Jeremiah by promises and threatenings exhorts to repentance, 1-7. He is therefore apprehended, 8, 9, and arraigned, 10, 11. His apology, 12-15. He is acquitted in judgment, by the example of Micah, 16-19, and of Urijah, 20-23, and by the care of Ahikam, 24.
1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah this word from the LORD came, saying, 2 "Thus says the LORD: 'Stand in the court of the LORD'S house and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word. 3 It may be that they will listen and each turn from his evil way so that I may repent of the evil which I purpose to do to them because of the evil of their doings.' 4 And you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: "If you will not listen to me to walk in my law which I have set before you, 5 To listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I have sent to you, both rising early and sending them, but you have not listened, 6 Then I will make this house like Shiloh and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth."'"
7 So the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. 8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests, the prophets, and all the people took him, saying, "You shall surely die. 9 Why have you 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.
10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S house. 11 Then the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and to all the people, saying, "This man is worthy to die, for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears."
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to 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 you have heard. 13 Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will repent of the evil that he has pronounced against you. 14 As for me, behold, I am in your hand. Do with me as it seems good and proper to you. 15 But know for certain, that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, upon this city, and upon its inhabitants. For of a truth the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears."
16 Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and to the prophets, "This man is not worthy to die, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God." 17 Then some of the elders of the land arose and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying,
18 "Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah and spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest."'
19 "Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and implore the LORD, and the LORD repented of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus we might procure great evil against our souls."
20 And there was also a man who 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. 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. 22 And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor and some men with him into Egypt. 23 And they brought forth Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who slew him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
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.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 26[➚]