Jeremiah goes to the palace of king Zedekiah of Judah and rebukes him to his face. Then he rebukes king Jehoahaz and king Jehoiakim.
Go down to the house of the king. The LORD God called Jeremiah to depart from the temple. He was to go to the palace of the king. There, he would rebuke the king.
VERSE 2. ‘Hear the LORD’s word, king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you, your servants, and your people who enter in by these gates.
VERSE 3. The LORD says: “Execute justice and righteousness, and deliver him who is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong. Do no violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow. Don’t shed innocent blood in this place.
NASB translation. Thus says the LORD, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
Do justice and righteousness. This echoes the insight we saw in the previous chapter:
Jeremiah 21:12. This is what the Lord says to the dynasty of David: “Give justice each morning to the people you judge! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Otherwise, my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.” (NLT translation)
do not mistreat or do violence. A person of righteousness cannot mistreat people or do violence. Yet Christian history is littered with believers who are violent in their speech or their actions.
VERSE 4. For if you do this thing indeed, then kings sitting on David’s throne will enter in by the gates of this house, riding in chariots and on horses, he, his servants, and his people.
VERSE 5. But if you will not hear these words, I swear by myself,” says the LORD, “that this house will become a desolation.” ’ ”
this house will become a desolation. If king Zedekiah does not reform his ways, the royal palace would be destroyed.
VERSE 6. For the LORD says concerning the house of the king of Judah: “You are Gilead to me, the head of Lebanon. Yet surely I will make you a wilderness, cities which are not inhabited.
VERSE 7. I will prepare destroyers against you, everyone with his weapons, and they will cut down your choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.
VERSE 8. “Many nations will pass by this city, and they will each ask his neighbor, ‘Why has the LORD done this to this great city?’
VERSE 9. Then they will answer, ‘Because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD their God, worshiped other gods, and served them.’ ”
VERSE 10. Don’t weep for the dead. Don’t bemoan him; but weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he will return no more, and not see his native country.
VERSE 11. For the LORD says touching Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and who went out of this place: “He won’t return there any more.
Shallum the son of Josiah. That was another name for Jehoahaz. He was a son of Josiah. He succeeded Josiah to the throne in 609 BC.
VERSE 12. But he will die in the place where they have led him captive. He will see this land no more.”
the place where they have led him captive. After only three months as king, Shallum was deposed by Pharaoh Neco. He taken into captivity in Egypt.
He will see this land no more. Shallum would never return to Jerusalem. Instead, he would die in Egypt as a captive.
VERSE 13. “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his rooms by injustice; who uses his neighbor’s service without wages, and doesn’t give him his hire;
him who builds his house by unrighteousness. This section addresses Jehoiakim. He had been appointed as king by Pharaoh Neco.
VERSE 14. who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house and spacious rooms,’ and cuts out windows for himself; with a cedar ceiling, and painted with red.
VERSE 15. “Should you reign, because you strive to excel in cedar? Didn’t your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.
strive to excel in cedar. Jehoiakim tried to prove he was better than other kings by out-spending them.
VERSE 16. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; so it was well, then. Wasn’t this to know me?” says the LORD.
VERSE 17. But your eyes and your heart are only for your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, for oppression, and for doing violence.”
VERSE 18. Therefore the LORD says concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: “They won’t lament for him, saying, ‘Ah my brother!’ or, ‘Ah sister!’ They won’t lament for him, saying ‘Ah lord!’ or, ‘Ah his glory!’
VERSE 19. He will be buried with the burial of a donkey, drawn and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”
VERSE 20. “Go up to Lebanon, and cry. Lift up your voice in Bashan, and cry from Abarim; for all your lovers have been destroyed.
VERSE 21. I spoke to you in your prosperity; but you said, ‘I will not listen.’ This has been your way from your youth, that you didn’t obey my voice.
your way from your youth. Since he was young, Jeconiah ignored the voice of the LORD.
VERSE 22. The wind will feed all your shepherds, and your lovers will go into captivity. Surely then you will be ashamed and confounded for all your wickedness.
VERSE 23. Inhabitant of Lebanon, who makes your nest in the cedars, how greatly to be pitied you will be when pangs come on you, the pain as of a woman in travail!
VERSE 24. “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet on my right hand, I would still pluck you from there.
VERSE 25. I would give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of them of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Kasdim.
VERSE 26. I will cast you out with your mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born; and there you will die.
VERSE 27. But to the land to which their soul longs to return, there they will not return.”
VERSE 28. Is this man Coniah a despised broken vessel? Is he a vessel in which no one delights? Why are they cast out, he and his offspring, and cast into a land which they don’t know?
VERSE 29. O earth, earth, earth, hear the LORD’s word!
VERSE 30. The LORD says, “Record this man as childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no more will a man of his offspring prosper, sitting on David’s throne, and ruling in Judah.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.