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be not with day and night, and if I have not any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause
26 Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, their captivity to return, and have mercy on and David my servant, so that I will not take them.
Verse 13. · The flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them.'-Chardin thinks that this telling of the flocks was for the purposes of tribute, it being customary in the east to count the flocks, in order to take the third of the increase and young ones for the king. This is true as to the custom, and it is possible that the telling of the flocks is sometimes in Scripture to be understood to bear
this allusion. But as, in the present instance, it is not clear how an enumeration for the purpose of taxation should be promised as a blessing, it more probably refers to the counting of the flocks by the owner or his steward, when they were sent out to the pastures, or when they returned.
8 | This is the word that came unto Je
remiah from the LORD, after that the king 1 Jeremiah prophesieth the captivity of Zedekiah and the city.
8 The princes and the people having Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the dismissed their bondservants, contrary to the cove people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim nant of God, reassume them. ?2 Jeremiah, for liberty unto them ; their disobedience, giveth them and Zedekiah into
9 That every man should let his manserthe hands of their enemies.
vant, and every man his maidservant, being The word which came unto Jeremiah from an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free ; that the Lord, 'when Nebuchadnezzar king of none should serve himself of them, to wit, of Babylon, and all his army, and all the king- a Jew his brother. doms of the earth 'of his dominion, and all 10 Now when all the princes, and all the the people, fought against Jerusalem, and people, which had entered into the covenant, against all the cities thereof, saying,
heard that every one should let his manser2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; vant, and every one his maidservant, go free, Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, that none should serve themselves of them any and tell him, Thus saith the LORD ; Behold, more, then they obeyed, and let them go. I will give this city into the hand of the king 11 But afterward they turned, and caused of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire : the servants and the handmaids, whom they
3 And thou shalt not escape out of his had let go free, to return, and brought them hand, but shalt surely be “taken, and delivered into subjection for servants and for handinto his hand ; and thine eyes shall behold the maids. eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall 12 Therefore the word of the LORD speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, shalt go to Babylon.
13 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel ; 4 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Ze. I made a covenant with your fathers in the day dekiah king of Judah ; Thus saith the LORD that I brought them forth out of the land of of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword : Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, 5 But thou shalt die in peace: and with
14 At the end of "seven years let ye go the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings every man his brother an Hebrew, which which were before thee, so shall they burn 'hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath odours for thee; and they will lament thee, served thee six years, thou shalt let him go saying, Ah lord ! for I have pronounced the free from thee : but your fathers hearkened word, saith the LORD.
not unto me, neither inclined their ear. 6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all 15 And ye were ®now turned, and had these words unto Zedekiah" king of Judah in done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty Jerusalem,
every man to his neighbour; and ye had made 7 When the king of Babylon's army fought a covenant before me in the house which is against Jerusalem, and against all the cities called by my name: of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and 16 But ye turned and polluted my name, against Azekah : for these defenced cities re- and caused every man his servant, and every mained of the cities of Judah.
man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty 1 2 Kings 25. 1, &c. Chap. 52, . • Heb, his mouth shall speak to thy mouth.
7 Or, hath sold himself. 8 Heb. to-day.
9 Heb. whercupon my name is called.
2 Heb. the dominion of his hand.
3 Chap 32. 4.
at their pleasure, to return, and brought them and all the people of the land, which passed into subjection, to be unto you for servants between the parts of the calf; and for handmaids.
20 I will even give them into the hand of 17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye their enemies, and into the hand of them that have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming seek their life: and their dead bodies shall liberty, every one to his brother, and every be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and man to his neighbour : behold, I proclaim a to the beasts of the earth. liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, 21 And Zedekiah king of Judah and his to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I princes will I give into the hand of their will make you to be removed into all the enemies, and into the hand of them that seek kingdoms of the earth.
their life, and into the hand of the king of 18 And I will give the men that have Babylon's army, which are gone up from you. transgressed my covenant, which have not 22 Behold, I will command, saith the performed the words of the covenant which Lord, and cause them to return to this city; they had made before me, when they cut the and they shall fight against it, and take it, calf in twain, and passed between the parts and burn it with fire: and I will make the thereof,
cities of Judah a desolation without an inha19 The princes of Judah, and the princes bitant. of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, 10 Heb. for a removing. 11 Deut. 28. 64. Chap. 29. 18.
12 Chap. 7. 33, and 16. 4.
Verse 5. With the burnings of thy fathers.'-See the note on 1 Sam. xxxi. 12, where the reader will find that a question has been raised on the present and other texts of Scripture (as 2 Chron. xvi, 14 ; xxi. 19; Amos vi. 10), whether the body itself was burnt or only the odours. The Talmudists are strongly for the latter alternative, apparently regarding the other as a heathen practice, which they were not willing to have supposed had ever prevailed in their nation. It, however, remains difficult to explain Amos vi. 10, so as to mean anything but the burning of the body; and this, as the most distinct text, may be taken to explain the others. The body of Saul certainly was burned; but there are circumstances in that case which might be said to except it from the support of a general conclusion, if it stood alone. In the present verse it is not said that any odours' were burned, that word being supplied in our version. The only one of Zedekiah's royal ancestors in connection with whose funeral the burning is mentioned is Asa ; but that it was customary among the later kings of Judah appears from the present text, which intimates that the omission would have been a dishonour to the royal remains; and, in like manner, Jehoram having been a wicked king, we are told that his people made no burning for him like the burning of his fathers.' As the text which refers to Asa is that which may be quoted to decide the less distinct passages to the alternative for the burning of odours only, in about the same degree that the text in Amos might determine such passages to mean the burning of the body, it becomes uecessary to see whether it admits of an explanation compatible with the more obvious meaning of the latter passage. The verse is, ' They buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours, and divers kind (of spices) prepared by the apothecaries' art; and they made a very great buruing for him.' Here it is not said what the burning was: no odours are mentioned as being burned, but only that he was laid upon a bed of odours and aromatics, and besides these no others are noticed. If, therefore, the burning refers to anything in the text itself, it would intimate that the body was burned together with the odours on which it was laid, which was in fact an ancient custom, and is a still subsisting custom in India. Then the only remaining difficulty is in the first clause, which says that he was buried. But this does not imply anything of itself, further than to state where his remains were deposited: and burying is compatible with burning; for it was and is usual to collect the
bones and ashes, and dispose of or preserve them after various fashions, of which burying was one. Thereforı', although we should not like to be very positive on the point, the resulting conclusion seems to be, that since the burning of odours alone on such occasions is nowhere mentioned in Scripture, whereas the burning of bodies is distinctly mentioned in 1 Sam. xxxi. 12 and Amos vi. 10, it is easier to explain 2 Chron. xvi. 14 to refer to the burning of the body, than to conclude that all the passages of Scripture in which funeral burning is noticed, refer to the burning of odours only. See further under Amos vi. 10.
It appears from the present prophecy, that although after Zedekiah had seen Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, he was blinded and sent as a captive to Babylon, he there received an honourable funeral at his death, whenever that happened. Josephus says that Nebuchadnezzar kept him in prison till he died, and then bestowed a magnificent funeral on his remains (Antiq. i. 10, c. 8). He probably bore the expenses and supplied the means of rendering the honours of royalty to the remains of the captive king; but the Jews were probably allowed to make his funeral conformable to their own rites and customs, as the present text seems to intimate.
8. • This is the word, etc.--The prophecy which occupies the preceding portion of this chapter is obviously dated when Nebuchadnezzar was engaged in carrying on the siege of Jerusalem and of the cities Lachish and Azekah, that is, most probably, towards the end of the ninth year of Zedekiah, the siege having been commenced in the tenth month of that year. The time of the second prophecy, which begins here and occupies the remainder of the chapter, is not so clearly indicated in the text; but it appears to have been soon after the above, when the Chaldæans had broken off the siege, and marched against the Egyptian army, which made a show of coming to the relief of Jerusalem. The prospect of this relief led the persons of substance to rescind that wise and just measure, of liberating their boud-servants, which they had taken and confirmed by oath, under the immediate pressure of danger and alarm. Whether this liberating measure had been taken out of professed regard to the law of Moses, by which it was imperatively commanded, or merely from prudential considerations, is not very clear; but, viewing the result, the latter seems the most probable supposition,
18. • They cut the calf in twain, etc.-See the ncte on Gen. xv. 9.
lem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans,
and for fear of the army of the Syrians : 80 1 By the obedience of the Rechabites, 12 Jeremiah we dwell at Jerusalem. condemneth the disobedience of the Jews. 18 God
12 | Then came the word of the LORD blesseth the Rechabites for their obedience.
unto Jeremiah, saying, THE word which came unto Jeremiah from 13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of of Israel ; Go and tell the men of Judah and Josiah king of Judah, saying,
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not 2 Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and receive instruction to hearken to my words ? speak unto them, and bring them into the saith the LORD. house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, 14 The words of Jonadab the son of Reand give them wine to drink.
chab, that he commanded his sons not to drink 3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jere- wine, are performed; for unto this day they miah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, drink none, but obey their father's commandand all his sons, and the whole house of the ment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto Rechabites;
you, rising early and speaking; but ye hear4 And I brought them into the house of kened not unto me. the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of 15 I have sent also unto
all Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, vants the prophets, rising up early and sendwhich was by the chamber of the princes, ing them, saying, "Return ye now every man which was above the chamber of Maaseiah from his evil way, and amend your doings, the son of Shallum, the keeper of the 'door: and go not after other gods to serve them, and
5 And I set before the sons of the house of ye shall dwell in the land which I have the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, given to you and to your fathers: but ye have and I said unto them, Drink ye
not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. 6 But they said, We will drink no wine : 16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father Rechab have performed the commandment of commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no their father, which he commanded them; but wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever : this people hath not hearkened unto me: 7 Neither shall ye build house, nor sow
17 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any : but hosts, the God of Israel ; Behold, I will bring all your days ye shall dwell in tents ; that ye upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of may live many days in the land where ye be Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced strangers.
against them : because I have spoken unto 8 Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jona- them, but they have not heard ; and I have dab the son of Rechab our father in all that called unto them, but they have not answered. he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our 18 | And Jeremiah said unto the house days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daugh- of the Rechabites, Thus saith the Lord of
hosts, the God of Israel ; Because ye have 9 Nor to build houses for us to dwell in : obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed : father, and kept all his precepts, and done
10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have according unto all that he hath commanded obeyed, and done according to all that Jona- you : dab our father commanded us.
19 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, 11 But it came to pass, when Nebuchad- the God of Israel ; $Jonadab the son of Rerezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, chab shall not want a man to stand before me that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusa
2 Chap. 18. 11, and 25. 5.
Verse 2. ' Go unto the house of the Rechabites,' etc.The rules of the Rechabites, as afterwards stated, obliged them to live in tents, and necessarily, from the circumstances connected with their mode of life, in the open country: but at this time they had come into Jerusalem for safety, on the approach of the Chaldæan army (v. 11). There they may have been obliged to dwell in houses, though this is by no means certain, as the word so rendered
is of very large signification, equivalent to ' habitation' or abode;' and it is possible that they may have lived in their tents, in some open place in the city:
From 1 Chron. ii. 55, we learn that the house of Rechab was identical with, or a section of, the family of the Kenites, who were of the family of Jethro, the father-inlaw of Moses, and came with the Hebrews into Palestine, and there continued to lead their former mode of life, as appears from the instance of Heber the Kenite (Judges iv. recollected that Jeremiah was a priest, and in that charac11), living in tents and following pastoral occupations. ter had doubtless free access to the temple and its offices. As Jonadab lived at a much later date-if we suppose him 19. Jonadab..... shall not want a man to stand before to be, as is generally conceived, the same person to whom me for ever.'— This has been very variously explained. Jehu was anxious to shew his zeal for the Lord (2 Kings Some suppose that Jonadab's descendants were actually x.)—it follows that he did not found a mode of life introduced, in some subordinate capacity, into the service entirely new; but took measures to preserve and confirm of the temple ; but it seems better to understand, by in the family of Rechab the ancient usages-adding some standing before God,' that they, or at least some of them, new regulations calculated to give perpetuity to old prac- should ever be found among those who feared and wortices. It is possible that the Kenites, about that time, shipped God. Then, the ‘for ever' is explained by some were becoming disposed to exchange their mode of life for to mean only a long time—for ages to come; while others the more settled, and, as it might seem to them, more extend it to the end of time. The promise is of course comfortable one of the Hebrews; and that Jonadab opposed involved, that the posterity of Jonadab should not fail this change, by his patriarchal authority, in the Rechabite for ever. But it does not necessarily follow that they branch of the family. In these regulations it is not neces- should for ever keep the rules of their ancestor, or that sary to suppose that he had any religious objects in view, they should for ever be recognized as his descendants : and as a merely prudential one is assigned for them in v. 7, yet, if his posterity should now be found existing, and • that ye may live many days in the land where ye be acting on his rules, this would form an interesting strangers :' and for this purpose these rules were well cal- example of the literal fulfilment of prophecy, while it culated, since, from the manner in which the land was would furnish a living commentary on the whole chapter. lotted out among the Hebrews, it does not appear how they What eventually became of the Rechabites is not known. could have acquired land, or applied themselves to culti- The probability is, that when they found themselves no vation, without giving umbrage to the Jews; who also longer safe among the Hebrews, they withdrew into the might have disliked their engaging and succeeding in the desert from which they at first came, and which was principal business in which they were themselves em- peopled by men of similar habits of life, among whom, in ployed; and by the circumstances of unpleasant collision the course of time, they lost their separate existence. The thence arising, be at last incited to expel them from the various attempts to identify them with the Assideans, country, by which they would have been deprived of the mentioned in the books of Maccabees (1 Macc. ii. 42; vii. religious advantages they then enjoyed. Under this view, 17; 2 Macc. xiv. 6), and with the later Jewish sect of the prohibition of wine may possibly have been intended Essenes, will not bear examination. We can as little reto take away from them one inducement to plant and cul- cognize as Rechabites the body of people in Arabia of tivate vineyards.
whom Benjamin of Tudela (itinerary, i. 112-114, ed. It seems that the Rechabites, being taken in Jerusalem, Asher), Niebuhr, Wolf (Journals, ii. 276, 331, 334 ; were sent into captivity with the Hebrews, with whom it iii. 17), and others, have given hearsay accounts. The is generally supposed that at least a portion of them details, however, whether correct or not, apply to Talmureturned to Palestine when the seventy years had expired. dical Jews more than to Rechabites. They are described But on this subject the Scripture affords no certain in- as living in caverns and low houses, not in tents—and this formation; as they are not mentioned subsequently to the in Arabia, where Bedouin habits would cease to be sincaptivity, unless in the difficult verse 1 Chron. ii. 55, gular; nor are any of the Rechabite rules observable in which is thought by some to refer to their condition after them except that of refraining from wine-an abstinence their return. Some, however, suppose they were the which ceases to be remarkable in Arabia, where no one same as the sect known in later times by the name of does drink wine, and where, among the strongholds of Essenes, Ebionites, Assideans, etc.; but, although this sect Islam, it could probably not be obtained without danger was distinguished by many peculiarities from those of the and difficulty. There were large numbers of Talmudical mass of the Jews, it seems difficult to identify their usages Jews in Arabia in the time of Mohammed, and these supwith those of the Rechabites as stated in the present posed Rechabites are probably descended from a body of chapter.
them. It is to be hoped that some competent traveller - Bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of will penetrate to the spot which they are said to inhabit, the chambers.'—This was probably to the place where the and bring back some more satisfactory accounts than we wine for the drink offerings was preserved. It will be yet possess.
against all the nations, from the day I spake
unto thee, from the days of 'Josiah, even unto 1 Jeremiah causeth Baruch to write his prophecy, 5
und publickly to read it. 11 The princes, having intelligence thereof by Michaiah, send Jehudi to fetch
3 It may be that the house of Judah will the roll, and read it. 19 They will Baruch and hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto Jeremiah to hide themselves. 20 The king Jehoia- them; that they may return every man from kim, being certified thereof, heareth part of it, and burneth the roll. 27 Jeremiah denounceth his judg- quity and their sin.
his evil way; that I may forgive their iniment. 32 Baruch writeth a new copy.
4 Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of And it came to pass in the fourth year of Neriah : and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, Jeremiah all the words of the Lord, which he that this word came unto Jeremiah from the had spoken unto him, upon a roll
of a book. LORD, saying,
5 And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, say2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write ing, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house therein all the words that I have spoken unto of the LORD: thee, against Israel, and against Judah, and 6 Therefore go thou, and read in the roll,
1 Chap. 25. 3.
which thou hast written from my mouth, the
18 Then Baruch answered them, He prowords of the LORD in the ears of the people nounced all these words unto me with his in the LORD's house upon the fasting day: mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the and also thou shalt read them in the ears of book. all Judah that come out of their cities.
19 Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, 7 It may be "they will present their sup- hide thee, thou and Jeremiah ; and let no plication before the LORD, and will return man know where ye be. every one from his evil way: for great is the 20 | And they went in to the king into anger and the fury that the Lord hath pro- the court, but they laid up the roll in the nounced against this people.
chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all 8 And Baruch the son of Neriah did ac- the words in the ears of the king. cording to all that Jeremiah the prophet com- 21 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the manded him, reading in the book the words roll: and he took it out of Elishama the of the Lord in the LORD's house.
scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the 9 And it came to pass in the fifth year
of ears of the king, and in the ears of all the Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, princes which stood beside the king. in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a 22 Now the king sat in the winterhouse in fast before the Lord to all the people in the ninth month : and there was a fire on the Jerusalem, and to all the people that came hearth burning before him. from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.
23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi 10 Then read Baruch in the book the had read three or four leaves, he cut it with words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Sha- on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed phan the scribe, in the higher court, at the in the fire that was on the hearth,
*entry of the new gate of the Lord's house, 24 Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their in the ears of all the people.
garments, neither the king, nor any of his ser11 | When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, vants that heard all these words. the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book 25 Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and all the words of the Lord,
Gemariah had made intercession to the king 12 Then he went down into the king's that he would not burn the roll: but he house, into the scribe's chamber : and, lo, all would not hear them. the princes sat there, even Elishama the scribe, 26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elna- the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son than the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the Hananiah, and all the princes.
prophet: but the LORD hid them. 13 Then Michaiah declared unto them all 27 | Then the word of the LORD came to the words that he had heard, when Baruch Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the read the book in the ears of the people. roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the
14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi mouth of Jeremiah, saying, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, 28 Take thee again another roll, and the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take write in it all the former words that were in in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of in the ears of the people, and come. So Judalı hath burned. Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his 29 And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king hand, and came unto them.
of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast 15 And they said unto him, Sit down now, burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou and read it in our ears.
So Baruch read it written therein, saying, The king of Babylon in their ears.
shall certainly come and destroy this land, 16 Now it came to pass, when they had and shall cause to cease from thence man and
, both beast ? one and other, and said unto Baruch, We 30 Therefore thus saith the Lord of Jewill surely tell the king of all these words. hoiakim king of Judah ; He shall have none
17 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell to sit upon the throne of David: and his us now, how didst thou write all these words dead body shall be cast out in the day to the at his mouth?
heat, and in the night to the frost. 2 Heb. their supplication shall fall. 3 Or, door. * Cap. 26. 10. 5 Or, of the king. 6 Chap. 22. 19.