24. As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence.
24. Vivo ego, dicit Jehova, quod si esset Coniahu filius Joakim regis Jehudah annulus signatorius super manum dexteram meam (hoc est, in many dextera mea,) ego inde to evallam (mutatio est personae.)
God here makes an oath that he had resolved to punish Jeconiah, who was also called Jehoiachim. And he says, That though he sat on the throne of David, he would yet be a miserable exile. We have, indeed, seen elsewhere, that the Jews were so fascinated as to think that, God was bound to them; and at the same time they allowed themselves every liberty in sinning, under the pretense that God had promised that the kingdom of David would remain as long as the sun and moon continued in the heavens, (Psalm 139:37) but they did not consider that there was a mutual compact in God's covenant; for he required them to be faithful on their part: nor did they consider that many were Abraham's children according to the flesh, who were not his lawful children before God. As to the king himself, he never thought it possible that he should be driven into exile, because he was David's successor and ordained by God.
This, then, is the reason why God now declares,
Now, this passage teaches us, that we ought not to be in such a way proud of God's favors, as to forget what we are, but ever to remember that we are dependent on him, and that we ought diligently to pray to him at all times; for security breeds contempt; hence it is; that God strips us of the ornaments with which we have been clothed; and it is a just reward for our ingratitude. Let all, then, who excel others know, that what has been given may at any time be taken away, except good conscience be as it were the guard to preserve God's gifts and benefits, so that they may not at any time fall away or be lost. It follows --
1 The early Versions throughout this passage give his name as Jeconiah; but the Targ., Coniah, according to the Hebrew. The Rabbins give various reasons for the change, and others too, which are frivolous. The reason given by Calvin and adopted by Gataker, Lowth, and others, is confirmed by the contemptuous language used in the 28th verse. -- Ed.
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