In this passage Jeremiah calls the son of Josiah that reigned after Josiah's death "Shallum." In other scriptures he is called Jehoahaz. It is the same person and the different name probably held some significance that we no longer know, perhaps a name assumed upon the ascension to the throne. Jehoahaz was not the oldest son of Josiah. That was Jehoiakim, also called in Eliakim in scripture. The people of Judah passed over the eldest son and placed the younger brother on the throne. (See II Kings 23:30)
Jehoiakim (so named by Pharoah-nechoh; birth name was Eliakim) followed his brother on the throne. Then Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin/Jeconiah/Coniah reigned. Following Jeconiah, another son of Josiah assumed the throne. We read about him in yesterday's journal entry: Zedekiah, also known in scripture as Mattaniah. So three of Josiah's sons and one of his grandsons reigned on the throne of David. That's where it ended during that era. Now the throne of David awaits its eternal King.
Does God issue any commands?
- The people were told not to weep for the dead but to weep for their king that went away as a captive into Egypt (Jehoahaz/Shallum) because he would not return to the land of his nativity ever again.
- God told the nation to weep in mourning for their false gods because He had blessed them for many years but even in their youth, as a nation, they had not obeyed God's voice.
Does God make any promises?
- God promised woe unto the man that built himself a glorious house without paying the laborers their wages. Specifically, He is talking about Jehoiakim. The people would not weep for him when he died but would bury him like they would an animal. (He died in Jerusalem. See II Kings 24:5-6)
- God said that everyone would be ashamed and confounded when all their friends had gone into captivity. (Many of the other nations with which they had attempted to align themselves were also taken captive by Babylon.)
- God promised to reject Coniah as his signet ring and to him into captivity by both the Babylonians and the Chaldeans. Jeconiah would die in a foreign country.
- God promised that no man descended from Jeconiah would ascend the throne of David.
- God pronounced a curse upon the pastors that scatter His sheep. Those pastors would be visited with the evil of their doings.
- God promised to gather the remnant of His flock out of the countries where He had driven them and will bring them into their folds where they would be fruitful.
- God said that the time would come when the Jewish people would no longer say that the LORD lives that brought them up out of the land of Egypt but would say the LORD lives which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all countries where He had driven them.
Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?
- The curse against Jeconiah in 22:30 is a very important one when it comes to Jesus. None of Jeconiah's descendants could sit on the throne of David. Joseph, Jesus' stepfather, was directly descended from Jeconiah. (See Matthew chapter 1.) Joseph had a legal claim to the throne of David but the Jews were ruled by Rome in his lifetime. Jesus was not descended from King David through Joseph's bloodline because Joseph was not His father. Jesus had no physical father. Jesus is the physical descendant of King David though through His mother, Mary, and is therefore a royal heir. Since He was not descended from Jeconiah the curse did not apply to Him.
- Jesus is the total opposite of the evil shepherds that scatter the sheep. He is the Good Shepherd of John chapter 10.
- Jesus is the righteous Branch and the King that will reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
- Jesus is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?
- Jeconiah's descendants will never inherit the throne of David, but Jesus will forever reign on David's throne as his descendant and heir through the line of Mary who was not descended from Jeconiah.
- God is still gathering His flocks and bringing them into the folds. Physically this is happening with the nation of Israel but it also has a future implication. All that are of spiritual Israel will one day gather in the New Jerusalem where they will be fruitful and where their leaders will feed them. There will be no more fear.
- The time will come when David's righteous Branch and the King will reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. He shall reign in Israel as THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.