Yirmeyah 22

1 2 Thus saith Hashem; Go down to the Bais Melech Yehudah, and speak there this Davar,
2 And say, Hear the Devar Hashem, O Melech Yehudah, that sittest upon the kisse of Dovid, thou, and thy avadim, and thy people that enter in by these she’arim (gates);
3 Thus saith Hashem; Execute ye mishpat (justice) and tzedakah (righteousness), and save the plundered out of the yad of the oshek (oppressor); and do no wrong, do no violence to the ger (alien), the yatom (orphan), nor the almanah (widow), neither shed dahm naki (innocent blood) in this makom (place).
4 For if ye carry out this davar indeed, then, shall there enter in by the she’arim (gates) of this Bais, melachim sitting upon the kisse Dovid, riding in chariots and on susim, he, and his avadim, and his people.
5 But if ye will not hear these devarim, I swear a shevuah by Myself, saith Hashem, that this Bais shall become a desolation.
6 For thus saith Hashem unto the Bais Melech Yehudah: Thou art [in grandeur] Gil‘ad unto Me, and the summit of the Levanon; yet surely I will make thee a midbar, and towns which are not inhabited.
7 And I will prepare mashchitim (destroyers) against thee, every ish with his weapons; and they shall cut down thy choice arazim (cedars), and cast them into the eish.
8 And Goyim rabbim shall pass by this city, and they shall say every ish to his re’a (neighbor), Why hath Hashem done thus unto this ir hagedolah (great city)?
9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the Brit Hashem Eloheihem, and worshiped elohim acherim, and served them.
10 Weep ye not for the one dead, neither mourn him; but weep bitterly for him that goeth away [into the Golus]; for he shall return no more, nor see his eretz moledet (native land).
11 For thus saith Hashem touching Shallum Ben Yoshiyah Melech Yehudah, which reigned in place of Yoshiyah aviv, which went forth out of this makom; he shall not return there any more;
12 But he shall die in the makom where they have led him captive [into the Golus], and he shall see HaAretz Hazot no more.
13 Woe unto him that buildeth his bais but not by tzedek (righteousness), and his aliyyot (upper chambers) but not by mishpat; that useth his neighbor’s service without wages, and giveth him no pay for his work;
14 That saith, I will build me a large bais (mansion) and spacious aliyyot (upper rooms), and cutteth him out chalonot (windows); and panel it with erez (cedar), and paint with bright red.
15 Shalt thou reign, because thou enclose thyself in erez (cedar)? Did not Avicha eat and drink, and do mishpat and tzedakah, and then it was tov (well) with him?
16 He defended the cause of the oni (poor) and evyon (needy); then it was tov (well) with him; was not this to have da’as of Me? saith Hashem.
17 But thine eynayim (eyes) and thine lev are but for thy betza (covetousness, greed) and for to shed dahm hanaki (innocent blood), and for oshek (oppression), and for merutzah (extortion, persecution), to do it.
18 Therefore thus saith Hashem concerning Y’hoyakim Ben Yoshiyah Melech Yehudah: They shall not mourn for him, saying, Ah achi! Or, Ah achot (sister)! They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah adon! Or, Ah his hod (glory)!
19 He shall be buried with the kevurat chamor (burial of a donkey), dragged and cast forth outside the Sha’arei Yerushalayim.
20 Go up to the Levanon, and cry out; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry out from Avarim; for all thy lovers are crushed.
21 I spoke unto thee in thy security; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy derech from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not My kol (voice).
22 The ruach shall eat up all thy ro’im (rulers), and thy lovers shall go into captivity [in the Golus]; surely then shalt thou be ashamed and humiliated because of all thy wickedness.
23 O inhabitant of the Levanon, that makest thy ken (nest) in the arazim (cedars), how shalt thou groan when chavalim (birth pangs) come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
24 As I live, saith Hashem, though Coniyahu [Yehoiakhin, Yechonyahu] Ben Y’hoyakim Melech Yehudah were the chotam (signet ring) upon Yad Yemini (My right Hand), yet would I pluck thee from there [2Kgs 23:33-34].
25 And I will give thee into the yad of them that seek thy nefesh, and into the yad of them of whom thou art afraid, even into the yad of Nevuchadretzar Melech Babylon, and into the yad of the Kasdim.
26 And I will cast thee out, and immecha that bore thee, into ha’aretz acheret (another country), where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.
27 But to HaAretz whereunto they desire to return, to these shall they not return.
28 Is this man Coniyahu a despised broken etzev (image, statue)? Is he a vessel wherein is no chefetz? Why are they cast out, he and his zera, and are cast into ha’aretz which they know not?
29 O eretz, eretz, eretz, hear the Devar Hashem.
30 Thus saith Hashem, Write ye this ish ariri (childless, stripped of the honor that progeny bestows), a gever (man) who shall not prosper in his days; for none of his zera shall prosper, sitting upon the kisse Dovid, or moshel od (rule anymore) in Yehudah.

Yirmeyah 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.

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.

Yirmeyah 22 Commentaries