Jeremiah 22

Judgment Against Wicked Kings

1 This is what the LORD says: “Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim this message there:
2 ‘Hear the word of the LORD to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates.
3 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
4 For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people.
5 But if you do not obey these commands, declares the LORD, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.’ ”
6 For this is what the LORD says about the palace of the king of Judah: “Though you are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, I will surely make you like a wasteland, like towns not inhabited.
7 I will send destroyers against you, each man with his weapons, and they will cut up your fine cedar beams and throw them into the fire.
8 “People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this great city?’
9 And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and have worshiped and served other gods.’ ”
10 Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss; rather, weep bitterly for him who is exiled, because he will never return nor see his native land again.
11 For this is what the LORD says about Shallum[a] son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: “He will never return.
12 He will die in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again.”
13 “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.
14 He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.’ So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.
15 “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.
17 “But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”
18 Therefore this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah: “They will not mourn for him: ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ They will not mourn for him: ‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
19 He will have the burial of a donkey— dragged away and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.”
20 “Go up to Lebanon and cry out, let your voice be heard in Bashan, cry out from Abarim, for all your allies are crushed.
21 I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your way from your youth; you have not obeyed me.
22 The wind will drive all your shepherds away, and your allies will go into exile. Then you will be ashamed and disgraced because of all your wickedness.
23 You who live in ‘Lebanon,[b] ’ who are nestled in cedar buildings, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain like that of a woman in labor!
24 “As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “even if you, Jehoiachin[c] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off.
25 I will deliver you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians.[d]
26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die.
27 You will never come back to the land you long to return to.”
28 Is this man Jehoiachin a despised, broken pot, an object no one wants? Why will he and his children be hurled out, cast into a land they do not know?
29 O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD!
30 This is what the LORD says: “Record this man as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore 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 68

  • 1. S Jeremiah 13:18; Jeremiah 34:2
  • 2. Amos 7:16
  • 3. S Jeremiah 17:25; Luke 1:32
  • 4. Jeremiah 17:20
  • 5. S Leviticus 25:17; Isaiah 56:1; Jeremiah 5:1; Ezekiel 33:14; Ezekiel 45:9; Hosea 12:6; Amos 5:24; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 7:9
  • 6. Psalms 72:4; Jeremiah 21:12
  • 7. S Exodus 22:22; S Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 5:28
  • 8. S Jeremiah 7:6
  • 9. S Jeremiah 17:25
  • 10. S Jeremiah 17:27
  • 11. S Genesis 22:16; Hebrews 6:13
  • 12. S Genesis 31:21; S Song of Songs 4:1
  • 13. S 1 Kings 7:2; S Isaiah 33:9
  • 14. Micah 3:12
  • 15. S Jeremiah 4:7; S Jeremiah 6:4
  • 16. Psalms 74:5; Isaiah 10:34
  • 17. S 2 Chronicles 36:19; Zechariah 11:1
  • 18. Deuteronomy 29:25-26; 1 Kings 9:8-9; Jeremiah 16:10-11
  • 19. S 1 Kings 9:9; Jeremiah 16:11; Ezekiel 39:23; 2 Kings 22:17; 2 Chronicles 34:25
  • 20. S Ecclesiastes 4:2
  • 21. ver 18; Ezekiel 24:16
  • 22. ver 27; Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 42:18
  • 23. S 2 Kings 23:31
  • 24. 2 Kings 23:34
  • 25. S Isaiah 5:8
  • 26. Micah 3:10; Habakkuk 2:9
  • 27. S Leviticus 19:13; James 5:4
  • 28. Isaiah 5:8-9
  • 29. S 2 Samuel 7:2
  • 30. Ezekiel 23:14
  • 31. 2 Kings 23:25
  • 32. Psalms 128:2; S Isaiah 3:10
  • 33. Ps 72:1-4,12-13; S Psalms 82:3; S Proverbs 24:23
  • 34. S Psalms 36:10
  • 35. S Isaiah 56:11
  • 36. S 2 Kings 24:4
  • 37. S Deuteronomy 28:33; Ezekiel 18:12; Micah 2:2
  • 38. S 2 Samuel 1:26
  • 39. 2 Kings 24:6
  • 40. Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 36:30
  • 41. S Isaiah 57:13
  • 42. S Psalms 68:15
  • 43. S Numbers 27:12
  • 44. ver 22; Jeremiah 30:14; Lamentations 1:19; Ezekiel 16:33-34; Hosea 8:9
  • 45. Zechariah 7:7
  • 46. Deuteronomy 9:7; Psalms 25:7; Isaiah 54:4; Jeremiah 3:25; Jeremiah 31:19; Jeremiah 32:30
  • 47. S Jeremiah 3:13; Jeremiah 7:23-28; Zephaniah 3:2
  • 48. S Deuteronomy 28:64; S Job 27:21
  • 49. S Jeremiah 10:21
  • 50. S ver 20
  • 51. S Jeremiah 7:19
  • 52. S 1 Kings 7:2; Ezekiel 17:3
  • 53. S Jeremiah 4:31
  • 54. S 2 Kings 24:6,8; Jeremiah 37:1
  • 55. S Genesis 38:18
  • 56. S 2 Kings 24:16; S 2 Chronicles 36:10; Jeremiah 34:20
  • 57. S 1 Samuel 25:29; S 2 Kings 24:8; 2 Chronicles 36:10; S Isaiah 22:17; Ezekiel 19:9-14
  • 58. S 1 Kings 2:19
  • 59. S ver 10
  • 60. S 2 Kings 24:6
  • 61. Psalms 31:12; S Jeremiah 19:10; Jeremiah 25:34; Jeremiah 48:38; Hosea 8:8
  • 62. Jeremiah 15:1
  • 63. S Jeremiah 17:4
  • 64. S Jeremiah 6:19; Micah 1:2
  • 65. 1 Chronicles 3:18; Jeremiah 38:23; Jeremiah 52:10; Matthew 1:12
  • 66. Jeremiah 10:21
  • 67. S Job 18:19
  • 68. S Psalms 94:20

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Also called "Jehoahaz"
  • [b]. That is, the palace in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 7:2)
  • [c]. Hebrew "Koniah," a variant of "Jehoiachin" ; also in verse 28
  • [d]. Or "Chaldeans"

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

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