Jeremiah 26 Study Notes
26:1-24 This chapter is connected with chap. 7, the prophet’s famous temple gate sermon.
26:1 The date for this event is set as the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim (609 BC). This is chronologically earlier than 25:1, Jehoiakim’s “fourth year.” King Josiah had died that year, and Jehoahaz had ruled only three months.
26:2 Nothing of God’s revelation was to be held back, not even a word.
26:3 A repentance that delivers nations must start with individuals. God has called each to turn from his evil way of life.
26:4-6 This is a summary of the more complete message in chap. 7 with three emphases: (1) the call to obey God’s law, (2) the alignment of Jeremiah’s message with my servants the prophets, and (3) the seriousness of the impending threat against the city of Jerusalem and the temple.
26:6,9 On Shiloh, see note at 7:12,14.
26:7-8 The priests, the prophets, and all the people listened until Jeremiah finished his address, but then their pent-up fury broke loose as they took hold of him, yelling, You must surely die! They thought Jeremiah had spoken blasphemy (Lv 24:16; Dt 18:20). How could God destroy the city and the temple, which they considered invincible because of God’s promise to David?
26:9 The people crowded around (lit “thronged about”) Jeremiah in a hostile manner.
26:10-11 The New Gate is thought to be the gate leading to the inner court of the temple (36:10). This was the place where trials were held. King Jotham built it (2Kg 15:35).
26:12-15 Jeremiah defended himself with great courage, unusual brevity, and straightforward accounting for his twenty years of ministry among them (cp. 25:3, three years earlier). His message originated with God, and he faithfully delivered that message.
26:16 Jeremiah’s defense convinced the officials and all the people.
26:17-18 Micah the Moreshite alludes to Mc 1:1. The quoted verse is almost identical to Mc 3:12. Moresheth was a village twenty-three miles southwest of Jerusalem. Micah’s warnings were heeded, and the nation was delivered because the people responded with repentance. This argument from the past was effective, and Jeremiah was released.
26:19 The example of Micah and Hezekiah convince them that they dare not harm Jeremiah.
26:20-23 These verses show that Uriah son of Shemaiah did not fare as well as Micah did. Why some faithful servants are delivered and others are not is in God’s hands.
26:20 Kiriath-jearim was about eight miles northwest of Jerusalem where the ark of the covenant was kept after it was returned by the Philistines (1Sm 7:1-2).
26:22 Elnathan son of Achbor might have been one of the sons of Achbor son of Micaiah, an official of King Josiah (2Kg 22:12,14). Elnathan tried to stop King Jehoiakim from burning Jeremiah’s scroll (Jr 36:25).
26:23 Uriah was brought . . . out of Egypt by King Jehoiakim of Judah. As a vassal nation under Egypt, Jehoiakim had rights of extradition in accordance with international treaties.
26:24 Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah. Shaphan was the scribe of King Josiah’s reform (2Kg 22:3-14). Gemariah, another son of Shaphan, argued that King Jehoiakim should not burn Jeremiah’s scroll (Jr 36:10,25). A third son of Shaphan, Gedaliah, was appointed governor of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem (39:14; 40:5-16).