The new king (Jer 37:1-37:1)

“King Zedekiah,

The son of King Josiah,

Whom King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Made king

In the land of Judah,

Succeeded King Coniah,

The son of King Jehoiakim.”          

This is a clear statement that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 BCE) put King Zedekiah on the throne of David in Judah in 598 BCE. The Babylonian king got rid of King Coniah or King Jehoiachin, who was the son of King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE), who had just died. There is no doubt that King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE), the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE) and brother of King Jehoiakim, was the favorite of the Babylonian king. Like the preceding chapter, this is a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapter 44, not chapter 37 as here.

The coming punishment for the king and his family (Jer 36:30-36:31)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh                           

Concerning King Jehoiakim

Of Judah.

‘He shall have no one

To sit upon the throne

Of David.

His dead body

Shall be cast out

To the heat

By day

As well as the frost

By night.

I will punish him,

His offspring,

As well as his servants

For their iniquity.

I will bring

On them,

On the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

On the people of Judah,

All the disasters

With which I have threatened them.

But they would not hear.’”

Yahweh delivered his judgment against King Jehoiakim and his royal family. No one in his family will ever sit on the throne of David. Actually, at his death, his son Coniah, King Jehoiachin ruled for a couple of months before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon put his uncle King Zedekiah on the throne in 598 BCE. King Jehoiakim’s dead body would lie out in the cold night and the hot day. The king, his children, and his servants would suffer for their iniquity. On top of that, Yahweh was going to bring disasters to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This will all happen because they had not listened to Yahweh.

The king’s choice (Jer 22:4-22:5)

“If you will indeed obey this word,

Then through the gates of this house

Shall enter kings

Who will sit

On the throne of David.

They will ride in chariots.

They will ride on horses.

They will do this

With their servants,

With their people.

But if you will not heed these words,

I swear by myself,

Says Yahweh,

That this house

Shall become a desolation.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, gave the king a choice. He could obey the word of Yahweh, then there would be many kings sitting on the throne of David with chariots and horses for all the people of Judah. However, if he did not listen to the word of Yahweh, Yahweh himself would make the house of Judah a desolation.

Jeremiah is sent to the king of Judah (Jer 22:1-22:2)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Go down to the house

Of the king of Judah!

Speak there this word!’

Say!

‘Hear the word of Yahweh!

O King of Judah!

Sitting on the throne

Of David!

You!

Your servants!

Your people

Who enter these gates!’”

Yahweh sends Jeremiah to the king of Judah. He was to speak these words of Yahweh to the king who sat on the throne of David. The king, his servants, and all the people in Jerusalem were to listen to God’s word as proclaimed by Jeremiah. Jeremiah was to speak truth to power. This is more or less a reinforcement of the preceding chapter.