What is our way of life?Jeremiah 22:13-19Ⅰ Arriving in the seat of the highest authority
Because there was editing of progeny, Jeremiah is full of confusion from Chapter 21, and such chronological order has got blown away somewhere. About Jehoiakim king, I've covered it a few times before in Chapter 25,26,36. It returns to Chapter 22 again this morning, but about the thing of Jehoiakim king, this is the last. It begins from the early days of the reign of Jehoiakim king. "Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbor's service without pay and does not give him his wages. Who says, 'I will build myself roomy house with spacious upper rooms, and cut its windows, paneling it with cedar and painting it bright red.'" (13-14) At the time that the settlement was not finished, while fighting with Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Carchemish, Palo Necho made Judea the vassal state of Egypt. (around BC608). As a result, Jehoiakim became to pay a very high tribute to Necho, but, meanwhile, he had wanted to build his own palace without satisfy in the palace of father; although I mentioned this before, but now, it is handled in this chapter. He was faithful to Necho, because was attached to the throne by Necho, but even so, he is extraordinary. To the tax tribute, to the palace construction and to even forced labor, he inflicted them on poor people of Judah. Roomy house with spacious upper rooms, it means a luxurious palace. The window and the plate of cedar, or the painted in vermilion also, it is thought those would have been a thing that was full of luxury. Wood of cedar, would it have been ordered all the way from Lebanon? Because it does not seem that a place to build such a palace was still left in Jerusalem (Upper upper-class residential area), it would be the construction of by ensuring the vacant lot, surely by removing the house of the common people. It which obtained the supreme power called the king, might be to be slave to luxury without the end for him. Besides, he carried it out.
In the circumstances that Jehoiakim became king, the mystery of his action seems to have been hidden. I want to investigate it. After king father Josiah died, his son Jehoahaz becomes king, but there is it to 2 Kings in this way. "Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father." (2 Kings 23:30) He was 23 years old at that time, but he becomes the confinement by Necho, and three months later he died in Egypt. Then, it was Jehoiakim whom Necho ordered to be the king of Judah instead of Jehoahaz; he was a brother Jehoiakim of 25-year-old. The Bible did not say anything about why Jehoahaz have been throne before his elder brother and was excluded, but because there is it "took", people of Judah would have admitted throne of Jehoahaz was more reasonable than Jehoiakim. Compared to their father Joshua king, it seems both were same.... However, Jehoahaz did not seem come true in the eyes of Necho. Would elder brother Jehoiakim have spent the days in anguish, because his younger brother Jehoahaz became king? However, unexpectedly, the throne came to him in the downfall of his brother. I feel something of the background that he became a tyrant.
Ⅱ To live only for oneself
The eyes of God has poured strictly thoroughly to such a tyrant Jehoiakim king. "'Did not your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?' declares the Lord." (16) He is father king Josiah. It is saying that you should have to emulate your father. Because Jeremiah shows understanding to eat and drink of Josiah as a king, probably he did not say anything to the standard of living to some extent, but Jehoiakim had abandoned the rule which is the duty of a king. The king of Israel should have to act on the behalf of justice of God.It seems that he did not know it, did not even try to find it, and he did not even try to know at all, about the father of Josiah king, also Solomon and David. If he has a pride a little as a king of Israel, it is natural that he tries to know about the great kings, but such sign is not felt to him at all. He was seized with self-interest, and became violent authority, and covet his people. "But your eyes and your heart are intent only your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion." (17)
This is the insight of God about the way of Jehoiakim as a ruler who is standing before the people; however, how do we think about it, in the case that we replace it to the way to our neighbors? It would be good to say that modern society has been established in where give priority to their own gain than anything else. It seems even in a democratic society, but the socialist countries also will be no exception.In there, it is pointed out that it profits more concentrated to some people, such as those in power. Gradually, the gap between the rich and the poor has spread around the world, and it has erupted in riots and terrorism, and has become an extreme form. Some scholars and some intellectuals who are fearing such a situation are fumbling escape from profit society, but, in this social structure which anything and everything got intertwined, visible effective means can not find. In addition, would there are those who rejoice that not come visible? Even if there are signs of improvement a little, it seems that such buds have been plucked. The key of improvement does not be there in a defect in the social structure, but rather will it not be there in the way of each one of us, like the way of Jehoiakim which has been pointed out from God?
Ⅲ What is our way of life?
Please listen. God has declared to Jehoiakim the king thus. "They will not lament for him: 'Alas, my father!' or 'Alas, sister!' They will not lament for him: 'Alas, for the master!' or 'Alas for his splendor!' He will be buried with a donkey's burial, dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem." (18-19) Saying "Alas, my father!", "Alas, sister!" "Alas, for the master!", "Alas for his splendor!", these are the words of remembrance of burial which was said very common, it would not be the words towards Jehoiakim directly. But, it is said that such words of remembrance of commonplace not be heard, and nobody does not grieve the death of the king. In Septuaginta, this place has been started with "Oh, woe to this person!". Probably, it was there in the original text, but why Masoretic Text does not have it, it is thought that it was lost in the editing process. Even if he died, no one grieve, but rather he would be called "Woe!", and he would not be given even the honor of burial of a king which should receive. Some people infers that he would have been assassinated just before Babylon troops arrive; but, authenticity aside, it is thought that he would have welcomed the unfortunate end in fact.
By the way, about his death, there are various opinions. There is it "Jehoiakim slept with his fathers" in 2 Kings 24:6, and there is it "Nebuchadnezzar bound him with bronze chains to take him to Babylon" in 2 Chronicles 36:6; and Daniel takes the same opinion (1:2). Commentators seem to be struggling with its harmony, but some people are guessing that "He was buried, but the tomb was uncovered, his body would have been humiliated", but probably, it would be too much imagination of expands. However, because there is it in "Jewish Antiquities" of Josephus, "Nebuchadnezzar killed Jehoiakim, and ordered to throw out his body out of the walls."; even if some difference are there, he was caught by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar and was killed, and his corpses would have been thrown out of the walls. The words of the prophecy of Jeremiah, "He will be buried with a donkey's burial, dragged off and thrown out beyond the gate.", it had accomplished; is it good that we hear it so? Jeremiah had told the words of similar prophecy in Chapter 36, too. "His dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night." (36:30)Is not this in stark contrast with Jesus? Jesus was executed as a grave offense person on the cross; however, He was buried with people's whole heart and sadness in the new grave where anyone has not been yet buried, like the king died. Nothing, the way of burial is not important. We'll have to listen that the life of Jehoiakim was asked here. We are the same. People will die without fail. Even if there are differences in either early or late, there is no exception. At that time, how are you mourned? More than anything, evaluation of God is waiting for us. I hope to want to pile up such a step which is able to happily greeted our Lord.