Jeremiah Chapter 26
Verses 26:1 – 45:5: The recurring theme in this section of the book is that Judah did not listen to, obey, or heed the Word of the Lord (26:5; 29:19; 32:33; 34:14-17; 36:31; 37;1-2, 14; 40:3; 42:13, 21; 43:7; 44:16, 23).
(In verses 1-24), this message, delivered around the time that Jehoiakim came to the throne in 609 B.C., is likely Jeremiah’s temple sermon recorded (in chapter 7).
Jeremiah 26:1 “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying,”
“In the beginning”: The time was 609 B.C. The message is about 4 years earlier (than that in 25:1 and about 11 years before 24:1).
(Chapters 26 to 45), focus on Israel’s place among the nations. Scholars disagree as to whether the (details of chapter 26), are to be connected with the temple discourse (in chapters 7 to 10). Whether or not this chapter is directly related to the same occasion as those messages, the theme is largely the same: unless the citizens of Jerusalem repent, the mere presence of the temple in their midst will not guarantee their survival. Rather, God’s chastening Judgment will be as certain as that of Shiloh (verse 6; compare 7:12), the earlier lodging place of the tabernacle (see the notes on 1 Sam. 4:3; 7:1-2).
Jehoiakim reigned many years, and all through his reign Jeremiah brought warnings from God of impending danger if they did not repent. We have already noticed that the chapters in Jeremiah are not in chronological order. Some of the chapters we have already studied came at the end of the reign of Jehoiakim’s reign. For our study here, it is not important when something happened, just to know that it did. We are not doing a chronological study, we are doing a spiritual study. The Word from the LORD came through the mouth of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 26:2 “Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:”
“Stand in the court”: This was the largest public gathering place at the temple.
The court of the LORD’s house is the same as the outer court of the temple. Three times a year, all the Hebrews from around Jerusalem came to the temple to worship. This would have included all of Judah, as well as Benjamin. When they came to worship, Jeremiah was to stand and give the exact words the LORD had put into his mouth to say. He was not to alter the Word in any way. “Diminish” means shave off or remove. We must not water down God’s Word.
Verses 3-7: At this point in Jeremiah’s ministry, it was still possible for Judah to run from their sinful ways and to avoid the judgment the Lord planned. One of Israel’s central confessions about the Lord was that He was “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness” (Exodus 34:6; Isa. 1:16-19).
Jeremiah 26:3 “If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.”
And obey; which is expressive not of ignorance and conjecture in God, but of his patience and long suffering. Granting space and time for repentance, and the means of it; which disregarded, leave without excuse.
“And turn every man from his evil way”: His series and course of life, which was evil, and was the case of everyone. So that as their sin was general, the reformation ought to be so too.
“That I may repent me of the evil which I purpose to do unto them”: Or “am thinking”, or “devising to do unto them”. Which repentance must be understood not of a change of mind, but of the course of his providence towards them, which, by his threatening, and some steps taken, portended ruin and destruction. Yet, in case of repentance and reforming, he would change his method of action agreeably to his will.
“Because of the evil of their doings”: This was the reason why he had threatened them with the evil of punishment, because of the evil of their actions. Which were breaches of his law, and such as provoked the eyes of his glory.
This seems as if it is very repetitious and it is. We must remember however, that God is patient and kind. He wants to make sure all of them have been warned, and have had plenty of time to repent and turn from their wicked ways.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
The desire of God’s heart, is that they will repent. They deserve to die for the evil they have done, but God wants them to repent and be saved. I love the following promise God made His people.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Jeremiah 26:4 “And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,”
What follows is the substance of the prophecy, and the sum of the sermon or discourse he was sent to deliver, without diminishing a word of it.
“Thus saith the Lord, if ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law which I have set before you”: First by Moses, by whose hands it was given to their fathers; and by the prophets, the interpreters of it to them. Before whom it was set as a way for them to walk in, and a rule to walk by. A directory for them in their lives and conversations. And which continues to be so, as it is set before us Christians by our King and Lawgiver Jesus Christ. Though not to obtain righteousness and life by the works of it; which should not be sought for, nor are attainable thereby.
Jeremiah 26:5 “To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending [them], but ye have not hearkened;”
The interpretations they give of the law. The doctrines they deliver; the exhortations, cautions, and reproofs given by them in the name of the Lord, whose servants they were. And therefore, should be hearkened to; since hearkening to them is hearkening to the Lord himself, in whose name they speak, and whose message they deliver.
“Whom I sent unto you, both rising up early and sending them”: They had their mission and commission from the Lord. And who was careful to send them early, if they might be instruments to do them good and prevent their ruin. They had the best of means, and these seasonable, and so were left without excuse.
“But ye have not hearkened”: Neither to the Lord, nor to his prophets. But went on in their own ways, neglecting the law of the Lord and the instructions of his servants.
Jeremiah 26:6 “Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.”
Where the Ark was until it was taken by the Philistines; and then the Lord forsook his tabernacle there (Psalm 78:60). And so, he threatens to do the like to the temple at Jerusalem, should they continue in their disobedience to him (Jer. 7:12; 7:14).
“And will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth”: That is, the city of Jerusalem, which should be taken up, and used proverbially in all countries. Who, when they would curse anyone, should say, the Lord make thee as Jerusalem, or do unto thee as he has done to Jerusalem.
Like Shiloh”: The former dwelling place of God before Jerusalem (compare 7:12 and see note there).
This was a stiffnecked people who would not hear the Word God had sent them by His prophet Jeremiah. Much of this was said to the priests in the temple area, and they did not accept it at all. They wanted everyone to believe they were the voice speaking for God. They not only did not hear themselves, but caused others not to hear also. Shiloh had been the earliest location of the sanctuary and had been destroyed, because of unrepentant sin of the people. It appears the Philistines had destroyed it. God is trying to make it clear that the sanctuary was to remain only as long as true worship was going on.
Jeremiah 26:7 “So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.”
The following verses through chapter 29 deal with Jeremiah’s controversy with a corrupt officialdom and priesthood.
We see that Jeremiah boldly brought the Truth God had revealed to him. He did not make it lighter just because the priests were listening. They all heard the prophecy.
Verses 8-9: The people, “priest”, and “prophets” call for Jeremiah’s death for preaching against the temple. They likely believed that Jeremiah should be executed as a blasphemer or false prophet for daring to speak against the Lord’s house, as was Jesus (Lev. 24:16; Deut. 18:20; Mark 14:58).
Jeremiah 26:8 “Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded [him] to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.”
Jeremiah is accused of being a lying prophet who had not only spoken without divine authority but who functioned outside of the will of God. These charges constituted a capital offense (Deut. 18:20-22). Only the protests of the people (verse 16), and the special interceding of important friends (verse 24), saved Jeremiah from death at this time. Another true prophet did feel the weight of the king’s wrath (verses 20-23).
They waited until Jeremiah stopped speaking and then they grabbed him. They wanted to kill him, because they did not like the message he brought. Priests and those in authority, did not like the message Jesus brought either, and they did kill His body. Death was the penalty for blasphemy, or for pretending to be a prophet when you weren’t.
Jeremiah 26:9 “Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.”
Made use of his name in declaring a falsehood, as they would have it. This was the crime: had he said what he thought fit to say in his own name, they suggest it would not have been so bad. But to vent his own imaginations in the name of the Lord, this they judged wicked and blasphemous, and deserving of death. Especially since what he said was against their city and temple.
“Saying, this house shall be like Shiloh”: Forsaken and destroyed; that is, the temple.
“And this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant?” So, they wrested his words; for this he did not say, only that it should be a curse to all the nations of the earth.
“And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord”: Besides those that were in the temple that heard him. Others, upon a rumor that he was apprehended by the priests, and prophets, and people in the temple, got together in a mob about him. Or, they were “gathered to” him; to hear what he had to say in his own defense. And it appears afterwards that they were on his side (Jer. 26:16).
The reason he had prophesied is because God told him to. He had no choice in the matter. The priest had a great deal of authority over the people at this time. They usually went along with his decision. He wanted Jeremiah killed because Jeremiah made him look bad before the people. These people including the priest, were so full of sin that they did not recognize the sin.
Jeremiah 26:10 “When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S [house].”
The tumult there was in the temple. These were the princes of the blood, or the nobles of the realm, particularly the courtiers, and who were of the king’s private council. Or else the great Sanhedrim, consisting of seventy persons, and were the chief court of judicature. By which it should seem that they were the king’s courtiers, and counsellors, and officers of state. Unless in those times the Sanhedrim sat there. From hence they came up to the temple, where Jeremiah and the priests, etc. were, which, being built on a hill, was higher than the king’s palace. And therefore are said to “come up” to it.
“And sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house”: As a court of judicature, to hear and try the cause between the prophet and his accusers. This gate of the temple is thought to be the higher gate, which Jotham built (2 Kings 15:35). The Targum calls it the eastern gate; and so Kimchi says it was. And that it was called the new gate, according to the Rabbins, because there they renewed the constitutions and traditions. Though he thinks the better reason is, because newly repaired, or some new building was added to it. Jarchi also says it was the eastern gate; and gives this reason for its being called new. That when Jehoiakim was carried captive along with some of the vessels of the temple, that Nebuchadnezzar’s army broke the eastern gate. Which Zedekiah afterwards repaired, and made new. But if so, it is here called new by an anticipation; or this account was written after that time.
They were just about to try to convict Jeremiah when the princes came up. The princes were the ones who usually tried the people on charges. They have come to the rescue of Jeremiah. The entry of the new gate was where trials were conducted.
Jeremiah 26:11 “Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man [is] worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.”
The priests and the prophets were the accusers. The princes were the court before whom the cause was brought. And the people were the hearers of it. Though it does not seem as if they were a sort of jury, or had any vote in determining. Though they sometimes had in instigating a court, and the judges of it, to take on the side of the question they were for.
“Saying, this man is worthy to die”: Or, “the judgment of death is to this man”. He is guilty of a capital crime, and judgment ought to be given against him, and he be condemned to die.
“For he hath prophesied against this city. The city of Jerusalem. Saying that it should be a curse to other nations. Or, as they interpreted it, that it should be utterly destroyed, and become desolate, and none should inhabit it.
Jeremiah was accused of treason (compare Paul’s arrest in Acts: 21:27-28).
This was not a good reason for killing Jeremiah. The duty of a prophet was to speak whatever God had put in his mouth. Had he been a false prophet, then they could have accused him. They had no proof he was a false prophet, only that he prophesied against the city.
Jeremiah 26:12 “Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.”
“Spake Jeremiah”: Leaders and people threatened to kill him (verse 8). The prophet defended himself while in extreme danger. He did not compromise, but displayed tremendous spiritual courage. He was ready to die (verse 14), yet warned the crowd that God would hold the guilty accountable (verse 15).
Jeremiah speaks in his own behalf here. He is saying, if you kill me, you are coming against God who sent me.
Jeremiah 26:13 “Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.”
Make them good; leave your evil ways, and walk in good ways. Forsake your evil works, and do good works.
“And obey the voice of the Lord your God”: And that because he is your God, as well as what his word directs to is good, and for your good.
“And the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you”: Will do as men do when they repent, change their method of acting, and manner of behavior. So the Lord is said to repent or turn, when he changes the method and conduct of his providence towards men, though he never changes his mind or counsel.
Jeremiah had the boldness of the LORD. He tells them again to repent. We see that Jeremiah does not alter his message at all, even in the face of death. He still warns them to repent.
Jeremiah 26:14 “As for me, behold, I [am] in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.”
In their power, as they were the chief court of judicature. And to whom it belonged to judge of prophets, and to acquit or condemn them, as they saw fit. Wherefore he submits to their authority.
“Do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you”: He was not careful about it. He readily submitted to their pleasure, and should patiently endure what they thought fit to inflict upon him. It gave him no great concern whether his life was taken from him or not. He was satisfied he had done what he ought to do, and should do the same, was it to do again. And therefore, they might proceed just as they pleased against him.
In this Jeremiah is saying, you may kill my body, but I will not alter the message God sent to you. Look with me at what Jesus said about fear of man.
Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Telling God’s Truth is more important to him than physical life.
Jeremiah 26:15 “But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.”
Take this along with you, and then do as you will. That if ye take away my life on this account, you may depend upon it. Nothing is more certain than this.
“Ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof”: That is, the guilt of innocent blood, which would cry for vengeance upon them that brought the accusation, and insisted upon his being brought in guilty. And upon those that sat in judgment, and condemned him. And upon all the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem, who should agree to his being put to death.
“For of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears”: And therefore I am no false prophet, and am clear of the charge brought against me. And have said nothing but what I had a mission and an order from the Lord for, of which you may assure yourselves. And therefore, he will avenge my blood, should it be shed on that account. So that you will only increase your guilt, and add to that great load that lies upon you, and will be your ruin, unless you repent and reform.
“Put me to death” (compare Matt. 23:31-37).
Jeremiah is innocent of any wrongdoing and he tells them so. He boldly says again, God sent him to bring this message to them. Their sins are already bad enough, without killing an innocent prophet of God.
Jeremiah 26:16 “Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man [is] not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.”
Hearing Jeremiah’s apology for himself, by which it appeared that he was to be justified in what he had done, took his part, and acquitted him. And the people, who before were on the side of the priests and false prophets; yet hearing what Jeremiah had to say for himself, and also the judgment of the princes, took his part also. And joined with the court in an address to the priests and prophets, who were the chief accusers. And who would willingly have had him brought in guilty of death.
“This man is not worthy to die. Or, “the judgment of death is not for this man”. We cannot give judgment against him; he is not guilty of any crime deserving death (see Jer. 26:11).
“For he hath spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God”: Not in his own name, and of his own head; but in the name of the Lord, and by his order. And therefore, was not a false, but a true prophet. What methods they took to know this, and to make it appear to the people, is not said. Very probably the settled character of the prophet and their long acquaintance with him, and knowledge of him. His integrity and firmness of mind; the plain marks of seriousness and humility, and a disinterested view, made them conclude in his favor.
The princes and the people believed what Jeremiah had to say. The priests and the false prophets had been bringing an entirely different message and this made them look bad. The people believed Jeremiah is a prophet of God speaking the Words of their God to them.
Verses 17-19: Elders … spake”: These spokesmen cited the prophet Micah (compare Micah 3:12), who before and during Hezekiah’s reign (ca. 715 – 686 B.C.), prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. They reasoned that because they didn’t kill Micah, God rescinded the judgment. They must not kill Jeremiah so God might change His mind. Micah’s prophecy and Jeremiah’s would come true in time.
Jeremiah 26:17 “Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,”
The same with the princes. Some of the court, who rose up as advocates for the prophet.
“And spake to all the assembly of the people”: To justify the vote of the court, and to confirm the people in a good opinion of it, by giving them examples and instances of the like kind.
“Saying” (as follows).
The elders speak for the people. They are their spokesmen.
Jeremiah 26:18 “Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed [like] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.”
Very openly and publicly, and just as Jeremiah had done (Jer. 26:2).
“Saying, thus saith the Lord of hosts, Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps”: Mount Zion, on part of which the temple was built, and on the other the city of David, together with the city of Jerusalem, should be so demolished. As that they might be plowed, and become a tillage. As the Jews say they were by Terentius, or Turnus Rufus, as they call him, after their last destruction by the Romans.
“And the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest”: Covered with grass and shrubs, and thorns and briers. Even Mount Moriah, on which the temple stood, which is designed by the house. And so, the Targum calls it the house of the sanctuary. Now this was saying as much against the city and temple as Jeremiah did. And was said in the days of a good king too. Who encouraged reforming, and carried it to a great pitch (see Micah 3:12).
In Micah 3:9, we see the prophecy that is spoken of here (read all of it from verse 9 to the end of the chapter). Hezekiah let him speak because he tried to do right in God’s sight.
Jeremiah 26:19 “Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.”
No, they did not. Neither the king, by his own authority; nor the Sanhedrim, the great court of judicature, for the nation. They never sought to take away his life, nor sat in council about it. They never arraigned him, and much less condemned him.
“Did he not fear the Lord, and besought the Lord”: That is, Hezekiah. He did, as knowing that Micah was a prophet of the Lord, and sent by him. Wherefore he received his prophecy with great awe and reverence, as coming from the Lord. And made his supplications to him that he would avert the judgments threatened.
“And the Lord repented of the evil which he had pronounced against them?” The king and his people, the city and the temple. And so, the threatened evil came not upon them in their days.
“Thus might we procure great evil against our souls”: Should we put Jeremiah to death? It is therefore much more advisable to do as Hezekiah did, pray unto the Lord to avert the threatened evil, or otherwise it will be worse with us. This precedent is urged to strengthen the decree of the council in favor of Jeremiah.
Most of them should have been very familiar with this, since it happened just a few years earlier in their own land. This example should surely make them think twice before killing Jeremiah. They knew if he were of God, they would be damning themselves. The elders have made a good point.
Verses 20-24: Jehoiakim’s execution of the prophet “Urijah” in the scene that follows reflects his wickedness and hostility toward the Word of God. An angry response to the preaching of God’s Word is often the reflection of a guilty conscience. Urijah’s only crime was faithfully proclaiming the same message of judgment as Jeremiah. Jesus would later remind Israel that they were guilty of the blood of the prophets from Abel to Zechariah (Luke 11:47-51).
Urijah, like Micah and Jeremiah, had warned of doom on Jerusalem, speaking in Jehoiakim’s day only a bit earlier than Jeremiah’s present warning (609 B.C.). He was executed. The decision could have gone either way since there was precedent for killing and for sparing.
Jeremiah 26:20 “And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah:”
These are not the words of the same persons continued. Because the following instance is against them. But of some other persons in the Sanhedrim, who were on the side of the priests and prophets. Who in effect said, why tell you us of an instance in Hezekiah’s time, when there is so recent a one in the present reign. Of a man that prophesied just as Jeremiah has done, and was put to death, and so ought he? After this manner Kimchi interprets it; and so Jarchi, who adds, that it is so explained in an ancient book of theirs, called Siphri. Though some think they are the words of the same persons that espoused the prophet’s cause. And observe the following instance with this view. That whereas there had been one prophet of the Lord lately put to death for the same thing, should they take away the life of another, it would be adding sin to sin, and bring great evil upon their souls. And it might be observed, that Hezekiah prevented much evil by the steps he took. Whereas, should they proceed as they had begun in the present reign, they might expect nothing but ruin. Which they might easily see with their own eyes was coming upon them. Others are of opinion that this instance is added by the penman of this book, either the prophet himself or Baruch, to show the wonderful preservation of him. That though there had been very lately a person put to death for the very same thing, yet he was preserved through the good offices of a person mentioned at the close of the chapter. And which seems to make this account probable. The name of the prophet was:
“Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim”: Which was a city of Judah (Joshua 18:14). But who he was is not known, there being no account of him elsewhere.
“Who prophesied against this city, and against this land, according to all the words of Jeremiah”: Just as he had done, in much the same words, if not altogether. So that their case was similar.
Jeremiah 26:21 “And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;”
Either his courtiers, or his soldiers, or both.
“And all the princes, heard his words”: The words of the Prophet Urijah. Not with their own ears very probably, but from the report of others.
“The king sought to put him to death”: As being a messenger of bad tidings, tending to dispirit his subjects, and allay the joy of his own mind upon his advancement to the throne.
“But when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt”: Which some understand as caution within him. But rather it was the effect of lacking courage and cowardice. It seems to show want of faith and confidence in the Lord. And the fear of man, which brings a snare. And besides, it was no piece of prudence to go to Egypt. Whatever it was to flee; since there was such an alliance between the kings of Egypt and Judah. And the latter, though dependent on the former. Yet the king of Egypt would easily gratify him in delivering up a subject of his, and a person of such a character.
Jeremiah 26:22 “And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, [namely], Elnathan the son of Achbor, and [certain] men with him into Egypt.”
“Elnathan”: A high ranking official who on another occasion sided with Jeremiah (compare 36:12, 25).
Jeremiah 26:23 “And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.”
Having found him, they seized him, and brought him away, with the leave of the king of Egypt. Which, no doubt, was easily obtained.
“And brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who slew him with the sword”: Very probably with his own hand. Or however it was done by his order, and in his presence, most likely.
“And cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. Either where they were buried in heaps promiscuously, as some think. Or in the common burying ground. And not where persons of distinction were laid, as prophets, and others. This he did to reflect dishonor upon the prophet.
“Graves of the common people”: In the Kidron Valley, to the east of the temple (compare 2 Kings 23:6).
Urijah had been put to death by Jehoiakim for prophesying. It appeared he had brought a message similar to Jeremiah’s. Possibly the reason that Jeremiah was treated more fairly, was because his father was a priest. They would think twice before declaring that the son of a priest was a false prophet.
Jeremiah 26:24 “Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.”
Even in times of national apostasy, there were faithful individuals who followed the Lord and took seriously the messages of His prophets.
“Ahikam” had a long record of faithful service at the highest levels. He had been a member of Josiah’s delegation to the prophetess Huldah (2 Kings 22:12). His continued influence was to be felt through his son Gedaliah, who was appointed governor of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar at the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
He used his strategic influence to spring Jeremiah free of the death threat. This civil leader under King Josiah (compare 2 Kings 22:12, 14) and father of Gedaliah, was appointed governor over Judah by the Babylonians after Jerusalem’s final fall (in 586 B.C.; 39:14; 40:13 to 41:3).
Even though they had killed Urijah for almost the same message that Jeremiah brought, they decided Jeremiah was a true prophet of God and did not kill him. It seemed that Ahikam was the one who swayed the group into believing in Jeremiah. Both of Ahikam’s sons seemed to believe in Jeremiah as well.
Jeremiah Chapter 26 Questions
- Where was Jeremiah to stand and bring the prophecy?
- Who was it spoken to?
- Jeremiah was told, ___________ not a word.
- What is the same as the court of the LORD’s house?
- What does “diminish” mean?
- What would cause God to repent of the evil He had planned for them?
- Why had God planned this evil?
- Why is this prophecy repeated many times?
- If they do not repent, God will make this house like ________.
- Why did the priests not accept Jeremiah’s message?
- What was Shiloh?
- Who heard the prophecy of Jeremiah?
- The people, priests, and false prophets took Jeremiah, saying to him, Thou _______ _______ ____.
- What questions did they ask Jeremiah in verse 9?
- What kept them from quickly convicting Jeremiah?
- What complaint did they make against Jeremiah?
- What was the duty of a prophet?
- What answer did Jeremiah give to the charges in verse 12?
- In verse 13, what does Jeremiah tell them to do?
- What is Jeremiah really saying in verse 14?
- What did Jeremiah say would happen to them, if they put him to death?
- Why did the princes say, he was not worthy to die?
- Who prophesied like Jeremiah in the days of Hezekiah, and was not killed?
- What was the name of the prophet that Jehoiakim had killed?
- Who was with Jeremiah, and spoke out for him?
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