18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.
18 Dic regi et dominae, humiliamini (descendite) sedete (hoc est, jacete) quia descendet a capitibus vestris corona decoris vestri (alii vertunt, sescendet altitudines vestrae, pro altitudo vestra; et appositive legunt quod sequitur, corona decoris vestri)
The Prophet is here bidden to address his discourse directly to King Jehoiakim and his mother; for the term lady is not to be taken for the queen, the wife of Jehoiakim, but for his mother, who was then his associate in the kingdom, and possessed great authority.1And there is no doubt but that God thus intended to rouse more fully the community in general; that is, by shewing that he would not spare, no, not the king nor the queen. But we may hence also learn what has already been observed, that the truth announced by the prophets is superior to all the greatness of the world. For it was said before to Jeremiah, "Reprove mountains and rebuke hills;"2 and still farther,
"Behold, I have set thee over kingdoms and nations, to pull down and to pluck up," etc., (Jeremiah 1:10)
This ought to be carefully noticed; for kings and those who are eminent in the world, think that they are not only, by a singular privilege, exempt from all laws, but also free from every obligation to observe modesty and to avoid shame. Hence it is, that they from their elevation despise God and his prophets. Here God shews, that he supplied the prophets with his word for this end, -- that they might close their eyes to all the splendor of the world, and shew no respect of persons, but pull down every height, and bring to order everything that is elevated in this world. Paul also teaches us, that ministers of the gospel are endued with this power;
"Given to us," he says, "is power against every height that exalteth itself against Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)
And hence we must observe, that all who are chosen to the office of teaching, cannot faithfully discharge their duty except they boldly, and with intrepid spirit, dare to reprove both kings and queens; for the word of God is not to be restricted to the common people or men in humble life, but it subjects to itself all, from the least to the greatest. This prophecy was no doubt very bitter to the king as well as to the common people; but it behooved Jeremiah to discharge faithfully his office; and this was also necessary, for the king Jehoiakim and his mother thought that they could not possibly be dethroned.
He therefore bids them to
And this is evident from what is added,
I have omitted, if I mistake not, to notice one thing; that is, the pride mentioned by the Prophet;
1 So Gataker and Lowth; and they refer to 2 Kings 24:12, and to Jeremiah 22:26. From this circumstance it is gathered that this prophecy was delivered in the short reign of that king, which lasted only three months.
The word "queen," in our version, is rendered "mistress or lady -- domina," by Calvin, but "potentates" by the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic; "governess -- dominatrix," by the Vulgate; and "queen" by the Targum. The word means governess; it is rendered "mistress" in Genesis 16:4, 8; "lady" in Isaiah 47:5, 7; and "queen" in 2 Kings 10:13. -- Ed.
3 All the early versions render the words, "Fallen from your head has the crown of your glory." Our version is that of Montanus. If
For bring down from your heads will he the crown of your glory.
The latter words mean "your glorious crown," the expression being an Hebraism.
Our common version, as Blayney observes, violates grammar; for the gender of the verb
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