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discourse. In that case, the advice to anticipate the judgment by conscientiously dispensing justice would come too late. Moreover, the confidence with which Jerusalem was filled (ver. 13) would ill accord with ver. 1 f. The present message from God rather belongs to the time of Jehoiakim. It is a further proof how deeply God's sacred majesty, which earthly judges are to regard themselves as representing, is outraged when those judges neglect their duties, and the administration of civil law is corrupted. Because the defenceless are deprived of their rights in Jerusalem, the Lord will destroy the city, which boasts of its doubly secure position, and does not dream of such an avenger of outraged innocence.
c. Ch. xxii. gives a further series of similar oracles respecting Shallum (= Jehoahaz), Jehoiakim, Coniah (= Jehoiachin). xxii. 1-19 forms a single connected discourse, delivered under Jehoiakim in the court of the royal palace. The introductory exhortation (vv. 2-9) to impartial, kindly justice is akin in matter to the one in xxi. 12 f. Yet the added threat (vv. 5-9) is here preceded by a special promise (ver. 4), which recalls xvii. 25, and proves that there was still time to secure peace and prosperity for the land by governing according to God's will. Also, the following oracle respecting Shallum (ver. 10 f.) belongs to the earliest period of Jehoiakim's reign, when the hope might still exist, that that ruler, whom the nation after Josiah's death raised to the throne without question as the favourite, although the youngest son, would return from his Egyptian captivity. This hope was destined, according to the prophet's express statement, not to be fulfilled.
In xxii. 13 ff., Jehoiakim, the king ruling at present, is depicted, without his name being mentioned, as forgetting in his passion for extravagant buildings the burden thereby laid on the people. Since the nation was already weighted with heavy taxation to discharge the tribute to Egypt (2 Kings xxiii . 35), the expenditure in which the king indulged at the expense of his subjects was the less excusable. The enforced service laid on them without payment is described as a wrong practised on a neighbour, like robbery or fraud. Instead of seeking renown in cedar structures, Jehoiakim should take example by his father (ver. 15 f.), who without extravagant plans and ostentatious luxury enjoyed the prosperity granted to him, busied himself in rightly dispensing justice to the good of the land, and thus evinced his true knowledge of God. Because Jehoiakim, on the contrary, thinks only of his own gain, not shrinking from the most unjust means for his enrichment, he will die unlamented far from the royal city, and will not even obtain an honourable burial . Although the historical books say nothing on the question, the fulfilment of this prophecy, which is twice recorded in this book (see also xxxvi. 30), is ensured by the honour thus done it.
Vv. 20-30. The oracle respecting Coniah - Jehoiachin is introduced by an apostrophe to the chief city, enthroned with her cedar palaces on a proud hill, which has thrown every warning to the wind, and will now learn that all her princes will go into captivity, as well as all her allies in whom she has trusted. After this introit (vv. 20-23) the present king is named, and his sentence of condemnation at the same time pronounced. Along with his mother, the young prince will fall into Nebuchadnezzar's hands and go into exile, never to return. Vv. 28 — 30 were not necessarily first uttered after the removal of this king (Nagelsbach); Jeremiah, prophetically realizing the king's sad fate, puts the question of pained surprise in ver. 28, and receives from God a confirmatory answer, which is introduced by a solemn appeal to the land to lay God's word to heart. The answer is to the effect that this king, along with his posterity, is excluded from David's throne for ever.
d. XXIII. 1-8. This chain of condemnatory oracles on the kings is followed by the announcement of the God-chosen good shepherd, which serves as a cheering contrast. First, it is declared that the Lord Himself will make good what the
bad shepherds had failed in. He will gather again His poor people from the dispersion, to which they had been driven, and place them under the rule of good shepherds, who will really care for their welfare (ver. 3 f.). But the promise then advances (ver. 5) in a new opening to a personal distinction. The Lord will raise up a righteous offshoot of David's house (i.e. call him into life and to power), who will fully correspond to the divine demands on "Yahveh's Anointed," under whose sceptre therefore Israel and Judah (the entire kingdom) have nothing to expect but safety and blessing from above. What is the relation of this unique Davidite to the plurality of good shepherds, ver. 4 and iii. 15? He is not their ancestor, although in xxxiii. 17, 22 the permanence of the Davidic rule is put in this way, that David's posterity shall be countless, and one of them shall always possess the throne. Eather the plurality names, first in a more general way, the good race in opposition to the previous bad one; but, according to xxil 22, xvii. 20, xxi. 12, we may principally understand a plurality of princes reigning contemporaneously, who, of course, are subject to the king proper. In this utterance respecting the shoot to spring up again to David, Jeremiah unmistakeably resumes the Messianic oracles of an Isaiah, Micah, and other prophets. But he adds to the Messianic hope a richer, deeper meaning by the name attributed to the Messiah, ver. 6; by a different right from that by which the present king is called Zedekiah will he be called Yahveh-Zidkenu: Yahveh our righteousness! This name, which in xxxiii. 16 is borne by the Church of the last days, is in a sense Jeremiah's watchword for the blessed future, a combination of previous promises on the subject. The saying is brief and terse, but like the Hebrew zedek very comprehensive. Yahveh Himself is called our righteousness = the Church's justification inwardly and outwardly. In the first respect the word embraces both the New-Testament pronouncing just (cf. l. 20, xxxi. 34; Dan. ix. 24; Ezek. xxxvi. 25) and sanctification (Jer. xxxi. 33; Ezek. xxxvi. 27); in the latter respect it contains also the fruit of the restoring of a right relation to God: the divine evidence of the nation's righteousness outwardly by signal benefits and blessings, bringing it honourable recognition at the hands of the heathen. In the first respect the affirmation "Yahveh our righteousness" contains the great truth, that the well-being of the Church lies not in any outward institute or law or custom, nor yet is the fruit of any outward action, but is simply a work of divine grace. In the latter respect, the saying declares that only as God's people has Israel a right to take a place of honour among and above the nations; whereas apart from its God it remains without right and privilege (xii. 7 ff.). When, then, in the present passage the Messianic King bears this name, it is intimated that none but He brings about this perfect relation between God and the Church; when, on the other hand, the future Jerusalem wears the name, xxxiii. 16, it is implied that none but it will be this saved Church. Thus this prophecy, containing the germ of the N. T. gospel, teaches that in the future Israel a state of perfect righteousness will be witnessed, Yahveh Himself establishing the character in the Church which He approves, and the Church enjoying in consequence salvation from God and recognition from the world; and this state will be brought about by the incomparably wise and righteous king of David's house, of whom the prophets have long spoken. See on xxiii. 5 f., Orelli, Old Testament Prophecy, p. 333.
Prophets And Prophecies, Ch. Xxiii. 9-40.
XXIII. 9. To the prophets. My heart is broken within me, all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome, because of Yahveh and because of his holy words. 10. For the land is full of adulterers. For because of the curse the land languishes, the pastures of the grazing land are dried up, because their course is wicked and their great strength not right. 11. For prophets like priests are transgressors; even in my house I found their wickedness, is Yahveh's oracle. 12. On this account their way shall become to them like slippery tracts in darkness; they shall be driven along and fall therein,
Chapter XXIII. 9-40.
Ver. 9. D'toJi), not to be joined with acc. to following words, which, while grammatically possible (xxxi. 20), would give the awkward sense of hearty sympathy with those prophets. It indicates the address as in xxi. 11, xlvi. 2, xlviii. 1, xlix. 1, 7, 23,28. Cf. this b with verb, Obad. 1; Ezek. xxviii. 2. After the kingoracles comes a discourse differently addressed. "In reference to" is too weak: this ^ is rather for than of. Brokenness of heart = utter spiritlessness, dejection (on the other hand, in Ps. li. 17, bruising of penitence); in the same way slackness, shaking of the bones which otherwise give the body its form = entire loss of self-possession. "Uy often used of an overflowing river, metaphorically Ps. cxxiv. 4, here of wine overcoming a man, overpowering his reason. Ver. 10. Adulterers, see on v. 7; here as in ver. 14 and xxix. 23 meant literally; but the phrase describes not merely this one vice, but the whole spirit and conduct. nvno as in viii. 6 (differently xxii. 17), running, hunting. P'tb, see on viii. 6; cf. ix. 2. Ver. 11. iBJn, strongest antithesis to holiness. Ver. 116 must apply to special indecorum in the temple. Cheyne suggests idols or the worship of symbolic animal figures mentioned in Ezek. viii. 10 f. Ver. 12. iirr, according