stay of execution

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stay of execution

Jeremiah 26:1-24 (JDV)

Jeremiah 26:1 At the first of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from Yahveh:

Jeremiah 26:2 “This is what Yahveh says: Stand in the courtyard of Yahveh ‘s temple and speak all the words I have commanded you to speak to all Judah’s cities that are coming to worship there. Do not hold back a word.

Jeremiah 26:3 Perhaps they will listen and turn – each from his evil way of life – so that I might relent concerning the disaster that I plan to do to them because of the evil of their practices.

Jeremiah 26:4 You are to say to them, ‘This is what Yahveh says: If you do not listen to me by living according to my instruction that I set before you

Jeremiah 26:5 and by listening to the words of my servants the prophets – whom I have been sending to you time and time again, though you did not listen –

Jeremiah 26:6 I will make this temple like Shiloh. I will make this city an example for cursing for all the nations of the land.'”

Jeremiah 26:7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the temple of Yahveh.

Jeremiah 26:8 When he finished the address Yahveh had commanded him to deliver to all the people, immediately the priests, the prophets, and all the people took hold of him, yelling, “You must certainly die!

Jeremiah 26:9 How dare you prophesy in the name of Yahveh, ‘This temple will become like Shiloh and this city will become an uninhabited ruin’!” Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah at Yahveh’s temple.

Jeremiah 26:10 When the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went from the king’s palace to Yahveh’s temple and sat at the entrance of the New Gate of Yahveh’s temple.

Jeremiah 26:11 Then the priests and prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man deserves the death sentence because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

Jeremiah 26:12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people, “Yahveh sent me to prophesy all the words that you have heard against this temple and city.

Jeremiah 26:13 So now, correct your ways and deeds, and obey Yahveh your God so that he might relent concerning the disaster he had pronounced against you.

Jeremiah 26:14 As for me, here I am in your hands; do to me what you think is good and right.

Jeremiah 26:15 But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its residents, because it is certain Yahveh has sent me to speak all these things directly to you.”

Jeremiah 26:16 Then the officials and all the people told the priests and prophets, “This man doesn’t deserve the death sentence, because he has spoken to us in the name of Yahveh our God!”

Jeremiah 26:17 Some of the elders of the land stood up and said to all the collected [1] people,

Jeremiah 26:18 “Micah the Moreshite prophesied in the days of King Hezekiah of Judah and said to all the people of Judah, ‘This is what Yahveh of Armies says: Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become ruins, and the temple’s mountain will be a high thicket.’

Jeremiah 26:19 Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of Judah put him to death? Did not the king fear Yahveh and plead for Yahveh’s favor, and did not Yahveh relent concerning the disaster he had pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!”

Jeremiah 26:20 Another man was also prophesying in the name of Yahveh – Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like all those of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 26:21 King Jehoiakim, all his warriors, and all the officials heard his words, and the king tried to have him executed. When Uriah heard, he fled in fear and went to Egypt.

Jeremiah 26:22 But King Jehoiakim sent men to Egypt: Elnathan son of Achbor and certain other men with him went to Egypt.

Jeremiah 26:23 They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who executed him with the sword and threw his corpse into the burial place of the common people.

Jeremiah 26:24 But Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

stay of execution

The language of this discourse sounds very much like that of the trials of Jesus. Some of the leaders in Jerusalem are enraged at Jeremiah, and want him executed. Others are concerned that he might actually be saying God’s words, and killing him would bring disaster on themselves.

Fortunately, Jeremiah had enough support at that time to stay his execution. He would be exiled to Egypt, and later stoned to death there. There is a high cost to saying what God wants said to a disobedient and rebellious nation.

Lord, give us the courage of Jeremiah to say your words and represent you, even at the cost of our lives.

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[1] קָהָל = collect, collection. Jeremiah 26:17; 31:8; 44:15; 50:9.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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