Jeremiah 22

Listen to Jeremiah 22
1 Thus says the LORD: "Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word,
2 and say, 1'Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates.
3 Thus says the LORD: 2Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And 3do no wrong or violence 4to the resident alien, 5the fatherless, and the widow, nor 6shed innocent blood in this place.
4 For if you will indeed obey this word, 7then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people.
5 But if you will not obey these words, I 8swear by myself, declares the LORD, that 9this house shall become a desolation.
6 For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: "'You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of 10Lebanon, yet surely I will make you a desert, 11an uninhabited city.[a]
7 12I will prepare destroyers against you, each with his weapons, 13and they shall cut down your choicest cedars and cast them into the fire.
8 "'And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, 14"Why has the LORD dealt thus with this great city?"
9 15And they will answer, "Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and worshiped other gods and served them."'"
10 16Weep not for him who is dead, nor grieve for him, 17but weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more to see his native land.

Message to the Sons of Josiah

11 For thus says the LORD concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and 18who went away from this place: "He shall return here no more,
12 but 19in the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again."
13 20"Woe to him who builds his house by 21unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, 22who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages,
14 who says, 'I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,' who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and 23painting it with vermilion.
15 Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and 24do justice and righteousness? 25Then it was well with him.
16 26He judged the cause of the poor and needy; 27then it was well. Is not this 28to know me? declares the LORD.
17 But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, 29for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence."
18 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 30"They shall not lament for him, saying, 31'Ah, my brother!' or 'Ah, sister!' They shall not lament for him, saying, 32'Ah, lord!' or 'Ah, his majesty!'
19 With the burial of a donkey 33he shall be buried, dragged and dumped beyond the gates of Jerusalem."
20 "Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry out from 34Abarim, for all 35your lovers are destroyed.
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, 'I will not listen.' 36This has been your way from 37your youth, that you have not obeyed my voice.
22 38The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and 39your lovers shall go into captivity; 40then you will be ashamed and confounded because of all your evil.
23 O inhabitant of 41Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will be pitied when pangs come upon you, 42pain as of a woman in labor!"
24 43"As I live, declares the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were 44the signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off
25 and 45give you 46into the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
26 47I will hurl you and 48the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die.
27 But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return."
28 Is this man 49Coniah a despised, broken pot, a 50vessel no one cares for? Why are he and his children hurled and cast into a 51land that they do not know?
29 52O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD!
30 Thus says the LORD: "Write this man down as 53childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days, 54for none of his offspring shall succeed 55in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah."

Jeremiah 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Justice is recommended, and destruction threatened in case of disobedience. (1-9) The captivity of Jehoiakim, and the end of Jeconiah. (10-19) The doom of the royal family. (20-30)

Verses 1-9 The king of Judah is spoken to, as sitting upon the throne of David, the man after God's own heart. Let him follow his example, that he may have the benefit of the promises made to him. The way to preserve a government, is to do the duty of it. But sin will be the ruin of the houses of princes, as well as of meaner men. And who can contend with destroyers of God's preparing? God destroys neither persons, cities, nor nations, except for sin; even in this world he often makes it plain for what crimes he sends punishment; and it will be clear at the day of judgement.

Verses 10-19 Here is a sentence of death upon two kings, the wicked sons of a very pious father. Josiah was prevented from seeing the evil to come in this world, and removed to see the good to come in the other world; therefore, weep not for him, but for his son Shallum, who is likely to live and die a wretched captive. Dying saints may be justly envied, while living sinners are justly pitied. Here also is the doom of Jehoiakim. No doubt it is lawful for princes and great men to build, beautify, and furnish houses; but those who enlarge their houses, and make them sumptuous, need carefully to watch against the workings of vain-glory. He built his houses by unrighteousness, with money gotten unjustly. And he defrauded his workmen of their wages. God notices the wrong done by the greatest to poor servants and labourers, and will repay those in justice, who will not, in justice, pay those whom they employ. The greatest of men must look upon the meanest as their neighbours, and be just to them accordingly. Jehoiakim was unjust, and made no conscience of shedding innocent blood. Covetousness, which is the root of all evil, was at the bottom of all. The children who despise their parents' old fashions, commonly come short of their real excellences. Jehoiakim knew that his father found the way of duty to be the way of comfort, yet he would not tread in his steps. He shall die unlamented, hateful for oppression and cruelty.

Verses 20-30 The Jewish state is described under a threefold character. Very haughty in a day of peace and safety. Very fearful on alarm of trouble. Very much cast down under pressure of trouble. Many never are ashamed of their sins till brought by them to the last extremity. The king shall close his days in bondage. Those that think themselves as signets on God's right hand, must not be secure, but fear lest they should be plucked thence. The Jewish king and his family shall be carried to Babylon. We know where we were born, but where we shall die we know not; it is enough that our God knows. Let it be our care that we die in Christ, then it will be well with us wherever we die, thought it may be in a far country. The Jewish king shall be despised. Time was when he was delighted in; but all those in whom God has no pleasure, some time or other, will be so lowered, that men will have no pleasure in them. Whoever are childless, it is the Lord that writes them so; and those who take no care to do good in their days, cannot expect to prosper. How little is earthly grandeur to be depended upon, or flourishing families to be rejoiced in! But those who hear the voice of Christ, and follow him, have eternal life, and shall never perish, neither shall any enemy pluck them out of his almighty hands.

Cross References 55

  • 1. Jeremiah 21:12
  • 2. Jeremiah 7:5, 6; Jeremiah 21:12
  • 3. Leviticus 19:33
  • 4. [Psalms 82:3; Isaiah 1:17]
  • 5. Jeremiah 7:5, 6; Jeremiah 21:12
  • 6. ver. 17; [Jeremiah 26:15]
  • 7. Jeremiah 17:25
  • 8. Jeremiah 49:13; Jeremiah 51:14; Genesis 22:16; Amos 6:8; [Hebrews 6:13]
  • 9. Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 25:11, 18; Jeremiah 44:6, 22; Isaiah 64:10; Ezekiel 5:14
  • 10. ver. 20, 23
  • 11. [Jeremiah 6:8]
  • 12. Jeremiah 6:4
  • 13. 2 Kings 19:23; Isaiah 37:24
  • 14. See Jeremiah 5:19
  • 15. Deuteronomy 29:25, 26
  • 16. [2 Chronicles 35:24, 25]
  • 17. ver. 11
  • 18. [2 Kings 23:34; 2 Chronicles 36:4; Ezekiel 19:4]
  • 19. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 20. Habakkuk 2:12; See Isaiah 5:18-23
  • 21. [Micah 3:10]
  • 22. Leviticus 19:13; Leviticus 25:39, 40; Deuteronomy 24:14, 15; James 5:4
  • 23. Ezekiel 23:14
  • 24. [2 Kings 23:25]
  • 25. Psalms 128:2; Ecclesiastes 8:12; Isaiah 3:10
  • 26. Proverbs 31:9; [Isaiah 1:17]
  • 27. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 28. [Judges 2:10]
  • 29. ver. 3; [Jeremiah 26:15]
  • 30. Psalms 78:64; See Jeremiah 16:4-6
  • 31. [1 Kings 13:30]
  • 32. [Jeremiah 34:5]
  • 33. Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 36:30; [Isaiah 14:19]
  • 34. Numbers 27:12; Deuteronomy 32:49
  • 35. [Jeremiah 3:1]
  • 36. Jeremiah 3:25
  • 37. Psalms 129:1, 2
  • 38. Jeremiah 23:1; [Ezekiel 34:10]
  • 39. [See ver. 20 above]
  • 40. Jeremiah 3:25
  • 41. ver. 6
  • 42. Jeremiah 6:24; See Isaiah 13:8
  • 43. Isaiah 49:18; See Ezekiel 5:11
  • 44. 1 Kings 21:8; Song of Songs 8:6; Haggai 2:23
  • 45. Jeremiah 34:20
  • 46. Jeremiah 39:17; [Deuteronomy 1:17]
  • 47. 2 Kings 24:15; 2 Chronicles 36:10
  • 48. [2 Kings 24:8]
  • 49. ver. 24
  • 50. [Jeremiah 48:38; Psalms 31:12; Hosea 8:8]
  • 51. See Jeremiah 15:14
  • 52. Isaiah 1:2
  • 53. [1 Chronicles 3:17; Matthew 1:12]
  • 54. Jeremiah 36:30
  • 55. Jeremiah 36:30

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a prophecy of what should befall the sons of Josiah, Jehoahaz or Shallum; Jehoiakim and Jeconiah. It begins with an exhortation to the then reigning prince, Jehoiakim, his family and court, to do justice, relieve the oppressed, and refrain from doing injury to any; with a promise of prosperity upon so doing, Jer 22:1-4; but, on the contrary behaviour, the king's family, however precious they had been in the sight of the Lord, should be destroyed, by persons described as fit for such work, which would occasion others to inquire the cause of such destruction; when it would be told them, it was for their apostasy from the Lord, their breaking covenant with him, and their idolatry, Jer 22:5-9; then of Shallum, who was then carried captive, it is predicted that he should never return more, which was matter of greater lamentation than the death of his father Josiah, Jer 22:10-12; next Jehoiakim, the present king on the throne, is reproved, and a woe denounced upon him for his injustice, luxury, covetousness, rapine, and murders, Jer 22:13-17; and it is particularly threatened that he should die unlamented, and have no burial, Jer 22:18,19; and then the people of the land are called upon to mourning and lamentation, their kings one after another being carried captive, Jer 22:20-23; also Jeconiah the king's son, and who succeeded him, is threatened with rejection from the Lord, and a delivery of him up into the hand of the king of Babylon, with exile in a strange country, and death there, and that without children; so that Solomon's line should cease in him, Jer 22:24-30.

Jeremiah 22 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.