Chapter 22

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1 Thus saith the Lord, Goe downe to the house of the king of Iudah, and speake there this word,

2 And say, Heare the word of the Lord, O king of Iudah, that sittest vpon the throne of Dauid, thou, and thy seruants, and thy people that enter in by these gates.

3 Thus saith the Lord, Execute ye iudgement and righteousnesse, and deliuer the spoiler out of the hand of the oppressour: and doe no wrong, doe no violence to the stranger, the fatherlesse, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

4 For if ye doe this thing indeede, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house, Kings sitting vpon the throne of Dauid, riding in charets and on horses, he, and his seruants, and his people.

5 But if yee will not heare these words, I sweare by my selfe, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.

6 For thus saith the Lord vnto the kings house of Iudah, Thou art Gilead vnto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wildernesse, and cities which are not inhabited.

7 And I will prepare destroyers against thee, euery one with his weapons, and they shall cut downe thy choise cedars, and cast them into the fire.

8 And many nations shall passe by this citie, and they shall say euery man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus vnto this great citie?

9 Then they shall answere, Because they haue forsaken the couenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and serued them.

10 Weepe ye not for the dead, neither bemoane him, but weepe sore for him that goeth away: for he shall returne no more, nor see his natiue countrey.

11 For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum, the sonne of Iosiah king of Iudah which reigned in stead of Iosiah his father, which went forth out of this place, He shall not returne thither any more.

12 But he shall die in the place whither they haue led him captiue, and shal see this land no more.

13 Woe vnto him that buildeth his house by vnrighteousnesse, and his chambers by wrong: that vseth his neighbours seruice without wages, and giueth him not for his worke:

14 That saith, I will build mee a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windowes, and it is sieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.

15 Shalt thou reigne because thou closest thy selfe in cedar? did not thy father eate and drinke, and doe iudgment and iustice, and then it was wel with him?

16 He iudged the cause of the poore and needy, then it was well with him: was not this to know me, saith the Lord ?

17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy couetousnesse, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence to doe it.

18 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Iehoiakim the sonne of Iosiah king of Iudah, They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother, or ah sister: they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah Lord, or ah his glory.

19 He shall be buried with the buriall of an asse, drawen and cast forth beyond the gates of Ierusalem.

20 Goe vp to Lebanon, and crie, and lift vp thy voice in Bashan, and crie from the passages: for all thy louers are destroyed.

21 I spake vnto thee in thy prosperitie, but thou saidest, I will not heare: this hath bin thy maner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.

22 The winde shall eate vp all thy pastors, and thy louers shall goe into captiuitie, surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickednesse.

23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the Cedars, how gracious shalt thou bee when pangs come vpon thee, the paine as of a woman in trauell?

24 As I liue, saith the Lord, though Coniah the sonne of Iehoiakim king of Iudah were the signet vpon my right hand, yet would I plucke thee thence.

25 And I will giue thee into the hand of them that seeke thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, euen into the hand of Nebuchad-rezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Caldeans.

26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another countrey where ye were not borne, and there shall ye die.

27 But to the land whereunto they desire to returne, thither shall they not returne.

28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idole? is hee a vessell wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?

29 O earth, earth, earth, heare the word of the Lord:

30 Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childlesse, a man that shall not prosper in his dayes: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting vpon the throne of Dauid, and ruling any more in Iudah.

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Commentary for Jeremiah 22

Justice is recommended, and destruction threatened in case of disobedience. (1-9) The captivity of Jehoiakim, and the end of Jeconiah. (10-19) The doom of the royal family. (20-30)1-9 The king of Judah is spoken to, as sitting upon the throne of David, the man after God's own heart. Let him follow his example, that he may have the benefit of the promises made to him. The way to preserve a government, is to do the duty of it. But sin will be the ruin of the houses of princes, as well as of meaner men. And who can contend with destroyers of God's preparing? God destroys neither persons, cities, nor nations, except for sin; even in this world he often makes it plain for what crimes he sends punishment; and it will be clear at the day of judgement.

10-19 Here is a sentence of death upon two kings, the wicked sons of a very pious father. Josiah was prevented from seeing the evil to come in this world, and removed to see the good to come in the other world; therefore, weep not for him, but for his son Shallum, who is likely to live and die a wretched captive. Dying saints may be justly envied, while living sinners are justly pitied. Here also is the doom of Jehoiakim. No doubt it is lawful for princes and great men to build, beautify, and furnish houses; but those who enlarge their houses, and make them sumptuous, need carefully to watch against the workings of vain-glory. He built his houses by unrighteousness, with money gotten unjustly. And he defrauded his workmen of their wages. God notices the wrong done by the greatest to poor servants and labourers, and will repay those in justice, who will not, in justice, pay those whom they employ. The greatest of men must look upon the meanest as their neighbours, and be just to them accordingly. Jehoiakim was unjust, and made no conscience of shedding innocent blood. Covetousness, which is the root of all evil, was at the bottom of all. The children who despise their parents' old fashions, commonly come short of their real excellences. Jehoiakim knew that his father found the way of duty to be the way of comfort, yet he would not tread in his steps. He shall die unlamented, hateful for oppression and cruelty.

20-30 The Jewish state is described under a threefold character. Very haughty in a day of peace and safety. Very fearful on alarm of trouble. Very much cast down under pressure of trouble. Many never are ashamed of their sins till brought by them to the last extremity. The king shall close his days in bondage. Those that think themselves as signets on God's right hand, must not be secure, but fear lest they should be plucked thence. The Jewish king and his family shall be carried to Babylon. We know where we were born, but where we shall die we know not; it is enough that our God knows. Let it be our care that we die in Christ, then it will be well with us wherever we die, thought it may be in a far country. The Jewish king shall be despised. Time was when he was delighted in; but all those in whom God has no pleasure, some time or other, will be so lowered, that men will have no pleasure in them. Whoever are childless, it is the Lord that writes them so; and those who take no care to do good in their days, cannot expect to prosper. How little is earthly grandeur to be depended upon, or flourishing families to be rejoiced in! But those who hear the voice of Christ, and follow him, have eternal life, and shall never perish, neither shall any enemy pluck them out of his almighty hands.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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