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Bible Commentaries

The Pulpit Commentaries
Jeremiah 27

 

 

Verses 1-22

EXPOSITION

This and the two following chapters are closely connected. They all relate to the early part of the reign of Zedekiah, and con-rain warnings arising out of the deepening gloom of the political horizon. It must, however, be noted that there is evidently some mistake in the first verse of Jeremiah 27:1-22, and also that the contents of Jeremiah 29:1-32 point to a somewhat earlier time than Jeremiah 27:1-22; Jeremiah 28:1-17 (viz. the first or second year of King Zedekiah). To understand the circumstances of Jeremiah 27:1-22; we must remember that Zedekiah had accepted the throne as the vassal of Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:17). The self-righteousness and formalism of the people, however, would not allow them to remain quiet under such a humiliation. Deuteronomy, it seemed to them, had promised success and prosperity to an obedient performance of the Law, and the priests and the prophets assured them that these conditions had been complied with. In the fourth year of Zedekiah (comp. Jeremiah 28:1) the popular discontent was still further stimulated by the presence of ambassadors from the neighboring nations, who had come to organize a common movement against the common enemy. Jeremiah believed that he could not give more forcible expression to the Divine warnings of which he was the bearer than by a symbolic act akin to that related of Isaiah in Isaiah 20:2. He appeared in some public place, where the ambassadors would be sure to pass, with a yoke upon his neck, and in this strange guise delivered an impressive exhortation to the foreign visitors. It would appear as if Jeremiah's exertions on this occasion were successful, so far as Judah was concerned; for we are informed (Jeremiah 51:59) that, in the fourth year of his reign, Zedekiah took a journey to Babylon, doubtless to renew his oath of fidelity to the King of Babylon. It is instructive to compare this chapter as given in the Hebrew Bible with the form in which it appears in the Septuagint. We must net too hastily assume that the Greek is incorrect, but examine in each case which form gives most force and expressiveness to the prophecy.

Jeremiah 27:1

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. The Syriao substitutes for, "Jehoiakim" "Zedekiah," to bring the passage into conformity with Jeremiah 28:1, where the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah is expressly mentioned. But is this emendation sufficient? Can the fourth year be called the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah," When that reign lasted altogether only eleven years? Is it not probable that the transcriber has inadvertently copied the heading of Jeremiah 26:1-24, which corresponds verbally with Jeremiah 27:1, except that "unto Jeremiah" is wanting?

Jeremiah 27:2

Make thee bends and yokes; rather, bands and poles; i.e. the bands which secured the two pieces of wood placed respectively above and beneath the neck of the ox, so forming a yoke. Hence, in Le Jeremiah 26:13, we find the phrase, "the poles [Authorized Version wrongly, 'the bands'] of your yoke." It is clear from Jeremiah 28:10 that this account is to be taken literally.

Jeremiah 27:3

And send them, etc. The letter of the text certainly suggests that Jeremiah actually delivered a separate yoke to each of the five ambassadors. Some commentators, however, finding such an act almost incredible, suppose the statement to be allegorical, and the "sending of the yoke" to mean the declaration of the subjection of the nations to Nebuchadnezzar which follows, somewhat as in Jeremiah 25:15 the "causing all the nations to drink "means the utterance of a prophecy of woe to the various peoples concerned. But we can hardly pronounce upon this passage by itself. We have to consider whether a whole group of similar statements is or is not to be taken literally. It may be enough to instance Jeremiah 13:1-7. Which come; rather, which are come.

Jeremiah 27:5, Jeremiah 27:6

Jehovah is the Creator and Proprietor of the earth and all that is therein. Therefore he can give any part of it to whomsoever he will. Therefore, Jeremiah being his trustworthy prophet, the kings are called upon to take notice that Jehovah has transferred their kingdoms to Nebuchadnezzar. Observe, in Jeremiah 27-29. the form employed is not "Nebuchadnezzar," but "Nebuchadnezzar" (so also Jeremiah 34:1; Jeremiah 39:5). (See on Jeremiah 21:7.)

Jeremiah 27:6

My servant (see on Jeremiah 25:9). The Beasts of the field; i.e. the wild beasts. This last feature indicates the unlimited character of Nebuchadnezzar's power.

Jeremiah 27:7

Him, and his son, and his son's son. This is intelligible only if the seventy years predicted by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah 25:12, Jeremiah 29:10, are a round number. Nebuchadnezzar died in B.C. 561, and was succeeded by his son Evil-Merodach, who, after two years, was put to death by Neriglissar. In B.C. 555 Laberosoarchod (?) became king, but after nine months a usurper belonging to another family, Nabonedus or Nabunita, ascended the throne, which he occupied till B.C. 538, the year of the fall of Babylon. "Seventy years," taken literally, only brings us to B.C. 555, seventeen years short of the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus. Until the very time of his land come; rather, until the time of his own land come. Nebuchadnezzar cannot ensure his realm against captivity. Shall serve themselves of him (For the meaning of the phrase, see on Jeremiah 25:14.)

Jeremiah 27:9

Your dreamers; rather, your dreams. So in Jeremiah 29:8 the "dreams" of the people are expressly distinguished from the utterances of the prophets and soothsayers. In our passage the "dreamers" are appropriately mentioned between the "diviners" and the "enchanters," because the skill of the soothsayers partly lay in the interpretation of dreams (comp. Genesis 41:8; Daniel 2:2).

Jeremiah 27:10

To remove you far; or, more distinctly, that I may remove you far. So Isaiah 6:12, "(Until) Jehovah have removed men afar off." The deportation policy of the Assyrians and Babylonians was overruled by God for his own deep purposes.

Jeremiah 27:11

The nations that bring their neck, etc. The Hebrew has, "The nation that shall bring its neck," etc.

Jeremiah 27:12-15

But the warnings of Jeremiah were not confined, far from it, to the neighboring kings. Zedekiah had received a precisely similar message. Bring your necks. The plural is used, for Zedekiah was but an individual among a number of much more vigorous personalities (comp. on Jeremiah 22:2).

Jeremiah 27:16-22

The warning to the priests and to the rest of the people. The last four verses of this section appear in a much shortened form in the Septuagint, and it must be admitted that the description is singularly lengthy. It is, therefore, quite conceivable that this is one of the cases in which the Hebrew text has been disfigured by willful interpolation. On the other hand, it is also possible that the description was filled out by an editor, e.g. by Baruch, conscientiously for the benefit of later readers.

Jeremiah 27:16

The vessels of the Lord's house; i.e. the golden vessels which Solomon had made, and which Nebuchadnezzar had taken away (l Kings 7:48-50; 2 Kings 24:13). Now shortly. These words are wanting in the Septuagint, and, considering that the Greek is also without the prediction in Jeremiah 27:22, that the vessels of the temple and of the palace should be brought back in the day of visitation (which seems inconsistent with Jeremiah 52:17), the question arises whether the words "now shortly" here are not due to a hasty copyist.

Jeremiah 27:18

But if they be prophets, etc. The "false prophets," so Jeremiah declares, have neglected one of the principal functions of a prophet, viz. intercessory prayer (comp. on Jeremiah 7:16). Seeing that a part of the sacred vessels had been carried to Babylon, ell true prophets ought to intercede with Jehovah that those still left might be spared. The end was that the remaining vessels were carried off on the capture of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:13).

Jeremiah 27:19

This and the two following verses are thus given in the Septuagint: "For thus saith the Lord … and the rest of the vessels which the king of Babylon took not, when he carried Jeconiah captive from Jerusalem; they shall come to Babylon, saith the Lord." This shortened form throws a light on the fact of the absence of "now shortly" in Jeremiah 27:16 (see note). The pillars, etc.; i.e. the two bronze pillars called Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21). The sea; i.e. the molten "sea," or basin (1 Kings 7:23). The bases (1 Kings 7:27).

HOMILETICS

Jeremiah 27:5

The rights of the Creator.

This address on the rights of the Creator is made to heathen men because God has rights over all men, and because they who cannot yet understand his higher character may be able to recognize his natural rights.

I. THE FOUNDATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CREATOR.

1. They rest on the fact that all things that exist were created. It is a fundamental axiom of science that everything that has a beginning must have a cause. The universal testimony of experience is against the notion that existences could spring forth spontaneously from nothing, or that organisms could come of themselves from a lawless chaos. The theory of an endless chain of causation is illogical. If this is regarded as cyclic we have nothing to account for the motion of the whole cycle. The notion is parallel to that of a wheel revolving because the several parts of the circumference press on those which are before them—a mechanical absurdity. If, however, the chain is regarded as infinitely long, we have another absurdity. Since it is made up of finite links each of which is no perfect cause in itself, we have not solved the question, we have only driven it buck to the infinite distance. It is the grand lesson of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis—whatever we may think of the details of that chapter—that it comes to our rescue with the assertion of a personal Creator, the only doctrine that will fit the requirements of the case.

2. The rights of the Creator rest on the fact that all things were created by his energy. We do not know what subordinate agencies God may employ. But in any case the fundamental power must be his. He cannot delegate powers of creation in the sense of investing any beings with them without any dependence on his power. The power must be God's, though the channel through which it flows may be some lower agency. The doctrine of evolution would not touch this fact. The important question is not as to the method of creation, but as to the originating power. This lies behind the question of design. It is the question of primitive causation. Whether with successive sudden emergencies or through gradual development, it is equally true that God has created the world by his great power and by his outstretched hand.

II. THE NATURE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CREATOR. They are absolute. We know nothing like them among men. A man is supposed to have a right to dispose of the work of his own hands. But his work is not creation, if he has built a house he has not made the ground on which it stands, nor the stone and wood of which it is constructed. But by Divine creation we understand not merely building up the materials of the universe into new forms, but the original making of these materials and the determination of the laws of nature. From this fact comes the right of God to dispose of his creation as he thinks fit, to give the world and its contents to whomsoever he pleases. But in admitting this we are saying that he will do that which is best for the world itself. For God is just and good and merciful. He will please to do that which is right, and that which will bless his creatures. God exercises his rights through his will. If creation reveals the rights, Christ reveals the will. Through this higher revelation we see reasons for acquiescing in God's exercise of sovereignty, not with mere resignation to the inevitable, nor even only with dutiful yielding to recognized law and authority, but with thankful submission to the care of a merciful Father. Thus we see that the exercise of God's rights is limited by his character; limited by his justice, so that he can never dispose of things arbitrarily or cruelly; limited by his love, so that he will dispose of them so as to secure the welfare of his children. This is a consideration of the first importance. The neglect of it has led to the interpretation of such words as those of our text so as to represent God as an arbitrary, capricious Sovereign, who may be feared and must be submitted to, but cannot be loved or freely adored.

Jeremiah 27:6, Jeremiah 27:7

God's disposal of man's possessions.

I. GOD HAS A RIGHT TO DISPOSE OF MAN'S POSSESSIONS. He made them, and they are always his, only lent to be withdrawn or transferred when he wills. If the Lord gave, he has a right to take away (Job 1:21). If he takes much, we should be thankful for what he leaves—for this even we have no claim. Nations should feel that God has rights over them. Their liberties are subject to his government, their territory to his disposal.

II. GOD DOES DISPOSE OF MAN'S POSSESSIONS. He exercises his right. He is no roi faineant. God does not reserve his interference for the last Day of Judgment. He is always working among the nations. In a national disaster we should recognize the hand of Providence; so should we in the advent of national glory. God does not only overthrow; he appoints, prospers, gladdens.

III. GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS GIVE THE GREATEST POWER TO THE BEST MEN. Nebuchadnezzar was a bad man; yet God gave him the largest dominion in the world. We may believe that he was best suited for the work that was required of him. His mission was to be a scourge of the nations. An angel would find himself ill at ease in such a work. In appointing a hangman we do not expect to get the most high-souled person in the kingdom for the post. God can overrule the evil nature of bad men and make it serve some good end, as we can employ the refuse of one factory as useful materials in another.

IV. GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS GIVE THE MOST ABUNDANT POSSESSIONS TO THE BEST MEN. We see bad men enriched, good men pauperized. Goodness seems on the whole to be favorable to temporal prosperity, but with innumerable exceptions. Therefore we must conclude that God does not value earthly prosperity so highly as we value it. He regards it as subordinate to higher interests.

V. GOD'S DISPOSAL OF MAN'S POSSESSIONS DOES NOT HINDER THE FREE EXERCISE OF MAN'S POWERS. God gave Nebuchadnezzar his powers, but the king put these forth of his own will. By his daring, his energy, the use of his resources, he won his brilliant victories and conquered his vast dominions. God works through our work. He gives to the diligent.

VI. GOD'S DISPOSAL OF MAN'S POSSESSIONS DOES NOT LIMIT MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY. It Nebuchadnezzar got his territory by violence and rapacity, he was not the less guilty because God assigned it to him. For he was responsible for his own actions and their motives, irrespective of any unknown design that God might work out through them. We cannot throw the blame of our misconduct on the providence of God. He overrules the issue of our actions, but he does not fetter or force the choice of our wills.

Jeremiah 27:11

The duty of non-resistance.

Again and again in various forms Jeremiah recurs to the advice of submission to Nebuchadnezzar. In the present instance he addresses it to representatives of foreign nations, and urges it as politic, while to the Jews he was more anxious to show that it was in accordance with God's will. Viewed from various standpoints there were several grounds for non-resistance.

I. THE WELL OF GOD. This was the highest reason. It could not be fully appreciated by the heathen; yet even they were reminded that the Creator was the supreme disposer of the destiny of nations. The condition of the Jews, however, was peculiar. They were living under a theocracy. The prophets were the ministry of the Divine King. Their utterances were revelations of law for the government of the people. To resist Nebuchadnezzar in opposition to these utterances was to rebel against the decree of the supreme Sovereign of the nation. We do not stand in the same outward circumstances. But we should learn that the first thought in public as well as in private affairs should be as to what is right, what is God's will; and all considerations of glory etc; should be subordinate to this. We cannot learn God's will from oracular teachers but we can ascertain it from a devout study of revelation, prayer, and honest thought

II. SOUND POLICY. Events proved that Jeremiah was politically as well as morally right. Religious duty lies nearer to useful policy than either fanatic dreamers or worldly statesmen are able to see. History shows that all resistance to the mighty flood of the Babylonian invasion was futile. Timely submission alone could secure a mitigation of its violence. It is foolish for a nation to flourish empty notions of glory above considerations for the welfare of the people. The loyal statesman will care less for the fame of a great name, or the splendor of brilliant achievements, than for the peaceful prosperity of his fellow-countrymen. The first interest of a nation is this peaceful prosperity. There may be times when to maintain it self-defense becomes a duty. But when self-defense cannot secure it, when it is rather hindered than helped by resistance, it is foolish to resist for the sake of mere pride.

III. WHOLESOME MORAL GOOD. The Jews were taught that the invasion by Nebuchadnezzar was sent by God as a chastisement for sin. To submit to it was to submit to profitable correction. In the end the nation might hope to be the better for it. We have no right to complain of troubles which our own misconduct has brought upon us. We may" count it all joy" that we have fallen into tribulation if this works our higher and lasting good. Temporal distress should be patiently borne in the prospect of eternal blessedness, material adversity calmly endured when this is the menus of securing inward spiritual good.

Jeremiah 27:18

Prophecy tested by prayer.

I. IT IS THE DUTY OF A PROPHET TO PRAY. He should be spiritually what the priest can only be ceremonially, the mediator between man and God. Mediation has two sides. It implies the work of the intercessor as well as that of the prophet—the speaking to God for men as well the speaking to men for God. The former work, however, is in more danger of falling into neglect. It is more spiritual, it requires more humility, it gains less credit from men. But no prophet can even discharge his mission to men aright unless he is also a man of prayer. God reveals himself to those who seek him. Revelations from Heaven are vouchsafed to those who live in communion with Heaven.

II. INSPIRATION IS REQUISITE FOR PRAYER AS WELL AS FOR PROPHECY, The true prophet is the inspired man; he also has the first requisite for prayer. We need inspiration for prayer to bring us into sympathy with God. Prayer is more than asking for the satisfaction of our wants—it is communion with God; and communion implies sympathy. Like the bird which soars aloft because its wings rest on the surrounding air, we can only rise heavenwards as we bear ourselves up through an atmosphere of heavenly thought. Without the breath of God's Spirit in us we cannot withdraw from the world and attain to the vivid consciousness of spiritual things. For prayer involves the rising above our common, our ordinary life. Thus we may understand the mission of the Spirit as an intercessor. Christ intercedes for us with God. The Holy Spirit intercedes for God in us, helping our infirmities, teaching us what we should pray for, and how to pray, and breathing into us yearnings deep and unutterable (Romans 8:26).

III. DIVINELY INSPIRED PRAYER WILL BE REASONABLE AND ACCORDING TO GOD'S WILL. If the prophets were inspired they would not ask for the impossible; they would not pray for that which they knew was contrary to God's will; they would not utter prayers of greed and pride. Inspiration does not make a man irrational; on the contrary, it makes him see facts as they are. If these prophets were inspired they would see the folly of asking back the lost vessels. Inspiration is concerned with the present and the future. It is foolish to waste time in lamenting the irretrievable. Let us see that we preserve what still remains with us, and secure what is best for the future. It is absurd to be boasting of great things when we cannot secure small ones. If the prophets could not protect the vessels in Jerusalem, much less could they recover those which had been already removed to Babylon. They might be uttering great prayers about the lost treasure; but while they made no prevailing prayer to secure the treasure still in hand they only exposed their own incompetence.

IV. PRAYER AND ITS RESULTS ARE TESTS OF A MAN'S SPIRITUAL CONDITION. If it can be said of a person, "Behold, he prayeth!" we may know much of him. Prayer is the barometer that rises or falls with the changing tore of the spiritual atmosphere. When we "restrain prayer" this is a sad sign that our better life is failing. It is useless to boast of spiritual attainments such as those of the professional prophets; these are nothing but delusions if the prayer-test reveals a condition of spiritual deadness, the results of prayer are a further test. We cannot say that a particular prayer is not acceptable to God because it does not bring us the particular thing we seek, since we are always making foolish requests, and God mercifully deals with us according to his wise and good will rather than according to the letter of our language. Still, if no answer is ever received to prayer, something must be wrong. Either all our prayers are mistaken, which shows we could not be receiving the help of God's inspiration; or our spiritual condition is one of separation from God, in which condition no prayer could be answered. If not in every detail, yet in the main, religious experience may be tested by the facts of life. The prophet must find his prediction confirmed by history. The man of prayer must show some fruits of his devotion.

HOMILIES BY A.F. MUIR

Jeremiah 27:1-22

Divine judgments not to be resisted.

A conference of ambassadors from neighboring nations had been held at Zedekiah's court to consider plans of revolt against Nebuchadnezzar. The king himself and a patriotic party were bent upon resistance. This movement Jeremiah checked at its very outset by his symbolical warning.

I. GOD IS RULER OF ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH. He made them, and controls their destinies. Of the earth he says, "I have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me." His control over human interests, possessions, and destinies is absolute and unlimited.

II. EVEN THE UNGODLY MAY BE INSTRUMENTS OF HIS PURPOSES. "Nebuchadnezzar, my servant,"—a remarkable title when applied to a heathen prince. The character of the authorities, the agents, and the instrumentalities by which we are opposed is not in itself a reason for resisting them if they are evidently of Divine appointment. In such a case we should be fighting against God. Moral evil is ever to be resisted and witnessed against, but that which God appoints must be acknowledged and submitted to.

III. IN SUCH CASES CIRCUMSTANCES WILL CLEARLY SHOW WHETHER THE APPOINTMENT IS OF GOD OR NOT, AND NOW WE MUST BE GUIDED IN OUR CONDUCT. The advice of the prophet is not to be interpreted as an expression of mere political prudence. It was the moral significance of Nebuchadnezzar's supremacy to which he appealed. In default of revelation our own conscience and common sense must be our guides.

1. In cases of unmistakable Divine dispensations the law of submission is clearly taught. Of this class is the rule of submission to the powers that be; of cheerful contentment with one's lot in life, so far as it seems beyond our own legitimate control or to be providentially arranged.

2. The ordinary miscellaneous trials and difficulties of life are not to be regarded in this way. Where there is not witness of conscience enjoining submission, energetic effort must be made. The Bible is no book of fatalism. It inculcates self-help, manly fortitude, and believing, intelligent enterprise.

IV. GUIDANCE AND INSTRUCTION MAY BE GRANTED TO MEN EVEN WHILST UNDER DIVINE DISCIPLE.

1. Injunctions. To be punished does not mean to be cast off; quite the contrary. And therefore, if there be any gracious purpose in the dispensation, it is well that it should be explained. False prophets have foretold favorable turns of fortune with mischievous effect. These must be contradicted, and their tendency expend. The Bible is full of instruction to the perplexed in all ages, and the Spirit of God still speaks to the hearts of his children.

2. Signs. Sometimes these will be of one kind, sometimes of another. Here a crucial test was proposed, viz. the challenge to the false prophets to bring back the vessels of the temple from Babylon. If God heard their prayer, then it would appear that their advice was sound. Signs will never be wanting to those who earnestly seek to know God's will

3. These are to be sought through prayer and waiting upon God.M.

Jeremiah 27:18

Prophets tested by prayer.

I. BY THIS THEIR DISPOSITION WAS DISCOVERED. Prayer is one of the most vital indications of the presence of spiritual life. It is only by constant devotion and spiritual intercourse with God that any one can be truly acquainted with him or know his will. The taunt of the prophet is to the effect that they are not over addicted to this practice, but prefer to indulge in political trifling and bombast. They had no pleasure in the exercises of true piety; and it might be were even afraid directly to invoke Jehovah. It was the neglect of the latter by themselves and their idolatrous followers which had entailed the present evils upon Judah. The prophet points out, therefore, the true method of discovering the will of God, and of restoring, not only the vessels to the temple, but the exiles to their land.

II. THEIR PRETENSIONS WOULD BE TESTED BY THE EFFICACY OF THEIR INTERCESSION. This is the most disinterested form of prayer. By betaking themselves to it, instead of prophesying lies, they would do real service to the nation. Because he who can effectually intercede:

1. Is a source of blessing to all who are about him. He has true sympathy and insight, and can bring down forgiveness even upon the undeserving. The grandest promises of Holy Scripture are encouragements to this practice.

2. Is thereby acknowledged and accepted by God. As Elijah provoked with a similar challenge the prophets of Baal, so Jeremiah taunts his enemies with their spiritual impotency. The restoration of the vessels under the circumstances would be nothing short of a miracle, and supernatural aid would be required. He alone is truly great who can prevail with God. And the greatest of the prophets is he who makes intercession for mankind according to the Divine will.—M.

HOMILIES BY D. YOUNG

Jeremiah 27:1-11

Jehovah's consideration towards some neighbors of Israel.

I. GOD FORESEES THE NATURAL PROBABILITY OF A STRUGGLE. Nebuchadnezzar and his hosts are not to drop from the clouds on the land of Jehovah's people whom Jehovah has now doomed. These hosts come from a distant land, and have many intervening lands to pass through; and how can they pass through in any but a destroying, impoverishing fashion? If the King of Babylon is to reach Jerusalem, the lands here mentioned must assuredly suffer from him scarcely less than Judah itself. And naturally they will prepare to meet him. Alliances will be formed; resources will be accumulated; the greatest strain will be put on every one in order to make the defense successful. These attacked people cannot assume that, because Babylon is such a mighty power, it is folly to think of resisting it. Thus they seem to have sent to Zedekiah, hoping to make a confederation strong enough to drive the invader back.

II. NATURAL AS THE STRUGGLE MIGHT BE, IT WAS DOOMED TO CERTAIN FAILURE. Doomed, not because it was the strength of many against the weakness of few, but because God's great purposes required that any scheme of defense should be a failure. If the defenders had become as the invaders in point of strength, and the invaders as the defenders, this apparently decisive exchange of resources would have left the result unaffected.

III. The struggle, therefore, being vain beyond all doubt, THE TRUE WISDOM WAS NOT EVEN TO ATTEMPT IT. These nations, persevering in a vain struggle, were only committing self-slaughter. If the issue had been in any way uncertain, self-respect would have said "fight." But the issue was clear; and to make it clear and impressive by some visible symbol, God commands his prophet to send these yokes to the kings of the nations by their messengers. When the yoke is seen on the neck of the ox laboring at the plough or drawing the wagon, that yoke signifies, not only submission, but a submission that is inevitable. The ox is made for the service of man, and although when young it may rebel and defy for a while, it must submit at last. The superior intelligence and the ordained master cannot but conquer. And what the ox is in the hands of man, that every nation, even the strongest and bravest, is in the bands of God. Babylon, conqueror and spoiler as it was, was no more free from God's yoke than any of the nations it defeated. It is quite compatible with the carrying out of God's great purpose that there should be the most striking disparities in the temporal conditions of both individuals and nations. That Babylon should be the victor and these other nations the vanquished, was in his eyes a matter of very secondary moment. He cannot recognize, as a state of things to obtain even a modified permanence, that any nation should have the right to any particular territory. Men count it a great matter that they can show a title, as they call it, to a piece of land. This simply means that for the purposes of present society it is better for one particular person to have the piece of land than any one else. But wars and revolutions make short work of these so-called rights of property. The Lord has given the earth in trust to the human race, and one division he puts here and snottier there, cue man here and another there. From the throne where Jehovah sits in his righteousness, human patriotism and mere territorial pride are esteemed as nothing more than the feelings of ignorant children. We also, as taught of God, must become less interested in the traditions and rivalries of the kingdoms of earth, and more interested in that great procedure of God by which the whole earth will become a part of the kingdom of heaven.—Y.

 


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Bibliography Information
Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:4". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tpc/jeremiah-27.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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