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Drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem. *> Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, And cry from the passages: For all thy lovers are destroyed.
21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity;
This hath been thy manner from thy youth,
22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors,
Surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness. *3 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars,
How gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee,
included this among Jeremiah's prophecies at a date subsequent to Jehoiakim's death shews that no difficulty as to the fulfilment was felt then, when all the circumstances, whatever they may have been, were still fresh in men's memories.
20. The prophet now, as an introduction to his lamentation over the next king Jehoiachin (Coniah) bewails the consequences of the policy of that king's father Jehoiakim. The people, under the figure of a woman as on former occasions (see xxi. 13), is called upon to ascend the heights which the Chaldaean hosts would successively pass in their advance southwards upon Jerusalem, viz. Lebanon in the north, the hills of Bashan (Ps. lxviii. 15, 16) in the north-east, and Abarim in the southeast.
passages] Abarim, a range of mountains to the south-east of Palestine. One of them was Nebo, from which Moses viewed the land (Deut. xxxii. 49).
thy lovers] Egypt and the other nations, with whom many of the people were disposed to unite against the Chaldaean power. They are enumerated in xxvii. 3.
21. prosperity] times of prosperity (literally, prosperities).
22. eat up] depasture. There is a play intended on the word pastors which follows.
pastors] See notes on ii. 8, and xvii. 16. Thy leaders, in whom thou hast confidence, shall be borne away into exile by the wind of adversity.
23. inhabitant of Lebanon] in reference to the cedar palaces of the king and his nobles. See ver. 6.
how gracious shalt thou be] how shalt thou groan, or perhaps better, how pitiable shalt thou be. A difficult expression in the Hebrew.
24—30. The judgment upon J-'ehoiachin.
As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Je- 24 hoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; and I will give thee into the 25 hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, 2S into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. But to the land whereunto they desire to 27 return, thither shall they not return. Js this man Coniah a 28 despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast
24—30. The Judgment Upon Jehoiachin.
24. Coniah] called also Jeconiah xxiv. 1, xxvii. 20, xxviii. 4, xxix. 2; 1 Chron. iii. 16; Esth. ii. 6, and Jehoiachin lii. 31; 2 Kings xxiv. 6, etc.; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 8,9. All three names have the same sense, The Lord will establish. The change to Jehoiachin, as in the case of his uncle Jehoahaz (the Shallum of ver. 11), was probably made on his accession to the throne. Here therefore Jeremiah calls him by his former name.
king of Judah] shewing that it was during his reign that this section of the prophecy was delivered.
signet] even though he were as dear as a precious stone, set by way of seal in a signet ring, is to the owner. Jehoiachin's conduct, though not directly mentioned here, is marked with sufficient clearness in 2 Kings xxiv. 9, and Ezek. xix. 5—9, where he is likened to a young lion that "devoured men" and "laid waste their cities."
26. thy mother] See note on xiii. 18.
and there shall ye die] He was detained in prison at Babylon for thirty-six years, until released by Evil-Merodach, son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, who nevertheless retained him in a sort of honourable captivity for the rest of his days (chap. lii. 31—34), which were probably not very many. At the end of two years Evil-Merodach himself was slain.
27. desire] literally, are lifting up their soul.
28. idol] vessel, a piece of earthenware cast out as useless.
and his seed] He was eighteen years of age, when he came to the throne (2 Kings xxiv. 8). The number "eight" which stands in 2 Chron. xxxvi. 9 is probably an error in transcription. Hence he may have had at least one son at this time. The expression 'and his seed' may however be quite a general one, implying merely that he is driven into exile, so as not to have a son who shall rule after him. The bewailing of the fate of Coniah seems from the following verse to be due rather* to the fact that thus the line of kings was cut off, than to any personal excellence of his own.
29 into a land which they know not? O earth, earth, earth, 30 hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
Chap. XXIII. 1—4. A remnant shall return and unrighteous be replaced by righteous rulers.
23 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the
2 sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you
3 the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have
29. O earth, earth, earth] Compare for the repetition chap. vii. 4. Here probably land would better give the sense. His country is to have a lasting lesson impressed upon it.
30. Write ye] addressed to those who kept a record of such things in the family registers.
childless] In 1 Chron. iii. 17, etc. he appears to have had children, and Salathiel (Matt. i. 12) is reckoned as his son. Salathiel was however descended from David through his son Nathan (Lk. iii. 27—31) and not through the line of the kings (Solomon, Rehoboam, etc.), and thus was only counted to Jehoiachin (Jeconias of Matt. i. 12) according to the legal not the natural line. It was thus at any rate true that no child of Jehoiachin succeeded to the throne.
Chap. XXIII. 1—4. A Remnant Shall Return And Un-
1. Woe be unto the pastors] To the rebukes directed against individual kings the prophet adds a few words in condemnation of those in high places generally.
thl pastors] shepherds (omitting the), rulers of the state as a whole. See notes on ii. 8 and xvii. 16. pasture] pasturing.
2. against] better, concerning.
scattered] by leading them into idolatry, as well as by literal scattering of them by exile, voluntary or forced, in Egypt or Babylon.
driven them away] the very opposite of that which is an Eastern shepherd's duty, viz. to go before his flock, leading them to pasture 01 fold (Is. xl. 11; John x. 3, 4).
visited...visit upon] The twofold sense of the Hebrew word is kept up in the English. Because the shepherds have not visited their flock for good, they shall themselves be visited with punishment.
driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shep- 4 herds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
5—8. Promise of the Messiah.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise 5 unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the
3. / have driven] The deed with which the pastors were charged in ver. 2 is here attributed to God. It was by His act that the people were driven out, although it was brought about through the sins of their rulers.
folds] pastures (but no connexion in trie original with the word pasture of ver. 1); the same word as that rendered pasturage in a note on chap, vi. 2. Properly speaking it combines the sense of habitation and pasture, and thus is specially suitable in a passage like this, where the people are spoken of under the figure of a flock. See also note on xxv. 30.
4. lacking] missing, like sheep which in the absence of the shepherd have become the prey of wild beasts.
5—8. Promise Of The Messiah.
0. The mention of good shepherds serves as the introduction to one of the few clear Messianic prophecies of Jeremiah. Besides this we have xxxiii. 15—18, and less plainly xxx. 9, where see note.
the days come] The phrase, according to Jeremiah's employment of it (compare ver. 7, xxx. 3, xxxi. 27, 31, 38, xxxiii. 14), implies a special call to note the announcement thus introduced. In spite of the troubles which are now gathering round them there are none the less surely days of deliverance coming.
Branch] Germ, Sprout. The word (tsemach) is the same as that used chap. xxxiii. 15, and in Zech. iii. 8 and vi. 12, and means rather that which is immediately connected with the root, and contains as it were the spring of life, which passes out from it downwards through the root and upwards through the stem and branches. The word used in Is. xi. 1 on the other hand (netzer) denotes branch properly so called. Some have sought to explain the word found in this place as used in a collective sense (posterity generally). But although the word is often used collectively of literal plants, yet in this passage it plainly points to an individual Messiah, on whom the nation's hopes should rest. This is proved by the words immediately following in this verse, as well as by the passages in Zechariah just now adduced, where it is explicitly said to have reference to an individual.
a King shall reign] or, he shall reign as King.
and prosper] and do wisely is a better rendering here. See notes on x. 11 and xx. 11.
6 earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called,
7 THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children
8 of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
9—14. Rebuke of Prophets and Priests.
9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets;
execute judgment and justice] Exactly the same expression is used of David, the ancestor of the Messiah, in 2 Sam. viii. 15.
6. Israel shall dwell safely] a reminiscence of Deut. xxxiii. 28. safely] securely.
he shall be called] Because the name that follows is in xxxiii. 16 given to Jerusalem, some few commentators have tried to make it refer to 'Israel' here. But the general sense of the passage is quite opposed to such a view. The Messiah's work shall be indicated by the name that He is to bear.
The Lord our Righteousness] Jehovah Tsidkenu is the Heb. If we render as the Eng. Vers., we may assign either of two senses to the name; (i) the Messiah is called Lord and also our righteousness, because through His merits and death we are justified from sin; (ii) lie by Whom the Ij>rd grants us righteousness, just as in xxxiii. 16 Jerusalem, as representing the repentant and restored Church, is called by the same name, as being that through which the Lord will work righteousness. In either case the Messiah is spoken of as Mediator between God and man, and therefore as joining in Himself the natures of both. A preferable rendering however is that proposed by Bp. Thirlwall (Remains, III. p. 471), on the analogy of Jehovah-Shammah (marginal for "The Lord is there," Ezek. xlviii. 35), The Lord is our Righteousness. In this way either, as here, the Messiah, or, as there, Jerusalem is called by a name implying "that in the Messianic times Jehovah is to be the righteousness of Jerusalem, to bestow righteousness upon her with all its attendant blessings." Compare Ps. xlvi. 5; Is. xlv. 24; Rev. xxi. 3, 4.
7, 8. These verses have already occurred with but slight differences as xvi. 14, 15. There they served to throw a gleam upon the dark prospect of captivity, here they seem to have been introduced by the prophet in order to connect the national restoration with Messianic hopes.
9—14. Rebuke Of Prophets And Priests.
9. because of the prophets] This should rather come as the introduc