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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 26

 

 

Introduction

Jeremiah 27-29. Certain linguistic peculiarities (e.g. the incorrect spelling, Nebuchadnezzar) suggest that these three chapters may have circulated as a separate pamphlet, e.g. in Babylon. They deal with the rebuke of false hopes concerning a speedy return from exile.

Jeremiah 30-31. The Future of Israel and Judah.—These two chapters of prophecy, dealing with the future restoration of Israel and Judah, appear to be a later editorial insertion in the narrative scheme of Jeremiah 26-45, placed here perhaps because Jeremiah 32 and Jeremiah 33 contain narratives and prophecies dealing with the same subject (cf. also Jeremiah 29:10 ff.). In Jeremiah 30 and Jeremiah 31, there are numerous points of contact with Deutero-Isaiah, a fact which, with other features, has suggested to many scholars an exilic or post-exilic date for much that these chapters contain. The contrast with the general "pessimism" of earlier chapters is very noticeable. On the other hand, the internal evidence for Jeremiah 31:2-6, Jeremiah 31:15-22, Jeremiah 31:31-34 entitles us to regard these sections as Jeremianic.

Jeremiah 40-44. The next five chapters continue the biography of Jeremiah, including connected events, after the capture of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 46-51. The Foreign Prophecies.—These form the third principal division of the Book of Jeremiah. As already seen (Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 1:10, Jeremiah 25:15), Jeremiah's prophetic horizon naturally included the surrounding nations; how far the prophecies that follow are his can be decided only by detailed criticism in each case. They refer, though in somewhat different order, to the several nations enumerated in Jeremiah 25:19-26 (which may be regarded as an introduction to them), except that an oracle on Damascus here replaces the reference to Tyre, Sidon, and the Mediterranean. (The LXX, which places this group of prophecies after Jeremiah 25:13, follows a third order.) It is generally admitted that the long prophecy on Babylon (Jeremiah 50 f.) is not by Jeremiah (see prefatory note). As to Jeremiah 46-49, there is considerable difference of opinion, ranging from Duhm's rejection of the whole, through Giesebrecht's acceptance of Jeremiah 47 (except towards end), with the nucleus of Jeremiah 46:2-12, Jeremiah 49:7-11, up to Cornill's acceptance of most of Jeremiah 46-49 (so also Peake). It is in any case natural to suppose that there are genuine prophecies by Jeremiah which underlie these chapters, though they have been worked over, or incorporated with other non-Jeremianic prophecies (e.g. Jeremiah 48) by later writers. For details, the larger commentaries must be consulted.

Jeremiah 26-45. These chapters, usually ascribed in the main to Baruch, chiefly narrate selected incidents in the life of Jeremiah, often with connected prophecies; they form a second main section of the book, in contrast with 1-25, which consist chiefly of prophecies, with little narrative.


Verses 1-24

Jeremiah 26. Destruction of the Temple Foretold: Jeremiah's Peril (608 B.C.).—Jeremiah is told to proclaim in the Temple (cf. Jeremiah 19:14; probably at some festival) a perilous message ("keep not back a word", Jeremiah 26:2), in the hope that it may produce a change (Jeremiah 18:8). Unless the people obey Yahweh, He will destroy the Temple, like that of Shiloh (Jeremiah 7:14) and make the city (an example of) a curse (Jeremiah 29:22). The priests and prophets declare that Jeremiah must die for this blasphemy (Deuteronomy 18:20); it is incredible to them that Yahweh can have given such a word as this (Jeremiah 26:7-9). Accordingly, the case is referred to the secular authorities, who hear it in "the new gate". Jeremiah reasserts the Divine origin of his message, and warns them of their guilt, if they slay him. The princes and people acquit him on the ground of his sincerity (Jeremiah 26:10-16). This decision is confirmed by the century-old precedent of Micah of Moresheth, who also announced the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple ("the mountain of the house", Jeremiah 26:18), a fate averted by the repentance of Hezekiah (Jeremiah 26:17-19). The writer of this narrative has added (Jeremiah 26:20-23) an account of the similar charge brought against another prophet, Uriah of Kiriath-jearim (7 m. W. of Jerusalem), which issued, however, in his extradition from Egypt, his execution, and his exclusion from the family grave (cf. 2 Kings 23:6). The closing reference to Ahikam (Jeremiah 26:24) seems to refer back to an important influence contributory to Jeremiah's escape.

Jeremiah 26:4. law: i.e., the oral teaching of the prophets; cf. Isaiah 1:10.

Jeremiah 26:8. Omit "and all the people", since they are friendly in Jeremiah 26:11 ff.

Jeremiah 26:10. the new gate: Jeremiah 36:10; perhaps that of 2 Kings 15:35; gates were usual courts of justice, cf. Thomson, p. 27.

Jeremiah 26:15. innocent blood: Jonah 1:14, Deuteronomy 21:8, 2 Kings 21:16.

Jeremiah 26:18. Hezekiah: 720-693; this result of Micah's preaching is not otherwise known.

Jeremiah 26:22. Elnathan: one of the princes, Jeremiah 36:12; Jeremiah 36:25.

Jeremiah 26:24. Ahikam: 2 Kings 22:12 ff.; cf. Jeremiah 39:14; Jeremiah 40:5 f. for the friendship of his son Gedaliah with Jeremiah.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 26:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/jeremiah-26.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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