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Jeremiah 27:1-5

1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

1. Principio regni Jehoiakim filii Josiae regis Jehudah fuit sermo hic ad jeremiam a Jehova, dicendo,

2. Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,

2. Sic dicit jehova ad me (mihi,) fac tibi vincula et juga, et pone ea super collum tuum;

3. And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;

3. Et mitte ad regem Edom, et ad regem Moab, et ad regem filiorum Ammon, et ad regem Tyri, et ad regem Sidonis, per manum nuntiorum, qui venient Jerusalem ad Zedechiam regem Jehudah;

4. And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;

4. Et mandata dabis illis ad dominos suos, dicendo, Sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Deus Israel, Sic dicetis ad dominos vestros,

5. I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.

5. Ego feci terram, hominem et jumentum quod super faciem terrae est, in virtute mea magna, et brachio meo extento; et dedi eam illi qui placeret in oculis meis.


Jeremiah prefaces this prediction by saying, that it was delivered to him at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign. But this beginning, as we have said, extended to the whole of his reign while it was prosperous and entire. While, then, Jehoiakim enjoyed a quiet possession of the kingdom, Jeremiah was bidden to make known what had been committed to him, not to Jehoiakim himself, but, as we learn from the third verse, to Zedekiah who had not immediately succeeded him, but became at last king after various changes. God, then, committed this prophecy to his servant, but did not design it to be immediately promulgated. If it be asked, why God designed what he purposed to be made known to be concealed for so long a time? the answer is this, — that it was done for the sake of the Prophet himself, in order that he might with more alacrity perform his office, knowing of a certainty that no one thought that it could ever happen, and certainly the thing was incredible. 177177     The manner in which Calvin accounts for this prophecy being so long kept hid is ingenious; but modern authors are not satisfied. Lightfoot says, that Jeremiah was ordered to make these yokes in Jehoiakim’s time to signify the subjection of Judah to the king of Babylon, but that he was ordered to send them to foreign kings in the reign of Zedekiah. The first verse is omitted in the Sept.; the Greek version as given by Theodoret, has “Jehoiakim,” and so the Vulg. and the Targ., but the Syr. and Arab. have “Zedekiah;” and there are three Hebrew MSS. in which the same is found. What seems most decisive is the beginning of the next chapter, where Hananiah comes forward in “the fourth year” of Zedekiah and breaks the yoke of Jeremiah. Gataker, Henry, Lowth, Scott, and Blayney, are all inclined to think that the mistake originally was that of the scribe. — Ed.

God’s design then was to communicate this to his Prophet himself, that he might see afar off what no one, as I have just said, had thought could ever come to pass. This is the reason, as I think, why this prophecy was not immediately published, but was like a treasure deposited in the Prophet’s bosom, until the ripened time came. I shall defer till tomorrow the explanation of this prophecy.

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