26:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 2 at the beginning of the reign 3 of Josiah’s son, King Jehoiakim of Judah. 26:2 The Lord said, “Go stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 4 Speak out to all the people who are coming from the towns of Judah to worship in the Lord’s temple. Tell them everything I command you to tell them. Do not leave out a single word! 26:3 Maybe they will pay attention and each of them will stop living the evil way they do. 5 If they do that, then I will forgo destroying them 6 as I had intended to do because of the wicked things they have been doing. 7 26:4 Tell them that the Lord says, 8 ‘You must obey me! You must live according to the way I have instructed you in my laws. 9 26:5 You must pay attention to the exhortations of my servants the prophets. I have sent them to you over and over again. 10 But you have not paid any attention to them. 26:6 If you do not obey me, 11 then I will do to this temple what I did to Shiloh. 12 And I will make this city an example to be used in curses by people from all the nations on the earth.’”
26:7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah say these things in the Lord’s temple. 26:8 Jeremiah had just barely finished saying all the Lord had commanded him to say to all the people. All at once some 13 of the priests, the prophets, and the people grabbed him and shouted, “You deserve to die! 14 26:9 How dare you claim the Lord’s authority to prophesy such things! How dare you claim his authority to prophesy that this temple will become like Shiloh and that this city will become an uninhabited ruin!” 15 Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah.
26:10 However, some of the officials 16 of Judah heard about what was happening 17 and they rushed up to the Lord’s temple from the royal palace. They set up court 18 at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple. 19 26:11 Then the priests and the prophets made their charges before the officials and all the people. They said, 20 “This man should be condemned to die 21 because he prophesied against this city. You have heard him do so 22 with your own ears.”
26:12 Then Jeremiah made his defense before all the officials and all the people. 23 “The Lord sent me to prophesy everything you have heard me say against this temple and against this city. 26:13 But correct the way you have been living and do what is right. 24 Obey the Lord your God. If you do, the Lord will forgo destroying you as he threatened he would. 25 26:14 As to my case, I am in your power. 26 Do to me what you deem fair and proper. 26:15 But you should take careful note of this: If you put me to death, you will bring on yourselves and this city and those who live in it the guilt of murdering an innocent man. For the Lord has sent me to speak all this where you can hear it. That is the truth!” 27
26:16 Then the officials and all the people rendered their verdict to the priests and the prophets. They said, 28 “This man should not be condemned to die. 29 For he has spoken to us under the authority of the Lord our God.” 30 26:17 Then some of the elders of Judah 31 stepped forward and spoke to all the people gathered there. They said, 26:18 “Micah from Moresheth 32 prophesied during the time Hezekiah was king of Judah. 33 He told all the people of Judah,
‘The Lord who rules over all 34 says,
“Zion 35 will become a plowed field.
Jerusalem 36 will become a pile of rubble.
The temple mount will become a mere wooded ridge.”’ 37
26:19 King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah did not put him to death, did they? Did not Hezekiah show reverence for the Lord and seek the Lord’s favor? 38 Did not 39 the Lord forgo destroying them 40 as he threatened he would? But we are on the verge of bringing great disaster on ourselves.” 41
26:20 Now there was another man 42 who prophesied as the Lord’s representative 43 against this city and this land just as Jeremiah did. His name was Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim. 44 26:21 When the king and all his bodyguards 45 and officials heard what he was prophesying, 46 the king sought to have him executed. But Uriah found out about it and fled to Egypt out of fear. 47 26:22 However, King Jehoiakim sent some men to Egypt, including Elnathan son of Achbor, 48 26:23 and they brought Uriah back from there. 49 They took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him executed and had his body thrown into the burial place of the common people. 50
1 sn Beginning with Jer 26 up to Jer 45 the book narrates in third person style incidents in the life of Jeremiah and prophecies (or sermons) he gave in obedience to the
2 tn The words “to Jeremiah” are not in the Hebrew text. They are added by the Old Latin (not the Vulgate) and the Syriac versions. They are implicit, however, to the narrative style which speaks of Jeremiah in the third person (cf. vv. 7, 12). They have been supplied in the translation for clarity.
3 tn It is often thought that the term here is equivalent to a technical term in Akkadian (reshsharruti) which refers to the part of the year remaining from the death or deposing of the previous king until the beginning of the calendar year when the new king officially ascended the throne. In this case it would refer to the part of the year between September, 609
4 sn It is generally agreed that the incident recorded in this chapter relates to the temple message that Jeremiah gave in 7:1-15. The message there is summarized here in vv. 3-6. The primary interest here is in the response to that message.
5 tn Heb “will turn from his wicked way.”
7 tn Heb “because of the wickedness of their deeds.”
8 tn Heb “thus says the
9 tn Heb “by walking in my law which I set before you.”
sn Examples of those laws are found in Jer 7:5-6, 9. The law was summarized or epitomized in the ten commandments which are called the “words of the covenant” in Exod 34:28, but it contained much more. However, when Israel is taken to task by God, it often relates to their failure to live up to the standards of the ten commandments (Heb “the ten words”; see Hos 4:1-3; Jer 7:9).
11 tn 26:4-6 are all one long sentence containing a long condition with subordinate clauses (vv. 4-5) and a compound consequence in v. 6: Heb “If you will not obey me by walking in my law…by paying attention to the words of the prophets which…and you did not pay heed, then I will make…and I will make…” The sentence has been broken down in conformity to contemporary English style but an attempt has been made to reflect all the subordinations in the English translation.
13 tn The translation again represents an attempt to break up a long complex Hebrew sentence into equivalent English ones that conform more to contemporary English style: Heb “And as soon as Jeremiah finished saying all that…the priests…grabbed him and said…” The word “some” has been supplied in the translation, because obviously it was not all the priests, the prophets, and all the people, but only some of them. There is, of course, rhetorical intent here to show that all were implicated, although all may not have actually participated. (This is a common figure called synecdoche where all is put for a part – all for all kinds or representatives of all kinds. See E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 614-19, and compare usage in Acts 10:12; Matt 3:5.)
15 tn Heb “Why have you prophesied in the
sn They are questioning his right to claim the
16 sn These officials of Judah were officials from the royal court. They may have included some of the officials mentioned in Jer 36:12-25. They would have been concerned about any possible “illegal” proceedings going on in the temple.
17 tn Heb “these things.”
18 tn Heb “they sat” or “they took their seats.” However, the context is one of judicial trial.
sn The gateway or gate complex of an ancient Near Eastern city was often used for court assemblies (cf. Deut 21:19; 22:15; Ruth 4:1; Isa 29:21). Here the gate of the temple was used for the convening of a court to try Jeremiah for the charge of being a false prophet.
19 tn The translation follows many Hebrew
sn The location of the New Gate is uncertain. It is mentioned again in Jer 36:10 where it is connected with the upper (i.e., inner) court of the temple. Some equate it with the Upper Gate that Jotham rebuilt during his reign (2 Kgs 15:35; Jotham reigned from 750-735
20 tn Heb “the priests and prophets said to the leaders and the people….” The long sentence has been broken up to conform better with contemporary English style and the situational context is reflected in “laid their charges.”
21 tn Heb “a sentence of death to this man.”
22 tn Heb “it.”
23 tn Heb “Jeremiah said to all the leaders and all the people….” See the note on the word “said” in the preceding verse.
26 tn Heb “And I, behold I am in your hand.” Hand is quite commonly used for “power” or “control” in biblical contexts.
27 tn Heb “For in truth the
28 tn Heb “Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets…”
30 tn Heb “For in the name of the
sn The priests and false prophets claimed that they were speaking in the
31 tn Heb “elders of the land.”
sn The elders were important land-owning citizens, separate from the “heads” or leaders of the tribes, the officers and the judges. They were very influential in both the judicial, political, and religious proceedings of the cities and the state. (See, e.g., Josh 24:1; 2 Sam 19:11; 2 Kgs 23:1 for elders of Israel/Judah, and Deut 21:1-9; Ruth 4:1-2 for elders of the cities.)
32 sn Micah from Moresheth was a contemporary of Isaiah (compare Mic 1:1 with Isa 1:1) from the country town of Moresheth in the hill country southwest of Jerusalem. The prophecy referred to is found in Mic 3:12. This is the only time in the OT where an OT prophet is quoted verbatim and identified.
33 sn Hezekiah was co-regent with his father Ahaz from 729-715
34 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For an explanation of this title for God see the study note on 2:19.
35 sn Zion was first of all the citadel that David captured (2 Sam 5:6-10), then the city of David and the enclosed temple area, then the whole city of Jerusalem. It is often in poetic parallelism with Jerusalem as it is here (see, e.g., Ps 76:2; Amos 1:2).
37 sn There is irony involved in this statement. The text reads literally “high places of a forest/thicket.” The “high places” were the illicit places of worship that Jerusalem was supposed to replace. Because of their sin, Jerusalem would be like one of the pagan places of worship with no place left sacrosanct. It would even be overgrown with trees and bushes. So much for its inviolability!
38 tn This Hebrew idiom (חָלָה פָּנִים, khalah panim) is often explained in terms of “stroking” or “patting the face” of someone, seeking to gain his favor. It is never used in a literal sense and is found in contexts of prayer (Exod 32:11; Ps 119:158), worship (Zech 8:21-22), humble submission (2 Chr 3:12), or amendment of behavior (Dan 9:13). All were true to one extent or another of Hezekiah.
39 tn The he interrogative (הַ)with the negative governs all three of the verbs, the perfect and the two vav (ו) consecutive imperfects that follow it. The next clause has disjunctive word order and introduces a contrast. The question expects a positive answer.
42 sn This is a brief parenthetical narrative about an otherwise unknown prophet who was executed for saying the same things Jeremiah did. It is put here to show the real danger that Jeremiah faced for saying what he did. There is nothing in the narrative here to show any involvement by Jehoiakim. This was a “lynch mob” instigated by the priests and false prophets which was stymied by the royal officials supported by some of the elders of Judah. Since it is disjunctive or parenthetical it is unclear whether this incident happened before or after that in the main narrative being reported.
44 tn Heb “Now also a man was prophesying in the name of the
45 tn Heb “all his mighty men/soldiers.” It is unlikely that this included all the army. It more likely was the palace guards or royal bodyguards (see 2 Sam 23 where the same word is used of David’s elite corps).
46 tn Heb “his words.”
47 tn Heb “But Uriah heard and feared and fled and entered Egypt.”
48 sn Elnathan son of Achbor was one of the officials who urged Jeremiah and Baruch to hide after they heard Jeremiah’s prophecies read before them (Jer 36:11-19). He was also one of the officials who urged Jehoiakim not to burn the scroll containing Jeremiah’s prophecies (Jer 36:25). He may have been Jehoiakim’s father-in-law (2 Kgs 24:6, 8).
49 tn Heb “from Egypt.”
sn A standard part of international treaties at this time was a stipulation of mutual extradition of political prisoners. Jehoiakim was a vassal of Pharaoh Necho (see 2 Kgs 23:34-35) and undoubtedly had such a treaty with him.
50 sn The burial place of the common people was the public burial grounds, distinct from the family tombs, where poor people without any distinction were buried. It was in the Kidron Valley east of Jerusalem (2 Kgs 23:6). The intent of reporting this is to show the ruthlessness of Jehoiakim.
51 sn Ahikam son of Shaphan was an official during the reign of Jehoiakim’s father, Josiah (2 Kgs 22:12, 14). He was also the father of Gedaliah who became governor of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem (Jer 40:5). The particle at the beginning of the verse is meant to contrast the actions of this man with the actions of Jehoiakim. The impression created by this verse is that it took more than just the royal officials’ opinion and the elders’ warnings to keep the priests and prophets from swaying popular opinion to put Jeremiah to death.
52 tn Heb “Nevertheless, the hand of Ahikam son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he would not be given (even more literally, ‘so as not to give him’) into the hand of the people to kill him.” “Hand” is often used for “aid,” “support,” “influence,” “power,” “control.”