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CHAPTER 26 Aug. 5 
Jeremiah Speaks God's Words at the Temple
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from Yahweh saying, 2Thus says Yahweh: Stand in the court of Yahweh’s house and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in Yahweh’s house, all the words that I command you to speak to them; don’t diminish a word. 3Perhaps they will listen, and turn every man from his evil way; so that I may repent Me of the evil which I purpose to do to them because of the evil of their doings. 4You shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, 5to listen to the words of My servants the prophets whom I send to you, even rising up early and sending them, to which you have not listened; 6then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
Jeremiah on Trial
7The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Yahweh. 8It happened that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that Yahweh had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold on him saying, You shall surely die. 9Why have you prophesied in the name of Yahweh saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant? All the people were gathered to Jeremiah in the house of Yahweh. 10When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of Yahweh; and they sat in the entry of the new gate of Yahweh’s house. 11Then spoke the priests and the prophets to the princes and to all the people saying, This man is worthy of death; for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears. 12Then spoke Jeremiah to all the princes and to all the people saying, Yahweh sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard. 13Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of Yahweh your God; and Yahweh will repent Him of the evil that He has pronounced against you. 14But as for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as is good and right in your eyes. 15Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city, and on its inhabitants; for of a truth Yahweh has sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.
Jeremiah's Life Is Spared
16Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and to the prophets: This man is not worthy of death; for he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God. 17Then rose up certain of the elders of the land and spoke to all the assembled people saying, 18Micah the Morashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Zion shall be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. 19Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Didn’t he fear Yahweh, and entreat the favour of Yahweh, and Yahweh relented of the disaster which He had pronounced against them? Thus should we commit great evil against our own souls. 20There was also a man who prophesied in the name of Yahweh, Uriah the son of Shemaiah of Kiriath Jearim; and he prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah: 21and when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt: 22and Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him, into Egypt; 23and they fetched forth Uriah out of Egypt, and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. 24But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.


26:2 Perhaps they will listen- This leads in to the implications that God doesn't actually know for sure how His people will respond to His word. So great is the freewill we have been given as we in our generation read and hear the words of the Bible. God of coursecould know our response, but at times He limits His knowledge in the same way as He limits His power- in that He could do all things but He doesn’t do all He’d like to do because of our limitation of Him. The limitation of God is shown by how He speaks about prayer: "The Lord's... ear [is not] dull, that it cannot hear... your sins have hid His face from you so that He will not hear" (Is. 59:1,2). In this sense God limits His possibilities. He can see all things, and yet in the time of Israel's apostasy He hides His face from them (Mic. 3:4 cp. Dt. 32:19,20). The Hebrew word ulay, 'perhaps', is significant in this connection. "Perhaps they will listen", God says, in reflection upon Ezekiel's preaching ministry to God's people (Ez. 12:1-3). Of Jeremiah's prophetic work, God likewise comments: "Perhaps [Heb. ulay] they will listen" (:2,3; 36:3,7; 51:8; also Is. 47:12). This uncertainty of God as to how His people will respond to His word reflects the degree to which He has accommodated Himself to our kind of time. It has huge implications for us, too. With what eagerness must God Almighty look upon us as we sit down to read His word daily! 'Are they going to listen? How are they going to respond?'.
26:8 You shall surely die- People get very angry when we say things which criticize their relationship with God and their behaviour before Him, and suggest that their established way of worship is wrong.
26:19 In Hezekiah’s time, all Judah had to repent to avert total destruction- but even though they didn’t, the prayer of Hezekiah saved the nation. This is the power of just one righteous person, God is so sensitive to righteousness. In the Old Testament there are several examples of just one righteous man saving the sinful or spiritually weak people of God from destruction; and those cases were to prepare Israel for the concept of the supreme righteousness and intercession of Christ being able to save we who are likewise sinners.