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men, and how easily he can turn them. The people were at first for having Jeremiah put to death; then, when they heard his defence, they were for having him fpared. Upon a precedent being quoted for putting him to death (even the case of Urijah) it seems that they altered their sentiments again, but Ahikam saved him. How little dependance is to be had upon popular cries, whether for or against a man ! God raised up a friend for Jeremiah. This should engage us to be firm and resolute in the cause of God and religion, fince he knows how to deliver the godly out of their tribulations. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to say him ; but the Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Psalm xxxvii. 32, 33.
CH A P. XXVII. Under the type of bonds and yokes, Jeremiah prophesieth the fubduing of the neighbouring kings by Nebuchadnezzar, N the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son
of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto 2 Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus faith the LORD
to me ; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them 3 upon thy neck,' And send them to the king of Edom,
and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah, that is, ambassadors, who came to congratulate Zedekiah on his acceffion; or rather, to concert measures to throw off the yoke of 4 the king of Babylon; And command them to say unto Kk 2
their 9 Some careless transcriber has put, by mistake, Jehoiakim for Zedekiah, as appears from several verses' in this chapter, and the beginning of the next. Mistakes of names and dates must often happen in transcribing, antient books; but they no way affect their general credibility, and but seldom their fensé.
"The prophets used to prophefy by signs and actions, as well as by words. The yoke confifted of two boards, with holes cut in the middle to fit the neck, and were tied together with bands; so that it was somewhat like our pillories, only these lay on their Moulders; and they put them on malefactors, as we do fetters.
their masters, Thus faith the Lord of hosts, the God 5 of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters ; I have
made the earth, the man and the beast that (are] upon the ground, by my great power and by my out-stretched
arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto 6 me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand
of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant ; and the beasts of the field, their cattle, in which much of
their substance consisted, have I given him also to serve him. 7 And all nations shall fèrve him, and his son, and his
son's son, that is, Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar's grandfon, until the very time of his land come, the time of his visiting and reckoning with them: and then many nations
and great kings shall serve themselves of him, that is, 8 shall excel service of him. And it shall come to pass, [that] the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, faith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the
pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.' g'Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to
your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your en
chanters, nor to your forcerers, which speak unto you, 10 saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon : For
they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out, and ye
should perish; if therefore you suffer yourselves to be 11 deceived by them, ye shall be removed. But the nations
that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, faith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein ; they shall become his tributaries, and probably live better than they did before.
I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the
This is a remarkable prophecy, as the empire of Babylon was now in its greatest power and glory: but it never made any figure after the Persians conquered it. This threatening was
executed by some parts of his army harafling their country, during the thirteen years that he befieged
yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his 13 people, and live." Why will ye die, thou and thy
people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the
pestilence, as the Lord hath spoken against the nation 14 that will not serve the king of Babylon? Therefore
hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak
unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Baby15 lon: for they prophesy a lie unto you. For I have
not sent them, faith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I
you out, and that
ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto
you. 16 Also I spake to the priests and to all this people; tho'
they were my inveterate enemies, who had endeavoured to take away my life, yet I faithfully warned them, and thus endeavoured to preserve theirs, saying, Thus faith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD's house, which have been taken away in the two
former reigns, shall now shortly be brought again from 17 Babylon : for they prophesy a lie unto you. Hearken
not unto them ; serve the king of Babylon, and live : 18 wherefore should this city be laid waste? But if they
[be] prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercefsion to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and [in] the house of the king of Judah, and at
Jerusalem, go not to Babylon. 19 For thus faith the Lord of hosts concerning the
pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the
bafes, and concerning the residue of the vessels that 20 remain in this city, Which Nebuchadnezzar king of
Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah'the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusa
lem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and 21 Jerusalem ; Yea, thus faith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain [in] the house of the Lord, and [in] the house of the king 22 of Judah and of Jerusalem ; They shall be carried to
the u Zedekiah was made king by the king of Babylon, and had sworn fidelity so him, and is reproved, and afterwards punilled for his perjury.
K k 3
Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, faith the LORD, that is, till I visit the vessels; as if he had said, I will come and survey the catalogue of them, and call it over to see that none are wanting ; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place; tho' they are so large, weighty and valuable, they shall all be sent by Cyrus, and at his own expense; all which was remarkably fulfilled.
power and universal dominion of God, V. 5. Being the creator, he is the fupreme proprietor and disposer of all countries and persons; he gives the earth to the children of men, and to each his share ; changes times and seasons; sets up kings, and removeth them. Tho' Nebu. chadnezzar was a wicked and tyrannical prince, yet God for wife reasons gave him these countries. Large estates, dominions, and possessions, are not the best things; for God fometimes gives them to the worst of men. Let the thought of his universal government compose our minds in the most troublesome times; and engage us to be content with that lot which his providence hath assigned us.
2. We may infer the reasonableness of submitting to the yoke of Christ. God hath exalted him to be a prince, given him the earth for his poffeffion, and requires us to be fubject to him. God's appointment is a sufficient reason for our subjection; especially when we consider the character of Chrift; that his yoke is easy, that if we serve him, we shall live, and that if we do not submit, God will punish us. Falfe notions of liberty are mischievous; the restraints of religion ase reasonable and useful. Kiss the son, therefore, left he be angry, and ye periso from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blefjed, are all they that iruft in him.
3. God's prophets ñould be praying men, and use all their interest in heaven for the safety and good of the church, v. 18. Which intimates, that true prophets should
be men of eminent devotion, and that God would pay a great regard to their interceffion. May all God's minifters be devout and holy men ! enter tenderly into the concerns of the church, and be fervent in their intercessions before God for its prosperity! and may they be successful in such friendly endeavours to serve it!
CHA P. XXVIII. Hananiah, by a prophetic ačtion, contradicts Jeremiah's pro. phecy; who gives a terrible answer, which was foon fulfilled.
ND it came to pass the same year, in the begin
ning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, (and) in the fifth month," (that) Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which (was] of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in
the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon,
that is, his tyrannical power, of which Jeremiah's yoke was 3 an emblem. Within two full years will I bring again
into this place all the vessels of the Lord's house, that
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this 4 place, and carried them to Babylon: And I will
bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, faith the LORD: før I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon."
* As Zedekiah reigned but eleven years, the fourth could hardly be said to be the beginning of his reign; and therefore fume critics would render the words, when it has been so, that is, when Jeremiah had been prophefying with this yoke from the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah to the fourth year, (in which year he went to Babylon, fee chap. li. 59.) having put it on when he delivered his prophetic messages.
* This was pleasing enough to the people, because they considered Jeconiah as their lawful king, and Zedekiah, his uncle, as only the lieutenant or viceroy of Nebuchadnezzar: but this prophecy appears at the first view very suspicious, as..nothing is said about their repentance and reformation.