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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 27:1

 

 

In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying--

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim - It is most evident that his prophecy was delivered about the fourth year of Zedekiah, and not Jehoiakim, as in the text. See Jeremiah 28:1. Three of Kennicott's MSS. (one in the text, a second in the margin, and the third upon a rasure) have Zedekiah; so likewise have the Syriac and the Arabic. Houbigant, Lowth, Blayney, Dahler, and others declare for this reading against that in the present text. And it is clear from the third and twelfth verses, where Zedekiah is expressly mentioned, that this is the true reading.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-27.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Of Jehoiakim - Really, of Zedekiah, as the Syriac reads (see Jeremiah 27:3). In the Septuagint the verse is missing. Some scribe has confused the title of this chapter with that of Jeremiah 26.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-27.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

JEREMIAH 27

JEREMIAH WEARS AN OX YOKE

We can hardly believe that no scholar whose works we have had the privilege of reading has discerned the most important lesson that shines like the sun at perihelion in such a passage as this. And what is that lesson? It is that all allegations of certain prophecies being "post eventum", or as having been written after the events prophesied, are absolutely devastated and destroyed by the behavior of the prophets who gave the prophecies.

For example, Micah the Morashtite rolled in the dust or the mud; he screamed like an ostrich and howled like a jackal; Isaiah went naked and barefoot for a period of two years; and here Jeremiah wears an ox yoke upon his own neck, and did so in the presence of the King of Judah and his court, including the ambassadors of five foreign nations! Such bizarre behavior was indulged by these prophets in connection with their declarations of predictive prophecy.

Basic intelligence makes it impossible to believe that such behavior would have marked the announcement by some interpolator of an event that had already occurred. Thus, God proves his own prophecies by such fantastic behavior on the part of his prophets.

Jeremiah 27:1-3

"In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiachim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah to me: Make thee bonds and bars, and put them upon thy neck; and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the children of Ammon, and to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers that came to Jerusalem unto the king of Judah."

Jeremiah 27:1 here places the events of this chapter in the accession year of Jehoiachim; but it is evident from Jeremiah 27:3 that Zedekiah was the king during the events of this chapter. What we have here is some kind of an error; and scholars usually agree that some ancient copyist accidentally copied the first verse of the preceding chapter. The Revised Standard Version is evidently correct, which gives the verse thus: "In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, etc."

Such errors are quite rare; and it is fortunate that the subsequent verses of the chapter enable the necessary correction to be made.

"Make thee bonds and bars ..." (Jeremiah 27:2). These are the elements of an ancient ox yoke which consisted of two pieces of wood, one to be place above the neck of the animal, and the other to placed under it, with both pieces held together by thongs of leather.

"And put them upon thy neck ..." (Jeremiah 27:2). An ox yoke was for two animals; and thus this contraption made quite a cumbersome and uncomfortable piece of wearing apparel for Jeremiah. He must have exhibited a startling spectacle at the court of' the king.

"Send them to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon ..." (Jeremiah 27:3). These were the neighboring kingdoms of Judah; and the presence of representatives from these kingdoms at this time in Judah was due to the political intrigue going on at that time against Babylon. There was a strong party in Judah who still regarded Jehoiachin as the rightful king of Judah and who hoped for his speedy return. The king of Babylon about the fourth year of Zedekiah's reign had encountered some opposition at home; and the vassal kingdoms, including Judah, were trying to form a coalition against Babylon with the hope of regaining their independence. Jeremiah was divinely inspired to oppose such a foolish maneuver.

"Send them ..." (Jeremiah 27:3). This indicates that five such yokes were to be made, not counting the one Jeremiah was wearing, and these were indeed sent to each of the five kings mentioned. Some dispute this; but we cannot interpret "them" as meaning only one yoke! After all, it would not be much harder to make six yokes than it would to make only one. If, as some say, only the messages were sent to the kings, the import of the instruction would have been the same either way.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jeremiah-27.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah,.... This is the same date with the prophecy of the preceding chapter and some think that this verse should conclude that, as belonging to it; and by which they would reconcile a difficulty that arises here; the orders for making the yokes being given in the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, which yet were to be sent to the messengers of the neighbouring kings that were come to Zedekiah at Jerusalem, who did not begin to reign until eleven years after this time; but the word "saying", at the end of the verse, shows it not to belong to the preceding, but to what follows: others think it is a mistake of the copy, and that Jehoiakim is put for Zedekiah; and the Syriac and Arabic versions read Zedekiah; but he was not the son of Josiah, as this king is said to be, but his brother: others therefore think, that though the prophecy was delivered to Jeremiah, and the orders were given him to make the bonds and yokes after mentioned, at this time; yet this prophecy was concealed with him, and the orders were not executed till Zedekiah's time; or that the prophet, in the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, made the yokes as he was ordered, and put one on his neck, to signify the subjection of Judah to the king of Babylon, which quickly took place, about the third or fourth year of this reign; and that the rest were sent to the ambassadors of the neighbouring nations in Zedekiah's time; which latter seems most probable:

came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying; as follows. This verse is not in the common editions of the Septuagint; but it is in the king of Spain's Bible.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-27.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

In the beginning of the reign of a Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

(a) Concerning the disposition of these prophecies, they who gathered them into a book, did not altogether observe the order of times, but saw some before, which should be after, and contrary wise which if the reader mark well it will avoid many doubts and make the reading much easier.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-27.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Jeremiah 27:1-22. The futility of resisting Nebuchadnezzar illustrated to the ambassadors of the kings, desiring to have the king of Judah confederate with them, under the type of yokes. Jeremiah exhorts them and Zedekiah to yield.

Jehoiakim — The prophecy that follows was according to this reading given in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, fifteen years before it was published in the reign of Zedekiah to whom it refers; it was thus long deposited in the prophet‘s bosom, in order that by it he might be supported under trials in his prophetic career in the interim [Calvin]. But “Zedekiah” may be the true reading. So the Syriac and Arabic Versions. Jeremiah 27:3, Jeremiah 27:12; Jeremiah 28:1, confirm this; also, one of Kennicott‘s manuscripts. The English Version reading may have originated from Jeremiah 26:1. “Son of Josiah” applies to Zedekiah as truly as to “Jehoiakim” or “Eliakim.” The fourth year may, in a general sense here, as in Jeremiah 28:1, be called “the beginning of his reign,” as it lasted eleven years (2 Kings 24:18). It was not long after the fourth year of his reign that he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 51:59; Jeremiah 52:3; 2 Kings 24:20), in violation of an oath before God (2 Chronicles 36:13).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-27.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

The Yoke of Babylon. - In three sections, connected as to their date and their matter, Jeremiah prophesies to the nations adjoining Judah (Jeremiah 27:2-11), to King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 27:12-15), and to the priests and all the people (Jeremiah 27:16-22), that God has laid on them the yoke of the king of Babylon, and that they ought to humble themselves under His almighty hand.

According to the (corrected) heading, the prophecy was given in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah. If we compare Jer 28 we find the same date: "in that year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah," more fully defined as the fourth year of his reign. Graf has made objection, that in the case of a reign of eleven years, one could not well speak of the fourth year as the beginning of the reign. But the idea of beginning is relative (cf. Genesis 10:10), and does not necessarily coincide with that of the first year. The reign of Zedekiah is divided into two halves: the first period, or beginning, when he was elevated by Nebuchadnezzar, and remained subject to him, and the after or last period, when he had rebelled against his liege lord.


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/jeremiah-27.html. 1854-1889.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

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. (177)

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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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-27.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 27:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

Ver. 1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim.] By the date of this prophecy, compared with Jeremiah 27:12; Jeremiah 28:1, it should seem that it lay dormant for fourteen or fifteen years ere it was recited.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-27.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

Jeremiah in this Chapter is addressing the other nations around, at the command of God, to tell them of their shortly being subject to the King of Babylon. Towards the close of the Chapter, the Prophet admonisheth the King of Judah to the same.


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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/jeremiah-27.html. 1828.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 27:1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim Of Zedekiah. Houbigant. There can be no doubt from the 3rd, 12th, and 20th verses, that our reading is an error. See particularly chap. Jeremiah 28:1.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-27.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

JEREMIAH CHAPTER 27

The prophet sendeth yokes to five neighbour kings, thereby foreshowing their subjection to Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 27:1-7. he exhorteth them to yield, and not to believe false prophets, Jeremiah 27:8-11. The like he doth to Zedekiah, Jeremiah 27:12-18. The remnant of the vessels shall be carried to Babylon, and continue there till the appointed time, Jeremiah 27:19-22.

Here is a difficulty ariseth from this verse, which there have been various attempts to resolve, and whether any hath been fully satisfactory I doubt. It is said this word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, and, Jeremiah 27:3, the prophet is bid to send the bonds and yokes by the hand of the messengers which came to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah, who began not to reign till about eleven years after the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. To solve this difficulty,

1. Some think Jehoiakim was a common name to all the sons of Josiah, and that Zedekiah is here called Jehoiakim, but I see no foundation for that conjecture from holy writ.

2. Others think it is an error in those that copied out the prophecies, but it is dangerous to admit that.

3. Others think that the prophecy came in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, but was to be concealed until the reign of Zedekiah.

4. I had rather agree with those who think that this command came to the prophet first in the time of Jehoiakim, but was to be repeated by the prophet often, and accordingly was so until and in the time of Zedekiah; not that he always went about with bonds and yokes about his neck, but that by times lie put them on, and went about with them, as a type of that bondage which the Jews were suddenly to endure.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-27.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE SUBJUGATION OF NEIGHBOURING KINGS, 1-11.

1. Jehoiakim — A single Codex and the Syriac and Arabic Versions have Zedekiah, and this is manifestly correct. (Compare Jeremiah 27:3; Jeremiah 27:12, and Jeremiah 28:1.) Probably a mistake in transcription arose from confounding this caption with that of the preceding chapter.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-27.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from YHWH, saying,’

The opening heading refers to the commencement of the reign of Jehoiakim. Whilst it is common practise to suggest that the name of Jehoiakim here in Jeremiah 27:1 is a scribal error because the remainder of the chapter concerns the reign of Zedekiah, it is not necessarily so. The heading may be referring to Jeremiah 27:2 alone, with the initial word that came being that of Jeremiah having to wear on his neck as a permanent symbol the imitation bonds and yokes described, because it was at this time that Judah had come under permanent bondage, first to Egypt and then to Babylon. This would be a continual reminder to Judah of Jeremiah’s message that their bondage was due to sin, and could over the years have become a recognised feature of the prophet. The remainder of the chapter can then be seen as describing how this symbol later came to be used in a special way when, in the reign of Zedekiah, these instruments, or copies of them, were sent to the kings of various nations.

This literal interpretation might be seen as supported by the fact that chapter 26 introduces the reign of Jehoiakim, whilst chapter 28 deals with well on into the reign of Zedekiah. Thus chapter 27 could be seen as intended to be a bridge between the two, uniting the reign of Jehoiakim with that of Zedekiah by means of the yokes made by Jeremiah, giving the account a splendid unity. It prevents disjointedness in the account.

Although not apparent from the English text this is the first mention of Jeremiah in the form recognised by English texts. Previously it has been Jeremyahu. In chapters Jeremiah 27:1 to Jeremiah 29:1 it is the shorter form Jeremyah, before reverting back in chapter Jeremiah 29:27 to Jeremyahu. As this change does not occur just in headings the reason for it is not immediately apparent. It may perhaps indicate that Jeremiah 27:1 to Jeremiah 29:23 once existed as a separate unit concerning the yoke of the King of Babylon.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/jeremiah-27.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jeremiah received a message from the Lord toward the beginning of King Zedekiah"s reign. The Jews sometimes divided periods of time into halves: the beginning half and the end half. Thus the writer probably meant that this prophecy came in the first half of Zedekiah"s reign (cf. Jeremiah 28:1). [Note: E. Henderson, The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah , p171.] The first verse of chapter28 locates the time of this prophecy more exactly, namely, in the king"s fourth year (594or593 B.C.).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-27.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Jeremiah 27:1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim — Instead of Jehoiakim here, Dr. Waterland, Houbigant, Blaney, and many others, read Zedekiah, because it is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the common reading with what follows. Lowth also, in his commentary upon the place, gives it as his opinion, that “the least forced way of solving the difficulty is, to say that Jehoiakim has crept into the text by the negligence of the scribes, (who might have their eyes fixed upon the beginning of the last chapter or section,) instead of Zedekiah. This emendation is confirmed by comparing this verse with the 3d, 12th, and 20th verses of this chapter, and with the beginning of the next. Such little verbal mistakes must be allowed by all impartial readers to have sometimes happened in transcribing the Holy Scriptures, as well as in other books, and may easily be corrected, by comparing the suspected reading with other parts of the sacred text, which admit of no difficulty or uncertainty.”


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-27.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Joakim. This revelation was made to the prophet in the beginning of the reign of Joakim: but the bands were not sent, to the princes here named, before the reign of Sedecias, ver. 3. (Challoner) --- He wore them six or seven years. (Vatable) (Tirinus) --- But this is uncertain. Septuagint omit this title. Syriac, Arabic, &c., read "Sedecias." (Calmet) --- As far as Juda may belong to the last chapter. St. Jerome includes the whole verse. (Haydock) --- It seems to be rather a fresh prophecy, or the title may be spurious, like many in the Psalms. See chap. xxvi. 1., and xxviii. 1., and Isaias xxi. 13.


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-27.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Jeremiah"s Eighteenth Prophecy (see book comments for Jeremiah).

Given in reign of Jehoiakim to Jeremiah. Declared, after thirteen years, in fourth year of Zedekiah: i.e. in 485. Compare Jeremiah 26:12. Jeremiah 27 and Jeremiah 28 were written by Jeremiah, or at his dictation. Compare "me", Jeremiah 27:2; Jeremiah 28:1. Some codices, with Syriac, read "Zedekiah", as in Jeremiah 26:3 and Jeremiah 26:12.

In the beginning. The Massorah (App-30) notes the fact that this expression occurs three times at the commencement of a verse (Genesis 1:1. Genesis 26:1; Genesis 27:1).

came. At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim; but it referred to a future time, as shown in Jeremiah 27:12.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-27.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. The prophecy that follows was, according to this reading, given in the 4th year of Jehoiakim, 15 years before it was published in the reign of Zedekiah, to whom it refers; it was thus long deposited in the prophet's bosom, in order that by it he might be supported under trials in his prophetic career in the interim (Calvin). But "Zedekiah" may be the true reading. So the Syriac and Arabic versions. Jeremiah 27:3; Jeremiah 27:12; Jeremiah 28:1 confirms this. Also one of Kennicott's manuscript. The English version's reading may have originated from Jeremiah 26:1 : "Son of Josiah" applies to Zedekiah as truly as to "Jehoiakim" or "Eliakim." The 4th year may, in a general sense, here, as in Jeremiah 28:1, be called "the beginning of his reign," as it lasted 11 years (2 Kings 24:18). It was not long after the 4th year of his reign that he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 51:59; Jeremiah 52:3; 2 Kings 24:20), in violation of an oath before God which Nebuchadnezzar made him to take (2 Chronicles 36:13).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-27.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XXVII.

(1) In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim.—The mention of the name of Zedekiah as king of Judah in Jeremiah 27:3 shows that the Hebrew text has here perpetuated an error, due probably to the transcriber or first editor of the collected prophecies. We have to think, accordingly, of the state of things which followed on the death of Jehoiakim, and the deposition and exile of Jehoiachin. The tone of the prophecy seems to indicate a time about the middle of Zedekiah’s reign. His position was that of a tributary sovereign, subject to Nebuchadnezzar. He and the neighbouring kings, who were in a like position, had not quite renounced the hope of throwing off the yoke, and asserting their independence.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-27.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
A. M. 3409. B.C. 595. the beginning
3,12,19,20; 26:1; 28:1

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-27.html.

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