Jeremiah, by the commend of God, goes into the court of the Lord's house; and foretells the destruction of the temple and city, if not prevented by the speedy repentance of the people, 1-7. By this unwelcome prophecy his life was in great danger; although saved by the influence of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, who makes a masterly defense for the prophet, 8-18. Urijah is condemned, but escapes to Egypt; whence he is brought back by Jehoiakim, and slain, 20-23. Ahikam befriends Jeremiah, 24.
Notes on Chapter 26
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim
As this prophecy must have been delivered in the first or second year of the reign of Jehoiakim, it is totally out of its place here. Dr. Blayney puts it before chap. xxxvi.; and Dr. Dahler immediately after chap. ix., and before chap. xlvi.
If ye will not hearken
This and several of the following verses are nearly the same with those in Jeremiah 7:13, where see the notes.
And all the people
That were in company with the priests and the prophets.
The princes of Judah
The king's court; his cabinet counsellors.
The Lord sent me to prophesy
My commission is from him, and my words are his own. I sought not this painful office. I did not run before I was sent.
Therefore now amend your ways
If ye wish to escape the judgment which I have predicted, turn to God, and iniquity shall not be your ruin.
As for me, behold, I am in your hand
I am the messenger of God; you may do with me what you please; but if you slay me, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves.
This man is not worthy to die
The whole court acquitted him.
Certain of the elders
This is really a fine defense, and the argument was perfectly conclusive. Some think that it was Ahikam who undertook the prophet's defence.
Micah the Morasthite
The same as stands among the prophets. Now all these prophesied as hard things against the land as Jeremiah has done; yet they were not put to death, for the people saw that they were sent of God.
The process against Jeremiah is finished at the nineteenth verse; and the case of Urijah is next brought on, for he was also to be tried for his life; but hearing of it he fled to Egypt. He was however condemned in his absence; and the king sent to Egypt, and brought him thence and slew him, and caused him to have an ignominious burial, Jeremiah 26:21-23.
The hand of Ahikam-was with Jeremiah
And it was probably by his influence that Jeremiah did not share the same fate with Urijah. The Ahikam mentioned here was probably the father of Gedaliah, who, after the capture of Jerusalem, was appointed governor of the country by Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 40:5. Of the Prophet Urijah, whether he was true or false, we know nothing but what we learn from this place.
That they should not give him into the hand of the people
Though acquitted in the supreme court, he was not out of danger; there was a popular prejudice against him, and it is likely that Ahikam was obliged to conceal him, that they might not put him to death. The genuine ministers of God have no favour to expect from those who are HIS enemies.