Jeremiah 27

Judah to Serve Nebuchadnezzar

1 Early in the reign of Zedekiah[a] son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 This is what the LORD said to me: “Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck.
3 Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah.
4 Give them a message for their masters and say, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Tell this to your masters:
5 With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please.
6 Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him.
7 All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him.
8 “ ‘ “If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the LORD, until I destroy it by his hand.
9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’
10 They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish.
11 But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there, declares the LORD.” ’ ”
12 I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, “Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live.
13 Why will you and your people die by the sword, famine and plague with which the LORD has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying lies to you.
15 ‘I have not sent them,’ declares the LORD. ‘They are prophesying lies in my name. Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.’ ”
16 Then I said to the priests and all these people, “This is what the LORD says: Do not listen to the prophets who say, ‘Very soon now the articles from the LORD’s house will be brought back from Babylon.’ They are prophesying lies to you.
17 Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and you will live. Why should this city become a ruin?
18 If they are prophets and have the word of the LORD, let them plead with the LORD Almighty that the articles remaining in the house of the LORD and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem not be taken to Babylon.
19 For this is what the LORD Almighty says about the pillars, the bronze Sea, the movable stands and the other articles that are left in this city,
20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiachin[b] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem—
21 yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the LORD and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem:
22 ‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ ”

Jeremiah 27 Commentary

Chapter 27

The neighbouring nations to be subdued. (1-11) Zedekiah is warned to yield. (12-18) The vessels of the temple to be carried to Babylon, but afterwards to be restored. (19-22)

Verses 1-11 Jeremiah is to prepare a sign that all the neighbouring countries would be made subject to the king of Babylon. God asserts his right to dispose of kingdoms as he pleases. Whatever any have of the good things of this world, it is what God sees fit to give; we should therefore be content. The things of this world are not the best things, for the Lord often gives the largest share to bad men. Dominion is not founded in grace. Those who will not serve the God who made them, shall justly be made to serve their enemies that seek to ruin them. Jeremiah urges them to prevent their destruction, by submission. A meek spirit, by quiet submission to the hardest turns of providence, makes the best of what is bad. Many persons may escape destroying providences, by submitting to humbling providences. It is better to take up a light cross in our way, than to pull a heavier on our own heads. The poor in spirit, the meek and humble, enjoy comfort, and avoid many miseries to which the high-spirited are exposed. It must, in all cases, be our interest to obey God's will.

Verses 12-18 Jeremiah persuades the king of Judah to surrender to the king of Babylon. Is it their wisdom to submit to the heavy iron yoke of a cruel tyrant, that they may secure their lives; and is it not much more our wisdom to submit to the pleasant and easy yoke of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, that we may secure our souls? It were well if sinners would be afraid of the destruction threatened against all who will not have Christ to reign over them. Why should they die the second death, infinitely worse than that by sword and famine, when they may submit and live? And those who encourage sinners to go on in sinful ways, will perish with them.

Verses 19-22 Jeremiah assures them that the brazen vessels should go after the golden ones. All shall be carried to Babylon. But he concludes with a gracious promise, that the time would come when they should be brought back. Though the return of the prosperity of the church does not come in our time, we must not despair, for it will come in God's time.

Cross References 50

  • 1. S 2 Chronicles 36:11
  • 2. S Leviticus 26:13; S 1 Kings 22:11; Jeremiah 28:10,13
  • 3. S Jeremiah 25:17
  • 4. S Jeremiah 25:21
  • 5. S Genesis 10:15; S Jeremiah 25:22
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 9:29
  • 7. S Genesis 1:1
  • 8. S Genesis 1:25
  • 9. Psalms 115:16; Daniel 4:17
  • 10. S Jeremiah 25:9
  • 11. S Jeremiah 21:7; Ezekiel 29:18-20
  • 12. Jeremiah 28:14; Daniel 2:37-38
  • 13. S 2 Chronicles 36:20; Daniel 5:18
  • 14. S Jeremiah 25:12
  • 15. S Jeremiah 25:14; Jeremiah 51:47; Daniel 5:28
  • 16. Jeremiah 9:16
  • 17. Jeremiah 21:9
  • 18. S Jeremiah 5:12
  • 19. S Jeremiah 14:12
  • 20. Ezekiel 13:1-23
  • 21. S Genesis 30:27; S Isaiah 44:25
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 13:1; S Jeremiah 23:25
  • 23. S Deuteronomy 18:11
  • 24. S Exodus 7:11
  • 25. Jeremiah 6:14
  • 26. S Jeremiah 23:25; S Mark 13:5
  • 27. S 2 Kings 23:27
  • 28. S Jeremiah 21:9
  • 29. Deuteronomy 6:2
  • 30. Jeremiah 17:4
  • 31. S Jeremiah 21:9
  • 32. Ezekiel 18:31
  • 33. S Jeremiah 14:12
  • 34. S Jeremiah 23:16
  • 35. S Jeremiah 14:13
  • 36. S Jeremiah 14:14; S Matthew 7:15
  • 37. S Jeremiah 23:21
  • 38. Jeremiah 29:9; Jeremiah 44:16
  • 39. S Jeremiah 6:15; Matthew 15:12-14
  • 40. 1 Kings 7:48-50; S 2 Kings 24:13; 2 Chronicles 36:7,10; Jeremiah 28:3; Daniel 1:2
  • 41. Jeremiah 23:16
  • 42. Jeremiah 42:11
  • 43. S Numbers 21:7; S 1 Samuel 7:8
  • 44. 1 Kings 7:23-26; 2 Kings 25:13
  • 45. S 1 Kings 7:51; Jeremiah 52:17-23
  • 46. S Deuteronomy 28:36; S 2 Chronicles 36:10; Jeremiah 24:1
  • 47. Jeremiah 22:24; Matthew 1:11
  • 48. S 2 Kings 20:17; 2 Kings 25:13
  • 49. S 2 Chronicles 36:21; S Jeremiah 24:6
  • 50. S Ezra 1:7; Ezra 7:19

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. A few Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac (see also 27:3,12 and 28:1); most Hebrew manuscripts "Jehoiakim" (Most Septuagint manuscripts do not have this verse.)
  • [b]. Hebrew "Jeconiah," a variant of "Jehoiachin"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 27

This chapter contains a prophecy of the subjection of the king of Judah, with five neighbouring kings, to the king of Babylon; signified by bonds and yokes on the prophet's neck, which they are exhorted patiently to bear, as being most for their good; and not to give heed to false prophets, who would persuade them to the contrary. The date of the prophecy is in Jer 27:1; the order to make the yokes, and send them to the several neighbouring princes by their messengers at Jerusalem, Jer 27:2,3; what they should say to their masters from the God of Israel, who is described from his power in the creation of the earth, and the disposal of it, Jer 27:4,5; as that he had given all their lands into the hand of the king of Babylon, whom they should serve, or it would be worse for them, Jer 27:6-8; and therefore should not hearken to their prophets, who prophesied lies; if they did, it would be to their hurt; whereas, if they quietly submitted, they would dwell in their own land, Jer 27:9-11; particularly Zedekiah king of Judah is exhorted to submit; and both he, and the priests and the people, are advised not to hearken to the false prophets, Jer 27:12-15; particularly as to what they said concerning the speedy return of the vessels of the temple, which were carried away to Babylon; but might assure themselves they should remain there; and the rest also should be taken, and not returned until the end of the seventy years, Jer 27:16-22.

Jeremiah 27 Commentaries