Jeremiah 26

Listen to Jeremiah 26

Jeremiah Threatened with Death

1 1In the beginning of the reign of 2Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD:
2 "Thus says the LORD: 3Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the LORD 4all the words that I command you to speak to them; 5do not hold back a word.
3 6It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, 7that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them 8because of their evil deeds.
4 You shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: 9If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you,
5 10and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you 11urgently, 12though you have not listened,
6 then I will make this house 13like Shiloh, and I will make this city 14a curse for all the nations of the earth.'"
7 15The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.
8 And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then 16the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, "You shall die!
9 Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be 17like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, 18without inhabitant'?" And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
10 When 19the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the 20entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD.
11 Then 21the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, 22"This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears."
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, "The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard.
13 Now therefore 23mend your ways and your deeds, 24and obey the voice of the LORD your God, 25and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you.
14 26But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you.
15 Only know for certain that if you put me to death, 27you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears."

Jeremiah Spared from Death

16 28Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, 29"This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."
17 30And certain of 31the elders of the land arose and spoke to all the assembled people, saying,
18 "Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and said to all the people of Judah: 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, 32"'Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.'
19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? 33Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, 34and did not the LORD relent of the disaster that he had pronounced against them? 35But we are about to bring great disaster upon ourselves."
20 There was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Uriah the son of Shemaiah from 36Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like those of Jeremiah.
21 And when 37King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death. But when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt.
22 Then 38King Jehoiakim sent to Egypt certain men, 39Elnathan the son of 40Achbor and others with him,
23 and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, 41who struck him down with the sword and dumped his dead body into the burial place of the common people.
24 But the hand of 42Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death.

Jeremiah 26 Commentary

Chapter 26

The destruction of the temple and city foretold. (1-6) Jeremiah's life is threatened. (7-15) He is defended by the elders. (16-24)

Verses 1-6 God's ambassadors must not seek to please men, or to save themselves from harm. See how God waits to be gracious. If they persisted in disobedience, it would ruin their city and temple. Can any thing else be expected? Those who will not be subject to the commands of God, make themselves subject to the curse of God.

Verses 7-15 The priests and prophets charged Jeremiah as deserving death, and bore false witness against him. The elders of Israel came to inquire into this matter. Jeremiah declares that the Lord sent him to prophesy thus. As long as ministers keep close to the word they have from God, they need not fear. And those are very unjust who complain of ministers for preaching of hell and damnation; for it is from a desire to bring them to heaven and salvation. Jeremiah warns them of their danger if they go on against him. All men may know, that to hurt, or put to death, or to show hatred to their faithful reprovers, will hasten and increase their own punishment.

Verses 16-24 When secure sinners are threatened with taking away the Spirit of God, and the kingdom of God, it is what is warranted from the word of God. Hezekiah who protected Micah, prospered. Did Jehoiakim, who slew Urijah, prosper? The examples of bad men, and the bad consequences of their sins, should deter from what is evil. Urijah was faithful in delivering his message, but faulty in leaving his work. And the Lord was pleased to permit him to lose his life, while Jeremiah was protected in danger. Those are safest who most simply trust in the Lord, whatever their outward circumstances may be; and that He has all men's hearts in his hands, encourages us to trust him in the way of duty. He will honour and recompense those who show kindness to such as are persecuted for his sake.

Cross References 42

  • 1. Jeremiah 27:1
  • 2. 2 Kings 23:36; 2 Chronicles 36:5
  • 3. Jeremiah 19:14
  • 4. [Ezekiel 3:10]
  • 5. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; [Acts 20:27]
  • 6. Jeremiah 36:3
  • 7. ver. 13, 19; See Jeremiah 18:8
  • 8. Jeremiah 4:4
  • 9. Leviticus 26:14; Deuteronomy 28:15
  • 10. See Jeremiah 25:3, 4
  • 11. See Jeremiah 25:3, 4
  • 12. See Jeremiah 25:3, 4
  • 13. See Jeremiah 7:12
  • 14. See Jeremiah 24:9
  • 15. Jeremiah 23:33
  • 16. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 17. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 18. See Jeremiah 4:7
  • 19. Jeremiah 36:12
  • 20. Jeremiah 36:10
  • 21. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 22. Jeremiah 38:4; [ver. 16]
  • 23. See Jeremiah 7:3
  • 24. Deuteronomy 30:2
  • 25. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 26. Joshua 9:25
  • 27. [Matthew 27:24]
  • 28. ver. 8
  • 29. [ver. 11]
  • 30. [Acts 5:34]
  • 31. See Jeremiah 19:1
  • 32. Micah 3:12
  • 33. [2 Chronicles 32:26]
  • 34. Exodus 32:14; 2 Samuel 24:16; [1 Kings 13:6]
  • 35. [Acts 5:39]
  • 36. Joshua 9:17; 1 Samuel 6:21; 1 Samuel 7:1, 2; 1 Chronicles 13:5, 6
  • 37. ver. 1; Jeremiah 27:1
  • 38. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 39. Jeremiah 36:12, 25
  • 40. 2 Kings 22:12, 14
  • 41. [Jeremiah 22:17; Nehemiah 9:26; Matthew 21:35; Matthew 23:37]
  • 42. 2 Kings 22:12

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of Jeremiah's preaching; of his being apprehended by the people; of his defence of himself, and acquittance upon it. The time when, place where, and persons to whom the prophet delivered his discourse, are pointed at in Jer 26:1,2; the substance of it was, that if the people of the Jews would repent of their sins and turn from them, the Lord would avert the evil he had threatened them with; but if not, he would make their temple like Shiloh, and their city a curse to all the earth, Jer 26:3-6; upon hearing which the people seized him, and vowed he should die, because he had prophesied of the destruction of their city and temple, Jer 26:7-9; which the princes hearing of, came from the king's house to one of the gates of the temple, and sat as a court of judicature; to whom the priests and prophets accused Jeremiah of the above things as worthy of death, Jer 26:10,11; and before whom the prophet made his defence, alleging his mission and orders from the Lord; and therefore, instead of recanting, repeats his exhortation; and as for himself, he was not careful what they did to him; but advises them not to shed innocent blood, since it would bring evil upon them, Jer 26:12-15; upon which the princes acquit him, and declare him innocent, Jer 26:16; and this is confirmed by a like instance of Micah the prophet, in the times of Hezekiah, who prophesied of the destruction of Jerusalem, and yet was not put to death, Jer 26:17-19; and by a contrary instance of Uriah, in the then present reign of Jehoiakim, who had been put to death for the like, but wrongly, Jer 26:20-23; and, in the issue, Jeremiah, through the good office of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, particularly, was saved from being put to death, Jer 26:24.

Jeremiah 26 Commentaries

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