Jeremiah 26

Jeremiah Threatened With Death

1 Early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came from the LORD:
2 “This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word.
3 Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.
4 Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: If you do not listen to me and follow my law, which I have set before you,
5 and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened),
6 then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city a curse[a] among all the nations of the earth.’ ”
7 The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD.
8 But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die!
9 Why do you prophesy in the LORD’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
10 When the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went up from the royal palace to the house of the LORD and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate of the LORD’s house.
11 Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!”
12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard.
13 Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you.
14 As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right.
15 Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”
16 Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.”
17 Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people,
18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: “ ‘Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.’[b]
19 “Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah fear the LORD and seek his favor? And did not the LORD relent, so that he did not bring the disaster he pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!”
20 (Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did.
21 When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king was determined to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt.
22 King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Akbor to Egypt, along with some other men.
23 They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)
24 Furthermore, Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed 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 51

  • 1. 2 Kings 23:36
  • 2. Jeremiah 19:14
  • 3. S Jeremiah 17:19
  • 4. S ver 12; S Jeremiah 1:17; Matthew 28:20; Acts 20:27
  • 5. Deuteronomy 4:2
  • 6. Deuteronomy 30:2; 2 Chronicles 33:12-13; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 35:15; Jeremiah 36:7
  • 7. S Jeremiah 18:8
  • 8. Leviticus 26:14; Jeremiah 25:3
  • 9. Ex 20:1-23:33; S 1 Kings 9:6; S Jeremiah 11:8
  • 10. S Proverbs 1:24; S Isaiah 65:12; Jeremiah 25:4; Jeremiah 44:5
  • 11. S Joshua 18:1; S Judges 18:31
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 28:25; S 2 Kings 22:19
  • 13. Jeremiah 43:1
  • 14. Acts 6:12; Acts 21:27
  • 15. Leviticus 24:15-16; S Nehemiah 9:26; S Jeremiah 11:21
  • 16. S Leviticus 26:32; S Jeremiah 9:11
  • 17. Acts 21:32
  • 18. ver 16; Jeremiah 34:19; Ezekiel 22:27
  • 19. S Genesis 23:10
  • 20. Deuteronomy 18:20; S Jeremiah 11:21; Jeremiah 18:23; Jeremiah 38:4; Matthew 26:66; Acts 6:11
  • 21. S Psalms 44:1
  • 22. Jeremiah 1:18
  • 23. S Isaiah 6:8; Amos 7:15; Acts 4:18-20; Acts 5:29
  • 24. S ver 2,15
  • 25. S Jeremiah 7:5; Joel 2:12-14
  • 26. Jeremiah 11:4
  • 27. S Jeremiah 18:8
  • 28. Joshua 9:25; Jeremiah 38:5
  • 29. S Deuteronomy 19:10
  • 30. S ver 12; S Jeremiah 1:17
  • 31. S ver 10; S Acts 23:9
  • 32. Acts 5:34-39; Acts 23:29
  • 33. Micah 1:1
  • 34. Isaiah 2:3
  • 35. S 2 Kings 25:9; S Nehemiah 4:2; Jeremiah 9:11
  • 36. Micah 4:1; Zechariah 8:3
  • 37. S Jeremiah 17:3
  • 38. S 1 Chronicles 3:13; 2 Chronicles 32:24-26; Isaiah 37:14-20
  • 39. S 1 Samuel 13:12
  • 40. S Exodus 32:14; 2 Samuel 24:16; S Jeremiah 18:8
  • 41. Jeremiah 44:7
  • 42. Habakkuk 2:10
  • 43. S Joshua 9:17
  • 44. S 1 Kings 19:2
  • 45. ver 10
  • 46. Jeremiah 2:30; Matthew 23:37
  • 47. S Genesis 31:21; Matthew 10:23
  • 48. Jeremiah 36:12,25
  • 49. Hebrews 11:37
  • 50. 2 Kings 23:6
  • 51. S 2 Kings 22:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. That is, its name will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that it is cursed.
  • [b]. Micah 3:12

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

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