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.
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.