For never shall he return, nor see his native land.
11 For thus saith Jehovah concerning Shallum,
The son of Josiah, the king of Judah, who reigned instead of his father,
And who is gone away from this place:
He will not return thither.
12 For in the place whither they have carried him captive he will die,
And will see this land no more.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
That these words were really spoken at the historical epoch to which they correspond (therefore neither earlier nor later) is felt if we weigh the terrible violence of the suffering, which, notwithstanding its brevity, is expressed in it. Jeremiah could speak thus only when it was necessary to give expression, and—a corrective, to the universal mourning at the loss of the noble king Josiah, which was as it were repeated in their horror at the captivity of his successor. Three months after his father’s death (2 Ki. 23:31–34), Jehoahaz was taken by Pharaoh Necho as a prisoner to Egypt. The sorrow was still lively at the death of his father. Now came this new misfortune. Many might hope for Jehoahaz: he is still young, he will survive and return. Jeremiah cuts off these hopes. There is more cause, he says, to mourn for Jehoahaz than for Josiah. The dead is more fortunate than the living. He intimates that he will perish miserably in captivity. This utterance is one of the oldest in the book.
Jer 22:10-12. Weep ye not … this land no more. The absence of the article with לְמֵת may possibly be ascribed to the freedom which Jeremiah allows himself in the use of the article. Comp. rems. on 3:2; 6:16; 14:18; 17:19 (Chethibh). It is however also possible that מֵת, dead, may not express so definite a thought as הלִךְ, going away, because the dead are mourned in general, but those who go away only when their departure is such as it was in this concrete case, which is indicated by the definite article. On the subject-matter comp. 8:3.—Concerning Shallum. אֵל after Verbis dicendioraudiendi = of, concerning: Gen. 20:2; 1 Sam. 4:19; 2 Ki. 19:9, 32, etc. Comp. NAEGELSB. Gr., S. 227.—It is beyond a doubt that this Shallum is Jehoahaz, the son of that Josiah who fell at Megiddo (2 Ki. 23:29), but it is uncertain why he is here named Shallum. The passage 1 Chron. 3:15, where four sons of Josiah are named (Johanan, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah and Shallum), is not clear and seems to have derived the name of Shallum from the present passage. Disregarding this, two views are before us. According to the former it is assumed that the Shallum named here had really another name, as cases of double names were, as is well-known, not uncommon among the Jews, especially in this period. (Comp. Uzziah-Azariah, Eliakim-Jehoiakim, Mattaniah-Zedekiah. Comp. SIMONIS, Onomast., p. 20: MOVERS, Chronik, S. 156 sqq.: THENIUS, on 2 Kings 14:21). But only the possibility of Jehoahaz and Shallum being the same, not the actual case, is admitted. According to the other view the name Shallum is a nomen reale (HENGSTENBERG) i. e. a symbolical name. The ancients (JEROME and many of the older Rabbins) have taken the word in the sense of consummatio, completio, referring it to the destruction of the kingdom, and understanding by Shallum either Zedekiah or Jehoiakim. This explanation is however contrary to the clear purport of Jer 22:10.—שַׁלּוּם may mean recompense (so GESENIUS), recompenser (FUERST, comp. חַנוּן וְרַחוּם), “and to whom it is, recompensed” (HENGSTENBERG). But in none of these meanings will the word exactly suit as a prophetic name. “Recompenser” is certainly not appropriate. But “recompense” and “to whom it is recompensed” are such general ideas, that the name might be ascribed as well to any other wicked king, who was visited by the divine judgment. The turn also, that the name may have been given per analogiam, in remembrance of the Israelitish Shallum, who reigned only a month (2 Ki. 15:13) is not satisfactory. For then it must first have been evident that every king in general, whose reign was numbered by months, was called Shallum. Why otherwise should Jehoahaz only be so named, since Jehoiachin also reigned only three months? It is thus seen that both these modes of explanation have difficulties. I should decide in preference for the former, in the sense that Jeremiah, of the two names borne by the immediate successor of Josiah, retained the earlier, as the simple personal name, without regard to its meaning, since the other, the royal name (יְוֹאַהַז, Jehovah holds, sustains) contradicted the historical, as also Jeremiah never calls the successor of Jehoiakim Jehoiachin, but only by his original personal name of Jeconiah or Coniah. Comp. Jer 22:24.—King of Judah is in apposition to Shallum, since it was only this name which needed further definition.—Who reigned, etc. Jehoahaz, although the younger son (comp. 2 Ki. 23:31 with 36), was raised to the throne by the people (Jer 22:30), his elder brother Eliakim being passed over, and the rights of the primogeniture disregarded, most probably on account of Eliakim’s character, which Jeremiah afterwards portrays in such dark colors. Eliakim does not seem to have submitted with a good will. He threw himself into the arms of the Egyptians. By the favor of Pharaoh Necho he became king in his brother’s place, which position however he had to purchase by a tribute, which was very oppressive to the people (2 Ki. 23:33–35) In Riblah Jehoahaz was taken prisoner, whether enticed thither, or in some other way, must remain undecided. He was then taken to Egypt and from that time nothing more is known of him. Comp. 2 Chron. 36:1 sqq.; Ezek. 19:3, 4.—On Pharaoh Necho comp. the Encyclopædias.
Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;C. PROPHECY, RESPECTING THE PERSON OF JEHOIAKIM
13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by injustice,
And his upper chambers by unrighteousness;
Who uses his neighbor’s service for nothing,
And payeth him not his wages!3
14 Who saith: I will build me a wide house,4
And roomy upper chambers!5
And breaks out himself windows,6
Ceils it with cedar and paints it with vermillion.7
15 Wilt thou be a king, because thou makest a show with cedars?
Thy father, did he not eat and drink,
And execute justice and righteousness?
Then it was well with him.
16 He procured justice for the poor and the humble,
Then it was well with him.
Was not this8 the fruit of knowing me? saith Jehovah.
17 For thine eyes and thy heart are directed only to thy advantage,
And to the blood of the innocent, to shed it,
And to oppression and violence,9 to practise them.
18 Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning Jehoiakim,
The son of Josiah, king of Judah.
They shall not mourn for him (saying),
Alas! my brother! Alas! sister!
They shall not mourn for him (saying),
Alas! Lord ! Alas! his majesty!
19 With the burial of an ass shall he be buried;
Dragged and cast out far from the gates of Jerusalem.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
The prophet cries, Woe to Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, who unlike his father Josiah, ruled despotically and oppressed the people, especially in behalf of his fine architecture (Jer 22:13, 14). Is the kingdom of heaven founded on cedar-beams? asks Jeremiah. Josiah knew a better foundation. He ate and drank indeed, but he practised justice and righteousness. Then it was well, and it was evident that to know the Lord was true prosperity (Jer 22:15, 16). Jehoiakim, a genuine despot, had only his own advantage in view, and to this end practised violence and the shedding of innocent blood (Jer 22:17). Therefore he will perish miserably, unwept, dragged and cast out like an ass, his corpse will lie far from Jerusalem (Jer 22:18, 19).—This declaration must have been addressed to Jehoiakim as the reigning king, for he is not only called king (Jer 22:18), but Josiah’s reign is referred to as past and the end of Jehoiakim’s as future. Thus this prophecy pertains to the reign of Jehoiakim, and since there is no mention of the Chaldeans, and Jehoiakim appears to be in full and undisturbed exercise of his despotism, to the beginning of it, i. e., before the crisis of the fourth year (chap. 25).
Jer 22:13 and 14. Woe unto him … with vermillion. Comp. Hab. 2:12; Mic. 3:10.—Who useth, etc. Comp. 25:14; 27:7; 30:8, etc.—And breaks out, etc.קָרַע is to tear to pieces, to cut up of garments (Gen. 37:29, 34) of bodies (by wild beasts, Hos. 13:8) of a book (Jer. 36:23). In Jer. 4:30 it is used of the paint which makes the eyes look as if they were torn open, i. e., larger. In the sense of tearing open, it seems to be used here, only that the tearing seems to be effected not by painting, but by breaking through.
Jer 22:15, 16. Wilt thou be a king … saith Jehovah. The prophet tells the king that not splendid buildings are the foundation of a kingdom, but righteousness, and proves this to him by the example of his father Josiah. Comp. Prov. 14:34; 16:12; 20:28; 25:5; 29:14—Makest a show, etc. (מתחרה בארז. On the verbal form. Comp. OLSH., § 255, a). The words have been strangely declared by many to be meaningless. But the meaning which the word has in 12:5 (where alone it occurs), is equally appropriate here. There it is undoubtedly æmulari, to vie, (to heat one’s self, to be zealous, from חָרָה to glow. Comp. Neh. 3:20), and is connected with אֵת=with, for the designation of the relation to a rival. Here it is not said, with whom Jehoiakim vies. That is a matter of course: He vies with all those who have also built cedar palaces, whether they were prior, contemporaneous, or subsequent to him. It is however said, whereby he seeks to surpass them, in ארז ְבָּאָרֶז, cedar, being taken generally, as in Jer 22:14.—Did he not eat, etc. Josiah enjoyed life also, he was no ascetic. But he did not sacrifice his duty and conscience to the pleasures of life, but practised the highest duty of a ruler, righteousness, in a manner pleasing to God. Thus he laid a secure foundation, and his rule was a prosperous one.—Was not this the fruit refers not to procured justice, but to it was well with him. For that the knowledge of Jehovah (the True) includes the practice of righteousness, Jehoiakim did not probably deny. But he did deny, if not in thesi, yet in praxi, that the true living knowledge of Jehovah ensures the desired satisfaction to a prince. Accordingly היא, this, is predicate, הַדַּעַת ו׳, knowing, subject.
Jer 22:17-19. For thine eyes … gates of Jerusalem.—For refers to a thought to be supplied: Not so thou, for, etc.—Blood of the innocent. Comp. Deut. 19:13; 2 Kings 24:4.—Alas! my brother,etc. The prophet quotes the verba ipsissima of the usual wail for the dead. Hence the apparently unsuitable Alas! Sister! He distinguishes the wail of the relatives (comp. 1 Kings 13:30), and that of the subjects (comp. 34:5) הוֹד of the highest royal majesty, comp. Ps. 148:13; 1 Chron. 29:25.
Jer 22:19. Dragged. Comp. 15:3.—Far from, etc.מֵהָלְאָה as a collective idea, is the accusative governed by הַשְׁלֵךְ. The place of casting away is, according to a well-known idiom, designated as one presenting itself from far beyond the gates of Jerusalem. Comp. EXEG. rems. on 20:17; NAEGELSB. Gr., § 112, 5 d.—As to the fulfilment of the prophecy, it should first be remarked, that the latter is repeated in other words in 36:30. The historical accounts touching the end of Jehoiakim are very scanty. In 2 Kings 24:6 we read only, “So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers.” This expression indicates nothing concerning the burial, which is the more surprising, as the book of Kings elsewhere always designates the place particularly. We are not justified in casting doubt on the statement in 2 Chron. 36:6, that Nebuchadnezzar bound Jehoiakim with two chains to take him to Babylon. on the ground that the Chronicler transferred what from Jer 22:6 onwards relates to Jehoiachin to his predecessor (GRAF). For this statement does not contradict that of the book of Kings. According to this also (24:1), Nebuchadnezzar went up against Jehoiakim. The book of Kings does not oxpressly say that at this time he carried away the vessels from the temple, but the case, as related in Chronicles, is in itself probable. It is here said that Nebuchadnezzar carried off simply “the vessels of the house,” etc., while in connection with Jehoiachin, he carried off “the goodly vessels,” etc. If then the account in Chronicles is not inauthentic, it affords sufficient data for the fulfilment of the prophecy in the text. Since Chronicles does not state that Jehoiakim was brought to Babylon, but only that Nebuchadnezzar bound him to take him thither, it is quite possible that he died on the way, and endured the sad fate prophesied in the text. We need not then assume either that Jehoiakim was taken from his grave, after the capture of the city under Jehoiachin, dragged through the gate and cast out, or that having died on the way, his body was delivered up by the Chaldeans for sepulture (VAIHINGER in HERZOG, R.-Enc. VI., S. 790).
Jer 22:13.—כְּעֻלָה=כֹּעַל, wages (Lev. 19:13; Ps. 109:20; Isa. 40:10; 49:4). Comp. Job 7:2.
Jer 22:14.—בית מדות. Comp. שַנְשֵׁי מִדּוֹת (Numb. 13:2), or מּדָּה (Isa. 45:14) [literally: a house of extensions].
Jer 22:14.—מרוחים. This verbal form here only. The Kal of this verb. denomin., 1Sam. 16:23; Job 32:20, is the sense of “to be airy, light.” Airy chambers=lofty, roomy.
Jer 22:14.—The form חַלּוֹנָי (Kamets on account of the pause) is not sufficiently accounted for either as plural (GESEN.), or as dual termination (Ew., § 177, a; GES., ed. ROEDIGER, § 88,1, Anm. l, coll. § 87,1, c), or as an adjective form (comp. כִּילַי, Isa. 32:5, 7, BÖTTICHER). As a suffix form it does not give a satisfactory meaning. OLSHAUSEN, § 111, c, Anm., is of opinion that חַלוֹנִים is to be restored. But it is more natural, with J. D. MICHAELIS, HITZIG, GAAB, MEIER, to connect the following ו with the word and to read חַלֹּונָיו.—Instead of סָכִּוּן we must then read סָכִּוּן, corresponding to the following מָשׁוֹה. Comp. NAEGELSB. Gr., § 93, e. The manner of writing סָכּוּן might arise the more easily, as in the six passages where the word occurs in the Old Testament five have the passive part in Kal. (Deut. 33:21; 1 Ki. 7:3, 7; Hagg. 1:4, and the text), and of these again there are two which contain the words וְסָכֻּן בָּאֶרֶז (1 Ki. 7:3, 7). As Jeremiah evidently alludes to the erections of Solomon, it was natural to seek also this literal agreement. The radical signification of סָכַּן [comp. צָכַּן and שָׁכַּן, Deut. 33:19; כְכְּינָה, Jon. 1:5, a ship with a deck in distinction from an open boat; סִכֻּן, ceiling, 1 Ki. 6:15, in distinction from קַרְקַע, floor; בַּתִּים סְכּוּנִים, ceiled houses, as opposed to כַּיִת חָדֵב, Hagg. 1:4] is certainly to cover; yet whether merely the roofing is meant, or also the clothing of the walls with cedar-wood (which is also a covering) appears to me doubtful.
Jer 22:14.—שָׁשֵר is found also in Ezek. 23:14. According to the Vulgate, sinopis, i.e. rubrica Sinopenais; LXX., μίλτος=red, vermillion; KIMCHI, cinnabaris, minium.
Jer 22:16.—On the neuter rendering of היא, which besides appears here to be attracted by דעת, comp. NAEGELSB. Gr., § 60, 6, b.
Jer 22:17.—מרוּצָה, from רוּץ=רצה, crushing [comp. OLSH., S. 386], occurs in this sense here only. It is not to be confounded with מְרוּצָה, cursus, 8:6; 23:10; 2 Sam. 18:27.
Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.d. The consequences to the people
20 Go up to Lebanon and cry10
And in Bashan lift up thy voice and cry from Abarim,
That all thy lovers are broken in pieces.
21 I spoke to thee in thy prosperity,—
Thou saidst, I will not hear.
This was thy manner from thy youth,
That thou heardest not my voice.
22 The wind shall depasture all thy pastors,
And thy lovers shall go into captivity;
Then shalt thou be put to shame,11
And confounded for all thy wickedness.
23 Thou that sittest on Lebanon,
That nestlest in cedars,12
How dost thou groan13 when pains come upon thee,
Pangs14 as of a parturient!
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
The people are next addressed,—after the king. They have harmonized too well with their pastors in worldly lust and pride, they must then share their fate. It is evidently this thought of the agreement of the people with such princes as Jehoiakim, which is prominent. Dwelling on Lebanon and making nests among cedars (Jer 22:23) pleased them, however displeasing the service might be to those who were compelled to render it (Jer 22:13–15). The passage is thus connected with the preceding, (comp. Jer 22:20 and 23, with Jer 22:6, 7 and Jer 22:13–15). The train of thought is as follows:—The people of Israel are required to announce from the highest summits of the mountains, bordering on their country, the fall of their lovers (Jer 22:20). For he who will not hear must feel. Thus it must be with Israel, who from his youth has never listened to the voice of the Lord (Jer 22:21). When then the pastors of Israel are blown away by the storm and their lovers are gone into captivity, Israel will expiate his wickedness in deep shame (Jer 22:22), and groan for his pride in profound anguish, like a woman in travail (Jer 22:23).
Jer 22:20, 21. Go up … my voice. Lebanon, Bashan and Abarim, are named as the highest summits of the mountains bordering on Palestine.—Go up on Lebanon forms an ironical antithesis to that sittest on Lebanon. The people now proudly dwelling in cedars on Lebanon shall in the future mount on Lebanon (in the proper sense) to lament—an ascent which is really a descent. Bashan stands for the mountain of Bashan (Ps. 68:15), i. e., Hermon. On Abarim with Mt. Nebo, comp. Numb. 21:11; 27:12; Deut. 32:49; RAUMER, Paläst., S. 72. Israel is to raise his cry of lamentation from, the bordering mountains that his shame and the conqueror’s glory might be widely manifest as a terror to others.—All thy lovers must, according to the connection, mean the kings. For 1, it is inconceivable that thy pastors in Jer 22:22, are not the same as thy lovers, ibid. The former, however, are unquestionably the kings (23:1–8). 2. The very punishment inflicted on the kings, affected the people themselves immediately. Hence the humiliating lament to which they are summoned in Jer 22:20–23. 3. The punishment of the pastors and lovers is the same which was announced to Jehoiakim in Jer 22:18, 19. To the objection that a similar use of the word “lovers,” cannot be produced, it may be replied that it is an unjustifiable demand, to require a proof of every special application of a meaning admitted in itself. מְאַהֵב means the lover; this is sufficient. It cannot be doubted that this in and of itself, might be said of kings, in reference to their people. The only question is, whether this mode of expression can be shown to be appropriate in particular cases. This is, however, the case here. For here the prophet (comp. Jer 22:2) announces the judgment to the people, because they sympathize with the sin of the king, both suffering and promoting it. When there is such concert in wickedness between prince and people, the prince may be named the paramour, unchaste lover (and this is the specific meaning of מאהב. Comp. Ezek. 16:33, 36, 37; 23:5, 9, 22; Hos. 2:7, 9, 12, 14, 15), of his people. Comp. besides Lam. 1:19.—Prosperity. The plural שַׁלְווֹת is found here only. Since the singular=felicitas, rerum status securus atque secundus (comp. Ps. 122:7; Prov. 1:32; 17:1, etc.), the plural is = res secundæ, prosperous, quiet, secure relations. So long as these lasted, Israel would know nothing of obedience to the voice of his God. Comp. 2:25–28.—This was thy manner, etc. Comp. 2:2, 23, 33, 36; Ezek. 23:3.
Jer 22:22, 23. The wind … of a parturient. The pastors are the leaders of the people, especially the princes. In this sense is דֹעִיםֹ also found in 10:21; 23:1–8; 1. 6. As the pastor is behind his flock to drive it, so the storm is behind the pastors to sweep them away. Comp. 4:11, 12; 13:24; Hos. 4:19.—Thy wickedness. Comp. 2:19, 3:2; 4:18; 11:15.—According to the sense, Jer 22:23 is a further development of thou shalt be put to shame, Jer 22:22. For the shame of the people will appear the more distinctly, the more proudly and securely they now live as on Lebanon. This is evidently intended in a double sense; (a) as an emblem of proud, unapproachable exaltation (comp. remarks on Jer 22:6); (b) as an allusion to the cedar-houses, into which they had brought the “glory of Lebanon” (Isa. 60:13), so that Jerusalem, in a certain respect, is like Lebanon. For as on this mountain the birds make their nests in the cedars, so the princes of Judah built their nests of the cedars of Lebanon.
Jer 22:20.—On the form וּצְָעָקִי, comp. OLSH., § 65 b, and § 234, e.
Jer 22:22.—כי כִּי אָז תֵּבשׁי is pleonastic. Comp. 2:35; NAEGELSB. Gr., § 109, 1 a.
Jer 22:23.—On the forms יְשַׁבְתְּי and מְקֻנַּנתְּי, comp. rems. on 10:17. Yet it should be observed that in the latter passage the Keri reads יוֹשֶׁבֶת, while in this place we must read ישַׁבְתְּ , מְקֻנַנְתְּ The latter forms are not impossible (comp. יֹלַדּתּ, Gen. 16:11; Jud. 13:5, 7, certainly in a standing formula), but are called forth here only by the proximately standing נּחַנְתְּ, which, however, should not be confounded, as 2 P. Sing. Fem. Perf., with those participial forms.
Jer 22:23.—נֵחַנְתִּי. On the termination, comp. rems. on 2:20; 3:5. The form, as it stands, is Niph. of חָנַן (comp. OLSH. S. 593). But since a Niphal of חָנַן to be kind, gracious, nowhere else occurs, most modern commentators suppose that it is written for נֵנַחְתְּ and this for נֶאְַנַחְתְּ, (from אָנַח to sigh, to groan). Yet FUERST is of opinion that a root חָנַן may be assumed, parallel to the Arabic hanna, to groan, to sigh, from which חַנּוֹת, Job 19:17 and our נֵחַנְתְּ are derived. The latter plan would certainly be more simple than the assumption of a double change of consonants. The decision is still to be expected.
Jer 22:23.—חּיל ו׳. Comp. 6:24.
As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;e. Prophecy relating to the person of Jehoiachin
α. Before the Deportation
24 As I live, saith Jehovah, though Coniah,15
The son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
Were the signet ring upon my right hand,
Yet would I pluck thee thence.16
25 And I give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life,
And into the hand of those before whom thou fearest,
Even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon,
And into the hand of the Chaldeans.
26 And I cast thee forth, and thy mother that bare thee,
Into another country, 17 where ye were not born;
And there ye shall die.
27 But to the land whither their soul desires to return,18
Thither shall they not return.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Jehovah swears by His life, that though Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, were the signet-ring on His right hand, yet He would tear it off (Jer 22:24), give him into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 22:25), and hurl him forth, together with his mother, into a foreign land. There they shall die (Jer 22:26) and never return to the home for which they have so longing a desire (Jer 22:27). It is evident that this utterance is addressed to Jehoiachin during his reign. He is addressed as king; Nebuchadnezzar stands menacingly in the vicinity; the captivity is still future.
Jer 22:24. As I live … thence. King Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim’s son and successor, who however reigned only three months (2 Kings 24:8; three months and ten days, 2 Chron. 36:9), appears under the name of Jeconiah also in 24:1; 27:20; 28:4; 29:2; 1 Chron. 3:16, 17: comp. Esth. 3:6. I believe that the abbreviation here denotes a disparaging treatment of the royal name. Somewhat of the feeling expressed in Jer 22:28 may be traced in it: “Is not this man Coniah a despised broken vessel?”—Since moreover Jeremiah never calls this king Jehoiachin (יְהוֹיָכִין, he is so called only in 52:31), it is possible that Jeconiah was his proper, original name, and Jehoiachin only supplementary, assumed during his brief reign. Although Jeremiah acknowledges him as king, he guards against using a name expressing a false arbitrary hope, as he also retains the original personal name Shallum, instead of the inappropriately chosen royal name of Jehoahaz (22:11).—Though Coniah … were, etc. If it were not for יהְיֶה (imperfect) I should be disposed to render in the sense of although he is. But אִם with the imperfect cannot possibly be taken otherwise than in the sense of a conditional sentence. I do not think that we can regard the signet-ring here as a symbol of power, i. e. as a sign of investiture with royal authority. (Comp. Gen. 41:42; Esth. 3:10; 8:2). For in this sense Jeconiah was really a signet-ring. But the signet is here only a jewel, a costly valuable ornament (Song of Sol. 8:6). The Lord would therefore say: As I would pluck away the dearest jewel from which I had never parted hitherto, were it become bad, useless, therefore unworthy of me, so must I reject Jeconiah, as one who is despicable, useless, unworthy, even though he were the signet-ring on my right hand, which he is. not. אּם is here as in Ps. 139:8, 9; Am. 9:2–4; Isa. 10:22; Ob. 4.
Jer 22:25-27. And I give thee unto the hand … they not return. Comp. 19:7; 21:7; 34:20, 21.—And thy mother. She was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan, 2 Ki. 24:8. Comp. 13:18.
Jer 22:24.—The abbreviation כָּנִיָהוּ is found in Jeremiah here and in 37:1 only. HENGSTENBERG is of opinion that by striking out the יְ the word takes a future meaning. But this is contained not merely in the יְ but in the vowel also: Perf. כַּן, Imperf. יָכּוּן (Job 31:15) from which, in a double closed syllable and with the accent moved on, is formed יְכָן־. The meaning of the perfect (Jehovah stands fast) also would be no less comforting than that of the future: Jehovah will stand fast.
Jer 22:24.—On the form אתקנך, comp. OLSH., § 68 d. coll. 97, a; Ew. § 250, b. [GESEN. Gr., § 105, b.—S. R. A.
Jer 22:26.—If the twice repeated על־הארץ (Jer 22:27 and 28) has not occasioned the article before ארץ, the case is analogous to the הַגֶכֶּןנָכְרִיּהָ, which see. Comp. also 16:13.
Jer 22:27.—מנשׂאים ר׳. Comp. 44:14; Deut. 24:15.
Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?β. After the Deportation
28 Is then this man Coniah a despised broken vessel?
Or a vessel wherein is no pleasure?
Why are they then hurled forth, he and his seed?
And cast into the land which they know not?
29 O land, land, land, hear Jehovah’s word!
30 Thus saith Jehovah: Write ye this man childless,
As one who has no prosperity in the days of his life;
For not one of his seed shall succeed
To sit upon the throne of David and rule again over Judah.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
These words were spoken after Jeconiah had been carried away captive. Compare “I cast thee forth,” Jer 22:26, with “hurled forth” and “cast” in Jer 22:28. Hence Jeconiah himself is not addressed, but the prophet speaks of him to others. He first sets forth how in the fate of Jeconiah the divine judgment of his unworthiness is manifested. The antithesis is here plainly felt to the “ signet-ring on my right hand,” Jer 22:24, and that in this comparison there was a cutting irony (Jer 22:28). Thereupon the prophet addresses the land directly, solemnly repeating ארץ thrice (Jer 22:29), to announce concerning it the fatal declaration of Jehovah, that no descendant of Jehoiachin will any more sit on the throne of David.
Jer 22:28-30. Is then … over Judah. To the question of Jer 22:28 an affirmative answer is expected. Comp. rems. on 7:9; 12:9, coll. 2:14. On the abbreviated name Coniah, the object of which comes out here with especial distinctness, comp. rems. on Jer 22:24.—Childless. Jeconiah was eighteen years old when he became king (2 Kings 24:8), and it is expressly stated that he had wives. That he had some off-spring is therefore not impossible, and is not even excluded by Jer 22:30. But even if he had no children, there was other “royal seed” (Dan. 1:3).—Into the land. Comp. Jer 22:26; 16:13. The article is explained by the circumstance that this unknown land at the same time hovered before the prophet as one often mentioned and definitely designated.—The repetition of land is to call attention to the fact that the prophet has somewhat unusually important to say with respect to the country. This is the announcement that none of the offspring of Jeconiah should possess the throne of David, by which it is at the same time indicated that an important change would take place in the throne itself, i. e. that it would cease and give place to the throne of a universal empire.—Write. The prophet has evidently in view those who are entrusted with the keeping of the family record (comp. SAALSCHUETZ, Mos. Recht, S. 61; Ezek. 13:9; coll. Jer. 17:13; Ps. 69:29; Isai. 4:3). When it is said that they are to write him as childless, it is said only that he is to pass for such, not that he was really so. In 1 Chron. 3:17, 18, his sons are at least mentioned. Whether they were natural offspring (observe the phrase יְכָנְיהָ אַסִּיר, the imprisoned Jeconiah [A. V.: Jeconiah, Assir, etc.—S. R. A.]) or only legal (by a Levirate marriage), is doubtful, comp. EBRARD, Kritik der eo. Gesch. S. 201, sqq.—As one, etc. This sentence is subordinate to the preceding, as explanation and more exact definition: Jeconiah is called childless, because his whole life through he will be an unprosperous man. This will be manifest, in that he will have seed, but no successor. None of his descendants will succeed to his throne. Zedekiah was Jeconiah’s uncle and the last king of Judah of the family of David. The text accordingly rather favors than opposes the hypothesis that Jeconiah had natural offspring.—Shall succeed to sit (יצלה ישׁב)—he will not have success or prosperity, as sitting, etc. We should say: he will not have the good, fortune to sit, etc.