New English Translation
22 My judgment will carry off all your leaders like a storm wind![a]
Your allies will go into captivity.
Then you will certainly[b] be disgraced and put to shame
because of all the wickedness you have done.
23 You may feel as secure as a bird
nesting in the cedars of Lebanon.
But O how you[c] will groan[d] when the pains of judgment come on you.
They will be like those of a woman giving birth to a baby.”[e]
Jeconiah Will Be Permanently Exiled
24 The Lord says,[f] “As surely as I am the living God, you, Jeconiah,[g] king of Judah, son of Jehoiakim, will not be the earthly representative of my authority. Indeed, I will take that right away from you.[h]Read full chapter
- Jeremiah 22:22 tn Heb “A wind will shepherd away all your shepherds.” The figures have all been interpreted in the translation for the sake of clarity. For the use of the word “wind” as a metaphor or simile for God’s judgment (using the enemy forces), see 4:11-12; 13:24; 18:17. For the use of the word “shepherd” to refer to rulers/leaders, see 2:8; 10:21; 23:1-4. For the use of the word “shepherd away” in the sense of carry off/drive away, see BDB 945 s.v. רָעָה 2.d and compare Job 20:26. There is an obvious wordplay involved in two different senses of the word “shepherd,” one referring to their leaders and one referring to the loss of those leaders by the wind driving them off. There may even be a further play involving the word “wickedness,” which comes from a word having the same consonants. If the oracles in this section are chronologically ordered, this threat was fulfilled in 597 b.c. Then many of the royal officials and nobles were carried away captive with Jehoiachin (see 2 Kgs 24:15), who is the subject of the next oracle.
- Jeremiah 22:22 tn The use of the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is intensive here and probably also at the beginning of the last line of v. 21. (See BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e.)
- Jeremiah 22:23 tn Heb “You who dwell in Lebanon, you who are nested in its cedars, how you….” The metaphor has been interpreted for the sake of clarity. The figure here has often been interpreted of the people of Jerusalem living in paneled houses or living in a city dominated by the temple and palace, which were built from the cedars of Lebanon. Some even interpret this as a reference to the king, who has been characterized as living in a cedar palace, in a veritable Lebanon (cf. vv. 6-7, 14 and see also the alternate interpretation of 21:13-14). However, the reference to “nesting in the cedars” and the earlier reference to “feeling secure” suggest that the figure is instead like that of Ezek 31:6 and Dan 4:12. See also Hab 2:9, where a related figure is used. The forms for “you who dwell” and “you who are nested” in the literal translation are feminine singular participles, referring again to personified Jerusalem. (The written forms of these participles are to be explained as participles with a hireq campaginis according to GKC 253 §90.m. The use of the participle before the preposition is to be explained according to GKC 421 §130.a.)
- Jeremiah 22:23 tn The verb here should be identified as a Niphal perfect of the verb אָנַח (ʾanakh) with the א (aleph) left out (so BDB 336 s.v. חָנַן Niph and GKC 80 §23.f, n. 1). The form is already translated that way by the Greek, Latin, and Syriac versions.
- Jeremiah 22:23 sn This simile has already been used in Jer 4:31 and 6:24 in conjunction with Zion/Jerusalem’s judgment.
- Jeremiah 22:24 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 22:24 tn Heb “Coniah.” This is the spelling of this king’s name here and in v. 28 and 37:1. Elsewhere in Jeremiah he is called Jeconiah (24:1; 27:20; 28:4; 29:2 [see also 1 Chr 3:16, 17; Esth 2:6]) and Jehoiachin (52:31, 33 [see also 2 Kgs 24:6, 8, 12, 15; 25:27, 29; 2 Chr 36:8, 9; Ezek 1:2]). For the sake of consistency the present translation uses the name Jeconiah throughout.sn According to 2 Kgs 24:8-9 Jeconiah (= Jehoiachin) succeeded his father Jehoiakim and evidently followed in his anti-Babylon, anti-God stance. He surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar shortly after he became king and along with his mother, his family, his officials, and some of the leading men of Jerusalem and Judah was carried into exile in 597 b.c. According to Jer 28:4, 10, there were popular hopes that he would be restored from exile and returned to the throne. This oracle flatly denies that hope. Allusion has already been made to the loss of regal authority by this king and his mother in 13:18-19.
- Jeremiah 22:24 tn Heb “As surely as I live, Jeconiah, King of Judah, son of Jehoiakim will not be a signet ring on my right hand. Indeed I will tear you off from it [i.e., pull you off of my finger as a signet ring].” The signet ring was the king’s seal by which he verified all his legal and political transactions. To have the signet ring was to exercise authority in the king’s name. For examples of this see Gen 41:42-43; 1 Kgs 21:8; Esth 3:10; 8:2. The figure has been interpreted in the translation for the sake of clarity. The particles כִּי אִם (ki ʾim) that stand after the oath formula “As I live” introduce a negative statement according to Hebrew grammar (cf. BDB 474 s.v. כִּי אִם 1.a and BDB 50 s.v. אִם 1.b and compare 2 Sam 3:35). The particle כִּי that stands in front of “I will tear you off” contrariwise introduces a positive affirmation (cf. BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.c and compare 1 Sam 14:39, 44). The Lord is swearing emphatically that Jeconiah will not be the earthly representative of his rule, i.e., not carry the authority of the signet-ring bearer. As in several other places in Jeremiah, there is a sudden shift from the third person to the second person, which runs throughout vv. 24-27. The pronouns are leveled in the translation to the second person to avoid confusion. The figures are interpreted in the translation to convey the proper significance. See the study note for explanation.sn According to the Davidic covenant the Davidic king sat on God’s throne over God’s kingdom, Israel (cf. 2 Chr 29:30; 28:5). As God’s representative he ruled in God’s stead and could even be addressed figuratively as God (cf. Ps 45:6 [45:7 HT] and compare the same phenomenon for the earthly judges: Exod 22:7-8; Ps 82:1, 6). Jeconiah is being denied the right to function any longer as the Davidic king, and any hopes of ever regaining that right in his lifetime or through the succession of his sons is also denied. This oracle is reversed by the later oracle of the prophet Haggai to his grandson Zerubbabel in Hag 2:20-23, and both Jeconiah and Zerubbabel are found in the genealogy of Christ in Matt 1:12-13.