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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Jeremiah 52

 

 

Verses 1-11

1. The capture of the city, together with the circumstances immediately previous and subsequent thereto

Jeremiah 52:1-11

1Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter 2 of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord, 3according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For[FN1] through the anger of the Lord [For so] it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah [that Jehovah was angry] till he had cast them out from his presence, that [And] Zedekiah rebelled against the king 4 of Babylon. And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month,[FN2] in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts [a rampart][FN3] 5against it round about. So the city was besieged[FN4] unto the eleventh year of king 6 Zedekiah. And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land [the 7 common people]. Then the city was broken up [through], and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden; (now the Chaldeans were by the city 8 round about;) and they went[FN5] by the way of [to] the plain. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho;9and all his army was scattered from him. Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave 10 judgment upon him. And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before 11 his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riolah. Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains [a double chain], and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

Jeremiah 52:1-3. Zedekiah … king of Babylon. These three verses are of the same purport with 2 Kings 24:18-20, with only two unessential differences. In the latter passage, Jeremiah 52:20, we find וּבִיהוּרָה for וִיהוּדָה, and עַד־הִשְׁלִיכוֹ for עַד־הִשְלִיכוֹ, in both cases an easier and more correct reading, of which it is more natural to suppose that it arose out of the other, than the reverse. The present passage then has the presumption of originality in its favor. Comp, moreover, 2 Chronicles 36:11-13.—For through the anger, etc. The reason for Jehovah’s anger is punishment, in Jeremiah 52:2, however, to which the for refers, it is sin, not punishment, which is spoken of. Accordingly the words are not to be taken as causal, but as was shown on Jeremiah 32:31 (p287) עַל is used here as frequently elsewhere for אֵל or לְ, and עַל־אַף is the statement of the effect: it came to pass that Jehovah was angered—which may be said of what happened in Jerusalem, as well as against it.

Jeremiah 52:4-5. And it came to pass … Zedekiah. These words are found almost exactly the same in 2 Kings 25:1-2, and in an abridged extract in Jeremiah 39:1. Compare also Ezekiel 24:1. For the exposition of the parts reproduced in Jeremiah 39, see there the differences between our text and that of the Book of Kings. Comp. the Textual Notes.

Jeremiah 52:6-7. And in the fourth month … the plain. These opening words, found also in Jeremiah 39:2, are wanting in 2 Kings, although the statement of the day without that of the month, makes no sense, and also the words and went out of the city, though thus the sentence loses its predicate. Keil (on 2 Kings 25:4) supposes that not only the predicate has fallen out after all the men of war, but also still more before these words, in 2 Ki. and Jeremiah 52, namely, the words found in Jeremiah 39:3, “and it came to pass, when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them,” because the king (according to 2 Kings 25:5; Jeremiah 52:8; Jeremiah 39:5) was among the fugitives, and because the words “and all the men of war,” have no proper connection with the previous context and could not form an adverbial sentence. But if Keil were right, the whole verse Jeremiah 39:3 must have dropped out, since them refers to the persons mentioned in it. We have already shown on Jeremiah 39. that Jeremiah 52:1-2; Jeremiah 52:4-10 are only an abridged extract from Jeremiah 52. and that the words quoted above are only a connecting clause between the original and genuine Jeremiah 52:3, and the following verses derived from Jeremiah 52. These words are therefore of later date than Jeremiah 52, and cannot have been omitted before “ and all the men,” etc. The previous mention of the king is not necessary, since he is included; the sentence moreover is not adverbial, but a narrative of a by no means unusual construction (comp. Ewald, §346, b).

Jeremiah 52:8-11. But the army … of his death. The Book of Kings reads “ him ” instead of Zedekiah. It is plain that the former could be more easily derived from the latter than the reverse.—In the land of Hamath is wanting in 2 Kings 25:6, while it is found ib. Jeremiah 52:21 (comp. 2 Kings 23:33).—He gave judgment. 2 Kings 25:6, has “they gave,” etc., on which comp. rems. on Jeremiah 32:5.—The first half of Jeremiah 52:10 agrees with Jeremiah 39:6, even to the there added words, “in Riblah.” In 2 Kings 25:7 it reads, “and they slew the sons,” etc., the Chaldeans of Jeremiah 52:5 being still the subject. The second half of Jeremiah 52:10 is entirely wanting in 2 Kings. The blinding and binding in chains of king Zedekiah is narrated in both places in the same way, but in 2 Ki. the singulars put out (עוִּרִ) and bound him (וַיֵאַסְרֵהוּ) are the more surprising, as the sentence is contained in the plural carried him (וַיַבַיְאֻהוּ). 2 Kings 25. is entirely silent on the confinement of Zedekiah in Babylon. Hitzig justly calls attention to the fact that בֵּית־הַפְּקֻדּת is not simply a prison, this being always otherwise expressed (comp, e.g., Jeremiah 52:31). Jeremiah, who is not blinded, is put into prison; but Zedekiah, the more guilty, is blinded and put into the house of correction. Comp. Simson on Judges 16:21. The LXX. also has ἐις οἰκίαν μυλῶνος. Yet it appears that towards the end his confinement was less rigorous, and that an honorable interment was granted him after his death, for this is the purport of the promise made to him through Jeremiah in Jeremiah 34:1-5.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. “Docemur hoc capite, quod comminationes divinæ rum sint de pelvi fulgura, quodque Deus pro misericordia sua infinita calamitates a se immissas mitigare plerumque soleat, si seria interveniat pœnitentia.” Förster.

2. On Jeremiah 52:1-3. “From this we see why God sometimes places ungodly rulers over a country, who cast it to destruction. It is done on account of the rulers’ and the people’s sins, that they may draw down the well merited punishment, as Sirach says. On account of violence, injustice and avarice, a kingdom passes from one nation to another ( Jeremiah 10:8). So also says king Solomon. Because of the sins of a nation occur many changes of rulers, but for the sake of the people who are intelligent and reasonable, the State is prolonged ( Proverbs 28:2).” Wurtemb. Summarien.

3. On Jeremiah 52:4. “God allows many slight and mild punishments to come as warnings, till at last comes the finishing stroke. This is a witness to the divine long-suffering ( Romans 2:4).” Cramer.

4. On Jeremiah 52:6. “The fact that in this siege compassionate women had to kill and eat their own children ( Lamentations 4:10) is a reminder that by bodily hunger God would punish; 1. satiation and disgust towards His holy word and soul-food; 2. the terrible offering up of children to Moloch; 3. the loose discipline of children.” Cramer.

5. On Jeremiah 52:7. “No fortress can protect the ungodly, even though they had their nest in the clouds.” Cramer.

6. On Jeremiah 52:8. “An example of faithless, perjured men of war. But as Zedekiah broke his oath to the king at Babylon, he was paid back in the same coin.” Cramer. “His people forsook the poor king Zedekiah on his flight and he was captured, from which we see that great men cannot depend on their body-guard; these flee in time of need, and leave their masters in the lurch. The surest and best protection is when we have the holy angels for our guard … This angelic protection Isaiah, however, to be obtained and preserved by faith and godliness, but is lost by unbelief and ungodly conduct.” Wurtemb. Summ.

7. On Jeremiah 52:9-11. The punishment of perjury. “Ubi monemur, quod fides hosti, etiam barbaro, qualis hodie Turca, a Christianis data, mimine violanda.” Förster.

8. On Jeremiah 52:9. sqq. “God had shown Zedekiah by Jeremiah a way in which he could escape the calamity. But because he forsook the Lord and would not follow it, the others were only leaky cisterns ( Jeremiah 2:13). For woe to the rebellious who take counsel without the Lord ( Isaiah 30:1). This is useful for an instance against the holy by works, who reject God’s way of escaping the Devil; when they devise other ways for themselves they are caught by the Chaldeans of hell.” Cramer.

9. On Jeremiah 52:12 sqq. “Holy places, external ceremonies and opus operatum do not avail for hypocrites … If God punished His own institution so severely, how shall human institutions remain unpunished?” Cramer.

10. On Jeremiah 52:12. “Quale fatum, ne et nostris obtingat templis … caveamus, ne profanemus templa ulterius tum externa vel materialia, tum interna vel spiritualia in cordibus nostris, de quibus 1 Corinthians 3:16 sqq.; Jeremiah 6:19 sqq.” Förster.

11. On Jeremiah 52:15. “It is another work of mercy that some of Judah were preserved. For God’s grace is always to be found in His punishments.” Cramer.

12. On Jeremiah 52:15. “He who will not serve God and his neighbor at home and in quiet, must learn to do it in a strange land in affliction and distress.” Cramer.

13. On Jeremiah 52:24 sqq. “As teachers are often to blame for their behaviour that sin gets the upper hand in a community, it is exceedingly just when God brings such for an example into great punitive judgment ( 1 Samuel 2:27-34).” Starke.

14. On Jeremiah 52:24. “The priests are caught and slain; 1. because they could not believe the truth for themselves; 2. because they led others astray; 3. because they appealed to the temple of the Lord; 4. because they persecuted the true prophets; 5. because they troubled the whole church of God. But he who troubleth shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be ( Galatians 5:10).” Cramer.

15. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Sane omnino verisimile videtur judicio Philippi Melanchthonis in Chron. part, I fol. 33 Evilmerodachum amplexum esse doctrinam Danielis de Vero Deo, quam et pater publico edic professus Esther, eamque ob causam clementiam exercuisse erga regem Jechoniam.” Förster.—“Narrant Hebræi hujusmodi fabulam: Evilmerodach, qui patre suo Nabuchodonosor vivente per septem annos inter bestias, ante regnaverat, postquam ille restitutus in regno Esther, usque ad mortem patris cum Joakim rege Judæ in vinculis fuit; quo mortuo, quum rursus in regnum succederet, et non susciperetur a principibus, qui metuebant, ne viveret qui dicebatur extinctus, ut fidem patris mortui faceret, aperuit sepulcrum et cadaver ejus unco et funibus traxit.” Jerome on Jeremiah 14:18-19. Josephus speaks of it as follows: “Ἀβιλαμαρώδαχος εὐθὺς τὸν ‘Ιεχωνίαν τῶν δεσμῶν ἀφεὶς ἐν τοῖς ἀναγκαιοτάτοις φίλοις εἱχε‘Ο γὰρ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ τὴν πίστιν οὐκ ἐφύλαξε τῷ ’Ιεχωνία, παραδόντι μετὰ γυναικαῶν καὶ τέκνων καὶ τῆς συγγενείας ὅλης ἑκουσίως ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρἰδος, ὡς ἄν μὴ κατασκαφείη ληφθεῖσα τῇ πολιορκίᾳ.” (Antiqq., X:11, 21.)

16. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Ceterum potest hoc exemplo, quod Jechonias rex dignitati suæ in exilio Babylonico restitutus, refutari exceptio Judæorum contra vaticinium Jacobi ( Genesis 49:10) de Messia jamdudum exhibito, postquam per Romanos sceptrum de Juda ablatum, id quod τεκμήριον Messiæ jamjam nascituri esse debuit.” Förster.

17. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “No one should despair in misfortune, for the right hand of the Highest can change all ( Psalm 77:10) and Christ rules even in the midst of His enemies ( Psalm 110:2). For His are the praise, the glory and the power from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.” Cramer.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1. On Jeremiah 52:1-11. The truth of the word “What a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” exhibited in the example of the Jewish State under Zedekiah 1 The seed ( Jeremiah 52:2); 2. The crop (a) the siege, (b) the famine, (c) the capture of the city and flight of the king, (d) the punishment of the king and his princes, (e) the fate of the people ( Jeremiah 52:3).

2. On Jeremiah 52:12-20. The rejection of Judah appears at first sight a contradiction. For Jerusalem is the holy city ( Matthew 4:5; Nehemiah 11:1; Nehemiah 11:18), the city of God ( Psalm 46:5; Psalm 48:2; Psalm 48:9; Psalm 78:3); the temple is the house of Jehovah ( Jeremiah 7:2. etc.); God’s service rests on divine authority (Ex. chh25–27, 30, 31). But God cannot contradict Himself. We have, therefore, to show “the unity of the divine thoughts in the choice and rejection of Jerusalem.” 1. The rejection was a conditional one ( Jeremiah 7:3 sqq). Hence notwithstanding the election the rejection involved nothing contradictory, but was a necessary consequence of the unfulfilled condition.—2. The election remains (a) objectively notwithstanding the rejection; it is (b) subjectively brought to its realization by the rejection; the latter as a means of discipline operating to produce the disposition, from which alone thefulfillment of this condition can proceed. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 32:41, p288.

3. On Jeremiah 52:24-27. “That great lords sometimes make an example of gross miscreants, promotes righteousness, only it must not be done on the innocent, or with such severity that there is no proportion between the crime and its punishment ( Joshua 7:25).” Starke.

4. On Jeremiah 52:31-34. The deliverance of Jehoiachin1. It shows us that the Lord can help (a) out of great distress (grievous imprisonment of thirty-seven years), (b) in a glorious manner2. It admonishes us (a) to steadfast patience, (b) to believing hope, Psalm 13 [“It was a prelude and pledge of the liberation and exaltation of the Jewish Nation, when it had been humbled and purified by the discipline of suffering; and of its return to its own land; and a joyful pre-announcement of that far more glorious future restoration which the prophets in the Old Testament, and the Apostles in the New foretell—of Israel to God in Christ; to whom, with the Father and Holt Ghost, be ascribed all honor, glory, dominion, adoration and praise, now and forever. Amen.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.].

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Jeremiah 52:3.—הִשְׁלִיכוֹ, if there be no mistake in the writing, is an abnormal form of the infinitive. Comp. Olsh, § 191, b, f; Ewald, § 238, d. On the neuter meaning of the fem. verb הָֽיְתָה comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 60, 6, b; Isaiah 11:20; 2 Kings 24:3.

FN#2 - Jeremiah 52:4.—The differences between the text here and in 2 Kings 25:1-2 are as follows: 1. Instead of בַּשָׁנָה ו׳ here בִּשְׁנַת הַתְּשִׁעִית there. The latter mode of expression (anno noni, i.e, numeri, comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 65, 2, c) is found in Jer. also in Jeremiah 28:1, Chethibh; Jeremiah 32:1. Chethibh; Jeremiah 46:2; Jeremiah 51:59. Besides also in Jeremiah 52:28; Jeremiah 29:30 22Kings has the Liter form in Hebrews, Nebuchadnezzar (comp. Jeremiah 21:2-7; Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 32:1; Jeremiah 35:11; Jeremiah 39:11; Jeremiah 43:10; Jeremiah 44:30; Jeremiah 46:2; Jeremiah 50:17 with Jeremiah 27:6; Jeremiah 27:20; Jeremiah 28:3; Jeremiah 39:5; Hitzig on Jeremiah 24:1). 3. וַיִדַון, 2 Kings, instead of וַיַדֽוְַנוּ, which is required by וַיִבְנוּ.

FN#3 - Jeremiah 52:4.—The word דָּיֵק occurs, besides here and in the parallel passages, only in Ezekiel 4:2; Ezekiel 17:17; Ezekiel 21:27; Ezekiel 26:8. It is thus a later word. The root דוק does not occur in Hebrew, but is very common in the Chaldee, Syriac and Samaritan, where it has the meaning, speculari, inspicere, circumspicere, דָיֵק is therefore specula; the watch-tower, from which the besieged city may be watched and assailed. With this agrees well Isaiah 23:13, where the בַּחוּנִים of the Chaldeans are spoken of. It is surprising that the word never occurs in the plural, as we should expect, if it designated only, the single towers. We may therefore suppose that it signifies the whole line of circumvallation, including the towers and is thus a potiori, a collective designation. As the chaldeans were celebrated for their skill in sieges (comp. Herzog, Real-Enc., IV, S. 394), the word may have passed from their language into the Hebrew. Comp. Keil on 2 Kings 25:1; Haevernick on Ezekiel 4:2, S. 49; Gesen, Thes., p330.

FN#4 - Jeremiah 52:5.—מָצוֹר is primarily coarctatio in general and then specially coarctatio by means of obsidio, hence it assumes the latter meaning in connections like עִיר מָצוֹר ( Psalm 31:22; Psalm 60:11), בָּנָה מ׳ ( Deuteronomy 20:20), נָתַן מ׳ עַל ( Ezekiel 4:2), בּוֹא בַּמּ׳ ( 2 Kings 24:10; 2 Kings 25:2), without involving a complete suppression of the radical signification. Comp. Jeremiah 10:17; Jeremiah 19:9.

FN#5 - Jeremiah 52:7.—Instead of וַיֵלְכִוּ we find in 2 Ki. the manifestly less correct form, וַיֵלֶךְ.


Verses 12-16

2. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CITY AND DEPORTATION OF THE PEOPLE

Jeremiah 52:12-16

12Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard [of the halberdiers], who served [stood before][FN6] the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem 13 And burned the house of the Lord [Jehovah] and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men [every great house],[FN7] burned 14 he with fire. And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of 15 the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem, round about. Then Nebuzaradan captain of the guard [halberdiers] carried away captive certain of the poor [a part of the lowest] of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of 16 the multitude [work-people].[FN8] But Nebuzar adan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor [part of the meanest][FN9] of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen.[FN10]

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

Jeremiah 52:12-14. Now in the fifth … round about. Instead of the tenth day, 2Kings (as also Baruch 1:2) mentions the seventh, as the same text also states three cubits instead of the five in Jeremiah 52:23, and five men instead of the seven in Jeremiah 52:25. Hitzig, Thenius, Graf, Keil [Blayney, Henderson] rightly suppose that these differences arose from the interchange of the letters of the older alphabet used as numerals. Which statements are correct is not ascertainable. Thenius [comp. also Wordsworth] declares the statement here made to be the correct one, because the Jews afterward kept the ninth day as a fast. But on the other hand comp. Keil on 2 Kings 25:8.

Jeremiah 52:15-16. Then Nebuzar-adan. … husbandmen.—The poor of the people, which is wanting in 2 Ki, has come here either by mistake from Jeremiah 52:16, where it also begins the sentence, or it is to express the thought, that the poor people did not all remain behind, but were partly carried away. the latter is probably the correct view.—Multitude [work-people]. It is difficult to decide which is the correct rendering. Both suit the sense, for a remnant of workpeople might just as well be spoken of as a remnant, of the masses of the people (either in antithesis to the warriors or the population of the city). I prefer to take the word in the sense in which it undoubtedly occurs in Proverbs 8:30 [then was I as a workman with him], and Song of Solomon 7:1.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. “Docemur hoc capite, quod comminationes divinæ rum sint de pelvi fulgura, quodque Deus pro misericordia sua infinita calamitates a se immissas mitigare plerumque soleat, si seria interveniat pœnitentia.” Förster.

2. On Jeremiah 52:1-3. “From this we see why God sometimes places ungodly rulers over a country, who cast it to destruction. It is done on account of the rulers’ and the people’s sins, that they may draw down the well merited punishment, as Sirach says. On account of violence, injustice and avarice, a kingdom passes from one nation to another ( Jeremiah 10:8). So also says king Solomon. Because of the sins of a nation occur many changes of rulers, but for the sake of the people who are intelligent and reasonable, the State is prolonged ( Proverbs 28:2).” Wurtemb. Summarien.

3. On Jeremiah 52:4. “God allows many slight and mild punishments to come as warnings, till at last comes the finishing stroke. This is a witness to the divine long-suffering ( Romans 2:4).” Cramer.

4. On Jeremiah 52:6. “The fact that in this siege compassionate women had to kill and eat their own children ( Lamentations 4:10) is a reminder that by bodily hunger God would punish; 1. satiation and disgust towards His holy word and soul-food; 2. the terrible offering up of children to Moloch; 3. the loose discipline of children.” Cramer.

5. On Jeremiah 52:7. “No fortress can protect the ungodly, even though they had their nest in the clouds.” Cramer.

6. On Jeremiah 52:8. “An example of faithless, perjured men of war. But as Zedekiah broke his oath to the king at Babylon, he was paid back in the same coin.” Cramer. “His people forsook the poor king Zedekiah on his flight and he was captured, from which we see that great men cannot depend on their body-guard; these flee in time of need, and leave their masters in the lurch. The surest and best protection is when we have the holy angels for our guard … This angelic protection Isaiah, however, to be obtained and preserved by faith and godliness, but is lost by unbelief and ungodly conduct.” Wurtemb. Summ.

7. On Jeremiah 52:9-11. The punishment of perjury. “Ubi monemur, quod fides hosti, etiam barbaro, qualis hodie Turca, a Christianis data, mimine violanda.” Förster.

8. On Jeremiah 52:9. sqq. “God had shown Zedekiah by Jeremiah a way in which he could escape the calamity. But because he forsook the Lord and would not follow it, the others were only leaky cisterns ( Jeremiah 2:13). For woe to the rebellious who take counsel without the Lord ( Isaiah 30:1). This is useful for an instance against the holy by works, who reject God’s way of escaping the Devil; when they devise other ways for themselves they are caught by the Chaldeans of hell.” Cramer.

9. On Jeremiah 52:12 sqq. “Holy places, external ceremonies and opus operatum do not avail for hypocrites … If God punished His own institution so severely, how shall human institutions remain unpunished?” Cramer.

10. On Jeremiah 52:12. “Quale fatum, ne et nostris obtingat templis … caveamus, ne profanemus templa ulterius tum externa vel materialia, tum interna vel spiritualia in cordibus nostris, de quibus 1 Corinthians 3:16 sqq.; Jeremiah 6:19 sqq.” Förster.

11. On Jeremiah 52:15. “It is another work of mercy that some of Judah were preserved. For God’s grace is always to be found in His punishments.” Cramer.

12. On Jeremiah 52:15. “He who will not serve God and his neighbor at home and in quiet, must learn to do it in a strange land in affliction and distress.” Cramer.

13. On Jeremiah 52:24 sqq. “As teachers are often to blame for their behaviour that sin gets the upper hand in a community, it is exceedingly just when God brings such for an example into great punitive judgment ( 1 Samuel 2:27-34).” Starke.

14. On Jeremiah 52:24. “The priests are caught and slain; 1. because they could not believe the truth for themselves; 2. because they led others astray; 3. because they appealed to the temple of the Lord; 4. because they persecuted the true prophets; 5. because they troubled the whole church of God. But he who troubleth shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be ( Galatians 5:10).” Cramer.

15. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Sane omnino verisimile videtur judicio Philippi Melanchthonis in Chron. part, I fol. 33 Evilmerodachum amplexum esse doctrinam Danielis de Vero Deo, quam et pater publico edic professus Esther, eamque ob causam clementiam exercuisse erga regem Jechoniam.” Förster.—“Narrant Hebræi hujusmodi fabulam: Evilmerodach, qui patre suo Nabuchodonosor vivente per septem annos inter bestias, ante regnaverat, postquam ille restitutus in regno Esther, usque ad mortem patris cum Joakim rege Judæ in vinculis fuit; quo mortuo, quum rursus in regnum succederet, et non susciperetur a principibus, qui metuebant, ne viveret qui dicebatur extinctus, ut fidem patris mortui faceret, aperuit sepulcrum et cadaver ejus unco et funibus traxit.” Jerome on Jeremiah 14:18-19. Josephus speaks of it as follows: “Ἀβιλαμαρώδαχος εὐθὺς τὸν ‘Ιεχωνίαν τῶν δεσμῶν ἀφεὶς ἐν τοῖς ἀναγκαιοτάτοις φίλοις εἱχε‘Ο γὰρ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ τὴν πίστιν οὐκ ἐφύλαξε τῷ ’Ιεχωνία, παραδόντι μετὰ γυναικαῶν καὶ τέκνων καὶ τῆς συγγενείας ὅλης ἑκουσίως ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρἰδος, ὡς ἄν μὴ κατασκαφείη ληφθεῖσα τῇ πολιορκίᾳ.” (Antiqq., X:11, 21.)

16. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Ceterum potest hoc exemplo, quod Jechonias rex dignitati suæ in exilio Babylonico restitutus, refutari exceptio Judæorum contra vaticinium Jacobi ( Genesis 49:10) de Messia jamdudum exhibito, postquam per Romanos sceptrum de Juda ablatum, id quod τεκμήριον Messiæ jamjam nascituri esse debuit.” Förster.

17. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “No one should despair in misfortune, for the right hand of the Highest can change all ( Psalm 77:10) and Christ rules even in the midst of His enemies ( Psalm 110:2). For His are the praise, the glory and the power from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.” Cramer.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1. On Jeremiah 52:1-11. The truth of the word “What a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” exhibited in the example of the Jewish State under Zedekiah 1 The seed ( Jeremiah 52:2); 2. The crop (a) the siege, (b) the famine, (c) the capture of the city and flight of the king, (d) the punishment of the king and his princes, (e) the fate of the people ( Jeremiah 52:3).

2. On Jeremiah 52:12-20. The rejection of Judah appears at first sight a contradiction. For Jerusalem is the holy city ( Matthew 4:5; Nehemiah 11:1; Nehemiah 11:18), the city of God ( Psalm 46:5; Psalm 48:2; Psalm 48:9; Psalm 78:3); the temple is the house of Jehovah ( Jeremiah 7:2. etc.); God’s service rests on divine authority (Ex. chh25–27, 30, 31). But God cannot contradict Himself. We have, therefore, to show “the unity of the divine thoughts in the choice and rejection of Jerusalem.” 1. The rejection was a conditional one ( Jeremiah 7:3 sqq). Hence notwithstanding the election the rejection involved nothing contradictory, but was a necessary consequence of the unfulfilled condition.—2. The election remains (a) objectively notwithstanding the rejection; it is (b) subjectively brought to its realization by the rejection; the latter as a means of discipline operating to produce the disposition, from which alone thefulfillment of this condition can proceed. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 32:41, p288.

3. On Jeremiah 52:24-27. “That great lords sometimes make an example of gross miscreants, promotes righteousness, only it must not be done on the innocent, or with such severity that there is no proportion between the crime and its punishment ( Joshua 7:25).” Starke.

4. On Jeremiah 52:31-34. The deliverance of Jehoiachin1. It shows us that the Lord can help (a) out of great distress (grievous imprisonment of thirty-seven years), (b) in a glorious manner2. It admonishes us (a) to steadfast patience, (b) to believing hope, Psalm 13 [“It was a prelude and pledge of the liberation and exaltation of the Jewish Nation, when it had been humbled and purified by the discipline of suffering; and of its return to its own land; and a joyful pre-announcement of that far more glorious future restoration which the prophets in the Old Testament, and the Apostles in the New foretell—of Israel to God in Christ; to whom, with the Father and Holt Ghost, be ascribed all honor, glory, dominion, adoration and praise, now and forever. Amen.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.].

Footnotes:

FN#6 - Jeremiah 52:12.—For עָמַד לְבִּנֵי, of which words the former owes its punctuation to the erroneous connection with יִרוּשָלַם (hence also בִּי׳), 2Kings reads עֶבֶד as a correction, and יר׳ without בִּי. He ought doubtless to read עֹמֵד. Comp. Jeremiah 35:19; Judges 20:28.

FN#7 - Jeremiah 52:13.—Before נָדוֹל the article is wanting in 2 Ki. according to rule. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 82, 6. But the construct state of בֵּית is surprising in both cases. Probably it read originally, as Hitzig supposes. כַּיִת גַדוֹל. A mistake (comp. the בֵּית twice before) caused בֵּית, from which came בַּית הַנָדוֹל. This can be taken only in the sense of rhetorical emphasis, הַגָּדוֹל being collective for “the great” ( 2 Kings 4:8; 2 Kings 5:1). Then certainly the constr. state is perfectly normal, but, in 2 Ki. the traces of an older form of the text are to be recognized. Before חוֹמֹת Jeremiah 52:14 is wanting in 2 Ki. the certainly unnecessary כֹּל, before רַב־ט׳ however the grammatically necessary אֵת.

FN#8 - Jeremiah 52:15.—Instead of יֶתֶר־הָמוֹן, 2Ki. has הֶהָמוֹן. The word אמון must have seemed obscure even to the authors of the text of 2 Kings25. and Jeremiah 39, the one rendering it as above, the other by הָעָם חַנִּשְׁאָרִים. In Proverbs 8:30 אָמוֹן and in Song of Solomon 7:1 אָמִן certainly has the sense of work- Prayer of Manasseh, and accordingly we may take the word here as a collective designation of the הָרָשׁ and מַסְגֵר, whose deportation is spoken of in Jeremiah 24:1 and Jeremiah 29:2. Thus Hitzig, Graf, Meier, Keil, on the other hand, appeals to Jeremiah 39:9. But this passage, as well as 2 Kings 25:11, proves only that to both authors the word אָמוֹן appeared strange. Whether they interpreted it correctly is another question. If it should be alleged that it is a word appertaining only to a higher style, we reply that it would not be an easy alteration from הַמוֹן.

FN#9 - Jeremiah 52:16.—Instead of מִדַּלּוֹת 2Ki. has מִדַּלַּת. This also betrays the hand of the corrector, since דַּלּוֹת does not occur elsewhere either as plural or singular (Ewald, §165, c). It is the plural of דַּלָּה ( Jeremiah 40:7; 2 Kings 24:14; 2 Kings 25:12)=tenuitates, insignificances.

FN#10 - Jeremiah 52:16.—The name Nebuzar-adan appeared superfluous to the author of 2 Kings25, having been mentioned in Jeremiah 52:12. The word יֹגְבִים, which does not occur elsewhere, he altered into נָבִים (from גוּבּ, fodit, aravit). Comp. remarks on Jeremiah 39:10.


Verses 17-23

3. THE CARRYING AWAY OF THE SACRED VESSELS

Jeremiah 52:17-23

17Also the pillars of brass that were in [belonged to][FN11] the house of the Lord, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the Lord [Jehovah] the 18 Chaldeans brake, and carried all[FN12] the brass of them to Babylon. The caldrons [pots] also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and 19 all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. And the basins,[FN13] and the firepans,[FN14] and the bowls, and the caldrons [pots], and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups;[FN15] that which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver [which were entirely of gold or silver][FN16] took the captain of 20 the guard [halberdiers] away. The[FN17] two pillars, one[FN18] sea, and twelve brazen bulls that were under[FN19] the bases, which king Solomon had made to [for] the house 21 of the Lord [Jehovah]; the brass[FN20] of all these vessels was without weight. And concerning the pillars, the height[FN21] of one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers; it was 22hollow.[FN22] And a chapiter of brass was upon it; and the height of one chapiter was five cubits, with network[FN23] and pomegranates upon the chapiter, round about, all23of brass. The second pillar also and the pomegranates[FN24] were like unto these. And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side; and all the pomegranates upon the network were a hundred round about [round about were a hundred].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

[Comp. Wordsworth].

Jeremiah 52:21-23. And the pillars … a hundred. Supplementary and more particular description of the pillars.—And the pillars is wanting in 2 Ki. The height is also stated at eighteen cubits in 1 Kings 7:15. The description there given is in general the basis of this.—And a fillet, etc., to the end of the verse, is also wanting in 2 Ki.—If the pillars were twelve cubits in circumference, the diameter (comp. Winer, R-W-B. s. v. Jachin und Boas) was about four cubits, which gives a perfectly correct proportion. The thickness of the brass was four fingers. Thus the pillars were hollow, as indeed is remarked.—A chapiter. This is the capital, coronamentum of the pillar. Comp. 1 Kings 7:16; 2 Chronicles 4:12-13.—Instead of five cubits 2 Kings 25:17 has three. The number five in the correct one according to 1 Kings 7:16.—Of one is unnecessary, but not incorrect, since of course it is understood not of a second capital, but the capital of the second pillar. It is evidently based on 1 Kings 7:16.—The pomegranates were also an ornamentation on the hem of the priest’s ephod, or surplice ( Exodus 28:33-34). A figure of it may be seen in Thenius, Comm. on Kings, Taf. III. Fig2 bb.

Jeremiah 52:23 is entirely wanting in 2 Kings. Ninety-six pomegranates on each pillar were placed רוּחָהi.e. towards the wind, towards the four winds or sides [Henderson after Hitzig, towards the air, the outside of the capitals]. The expression is found here only. Comp. Ezekiel 37:9. It is clear that this is the meaning from the statement that the entire number of the pomegranates attached to the network was a hundred. There must then have been also a pomegranate at each corner.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. “Docemur hoc capite, quod comminationes divinæ rum sint de pelvi fulgura, quodque Deus pro misericordia sua infinita calamitates a se immissas mitigare plerumque soleat, si seria interveniat pœnitentia.” Förster.

2. On Jeremiah 52:1-3. “From this we see why God sometimes places ungodly rulers over a country, who cast it to destruction. It is done on account of the rulers’ and the people’s sins, that they may draw down the well merited punishment, as Sirach says. On account of violence, injustice and avarice, a kingdom passes from one nation to another ( Jeremiah 10:8). So also says king Solomon. Because of the sins of a nation occur many changes of rulers, but for the sake of the people who are intelligent and reasonable, the State is prolonged ( Proverbs 28:2).” Wurtemb. Summarien.

3. On Jeremiah 52:4. “God allows many slight and mild punishments to come as warnings, till at last comes the finishing stroke. This is a witness to the divine long-suffering ( Romans 2:4).” Cramer.

4. On Jeremiah 52:6. “The fact that in this siege compassionate women had to kill and eat their own children ( Lamentations 4:10) is a reminder that by bodily hunger God would punish; 1. satiation and disgust towards His holy word and soul-food; 2. the terrible offering up of children to Moloch; 3. the loose discipline of children.” Cramer.

5. On Jeremiah 52:7. “No fortress can protect the ungodly, even though they had their nest in the clouds.” Cramer.

6. On Jeremiah 52:8. “An example of faithless, perjured men of war. But as Zedekiah broke his oath to the king at Babylon, he was paid back in the same coin.” Cramer. “His people forsook the poor king Zedekiah on his flight and he was captured, from which we see that great men cannot depend on their body-guard; these flee in time of need, and leave their masters in the lurch. The surest and best protection is when we have the holy angels for our guard … This angelic protection Isaiah, however, to be obtained and preserved by faith and godliness, but is lost by unbelief and ungodly conduct.” Wurtemb. Summ.

7. On Jeremiah 52:9-11. The punishment of perjury. “Ubi monemur, quod fides hosti, etiam barbaro, qualis hodie Turca, a Christianis data, mimine violanda.” Förster.

8. On Jeremiah 52:9. sqq. “God had shown Zedekiah by Jeremiah a way in which he could escape the calamity. But because he forsook the Lord and would not follow it, the others were only leaky cisterns ( Jeremiah 2:13). For woe to the rebellious who take counsel without the Lord ( Isaiah 30:1). This is useful for an instance against the holy by works, who reject God’s way of escaping the Devil; when they devise other ways for themselves they are caught by the Chaldeans of hell.” Cramer.

9. On Jeremiah 52:12 sqq. “Holy places, external ceremonies and opus operatum do not avail for hypocrites … If God punished His own institution so severely, how shall human institutions remain unpunished?” Cramer.

10. On Jeremiah 52:12. “Quale fatum, ne et nostris obtingat templis … caveamus, ne profanemus templa ulterius tum externa vel materialia, tum interna vel spiritualia in cordibus nostris, de quibus 1 Corinthians 3:16 sqq.; Jeremiah 6:19 sqq.” Förster.

11. On Jeremiah 52:15. “It is another work of mercy that some of Judah were preserved. For God’s grace is always to be found in His punishments.” Cramer.

12. On Jeremiah 52:15. “He who will not serve God and his neighbor at home and in quiet, must learn to do it in a strange land in affliction and distress.” Cramer.

13. On Jeremiah 52:24 sqq. “As teachers are often to blame for their behaviour that sin gets the upper hand in a community, it is exceedingly just when God brings such for an example into great punitive judgment ( 1 Samuel 2:27-34).” Starke.

14. On Jeremiah 52:24. “The priests are caught and slain; 1. because they could not believe the truth for themselves; 2. because they led others astray; 3. because they appealed to the temple of the Lord; 4. because they persecuted the true prophets; 5. because they troubled the whole church of God. But he who troubleth shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be ( Galatians 5:10).” Cramer.

15. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Sane omnino verisimile videtur judicio Philippi Melanchthonis in Chron. part, I fol. 33 Evilmerodachum amplexum esse doctrinam Danielis de Vero Deo, quam et pater publico edic professus Esther, eamque ob causam clementiam exercuisse erga regem Jechoniam.” Förster.—“Narrant Hebræi hujusmodi fabulam: Evilmerodach, qui patre suo Nabuchodonosor vivente per septem annos inter bestias, ante regnaverat, postquam ille restitutus in regno Esther, usque ad mortem patris cum Joakim rege Judæ in vinculis fuit; quo mortuo, quum rursus in regnum succederet, et non susciperetur a principibus, qui metuebant, ne viveret qui dicebatur extinctus, ut fidem patris mortui faceret, aperuit sepulcrum et cadaver ejus unco et funibus traxit.” Jerome on Jeremiah 14:18-19. Josephus speaks of it as follows: “Ἀβιλαμαρώδαχος εὐθὺς τὸν ‘Ιεχωνίαν τῶν δεσμῶν ἀφεὶς ἐν τοῖς ἀναγκαιοτάτοις φίλοις εἱχε‘Ο γὰρ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ τὴν πίστιν οὐκ ἐφύλαξε τῷ ’Ιεχωνία, παραδόντι μετὰ γυναικαῶν καὶ τέκνων καὶ τῆς συγγενείας ὅλης ἑκουσίως ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρἰδος, ὡς ἄν μὴ κατασκαφείη ληφθεῖσα τῇ πολιορκίᾳ.” (Antiqq., X:11, 21.)

16. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Ceterum potest hoc exemplo, quod Jechonias rex dignitati suæ in exilio Babylonico restitutus, refutari exceptio Judæorum contra vaticinium Jacobi ( Genesis 49:10) de Messia jamdudum exhibito, postquam per Romanos sceptrum de Juda ablatum, id quod τεκμήριον Messiæ jamjam nascituri esse debuit.” Förster.

17. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “No one should despair in misfortune, for the right hand of the Highest can change all ( Psalm 77:10) and Christ rules even in the midst of His enemies ( Psalm 110:2). For His are the praise, the glory and the power from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.” Cramer.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1. On Jeremiah 52:1-11. The truth of the word “What a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” exhibited in the example of the Jewish State under Zedekiah 1 The seed ( Jeremiah 52:2); 2. The crop (a) the siege, (b) the famine, (c) the capture of the city and flight of the king, (d) the punishment of the king and his princes, (e) the fate of the people ( Jeremiah 52:3).

2. On Jeremiah 52:12-20. The rejection of Judah appears at first sight a contradiction. For Jerusalem is the holy city ( Matthew 4:5; Nehemiah 11:1; Nehemiah 11:18), the city of God ( Psalm 46:5; Psalm 48:2; Psalm 48:9; Psalm 78:3); the temple is the house of Jehovah ( Jeremiah 7:2. etc.); God’s service rests on divine authority (Ex. chh25–27, 30, 31). But God cannot contradict Himself. We have, therefore, to show “the unity of the divine thoughts in the choice and rejection of Jerusalem.” 1. The rejection was a conditional one ( Jeremiah 7:3 sqq). Hence notwithstanding the election the rejection involved nothing contradictory, but was a necessary consequence of the unfulfilled condition.—2. The election remains (a) objectively notwithstanding the rejection; it is (b) subjectively brought to its realization by the rejection; the latter as a means of discipline operating to produce the disposition, from which alone thefulfillment of this condition can proceed. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 32:41, p288.

3. On Jeremiah 52:24-27. “That great lords sometimes make an example of gross miscreants, promotes righteousness, only it must not be done on the innocent, or with such severity that there is no proportion between the crime and its punishment ( Joshua 7:25).” Starke.

4. On Jeremiah 52:31-34. The deliverance of Jehoiachin1. It shows us that the Lord can help (a) out of great distress (grievous imprisonment of thirty-seven years), (b) in a glorious manner2. It admonishes us (a) to steadfast patience, (b) to believing hope, Psalm 13 [“It was a prelude and pledge of the liberation and exaltation of the Jewish Nation, when it had been humbled and purified by the discipline of suffering; and of its return to its own land; and a joyful pre-announcement of that far more glorious future restoration which the prophets in the Old Testament, and the Apostles in the New foretell—of Israel to God in Christ; to whom, with the Father and Holt Ghost, be ascribed all honor, glory, dominion, adoration and praise, now and forever. Amen.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.].

Footnotes:

FN#11 - Jeremiah 52:17—Instead of אְַשֶׁר לְבֵית we read in 2 Kings 25:13 אְַשֵׁר בֵּית. The latter=which were in the house of Jehovah, the former=which belonged to the house, etc.

FN#12 - Jeremiah 52:17.—In 2 Ki. כֹּל is wanting before נְחֻשְׁתָּם as in Jeremiah 52:14 before חֹמוֹת.

FN#13 - Jeremiah 52:19.—סִפִים ( 1 Kings 7:50; 2 Kings 12:14, סִכּוֹת, 2 Samuel 17:28, סַפוֹת) from סַף, basin, bowl ( Exodus 12:22; Zechariah 12:2) not to be confounded with סַף, threshhold ( Jeremiah 52:24). סִפוֹת כֶסֶף are expressly mentioned in 2 Kings 12:14.

FN#14 - Jeremiah 52:19.—מַחְתּוֹת (from חָתָה, to hold, seize, specially used of bringing fire, Isaiah 30:14; Proverbs 6:27) are vessels for carrying burning substances, whether coals ( Leviticus 16:13) or lighted incense ( Numbers 16:17 sqq.).

FN#15 - Jeremiah 52:19.—מְנַקּיוֹתּ are mentioned besides only in Exodus 25:29; Exodus 37:16; Numbers 4:7, and in all these places among the utensils of the shew-bread-table (comp. rems. on כַּכּוֹת, Jeremiah 52:18) and as pertaining to libation, (אְַשֶׁר יֻסַךְ בַּהֵן). In Exodus 25:29 these vessels are expressly designated as to be made of gold.

FN#16 - Jeremiah 52:19.—The double position of זָהָב and כֶּסֶף has the sense of “only” or “wholly” (massive). Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 22 b.—The words וְאֵת הַסִפִים and וְאֵת הַסִירוֹת to מְנַקּיוֹת are wanting in 2 Kings. It is noteworthy that thus (a) the repetition of סִירוֹת and כַּכּוֹת, and (b) the plural סִּפִּים, which occurs nowhere else in the sense of “basins” are avoided; (c) that the words following סִירוֹת and כַּפוֹת are also removed.

FN#17 - Jeremiah 52:20.—With respect to the construction of Jeremiah 52:20 we are to regard the substantives set first absolutely as in the accusative; as to the pillars, etc., their brass was not to be weighed. The verse is to express that it was those large pieces which raised the weight of the brass to such a degree.

FN#18 - Jeremiah 52:20.—Instead of הָאֶחָד the Keri would have read (not in 2 Ki.) merely אֶחָד, probably because both numbers stand before and afterwards without the article. Grammatically both are possible. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 73, 2 Anm.

FN#19 - Jeremiah 52:20—The explanation of תַּחַת in the sense of “instead” is as forced as the assumption that the text originally read וְחֵמִּכֹנוֹת is arbitrary.

FN#20 - Jeremiah 52:20.—Instead of לִנְחָשְׁתָּם (the suffix by anticipation, comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 77, 2; Jeremiah 51:56 and on Jeremiah 48:44) we find in 2 Kings 25:16 simply לּנְחשֶׁת.

FN#21 - Jeremiah 52:21.—The Keri קוֹמַת, with which the Chethibh in 2 Kings 25:17 and 1 Kings 7:14 accords, is unnecessary, for קוֹמָה may be regarded as the accusative of measure (comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 70, g): eighteen cubits was a pillar as to height.

FN#22 - Jeremiah 52:21.—On the construction comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 97, 2 a and Anm. 1.

FN#23 - Ver22.—שְבָכַה from שָבַךְ, nectere, plectere inus (comp. סָבַךְ Nahum 1:10; Job 8:13; סְבָךְ, thicket, Genesis 22:13, etc.), is opus reticulatum, network. Comp. 1 Kings 7:17 sqq.; 2 Kings 1:2; 2 Chronicles 4:12-13; Job 18:8.

FN#24 - Jeremiah 52:22.—רִמֹנִים at the close of Jeremiah 52:22 is wanting in 2 Kings 25:17, and we find instead עַל־הַשְׂבָכָה. This makes the impression that this expression seemed unsuitable to the author of Jeremiah 52. (it must denote together with the network), both on account of the עַל and because the pomegranates were also named after the network, and that, in order besides the general וְכָאֵלֶּה to set forth a special part, he chose in preference the last mentioned, the רִמֹּנִים.


Verses 24-30

4. THE EXECUTION OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE AND STATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF THE CAPTIVES

Jeremiah 52:24-30

24And the captain of the guard [halberdiers] took Seraiah the chief priest, and 25 Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: He took also out of the city a eunuch [court officer], which had the charge [was[FN25] overseer] of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king’s person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe[FN26] of the host [the scribe, the prince of the host], who mustered the people of the land; and three-score men of the people 26 of the land, that were found in the midst of the city. So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah 27 And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land 28 of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land. This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three 29 thousand Jews and three and twenty: In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred and thirty and two persons: 30In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

Jeremiah 52:24-27. And the captain … out of his own land. These verses differ from the corresponding verses in 2 Kings25, with the exception of some trifling variations in language, only in the statement of a, number (seven instead of five in Jeremiah 52:25), of which hereafter. It is related that representatives of all classes of the people, priests, officials and simple citizens had to suffer death, evidently in token that Nebuchadnezzar held not only the king but the people guilty of rebellion. At the head of those executed stands the high-priest Seraiah, who is nowhere mentioned in the book of Jeremiah. According to 1 Chron5:40 he was the son of Azariah and grandson of Hilkiah; according to Ezra 7:1, Ezra was descended from him.—After Seraiah is mentioned Zephaniah, doubtless the same who is mentioned in Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 29:25; Jeremiah 29:29; Jeremiah 37:3 as priest simply and son of Maaseiah. Here he is called the second priest, but in 2 Kings25. second priest only without the article. As according to 2 Kings 23:4 (where as here three grades of priests are enumerated) there were several second priests, the reading of the Book of Kings is probably the correct one. Comp. Oehler in Herzog, R-Enc. VI. S. 203, 4.—The keepers of the door [or threshold] are also mentioned in 2 Kings 12:10; 2 Kings 22:4; 2 Kings 23:4; Jeremiah 35:4. As only three of them are mentioned, we must regard these as the superiors of the four thousand Levitical שֹׁעֲרִים ( 1 Chronicles 23:5). For further details consult Oehler in Herz, R-Enc. VIII. S. 354–6.—In the second category of those executed are mentioned certain inhabitants of Jerusalem, who held offices at court, especially in the war-department. The city here seems to stand in antithesis both to the temple ( Jeremiah 52:24) and to the country ( Jeremiah 52:25 b). The one סָרִים (court-officer, but possibly at the same time eunuch, comp. rems. on Jeremiah 29:2) was not the overseer, but only an overseer, etc. He was therefore one of the generals, perhaps commander of the city garrison.—And seven men. In 2 Kings25 we read five men, whether correctly or incorrectly cannot here be decided as in Jeremiah 52:12; Jeremiah 52:22. The analogy of these cases however favors our text.—That were near the king’s person, literally, “that saw the king’s face,” viz. in the sense of a daily custom, is a designation of high, yea, highest position ( Esther 1:14; comp. Matthew 18:10). These were therefore officials of high rank, and as it is not said that they were endued with military functions, they may be regarded as representatives of the civil authorities.—Scribe, the prince of the host. Scribe is not a writer in our sense. The title belongs not only, as Graf supposes, to the “people of the pen,” but is given to the highest officers of State. Comp. 2 Samuel 8:7; 2 Samuel 20:25; 2 Kings 12:11; 1 Chronicles 18:16; 1 Chronicles 27:32. And in 2 Chronicles 26:11 it is expressly recorded that Uzziah’s army went out “by the hand of Jeiel the scribe.” This Sopher was not the leader of the host, but chief of the war-department, minister or secretary of war. Comp. Saalschuetz, Mos. Recht. S. 63.—And threescore men. These sixty men appear as the third class of persons executed, and representatives of the country population, as is indicated by their number and the remark that they were found in the midst of the city ( 2 Kings 25:19 “in the city”). This remark would be altogether superfluous, if the object was not to set forth that these men did not originally belong to the city.—On Riblah comp. rems. on Jeremiah 39:5.—The words, Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his land, are found in both texts and in both places are appropriate. For in Jeremiah they form the transition to the numbering of the deported, and in 2 Kings they lead to the account of what happened in the country after the deportation. They therefore furnish no data for the solution of the question which of the two recensions is the original. Moreover, there seems to be an allusion in them to Jeremiah 1:3.

Jeremiah 52:28-30. This is the people … four thousand and six hundred. This section is entirely wanting in 2 Kings. It is difficult to bring it into harmony with the other statements respecting the deportations. The differences are as follows: 1. This section speaks of three deportations, while according to the other testimonies of the Old Testament there were only two (under Jehoiakim and Zedekiah). 2. The section follows a divergent chronology, stating that the deportations took place in the seventh, eighteenth and twenty-third years of Nebuchadnezzar, while this very chapter ( Jeremiah 52:12) and 2 Kings 24:12; 2 Kings 25:8 name the eighth and nineteenth years of Nebuchadnezzar as the dates of the deportation, but know nothing of any in the twenty-third year of this king3. According to this passage three thousand and twenty-three were carried away the first time, eight hundred and thirty-two the second time, seven hundred and forty-five the third time, total four thousand six hundred, which sum is expressly given at the close of Jeremiah 52:30. According to 2 Kings 24:14-16, however, eighteen thousand souls were carried away at the first deportation alone. There are no counter-statements with regard to the other Numbers, but their smallness is surprising; of this hereafter. On these points we make the following remarks: 1. By the seventh year in Jeremiah 52:28, we are certainly to understand the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, since both the other deportations are dated in years of this monarch2. These statements are not necessarily erroneous, but may possibly follow another reckoning of the years, and perhaps the same as Josephus follows (Antiqq. X, 8, 6; C. Ap. I, 21), though evidently only on the basis of this passage. Comp. Niebuhr, Ass. u. Bab, S. 68 sqq3. Jeremiah 52:29 mentioning the eighteenth year after Jeremiah 52:12 has stated the nineteenth as the date of the same fact, shows that we have here another author4. The view of Ewald (Gesch. d. V. Isr., III, 1 S. 435) which Graf also adopts, that in Jeremiah 52:29 we are to read שֶׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה, that accordingly one year before the last capture of Jerusalem three thousand and twenty-three were carried captive from the country (hence הוּדִים),after the capture eight hundred and thirty-two from the city (hence מִירוּשָׁלַם, Jeremiah 52:29), and finally five years later from the land already somewhat repopulated seven hundred and forty-five, has much in its favor, but is yet not perfectly satisfactory. For the circumstance that the difference between the eighth and nineteenth, and the seventh and eighteenth years of Nebuchadnezzar is the same, does not authorize us to supply a word עֶשְׁרֵה, fallen out after שְׁבַע. Then, too, the deportation of the mass of the people during the war, at a time when the Egyptian army was to be feared (comp. Jeremiah 37:5), is scarcely probable. Finally the assumption of a deportation five years after the capture of the city is pure hypothesis, for which there is no positive testimony. It is also not to be supposed that five years after the destruction, admitting the return of a few scattered individuals, an almost equally great number could be carried away as after the destruction of the capital. Would not these have rather again betaken themselves to flight? 5. Even if we grant that the strikingly small numbers of the exiles are to be judged from a specific point of view, and therefore do not necessarily imply an error, any more than the number of the years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, yet the differences between Jeremiah 52:12; Jeremiah 52:28 still remain, with the exceedingly obscure third deportation, as irremovable stones of stumbling, and I therefore agree with Niebuhr, when he says, “it cannot be a subject of doubt that Jeremiah 52:28-30 in the fifty-second chapter of Jeremiah are a gloss.”

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. “Docemur hoc capite, quod comminationes divinæ rum sint de pelvi fulgura, quodque Deus pro misericordia sua infinita calamitates a se immissas mitigare plerumque soleat, si seria interveniat pœnitentia.” Förster.

2. On Jeremiah 52:1-3. “From this we see why God sometimes places ungodly rulers over a country, who cast it to destruction. It is done on account of the rulers’ and the people’s sins, that they may draw down the well merited punishment, as Sirach says. On account of violence, injustice and avarice, a kingdom passes from one nation to another ( Jeremiah 10:8). So also says king Solomon. Because of the sins of a nation occur many changes of rulers, but for the sake of the people who are intelligent and reasonable, the State is prolonged ( Proverbs 28:2).” Wurtemb. Summarien.

3. On Jeremiah 52:4. “God allows many slight and mild punishments to come as warnings, till at last comes the finishing stroke. This is a witness to the divine long-suffering ( Romans 2:4).” Cramer.

4. On Jeremiah 52:6. “The fact that in this siege compassionate women had to kill and eat their own children ( Lamentations 4:10) is a reminder that by bodily hunger God would punish; 1. satiation and disgust towards His holy word and soul-food; 2. the terrible offering up of children to Moloch; 3. the loose discipline of children.” Cramer.

5. On Jeremiah 52:7. “No fortress can protect the ungodly, even though they had their nest in the clouds.” Cramer.

6. On Jeremiah 52:8. “An example of faithless, perjured men of war. But as Zedekiah broke his oath to the king at Babylon, he was paid back in the same coin.” Cramer. “His people forsook the poor king Zedekiah on his flight and he was captured, from which we see that great men cannot depend on their body-guard; these flee in time of need, and leave their masters in the lurch. The surest and best protection is when we have the holy angels for our guard … This angelic protection Isaiah, however, to be obtained and preserved by faith and godliness, but is lost by unbelief and ungodly conduct.” Wurtemb. Summ.

7. On Jeremiah 52:9-11. The punishment of perjury. “Ubi monemur, quod fides hosti, etiam barbaro, qualis hodie Turca, a Christianis data, mimine violanda.” Förster.

8. On Jeremiah 52:9. sqq. “God had shown Zedekiah by Jeremiah a way in which he could escape the calamity. But because he forsook the Lord and would not follow it, the others were only leaky cisterns ( Jeremiah 2:13). For woe to the rebellious who take counsel without the Lord ( Isaiah 30:1). This is useful for an instance against the holy by works, who reject God’s way of escaping the Devil; when they devise other ways for themselves they are caught by the Chaldeans of hell.” Cramer.

9. On Jeremiah 52:12 sqq. “Holy places, external ceremonies and opus operatum do not avail for hypocrites … If God punished His own institution so severely, how shall human institutions remain unpunished?” Cramer.

10. On Jeremiah 52:12. “Quale fatum, ne et nostris obtingat templis … caveamus, ne profanemus templa ulterius tum externa vel materialia, tum interna vel spiritualia in cordibus nostris, de quibus 1 Corinthians 3:16 sqq.; Jeremiah 6:19 sqq.” Förster.

11. On Jeremiah 52:15. “It is another work of mercy that some of Judah were preserved. For God’s grace is always to be found in His punishments.” Cramer.

12. On Jeremiah 52:15. “He who will not serve God and his neighbor at home and in quiet, must learn to do it in a strange land in affliction and distress.” Cramer.

13. On Jeremiah 52:24 sqq. “As teachers are often to blame for their behaviour that sin gets the upper hand in a community, it is exceedingly just when God brings such for an example into great punitive judgment ( 1 Samuel 2:27-34).” Starke.

14. On Jeremiah 52:24. “The priests are caught and slain; 1. because they could not believe the truth for themselves; 2. because they led others astray; 3. because they appealed to the temple of the Lord; 4. because they persecuted the true prophets; 5. because they troubled the whole church of God. But he who troubleth shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be ( Galatians 5:10).” Cramer.

15. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Sane omnino verisimile videtur judicio Philippi Melanchthonis in Chron. part, I fol. 33 Evilmerodachum amplexum esse doctrinam Danielis de Vero Deo, quam et pater publico edic professus Esther, eamque ob causam clementiam exercuisse erga regem Jechoniam.” Förster.—“Narrant Hebræi hujusmodi fabulam: Evilmerodach, qui patre suo Nabuchodonosor vivente per septem annos inter bestias, ante regnaverat, postquam ille restitutus in regno Esther, usque ad mortem patris cum Joakim rege Judæ in vinculis fuit; quo mortuo, quum rursus in regnum succederet, et non susciperetur a principibus, qui metuebant, ne viveret qui dicebatur extinctus, ut fidem patris mortui faceret, aperuit sepulcrum et cadaver ejus unco et funibus traxit.” Jerome on Jeremiah 14:18-19. Josephus speaks of it as follows: “Ἀβιλαμαρώδαχος εὐθὺς τὸν ‘Ιεχωνίαν τῶν δεσμῶν ἀφεὶς ἐν τοῖς ἀναγκαιοτάτοις φίλοις εἱχε‘Ο γὰρ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ τὴν πίστιν οὐκ ἐφύλαξε τῷ ’Ιεχωνία, παραδόντι μετὰ γυναικαῶν καὶ τέκνων καὶ τῆς συγγενείας ὅλης ἑκουσίως ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρἰδος, ὡς ἄν μὴ κατασκαφείη ληφθεῖσα τῇ πολιορκίᾳ.” (Antiqq., X:11, 21.)

16. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Ceterum potest hoc exemplo, quod Jechonias rex dignitati suæ in exilio Babylonico restitutus, refutari exceptio Judæorum contra vaticinium Jacobi ( Genesis 49:10) de Messia jamdudum exhibito, postquam per Romanos sceptrum de Juda ablatum, id quod τεκμήριον Messiæ jamjam nascituri esse debuit.” Förster.

17. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “No one should despair in misfortune, for the right hand of the Highest can change all ( Psalm 77:10) and Christ rules even in the midst of His enemies ( Psalm 110:2). For His are the praise, the glory and the power from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.” Cramer.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1. On Jeremiah 52:1-11. The truth of the word “What a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” exhibited in the example of the Jewish State under Zedekiah 1 The seed ( Jeremiah 52:2); 2. The crop (a) the siege, (b) the famine, (c) the capture of the city and flight of the king, (d) the punishment of the king and his princes, (e) the fate of the people ( Jeremiah 52:3).

2. On Jeremiah 52:12-20. The rejection of Judah appears at first sight a contradiction. For Jerusalem is the holy city ( Matthew 4:5; Nehemiah 11:1; Nehemiah 11:18), the city of God ( Psalm 46:5; Psalm 48:2; Psalm 48:9; Psalm 78:3); the temple is the house of Jehovah ( Jeremiah 7:2. etc.); God’s service rests on divine authority (Ex. chh25–27, 30, 31). But God cannot contradict Himself. We have, therefore, to show “the unity of the divine thoughts in the choice and rejection of Jerusalem.” 1. The rejection was a conditional one ( Jeremiah 7:3 sqq). Hence notwithstanding the election the rejection involved nothing contradictory, but was a necessary consequence of the unfulfilled condition.—2. The election remains (a) objectively notwithstanding the rejection; it is (b) subjectively brought to its realization by the rejection; the latter as a means of discipline operating to produce the disposition, from which alone thefulfillment of this condition can proceed. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 32:41, p288.

3. On Jeremiah 52:24-27. “That great lords sometimes make an example of gross miscreants, promotes righteousness, only it must not be done on the innocent, or with such severity that there is no proportion between the crime and its punishment ( Joshua 7:25).” Starke.

4. On Jeremiah 52:31-34. The deliverance of Jehoiachin1. It shows us that the Lord can help (a) out of great distress (grievous imprisonment of thirty-seven years), (b) in a glorious manner2. It admonishes us (a) to steadfast patience, (b) to believing hope, Psalm 13 [“It was a prelude and pledge of the liberation and exaltation of the Jewish Nation, when it had been humbled and purified by the discipline of suffering; and of its return to its own land; and a joyful pre-announcement of that far more glorious future restoration which the prophets in the Old Testament, and the Apostles in the New foretell—of Israel to God in Christ; to whom, with the Father and Holt Ghost, be ascribed all honor, glory, dominion, adoration and praise, now and forever. Amen.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.].

Footnotes:

FN#25 - Jeremiah 52:25.—In 2 Kings25 we findהוּא for הָָיה. The former does not necessarily, as Hitzig asserts, signify “which is.” הוּא takes the place of the copula generally, without reference to time. Comp. Ewald, § 297 b.

FN#26 - Jeremiah 52:25—ואת ספר. In 2 Kings25 הַסֹּפר, which I regard as the more correct reading.


Verses 31-34

5. THE FAVORABLE TURN IN THE FATE OF JEHOIACHIN

Jeremiah 52:31-34

31[FN27]And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up 32 the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison, and spake kindly unto him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were 33 with him in Babylon, and changed[FN28] his prison garments: and he did continually 34 eat bread before him all the days of his life. And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion [the day’s requirements] until the day of his death, all the days of his life.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

To this section there is an almost exactly corresponding one in 2 Kings25 (27–30). The differences are unessential: instead of the twenty-fifth day, 2 Kings 25:31 has the twenty-seventh (comp Jeremiah 52:25, where the reverse is the case), so that one is tempted to think that one of the two authors has interchanged these two passages; (comp. also rems, on Jeremiah 52:12). For other differences comp. the Textual Notes.—The expression to lift up the head, is found also in Genesis 40:13 coll19,20, and designates the elevation of one who is prostrate. Comp. the expression in another sense in Exodus 30:12; Numbers 1:2, etc.; Psalm 83:3.—In the first year of his reign. It was evidently an act of grace, which Evil-merodach performed on the occasion of his ascending the throne. May not the influence of Daniel and other highly esteemed Jews at the Babylonian court have operated in favor of the imprisoned king?—Out of prison. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 37:4.—Above the throne. This expression does not mean that Jehoiachin received a seat on the same level, but surpassing the others in height, but that his seat stood higher up than the others, i.e., that he could sit nearer to the king. Whether the others were princes constantly or transiently present, may be left undecided. Perhaps both.—His diet, אֲרֻחָה (comp. Jeremiah 40:6), evidently comprehends all that Jehoiachin needed for himself and household, besides the food which he had at the royal table. The accumulation of expressions, indicating that Jehoiachin continued without interruption to the end of his life to enjoy royal honors, shows that this fact gave great satisfaction to the author.—On the chronological relations, comp. Niebuhr, Ass. u. Babel, S. 87 sqq.; Duncker, Gesch d. Alterth, L, S. 864, 5. —The ascension of the throne by Evil-merodach occurred in the year B. C, 561. It is not absolutely impossible that Jeremiah was still alive at this time. Supposing that he began his ministry at the age of twenty, he would be then about eighty-six. Comp. the dates in Jeremiah 23:3, and Jeremiah 52:31. It is also not impossible that he received in Egypt the news of Jehoiachin’s exaltation. But this notice includes not only the liberation of the Exodus -king, but his death ( Jeremiah 52:33-34). Thus vanishes all probability of Jeremiah’s being its author, as well as from the consideration that the notice, if proceeding from Jeremiah, must have been found in another place, and not at the close of this supplement, evidently compiled by a later hand.

Footnotes:

FN#27 - Jeremiah 52:31.— 2 Kings 25 for מַלְכֻתוֹ has מָלְכוֹ; וַיֹצֵא אֹתוֹ is wanting; for הַכְּלּיא it reads כֶּלֶא, instead of לְכִסֵּא מִּמַּעַל more simply מֵעַל כִּסֵּא; further שִׁנָּא for שִׁנָּה ( Jeremiah 52:33); for לְפָנָיו תָּמִיד the same words reversed, for מֶוֶךְ בָּבֶּל ( Jeremiah 52:34) merely הַמֶּלֶךְ; the words עַד יוֹם מוֹחוֹ are entirely wanting in 2 Kings. All these alterations indicate that the author of 2 Kings25 endeavored to give an, in his opinion, improved text.

FN#28 - Jeremiah 52:33.—שִׁנָּה is the Hebrew, שִׁנָּא ( 2 Kings 25) the later Aramaic form. Comp. Olsh, § 233, Anm., and § 246, b Anm.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. “Docemur hoc capite, quod comminationes divinæ rum sint de pelvi fulgura, quodque Deus pro misericordia sua infinita calamitates a se immissas mitigare plerumque soleat, si seria interveniat pœnitentia.” Förster.

2. On Jeremiah 52:1-3. “From this we see why God sometimes places ungodly rulers over a country, who cast it to destruction. It is done on account of the rulers’ and the people’s sins, that they may draw down the well merited punishment, as Sirach says. On account of violence, injustice and avarice, a kingdom passes from one nation to another ( Jeremiah 10:8). So also says king Solomon. Because of the sins of a nation occur many changes of rulers, but for the sake of the people who are intelligent and reasonable, the State is prolonged ( Proverbs 28:2).” Wurtemb. Summarien.

3. On Jeremiah 52:4. “God allows many slight and mild punishments to come as warnings, till at last comes the finishing stroke. This is a witness to the divine long-suffering ( Romans 2:4).” Cramer.

4. On Jeremiah 52:6. “The fact that in this siege compassionate women had to kill and eat their own children ( Lamentations 4:10) is a reminder that by bodily hunger God would punish; 1. satiation and disgust towards His holy word and soul-food; 2. the terrible offering up of children to Moloch; 3. the loose discipline of children.” Cramer.

5. On Jeremiah 52:7. “No fortress can protect the ungodly, even though they had their nest in the clouds.” Cramer.

6. On Jeremiah 52:8. “An example of faithless, perjured men of war. But as Zedekiah broke his oath to the king at Babylon, he was paid back in the same coin.” Cramer. “His people forsook the poor king Zedekiah on his flight and he was captured, from which we see that great men cannot depend on their body-guard; these flee in time of need, and leave their masters in the lurch. The surest and best protection is when we have the holy angels for our guard … This angelic protection Isaiah, however, to be obtained and preserved by faith and godliness, but is lost by unbelief and ungodly conduct.” Wurtemb. Summ.

7. On Jeremiah 52:9-11. The punishment of perjury. “Ubi monemur, quod fides hosti, etiam barbaro, qualis hodie Turca, a Christianis data, mimine violanda.” Förster.

8. On Jeremiah 52:9. sqq. “God had shown Zedekiah by Jeremiah a way in which he could escape the calamity. But because he forsook the Lord and would not follow it, the others were only leaky cisterns ( Jeremiah 2:13). For woe to the rebellious who take counsel without the Lord ( Isaiah 30:1). This is useful for an instance against the holy by works, who reject God’s way of escaping the Devil; when they devise other ways for themselves they are caught by the Chaldeans of hell.” Cramer.

9. On Jeremiah 52:12 sqq. “Holy places, external ceremonies and opus operatum do not avail for hypocrites … If God punished His own institution so severely, how shall human institutions remain unpunished?” Cramer.

10. On Jeremiah 52:12. “Quale fatum, ne et nostris obtingat templis … caveamus, ne profanemus templa ulterius tum externa vel materialia, tum interna vel spiritualia in cordibus nostris, de quibus 1 Corinthians 3:16 sqq.; Jeremiah 6:19 sqq.” Förster.

11. On Jeremiah 52:15. “It is another work of mercy that some of Judah were preserved. For God’s grace is always to be found in His punishments.” Cramer.

12. On Jeremiah 52:15. “He who will not serve God and his neighbor at home and in quiet, must learn to do it in a strange land in affliction and distress.” Cramer.

13. On Jeremiah 52:24 sqq. “As teachers are often to blame for their behaviour that sin gets the upper hand in a community, it is exceedingly just when God brings such for an example into great punitive judgment ( 1 Samuel 2:27-34).” Starke.

14. On Jeremiah 52:24. “The priests are caught and slain; 1. because they could not believe the truth for themselves; 2. because they led others astray; 3. because they appealed to the temple of the Lord; 4. because they persecuted the true prophets; 5. because they troubled the whole church of God. But he who troubleth shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be ( Galatians 5:10).” Cramer.

15. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Sane omnino verisimile videtur judicio Philippi Melanchthonis in Chron. part, I fol. 33 Evilmerodachum amplexum esse doctrinam Danielis de Vero Deo, quam et pater publico edic professus Esther, eamque ob causam clementiam exercuisse erga regem Jechoniam.” Förster.—“Narrant Hebræi hujusmodi fabulam: Evilmerodach, qui patre suo Nabuchodonosor vivente per septem annos inter bestias, ante regnaverat, postquam ille restitutus in regno Esther, usque ad mortem patris cum Joakim rege Judæ in vinculis fuit; quo mortuo, quum rursus in regnum succederet, et non susciperetur a principibus, qui metuebant, ne viveret qui dicebatur extinctus, ut fidem patris mortui faceret, aperuit sepulcrum et cadaver ejus unco et funibus traxit.” Jerome on Jeremiah 14:18-19. Josephus speaks of it as follows: “Ἀβιλαμαρώδαχος εὐθὺς τὸν ‘Ιεχωνίαν τῶν δεσμῶν ἀφεὶς ἐν τοῖς ἀναγκαιοτάτοις φίλοις εἱχε‘Ο γὰρ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ τὴν πίστιν οὐκ ἐφύλαξε τῷ ’Ιεχωνία, παραδόντι μετὰ γυναικαῶν καὶ τέκνων καὶ τῆς συγγενείας ὅλης ἑκουσίως ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρἰδος, ὡς ἄν μὴ κατασκαφείη ληφθεῖσα τῇ πολιορκίᾳ.” (Antiqq., X:11, 21.)

16. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “Ceterum potest hoc exemplo, quod Jechonias rex dignitati suæ in exilio Babylonico restitutus, refutari exceptio Judæorum contra vaticinium Jacobi ( Genesis 49:10) de Messia jamdudum exhibito, postquam per Romanos sceptrum de Juda ablatum, id quod τεκμήριον Messiæ jamjam nascituri esse debuit.” Förster.

17. On Jeremiah 52:31 sqq. “No one should despair in misfortune, for the right hand of the Highest can change all ( Psalm 77:10) and Christ rules even in the midst of His enemies ( Psalm 110:2). For His are the praise, the glory and the power from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.” Cramer.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1. On Jeremiah 52:1-11. The truth of the word “What a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” exhibited in the example of the Jewish State under Zedekiah 1 The seed ( Jeremiah 52:2); 2. The crop (a) the siege, (b) the famine, (c) the capture of the city and flight of the king, (d) the punishment of the king and his princes, (e) the fate of the people ( Jeremiah 52:3).

2. On Jeremiah 52:12-20. The rejection of Judah appears at first sight a contradiction. For Jerusalem is the holy city ( Matthew 4:5; Nehemiah 11:1; Nehemiah 11:18), the city of God ( Psalm 46:5; Psalm 48:2; Psalm 48:9; Psalm 78:3); the temple is the house of Jehovah ( Jeremiah 7:2. etc.); God’s service rests on divine authority (Ex. chh25–27, 30, 31). But God cannot contradict Himself. We have, therefore, to show “the unity of the divine thoughts in the choice and rejection of Jerusalem.” 1. The rejection was a conditional one ( Jeremiah 7:3 sqq). Hence notwithstanding the election the rejection involved nothing contradictory, but was a necessary consequence of the unfulfilled condition.—2. The election remains (a) objectively notwithstanding the rejection; it is (b) subjectively brought to its realization by the rejection; the latter as a means of discipline operating to produce the disposition, from which alone thefulfillment of this condition can proceed. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 32:41, p288.

3. On Jeremiah 52:24-27. “That great lords sometimes make an example of gross miscreants, promotes righteousness, only it must not be done on the innocent, or with such severity that there is no proportion between the crime and its punishment ( Joshua 7:25).” Starke.

4. On Jeremiah 52:31-34. The deliverance of Jehoiachin1. It shows us that the Lord can help (a) out of great distress (grievous imprisonment of thirty-seven years), (b) in a glorious manner2. It admonishes us (a) to steadfast patience, (b) to believing hope, Psalm 13 [“It was a prelude and pledge of the liberation and exaltation of the Jewish Nation, when it had been humbled and purified by the discipline of suffering; and of its return to its own land; and a joyful pre-announcement of that far more glorious future restoration which the prophets in the Old Testament, and the Apostles in the New foretell—of Israel to God in Christ; to whom, with the Father and Holt Ghost, be ascribed all honor, glory, dominion, adoration and praise, now and forever. Amen.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.].

 


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 52:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/jeremiah-52.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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