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Prediction of Zedekial's peaceable CHAP. XXXIV. death and honourable burial. here of the priesthood must refer to the spiritual priest- meant, then the regal family of David, and the sacerhood, at the head of which is Jesus Christ.
dotal family of Jacob through Levi, may be designed. Verse 24. The two families which the Lord hath See ver. 26. Following the spiritual interpretation, chosen] Some think these refer to the two kingdoms neither the regal nor sacerdotal family has failed; for of Israel and Judah; but they never can be considered Jesus is a King and a Priest, and all true believers in as two distinct families, being of one and the same him are kings and priests unto God and the Lamb
Others think that the families of Jacob and And the highest King that ever reigned is He who is David are intended; but neither were these distinct. the seed of David, King of kings and Lord of lords, If the two families which had the priesthood be not / who has all power in heaven and in earth.
CHAPTER XXXIV. -.
A. M. 3415.
This chapter contains two prophecies: the first, delivered during the siege of Jerusalem, predicts to Zedekiah the taking and burning of the city, with his own peaceful death and honourable burial, 1-7. The second was delivered when the Chaldeans had for some time, broken up the siege. It reproves the Jews for their conduct towards their brethren of the poorer sort, whom they released, by a solemn covenant, from bondage, in the extremity of their danger ; but compelled to return to it when they thought that danger over, 8-11. For this God threatens them with the sword, pestilence, and famine ; and with the return of the Chaldeans, who should take the city, destroy it and the other cities by fire, and make an utter desolation of the whole land of Judea, 12–22. A. M. 34 15. HE word which came unto into his hand; and thine eyes
THE B. C. 589. OL. XLVII. 4. Jeremiah from the Lord, shall behold the eyes of the king 01. XLVII. 4. Tarquinii Prisci, (a when Nebuchadnezzar king of of Babylon, and she shall speak Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 28.
Babylon, and all his army, and with thee mouth to mouth, and R. Roman., 28. ball the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, thou shalt go to Babylon. and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, 4 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedeand against all the cities thereof,) saying, kiah king of Judah ; Thus saith the Lord of
2 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword : Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, 5 But thou shalt die in peace : and with and tell him, Thus saithi the LORD; Behold the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings "I will give this city into the hand of the king which were before thee, i so shall they burn of Babylon, and e he shall burn it with fire : odours for thee; and k they will lament thce,
3 And thou shalt not escape out of his saying, Ah lord ! for I have pronounced the hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered word, saith the LORD.
* 2 Kings xxv. 1, &c.; chap. xxxix. 1; lii. 4. -b Chap. i. 15. Heb. the dominion of his hand. d Chap. xxi. 10; xxxii. 3, 28. Chap. xxxii. 29; ver. 22.
Chap. xxxii. 4. - Heb. his mouth shall speak to thy mouth. b See 2 Chron. xvi, 14 ; xxi. 19.-i Dan. ii. 46.— See chap. xxii. 18.
NOTES ON CHAP. XXXIV.
tions they burned the bodies of the more illustrious Verse 1. The word which came unto Jeremiah) dead. Odours were used in the burning : they then This discourse was delivered in the tenth year of the gathered the ashes, and put them into an urn or reign of Zedekiah. The chapter contains two dis- pitcher, sometimes into a strong vessel, and buried courses; one, ver. 1-7, which concerns the taking of them. Many of these have been digged up in differthe city, and Zedekiah's captivity and death; the ent parts of England, where the Romans had stations. other, ver. 8-22, which is an invective against the Verse 3. Thou shalt not escape} This, however, inhabitants of Jerusalem for having Hebrew male and he had attempted, but was taken in his flight. See female slaves. These, having been manumitted at chap. xxxix. 4, and lii. 7, &c. the instance of the prophet, were afterwards brought Verse 5. Thou shalt die in peace] Thou shalt not back by their old masters, and put in the same thral- die a violent death; and at thy death thou shalt have dom; for which God threatens them with severe all those funereal solemnities which were usual at the judgments.
demise of kings. See 2 Chron. xvi. 14. Nebuchadnezzar--and all his army, and all the So shall they burn odours for thee] Scented wood kingdoms of the earth of his dominion] That is, his and other odoriferous substances are placed on the army was composed of soldiers gathered out of Baby- funeral pile of the rich Hindoos, and burned with the lon, and out of all his tributary dominions : one hun- body. dred and twenty provinces.
And they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord !) They Verse 2. He shall burn it with fire] This was a will recite the funeral dirge that begins with those newly-added circumstance. Among many ancient na- words. See the note on chap. xxii. 18.
A. M. 3415.
A. M. cir. 3415.
R. Roman., cir, annum 28.
The Jews are reproved for
detaining their servants. 6 Then Jeremiah the prophet | 12 Therefore the word of the 4 M. cir. 3415. 01. XLVII . 4. spake all these words unto Zede- LORD came to Jeremiah from the 01. XLVII. 4.
Tarquinii Prisci, Tarquinii Prisei, kiah king of Judah in Jeru- Lord, saying,
R. Roman., R. Roman, 28. salem,
13 Thús saith the LORD, the cir. annum 28. 7 When the king of Babylon's army fought God of Israel ; I made a covenant with your against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of fathers in the day that I brought them forth Judah that were left, against Lachish, and out of the land of Egypt, out of the house against Azekah : for these defenced cities re- of bondmen, saying, mained of the cities of Judah.
14 At the end of a seven years
ye go 8 This is the word that came every man his brother a Hebrew, which
unto Jeremiah from the LORD, "hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath Tarquinii Prisci,
after that the king Zedekiah had served thee six years, thou shalt let him go
made a covenant with all the free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim unto me, neither inclined their ear. m liberty unto them;
15 And ye were snow turned, and had done 9 n That every man should let his man-ser- right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every vant, and every man his maid-servant, being man to his neighbour; and ye had made a a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free ; • that covenant before me u in the house which is none should serve himself of them, to wit, of called by my name : . a Jew his brother.
16 But ye turned and polluted my name, 10 Now when all the princes, and all the and caused every man his servant, and every people, which had entered into the covenant, man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty heard that every one should let his man- at their pleasure, to return, and brought them servant, and every one his maid-servant, go into subjection, to be unto you for servants and free, that none should serve themselves of them for handmaids. any more, then they obeyed, and let them go. 17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have
11 But P afterward they turned, and caused not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, the servants and the handmaids, whom they every one to his brother, and every man to his had let go free, to return, and brought them neighbour : * behold, I proclaim a liberty for into subjection for servants and for handmaids. you, saith the LORD, Y to the sword, to the pes
12 Kings xviii. 13; xix. 8; 2 Chron. xi. 5, 9.- mExod. xxi.
> Heb. to-day - So 2 Kings xxiii. 3; Neh. x. 29.- Cap. 2; Lev. xxv. 10; ver. 14. Neh. v. 11. Lev. xxv. 39-46. vii. 10.- Heb. whereupon my name is called. --*
Exod. xx. pSee ver. 21 ; chap. xxxvii. 5. - Exod. xxi. 2; xxiii. 10; 7; Lev. xix. 42.- Matt. vii. 2; Gal. vi. 7; James i. 13. Deut. xv. 12. - Or, hath sold himself.
į Chap. xxxii. 24, 36.
Verse 6. Spake all these words unto Zedekiah] He Verse 16. Ye-polluted my name) Had made the delivered this message at the hazard of his life. Jere- covenant in my name, calling me to witness it; now miah feared God, and had no other fear.
ye have dishonoured my name, by breaking that coveVerse 7. Against Lachish, and against Azekah] nant, and acting contrary to my law. These were two cities of Judah of considerable im- Verse 17. I proclaim a liberty for you] Ye proportance: they had been strongly fortified by Reho- claimed liberty to your slaves, and afterward resumed boam, 2 Chron. xi. 9-11; 2 Chron. xxxii. 9. your authority over them; and I had in consequence
Verse 8. The word that came unto Jeremiah] Here restrained the sword from cutting you off: but now I the second discourse begins, which was delivered give liberty to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the probably a short time, even a few days, after the famine, and to the captivity, to destroy and consume former.
you, and enslave you : for ye shall be removed to all Zedekiah had made a covenant] We find no ac- the kingdoms of the earth. The prophet loves to excount elsewhere of this covenant : “ Every man press the conformity between the crime and its punishshould let his man-servant and his maid-servant go ment. You promised to give liberty to your enslaved free;" i. e., as we learn from ver. 14, on the sabbati- brethren; I was pleased, and bound the sword in its cal year; for the seventh year was the year of release. sheath. You broke your promise, and brought them See Deut. xv. 12.
again into bondage; I gave liberty to the sword, pesVerse 11. But afterward they lurned] They had tilence, and famine, to destroy multitudes of you, and agreed to manumit them at the end of the seventh captivity to take the rest. Thus you are punished year; but when the seventh year was ended, they re- according to your crimes, and in the punishment you called their engagement, and detained their servants. may see the crime. Sword, pestilence, and famine This, I believe, is what is here meant.
are frequently joined together, as being often the effects Judgments on those that will
not manumit their slaves
B. C. cir. 589.
4. M. cir. 3415. tilence, and to the famine; and seek their life: and their c dead A. M. cir. 3415. (l. XLVII. 4. I will make
z to be a removed bodies shall be for meat unto the OI. XLVII. 4. Tarquinii Prisci,
Tarquinii Prisci, R. Rordan.,
into all the kingdoms of the fowls of the heaven, and to the R. Roman., cir. annum 28. earth. beasts of the earth.
cir, annum 28. .18 And I will give the men that have trans- 21 And Zedekiah king of Judah, and his gressed my covenant, which have not perform- princes, will I give into the hand of their ed the words of the covenant which they had enemies, and into the hand of them that seek made before me, when they cut the calf in their life, and into the hand of the king of twain, and passed between the parts thereof, Babylon's army, which are gone up from
19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of you. Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and 22 e Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, all the people of the land, which passed be- and cause them to return to this city; and they tween the parts of the calf;
shall fight against it, f and take it, and burn it 20 I will even give them into the hand of with fire: and & I will make the cities of Jutheir enemies, and into the hand of them that dah a desolation without an inhabitant.
* Heb. for a removing. 6 See Gen. xv. 10, 17.
-a Deut. xxviii. 25, 64; chap. xxix. 18.
See chap. xxxvii. 5, 11. - Chap. xxxvij. 8, 10. s Chap. Xxxviii. 3; xxxix. 1,,2, 8; lii. 7, 13.- Chap. ix. 11; xliv. 2, 6.
of each other. The sword or war produces famine ; In reference to this last circumstance, God says he famine, the pestilence.
will give their bodies for meat to the fowls of heaven Verse 18. When they cut the calf in twain, and and to the beasts. This is a farther conformity bepassed between the parts thereof) This was the an- tween the crime and the punishment. See my notes cient and most solemn way of making a covenant. on Gen. xv. 9-17. 1. A calf as sacrifice was offered to God to secure Verse 21. The king of Babylon's army, which are his approbation and support. 2. The victim was then gone up from you.) Nebuchadnezzar, hearing that exactly divided from the nose to the rump; the spinal there was an Egyptian army coming to the relief of marrow being divided longitudinally, in the most care- Jerusalem, raised the siege, went out, and met and deful manner, that the half of it might remain on each feated the Egyptians. It was in the interim this proside. 3. These divided parts were laid opposite to phecy was delivered. each other, a passage being left between them. 4. The Verse 22. I will cause them to return] They contracting partie's entered this passage at each end, did return; re-invested the city; and, after an obstimet in the middle, and there took the covenant oath; nate defence, took it, plundered it, and burned it adjudging themselves to death should they break this to the ground, taking Zedekiah and his princes capcovenant. 5. Then they both feasted on the victim. tive.
CHAPTER XXXV. Jeremiah is commanded to go to the Rechabites, who, on the approach of the Chaldean army, took refuge in
Jerusalem; and to try their obedience to the command of Jonadab, (or Jehonadab, 2 Kings X. 15, 16,) their great progenitor, who lived in the reign of Jehu, king of Israel, upwards of two hundred and fifty years before thi time, offers them wine to drink, which they refuse, 1-11. Hence occasion is taken to upbraid the Jews with their disobedience to God, their heavenly Father, 13–17; and a blessing is pronounced on the Rechabites, 18, 19, B.C. Cir. 397. THE word which came unto 2 Go unto the house of the A. M. cir. 3397.
B. C. cir. 607. OI. XLIII. 2. Jeremiah from the Lord in - Rechabites, and speak unto Ol. XLIII. 2. Tarquinii Prisci,
Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman.,
the days of Jehoiakim the son of them, and bring them into the R. Roman., cir . annum 10. Josiah king of Judah, saying,
house of the LORD, into one of
cir, annum 10.
a 2 Kings x. 15; 1 Chron. ii. 55.
NOTES ON CHAP. XXXV.
This discourse was probably delivered in the fourth Verse 1. The word which came in the days of Je- or fifth year of Jehoiakim's reign. hoiakim] What strange confusion in the placing of Verse 2. The house of the Rechabites] The Rethese chapters! Who could have expected to hear of chabites were not descendants of Jacob; they were Jehoiakim again, whom we have long ago buried; and Kenites, 1 Chron. ii. 55, a people originally settled in we have now arrived in the history at the very last year that part of Arabia Petræa, called the land of Midian ; of the last Jewish king.
and most probably the descendants of Jethro, the fa
B. C. cir. 607.
B. C. cir. 607.
cir, annum 10.
the Rechabites. A M. cir. 3397. b the chambers, and give them manded us, saying, Ye shall 4. M. cir
. 3397. wine to drink.
drink no wine, neither ye,' nor Tarquinii Prisci,
Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son your sons for ever:
R. Roman., cir. annum 10. of Jeremiah, the son of Haba- 7. Neither shall
build house, ziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: the whole house of the Rechabites;
but all your days ye shall dwell in tents;
; f that 4 And I brought them into the house of the ye may live many days in the land where ye Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, be strangers. the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was 8 Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab by the chamber of the princes, which was the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, Shallum, the keeper of the d door:
our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; 5 And I set before the sons of the house of 9 Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: I said unto them, Drink ye wine.
10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have 6 But they said, We will drink no wine : for obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab Jonadab the son of Rechab our father com- our father commanded us.
b] Kings vi. 5.—22 Kings xii. 9; xxv. 18; 1 Chron. ix. Heb. threshold, or vessel. -€ 2 Kings x. 15.—Exod. xx. 12; 18, 19.
Eph. vi. 2, 3.
ther-in-law of Moses. Compare Num. x. 29–32, with considerably abridged by their use. But it is time to Judg. i. 16; iv. 11. Those mentioned here seem to return to the case of the Rechabites before us. have been a tribe of Nomades or Scenite Arabs, who Verse 3. The whole house of the Rechabites] That fed their flocks in the deserts of Judea ; they preserved is, the family—the chiefs of which are here specified. the simple manners of their ancestors, considering the Verse 4. Igdaliah, a man of God] A prophet or life of the inhabitants of cities and large towns as the holy man, having some office in the temple. death of liberty ; believing that they would dishonour Verse 5. Pots full of wine, and cups) themselves by using that sort of food that would oblige were to draw the wine out of the pots, in order to them to live a sedentary life. Jonadab, one of their drink it. ancestors, had required his children and descendants to Verse 6. We will drink no wine] The reason is abide faithful to the customs of their forefathers; to given above. Their whole religious and political continue to live in tents, and to nourish themselves on institution consisted in obedience to three simple the produce of their flocks ; to abstain from the culti- precepts, each of which has an appropriate spiritual vation of the ground, and from that particularly of the meaning : vine and its produce. His descendants religiously ob- 1. Ye shall drink no wine] Ye shall preserve your served this rule, till the time when the armies of the bodies in temperance, shall use nothing that would deChaldeans had entered Judea ; when, to preserve their prive you of the exercise of your sober reason at any lives, they retired within the walls of Jerusalem. But time ; lest in such a time ye should do what might be even there we find, from the account in this chapter, prejudicial to yourselves, injurious to your neighbour, they did not quit their frugal manner of life: but most or dishonourable to your
God. scrupulously observed the law of Jonadab their ances- 2. Neither shall ye build house] Ye shall not tor, and probably of this family.
become residents in any place; ye shall not court When the children of Hobab, or Jethro, the father- earthly possessions; ye shall live free from ambition in-law of Moses, were invited by him to accompany and from envy, that ye may be free from contention them in their journeying to the Promised Land, it is and strife. very likely that they continued their ancient usages, 3. But--ye shall dwell in tents] Ye shall imitate and lived a patriarchal life. Their property, consist- your forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the ing in nothing but their cattle and tents, was easily re- rest of the patriarchs, who dwelt in tents, being stranmovable from place to place; and their manner of liv- gers und pilgrims upon earth, looking for a heavenly ing was not likely to excite the envy or jealousy of country, and being determined to have nothing here that those who had learnt to relish the luxuries of life; and would indispose their minds towards that place of endtherefore we may naturally conclude that as they were less rest, or prevent them from passing through tempoenemies to none, so they had no enemies themselves. ral things so as not to lose those that are eternal. Nature has few wants. Most of those which we feel There must nécessarily be more in these injunctions are factitious ; and howsoever what we call civilization than meets the eye in the letter of this account. may furnish us with the conveniences and comforts of Verse 8. Thus have we obeyed the voice] We have life, let us not deceive ourselves by supposing that these considered these precepts so very reasonable, so very very things do not create the very wants which they useful, so conducive to the health of both body and are called in to supply, and most certainly do not con- mind, and sanctioned by such a respectable antiquity: tribute to the comfort of life, when the term of life is that we scrapulously and religiously observe them.
OI. XLIII. 2.
cir. annum 10.
the Rechabites. A. M. cir. 3397.
11 But it came to pass, when (dwell in the land which I have A. M. cir. 3397. B. C. cir. 607.
B. C. cir. 607. OI. XLIII.2. Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon given to you and to your fathers : Tarquinii Prisci, R Roman.,
Tarquinii Prisci, came up into the land, that we but have not inclined your ear,
R. Roman., cir. annum 10. said, Come, and let us go to Je- nor hearkened unto me. rusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, 16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of and for fear of the army of the Syrians : 50 Rechab have performed the commandment of we dwell at Jerusalem.
their father, which he commanded them; but 12 Then came the word of the Lord unto this people hath not hearkened unto me: Jeremiah, saying,
17 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of 13 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of hosts, the God of Israel ; Behold, I will bring Israel ; Go and tell the men of Judah and the upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jeinhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive rusalem all the evil that I have pronounced instruction to hearken to my words ? saith the against them : m because I have spoken Lord.
unto them, but they have not heard ; and 14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, I have called unto them, but they have not that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, answered. are performed; for unto this day they drink 18 And Jeremiah said unto the house of the none, but obey their father's commandment: Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, God of Israel ; Because ye have obeyed the i rising early and speaking ; but ye hearkened commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept not unto me :
all his precepts, and done according unto all 15 "I have sent also unto you all my ser- that he hath commanded
you: vants the prophets, rising up early and sending
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, them, saying, 'Return ye now every man from the God of Israel ; " Jonadab the son of Rehis evil way, and amend your doings, and go chab shall not want a man to stand before me not after other gods to serve them, and ye
shall for ever. & Chap. xxxii. 33.-2 Chron. xxxvi. 15.-i Chap. Prov. i. 24; Isa. Ixv. 12; lxvi. 4; chap. vii. 13.- Heb. vil. 13; xxv. 3. Chap. vii. 25; xxv. 4. - Chap. xviii. 11; There shall not a man be cut off from Jonadab the son of Rechab to XIV. 5, 6.
stand, &c. Lo Chap. xv. 19. Verse 11. But—when Nebuchadrezzar-came up] them of ingratitude and rebellion, he now proceeds to If at present we appear to be acting contrary in any pronounce sentence against them. respect to our institutions, in being found in the city, Verse 19. Thus saith the Lord-Jonadab shall not necessity alone has induced us to take this temporary, want a man to stand before me for ever.] His name step. We have sought the shelter of the city for shall ever be honourable, and his posterity shall enjoy the preservation of our lives; so now we dwell at Je- my continual protection ; and there shall never be found rusalem.
a time in which men of his spirit shall be wanting as Verse 14. The words of Jonadab—are performed patterns of genuine simplicity, filial obedience, purity but ye hearkened not unto me.) The Lord, knowing of manners, and deadness to the world. True Chris the fidelity of this people, chose to try them in this tians may be considered as the genuine successors of way, that he might, by their conscientious obedience to these ancient Rechabiles ; and some suppose that the the precepts of their forefathers, show the Jews, to Essenes, in our Lord's time, were literally their detheir confusion, their ingratitude to him, and their ne- scendants, and that these were they who followed our glect of his precepts, which if a man do, he shall live Lord particularly, and became the first converts to the by them.
Gospel. If so, the prophecy is literally fulfilled : they Verse 17. I will bring upon Judah and upon all the shall never want a man to stand before God, to proclaim inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil] Having, by the his salvation, and minister to the edification and salvaconduct of the Rechabites, clearly and fully convicted tion of others, as long as the earth shall endure.
God commands Jeremiah to write down in one roll or volume all the predictions he had uttered against Israel
and Judah, and all the surrounding nations, from the day of his vocation to the prophetic office, that the house of Judah might have abundant warning of the dreadful calamities with which their country was about to be visited, if not prevented by a timely repentance, 1-3. The prophet employs Baruch the scribe, the sm of Neriah, to wrile from his mouth all the words of the Lord, and then to read them publicly upon a