Yirmiyahu Twenty-Two: The King’s House

God sends Jeremiah to the house of the king. “So said the Lord: perform justice and charity, and rescue the robbed from the hand of the robber, and to a stranger, an orphan, and a widow do no wrong, do no violence, and shed no innocent blood in this place (Jeremiah 22:3).” If the king and the members of his household listen to this command, their house will be saved, but if not, they will be destroyed. This kind of condition actually makes sense to me. The house of the king needs to be one of justice and honor, and otherwise, it doesn’t deserve to stand. The constant refrain throughout Tanakh is to protect the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but every time it’s mentioned, I appreciate the emphasis on caring for the members of society who are the most likely to be abused. These are the people with no one to care for them in a traditional society, and instead of neglecting them, we are constantly commanded to actively protect them.

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