Jeremiah 22: Judgment
against three wicked kings
Comment: This word, in what is a complex chapter, comes
almost as an overview of the unrighteous reigns of:
[2 Chron 36:2,3 reigned 3 months in 609, taken to Egypt where
he died] and
[2 Chron 36:5-8 reigned
11 years, 609-597]
v.24 Jehoiachin [2 Chron 36:9,10] who subsequently reigned 3 months
in 597 taken to Babylon. Jehoiachin is the last one mentioned
but the prophecy appears to be in his father's reign and acts
as a warning to him when he follows his father.
1 to 9 are addressed to an unnamed king.
10 must refer to Josiah, an example in the past
11 & 12 are specifically about Shallum [or Jehoahaz]- now
13 to 17 appear as general warnings
18 & 19 are specifically about Jehoiakim,
presumably near the end of his reign
20 to 23 may apply to him or Jehoiachin
who follows, or may simply be general warnings again
24 to 30 appear specifically to Jehoiachin,
before his father is killed and before he actually rules, also
presumably a warning before
he is eventually taken by Nebuchadnezzar after a 3 month reign.]
The Lord calls on the king to act justly and righteously
This is what
says: ‘Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim
this message there:
the word of the Lord
to you, king
of Judah, you who sit on David's throne – you, your officials
and your people who come through these gates.
is what the Lord
says: do what
is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one
who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner,
the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in
Obedience will bring blessing, disobedience will bring disaster
if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who
sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this palace,
riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials
and their people.
if you do not obey these commands, declares the Lord
, I swear by
myself that this palace will become a ruin.”'
That ruin will be caused by invaders who will clear the land
this is what the Lord
the palace of the king of Judah:
you are like Gilead to me,
like the summit of Lebanon,
I will surely make you like a wasteland,
like towns not inhabited.
will send destroyers against you,
each man with his weapons,
and they will cut up your fine cedar beams
and throw them into the fire.
The world will see and understand it's because of their covenant
from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another,
“Why has the Lord
a thing to this great city?”
the answer will be: “Because they have forsaken the covenant of
their God and have worshipped and served other gods.”'
Don't weep for the fallen king [Josiah] or his exiled son who
will die in Egypt
not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss;
rather, weep bitterly for him who is
because he will never return
nor see his native land again.
this is what the Lord
Shallum [otherwise known as Jehoahaz]
son of Josiah, who succeeded his
father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: ‘He will
never return. [see 2 Kings 23:31-34 taken to Egypt
where he eventually died]
will die in the place where they have led him captive; he will
not see this land again.'
A challenge to the unrighteous reign and pride of Jehoiakim
to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness,
his upper rooms by injustice,
making his own people work for nothing,
not paying them for their labour.
says, “I will build myself a great palace
with spacious upper rooms.”
So he makes large windows in it,
panels it with cedar
and decorates it in red.
it make you a king
to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
He did what was right and just,
so all went well with him. [clearly
Josiah the only good recent king]
He doesn't compare well with his father, Josiah
defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?'
declares the Lord .
your eyes and your heart
are set only on dishonest gain,
on shedding innocent blood
and on oppression and extortion.'
Don't mourn for Jehoiakim to be carried off to Babylon [see 2
this is what the Lord
Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
will not mourn for him:
“Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!”
They will not mourn for him:
“Alas, my master! Alas, his splendour!”
will have [note the future
tense] the burial of a donkey –
dragged away and thrown
outside the gates of Jerusalem.'
Realise any allies you had in the north are gone
up to Lebanon and cry out,
let your voice be heard in Bashan,
cry out from Abarim, [three place
names in the north]
for all your allies are crushed.
You feel secure in your fine timber houses but it is a false security
warned you when you felt secure,
but you said, “I will not listen!”
This has been your way from your youth;
you have not obeyed me.
wind will drive all your shepherds away,
and your allies will go into exile.
Then you will be ashamed and disgraced
because of all your wickedness.
who live in “Lebanon,”
who are nestled in cedar buildings, [i.e.
in wonderful cedar timber from Lebanon]
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
pain like that of a woman in labour!
Jehoiachin's life hangs in the balance – a warning for the near
surely as I live,' declares the Lord
, ‘even if
you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah,
were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off.
will deliver you into the hands of those who want to kill you,
those you fear – Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians.
will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country,
where neither of you was born, and there you both will die.
will never come back to the land you long to return to.'
A lament over Jehoiachin
this man Jehoiachin a despised, broken pot,
an object no one wants?
Why will he and his children be hurled out,
cast into a land they do not know?
land, land, land,
hear the word of the Lord !
is what the Lord
‘Record this man as if childless,
a man who will not prosper in his lifetime,
for none of his offspring will prosper,
none will sit on the throne of David
or rule any more in Judah.' [note:
18 when he ruled and taken, followed by his uncle]
to Chapter 23