Jeremiah 22:18 MEANING

Jeremiah 22:18
(18) They shall not lament for him.--The words contrast the death as well as the life of Jehoiakim with that of Josiah. For him there should be no lamentation such as was made for the righteous king (2 Chronicles 35:25), either from kindred mourning, as over a brother or a sister (perhaps, however, as "sister" would not be appropriate to the king, the words are those of a chorus of mourners, male and female, addressing each other), or from subjects wailing over the death of their "lord" and the departure of his "glory." For the funeral ceremonies of Israel, see 1 Kings 13:30; Matthew 9:23; Mark 5:38.

Verse 18. - Josiah had been bitterly missed and universally lamented (2 Chronicles 35:25); and so, only perhaps with less heartiness in most cases, Jehoiakim's other predecessors (Jeremiah 34:5). The Babylonian kings, too, received the honors of public mourning, e.g. even the last of his race, who surrendered to Cyrus, according to the British Museum inscription translated by Mr. Pinches. Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! The Septuagint omits the latter part of this phrase, apparently because it seemed inappropriate to the death of Jehoiakim; but the parallelism requires a two-membered clause. According to Movers, the funeral procession is to be conceived of as formed of two parts, condoling with each other on having to share the same fate ('Die Phonizier,' 2. 248). Or perhaps mythology may supply a reason; it is possible that the formulae of public mourning were derived from the ceremonies of the Adonia; Adonis was an androgynous deity (Lenormant, 'Lettres assyriologiques,' 2:209), and might be lamented by his devotees as at once "brother" and "sister." (For another view, see Sayco's edition of G. Smith's 'Chaldean Genesis,' p. 267). Ezekiel (Ezekiel 8:13) testifies to the worship of Tammuz, or Adonis, and the highest compliment a king could receive might be to be lamented in the same terms as the sun-god. Jeremiah does not approve this; he merely describes the popular custom. The recognition of the deeply rooted heathenism of the Jews before the Exile involves no disparagement to Old Testament religion; rather it increases the cogency of the argument for its supernatural origin. For how great was the contrast between Jeremiah and his semi-heathen countrymen! And yet Jeremiah's religion is the seed of the faith which overcame the world. Ah lord! or, Ah his glory! Lord is in the Hebrew adon (comp. Adonis and see above). His glory is against the parallelism; we should expect "lady" or "queen."

22:10-19 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.Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim,.... This shows who is before spoken of and described; Jehoiakim, the then reigning king in Judah, whose name was Eliakim, but was changed by Pharaoh king of Egypt, when he deposed his brother Jehoahaz or Shallum, and set him on the throne, 2 Kings 23:34;

the son of Josiah king of Judah; and who seems to have been his eldest son, though his brother Jehoahaz reigned before him; for he was but twenty three years of age when he began his reign, and he reigned but three months; and Jehoiakim was twenty five years old when he succeeded him, 2 Kings 23:31; his relation to Josiah is mentioned, not so much for his honour, but rather to his disgrace, and as an aggravation of his wickedness, that having so religious a parent, and such a religious education, and the advantage of such an example, and yet did so sadly degenerate: and it also suggests that this would be no security to him from the divine vengeance; but rather provoke it, to deal more severely with him;

they shall not lament for him; that is, his people, his subjects, shall not lament for him when dead, as they did for his father Josiah; so far from having any real grief or inward sorrow on account of his death, that they should not so much as outwardly express any, or use the common form at meeting together:

saying, ah my brother! or, ah sister! a woman meeting her brother would not say to him, O my brother, what bad news is this! we have lost our king! nor he reply to her, O sister, it is so, the loss is great indeed! for this is not to be understood of the funeral "lessus" at the interment of a king or queen; lamenting them under these appellations of brother or sister, which is denied of this prince. Kimchi thinks it has reference to his relations, as that they should not mourn for him, and say, "ah my brother!" nor for his wife, who died at the same time, though not mentioned, ah sister! both should die unlamented, as by their subjects, so by their nearest friends and relations;

they shall not lament for him, saying, ah lord! or, ah his glory! O our liege lord and sovereign, he is gone! where are his glory and majesty now? where are his crown, his sceptre, his robes, and other ensigns of royalty? So the Targum,

"woe, or alas, for the king; alas, for his kingdom;''

a heavy stroke, a sorrowful melancholy providence this! but nothing of this kind should be said; as he lived not beloved, because of his oppression and violence, so he died without any lamentation for him.

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