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And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, If ye will not hearken to me to walk in my law which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early and sending them, but ye have not hearkened ;
Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
So the priests and the prophets, and all the people, heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of of the LORD.
Now it came to pass when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests, and the prophets, and all the people took him saying, Thou shalt surely die.
Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant ? and all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord's house.
Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die: for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that
have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God: and the
LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
As for me, behold, I am in your hand : do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you : But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in
Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets, This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.
Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morashite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death ? did he not fear the Lord, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them ? thus might we procure great evil against our souls.
And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah.
And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death : but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and Aed, and went into Egypt. And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely
Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt.
And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king : who stew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
Nevertheless, the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death...
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
We find from the beginning of this section, that Jehoiakim proved as impious as his brother, and the people, who never entered heartily into Josiah's plans of reformation, continued to follow their own wicked inclinations, which led them on progressively into all kinds of impiety and immorality. The prophet Jeremiah repeated his admonitions, and declared to them what had been revealed to him ; but met with nothing from the generality of them, but insult and oppression. The princes indeed were at first inclined to protect him, and seem to have been affected with the denunciation of Divine vengeance.
The prediction which Jeremiah delivered at this time, foretold the destruction of the Temple and City, if not prevented by timely repentance. By this unwelcome prophecy Jeremiah's life was exposed to great danger; but the LORD raised him up a friend, and would not suffer his enemies to prevail against him*
* See Section vii.
CONTINUATION OF THE REIGN OF JEHOIAKIM KING
OF JUDAH, AND PART OF THE PROPHECY OF
JEREMIAH. From 2 Kings, Chap. xxiv.Jer. Chap. xxv. And in the days of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Judah, then the WORD of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
And Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day. that is the three and twentieth year, the Word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.
And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his
way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: and go not after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands, and I will do you no hurt.
ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye
have not heard my words, .behold, I will send and take all the families of the north saith the LORD, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Moreover, I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment: and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and will make it perpetual desolations.
And I will bring upon that land all my words, which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophecied against all the nations.
For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.
To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day; Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; and all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon,