1. The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;
1. Sermo qui fuit ad Jeremiam, ad omnem populum Jehudah (sed l accipitur etiam hic diverso sensu: sermo enim directus fuit ad Jeremiam ut esset illius testis ac proeco, deinde ad populum ut tandem perveniret ex ore Jeremioe ad omnes Judoeos quod uni dictum fuerat) anno quarto Joakim filii Josiae regis Jehudah: hic est annus primus Nebuchadnezer regis Babel.
his prophecy no doubt preceded the vision which we have just explained, and which had just been presented to Jeremiah when Jehoiakim died, and when Zedekiah reigned in the place of Jeconiah; who, being the last king, was substituted for his nephew Jeconiah. But related now is the prophecy which Jeremiah was bidden to proclaim in the fourth year of Jehoiakim; and he reigned, as we shall hereafter see, eleven years. We hence conclude that his book is composed of various addresses, but that the order of time has not always been preserved. Now the sum of the whole is, that when God found that the people could not be amended and restored to a right mind by any warnings, he denounced final ruin both on the Jews and on all the neighboring nations: but why he included the heathens we shall hereafter see.
He then says, that this prophecy was committed to him in the fourth year of Jehoiakim; and he adds, that the same year was the first of King Nebuchadnezar This seems inconsistent with other places, where the third of Jehoiakim is mentioned for the fourth year; and hence a long time is allotted for the first year of Nebuchadnezar. But a solution of this is not difficult, if we consider that Nebuchadnezar suddenly returned into Chaldea to settle his affairs at home, when the report of his father's death was brought to him; for he feared, lest in his absence a tumult should arise, as it often happened. He was therefore anxious to secure his own affairs; and having settled things at home, he brought Jehoiakim into subjection, and in the fourth year of his reign he compelled him to open his treasures, and also led away captive those whom he wished. And it was at this time that Daniel and his companions were led away into exile, and the precious vessels of the Temple were removed. As to the first year of Nebuchadnezar's reign, he reigned first with his father; and then when he reigned alone, the beginning of a new reign is justly mentioned as the first year. Though then he was made king, yet as he did not exercise the chief power until his father's death, it was not until that event that he was really king; this is the reason why mention is made of his first year. But we ought especially to notice what the Prophet says, -- that the word came to him, not for his own sake, but that he might be the public herald of God. It now follows, --