Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 22

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-30

Jeremiah 22:10 . Weep not for the dead, as you have wept bitterly for king Josiah, but weep for him who goes into captivity, for he shall return no more.

Jeremiah 22:11 . Shallum the son of Josiah. Jehoahaz, called Shallum before he ascended the throne, for a change of name was common on a change of circumstances. Lowth thinks he is called Shallum by way of reproach, as resembling in the shortness of his reign king Shallum, mentioned in 2 Kings 15:3. Jeconiah is also called Coniah by way of contempt: Jeremiah 22:24.

Jeremiah 22:18 . They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother; or, Ah sister! Ah lord; or, Ah his glory! The words of the funeral dirge sung by the mourning women at the funeral of great personages. הדה hodah, glory, being feminine, seems to refer to, ah sister! They shall neither lament for the king, nor bewail the sorrows of the queen, deprived of her glory, her husband. See on Jeremiah 9:17.

Jeremiah 22:19 . He shall be buried with the burial of an ass. He was carried to Babylon, 2 Kings 24:6, where the king of Babylon kept him bound with a chain; but for some reason he afterwards changed his mind, and put him to death. Being of royal blood, it would seem, he was allowed to be buried with his fathers in Jerusalem. However, when the Chaldeans searched the sepulchres for treasures, his body was cast out of the city, and contumeliously treated. Some say he was carried to Babylon after his first revolt, and being restored, the king of Babylon on his second revolt, came and put him to death, and threw his body out of the city.

Jeremiah 22:23 . How gracious shalt thou be. This is spoken ironically, to humble his pride.

Jeremiah 22:26 . I will cast thee out, and thy mother. See 2 Kings 24:12.

Jeremiah 22:30 . Write ye this man childless. He had seven sons, 1 Chronicles 3:17, but no successor on the throne, and no more name in Israel.


Jeremiah’s ministry opens here like sunshine after a storm of thunder: grace was again preached to an incorrigible nation, that kings should reign, and Judah rejoice. Though the king was slain, the Lord lived. Josiah was gone; he was taken from the evil to come, and received to his fathers; but let us weep over the degenerate children, whose guilt is aggravated by the instructions and examples of their pious parents. They bring more dishonour on religion, and do more mischief to others, than those who have not such advantages. They are seldom reclaimed, but generally go on to treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Their case is indeed truly pitiable.

See the wickedness of injustice and oppression. The sources of it are pride and covetousness, Jehoiakim could not be content with his father’s palace, but must have a better. Yet he loved his money too well to part with it, and therefore never paid his workmen, or not so much as was their due. Thus many are fond of making a figure in life, who yet have not wherewith to support it: they get rich by the gains of oppression, and by screwing their workmen and servants, in order to encrease their wealth, or support their extravagance. But we here see that God takes notice of, and will punish the wrong which is done by rich and great men, to their poor workmen and labourers; for their cry cometh into the ears of the Lord God of hosts.

It would be more for the honour and happiness of children to imitate their fathers’ virtues, than to exceed them in wealth and grandeur. Jehoiakim is reminded of his father’s piety and integrity, and of the prosperity and honour which attended him. There are many persons who, when they inherit their fathers’ substance, despise their old notions and fashions and way of living, while destitute of their excellencies. They make those inroads on justice and charity, which their fathers durst not have done: they are neither so just in their dealings, so charitable to the poor, nor so generous for the support of religion as their ancestors were. Yet they think it is enough that they are richer than they. A sad exchange. Let us consider what was truly excellent in our predecessors, and imitate that; and if our circumstances are better than theirs, let us be more generous and charitable than they were. All the comfort they had in religion should recommend it to us; and we should be followers of them, that it may be well with us now and for ever, as it undoubtedly is with those who lived and died under its influence.

We are taught the danger of prosperity. These unhappy princes are melancholy instances how sadly wealth and power may be abused; but the worst effect of prosperity is, that it puffs up men’s minds: Jeremiah 22:21. They think themselves too wise to need advice; despise the word of God and its preachers, and take fire at the most distant hint of reproof. It is a wretched thing when prosperity hardens the mind against religious impressions; when men’s hearts rise with their fortunes, and they proceed to contemn God as well as man. The case may soon be altered with them; and they will then be as abject and mean, as they were before insolent. It is well if adversity makes them truly humble and penitent. Let us take heed, brethren, lest we forget God and our duty in prosperous seasons; and therefore not be high- minded, but fear.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 22". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/jeremiah-22.html. 1835.
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