Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
ILLUSTRATED TO THE
AMBASSADORS OF THE
THEM, UNDER THE
1. Jehoiakim--The prophecy that follows was according to this
reading given in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, fifteen years before it
was published in the reign of Zedekiah to whom it refers; it was thus
long deposited in the prophet's bosom, in order that by it he might be
supported under trials in his prophetic career in the interim
But "Zedekiah" may be the true reading. So the Syriac and
Jer 27:3, 12;
confirm this; also, one of KENNICOTT'S
manuscripts. The English Version reading may have
"Son of Josiah" applies to Zedekiah as truly as to "Jehoiakim" or
"Eliakim." The fourth year may, in a general sense here, as in
be called "the beginning of his reign," as it lasted eleven years
It was not long after the fourth year of his reign that he rebelled
(Jer 51:59; 52:3;
in violation of an oath before God
2. bonds--by which the yoke is made fast to the neck
yokes--literally, the carved piece of wood attached at both ends to
the two yokes on the necks of a pair of oxen, so as to connect them.
Here the yoke itself. The plural is used, as he was to wear one
himself, and give the others to the ambassadors;
(Jer 27:3; 28:10, 12)
proves that the symbolical act was in this instance (though not in
actually done (compare
&c.; Eze 12:3, 11, 18).
3. And send them to the king of Edom, &c.--Appropriate symbol, as
these ambassadors had come to Jerusalem to consult as to shaking off the
yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. According to PHERECYDES in
[Miscellanies, 567], Idanthura, king of the Scythians, intimated to
Darius, who had crossed the Danube, that he would lead an army against
him, by sending him, instead of a letter,
a mouse, a frog, a bird, an arrow, and a plough. The task assigned
to Jeremiah required great faith, as it was sure to provoke alike his
own countrymen and the foreign ambassadors and their kings, by a seeming
insult, at the very time that all were full of confident hopes grounded
on the confederacy.
5. God here, as elsewhere, connects with the symbol doctrine, which
is as it were its soul, without which it would be not only cold and
frivolous, but even dead
[CALVIN]. God's mention of His supreme power
is in order to refute the pride of those who rely on their own power
given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me--
(Ps 115:15, 16;
Da 4:17, 25, 32).
Not for his merits, but of My own sole good pleasure [ESTIUS].
6. beasts of the field--not merely the horses to carry his Chaldean
soldiers, and oxen to draw his provisions
[GROTIUS]; not merely the
deserts, mountains, and woods, the haunts of wild beasts, implying his
unlimited extent of empire
[ESTIUS]; but the beasts themselves by a
mysterious instinct of nature. A reproof to men that they did not
recognize God's will, which the very beasts acknowledged (compare
As the beasts are to submit to Christ, the Restorer of the dominion
over nature, lost by the first Adam (compare
Ge 1:28; 2:19, 20;
so they were appointed to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, the representative
of the world power and prefigurer of Antichrist; this universal power
was suffered to be held by him to show the unfitness of any to wield it
"until He come whose right it is"
7. son . . . son's son--
Nebuchadnezzar had four successors--Evil-merodach, his
son; Neriglissar, husband of Nebuchadnezzar's daughter; his son,
Labosodarchod; and Naboned (with whom his son, Belshazzar, was joint
king), son of Evil-merodach. But Neriglissar and Labosodarchod
were not in the direct male line; so that the prophecy held good
to "his son and his son's son," and the intermediate two are omitted.
time of his land--that is, of its subjugation or its being "visited"
Jer 25:12; 29:10; 50:27;
serve themselves of him--make him their servant
So "his day" for the destined day of his calamity
8. until I have consumed them by his hand--until by these consuming
visitations I have brought them under his power.
9. ye--the Jews especially, for whom the address to the rest was
[CALVIN], from a root, the "eyes," that is, lookers
at the stars and other means of taking omens of futurity; or another
root, a "fixed time," observers of times: forbidden in the law
De 18:10, 11, 14).
10. to remove you--expressing the event which would result. The
very thing they profess by their enchantments to avert, they are by them
bringing on you. Better to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, and remain in your
land, than to rebel, and be removed from it.
11. serve . . . till it--The same Hebrew root expresses "serve"
and "till," or "cultivate." Serve ye the king of Babylon, and the
land will serve you [CALVIN].
12. I spake also--translate, "And I spake," &c. Special application
of the subject to Zedekiah.
13. Why . . . die--by running on your own ruin in resisting
Nebuchadnezzar after this warning
15. in my name--The devil often makes God's name the plea for
(Mt 4:6; 7:22, 23;
the test whereby to know false prophets).
16. The "vessels" had been carried away to Babylon in the reign of
also previously in that of Jehoiakim
18. at Jerusalem--that is, in other houses containing such vessels,
besides the house of God and the king's palace. Nebuzara-dan, captain
of the guard under Nebuchadnezzar, carried all away
The more costly vessels had been previously removed in the reigns of
Jehoiakim and Jeconiah.
(Jer 52:17, 20, 21).
22. until . . . I visit them--in wrath by Cyrus
In seventy years from the first carrying away of captives in
restore them--by the hand of Cyrus