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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Jeremiah 27

Introduction

A.M. 3408. B.C. 596.

Ambassadors having come to Zedekiah from the kings of Edom, Moab, and other neighbouring nations, probably to solicit him to join with them in a confederacy against the king of Babylon, Jeremiah is here ordered to put bands and yokes about his neck, and to send them afterward to the before- mentioned kings, declaring the sovereignty of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors to be of divine appointment, and promising peace and protection to such as submitted quietly, but menacing evil in case of resistance, Jeremiah 27:1-11 . A like admonition is delivered to Zedekiah, advising him not to expose himself and his people to certain ruin, by listening to the suggestions of false prophets, and revolting from the service of the king of Babylon, Jeremiah 27:12-15 . The priests and all the people are also warned not to give credit to the false prophets, who taught them to expect a speedy restoration of the vessels which had been carried to Babylon together with Jeconiah. Instead of which it is foretold, that the remaining vessels in the house of God, and in the king’s house at Jerusalem, should be carried after the other, and should not return till the appointed period of Judah’s captivity was at an end, Jeremiah 27:16-22 .

Verse 1

Jeremiah 27:1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim Instead of Jehoiakim here, Dr. Waterland, Houbigant, Blaney, and many others, read Zedekiah, because it is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the common reading with what follows. Lowth also, in his commentary upon the place, gives it as his opinion, that “the least forced way of solving the difficulty is, to say that Jehoiakim has crept into the text by the negligence of the scribes, (who might have their eyes fixed upon the beginning of the last chapter or section,) instead of Zedekiah. This emendation is confirmed by comparing this verse with the 3d, 12th, and 20th verses of this chapter, and with the beginning of the next. Such little verbal mistakes must be allowed by all impartial readers to have sometimes happened in transcribing the Holy Scriptures, as well as in other books, and may easily be corrected, by comparing the suspected reading with other parts of the sacred text, which admit of no difficulty or uncertainty.”

Verses 2-3

Jeremiah 27:2-3. Make thee bonds and yokes, &c. The prophets were frequently ordered to foreshow future events by actions as well as by words. Thus Isaiah was commanded to go naked and barefoot, Isaiah 20:3. Ezekiel, in like manner, was ordered to prophesy by signs, Ezekiel 4:1; Ezekiel 12:3; and Ezekiel 24:17-19. In making these yokes, putting them upon his neck, and fastening them on with bands, Jeremiah was intended to be a type both to his own people, and also to the people afterward mentioned, that they should be brought under subjection to the king of Babylon. And send them to the king of Edom, &c. These nations were near to the Jews, and their princes had their ambassadors resident at Jerusalem. They were also some of those countries which God had declared that he had given into the hand of the king of Babylon: see Jeremiah 25:21; Jeremiah 25:24. By the hand of the messengers, &c. The business of these messengers seems to have been, to engage Zedekiah to join in a league with the nations from which they came, against the king of Babylon.

Verse 6

Jeremiah 27:6. I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar “God is the sole lord and proprietor of the world; and, by virtue of his absolute sovereignty and dominion, has a right to give the kingdoms of the earth to whomsoever he pleases, Daniel 4:17, and he exercises this authority by changing times and seasons, by removing kings, and setting up kings, Daniel 2:21. The king of Babylon, my servant One whom I have made use of as an instrument to execute my purposes in inflicting punishment on many nations: see note on Jeremiah 25:9. And the beasts of the field have I given him This is a hyperbolical way of speaking, to signify the most ample authority and dominion.

Verses 7-8

Jeremiah 27:7-8. All nations shall serve him, his son, and his son’s son His son was Evil-merodach, and his son’s son Belshazzar, in whom his kingdom ended. Then the time of reckoning with his land came, when the tables were turned; and many nations and great kings Incorporated in the empire of the Medes and Persians, served themselves of him. The nation, &c., that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon That will not submit to that servitude, represented by the yoke, mentioned Jeremiah 27:2-3; will I punish with the sword, &c. With one judgment after another, until they are wasted and ruined. Nebuchadnezzar was very unjust and barbarous in invading the rights and liberties of his neighbours, and forcing them into a subjection to him; yet God had just and holy ends in view in permitting it, namely, to punish those nations for their idolatry and gross immoralities. They that would not serve the God that made and preserved them, were justly made to serve their enemies that sought to ruin them.

Verses 9-11

Jeremiah 27:9-11 . Hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners These nations, it must be observed, had their prophets as well as the Jews, or rather persons that pretended to foretel future events by consulting the stars, by dreams, and various arts of divination; and they, to please their patrons, flattered them with assurances that they should not be brought into subjection and servitude by the king of Babylon. By these means they designed to animate them to a vigorous resistance: and though they had no ground for such an expectation, they hoped hereby to do them service. But Jeremiah here tells them, that it would prove to their destruction; for by resisting they would provoke the conqueror to deal severely with them, to remove them from their land, and to drive them out into a miserable captivity, in which they should be buried in oblivion, and perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke, &c. That, upon the first summons, or without making any hostile opposition, shall yield themselves subjects to the king of Babylon, shall continue in their own country and possessions, being only made tributaries to that king.

Verses 12-13

Jeremiah 27:12-13. I spake also to Zedekiah, &c. What the prophet here says to Zedekiah has a particular weight in it, because he was made king of Judea by Nebuchadnezzar, and had taken an oath to be faithful to him, and never to resist his authority. Why will ye die, thou and thy people? That is, why wilt thou wilfully ruin, not only thyself, but thy people, by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence? by which judgments the Lord hath declared, that all nations who will not willingly yield to the king of Babylon shall be destroyed.

Verses 16-18

Jeremiah 27:16-18. Also I spake to the priests and to all this people The prophet, being God’s true servant, spared none, but gave faithful warning to all sorts of persons, to take heed of being deceived by the false prophets, who undertook to foretel that the vessels of the temple, carried away in the time of Jehoiakim and his son Jeconiah, (of which we read 2Ch 36:7 ; 2 Chronicles 36:10,) should be brought back again to Jerusalem in a short time: see Jeremiah 28:3. Hearken not unto them Believe them not, but acquiesce in God’s providence with respect to you, and be content to be subject to the king of Babylon, that so your lives may be given you for a prey. Wherefore should this city be laid waste? If you do not comply with God’s will in this instance, your city will certainly be destroyed, and why should you pull down such a judgment upon your own heads? But if they be prophets, &c. If they be true prophets, and have any power with God, instead of foretelling the bringing back of the vessels carried away, let them apply to him in prayer to prevent the carrying away of the vessels that yet remain, whether in the house of the Lord, or in the king’s house, or in Jerusalem, which can be done no other way than by pleading with God to turn away his wrath, and not proceed in inflicting those sore judgments which he is most certainly bringing upon you.

Verses 19-22

Jeremiah 27:19-22. Thus saith the Lord concerning the pillars, &c. These were all parts of the temple, or vessels used in it: see 1 Kings 7:0. And all the nobles, &c. Concerning the persons and things which the king of Babylon carried away, see 2 Kings 24:13-15. Yea, thus saith the Lord The prophet enlarges the divine threatening, and represents it as extending to all other vessels of value in the houses of the king, the nobles, or more wealthy citizens. They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be See an historical account of the fulfilment of this prophecy, 2 Kings 25:13-16; and 2 Chronicles 36:18; and that they abode in Babylon till the end of the captivity, appears from Daniel 5:2, where we read of Belshazzar’s sending for them, to drink wine in at his fatal feast; until the day that I visit them That is, until the expiration of the time of the Jewish captivity, which was seventy years. Then will I restore them to this place Of the fulfilling of which part of the prophecy we have an account Ezra 1:7-9. So punctually was Jeremiah’s prophecy in this place fulfilled, and so exactly does one part of holy writ agree with another, which are irrefragable proofs of the divine authority of the sacred Scriptures.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/jeremiah-27.html. 1857.