Biblical commentary the Old Testament/Volume V. Greater Prophets/Jeremiah 1-29

Biblical commentary the Old Testament  (1892)  by Franz Delitzsch
Jeremiah 1-29

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The Prophecies of Jeremiah Edit

Introduction Edit

1. The Times of Jeremiah Edit

It was in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, b.c. 629, that Jeremiah was called to be a prophet. At that time the kingdom of Judah enjoyed unbroken peace. Since the miraculous destruction of Sennacherib's host before the gates of Jerusalem in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign, b.c. 714, Judah had no longer had much to fear from the imperial power of Assyria. The reverse then sustained before Jerusalem, just eight years after the overthrow of the kingdom of Israel, had terribly crushed the might of the great empire. It was but a few years after that disaster till the Medes under Deïoces asserted their independence against Assyria; and the Babylonians too, though soon reduced to subjection again, rose in insurrection against Sennacherib. Sennacherib's energetic son and successor Esarhaddon did indeed succeed in re-establishing for a time the tottering throne. While holding Babylon, Elam, Susa, and Persia to their allegiance, he restored the ascendency of the empire in the western provinces, and brought lower Syria, the districts of Syria that lay on the sea coast, under the Assyrian yoke. But the rulers who succeeded him, Samuges and the second Sardanapalus, were wholly unable to offer any effective resistance to the growing power of the Medes, or to check the steady decline of the once so mighty empire. Cf. M. Duncker, Gesch. des Alterth. i. S. 707ff. of 3 Aufl. Under Esarhaddon an Assyrian marauding army again made an inroad into Judah, and carried King Manasseh captive to Babylon;

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but, under what circumstances we know not, he soon regained his freedom, and was permitted to return to Jerusalem and remount his throne (2Ch 33:11-13). From this time forward the Assyrians appeared no more in Judah. Nor did it seem as if Judah had any danger to apprehend from Egypt, the great southern empire; for the power of Egypt had been greatly weakened by intestine dissensions and civil wars. It is true that Psammetichus, after the overthrow of the dodecarchy, began to raise Egypt's head amongst the nations once more, and to extend his sway beyond the boundaries of the country; but we learn much as to his success in this direction from the statement of Herodotus (ii. 157), that the capture of the Philistine city of Ashdod was not accomplished until after a twenty-nine years' siege. Even if, with Duncker, we refer the length of time here mentioned to the total duration of the war against the Philistines, we are yet enabled clearly to see that Egypt had not then so far recovered her former might as to be able to menace the kingdom of Judah with destruction, had Judah but faithfully adhered to the Lord its God, and in Him sought its strength. This, unhappily, Judah utterly filed to do, notwithstanding all the zeal wherewith the godly King Josiah laboured to secure for his kingdom that foremost element of its strength.
In the eighth year of his reign, "while he was yet young," i.e., when but a lad of sixteen years of age, he began to seek the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year of his reign he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places and Astartes, and the carved and molten images (2Ch 34:3). He carried on the work of reforming the public worship without intermission, until every public trace of idolatry was removed, and the lawful worship of Jahveh was re-established. In the eighteenth year of his reign, upon occasion of some repairs in the temple, the book of the law of Moses was discovered there, was brought and read before him. Deeply agitated by the curses with which the transgressors of the law were threatened, he then, together with the elders of Judah and the people itself, solemnly renewed the covenant with the Lord. To set a seal upon the renewal of the covenant, he instituted a passover, to which not only all Judah was invited, but also all remnants of the ten tribes that had been left behind

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in the land of Israel (2 Kings 22:3-23:24; 2 Chron 34:4-35:19). To Josiah there is given in 2Ki 23:25 the testimony that like unto him there was no king before him, that turned to Jahveh with all his heart, all his soul, and all his might, according to all the law of Moses; yet this most godly of all the kings of Judah was unable to heal the mischief which his predecessors Manasseh and Amon had by their wicked government created, or to crush the germs of spiritual and moral corruption which could not fail to bring about the ruin of the kingdom. And so the account of Josiah's reign and of his efforts towards the revival of the worship of Jahveh, given in 2Ki 23:26, is concluded: "Yet Jahveh ceased not from His great wrath wherewith He was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations wherewith Manasseh provoked Him; and Jahveh said: Judah also will I put away from my face as I have put away Israel, and will cast off this city which I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall dwell there."
The kingdom of Israel had come to utter ruin in consequence of its apostasy from the Lord its God, and on account of the calf-worship which had been established by Jeroboam, the founder of the kingdom, and to which, from political motives, all his successors adhered. The history of Judah too is summed up in a perpetual alternation of apostasy from the Lord and return to Him. As early as the time of heathen-hearted Ahaz idolatry had raised itself to all but unbounded ascendency; and through the untheocratic policy of this wicked king, Judah had sunk into a dependency of Assyria. It would have shared the fate of the sister kingdom even then, had not the accession of Hezekiah, Ahaz's godly son, brought about a return to the faithful covenant God. The reformation then inaugurated not only turned aside the impending ruin, but converted this very ruin into a glorious deliverance such as Israel had not seen since its Exodus from Egypt. The marvellous overthrow of the vast Assyrian host at the very gates of Jerusalem, wrought by the angel of the Lord in one night by means of a sore pestilence, abundantly testified that Judah, despite its littleness and inconsiderable earthly strength, might have been able to hold its own against all the onsets of the great empire, if it had only

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kept true to the covenant God and looked for its support from His almighty hand alone. But the repentant loyalty to the faithful and almighty God of the covenant hardly lasted until Hezekiah's death. The heathen party amongst the people gained again the upper hand under Hezekiah's son Manasseh, who ascended the throne in his twelfth year; and idolatry, which had been only outwardly suppressed, broke out anew and, during the fifty-five years' reign of this most godless of all the kings of Israel, reached a pitch Judah had never yet known. Manasseh not only restored the high places and altars of Baal which is father had destroyed, he built altars to the whole host of heaven in both courts of the temple, and went so far as to erect an image of Asherah in the house of the Lord; he devoted his son to Moloch, practised witchcraft and soothsaying more than ever the Amorites had done, and by his idols seduced Israel to sin. Further, by putting to death such prophets and godly persons as resisted his impious courses, he shed very much innocent blood, until he had filled Jerusalem therewith from end to end (2 Kings 21:1-16; 2Ch 33:1-10). His humbling himself before God when in captivity in Babylon, and his removal of the images out of the temple upon his return to Jerusalem and to his throne (2Ch 33:11., 2Ch 33:15.), passed by and left hardly a trace behind; and his godless son Amon did but continue his father's sins and multiply the guilt (2Ki 21:19-23; 2Ch 33:21-23). Thus Judah's spiritual and moral strength was so broken that a thorough-going conversion of the people at large to the Lord and His law was no longer to be looked for. Hence the godly Josiah accomplished by his reformation nothing more than the suppression of the grosser forms of idol-worship and the restoration of the formal temple-services; he could neither put an end to the people's estrangement at heart from God, nor check with any effect that moral corruption which was the result of the heart's forsaking the living God. And so, even after Josiah's reform of public worship, we find Jeremiah complaining: "As many as are thy cities, so many are thy gods, Judah; and as many as are the streets in Jerusalem, so many altars have ye made to shame, to burn incense to Baal" (Jer 2:28; Jer 11:13). And godlessness showed itself in all classes of the people. "Go

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about in the streets of Jerusalem," Jeremiah exclaims, "and look and search if there is one that doeth right and asks after honesty, and I will pardon her (saith the Lord). I thought, it is but the meaner sort that are foolish, for they know not the way of Jahveh, the judgment of their God. I will then get me to the great, and will speak with them, for they know the way of Jahveh, the right of their God. But they have all broken the yoke, burst the bonds" (Jer 5:1-5). "Small and great are greedy for gain; prophet and priest use deceit" (Jer 6:13). This being the spiritual condition of the people, we cannot wonder that immediately after the death of Josiah, unblushing apostasy appeared again as well in public idolatry as in injustice and sin of every kind. Jehoiakim did that which was evil in the eyes of Jahveh even as his fathers had done (2Ki 23:37; 2Ch 36:6). His eyes and his heart were set upon nothing but on gain and on innocent blood, to shed it, and on oppression and on violence, to do it, Jer 22:17. And his successors on the throne, both his son Jehoiachin and his brother Zedekiah, walked in his footsteps (2Ki 24:5, 2Ki 24:19; 2Ch 36:9, 2Ch 36:12), although Zedekiah did not equal his brother Jehoiakim in energy for carrying out evil, but let himself be ruled by those who were about him. For Judah's persistence in rebellion against God and His law, the Lord ceased not from His great wrath; but carried out the threatening proclamation to king and people by the prophetess Hulda, when Josiah sent to consult her for himself, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of the newly found book of the law: "Behold, I bring evil in this place, and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: because that they have forsaken me, and burnt incense to other gods, to provoke me with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath is kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched" (2Ki 22:16.).
This evil began to fall on the kingdom in Jehoiakim's days. Josiah was not to see the coming of it. Because, when he heard the curses of the law, he humbled himself before the Lord, rent his raiment and wept before Him, the Lord vouchsafed to him the promise that He would gather him to his fathers in peace, that his eyes should not look on the evil God would bring

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on Jerusalem (2Ki 22:19.); and this pledge God fulfilled to him, although they that were to execute God's righteous justice were already equipped, and though towards the end of his reign the storm clouds of judgment were gathering ominously over Judah.
While Josiah was labouring in the reformation of public worship, there had taken place in Central Asia the events which brought about the fall of the Assyrian empire. the younger son of Esarhaddon, the second Sardanapalus, had been succeeded in the year 626 by his son Saracus. Since the victorious progress of the Medes under Cyaxares, his dominion had been limited to the cradle of the empire, Assyria, to Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Cilicia. To all appearance in the design of preserving Babylonia to the empire, Saracus appointed Nabopolassar, a Babylonian by birth and sprung from the Chaldean stock, to be governor of that province. This man found opportunity to aggrandize himself during a war between the Medes and the Lydians. An eclipse of the sun took place on the 30th September 610, while a battle was going on. Both armies in terror gave up the contest; and, seconded by Syennesis, who governed Cilicia under the Assyrian supremacy, Nabopolassar made use of the favourable temper which the omen had excited in both camps to negotiate a peace between the contending peoples, and to institute a coalition of Babylonia and Media against Assyria. To confirm this alliance, Amytis, the daughter of Cyaxares, was given in marriage to Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar; and the war against Assyria was opened without delay by the advance against Nineveh in the spring of 609 of the allied armies of Medes and Babylonians. But two years had been spent in the siege of that most impregnable city, and two battles had been lost, before they succeeded by a night attack in utterly routing the Assyrians, pursuing the fugitives to beneath the city walls. The fortification would long have defied their assaults, had not a prodigious spring flood of the Tigris, in the third year of the war, washed down a part of the walls lying next the river, and so made it possible for the besiegers to enter the city, to take it, and reduce it to ashes. The fall of Nineveh in the year 607 overthrew the Assyrian empire; and when the conquerors

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proceeded to distribute their rich booty, all the land lying on the western bank of the Tigris fell to the share of Nabopolassar of Babylon. But the occupation by the Babylonians of the provinces which lay west of the Euphrates was contested by the Egyptians. Before the campaign of the allied Medes and Babylonians against Nineveh, Pharaoh Necho, the warlike son of Psammetichus, had advanced with his army into Palestine, having landed apparently in the bay of Acco, on his way to war by the Euphrates with Assyria, Egypt's hereditary enemy. To oppose his progress King Josiah marched against the Egyptian; fearing as he did with good reason, that if Syria fell into Necho's power, the end had come to the independence of Judah as a kingdom. A battle was fought in the plain near Megiddo; the Jewish army was defeated, and Josiah mortally wounded, so that he died on the way to Jerusalem (2Ki 23:29.; 2Ch 35:20.). In his stead the people of the land raised his second son Jehoahaz to the throne; but Pharaoh came to Jerusalem, took Jehoahaz prisoner, and had him carried to Egypt, where he closed his life in captivity, imposed a fine on the country, and set up Eliakim, Josiah's eldest son, to be king as his vassal under the name of Jehoiakim (2Ki 23:30-35; 2Ch 36:1-4). Thereafter Necho pursued his march through Syria, and subject to himself the western provinces of the Assyrian empire; and he had penetrated to the fortified town of Carchemish (Kirkesion) on the Euphrates when Nineveh succumbed to the united Medes and Babylonians. - Immediately upon the dissolution of the Assyrian empire, Nabopolassar, now an old man no longer able to sustain the fatigues of a new campaign, entrusted the command of the army to his vigorous son Nebuchadnezzar, to the end that he might wage war against Pharaoh Necho and wrest from the Egyptians the provinces they had possessed themselves of (cf. Berosi fragm. in Joseph. Antt. x. 11. 1, and c. Ap. i. 19). In the year 607, the third year of Jehoiakim's reign, Nebuchadnezzar put the army entrusted to him in motion, and in the next year, the fourth of Jehoiakim's reign, b.c. 606, he crushed Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish on the Euphrates. Pursuing the fleeing enemy, he pressed irresistibly forwards into Syria and Palestine, took Jerusalem in the same year, made Jehoiakim

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his dependant, and carried off to Babel a number of the Jewish youths of highest rank, young Daniel amongst them, together with part of the temple furniture (2Ki 24:1; 2Ch 36:6.; Dan 1:1.). He had done as far on his march as the boundaries of Egypt when he heard of the death of his father Nabopolassar at Babylon. In consequence of this intelligence he hastened to Babylon the shortest way through the desert, with but few attendants, with the view of mounting the throne and seizing the reins of government, while he caused the army to follow slowly with the prisoners and the booty (Beros. l.c.).
This, the first taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, is the commencement of the seventy years of Judah's Chaldean bondage, foretold by Jeremiah in Jer 25:11, shortly before the Chaldeans invaded Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim; and with the subjection of Judah to Nebuchadnezzar's supremacy the dissolution of the kingdom began. For three years Jehoiakim remained subject to the king of Babylon; in the fourth year he rebelled against him. Nebuchadnezzar, who with the main body of his army was engaged in the interior of Asia, lost no time in sending into the rebellious country such forces of Chaldeans as were about the frontiers, together with contingents of Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites; and these troops devastated Judah through out the remainder of Jehoiakim's reign (2Ki 24:1-2). But immediately upon the death of Jehoiakim, just as his son had mounted the throne, Nebuchadnezzar's generals advanced against Jerusalem with a vast army and invested the city in retribution for Jehoiakim's defection. During the siege Nebuchadnezzar joined the army. Jehoiachin, seeing the impossibility of holding out any longer against the besiegers, resolved to go out to the king of Babylon, taking with him the queen-mother, the princes of the kingdom, and the officers of the court, and to make unconditional surrender of himself and the city. Nebuchadnezzar made the king and his train prisoners; and, after plundering the treasures of the royal palace and the temple, carried captive to Babylon the king, the leading men of the country, the soldiers, the smiths and artisans, and, in short, every man in Jerusalem who was capable of bearing arms. He left in the land only the

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poorest sort of the people, from whom no insurrectionary attempts were to be feared; and having taken an oath of fealty from Mattaniah, the uncle of the captive king, he installed him, under the name of Zedekiah, as vassal king over a land that had been robbed of all that was powerful or noble amongst its inhabitants (2Ki 24:8-17; 2Ch 36:10). Nor did Zedekiah either keep true to the oath of allegiance he had sworn and pledged to the king of Babylon. In the fourth year of his reign, ambassadors appeared from the neighbouring states of Edom, Ammon, Moab, Tyre, and Sidon, seeking to organize a vast coalition against the Chaldean supremacy (Jer 27:3; Jer 28:1). Their mission was indeed unsuccessful; for Jeremiah crushed the people's hope of a speedy return of the exiles in Babylon by repeated and emphatic declaration that the Babylonian bondage must last seventy years (Jer 27-29). In the same year Zedekiah visited Babylon, apparently in order to assure his liege lord of his loyalty and to deceive him as to his projects (Jer 51:59). But in Zedekiah's ninth year Hophra (Apries), the grandson of Necho, succeeded to the crown of Egypt; and when he was arming for war against Babylon, Zedekiah, trusting in the help of Egypt (Eze 17:15), broke the oath of fealty he had sworn (Eze 17:16), and tried to shake off the Babylonian yoke. But straightway a mighty Chaldean army marched against Jerusalem, and in the tenth month of that same year established a blockade round Jerusalem (2Ki 25:1). The Egyptian army advanced to relieve the beleaguered city, and for a time compelled the Chaldeans to raise the siege; but it was in the end defeated by the Chaldeans in a pitched battle (Jer 37:5.), and the siege was again resumed with all rigour. For long the Jews made stout resistance, and fought with the courage of despair, Zedekiah and his advisers being compelled to admit that this time Nebuchadnezzar would show no mercy. The Hebrew slaves were set free that they might do military service; the stone buildings were one after another torn down that their materials might serve to strengthen the walls; and in this way for about a year and a half all the enemy's efforts to master the strong city were in vain. Famine had reached its extremity when, in the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the Chaldean battering

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rams made a breach in the northern wall, and through this the besiegers made their way into the lower city. The defenders withdrew to the temple hill and the city of Zion; and, when the Chaldeans began to storm these strongholds during the night, Zedekiah, under cover of darkness, fled with the rest of his soldiers by the door between the two walls by the king's garden. He was, however, overtaken in the steppes of Jericho by the pursuing Chaldeans, made prisoner, and carried to Riblah in Coele-Syria. Here Nebuchadnezzar had his headquarters during the siege of Jerusalem, and here he pronounced judgment on Zedekiah. His sons and the leading men of Judah were put to death before his eyes; he was then deprived of eyesight and carried in chains to Babylon, where he remained a prisoner till his death (2Ki 25:3-7; Jer 39:2-7; Jer 52:6-11). A month later Nebuzar-adan, the captain of the king of Babylon's guard, came to Jerusalem to destroy the rebellious city. The principal priests and officers of the kingdom and sixty citizens were sent to the king at Riblah, and executed there. Everything of value to be found amongst the utensils of the temple was carried to Babylon, the city with the temple and palace was burnt to the ground, the walls were destroyed, and what able-bodied men were left amongst the people were carried into exile. Nothing was left in the land but a part of the poorer people to serve as vinedressers and husbandmen; and over this miserable remnant, increased a little in numbers by the return of some of those who had fled during the war into the neighbouring countries, Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was appointed governor in the Chaldean interest. Jeremiah chose to stay with him amidst his countrymen. But three months afterwards Gedaliah was murdered, at the instigation of Baalis the king of the Ammonites, by one Ishmael, who was sprung from the royal stock; and thereupon a great part of the remaining population, fearing the vengeance of the Chaldeans, fled, against the prophet's advice, into Egypt (Jer 40-43). And so the banishment of the people was now a total one, and throughout the whole period of the Chaldean domination the land was a wilderness.
Judah was now, like the ten tribes, cast out amongst the heathen out of the land the Lord had given them for an inheritance,

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because they had forsaken Jahveh, their God, and had despised His statutes. Jerusalem, the city of the great King over all the earth, was in ruins, the house which the Lord had consecrated to His name was burnt with fire, and the people of His covenant had become a scorn and derision to all peoples. But God had not broken His covenant with Israel. Even in the law - Lev. 26 and Deut 30 - - He had promised that even when Israel was an outcast from his land amongst the heathen, He would remember His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not utterly reject the exiles; but when they had borne the punishment of their sins, would turn again their captivity, and gather them together out of the nations.

2. The Person of the Prophet Edit

Concerning the life and labours of the prophet Jeremiah, we have fuller information than we have as to those of many of the other prophets. The man is very clearly reflected in his prophecies, and his life is closely interwoven with the history of Judah. We consider first the outward circumstances of the prophet's life, and then his character and mental gifts.
a. His Outward Circumstances - Jeremiah (ירמיהוּ, contracted ירמיהi, ̔Ιερεμίας, Jeremias) was the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests belonging to the priest-city Anathoth, situated about five miles north of Jerusalem, now a village called Anâta. This Hilkiah is not the high priest of that name, mentioned in 2Ki 22:4. and 2Ch 34:9, as has been supposed by some of the Fathers, Rabbins, and recent commentators. This view is shown to be untenable by the indefinite הכהניםa מןi, Jer 1:1. Besides, it is hardly likely that the high priest could have lived with his household out of Jerusalem, as was the case in Jeremiah's family (Jer 32:8; Jer 37:12.); and we learn from 1Ki 2:26 that it was priests of the house of Ithamar that lived in Anathoth, whereas the high priests belonged to the line of Eleazar and the house of Phinehas (1Ch 24:3). Jeremiah, called to be prophet at an early age (נער, Jer 1:6), laboured in Jerusalem from the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign (b.c. 629) until the fall of the kingdom; and after the destruction of Jerusalem he continued his

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work for some years longer amidst the ruins of Judah, and in Egypt amongst those of his countrymen who had fled thither (Jer 1:2., Jer 25:3; Jer 40:1). His prophetic ministry falls, consequently, into the period of the internal dissolution of the kingdom of Judah, and its destruction by the Chaldeans. He had himself received a mission from the Lord to peoples and kingdoms, as well to break down and destroy, as to build and plant (Jer 1:10). He was to fulfil this mission, in the first place, in the case of Judah, and then to the heathen peoples, in so far forth as they came in contact with the kingdom of God in Judah. The scene of his labours was Jerusalem. Here he proclaimed the word of the Lord in the courts of the temple (e.g., Jer 7:2; Jer 26:1); at the gates of the city (Jer 17:19); in the king's palace (Jer 32:1; Jer 37:17); in the prison (Jer 32:1); and in other places (Jer 18:1., Jer 19:1., Jer 27:2). Some commentators think that he first began as prophet in his native town of Anathoth, and that he wrought there for some time ere he visited Jerusalem; but this is in contradiction to the statement of Jer 2:2, that he uttered almost his very first discourse "before the ears of Jerusalem." Nor does this assumption find any support from Jer 11:21; Jer 12:5. All that can be gathered from these passages is, that during his ministry he occasionally visited his native town, which lay so near Jerusalem, and preached the word of the Lord to his former fellow-citizens.
When he began his work as prophet, King Josiah had already taken in hand the extirpation of idolatry and the restoration of the worship of Jahveh in the temple; and Jeremiah was set apart by the Lord to be a prophet that he might support the godly king in this work. His task was to bring back the hearts of the people to the God of their fathers by preaching God's word, and to convert that outward return to the service of Jahveh into a thorough turning of the heart to Him, so as to rescue from destruction all who were willing to convert and be saved. Encouraged by Manasseh's sins, backsliding from the Lord, godlessness, and unrighteousness had reached in Judah such a pitch, that it was no longer possible to turn aside the judgment of rejection from the face of the Lord, to save the backsliding race from being delivered into the power of the heathen.

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Yet the faithful covenant God, in divine long-suffering, granted to His faithless people still another gracious opportunity for repentance and return to Him; He gave them Josiah's reformation, and sent the prophets, because, though resolved to punish the sinful people for its stiff-necked apostasy, He would not make an utter end of it. This gives us a view point from which to consider Jeremiah's mission, and looking hence, we cannot fail to find sufficient light to enable us to understand the whole course of his labours, and the contents of his discourses.
Immediately after his call, he was made to see, under the emblem of a seething caldron, the evil that was about to break from out of the north upon all the inhabitants of the land: the families of the kingdoms of the north are to come and set their thrones before the gates of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and through them God is to utter judgment upon Judah for its idolatry (Jer 1:13-16). Accordingly, from the beginning of his work in the days of Josiah onwards, the prophet can never be driven from the maintenance of his position, that Judah and Jerusalem will be laid waste by a hostile nation besetting them from the north, that the people of Judah will fall by the enemy's sword, and go forth into captivity; cf. Jer 4:5, Jer 4:13, Jer 4:27; Jer 5:15, Jer 6:22, etc. This nation, not particularly specified in the prophecies of the earlier period, is none other than that of the Chaldeans, the king of Babylon and his hosts. It is not the nation of the Scythians, as many commentators suppose; see the comm. on Jer 4:5. Nevertheless he unremittingly calls upon all ranks of his people to repent, to do away with the abominable idols, and to cease from its wickedness; to plough up a new soil and not sow among thorns, lest the anger of the Lord break forth in fire and burn unquenchably (Jer 4:1-4; cf. Jer 6:8, Jer 6:16; Jer 7:3., etc.). He is never weary of holding up their sins to the view of the people and its leaders, the corrupt priests, the false prophets, the godless kings and princes; this, too, he does amidst much trial both from within and from without, and without seeing any fruit of his labours (cf. Jer 25:3-8). After twenty-three years of indefatigable expostulation with the people, the judgment of which he had so long warned them burst upon

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the incorrigible race. The fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign (b.c. 606) forms a turning point not only in the history of the kingdom, but also in Jeremiah's work as prophet. In the year in which Jerusalem was taken for the first time, and Judah made tributary to the Chaldeans, those devastations began with which Jeremiah had so often threatened his hardened hearers; and together with it came the fulfilment of what Jeremiah had shortly before foretold, the seventy years' dominion of Babylon over Judah, and over Egypt and the neighbouring peoples (Jer 25:19). For seventy years these nations are to serve the king of Babylon; but when these years are out, the king and land of the Chaldeans shall be visited, Judah shall be set free from its captivity, and shall return into its own land (Jer 25:11., Jer 37:6., Jer 29:10).
The progressive fulfilment of Jeremiah's warning prophecies vindicated his character as prophet of the Lord; yet, notwithstanding, it was now that the sorest days of trial in his calling were to come. At the first taking of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar had contented himself with reducing Jehoiakim under his sway and imposing a tribute on the land, and king and people but waited and plotted for a favourable opportunity to shake off the Babylonian yoke. In this course they were encouraged by the lying prophecies of the false prophets, and the work done by these men prepared for Jeremiah sore controversies and bitter trials. At the very beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, the priests, the prophets, and the people assembled in the temple, laid hands on Jeremiah, because he had declared that Zion should share the fate of Shiloh, and that Jerusalem should be destroyed. He was by them found worthy of death, and he escaped from the power of his enemies only by the mediation of the princes of Judah, who hastened to his rescue, and reminded the people that in Hezekiah's days the prophet Micah had uttered a like prophecy, and yet had suffered nothing at the hand of the king, because he feared God. At the same time, Uriah, who had foretold the same issue of affairs, and who had fled to Egypt to escape Jehoiakim's vengeance, was forced back thence by an envoy of the king and put to death (Jer 26). Now it was that Jeremiah, by command of God, caused his assistant Baruch to write all the discourses he had

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delivered into a roll-book, and to read it before the assembled people on the day of the fast, observed in the ninth month of the fifty year of Jehoiakim's reign. When the king had word of it, he caused the roll to be brought and read to him. But when two or three passages had been read, he cut the roll in pieces and cast the fragments into a brasier that was burning before him. He ordered Jeremiah and Baruch to be brought; but by the advice of the friendly princes they had concealed themselves, and God hid them so that they were not found (Jer 36). It does not appear that the prophet suffered any further persecution under Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin. Two years after the fast above mentioned, Jehoiakim rose against Nebuchadnezzar. The result was, that Jerusalem was besieged and taken for the second time in the reign of the next king; Jehoiakim, the leading men, and the flower of the nation were carried into exile to Babylon; and so Jeremiah's prophecy was yet more strikingly affirmed. Jerusalem was saved from destruction this time again, and in Zedekiah, the uncle of the exiled king, who had, of course, to take the oath of fealty, the country had again a king of the old stock. Yet the heavy blow that had now fallen on the nation was not sufficient to bend the stiff neck of the infatuated people and its leaders. Even yet were found false prophets who foretold the speedy overthrow of Chaldean domination, and the return, ere long, of the exiles (Jer 28). In vain did Jeremiah lift up his voice in warning against putting reliance on these prophets, or on the soothsayers and sorcerers who speak like them (Jer 27:9., Jer 27:14). When, during the first years of Zedekiah's reign, ambassadors had come from the bordering nations, Jeremiah, in opposition to the false prophets, declares to the king that God has given all these countries into the hand of the king of Babylon, and that these peoples shall serve him and his son and his grandson. He cries to the king, "Put your necks into the yoke of the king of Babylon, and ye shall live; he that will not serve him shall perish by sword, famine, and pestilence" (Jer 27:12.). This announcement had repeated before the people, the princes, and the king, during the siege by the Chaldeans, which followed on Zedekiah's treacherous insurrection against his liege lord, and he chose for

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it the particular time at which the Chaldeans had temporarily raised the siege, in order to meet the Egyptian king in the field, Pharaoh Hophra having advanced to the help of the Jews (Jer 34:20.). It was then that, when going out by the city gate, Jeremiah was laid hold of, beaten by the magistrates, and thrown into prison, on the pretext that he wanted to desert to the Chaldeans. After he had spent a long time in prison, the king had him brought to him, and inquired of him secretly for a word of Jahveh; but Jeremiah had no other word from God to give him but, "Thou shalt be given into the hand of the king of Babylon." Favoured by this opportunity, he complained to the king about his imprisonment. Zedekiah gave order that he should not be taken back to the prison, but placed in the court of the prison, and that a loaf of bread should be given him daily until all the bread in Jerusalem was consumed (Jer 37). Shortly thereafter, however, some of the princes demanded of the king the death of the prophet, on the ground that he was paralysing the courage of soldiers and people by such speeches as, "He that remains in this city shall die by sword, famine, and pestilence; but he that goeth out to the Chaldeans shall carry off his life as a prey from them." They alleged he was seeking the hurt and not the weal of the city; and the feeble king yielded to their demands, with the words: "Behold, he is in your hand, for the king can do nothing against you." Upon this he was cast into a deep pit in the court of the prison, in the slime of which he sank deep, and would soon have perished but for the noble-minded Ethiopian Ebed-melech, a royal chamberlain, who made application to the king on his behalf, and procured his removal out of the dungeon of mire. When consulted privately by the king yet again, he had none other than his former answer to give him, and so he remained in the court of the prison until the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (Jer 38). After this he was restored to freedom by Nebuzar-adan, the captain of Nebuchadnezzar's guard, at the command of the king; and being left free to choose his place of residence, he decided to remain at Mizpah with Gedaliah, appointed governor of the land, amongst his own people (Jer 39:11-14, and Jer 40:1-6). Now it was that he composed the Lamentations upon the fall

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of Jerusalem and Judah.
After the foul murder of Gedaliah, the people, fleeing through fear of Chaldean vengeance, compelled him to accompany them to Egypt, although he had expressly protested against the flight as a thing displeasing to God (Jer 41:17-43:7). In Egypt he foretold the conquest of the land by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 43:8-13); and, further on, the judgment of God on his countrymen, who had attached themselves to the worship of the Queen of Heaven (44). Beyond this we are told nothing else about him in Bible records. Neither the time, the place, nor the manner of his death is known. We cannot confidently assert from Jer 44 that he was still living in b.c. 570, for this last discourse of the prophet does not necessarily presume the death of King Hophra (b.c. 570). Only this much is certain, that he lived yet for some years in Egypt, till about 585 or 580; that his labours consequently extended over some fifty years, and so that, presuming he was called to be prophet when a youth of 20 to 25 years old, he must have attained an age of 70 to 75 years. As to his death, we are told in the fathers Jerome, Tertull, Epiph., that he was stoned by the people at Tahpanhes (Daphne of Egypt), and accordingly his grave used to be pointed out near Cairo. But a Jewish tradition, in the Seder ol. rabb. c. 26, makes him out to have been carried off with Baruch to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar at the conquest of Egypt, in the 27th year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign. Isidor Pelusiota, epist. i. 298, calls him πολυπαθέστατος τῶν προφητῶν; but the greater were the ignominy and suffering endured by Jeremiah in life, the higher was the esteem in which he was held by posterity, chiefly, doubtless, because of the exact fulfilment of his prophecy as to the seventy years' duration of the Babylonian empire (cf. Dan 9; 2; 2Ch 36:20., Ezr 1:1). Jesus Sirach, in his Praise of the Prophets, Ecclus. c. xlix. 7, does not go beyond what we already know from Jer 1:10; but was early as the second book of the Maccabees, we have traditions and legends which leave no doubt of the profound veneration in which he was held, especially by the Alexandrian Jews.[1]

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b. His Character and Mental Qualities - If we gather together in one the points of view that are discovered in a summary glance over Jeremiah's work as a prophet, we feel the truth of Ed. Vilmar's statement at p. 38 of his essay on the prophet Jeremiah in the periodical, Der Beweis des Glaubens. Bd. v. Gütersloh 1869. "When we consider the prophet's faith in the imperishableness of God's people, in spite of the inevitable ruin which is to overwhelm the race then living, and his conviction, firm as the rock, that the Chaldeans are invincible until the end of the period allotted to them by Providence, it is manifest that his work is grounded in something other and higher than mere political sharp-sightedness or human sagacity." Nor is the unintermitting stedfastness with which, amidst the sorest difficulties from without, he exercised his office to be explained by the native strength of his character. Naturally of a yielding disposition, sensitive and timid, it was with trembling that he bowed to God's call (Jer 1:6); and afterwards, when borne down by the burden of them, he repeatedly entertained the wish to be relieved from his hard duties. "Thou hast persuaded me, Lord," he complains in Jer 20:7., "and I let myself be persuaded; Thou hast laid hold on me and hast prevailed. I am become a laughing-stock all the day long: the word of Jahveh is become a reproach and a derision. And I thought: I will think no more of Him nor speak more in His name; and it was in my head as burning fire, shut up in my bones, and I become weary of bearing up, and cannot." Though filled with glowing love that sought the salvation of his people, he is compelled, while he beholds their moral corruptness,

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to cry out: "O that I had in my wilderness a lodging-place of wayfarers! then would I leave my people, and go from them; for they are all adulterers, a crew of faithless men" (Jer 9:1). And his assurance that the judgment about to burst on the land and people could not be turned aside, draws from him the sigh: "O that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears! then would I weep day and night for the slain of my people" (8:23). "He was no second Elijah," as Hgstbg. Christol. ii. p. 370 happily puts it. "He had a soft nature, a susceptible temperament; his tears flowed readily. And he who was so glad to live in peace and love with all men, must needs, because he has enlisted in the service of truth, become a second Ishmael, his hand against every man, and every man's hand against him; he whose love for his people was so glowing, was doomed to see that love misconstrued, to see himself branded as a traitor by those who were themselves the traitors to the people." Experiences like these raised bitter struggles in his soul, repeatedly set forth by him, especially in Jer 12:1 and Jer 20:1. Yet he stands immovably stedfast in the strife against all the powers of wickedness, like "a pillar of iron and a wall of brass against the whole land, the kings of Judah, its rulers and priests, and against the common people," so that all who strove against him could effect nothing, because the Lord, according to His promise, Jer 1:18., was with him, stood by his side as a terrible warrior (Jer 20:11), and showed His power mighty in the prophet's weakness.
This character of Jeremiah is also reflected in his writings. His speech is clear and simple, incisive and pithy, and, though generally speaking somewhat diffuse, yet ever rich in thought. If it lacks the lofty strain, the soaring flight of an Isaiah, yet it has beauties of its own. It is distinguished by a wealth of new imagery which is wrought out with great delicacy and deep feeling, and by "a versatility that easily adapts itself to the most various objects, and by artistic clearness" (Ewald). In the management of his thoughts Jeremiah has more recourse than other prophets to the law and the older sacred writings (cf. Koenig, das Deuteronom u. der Proph. Jeremia, Heft ii. of the Alttstl. Studien; and A Küper, Jeremias librorum sacrr. interpres atque vindex). And his style of expression is rich in repetitions

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and standing phrases. These peculiarities are not, however, to be regarded as signs of the progressive decline of the prophetic gift (Ew.), but are to be derived from deeper foundations, from positive and fundamental causes. The continual recurrence to the law, and the frequent application of the prophetic parts of Deuteronomy, was prompted by the circumstances of the time. The wider the people's apostasy from God's law extended itself, so much the greater became the need for a renewed preaching of the law, that should point to the sore judgments there threatened against hardened sinners, now about to come into fulfilment. And as against the guile of false prophets whose influence with the infatuated people became ever greater, the true witnesses of the Lord could have no more effective means of showing and proving the divineness of their mission and the truth of their testimony than by bringing strongly out their connection with the old prophets and their utterances. On this wise did Jeremiah put in small compass and preserve the spiritual inheritance which Israel had received from Moses a thousand years before, and thus he sent it with the people into exile as its better self (E. Vilm. as above). The numerous repetitions do unquestionably produce a certain monotony, but this monotony is nothing else than the expression of the bitter grief that penetrates the soul; the soul is full of the one thought which takes entire possession of its elastic powers, and is never weary of ever crying out anew the same truth to the people, so as to stagger their assurance by this importunate expostulation (cf. Haevern. Introd. p. 196). From the same cause comes the negligence in diction and style, on which Jerome in Prol. in Jer. passed this criticism: Jeremias propheta sermone apud Hebraeos Jesaia et Osea et quibusdam aliis prophetis videtur esse rusticior, sed sensibus par est; and further in theProaem. to lib. iv. of theComment.: quantum in verbis simplex et facilis, tantum in majestate sensuum profundissimus. And unadorned style is the natural expression of a heart filled with grief and sadness. "He that is sad and downcast in heart, whose eyes run over with tears (Lam 2:2), is not the man to deck and trick himself out in frippery and fine speeches" (Hgstb. as above, p. 372). Finally, as to the language, the influence of the Aramaic upon the Hebrew tongue is already pretty evident.

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3. The Book of the Prophecies of Jeremiah Edit

a. Contents and Arrangement. - The prophecies of Jeremiah divide themselves, in accordance with their subjects, into those that concern Judah and the kingdom of God, and those regarding foreign nations. The former come first in the book, and extend from Jer 1-45; ; the latter are comprised in Jer 46-51. The former again fall into three groups, clearly distinguishable by their form and subjects. So that the whole book may be divided into four sections; while Jer 1 contains the account of the prophet's consecration, and Jer 52 furnishes an historical supplement.
The first section occupies Jer 2-20, and comprises six lengthy discourses which contain the substance of Jeremiah's oral preaching during the reign of Josiah. In these the people is brought face to face with its apostasy from the Lord into idolatry; its unrighteousness and moral corruption is set before it, the need of contrition and repentance is brought home, and a race of hardened sinners is threatened with the devastation of their land by a barbarous people coming from afar: while to the contrite the prospect of a better future is opened up. By means of headings, these discourses or compilations of discourses are marked off from one another and gathered into continuous wholes. The first discourse, Jer 2:1-3:5, sets forth, in general terms, the Lord's love and faithfulness towards Israel. The second, Jer 3:6-6:30, presents in the first half of it (3:6-4:2) the fate of the ten tribes, their dispersion for their backsliding, and the certainty of their being received again in the event of their repentance, all as a warning to faithless Judah; and in the second half (4:3-6:30), announces that if Judah holds on in its disloyalty, its land will be ravaged, Jerusalem will be destroyed, and its people cast out amongst the heathen. The third discourse, Jer 6-10, admonishes against a vain confidence in the temple and the sacrifices, and threatens the dispersion of Judah and the spoliation of the country (Jer 7:1-8:3); chides the people for being obstinately averse to all reformation (8:4-9:21); shows wherein true wisdom consists, and points out the folly of idolatry (9:22-10:25). The fourth discourse, Jer 11-13,

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exhibits the people's disloyalty to the covenant (11:1-17); shows by concrete examples their utter corruptness, and tells them that the doom pronounced is irrevocable (11:18-12:17); and closes with a symbolical action adumbrating the expulsion into exile of the incorrigible race (Jer 13:1). The fifth, Jer 14-17, "the word concerning the droughts," gives illustrative evidence to show that the impending judgment cannot be turned aside by any entreaties; that Judah, for its sins, will be driven into exile, but will yet in the future be brought back again (14:1-17:4); and closes with general animadversions upon the root of the mischief, and the way by which punishment may be escaped (17:5-27). The sixth discourse, Jer 18-20, contains two oracles from God, set forth in symbolical actions, which signify the judgment about to burst on Judah for its continuance in sin, and which drew down persecution, blows, and harsh imprisonment on the prophet, so that he complains of his distress to the Lord, and curses the day of his birth. All these discourses have this in common, that threatening and promise are alike general in their terms. Most emphatically and repeatedly is threatening made of the devastation of the land by enemies, of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of Judah amongst the heathen; and yet nowhere is it indicated who are to execute this judgment. Not until the threatening addressed to Pashur in Jer 20:4 are we told that it is the king of Babylon into whose hand all Judah is to be given, that he may lead them away to Babylon and smite them with the sword. And beyond the general indication, Jer 3:6, "in the days of Josiah," not even the headings contain any hint as to the date of the several prophecies or of portions of them, or as to the circumstances that called them forth. The quite general character of the heading, Jer 3:6, and the fact that the tone and subject remain identical throughout the whole series of chapters that open the collected prophecies of Jeremiah, are sufficient to justify Hgstbg. (as above, p. 373) in concluding that "we have here before us not so much a series of prophecies which were delivered precisely as we have them, each on a particular occasion during Josiah's reign, but rather a resumé of Jeremiah's entire public work as prophet during Josiah's reign; a summary

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of all that, taken apart from the special circumstances of the time, had at large the aim of giving deeper stability to the reformatory efforts Josiah was carrying on in outward affairs." This view is not just, only it is not to be limited to Jer 2-7, but is equally applicable to the whole of the first section of the collected prophecies.
The second section, Jer 21-32, contains special predictions; on the one hand, of the judgment to be executed by the Chaldeans (Jer 27-29); ); on the other, of Messianic salvation (Jer 30-33). The predictions of judgment fall into three groups. The central one of these, the announcement of the seventy years' dominion of the Chaldeans over Judah and all nations, passes into a description of judgment to come upon the whole world. As introductory to this, we have it announced in Jer 21:1-14 that Judah and its royal family are to be given into the hands of the king of Babylon; we have in Jer 22 and Jer 23:1 the word concerning the shepherds and leaders of the people; while in Jer 24:1 comes the statement, illustrated by the emblem of two baskets of figs, as to the character and future fortunes of the Jewish people. The several parts of this group are of various dates. The intimation of the fate awaiting Judah in Jer 21:1 is, according to the heading, taken from the answer given to Zedekiah by Jeremiah during the last siege of Jerusalem, when the king had inquired of him about the issue of the war; the denunciation of the people's corrupt rulers, the wicked kings and false prophets, together with the promise that a righteous branch is yet to be raised to David, belongs, if we may judge from what is therein said of the kings, to the times of Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin; while the vision of the two baskets of figs in Jer 24:1 dates from the first part of Zedekiah's reign, shortly after Jehoiachin and the best part of the nation had been carried off to Babylon. As this group of prophecies is a preparation for the central prediction of judgment in Jer 25:1, so the group that follows, Jer 26-29, serves to show reason for the universal judgment, and to maintain it against the contradiction of the false prophets and of the people deluded by their vain expectations. To the same end we are told in Jer 26:1 of the accusation and acquittal of Jeremiah on the charge of his having

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foretold the destruction of Jerusalem: this and the supplementary notice of the prophet Urijah fall within the reign of Jehoiakim. The same aim is yet more clearly to be traced in the oracle in Jer 27:1, regarding the yoke of the king of Babylon, which God will lay on the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Phoenicia, on King Zedekiah, the priests and people of Judah; in the threatening against the lying prophet Hananiah in Jer 28:1; and in Jeremiah's letter to the exiles in Babylon in Jer 29:1, dating from the earlier years of Zedekiah's reign. From the dark background of these threatenings stands out in Jer 30-33 the comforting promise of the salvation of Israel. The prediction of grace and glory yet in store for Israel and Judah through the Messiah occupies two long discourses. The first is a complete whole, both in matter and in form. It begins with intimating the recovery of both houses of Israel from captivity and the certainty of their being received again as the people of God (Jer 30:1-22), while the wicked fall before God's wrath; then Jer 31 promises grace and salvation, first to the ten tribes (vv. 1-22), and then to Judah (Jer 31:23-36); lastly, we have (Jer 31:27-40) intimation that a new and everlasting covenant will be concluded with the whole covenant people. The second discourse in Jer 32 and Jer 33:1 goes to support the first, and consists of two words of God communicated to Jeremiah in the tenth year of Zedekiah, i.e., in prospect of the destruction of Jerusalem; one being in emblematic shape (Jer 32:1), the other is another explicit prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of blessings yet in store for the race of David and for the Levitical priesthood (23).
The third section of the book, Jer 34-44, has, in the first place, brief utterances of the prophet, dating from the times of Zedekiah and Jehoiachin, together with the circumstances that called them forth, in Jer 34-36; ; secondly, in Jer 37-39, notice of the prophet's experiences, and of the counsels given by him during the siege in Zedekiah's reign up till the taking of the city; finally, in Jer 40-45 are given events that happened and prophecies that were delivered after the siege. So that here there is gathered together by way of supplements all that was of

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cardinal importance in Jeremiah's efforts in behalf of the unhappy people, in so far as it had not found a place in the previous sections.
In the fourth section, Jer 46-51, follow prophecies against foreign nations, uttered partly in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, or rather later, partly in the first year of Zedekiah. And last of all, the conclusion of the whole collective book is formed by Jer 52, an historical supplement which is not the work of Jeremiah himself. In it are notices of the destruction of the city, of the number of the captives taken to Babylon, and of what befell King Jehoiachin there.
b. Origin of the Compilation or Book of the Prophecies of Jeremiah - Regarding the composition of the book, all sorts of ingenious and arbitrary hypotheses have been propounded. Almost all of them proceed on the assumption that the longer discourses of the first part of the book consist of a greater or less number of addresses delivered to the people at stated times, and have been arranged partly chronologically, but partly also without reference to any plan whatever. Hence the conclusion is drawn that in the book a hopeless confusion reigns. In proof of this, see the hypotheses of Movers and Hitzig. From the summary of contents just given, it is plain that in none of the four sections of the book has chronological succession been the principle of arrangement; this has been had regard to only in so far as it fell in with the plan chiefly kept in view, which was that of grouping the fragments according to their subject-matter. In the three sections of the prophecies concerning Israel, a general chronological order has to a certain extent been observed thus far, namely, that in the first section (Jer 2-20) are the discourses of the time of Josiah; in the second (Jer 21-33), ), the prophecies belonging to the period between the fourth year of Jehoiakim and the siege of Jerusalem under Zedekiah; in the third (Jer 34-45), ), events and oracles of the time before and after the siege and capture of the city. But even in those passages in the second and third sections which are furnished with historical references, order in time is so little regarded that discourses of the time of Zedekiah precede those of Jehoiakim's time. And in the

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first section the date of the several discourses is a matter of no secondary importance that, beyond the indefinite intimation in Jer 3:6, there is not to be found in any of the headings any hint of the date; and here, upon the whole, we have not the individual discourses in the form in which they were under various circumstances delivered to the people, but only a resumé of his oral addresses arranged with reference to the subject-matter.
The first notice of a written collection of the prophecies occurs in Jer 36. Here we are told that in the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign, Jeremiah, by divine command, caused his assistant Baruch to write in a roll all the words he had spoken concerning Israel and Judah and all nations from the day he was called up till that time, intending them to be read by Baruch to the assembled people in the temple on the approaching fast. And after the king had cut up the roll and cast it into the fire, the prophet caused the words Baruch had taken down to his dictation to be written anew in a roll, with the addition of many words of like import. This fact suggests the idea that the second roll written by Baruch to Jeremiah's dictation formed the basis of the collected edition of all Jeremiah's prophecies. The history makes it clear that till then the prophet had not committed his prophecies to writing, and that in the roll written by Baruch they for the first time assumed a written form. The same account leads us also to suppose that in this roll the prophet's discourses and addresses were not transcribed in the precise words and in the exact order in which he had from time to time delivered them to the people, but that they were set down from memory, the substance only being preserved. The design with which they were committed to writing was to lead the people to humble themselves before the Lord and turn from their evil ways (Jer 36:3, Jer 36:7), by means of importunately forcing upon their attention all God's commands and warnings. And we may feel sure that this parenetic aim was foremost not only in the first document (burnt by the king), but in the second also; it was not proposed here either to give a complete and authoritative transcription of all the prophet's sayings and speeches. The assumption of recent critics seems justifiable, that the document composed in Jehoiakim's reign was the foundation of the book handed down to us,

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and that it was extended to the compass of the canonical book by the addition of revelations vouchsafed after that time, and of the historical notices that most illustrated Jeremiah's labours. But, however great be the probability of this view, we are no longer in a position to point out the original book in that which we have received, and as a constituent part of the same. At first sight, we might indeed be led to look on the first twenty chapters of our book as the original document, since the character of these chapters rather favours the hypothesis. For they are all lengthy compositions, condensed from oral addresses with the view of reporting mainly the substance of them;[2] nor is there in them anything that certainly carries us beyond the time of Josiah and the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, except indeed the heading of the book, Jer 1:1-3, and this was certainly prefixed only when the book was given forth as a whole. But according to the statement in Jer 36:2, the original manuscript prepared by Baruch contained not only the words of the prophet which he had up to that time spoken concerning Israel and Judah, but also his words concerning all nations, that is, doubtless, all the prophecies concerning the heathen he had till now uttered, viz., Jer 25:15-31; 46:1-49:33. Nor can the most important discourse, Jer 25, belonging to the beginning of the fourth year of Jehoiakim, have been omitted from the original manuscript; certainly not from the second roll, increased by many words, which was put together after the first was burnt. For of the second manuscript we may say with perfect confidence what Ewald says of the first, that nothing of importance would be omitted from it. If then we may take for granted that the discourse of Jer 25 was included in the book put together by Baruch, it follows that upon the subsequent expansion of the work that chapter must have been displaced from its original position by the

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intercalation of Jer 21:1-14 and Jer 24:1-10, which are both of the time of Zedekiah. But the displacement of Jer 25 by prophecies of Zedekiah's time, and the arrangement of the several fragments which compose the central sections of the book now in our hands, show conclusively that the method and nature of this book are incompatible with the hypothesis that the existing book arose from the work written down by Baruch to Jeremiah's dictation by the addition and interpolation of later prophetic utterances and historical facts (Ew., Graf). The contents of Jer 21-45 were unmistakeably disposed according to a definite uniform plan which had regard chiefly to the subject-matter of those chapters, even though we are no longer in a position confidently to discriminate the several constituent parts, or point out the reason for the place assigned to them. The same plan may be traced in the arrangement of the longer compositions in Jer 2-20.
The consistency of the plan goes to show that the entire collection of the prophecies was executed by one editor at one time. Ew., Umbr., and Graf conclude that the original book attained its final form by a process of completion immediately after the destruction of the city and the deportation of the people; but it is impossible to admit their conclusion on the grounds they give, namely, the heading at Jer 1:3 : "until the carrying away of Jerusalem in the fifth month;" and the fact that what befell the prophet, and what was spoken by him after the city was destroyed, have found a place immediately after Jer 39 in Jer 40-44. Both circumstances are sufficiently explained by the fact that with the destruction of Jerusalem, Jeremiah's work as a prophet, though not absolutely finished, had yet anticipatively come to an end. His later labours at Mizpah and in Egypt were but a continuation of secondary importance, which might consequently be passed over in the heading of the book. See the Comment. on Jer 1:3. We are not sure that the period between the fifth and seventh months, Jer 41:1, during which Jeremiah and Baruch remained with the governor Gedaliah at Mizpah, was more suitable than any other for looking back over his work which had now extended over more than forty-one years, and by expanding the book he had at an earlier period written, for leaving behind him a

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monument for posterity in the record of his most memorable utterances and experiences - a monument that might serve to warn and instruct, as well as to comfort in present suffering means of the treasure of hopes and promises which he has thus laid up (Graf). But, judging from Jeremiah's habit of mind, we imagine that at that time Jeremiah would be disposed rather to indite the Lamentations than to edit his prophecies.
Arguments for repeated editings and transformations of particular chapters have been founded partly on the subject-matter, partly on peculiarities in the form of certain passages, e.g., the alternation, in the headings, of the formulas ויהי דבר יהוה אלי or ויּאמר אלי and ;ויהי דבר יהוה אל ירמיהוּ לאמר and the title , which occurs only in certain chapters, Jer 20:2; Jer 25:2; Jer 28:5-6, and often, Jer 29:1, Jer 29:29; Jer 32:2. But on deeper investigation these arguments appear inconclusive. If we are desirous not to add by new and uncertain conjectures to the already large number of arbitrary hypotheses as to the compilation and origin of the book before us, we must abide by what, after a careful scrutiny of its subject-matter and form, proves to be certainly established. And the result of our examination may be epitomized in the following propositions: - 1. The book in its canonical form has been arranged according to a distinct, self-consistent plan, in virtue of which the preservation of chronological order has been made secondary to the principle of grouping together cognate subjects. 2. The book written by Baruch in the fifth year of Jehoiakim's reign, which contained the oracles spoken by Jeremiah up till that time, is doubtless the basis of the book as finally handed down, without being incorporated with it as a distinct work; but, in accordance with the plan laid down for the compilation of the entire series, was so disposed that the several portions of it were interspersed with later portions, handed down, some orally, some in writing, so that the result was a uniform whole. For that prophecies other than those in Baruch's roll were straightway written down (if they were not first composed in writing), is expressly testified by Jer 30:2; Jer 29:1, and Jer 51:60. 3. The complete edition of the whole was not executed till after the close of Jeremiah's labours, probably immediately after his death. This work, together with the supplying of the historical notice in Jer 52, was probably the

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work of Jeremiah's colleague Baruch, who may have survived the last event mentioned in the book, Jer 52:31., the restoration of Jehoiakim to freedom after Nebuchadnezzar's death, b.c. 563.

4. The Genuineness of the Book and the Integrity of the Masoretic Text Edit

Jeremiah's prophecies bear everywhere so plainly upon the face of them the impress of this prophet's strongly marked individuality, that their genuineness, taken as a whole, remains unimpugned even by recent criticism. Hitzig, e.g., holds it to be so undoubted that in the prolegomena to his commentary he simply takes the matter for granted. And Ewald, after expounding this view of the contents and origin of the book, observes that so striking a similarity in expression, attitude, and colouring obtains throughout every portion that from end to end we hear the same prophet speak. Ewald excepts, indeed, the oracle against Babylon in Jer 50 and 51, which he attributes to an anonymous disciple who had not confidence to write in his own name, towards the end of the Babylonian captivity. He admits that he wrote after the manner of Jeremiah, but with this marked difference, that he gave an entirely new reference to words which he copied from Jeremiah; for example, according to Ewald, the description of the northern enemies, who were in Jeremiah's view first the Scythians and then the Chaldeans, is applied by him to the Medes and Persians, who were then at war with the Chaldeans. But with Ewald, as with his predecessors Eichh., Maur., Knobel, etc., the chief motive for denying the genuineness of this prophecy is to be found in the dogmatic prejudice which leads them to suppose it impossible for Jeremiah to have spoken of the Chaldeans as he does in Jeremiah 50f., since his expectation was that the Chaldeans were to be the divine instruments of carrying out the judgment near at hand upon Judah and the other nations. Others, such as Movers, de Wette, Hitz., have, on the contrary, proposed to get rid of what seemed to them out of order in this prediction by assuming interpolations. These critics believe themselves further able to make out interpolations, on a greater or less scale, in other passages, such as Jer 10; 25; 27; 29; 30; 33,

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yet without throwing doubt on the genuineness of the book at large. See details on this head in my Manual of Introduction, 75; and the proof of the assertions in the commentary upon the passages in question.
Besides this, several critics have denied the integrity of the Hebrew text, in consideration of the numerous divergencies from it which are to be found in the Alexandrine translation; and they have proposed to explain the discrepancies between the Greek and the Hebrew text by the hypothesis of two recensions, an Alexandrine Greek recension and a Babylonian Jewish. J. D. Mich., in the notes to his translation of the New Testament, i. p. 285, declared the text of the lxx to be the original, and purer than the existing Hebrew text; and Eichh., Jahn, Berthdolt, Dahler, and, most confident of all, Movers (de utriusque recensionis vaticiniorum Jer. graecae Alexandr. et hebraicae Masor., indole et origine), have done what they could to establish this position; while de Wette, Hitz., and Bleek (in his Introd.) have adopted the same view in so far that they propose in many places to correct the Masoretic text from the Alexandrine. But, on the other hand, Küper (Jerem. librorum ss. interpres), Haevern. (Introd.), J. Wichelhaus (de Jeremiae versione Alexandr.), and finally, and most thoroughly, Graf, in his Comment. p. 40, have made comparison of the two texts throughout, and have set the character of the Alexandrine text in a clear light; and their united contention is, that almost all the divergencies of this text from the Hebrew have arisen from the Greek translator's free and arbitrary way of treating the Hebrew original. The text given by the Alexandrine is very much shorter. Graf says that about 2700 words or the Masoretic text, or somewhere about the eighth part of the whole, have not been expressed at all in the Greek, while the few additions that occur there are of very trifling importance. The Greek text very frequently omits certain standing phrases, forms, and expressions often repeated throughout the book: e.g., נאם יהוה is dropped sixty-four times; instead of the frequently recurring יהוה צבאות or יהוה צ' אלהי ישׂראל there is usually found but יהוה. In the historical portions the name of the father of the principal person, regularly added in the Hebrew, is often not given; so with the title הנביא, when Jeremiah is mentioned;

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in speaking of the king of Babylon, the name Nebuchadnezzar, which we find thirty-six times in the Hebrew text, appears only thirteen times. Such expressions and clauses as seemed synonymous or pleonastic are often left out, frequently to the destruction of the parallelism of the clauses, occasionally to the marring of the sense; so, too, longer passages which had been given before, either literally or in substance. Still greater are the discrepancies in detail; and they are of such a sort as to bring plainly out on all hands the translator's arbitrariness, carelessness, and want of apprehension. All but innumerable are the cases in which gender, number, person, and tense are altered, synonymous expressions interchanged, metaphors destroyed, words transposed; we find frequently inexact and false translations, erroneous reading of the unpointed text, and occasionally, when the Hebrew word was not understood, we have it simply transcribed in Greek letters, etc. See copious illustration of this in Küper, Wichelh., and Graf, il. cc., and in my Manual of Introd. 175, N. 14. Such being the character of the Alexandrine version, it is clearly out of the question to talk of the special recension on which it has been based. As Hgstb. Christol. ii. p. 461 justly says: "Where it is notorious that the rule is carelessness, ignorance, arbitrariness, and utterly defective notions as to what the translator's province is, then surely those conclusions are beside the mark that take the contrary of all this for granted." None of those who maintain the theory that the Alexandrine translation has been made from a special recension of the Hebrew text, has taken the trouble to investigate the character of that translation with any minuteness, not even Ewald, though he ventures to assert that the mass of slight discrepancies between the lxx and the existing text shows how far the MSS of this book diverged from one another at the time the lxx originated. He also holds that not infrequently the original reading has been preserved in the lxx, though he adds the caveat: "but in very many, or indeed most of these places, the translator has but read and translated too hastily, or again, has simply abbreviated the text arbitrarily." Hence we can only subscribe the judgment passed by Graf at the end of his examination of the Alexandr. translation of the present book: "The proofs of self-confidence

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and arbitrariness on the part of the Alexandrian translator being innumerable, it is impossible to concede any critical authority to his version - or it can hardly be called a translation - or to draw from it conclusions as to a Hebrew text differing in form from that which has been handed down to us."
We must maintain this position against Nägelsbach's attempt to explain, by means of discrepancies amongst the original Hebrew authorities, the different arrangement of the prophecies against foreign nations adopted in the lxx, these being here introduced in Jer 25 between Jer 25:12 and Jer 25:14. For the arguments on which Näg., like Movers and Hitz., lays stress in his dissertations on Jeremiah in Lange's Bibelwerk, p. 13, and in the exposition of Jer 25:12; Jer 27:1; Jer 49:34, and in the introduction to Jer 46-51, are not conclusive, and rest on assumptions that are erroneous and quite illegitimate. In the first place, he finds in Jer 25:12-14, which, like Mov., Hitz., etc., he takes to be a later interpolation (see table below), a proof that the Book against the Nations must have stood in the immediate neighbourhood of Jer 25. To avoid anticipating the exposition, we must here confine ourselves to remarking that the verses adduced give no such proof: for the grounds for this assertion we must refer to the comment. on Jer 25:12-14. But besides, it is proved, he says, that the prophecies against the nations must once have come after Jer 25 and before Jer 27, by the peculiar expression τὰ Αἰλάμ at the end of Jer 25:13 (Septuag.), by the omission of Jer 27:1 in the

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Sept., and by the somewhat unexpected date given at Jer 49:34. Now the date, "in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah," in the heading of the prophecy against Elam, Jer 49:34, found not only in the Masoretic text, but also in the Alexandr. version (where, however, it occurs as a postscript at the end of the prophecy in Jer 26:1), creates a difficulty only if the prophecy be wrongly taken to refer to a conquest of Elam by Nebuchadnezzar. The other two arguments, founded on the τὰ Αἰλαμ of Jer 25:13, and the omission of the heading at Jer 27:1 (Heb.) in the lxx, stand

Differences Between lxx and MT Versification
Septuagint Prophecy Against Masoretic Text
Chapter Jer 25:15. Elam Chapter Jer 49:34
Chapter Jer 26:1 Egypt Chapter Jer 46:1
Chapter Jer 27:1 & Jer 28:1 Babylon Chapter Jer 50:1 & Jer 51:1
Chapter Jer 29:1-7 Philistines Chapter Jer 47:1-7
Chapter 29:7-29 Edom Chapter 49:7-22
Chapter Jer 30:1-5 Ammon Chapter Jer 49:1-6
Chapter Jer 30:6-11 Kedar Chapter Jer 49:28-33
Chapter Jer 30:12-16 Damascus Chapter Jer 49:23-27
Chapter Jer 31:1 Moab Chapter Jer 48:1
Chapter Jer 32:1 Nations Chapter 25:15-38

After which Jeremiah 33-51 of the lxx run parallel with Jeremiah 26-45 of the Masoretic text. and fall with the assumption that the Greek translator adhered closely to the Hebrew text and rendered it with literal accuracy, the very reverse of which is betrayed from one end of the translation to the other. The heading at Jer 27:1, "In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, came this word to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying," coincides word for word with the heading of Jer 26:1, save that in the latter the words "to Jeremiah" do not occur; and this former heading the Greek translator has simply omitted - holding it to be incorrect, since the prophecy belongs to the time of Zedekiah, and is addressed to him. On the other hand, he has appended τὰ Αἰλάμ to the last clause of Jer 25:13, "which Jeremiah prophesied against the nations," taking this clause to be the heading of Jeremiah's prophecies against the nations; this appears from the τὰ Αἰλάμ, manifestly imitated from the ἐπὶ τὰ ἔθνη . His purpose was to make out the following oracle as against Elam; but he omitted from its place the full title of the prophecy against Elam, because it seemed to him unsuitable to have it come immediately after the (in his view) general heading, ἅ ἐπροφήτευσε ̔Ιερεμίας ἐπὶ τὰ ἔθνη, while, however, he introduced it at the end of the prophecy. It is wholly wrong to suppose that the heading at Jer 27:1 of the Hebrew text, omitted in the lxx, is nothing but the postscript to the prophecy against Elam (Jer 26:1 in the lxx and Jer 49:34 in the Heb.); for this postscript runs thus: ἐν ἀρχῇ βασιλεύοντος Σεδεκίου βασιλέως ἐγένετο κ.τ.λ., and is a literal translation of the heading at Jer 49:34 of the Heb. It is from this, and not from Jer 27:1 of the Heb., that the translator has manifestly taken his postscript to the prophecy against

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Elam; and if so, the postscript is, of course, no kind of proof that in the original text used by the Greek translator of the prophecies against the nations stood before Jer 27. The notion we are combating is vitiated, finally, by the fact that it does not in the least explain why these prophecies are in the lxx placed after Jer 25:13, but rather suggests for them a wholly unsuitable position between Jer 26 and Jer 27:1, where they certainly never stood, nor by any possibility ever could have stood. From what has been said it will be seen that we can seek the cause for the transposition of the prophecies against the nations only in the Alexandrian translator's arbitrary mode of handling the Hebrew text.
For the exegetical literature on the subject of Jeremiah's prophecies, see my Introduction to Old Testament, vol. i. p. 332, English translation (Foreign Theological Library). Besides the commentaries there mentioned, there have since appeared: K. H. Graf, der Proph. Jeremia erklärt, Leipz. 1862; and C. W. E. Naegelsbach, der Proph. Jeremia, Theologisch-homiletisch bearbeitet, in J. P. Lange's Bibelwerk, Bielefeld and Leipz. 1868; translated in Dr. Schaff's edition of Lange's Bibelwerk, and published by Messrs. Clark.

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Chap. 1 Edit

Verses 1-3 Edit

Jer 1:1-3 contain the heading to the whole book of the prophecies of Jeremiah. The heading runs thus: "Sayings of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests at Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin, to whom befell the word of Jahveh in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month." The period mentioned in these verses includes the time of Jeremiah's principal labours, while no reference is here made to the work he at a later time wrought amidst the ruins of Judah and in Egypt; this being held to be of but subordinate importance for the theocracy. Similarly, when the names of the kings under whom he laboured are given, the brief reigns of Jehoahaz and of Jehoiachin are omitted, neither reign having lasted over three months. His prophecies are called דברים, words or speeches, as in Jer 36:10; so with the prophecies of Amos, Amo 1:1. More complete information as to the person of the prophet is given by the mention made of his father and of his extraction. The name ירמיהוּ, "Jahveh throws," was in very common use, and is found as the name of many persons; cf. 1Ch 5:24; 1Ch 12:4, 1Ch 12:10, 1Ch 12:13; 2Ki 23:31; Jer 35:3; Neh 10:3; Neh 12:1. Hence we are hardly entitled to explain the name with Hengstb. by Exo 15:1, to the effect that whoever bore it was consecrated to the God who with almighty hand dashes to the ground all His foes, so that in his

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name the nature of our prophet's mission would be held to be set forth. His father Hilkiah is taken by Clem. Alex., Jerome, and some Rabbins, for the high priest of that name who is mentioned in 2Ch 22:4; but without sufficient grounds. For Hilkiah, too, is a name that often occurs; and the high priest is sure to have had his home not in Anathoth, but in Jerusalem. But Jeremiah and his father belonged to the priests who lived in Anathoth, now called Anâta, a town of the priests, lying 1 1/4 hours north of Jerusalem (see on Jos 21:18), in the land, i.e., the tribal territory, of Benjamin. In Jer 1:2 אליו belongs to אשׁר: "to whom befell (to whom came) the word of Jahveh in the days of Josiah, the thirteenth year of his reign." This same year is named by Jeremiah in Jer 25:3 as the beginning of his prophetic labours. ויהי in Jer 1:3 is the continuation of היה in Jer 1:2, and its subject is דבר יהוה: and then (further) it came (to him) in the days of Jehoiakim, the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, etc. In the fifth month of the year named, the eleventh of the reign of Zedekiah, Jerusalem was reduced to ashes by Nebuzar-adan, and its inhabitants carried away to Babylon; cf. Jer 52:12., 2Ki 25:8. Shortly before, King Zedekiah, captured when in flight from the Chaldeans during the siege of Jerusalem, had been deprived of eyesight at Riblah and carried to Babylon in chains. And thus his kingship was at an end, thought the eleventh year of his reign might not be yet quite completed.

Verses 4-5 Edit

The Call and Consecration of Jeremiah to be a Prophet of the Lord. - The investiture of Jeremiah with the prophetic office follows in four acts: the call on the part of the Lord, Jer 1:4-8; Jeremiah's consecration for his calling in Jer 1:9-10; and in two signs, by means of which the Lord assures him of certain success in his work and of powerful support in the exercise of his office (Jer 1:11-19). The call was given by a word of the Lord which came to him in this form: Jer 1:5. "Before I formed thee in the womb I have known thee, and before thou wentest forth from the belly have I consecrated thee, to be prophet to the nations have I set thee. Jer 1:6. Then said I, Ah, Lord Jahveh! behold, I know not how to

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'speak; for I am too young. Jer 1:7. Then said Jahveh to me, Say not, I am too young; but to all to whom I send thee shalt thou go, and all that I command thee shalt thou speak. Jer 1:8. Fear not before them: for I am with thee, to save thee, saith Jahveh. This word came to Jeremiah by means of inspiration, and is neither the product of a reflective musing as to what his calling was to be, nor the outcome of an irresistible impulse, felt within him, to come forward as a prophet. It was a supernatural divine revelation vouchsafed to him, which raised his spiritual life to a state of ecstasy, so that he both recognised the voice of God and felt his lips touched by the hand of God (Jer 1:9). Further, he saw in spirit, one after another, two visions which God interpreted to him as confirmatory tokens of his divine commission (Jer 1:11-19). Jeremiah's appointment to be a prophet for the nations follows upon a decree of God's, fixed before he was conceived or born. God in His counsel has not only foreordained our life and being, but has predetermined before our birth what is to be our calling upon this earth; and He has accordingly so influenced our origin and our growth in the womb, as to prepare us for what we are to become, and for what we are to accomplish on behalf of His kingdom. This is true of all men, but very especially of those who have been chosen by God to be the extraordinary instruments of His grace, whom He has appointed to be instruments for the carrying out of the redemptive schemes of His kingdom; cf. Jer 44:2, Jer 44:24; Jer 49:5; Gal 1:15. Thus Samson was appointed to be a Nazarite from the womb, this having been revealed to his mother before he was conceived, Jdg 13:3. To other men of God such divine predestination was made known for the first time when they were called to that office to which God had chosen them. So was it with our prophet Jeremiah. In such a case a reminder by God of the divine counsel of grace, of old time ordained and provided with means for its accomplishment, should be accepted as an encouragement willingly to take upon one the allotted calling. For the man God has chosen before his birth to a special office in His kingdom He equips with the gifts and graces needed for the exercise of his functions. The three clauses of Jer 1:5 give the three moments whereof the choosing consists: God has chosen him, has consecrated

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him, and has installed him as prophet. The reference of the words "I have known thee," Calvin limited to the office, quasi diceret, priusquam te formarem in utero, destinavi te in hunc usum, nempe ut subires docendi munus in populo meo. Divine knowing is at the same time a singling out; and of this, choosing is the immediate consequence. But the choosing takes place by means of הקדישׁ, sanctifying, i.e., setting apart and consecrating for a special calling, and is completed by institution to the office. "To be prophet for the nations have I set thee" (נתן, ponere, not only appoint, but install). The sense has been briefly put by Calv. thus: (Jer.) fuisse hac lege creatum hominem, ut suo tempore manifestaretur propheta. לנוים, to the nations = for the nations; not for Judah alone, but for the heathen peoples too; cf. Jer 1:10, Jer 25:9, 46ff. The Chethibh אצורך should apparently be read אצוּרך, from צוּר, equivalent to יצר; the root-form צוּר, being warranted by Exo 32:4; 1Ki 7:15, and being often found in Aramaic. It is, however, possible that the Chet. may be only scriptio plena of אצר, a radice יצר, since the scriptio pl. is found elsewhere, e.g., Hos 8:12; Jer 44:17; Eze 21:28, etc.

Verse 6 Edit

The divine call throws Jeremiah into terror. Knowing well his too great weakness for such an office, he exclaims: Ah, Lord Jahveh! I know not how to speak; for I am נער, i.e., young and inexperienced; cf. 1Ki 3:7. This excuse shows that לא יד means something else than לא אישׁ דברים, by which Moses sought to repel God's summons. Moses was not ready of speech, he lacked the gift of utterance; Jeremiah, on the other hand, only thinks himself not yet equal to the task by reason of his youth and want of experience.

Verse 7 Edit

This excuse God holds of no account. As prophet to the nations, Jeremiah was not to make known his own thoughts or human wisdom, but the will and counsel of God which were to be revealed to him. This is signified by the clauses: for to all to whom I send thee, etc. The על belonging to תלך stands for אל, and does not indicate a hostile advance against any one. כל after על is not neuter, but refers to persons, or rather peoples; since to the relative אשׁר in this connection, עליהם is quite a natural completion; cf. Isa 8:12, and Ew. §331, c. Only to those men or peoples is he to go to whom God sends him; and to them

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he is to declare only what God commands him. And so he needs be in no anxiety on this head, that, as a youth, he has no experience in the matter of speaking.

Verse 8 Edit

Just as little needs youthful bashfulness or shy unwillingness to speak before high and mighty personages stand as a hindrance in the way of his accepting God's call. The Lord will be with him, so that he needs have no fear for any man. The suffix in מפניהם refers to all to whom God sends him (Jer 1:7). These, enraged by the threatenings of punishment which he must proclaim to them, will seek to persecute him and put him to death (cf. Jer 1:19); but God promises to rescue him from every distress and danger which the fulfilment of his duties can bring upon him. Yet God does not let the matter cease with this pledge; but, further, He consecrates him to his calling.

Verses 9-10 Edit

Jer 1:9-10The Consecration. - Jer 1:9. "And Jahveh stretched forth His hand, and touched my mouth, and Jahveh said to me, Behold, I put my words into thy mouth. Jer 1:10. Behold, I set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root up and to ruin, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant." In order to assure him by overt act of His support, the Lord gives him a palpable pledge. He stretches out His hand and causes it to touch his mouth (cf. Isa 6:7); while, as explanation of this symbolical act, He adds: I have put my words in thy mouth. The hand is the instrument of making and doing; the touching of Jeremiah's mouth by the hand of God is consequently an emblematical token that God frames in his mouth what he is to speak. It is a tangible pledge of ἔμπνευσις, inspiratio, embodiment of that influence exercised on the human spirit, by means of which the holy men of God speak, being moved by the Holy Ghost, 2Pe 1:21 (Nägelsb.). The act is a real occurrence, taking place not indeed in the earthly, corporeal sphere, but experienced in spirit, and of the nature of ecstasy. By means of it God has consecrated him to be His prophet, and endowed him for the discharge of his duties; He may now entrust him with His commission to the peoples and kingdoms, and set him over them as His prophet who proclaims to them His word. The contents of this proclaiming are indicated in the following infinitive clauses. With the words of the Lord he is to destroy and to build up peoples and

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kingdoms. The word of God is a power that carries out His will, and accomplishes that whereto He sends it, Isa 55:10. Against this power nothing earthly can stand; it is a hammer that breaks rocks in pieces, Jer 23:29. What is here said of the word of Jahveh to be preached by Jeremiah is said of Jahveh Himself in Jer 31:28. Its power is to show itself in two ways, in destroying and in building up. The destroying is not set down as a mere preliminary, but is expressed by means of four different words, whereas the building is given only in two words, and these standing after the four; in order, doubtless, to indicate that the labours of Jeremiah should consist, in the first place and for the most part, in proclaiming judgment upon the nations. The assonant verbs נתשׁ and נתץ are joined to heighten the sense; for the same reason להרוס is added to להאביד, and in the antithesis לנטוע is joined with לבנות.[3]

Verses 11-12 Edit

Jer 1:11-12The Confirmatory Tokens. - The first is given in Jer 1:11 and Jer 1:12 : "And there came to me the word of Jahveh, saying, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, I see an almond rod. Then Jahveh said to me, Thou hast seen aright: for I will keep watch over my word to fulfil it." With the consecration of the prophet to his office are associated two visions, to give him a surety of the divine promise regarding the discharge of the duties imposed on him. First, Jeremiah sees in spirit a rod or twig of an almond tree. God calls his attention to this vision, and interprets it to him as a symbol of the swift fulfilment of His word. The choice of this symbol for the purpose given is suggested by the Hebrew name for the almond tree, שׁקד, the wakeful, the vigilant; because this tree begins to blossom and expand its leaves in January, when the other trees are still in their winter's sleep (florat omnium prima mense Januario, Martio vero poma maturat. Plin. h. n. xvi. 42, and Von Schubert, Reise iii. S. 14), and so of all trees awakes earliest to new life. Without any sufficient reason Graf has combated this meaning for שׁקד, proposing to change שׁקד into שׁקד,

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and, with Aquil., Sym., and Jerome, to translate מקּל שׁקד watchful twig, virga vigilans, i.e., a twig whose eyes are open, whose buds have opened, burst; but he has not even attempted to give any authority for the use of the verb שׁקד for the bursting of buds, much less justified it. In the explanation of this symbol between the words, thou hast seen aright, and the grounding clause, for I will keep watch, there is omitted the intermediate thought: it is indeed a שׁקד. The twig thou hast seen is an emblem of what I shall do; for I will keep watch over my word, will be watchful to fulfil it. This interpretation of the symbol shows besides that מקּל is not here to be taken, as by Kimchi, Vatabl., Seb. Schmidt, Nägelsb., and others, for a stick to beat with, or as a threatening rod of correction. The reasons alleged by Nägelsb. for this view are utterly inconclusive. For his assertion, that מקּל always means a stick, and never a fresh, leafy branch, is proved to be false by Gen 30:37; and the supposed climax found by ancient expositors in the two symbols: rod-boiling caldron, put thus by Jerome: qui noluerint percutiente virga emendari, mittentur in ollam aeneam atque succensam, is forced into the text by a false interpretation of the figure of the seething pot. The figure of the almond rod was meant only to afford to the prophet surety for the speedy and certain fulfilment of the word of God proclaimed by him. It is the second emblem alone that has anything to do with the contents of his preaching.

Verses 13-14 Edit

Jer 1:13-14The Seething Pot. - Jer 1:13. "And there came to me the word of Jahveh for the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said: I see a seething-pot; and it looketh hither from the north. Jer 1:14. Then said Jahveh to me: From the north will trouble break forth upon all inhabitants of the land. Jer 1:15. For, behold, I call to all families of the kingdoms towards the north, saith Jahveh; that they come and set each his throne before the gates of Jerusalem, and against all her walls round about, and against all cities of Judah. Jer 1:16. And I will pronounce judgment against them for all their wickedness, in that they have forsaken me, and have offered odours to other gods, and worshipped the work of their hands." סיר is a large pot or caldron in which can be cooked vegetables or meat for many persons at once;

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cf. 2Ki 4:38., Eze 24:3. נפוּח, fanned, blown upon, used of fire, Ezek. 21:36; Eze 22:20.; then by transference, seething, steaming, since the caldron under which fire is fanned steams, its contents boil; cf. Job 41:12. The פּנים of the pot is the side turned to the spectator (the prophet), the side towards the front. This is turned from the north this way, i.e., set so that its contents will run thence this way. צפונה, properly: towards the north; then, that which lies towards the north, or the northerly direction. In the interpretation of this symbol in Jer 1:14, תּפּתח, assonant to נפוּח, is introduced, just as in Amo 8:2 קיץ is explained by קץ; so that there was no occasion for the conjecture of Houbig. and Graf: תּפּח, it is fanned up; and against this we have Hitzig's objection that the Hophal of נפח never occurs. Equally uncalled for is Hitzig's own conjecture, xaw%pt'f, it will steam, fume, be kindled; while against this we have the fact, that as to xpanf no evidence can be given for the meaning be kindled, and that we have no cases of such a mode of speaking as: the trouble is fuming, steaming up. The Arabian poetical saying: their pot steams or boils, i.e., a war is being prepared by them, is not sufficient to justify such a figure. We hold then תּפּתח for the correct reading, and decline to be led astray by the paraphrastic ἐκκαυθήσεται of the lxx, since תּפּתח gives a suitable sense. It is true, indeed, that פּתח usually means open; but an opening of the caldron by the removal of the lid is not (with Graf) to be thought of. But, again, פּתח has the derived sig. let loose, let off (cf. ,פּתח בּי Isa 14:17), from which there can be no difficulty in inferring for the Niph. the sig. be let loose, and in the case of trouble, calamity: break forth. That which is in the pot runs over as the heat increases, and pours itself on the hearth or ground. If the seething contents of the pot represent disaster, their running over will point to its being let loose, its breaking out. are the inhabitants of the land of Judah, as the interpretation in Jer 1:15 shows. In Jer 1:15 reference to the figure is given up, and the further meaning is given in direct statement. The Lord will call to all families of the kingdoms of the north, and they will come (= that they are to come). The kingdoms of the north are not merely the kingdoms of Syria, but in general those of Upper Asia; since all armies marching

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from the Euphrates towards Palestine entered the land from the north. משׁפּחות, families, are the separate races of nations, hence often used in parallelism with גּוים; cf. Jer 10:25; Nah 3:4. We must not conclude from this explanation of the vision seen that the seething pot symbolizes the Chaldeans themselves or the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar; such a figure would be too unnatural. The seething pot, whose contents boil over, symbolizes the disaster and ruin which the families of the kingdoms of the north will pour out on Judah.
Jer 1:15 is not the precise interpretation of the picture seen, but a direct statement of the afflictions about to fall on the inhabitants of Judah. "They will set each his throne." The representatives of the kingdoms are meant, the kings and generals. To set one's throne (נתן or שׂוּם; cf. Jer 43:10; Jer 49:38) is a figure for the establishing of sovereignty. כּסא, seat or throne, is not the seat of judgment, but the throne of the sovereign; cf. the expression: set the throne upon these stones, Jer 43:10; where a passing of judgment on the stones being out of the question, the only idea is the setting up of dominion, as is put beyond doubt by the parallel clause; to spread out his state carpet upon the stones. "Before the gates of Jerusalem:" not merely in order to besiege the city and occupy the outlets from it (Jerome and others), but to lord it over the city and its inhabitants. If we take the figurative expression in this sense, the further statement fits well into it, and we have no need to take refuge in Hitzig's unnatural view that these clauses are not dependent on נתנוּ וגו' but on וּבאוּ. For the words: they set up their dominion against the calls of Jerusalem, and against all cities of Judah, give the suitable sense, that they will use violence against the walls and cities.

Verse 16 Edit

God holds judgment upon the inhabitants of Judah in this very way, viz., by bringing these nations and permitting them to set up their lordship before the gates of Jerusalem, and against all cities of Judah. The suffix in אותם refers to ישׁבי, Jer 1:14, and אותם stands by later usage for אתּם, as frequently in Jer.; cf. Ew. §264, b. 'דּבּר משׁפּטים את־פ, speak judgment, properly, have a lawsuit with one, an expression peculiar to Jeremiah - cf. Jer 4:12; Jer 12:1; Jer 39:5; Jer 52:9, and 2Ki 25:6 - is in substance equivalent to נשׁפּט את, plead with one, cf. Jer 12:1 with Jer 2:35, Eze 20:35., and

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signifies not only remonstrating against wrong doing, but also the passing of condemnation, and so comprehends trial and sentencing; cf. Jer 39:5; Jer 42:9. "All their wickedness" is more exactly defined in the following relative clauses; it consists in their apostasy from God, and their worship of heathen gods and idols made by themselves; cf. Jer 19:4, 1Ki 11:33, 2Ki 22:17. קטּר, offer odours, cause to rise in smoke, used not of the burning of incense alone, but of all offerings upon the altar, bloody offerings and meat-offerings; hence frequently in parallelism with זבח; cf. Hos 4:13; Hos 11:2, etc. In the Pentateuch the Hiphil is used for this sense. Instead of the plural מעשׂי, many MSS give the singular מעשׂה as the ordinary expression for the productions of the hand, handiwork; cf. Jer 25:6-7, Jer 25:14; Jer 32:30; 2Ki 22:17, etc.; but the plural too is found in Jer 44:8; 2Ch 34:25, and is approved by these passages. The sense is no way affected by this variation.

Verses 17-19 Edit

The interpretation of the symbols is followed by a charge to Jeremiah to address himself stoutly to his duties, and to discharge them fearlessly, together with still further and fuller assurance of powerful divine assistance. "But thou, gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee: be not dismayed before them, lest I dismay thee before them. Jer 1:18. And I, behold I make thee this day a strong city, an iron pillar, a brazen wall against the whole land, the kings of Judah its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. Jer 1:19. They shall strive against thee, but not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith Jahveh, to save thee." To gird up the loins, i.e., to fasten or tuck up with the girdle the long wide garment, in order to make oneself fit and ready for labour, for a journey, or a race (Exo 12:11; 1Ki 18:46; 2Ki 4:29; 2Ki 9:1), or for battle (Job 38:3; Job 40:7). Meaning: equip thyself and arise to preach my words to the inhabitants of the land. In 'אל־תּחת and ' אחתּך לthere is a play on words. The Niph. sig. broken in spirit by terror and anxiety; the Hiph. to throw into terror and anguish. If Jeremiah appears before his adversaries in terror, then he will have cause to be terrified for them; only if by unshaken confidence in the power of the word he preaches in the name of the Lord, will he be able to accomplish anything. Such

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confidence he has reason to cherish, for God will furnish him with the strength necessary for making a stand, will make him strong and not to be vanquished. This is the meaning of the pictorial statement in Jer 1:18. A strong city resists the assaults of the foes; the storm cannot shatter an iron pillar; and walls of brass defy the enemy's missiles. Instead of the plural חמות, the parallel passage Jer 15:20 has the sing. חומת, the plural being used as frequently as the singular to indicate the wall encircling the city; cf. 2Ki 25:10 with 1Ki 3:1; Neh 2:13; Neh 4:1 with Neh 1:3, and Neh 2:17; Neh 4:10. With such invincible power will God equip His prophet "against the whole land," i.e., so that he will be able to hold his own against the whole land. The mention of the component parts of "all the land," i.e., the several classes of the population, is introduced by למלכי, so that "the kings," etc., is to be taken as an apposition to "against all the land." Kings in the plural are mentioned, because the prophet's labours are to extend over several reigns. שׂרים are the chiefs of the people, the heads of families and clans, and officers, civil and military. "The people of the land" is the rest of the population not included in these three classes, elsewhere called men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Jer 17:25; Jer 32:32, and frequently. אליך for עליך; so in Jer 15:20, and often. With the promise in Jer 15:19, cf. Jer 1:8.

I. General Admonitions and Reproofs Belonging to the Time of Josiah - Jeremiah 2-22 Edit

If we compare the six longer discourses in these chapters with the sayings and prophecies gathered together in the other portions of the book, we observe between them this distinction in form and matter, that the former are more general in their character than the latter. Considered as to their form, these last prophecies have, with few exceptions, headings in which we are told both the date of their composition and the circumstances under which they were uttered; while in the headings of these six discourses, if we except the somewhat indefinite notice, "in the days of Josiah" (Jer 3:6), we find nowhere mentioned either their date or the circumstances which led to

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their composition. Again, both the shorter sayings and the lengthier prophecies between Jer 21:1-14 and the end of the book are unmistakeably to be looked upon as prophetic addresses, separately rounded off; but the discourses of our first part give us throughout the impression that they are not discourses delivered before the people, but treatises compiled in writing from the oral addresses of the prophet. As to their matter, too, we cannot fail to notice the difference that, whereas from Jer 21:1-14 onwards the king of Babylon is named as the executor of judgment upon Judah and the nations, in the discourses of Jer 2-20 the enemies who are to execute judgment are nowhere defined, but are only generally described as a powerful and terrible nation coming from the north. And so, in rebuking the idolatry and the prevailing sins of the people, no reference is made to special contemporary events; but there are introduced to a great extent lengthy general animadversions on their moral degeneracy, and reflections on the vanity if idolatry and the nature of true wisdom. From these facts we infer the probable conclusion that these discourses are but comprehensive summaries of the prophet's labours in the days of Josiah. The probability becomes certainty when we perceive that the matters treated in these discourses are arranged according to their subjects. The first discourse (Jer 2:1-3:5) gives, so to speak, the programme of the subjects of all the following discourses: that disloyal defection to idolatry, with which Israel has from of old requited the Lord for His love and faithfulness, brings with it sore chastening judgments. In the second discourse (Jer 3:6-6:30) faithless Judah is shown, in the fall of the ten tribes, what awaits itself in case of stiff-necked persistence in idolatry. In the third (Jer 7-10) is torn from it the support of a vain confidence in the possession of the temple and in the offering of the sacrifices commanded by the law. In the fourth (Jer 11-13) its sins are characterized as a breach of the covenant; and rejection by the Lord is declared to be its punishment. In the fifth (Jer 14-17) the hope is destroyed that the threatened chastisement can be turned aside by intercession. Finally, in the sixth (Jer 18-20) the judgment of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the kingdom of Judah is exhibited in symbolical acts. In this

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arrangement and distribution of what the prophet had to announce to the people in his endeavours to save them, if possible, from destruction, we can recognise a progression from general admonitions and threatenings to more and more definite announcement of coming judgments; and when, on the other hand, we see growing greater and bitterer the prophet's complaints against the hatreds and persecutions he has to endure (cf. Jer 12:1-6; Jer 15:10-11, Jer 15:15-21; Jer 17:14-18; Jer 18:18-23, Jer 18:20), we can gather that the expectation of the people's being saved from impending destruction was growing less and less, that their obduracy was increasing, and that judgment must inevitably come upon them. These complaints of the prophet cease with Jer 20, though later he had much fiercer hatred to endure.
None of these discourses contains any allusions to events that occurred after Josiah's death, or stand in any relation to such events. Hence we believe we are safe in taking them for a digest of the quintessence of Jeremiah's oral preaching in the days of Josiah, and this arranged with reference to the subject-matter. It was by this preaching that Jeremiah sought to give a firm footing to the king's reformatory efforts to restore and inspire new life into the public worship, and to develope the external return to the legal temple worship into an inward conversion to the living God. And it was thus he sought, while the destruction of the kingdom was impending, to save all that would let themselves be saved; knowing as he did that God, in virtue of His unchangeable covenant faithfulness, would sharply chastise His faithless people for its obstinate apostasy from Him, but had not determined to make an utter end of it.

The Love and Faithfulness of the Lord, and Israel's Disloyalty and Idolatry - Jeremiah 2:1-3:5 Edit

The Lord has loved Israel sincerely (Jer 2:2-3), but Israel has fallen from the Lord its God and followed after imaginary gods (Jer 2:4-8); therefore He will yet further punish it for this unparalleled sin (Jer 2:9-19). From of old Israel has been renegade, and has by its idolatry contracted fearful

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guilt, being led not even by afflictions to return to the Lord (Jer 2:20-30); therefore must the Lord chastise (Jer 2:31-37), because they will not repent (Jer 3:1-5). This discourse is of a quite general character; it only sketches the main thoughts which are extended in the following discourses and prophecies concerning Judah. So that by most critics it is held to be the discourse by which Jeremiah inaugurated his ministry; for, as Hitzig puts it, "in its finished completeness it gives the impression of a first-uttered outpouring of the heart, in which are set forth, without restraint, Jahveh's list of grievances against Israel, which has long been running up." It unquestionably contains the chief of the thoughts uttered by the prophet at the beginning of his ministry.

Chap. 2 Edit

Verses 1-3 Edit

Jer 2:1-3 "And then came to me the word of Jahveh, saying: Go and publish in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: I have remembered to thy account the love of thy youth, the lovingness of thy courtship time, thy going after me in the wilderness, in a land unsown. Holy was Israel to the Lord, his first-fruits of the produce: all who would have devoured him brought guilt upon themselves: evil came upon him, is the saying of Jahveh." The Jer 2:2 and Jer 2:3 are not "in a certain sense the text of the following reproof" (Graf), but contain "the main idea which shows the cause of the following rebuke" (Hitz.): The Lord has rewarded the people of Israel with blessings for its love to Him. זכר with ל pers. and accus. rei means: to remember to one's account that it may stand him in good stead afterwards - cf. Neh 5:19; Neh 13:22, Neh 13:31; Psa 98:3; Psa 106:45, etc. - that it may be repaid with evil, Neh 6:14; Neh 13:29; Psa 79:8, etc. The perfect זכרתּי is to be noted, and not inverted into the present. It is a thing completed that is spoken of; what the Lord has done, not what He is going on with. He remembered to the people Israel the love of its youth. חסד, ordinarily, condescending love, graciousness and favour; here, the self-devoting, nestling love of Israel to its God. The youth of Israel is the time of the sojourn in Egypt and of the Exodus thence (Hos 2:17; Hos 11:1); here the latter, as is shown by the following: lovingness of the courtship. The courtship comprises the time from the Exodus out of Egypt till the concluding of the covenant at Sinai (Exo 19:8).

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When the Lord redeemed Israel with a strong hand out of the power of Egypt, He chose it to be His spouse, whom He bare on eagles' wings and brought unto Himself, Exo 19:4. The love of the bride to her Lord and Husband, Israel proved by its following Him as He went before in the wilderness, the land where it is not sown, i.e., followed Him gladly into the parched, barren wilderness. "Thy going after me" is decisive for the question so much debated by commentators, whether חסד and אהבה stand for the love of Israel to its God, or God's love to Israel. The latter view we find so early as Chrysostom, and still in Rosenm. and Graf; but it is entirely overthrown by the לכתּך אחרי, which Chrysost. transforms into ποιῆσας ἐξακολουθῆσαι μου, while Graf takes no notice of it. The reasons, too, which Graf, after the example of Rosenm. and Dathe, brings in support of this and against the only feasible exposition, are altogether valueless. The assertion that the facts forbid us to understand the words of the love of Israel to the Lord, because history represents the Israelites, when vixdum Aegypto egressos, as refractarios et ad aliorum deorum cultum pronos, cannot be supported by a reference to Deu 9:6, Deu 9:24; Isa 48:8; Amo 5:25., Psa 106:7. History knows of no apostasy of Israel from its God and no idolatry of the people during the time from the Exodus out of Egypt till the arrival at Sinai, and of this time alone Jeremiah speaks. All the rebellions of Israel against its God fall within the time after the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai, and during the march from Sinai to Canaan. On the way from Egypt to Sinai the people murmured repeatedly, indeed, against Moses; at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh was pursuing with chariots and horsemen (Exo 14:11.); at Marah, where they were not able to drink the water for bitterness (15:24); in the wilderness of Sin, for lack of bread and meat (Jer 16:2.); and at Massah, for want of water (Jer 17:2.). But in all these cases the murmuring was no apostasy from the Lord, no rebellion against God, but an outburst of timorousness and want of proper trust in God, as is abundantly clear from the fact that in all these cases of distress and trouble God straightway brings help, with the view of strengthening the confidence of the timorous people in the omnipotence of His helping grace.

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Their backsliding from the Lord into heathenism begins with the worship of the golden calf, after the covenant had been entered into at Sinai (Ex 32), ), and is continued in the revolts on the way from Sinai to the borders of Canaan, at Taberah, at Kibroth-hattaavah (Num 11), ), in the desert of Paran at Kadesh (Num 13; 20); ); and each time it was severely punished by the Lord.
Neither are we to conclude, with J. D. Mich., that God interprets the journey through the desert in meliorem partem, and makes no mention of their offences and revolts; nor with Graf, that Jeremiah looks steadily away from all that history tells of the march of the Israelites through the desert, of their discontent and refractoriness, of the golden calf and of Baal Peor, and, idealizing the past as contrasted with the much darker present, keeps in view only the brighter side of the old times. Idealizing of this sort is found neither elsewhere in Jeremiah nor in any other prophet; nor is there anything of the kind in our verse, if we take up rightly the sense of it and the thread of the thought. It becomes necessary so to view it, only if we hold the whole forty years' sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness to be the espousal time, and make the marriage union begin not with the covenanting at Sinai, but with the entrance of Israel into Canaan. Yet more entirely without foundation is the other assertion, that the words rightly given as the sense is, "stand in no connection with the following, since then the point in hand is the people's forgetfulness of the divine benefits, its thanklessness and apostasy, not at all the deliverances wrought by Jahveh in consideration of its former devotedness." For in Jer 2:2 it is plainly enough told how God remembered to the people its love. Israel was so shielded by Him, as His sanctuary, that whoever touched it must pay the penalty. קדשׁ are all gifts consecrated to Jahveh. The Lord has made Israel a holy offering consecrated to Him in this, that He has separated it to Himself for a סגלּה, for a precious possession, and has chosen it to be a holy people: Exo 19:5.; Deu 7:6; Deu 14:2. We can explain from the Torah of offering the further designation of Israel: his first-fruits; the first of the produce of the soil or yield of the land belonged, as קדשׁ, to the Lord: Exo 23:19; Num 8:8, etc. Israel, as the chosen people

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of God, as such a consecrated firstling. Inasmuch as Jahveh is Creator and Lord of the whole world, all the peoples are His possession, the harvest of His creation. But amongst the peoples of the earth He has chosen Israel to Himself for a firstling-people (,ראשׁית הגּוים Amo 6:1), and so pronounced it His sanctuary, not to be profaned by touch. Just as each laic who ate of a firstling consecrated to God incurred guilt, so all who meddled with Israel brought guilt upon their heads. The choice of the verb אכליו is also to be explained from the figure of firstling-offerings. The eating of firstling-fruit is appropriation of it to one's own use. Accordingly, by the eating of the holy people of Jahveh, not merely the killing and destroying of it is to be understood, but all laying of violent hands on it, to make it a prey, and so all injury or oppression of Israel by the heathen nations. The practical meaning of יאשׁמוּ is given by the next clause: mischief came upon them. The verbs יאשׁמוּ and תּבא dna יא are not futures; for we have here to do not with the future, but with what did take place so long as Israel showed the love of the espousal time to Jahveh. Hence rightly Hitz.: "he that would devour it must pay the penalty." An historical proof of this is furnished by the attack of the Amalekites on Israel and its result, Exo 17:8-15.
But Israel did not remain true to its first love; it has forgotten the benefits and blessings of its God, and has fallen away from Him in rebellion.

Verses 4-5 Edit

Jer 2:4-5"Hear the word of Jahveh, house of Jacob, and all families of the house of Israel. Jer 2:5.Thus saith Jahveh, What have your fathers found in me of wrongfulness, that they are gone far from me, and have gone after vanity, and are become vain? Jer 2:6.And they said not, Where is Jahveh that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us in the wilderness, in the land of steppes and of pits, in the land of drought and of the shadow of death, in a land that no one passes through and where no man dwells? Jer 2:7.And I brought you into a land of fruitful fields, to eat its fruit and its goodness: and ye came and defiled my land, and my heritage ye have made an abomination. Jer 2:8.The priests said not, Where is Jahveh? and they that handled the law knew me not: the shepherds fell away from me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and after them that

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profit not are they gone." The rebuke for ungrateful, faithless apostasy is directed against the whole people. The "house of Jacob" is the people of the twelve tribes, and the parallel member, "all families of the house of Israel," is an elucidative apposition. The "fathers" in Jer 2:5 are the ancestors of the now living race onwards from the days of the Judges, when the generation arising after the death of Joshua and his contemporaries forsook the Lord and served the Baals (Jdg 2:10.). עול, perversity, wrongfulness, used also of a single wicked deed in Psa 7:4, the opposite to acting in truth and good faith. Jahveh is a God of faithfulness (אמוּנה); in Him is no iniquity (אין עול), Deu 32:4. The question, what have they found...? is answered in the negative by Jer 2:6. To remove far from me and follow after vanity, is tantamount to forsaking Jahveh and serving the false gods (Baals), Jdg 2:11. הבל, lit., breath, thence emptiness, vanity, is applied so early as the song of Moses, Deu 32:21, to the false gods, as being nonentities. Here, however, the word means not the gods, but the worship of them, as being groundless and vain; bringing no return to him who devotes himself to it, but making him foolish and useless in thought and deed. By the apostle in Rom 1:21 יהבּלוּ is expressed by ἐματαιώ́θησαν. Cf. 2Ki 17:15, where the second hemistich of our verse is applied to the ten tribes.

Verse 6 Edit

They said not, Where is Jahveh? i.e., they have no longer taken any thought of Jahveh; have not recalled His benefits, though they owed to Him all they had become and all they possessed. He has brought them out of Egypt, freed them from the house of bondage (Mic 6:4), and saved them from the oppression of the Pharaohs, meant to extirpate them (Exo 3:7.). He has led them through pathless and inhospitable deserts, miraculously furnished them with bread and water, and protected them from all dangers (Deu 8:15). To show the greatness of His benefits, the wilderness is described as parched unfruitful land, as a land of deadly terrors and dangers. ,ארץ ערבה land of steppes or heaths, corresponds to the land unsown of Jer 2:2. "And of pits," i.e., full of dangerous pits and chasms into which one may stumble unawares. Land of drought, where one may have to pine through thirst. And of the shadow of death: so Sheol is named in Job 10:21

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as being a place of deep darkness; here, the wilderness, as a land of the terrors of death, which surround the traveller with darkness as of death: Isa 8:22; Isa 9:1; Job 16:16. A land through which no one passes, etc., i.e., which offers the traveller neither path nor shelter. Through his frightful desert God has brought His people in safety.

Verses 7-8 Edit

And He has done yet more. He has brought them into a fruitful and well-cultivated land. כּרמל, fruitful fields, the opposite of wilderness, Jer 4:26; Isa 29:17. To eat up its fruit and its good; cf. the enumeration of the fruits and useful products of the land of Canaan, Deu 8:7-9. And this rich and splendid land the ungrateful people have defiled by their sins and vices (cf. Lev 18:24), and idolatry (cf. Eze 36:18); and the heritage of Jahveh they have thus made an abomination, an object of horror. The land of Canaan is called "my heritage," the especial domain of Jahveh, inasmuch as, being the Lord of the earth, He is the possessor of the land and has given it to the Israelites for a possession, yet dwells in the midst of it as its real lord, Num. 25:34. - In Jer 2:8 the complaint briefly given in Jer 2:6 is expanded by an account of the conduct of the higher classes, those who gave its tone to the spirit of the people. The priests, whom God had chosen to be the ministers of His sanctuary, asked not after Him, i.e., sought neither Him nor His sanctuary. They who occupy themselves with the law, who administer the law: these too are the priests as teachers of the law (Mic 3:11), who should instruct the people as to the Lord's claims on them and commandments (Lev 10:11; Deu 33:10). They knew not Jahveh, i.e., they took no note of Him, did not seek to discover what His will and just claims were, so as to instruct the people therein, and press them to keep the law. The shepherds are the civil authorities, princes and kings (cf. Jer 23:1.): those who by their lives set the example to the people, fell away from the Lord; and the prophets, who should have preached God's word, prophesied בּבּעל, by Baal, i.e., inspired by Baal. Baal is here a generic name for all false gods; cf. Jer 23:13. ,לא those who profit not, are the Baals as unreal gods; cf. Isa 44:9; 1Sa 12:21. The utterances as to the various ranks form a climax, as Hitz. rightly remarks. The ministers of public

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worship manifested no desire towards me; those learned in the law took no knowledge of me, of my will, of the contents of the book of the law; the civil powers went the length of rising up against my law; and the prophets fairly fell away to false gods, took inspiration from Baal, the incarnation of the lying spirit.

Verses 9-13 Edit

Such backsliding from God is unexampled and appalling. Jer 2:9. "Therefore will I further contend with you, ad with your children's children will I contend. Jer 2:10. For go over to the islands of the Chittim, and see; and send to Kedar, and observe well, and see if such things have been; Jer 2:11. whether a nation hath changed it gods, which indeed are no gods? but my people hath changed its glory for that which profits not. Jer 2:12. Be horrified, ye heavens, at this, and shudder, and be sore dismayed, saith Jahveh. Jer 2:13. For double evil hath my people done; me have they forsaken, the fountain of living waters, to hew out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, the hold no water."
In the preceding verses the fathers were charged with the backsliding from the Lord; in Jer 2:9 punishment is threatened against the now-living people of Israel, and on their children's children after them. For the people in its successive and even yet future generations constitutes a unity, and in this unity a moral personality. Since the sins of the fathers transmit themselves to the children and remoter descendants, sons and grandsons must pay the penalty of the fathers' guilt, that is, so long as they share the disposition of their ancestors. The conception of this moral unity is at the foundation of the threatening. That the present race persists in the fathers' backsliding from the Lord is clearly expressed in Jer 2:17. In "I will further chide or strive," is intimated implicite that God had chidden already up till now, or even earlier with the fathers. ריב, contend, when said of God, is actual striving or chastening with all kinds of punishment. This must God do as the righteous and holy one; for the sin of the people is an unheard of sin, seen in no other people. "The islands of the Chittim" are the isles and coast lands of the far west, as in Eze 27:6; כּתּים having originally been the name for Cyprus and the city of Cition, see in Gen 10:4. In contrast with these distant western lands, Kedar is

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mentioned as representative of the races of the east. The Kedarenes lived as a pastoral people in the eastern part of the desert between Arabia Petraea and Babylonia; see in Gen 25:13 and Eze 27:21. Peoples in the two opposite regions of the world are individualizingly mentioned instead of all peoples. התבּוננוּ, give good heed, serves to heighten the expression. אם = הןintroduces the indirect question; cf. Ew. §324, c. The unheard of, that which has happened amongst no people, is put interrogatively for rhetorical effect. Has any heathen nation changed its gods, which indeed are not truly gods? No; no heathen nation has done this; but the people of Jahveh, Israel, has exchanged its glory, i.e., the God who made Himself known to it in His glory, for false gods that are of no profit. כּבוד is the glory in which the invisible God manifested His majesty in the world and amidst His people. Cf. the analogous title given to God,נּאון ישׂראל Amo 8:7; Hos 5:5. The exact antithesis to כּבודו would be בּשׁת, cf. Jer 3:24; Jer 11:13; but Jeremiah chose לאto represent the exchange as not advantageous. God showed His glory to the Israelites in the glorious deeds of His omnipotence and grace, like those mentioned in Jer 2:5 and Jer 2:6. The Baals, on the other hand, are not אלהים, but, אלילים nothings, phantoms without a being, that bring no help or profit to their worshippers. Before the sin of Israel is more fully set forth, the prophet calls on heaven to be appalled at it. The heavens are addressed as that part of the creation where the glory of God is most brightly reflected. The rhetorical aim is seen in the piling up of words. חרב, lit., to be parched up, to be deprived of the life-marrow. Israel has committed two crimes: a. It has forsaken Jahveh, the fountain of living water. ,מים חיּיםliving water, i.e., water that originates and nourishes life, is a significant figure for God, with whom is the fountain of life (Psa 36:10), i.e., from whose Spirit all life comes. Fountain of living water (here and Jer 17:13) is synonymous with well of life in Pro 10:11; Pro 13:14; Pro 14:27, Sir. 21:13. b. The other sin is this, that they hew or dig out wells, broken, rent, full of crevices, that hold no water. The delineation keeps to the same figure. The dead gods have no life and can dispense no life, just as wells with rents or fissures hold no water. The two sins, the forsaking of the living God and the seeking out

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of dead gods, cannot really be separated. Man, created by God and for God, cannot live without God. If he forsake the living God, he passes in spite of himself into the service of dead, unreal gods. Forsaking the living God is eo ipso exchanging Him for an imaginary god. The prophet sets the two moments of the apostasy from God side by side, so as to depict to the people with greater fulness of light the enormity of their crime. The fact in Jer 2:11 that no heathen nation changes its gods for others, has its foundation in this, that the gods of the heathen are the creations of men, and that the worship of them is moulded by the carnal-mindedness of sinful man; so that there is less inducement to change, the gods of the different nations being in nature alike. But the true God claims to be worshipped in spirit and in truth, and does not permit the nature and manner of His worship to depend on the fancies of His worshippers; He makes demands upon men that run counter to carnal nature, insisting upon the renunciation of sensual lusts and cravings and the crucifixion of the flesh, and against this corrupt carnal nature rebels. Upon this reason for the fact adduced, Jeremiah does not dwell, but lays stress on the fact itself. This he does with the view of bringing out the distinction, wide as heaven, between the true God and the false gods, to the shaming of the idolatrous people; and in order, at the same time, to scourge the folly of idolatry by giving prominence to the contrast between the glory of God and the nothingness of the idols.

Verses 14-19 Edit

By this double sin Israel has drawn on its own head all the evil that has befallen it. Nevertheless it will not cease its intriguing with the heathen nations. Jer 2:14. "Is Israel a servant? is he a home-born slave? why is he become a booty? Jer 2:15. Against him roared the young lions, let their voice be heard, and made his land a waste; his cities were burnt up void of inhabitants. Jer 2:16. Also the sons of Noph and Tahpanes feed on the crown of thy head. Jer 2:17. Does not this bring it upon thee, thy forsaking Jahveh thy God, at the time when He led thee on the way? Jer 2:18. And now what hast thou to do with the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? and what with the way to Assur, to drink the waters of the river? Jer 2:19. Thy wickedness

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'chastises thee, and thy backslidings punish thee; then know and see that it is evil and bitter to forsake Jahveh thy God, and to have no fear of me, saith the Lord Jahveh of hosts." The thought from Jer 2:14-16 is this: Israel was plundered and abused by the nations like a slave. To characterize such a fate as in direct contradiction to its destiny is the aim of the question: Is Israel a servant? i.e., a slave or a house-born serf. עבד is he who has in any way fallen into slavery, יליד בּיתa slave born in the house of his master. The distinction between these two classes of salves does not consist in the superior value of the servant born in the house by reason of his attachment to the house. This peculiarity is not here thought of, but only the circumstance that the son of a salve, born in the house, remained a slave without any prospect of being set free; while the man who has been forced into slavery by one of the vicissitudes of life might hope again to acquire his freedom by some favourable turn of circumstances. Another failure is the attempt of Hitz. to interpret עבד as servant of Jahveh, worshipper of the true God; for this interpretation, even if we take no account of all the other arguments that make against it, is rendered impossible by .יליד That expression never means the son of the house, but by unfailing usage the slave born in the house of his master. Now the people of Israel had not been born as serf in the land of Jahveh, but had become עבד, i.e., slave, in Egypt (Deu 5:15); but Jahveh has redeemed it from this bondage and made it His people. The questions suppose a state of affairs that did not exist. This is shown by the next question, one expressing wonder: Why then is he it become a prey? Slaves are treated as a prey, but Israel was no slave; why then has such treatment fallen to his lot? Propheta per admirationem quasi de re nova et absurda sciscitatur. An servus est Israel? atqui erat liber prae cunctis gentibus, erat enim filius primogenitus Dei; necesse est igitur quaerere aliam causam, cur adeo miser sit (Calv.). Cf. the similar turn of the thought in Jer 2:31. How Israel became a prey is shown in Jer 2:15 and Jer 2:16. These verses do not treat of future events, but of what has already happened, and, according to Jer 2:18 and Jer 2:19, will still continue. The imperff. ישׁאגוּ and ירעוּך alternate consequently with the perff. נתנוּ and נצּתה,

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and are governed by היה לבז, so that they are utterances regarding events of the past, which have been and are still repeated. Lions are a figure that frequently stands for enemies thirsting for plunder, who burst in upon a people or land; cf. Mic 5:7; Isa 5:29, etc. Roared עליו, against him, not, over him: the lion roars when he is about to rush upon his prey, Amo 3:4, Amo 3:8; Psa 104:21; Jdg 14:5; when he has pounced upon it he growls or grumbles over it; cf. Isa 31:4. - In Jer 2:15 the figurative manner passes into plain statement. They made his land a waste; cf. Jer 4:7; Jer 18:16, etc., where instead of שׁית we have the more ordinary שׂוּם. The Cheth. נצּתה from יצת, not from the Ethiop. נצה (Graf, Hitz.), is to be retained; the Keri here, as in Jer 22:6, is an unnecessary correction; cf. Ew. §317, a. In this delineation Jeremiah has in his eye chiefly the land of the ten tribes, which had been ravaged and depopulated by the Assyrians, even although Judah had often suffered partial devastations by enemies; cf. 1Ki 14:25.

Verse 16 Edit

Israel has had to submit to spoliation at the hands of the Egyptians too. The present reference to the Egyptians is explained by the circumstances of the prophet's times-from the fact, namely, that just as Israel and Judah had sought the help of Egypt against the Assyrians (cf. Hos 7:11; 2Ki 17:4, and Isa 30:1-5) in the time of Hezekiah, so now in Jeremiah's times Judah was expecting and seeking help from the same quarter against the advancing power of the Chaldeans; cf. Jer 37:7. Noph and Tahpanes are two former capitals of Egypt, here put as representing the kingdom of the Pharaohs. nop נף, in Hos 9:6 mop מף contracted from מנף, Manoph or Menoph, is Memphis, the old metropolis of Lower Egypt, made by Psammetichus the capital of the whole kingdom. Its ruins lie on the western bank of the Nile, to the south of Old Cairo, close by the present village of Mitrahenny, which is built amongst the ruins; cf. Brugsch Reiseberichte aus Egypten, §60ff., and the remarks on Hos 9:6 and Isa 19:13. תחפנס, elsewhere spelt as here in the Keri תּחפּנחס - cf. Jer 43:7., Jer 44:1; Jer 46:14, Eze 30:18 -was a strong border city on the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, called by the Greeks Δάφναι (Herod. ii. 20), by the lxx Τάφναι; see in Eze 30:18. A part of the Jews who had

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remained in the land fled hither after the destruction of Jerusalem, Jer 43:7. ,ירעוּך קדקד feed upon thy crown (lit., feed on thee in respect of thy crown), is a trope for ignominious devastation; for to shave one bald is a token of disgrace and sorrow, cf. Jer 47:5; Jer 48:37, Isa 3:17; and with this Israel is threatened in Isa 7:20. רעה, to eat up by grazing, as in Job 20:26 and Job 24:21; in the latter passage in the sense of depopulari. We must then reject the conjectures of J. D. Mich., Hitz., and others, suggesting the sense: crush thy head for thee; a sense not at all suitable, since crushing the head would signify the utter destruction of Israel. - The land of Israel is personified as a woman, as is shown by the fem. suffix in ירעוּך. Like a land closely cropped by herds, so is Israel by the Egyptians. In Jer 6:3 also the enemies are represented as shepherds coming with their flocks against Jerusalem, and pitching their tents round about the city, while each flock crops its portion of ground. In Jer 12:10 shepherds lay the vineyard waste.

Verses 17-19 Edit

In Jer 2:17 the question as to the cause of the evil is answered. זאת is the above-mentioned evil, that Israel had become a prey to the foe. This thy forsaking of Jahveh makes or prepares for thee. תּעשׂה is neuter; the infin. עזבך is the subject of the clause, and it is construed as a neuter, as in 1Sa 18:23. The fact that thou hast forsaken Jahveh thy God has brought this evil on thee. At the time when He led thee on the way. The participle מוליך is subordinated to עת in the stat. constr. as a partic. standing for the praeterit. durans; cf. Ew. §337, c. בּדּרך is understood by Ros. and Hitz. of the right way (Psa 25:8); but in this they forget that this acceptation is incompatible with the בּעת, which circumscribes the leading within a definite time. God will lead His people on the right way at all times. The way on which He led them at the particular time is the way through the Arabian desert, cf. Jer 2:6, and בּדּרך is to be understood as in Deu 1:33; Exo 18:8; Exo 23:20, etc. Even thus early their fathers forsook the Lord: At Sinai, by the worship of the golden calf; then when the people rose against Moses and Aaron in the desert of Paran, called a rejecting (נאץ) of Jahveh in Num 14:11; and at Shittim, where Israel joined himself to Baal Peor, Num 25:1-3. The forsaking of

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Jahveh is not to be limited to direct idolatry, but comprehends also the seeking of help from the heathen; this is shown by the following 18th verse, in which the reproaches are extended to the present bearing of the people. ' מה־לּך לדרך וגו, lit., what is to thee in reference to the way of Egypt (for the expression, see Hos 14:9), i.e., what hast thou to do with the way of Egypt? Why dost thou arise to go into Egypt, to drink the water of the Nile? שׁחור, the black, turbid stream, is a name for the Nile, taken from its dark-grey or black mud. The Nile is the life-giving artery of Egypt, on whose fertilizing waters the fruitfulness and the prosperity of the country depend. To drink the waters of the Nile is as much as to say to procure for oneself the sources of Egypt's life, to make the power of Egypt useful to oneself. Analogous to this is the drinking the waters of the river, i.e., the Euphrates. What is meant is seeking help from Egyptians and Assyrians. The water of the Nile and of the Euphrates was to be made to furnish them with that which the fountain of living water, i.e., Jahveh (Jer 2:14), supplied to them. This is an old sin, and with it Israel of the ten tribes is upbraided by Hosea (Hos 7:11; Hos 12:2). From this we are not to infer "that here we have nothing to do with the present, since the existing Israel, Judah, was surely no longer a suitor for the assistance of Assyria, already grown powerless" (Hitz.). The limitation of the reproach solely to the past is irreconcilable with the terms of the verse and with the context (Jer 2:19). מה־לּך לדרךcannot grammatically be translated: What hadst thou to do with the way; just as little can we make תּיסּרך hath chastised thee, since the following: know and see, is then utterly unsuitable to it. תּיסּרך and תּוכיחך are not futures, but imperfects, i.e., expressing what is wont to happen over again in each similar case; and so to be expressed in English by the present: thy wickedness, i.e., thy wicked work, chastises thee. The wickedness was shown in forsaking Jahveh, in the משׁבות, backslidings, the repeated defection from the living God; cf. Jer 3:22; Jer 5:6; Jer 14:7. As to the fact, we have no historical evidence that under Josiah political alliance with Egypt or Assyria was compassed; but even if no formal negotiations took place, the country was certainly even then not without a party to build its hopes on one or other of

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the great powers between which Judah lay, whenever a conflict arose with either of them. - וּדעי, with the Vav of consecution (see Ew. §347, a): Know then, and at last comprehend, that forsaking the Lord thy God is evil and bitter, i.e., bears evil and bitter fruit, prepares bitter misery for thee. "To have no fear of me" corresponds "to forsake," lit., thy forsaking, as second subject; lit.,: and the no fear of me in thee, i.e., the fact that thou hast no awe of me. פּחדּתי, awe of me, like פּחדּך in Deu 2:25.

Verses 20-25 Edit

All along Israel has been refractory; it cannot and will not cease from idolatry. Jer 2:20. "For of old time thou hast broken thy yoke, torn off thy bands; and hast said: I will not serve; but upon every high hill, and under every green tree, thou stretchedst thyself as a harlot. Jer 2:21. And I have planted thee a noble vine, all of genuine stock: and how hast thou changed thyself to me into the bastards of a strange vine? Jer 2:22. Even though thou washedst thee with natron and tookest much soap, filthy remains thy guilt before me, saith the Lord Jahveh. Jer 2:23. How canst thou say, I have not defiled me, after the Baals have I not gone? See thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done-thou lightfooted camel filly, entangling her says. Jer 2:24. A wild she-ass used to the wilderness, that in her lust panteth for air; her heat, who shall restrain it? all that seek her run themselves weary; in her month they will find her. Jer 2:25. Keep thy foot from going barefoot, and thy throat from thirst; but thou sayest, It is useless; no; for I have loved strangers, and after them I go." Jer 2:20. מעולם, from eternity, i.e., from immemorial antiquity, has Israel broken the yoke of the divine law laid on it, and torn asunder the bands of decency and order which the commands of God, the ordinances of the Torah, put on, to nurture it to be a holy people of the Lord; torn them as an untamed bullock (Jer 31:18) or a stubborn cow, Hos 4:16. מוסרות, bands, are not the bands or cords of love with which God drew Israel, Hos 11:4 (Graf), but the commands of God whose part it was to keep life within the bounds of purity, and to hold the people back from running riot in idolatry. On this head see Jer 5:5; and for the expression, Psa 2:3. The Masoretes have taken שׁברתי and נתקתי for the 1st person,

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pointing accordingly, and for אעבוד, as unsuitable to this, they have substituted אעבור. Ewald has decided in favour of these readings; but he is thus compelled to tear the verse to pieces and to hold the text to be defective, since the words from ותּאמרי onwards are not in keeping with what precedes. Even if we translate: I offend transgress not, the thought does not adapt itself well to the preceding; I have of old time broken thy yoke, etc.; nor can we easily reconcile with it the grounding clause; for on every high hill,...thou layest a whoring, where Ew. is compelled to force on כּי the adversative sig. Most commentators, following the example of the lxx and Vulg., have taken the two verbs for 2nd person; and thus is maintained the simple and natural thought that Israel has broken the yoke laid on it by God, renounced allegiance to Him, and practised idolatry on every hand. The spelling ,נתּקתּי ,שׁברתּי i.e., the formation of the 2nd pers. perf. with y, is frequently found in Jer.; cf. Jer 2:33; Jer 3:4; Jer 4:19; Jer 13:21, etc. It is really the fuller original spelling tiy which has been preserved in Aramaic, though seldom found in Hebrew; in Jer. it must be accounted an Aramaism; cf. Ew. §190, c; Gesen. §44, 2, Rem. 4. With the last clause, on every high hill, etc., cf. Hos 4:13 and Eze 6:13 with the comm. on Deu 12:2. Stretchest thyself as a harlot or a whoring, is a vivid description of idolatry. צעה, bend oneself, lie down ad coitum, like κατακλίνεσθαι, inclinari.

Verse 21 Edit

In this whoring with the false gods, Israel shows its utter corruption. I have planted thee a noble vine; not, with noble vines, as we translate in Isa 5:2, where Israel is compared to a vineyard. Here Israel is compared to the vine itself, a vine which Jahveh has planted; cf. Psa 80:9; Hos 10:1. This vine was all (כּלּה, in its entirety, referred to שׂורק, as collect.) genuine seed; a proper shoot which could bear good grapes (cf. Eze 17:5); children of Abraham, as they are described in Gen 18:19. But how has this Israel changed itself to me (לי, dativ. incommodi) into bastards! סוּרי is accus., dependent on נהפכתּ; for this constr. cf. Lev 13:25; Psa 114:8. סוּרים sig. not shoots or twigs, but degenerate sprouts or suckers. The article in הגּפן is generic: wild shoots of the species of the wild vine; but this is not the first determining word; cf. for this

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exposition of the article Jer 13:4; 2Sa 12:30, etc., Ew. §290, a3); and for the omission of the article with נכריּה, cf. Ew. §293, a. Thus are removed the grammatical difficulties that led Hitz. to take ' סוּרי וגוquite unnaturally as vocative, and Graf to alter the text. "A strange vine" is an interloping vine, not of the true, genuine stock planted by Jahveh (Jer 2:10), and which bears poisonous berries of gall. Deu 32:32.

Verse 22 Edit

Though thou adoptedst the most powerful means of purification, yet couldst thou not purify thyself from the defilement of thy sins. נתר, natron, is mineral, and בּרית vegetable alkali. נכתּם introduces the apodosis; and by the participle a lasting condition is expressed. This word, occurring only here in the O.T., sig. in Aram. to be stained, filthy, a sense here very suitable. לפני, before me, i.e., before my eyes, the defilement of thy sins cannot be wiped out. On this head see Isa 1:18; Psa 51:4, Psa 51:9.

Verse 23 Edit

And yet Judah professes to be pure and upright before God. This plea Jeremiah meets by pointing to the open practising of idolatrous worship. The people of Judah personified as a woman - זונה in Jer 2:20 - is addressed. איך is a question expressing astonishment. נדמאתי, of defilement by idolatry, as is shown by the next explanatory clause: the Baals I have not followed. בּעלים is used generically for strange gods, Jer 1:16. The public worship of Baal had been practised in the kingdom of Judah under Joram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah only, and had been extirpated by Jehu, 2Ki 10:18. Idolatry became again rampant under Ahaz (by his instigation), Manasseh, and Amon, and in the first year of Josiah's reign. Josiah began to restore the worship of Jahveh in the twelfth year of his reign; but it was not till the eighteenth that he was able to complete the reformation of the public services. There is then no difficulty in the way of our assuming that there was yet public worship of idols in Judah during the first five years of Jeremiah's labours. We must not, however, refer the prophet's words to this alone. The following of Baal by the people was not put an end to when the altars and images were demolished; for this was sufficient neither to banish from the hearts of the people the proneness to idolatry, nor utterly to suppress the secret practising of it. The answer to the protestation of the people, blinded in self-righteousness, shows,

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further, that the grosser publicly practised forms had not yet disappeared. "See thy way in the valley." Way, i.e., doing and practising. בּגּיא with the article must be some valley known for superstitions cultivated there; most commentators suggest rightly the valley of Ben or Bne-Hinnom to the south of Jerusalem, where children were offered to Moloch; see on Jer 7:31. The next words, "and know what thou hast done," do not, taken by themselves, imply that this form of idol-worship was yet to be met with, but only that the people had not yet purified themselves from it. If, however, we take them in connection with what follows, they certainly do imply the continued existence of practices of that sort. The prophet remonstrates with the people for its passionate devotion to idolatry by comparing it to irrational animals, which in their season of heat yield themselves to their instinct. The comparison gains in pointedness by his addressing the people as a camel-filly and a wild she-ass. 'בּכרה is vocative, co-ordinate with the subject of address, and means the young filly of the camel. קלּה, running lightly, nimbly, swiftly. 'משׂרכת דר, intertwining, i.e., crossing her says; rushing right and left on the paths during the season of heat. Thus Israel ran now after one god, now after another, deviating to the right and to the left from the path prescribed by the law, Deu 28:14. To delineate yet more sharply the unruly passionateness with which the people rioted in idolatry, there is added the figure of a wild ass running herself weary in her heat. Hitz. holds the comparison to be so managed that the figure of the she-camel is adhered to, and that this creature is compared to a wild ass only in respect of its panting for air. But this view could be well founded only if the Keri נפשׁהּ were the original reading. Then we might read the words thus: (like) a wild ass used to the wilderness she (the she-camel) pants in the heat of her soul for air. But this is incompatible with the Cheth. נפשׁו, since the suffix points back to פּרה, and requires בּאוּת נפשׁו to be joined with 'פּרה ל, so that שׁאפה must be spoken of the latter. Besides, taken on its own account, it is a very unnatural hypothesis that the behaviour of the she-camel should be itself compared to the gasping of the wild ass for breath; for the camel is only a figure of the people, and Jer 2:24 is meant to exhibit the unbridled

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ardour, not of the camel, but of the people. So that with the rest of the comm. we take the wild ass to be a second figure for the people. פּרה differs only orthographically from פּרא, the usual form of the word, and which many codd. have here. This is the wood ass, or rather wild ass, since the creature lives on steppes, not in woods. It is of a yellowish colour, with a white belly, and forms a kind of link between the deer species and the ass; by reason of its arrow-like speed not easily caught, and untameable. Thus it is used as an emblem of boundless love of freedom, Gen 16:12, and of unbridled licentiousness, see on Job 24:5 and Job 39:5. פּרהas nom. epicaen. has the adj. next it, למּד ,ti t, in the masc., and so too in the apposition בּאוּת נפשׁו; the fem. appears first in the statement as to its behaviour, שׁאפה: she pants for air to cool the glow of heat within. תּאנה sig. neither copulation, from אנה, approach (Dietr.), nor aestus libidinosus (Schroed., Ros.). The sig. approach, meet, attributed to אנה, Dietr. grounds upon the Ags. gelimpan, to be convenient, opportune; and the sig. slow is derived from the fact that Arab. ̀ny is used of the boiling of water. The root meaning of אנה, Arab. ̀ny, is, according to Fleischer, tempestivus fuit, and the root indicates generally any effort after the attainment of the aim of a thing, or impulse; from which come all the meanings ascribed to the word, and for תּאנה in the text before us the sig. heat, i.e., the animal instinct impelling to the satisfaction of sexual cravings.

Verses 24-25 Edit

In Jer 2:24 בּחדשׁהּ is variously interpreted. Thus much is beyond all doubt, that the words are still a part of the figure, i.e., of the comparison between the idolatrous people and the wild ass. The use of the 3rd person stands in the way of the direct reference of the words to Israel, since in what precedes and in what follows Israel is addressed (in 2nd pers.). חדשׁ can thus mean neither the new moon as a feast (L. de Dieu, Chr. B. Mich.), still less tempus menstruum (Jerome, etc.), but month; and the suffix in הדשׁהּ is to be referred, not with Hitz. to תּאנתהּ, but to פּרה. The suffixes in מבקשׁיה and ימצאוּנה absolutely demand this. "Her month" is the month appointed for the gratification of the wild ass's natural impulse, i.e., as Bochart rightly explains it (Hieroz. ii. p. 230, ed. Ros.)

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mensis quo solent sylvestres asinae maris appetitu fervere. The meaning of the comparison is this: the false gods do not need anxiously to court the favour of the people; in its unbridled desires it gives itself up to them; cf. Jer 3:2; Hos 2:7, Hos 2:15. With this is suitably coupled the warning of Jer 2:25 : hold back, i.e., keep thy foot from getting bare (יהף is subst. not adjective, which would have had to be fem., since רגל is fem.), and thy throat from thirst, viz., by reason of the fever of running after the idols. This admonition God addresses by the prophet to the people. It is not to wear the sandals off its feet by running after amours, nor so to heat its throat as to become thirsty. Hitz. proposes unsuitably, because in the face of the context, to connect the going barefoot with the visiting of the sanctuary, and the thirsting of the throat (1Ki 18:26) with incessant calling on the gods. The answer of the people to this admonition shows clearly that it has been receiving an advice against running after the gods. The Chet. וגורנך is evidently a copyists's error for וּגרונך. The people replies: נואשׁ, desperatum (est), i.e., hopeless; thy advice of all in vain; cf. Jer 18:12, and on Isa 57:10. The meaning is made clearer by לוא: no; for I love the aliens, etc. זרים are not merely strange gods, but also strange peoples. Although idolatry is the matter chiefly in hand, yet it was so bound up with intriguing for the favour of the heathen nations that we cannot exclude from the words some reference to this also.

Verses 26-28 Edit

And yet idolatry brings to the people only disgrace, giving no help in the time of need. Jer 2:26. "As a thief is shamed when he is taken, so is the house of Israel put to shame; they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets. Jer 2:27. Because they say to the wood, Thou art my father; and to the stone, Thou hast borne me: for they have turned to me the back and not the face; but in the time of their trouble they say, Arise, and help us. Jer 2:28. Where then are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can help thee in the time of thy trouble; for as many as are thy cities, so many are thy gods, Judah." The thought in Jer 2:26 and Jer 2:27 is this, Israel reaps from its idolatry but shame, as the thief from stealing when he is caught in the act. The comparison in Jer 2:26 contains a universal truth of force at all times. The perf. הובישׁוּ is the timeless expression

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of certainty (Hitz.), and refers to the past as well as to the future. Just as already in past time, so also in the future, idolatry brings but shame and confusion by the frustration of the hopes placed in the false gods. The "house of Israel" is all Israel collectively, and not merely the kingdom of the ten tribes. To give the greater emphasis to the reproaches, the leading ranks are mentioned one by one. אמרים, not: who say, but because (since) they say to the wood, etc., i.e., because they hold images of wood and stone for the gods to whom they owe life and being; whereas Jahveh alone is their Creator or Father and Genitor, Deu 32:6, Deu 32:18; Isa 64:7; Mal 2:10. אבן is fem., and thus is put for mother. The Keri ילדתּנוּ is suggested solely by the preceding אמרים, while the Chet. is correct, and is to be read ילדתּני, inasmuch as each one severally speaks thus. - With "for they have turned" follows the reason of the statement that Israel will reap only shame from its idolatry. To the living God who has power to help them they turn their back; but when distress comes upon them they cry to Him for help (קוּמה והושׁיענוּ as in Psa 3:8). But then God will send the people to their gods (idols); then will it discover they will not help, for all so great as their number is. The last clause of Jer 2:28 runs literally: the number of thy cities are thy gods become, i.e., so great is the number of thy gods; cf. Jer 11:13. Judah is here directly addressed, so that the people of Judah may not take for granted that what has been said is of force for the ten tribes only. On the contrary, Judah will experience the same as Israel of the ten tribes did when disaster broke over it.

Verses 29-32 Edit

Judah has refused to let itself be turned from idolatry either by judgments or by the warnings of the prophets; nevertheless it holds itself guiltless, and believes itself able to turn aside judgment by means of its intrigues with Egypt. Jer 2:29. "Wherefore contend ye against me? ye are all fallen away from me, saith Jahveh. Jer 2:30. In vain have I smitten your sons; correction have they not taken: your sword hath devoured your prophets, like a devouring lion. Jer 2:31. O race that ye are, mark the word of Jahveh. Was I a wilderness to Israel, or a land of dread darkness? Why saith my people, We wander about, come no more to thee? Jer 2:32.

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Does a maiden forget her ornaments, a bride her girdle? but my people hath forgotten me days without number. Jer 2:33. How finely thou trimmest thy ways to seek love! therefore to misdeeds thou accustomest thy ways. Jer 2:34. Even in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor ones; not at housebreaking hast thou caught them, but by reason of all this. Jer 2:35. And thou sayest, I am innocent, yea His wrath hath turned from me: behold, I will plead at law with thee for that thou hast said, I have not sinned. Jer 2:36. Why runnest thou so hard to change thy way? for Egypt too thou shalt come to shame, as thou wast put to shame for Asshur. Jer 2:37. From this also shalt thou come forth, beating thy hands upon thy head; for Jahveh rejecteth those in whom thou trustest, and thou shalt not prosper with them." The question in Jer 2:29, Wherefore contend ye against me? implies that the people contended with God as to His visitations, murmured at the divine chastisements they had met with; not as to the reproaches addressed to them on account of their idolatry (Hitz., Graf). ריב with אל, contend, dispute against, is used of the murmuring of men against divine visitations, Jer 12:1; Job 33:13. Judah has no ground for discontent with the Lord; for they have all fallen away from Him, and (Jer 2:31) let themselves be turned to repentance neither by afflictions, nor by warnings, nor by God's goodness to them. לשּׁוא, to vanity, i.e., without effect, or in vain. Hitz. and Graf wish to refer "your sons" to the able-bodied youth who had at different times been slain by Jahveh in war. The lxx seem to have taken it thus, expression לקחוּ by ἐδέξασθε; for the third pers. of the verb will not agree with this acceptation of "your sons," since the reproach of not having taken correction could not apply to such as had fallen in war, but only to those who had escaped. This view is unquestionably incorrect, because, as Hitz. admits the subject, those addressed in לקחוּ, must be the people. Hence it follows of necessity that in בּניכם too the people is meant. The expression is similar to בּני עמּך, Lev 19:18, and is used for the members of the nation, those who constitute the people; or rather it is like בּני יהוּדה, Joe 3:6, where Judah is looked on by the prophet as a unity, where sons are the members of the people. הכּה, too, is not to be limited

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to those smitten or slain in war. It is used of all the judgments with which God visits His people, of sword, pestilence, famine, failure of crops, drought, and of all kinds of diseases; cf. Lev 26:24., Deu 28:22, Deu 28:27. מוּסר is instruction by word and by warning, as well as correction by chastisement. Most comm. take the not receiving of correction to refer to divine punitive visitations, and to mean refusal to amend after such warning; Ros., on the other hand, holds the reference to be to the warnings and reproofs of the prophets (מוּסר( stehpohic instructionem valet, ut Pro 5:12, Pro 5:23 cet.). But both these references are one-sided. If we refer "correction have they not taken" to divine chastisement by means of judgments, there will be no connection between this and the following clause: your sword devoured your prophets; and we are hindered from restraining the reference wholly to the admonitions and rebukes of the prophets by the close connection of the words with the first part of the verse, a connection indicated by the omission of all particles of transition. We must combine the two references, and understand מוּסר both of the rebukes or warnings of the prophets and of the chastisements of God, holding at the same time that it was the correction of the people by the prophets that Jer. here chiefly kept in view. In administering this correction the prophets not only applied to the hearts of the people as judgments from God all the ills that fell upon them, but declared to the stiff-necked sinners the punishments of God, and by their words showed those punishments to be impending: e.g., Elijah, 1 Kings 17 and 18, 2Ki 1:9.; Elisha, 2Ki 2:23; the prophet at Bethel, 1Ki 13:4. Thus this portion of the verse acquires a meaning for itself, which simplifies the transition from the first to the third clause, and we gain the following thought: I visited you with punishments, and made you to be instructed and reproved by prophets, but ye have slain the prophets who were sent to you. Nehemiah puts it so in Neh 9:26; but Jeremiah uses a much stronger expression, Your sword devoured your prophets like a lion which destroys, in order to set full before the sinners' eyes the savage hatred of the idolatrous people against the prophets of God. Historical examples of this are furnished by 1Ki 18:4, 1Ki 18:13; 1Ki 19:10; 2Ch 24:21., 2Ki 21:16;

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Jer 26:23.
The prophet's indignation grows hotter as he brings into view God's treatment of the apostate race, and sets before it, to its shame, the divine long-suffering and love. הדּור, O generation ye! English: O generation that ye are! (cf. Ew. §327, a), is the cry of indignation; cf. Deu 32:5, where Moses calls the people a perverse foolish generation. ראוּ: see, observe, give heed to the word of the Lord. This verb is often used of perceptions by any sense, as expressive of that sense by which men apprehend most of the things belonging to the outward world. Have I been for Israel a wilderness, i.e., an unfruitful soil, offering neither means of support nor shelter? This question contains a litotes, and is as much as to say: have not I richly blessed Israel with earthly goods? Or a land of dread darkness? מאפּליה, lit., a darkness sent by Jahveh; cf. the analogous form שׁלהבתיה, Sol 8:6.[4]
The desert is so called not merely because it is pathless (Job 3:23), but as a land in which the traveller is on all sides surrounded by deadly dangers; cf. Jer 2:6 and Psa 55:5. Why then will His people insist on being quit of Him? We roam about unfettered (as to רוּד, see on Hos 12:1), i.e., we will no longer bear the yoke of His law; cf. Jer 2:20. By a comparison breathing love and longing sadness, the prophet seeks to bring home to the heart of the people a feeling of the unnaturalness of their behaviour towards the Lord their God. Does a bride, then, forget her ornaments? etc. קשׁרים, found besides in Isa 3:20, is the ornamental girdle with which the bride adorns herself on the wedding-day; cf. Isa 3:20 with Isa 49:18. God is His people's best adornment; to Him it owes all the precious possessions it has. It should keep fast hold of Him as its most priceless treasure, should prize Him more highly than the virgin her jewels, than the bride her girdle. but instead of this it has forgotten its God, and that not for a brief time, but throughout

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countless days. ימים is accus. of duration of time. Jeremiah uses this figure besides, as Calv. observed, to pave the way for what comes next. Volebat enim Judaeos conferre mulieribus adulteris, quae dum feruntur effreni sua libidine, rapiuntur post suos vagos amores.

Verses 33-34 Edit

In Jer 2:33 the style of address is ironical. How good thou makest thy way! i.e., how well thou knowest to choose out and follow the right way to seek love. היטיב דּרך sig. usually: strive after a good walk and conversation; cf. Jer 7:3, Jer 7:5; Jer 18:11, etc.; here, on the other hand, to take the right way for gaining the end in view. "Love" here is seen from the context to be love to the idols, intrigues with the heathen and their gods. Seek love = strive to gain the love of the false gods. To attain this end thou hast taught thy ways misdeeds, i.e., accustomed thy ways to misdeeds, forsaken the commandments of thy God which demand righteousness and the purifying of one's life, and accommodated thyself to the immoral practices of the heathen. הרעות, with the article as in Jer 3:5, the evil deeds which are undisguisedly visible; not: the evils, the misfortunes which follow thee closely, as Hitz. interprets in the face of the context. For in Jer 2:34 we have indisputable evidence that the matter in hand is not evils and misfortunes, but evil deeds or misdemeanours; since there the cleaving of the blood of innocent souls to the hems of the garments is mentioned as one of the basest "evils," and as such is introduced by the גּם of gradation. The "blood of souls" is the blood of innocent murdered men, which clings to the skirts of the murderers' clothes. כּנפים are the skirts of the flowing garment, Eze 5:3; 1Sa 15:27; Zec 8:23. The plural נמצאוּ before דּם is explained by the fact that נפשׁות is the principal idea. אביונים are not merely those who live in straitened circumstances, but pious oppressed ones as contrasted with powerful transgressors and oppressors; cf. Ps. 40:18; Psa 72:13., Psa 86:1-2, etc. By the next clause greater prominence is given to the fact that they were slain being innocent. The words: not בּמּחתּרת, at housebreaking, thou tookest them, contain an allusion to the law in Exo 22:1 and onwards; according to which the killing of a thief caught in the act of breaking in was not a cause of blood-guiltiness. The thought runs thus: The poor ones thou hast

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slain were no thieves or robbers whom thou hadst a right to slay, but guiltless pious men; and the killing of them is a crime worthy of death. Exo 21:12. The last words כּי על כּל־אלּה are obscure, and have been very variously interpreted. Changes upon the text are not to the purpose. For we get no help from the reading of the lxx, of the Syr. and Arab., which seem to have read אלּה as אלה, and which have translated δρυΐ́ oak or terebinth; since "upon every oak" gives no rational meaning. Nor from the connection of the words with the next verse (Venem., Schnur., Ros., and others): yet with all this, or in spite of all this, thou saidst; since neither does כּי mean yet, nor can the ו before תאמרי, in this connection, introduce the sequel thought. The words manifestly belong to what goes before, and contain a contrast: not in breaking in by night thou tookest them, but upon, or on account of all this. על in the sig. upon gives a suitable sense only if, with Abarb., Ew., Näg., we refer אלּה to בּכנפיך and take מצאתים as 1st pers.: I found it (the blood of the slain souls) not on the place where the murder took place, but upon all these, sc. lappets of the clothes, i.e., borne openly for display. But even without dwelling on the fact that מחתּרת does not mean the scene of a murder or breaking in, this explanation is wrecked on the unmistakeably manifest allusion to the law, אם בּמּחתּרת ימּצא הגּנּב, Exo 21:1, which is ignored, or at least obscured, by that view. The allusion to this passage of the law shows that מצאתים is not 1st but 2nd pers., and that the suffix refers to the innocent poor who were slain. Therefore, with Hitz. and Graf, we take על כּל־ אלּה in the sig. "on account of all this," and refer the "all this" to the idolatry before mentioned. Consequently the words bear this meaning: Not for a crime thou killedst the poor, but because of thine apostasy from God and thy fornication with the idols, their blood cleaves to thy raiment. the words seem, as Calv. surmised, to point to the persecution and slaying of the prophets spoken of in Jer 2:30, namely, to the innocent blood with which the godless king Manasseh filled Jerusalem, 2Ki 21:16; 2Ki 24:4; seeking as he did to crush out all opposition to the abominations of idolatry, and finding in his way the prophets and the godly of the land, who by their words and their lives lifted up their common testimony against

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the idolaters and their abandoned practices.

Verse 35 Edit

Yet withal the people holds itself to be guiltless, and deludes itself with the belief that God's wrath has turned away from it, because it has for long enjoyed peace, and because the judgment of devastation of the land by enemies, threatened by the earlier prophets, had not immediately received its fulfilment. For this self-righteous confidence in its innocence, God will contend with His people (אותך for אתּך as in Jer 1:16).

Verse 36 Edit

Yet in spite of its proud security Judah seeks to assure itself against hostile attacks by the eager negotiation of alliances. This thought is the link between Jer 2:35 and the reproach of Jer 2:36. Why runnest thou to change thy way? תּזלּי for תּאזלי, from אזל, go, with מאד, go impetuously or with strength, i.e., go in haste, run; cf. 1Sa 20:19. To change, shift (שׁנּות) one's way, is to take another way than that on which one has hitherto gone. The prophet's meaning is clear from the second half of the verse: "for Egypt, too, wilt thou come to shame, as for Assyria thou hast come to shame." Changing they way, is ceasing to seek help from Assyria in order to form close relations with Egypt. The verbs תּבשׁי and בּשׁתּ show that the intrigues for the favour of Assyria belong to the past, for the favour of Egypt to the present. Judah was put to shame in regard to Assyria under Ahaz, 2Ch 28:21; and after the experience of Assyria it had had under Hezekiah and Manasseh, there could be little more thought of looking for help thence. But what could have made Judah under Josiah, in the earlier days of Jeremiah, to seek an alliance with Egypt, considering that Assyria was at that time already nearing its dissolution? Graf is therefore of opinion that the prophet is here keeping in view the political relations in the days of Jehoiakim, in which and for which time he wrote his book, rather than those of Josiah's times, when the alliance with Asshur was still in force; and that he has thus in passing cast a stray glance into a time influenced by later events. But the opinion that in Josiah's time the alliance with Asshur was still existing cannot be historically proved. Josiah's invitation to the passover of all those who remained in what had been the kingdom of the ten tribes, does not prove that he exercised a kind of sovereignty over the provinces that had formerly belonged to the

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kingdom of Israel, a thing he could have done only as vassal of Assyria; see against this view the remarks on 2Ki 23:15. As little does his setting himself against the now mighty Pharaoh Necho at Mediggo show clearly that he remained faithful to the alliance with Asshur in spite of the disruption of the Assyrian empire; see against this the remarks on 2Ki 23:29. Historically only thus much is certain, that Jehoiakim was raised to the throne by Pharaoh Necho, and that he was a vassal of Egypt. During the period of this subjection the formation of alliances with Egypt was for Judah out of the question. Such a case could happen only when Jehoiakim had become subject to the Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar, and was cherishing the plan of throwing off the Chaldean yoke. But the reference of the words to this design is devoid of the faintest probability, Jer 2:35 and Jer 2:36; and the discourse throughout is far from giving the impression that Judah had already lost its political independence; they rather imply that the kingdom was under the sway neither of Assyrians nor Egyptians, but was still politically independent. We may very plausibly refer to Josiah's time the resolution to give up all trust in the assistance of Assyria and to court the favour of Egypt. We need not seek for the outward inducement to this in the recognition of the beginning decline of the Assyrian power; it might equally well lie in the growth of the Egyptian state. that the power of Egypt had made considerable progress in the reign of Josiah, is made clear by Pharaoh Necho's enterprise against Assyria in the last year of Josiah, from Necho's march towards the Euphrates. Josiah's setting himself in opposition to the advance of the Egyptians, which cost him his life at Megiddo, neither proves that Judah was then allied with Assyria nor excludes the possibility of intrigues for Egypt's favour having already taken place. It is perfectly possible that the taking of Manasseh a captive to Babylon by Assyrian generals may have shaken the confidence in Assyria of the idolatrous people of Judah, and that, their thoughts turning to Egypt, steps may have been taken for paving the way towards an alliance with this great power, even although the godly king Josiah took no part in these proceedings. The prophets' warning against confidence in Egypt and against courting its

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alliance, is given in terms so general that it is impossible to draw any certain conclusions either with regard to the principles of Josiah's government or with regard to the circumstances of the time which Jeremiah was keeping in view.

Verse 37 Edit

Also from this, i.e., Egypt, shalt thou go away (come back), thy hands upon thy head, i.e., beating them on thy head in grief and dismay (cf. for this gesture 2Sa 13:19). זה refers to Egypt, thought of as a people as in Jer 46:8; Isa 19:16, Isa 19:25; and thus is removed Hitz.'s objection, that in that case we must have מבטחים .זאת, objects of confidence. The expression refers equally to Egypt and to Assyria. As God has broken the power of Assyria, so will He also overthrow Egypt's might, thus making all trust in it a shame. להם, in reference to them.

Chap. 3 Edit

Verses 1-2 Edit

As a divorced woman who has become another man's wife cannot return to her first husband, so Judah, after it has turned away to other gods, will not be received again by Jahveh; especially since, in spite of all chastisement, it adheres to its evil ways. Jer 3:1. "He saith, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, can he return to her again? would not such a land be polluted? and thou hast whored with many partners; and wouldst thou return to me? saith Jahveh. Jer 3:2. Lift up thine eyes unto the bare-topped hills and look, where hast thou not been lien with; on the ways thou sattest for them, like an Arab in the desert, and pollutedst the land by thy whoredoms and by thy wickedness. Jer 3:3. And the showers were withheld, and the latter rain came not; but thou hadst the forehead of an harlot woman, wouldst not be ashamed. Jer 3:4. Ay, and from this time forward thou criest to me, My father, the friend of my youth art thou. Jer 3:5. Will he always bear a grudge and keep it up for ever? Behold, thou speakest thus and dost wickedness and carriest it out." This section is a continuation of the preceding discourse in Jer 2, and forms the conclusion of it. That this is so may be seen from the fact that a new discourse, introduced by a heading of its own, begins with Jer 3:6. The substance of the fifth verse is further evidence in the same direction; for the rejection of Judah by God declared in that verse furnishes the suitable conclusion to the discourse in Jer 2, and briefly shows how the Lord will plead with the people that holds itself blameless

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(Jer 2:35).[5]
But it is somewhat singular to find the connection made by means of לאמר, which is not translated by the lxx or Syr., and is expressed by Jerome by vulgo dicitur. Ros. would make it, after Rashi, possem dicere, Rashi's opinion being that it stands for ישׁ לי לימר. In this shape the assumption can hardly be justified. It might be more readily supposed that the infinitive stood in the sense: it is to be said, one may say, it must be affirmed; but there is against this the objection that this use of the infinitive is never found at the beginning of a new train of thought. The only alternative is with Maur. and Hitz. to join לאמר with what precedes, and to make it dependent on the verb מאס in Jer 2:37 : Jahveh hath rejected those in whom thou trustest, so that thou shalt not prosper with them; for He says: As a wife, after she has been put away from her husband and has been joined to another, cannot be taken back again by her first husband, so art thou thrust away for thy whoredom. The rejection of Judah by God is not, indeed, declared expressis verbis in Jer 3:1-5, but is clearly enough contained there in substance. Besides, "the rejection of the people's sureties (Jer 2:37) involves that of the people too" (Hitz.). לאמר, indeed, is not universally used after verbis dicendi alone, but frequently stands after very various antecedent verbs, in which case it must be very variously expressed in English; e.g., in Jos 22:11 it comes after ישׁמעוּ, they heard: as follows, or these words; in 2Sa 3:12 we have it twice, once after the words, he sent messengers to David to say, i.e., and cause them say to him, a second time in the sense of namely; in 1Sa 27:11 with the force of: for he said or thought. It is used here in a

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manner analogous to this: he announces to thee, makes known to thee. - The comparison with the divorced wife is suggested by the law in Deu 24:1-4. Here it is forbidden that a man shall take in marriage again his divorced wife after she has been married to another, even although she has been separated from her second husband, or even in the case of the death of the latter; and re-marriage of this kind is called an abomination before the Lord, a thing that makes the land sinful. The question, May he yet return to her? corresponds to the words of the law: her husband may not again (לשׁוּב) take her to be his wife. The making of the land sinful is put by Jer. in stronger words: this land is polluted; making in this an allusion to Lev 18:25, Lev 18:27, where it is said of similar sins of the flesh that they pollute the land.
With "and thou hast whored" comes the application of this law to the people that had by its idolatry broken its marriage vows to its God. זנה is construed with the accus. as in Eze 16:28. רעים, comrades in the sense of paramours; cf. Hos 3:1. רבּים, inasmuch as Israel or Judah had intrigued with the gods of many nations. ושׁוב אלי .snoi is infin. abs., and the clause is to be taken as a question: and is it to be supposed that thou mayest return to me? The question is marked only by the accent; cf. Ew. §328, a, and Gesen. §131, 4, b. Syr., Targ., Jerome, etc. have taken ושׁוב as imperative: return again to me; but wrongly, since the continuity is destroyed. This argument is not answered by taking ו copul. adversatively with the sig. yet: it is on the contrary strengthened by this arbitrary interpretation. The call to return to God is incompatible with the reference in Jer 3:2 to the idolatry which is set before the eyes of the people to show it that God has cause to be wroth. "Look but to the bare-topped hills." שׁפים, bald hills and mountains (cf. Isa 41:18), were favoured spots for idolatrous worship; cf. Hos 4:13. When hast not thou let thyself be ravished? i.e., on all sides. For שׁגּלתּ the Masoretes have here and everywhere substituted שׁכּבתּ, see Deu 28:30; Zec 14:2, etc. The word is here used for spiritual ravishment by idolatry; here represented as spiritual fornication. Upon the roads thou sattest, like a prostitute, to entice the passers-by; cf. Gen 38:14; Pro 7:12. This figure corresponds in actual fact to the

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erection of idolatrous altars at the corners of the streets and at the gates: 2Ki 23:8; Eze 16:25. Like an Arab in the desert, i.e., a Bedouin, who lies in wait for travellers, to plunder them. The Bedouins were known to the ancients, cf. Diod. Sic. 2:48, Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 28, precisely as they are represented to this day by travellers. - By this idolatrous course Israel desecrated the land. The plural form of the suffix with the singular זנוּת is to be explained by the resemblance borne both in sound and meaning (an abstract) by the termination וּת to the plural ות; cf. Jer 3:8, Zep 3:20, and Ew. §259, b. רעתך refers to the moral enormities bound up with idolatry, e.g., the shedding of innocent blood, Jer 2:30, Jer 2:35. The shedding of blood is represented as defilement of the land in Num 35:33.

Verse 3 Edit

But the idolatrous race was not to be brought to reflection or turned from its evil ways, even when judgment fell upon it. God chastised it by withholding the rain, by drought; cf. Jer 14:1., Amo 4:7. רביבים, rain-showers (Deu 32:2), does not stand for the early rain (יורה), but denotes any fall of rain; and the late rain (shortly before harvest) is mentioned along with it, as in Hos 6:3; Zec 10:1. But affliction made no impression. The people persisted in its sinful courses with unabashed effrontery; cf. Jer 5:3; Eze 3:7.

Verses 4-5 Edit

Henceforward, forsooth, it calls upon its God, and expects that His wrath will abate; but this calling on Him is but lip-service, for it goes on in its sins, amends not its life. הלוא, nonne, has usually the force of a confident assurance, introducing in the form of a question that which is held not to be in the least doubtful. מעתּה, henceforward, the antithesis to מעולם, Jer 2:20, Jer 2:27, is rightly referred by Chr. B. Mich. to the time of the reformation in public worship, begun by Josiah in the twelfth year of his reign, and finally completed in the eighteenth year, 2 Chron 34:3-33. Clearly we cannot suppose a reference to distress and anxiety excited by the drought; since, in Jer 3:3, it is expressly said that this had made no impression on the people. On אבי, cf. Jer 2:27. אלּוּף נערי (cf. Pro 2:17), the familiar friend of my youth, is the dear beloved God, i.e., Jahveh, who has espoused Israel when it was a young nation (Jer 2:2). Of Him it expects that He will not bear a grudge for ever. נטר, guard, then like τηρεῖν, cherish ill-will, keep up, used of anger; see on Lev 19:18;

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Psa 103:9, etc. A like meaning has ישׁמר, to which אף, iram, is to be supplied from the context; cf. Amo 1:11. - Thus the people speaks, but it does evil. דּבּרתּי, like קראתי in Jer 3:4, is 2nd pers. fem.; see in Jer 2:20. Hitz. connects דּבּרתּי so closely with ותּעשׂי as to make הרעות the object to the former verb also: thou hast spoken and done the evil; but this is plainly contrary to the context. "Thou speakest" refers to the people's saying quoted in the first half of the verse: Will God be angry for ever? What they do is the contradiction of what they thus say. If the people wishes that God be angry no more, it must give over its evil life. הרעות, not calamity, but misdeeds, as in Jer 2:33. תּוּכל, thou hast managed it, properly mastered, i.e., carried it through; cf. 1Sa 26:25; 1Ki 22:22. The form is 2nd pers. fem., with the fem. ending dropped on account of the Vav consec. at the end of the discourse, cf. Ew. §191, b. So long as this is the behaviour of the people, God cannot withdraw His anger.


These four chapters form a lengthy prophetic discourse of the time of Josiah, in which two great truths are developed : that Israel can become a partaker of promised blessing only through conversion to the Lord, and that by perseverance in apostasy it is drawing on itself the judgment of expulsion amongst the heathen. In the first section, Jer 3:6-4:2, we have the fate of the ten tribes displayed to the faithless Judah, and the future reception again and conversion of Israel announced. In the second section, Jer 4:3-31, the call to Judah to repent is brought home to the people by the portrayal of the judgment about to fall upon the kingdom, the destruction of Jerusalem and the devastation of the land. In the third section, chap, 5, a further description is given of the people's persistence in unrighteousness and apostasy. And in the fourth section, chap, 4, the impending judgment and its horrors are yet more fully exhibited to a generation blinded by its self-righteous confidence in the external performance of the sacrificial worship. Eichhorn and Hitz. have separated Jer 3:6-4:2 from

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what follows as being a separate oracle, on the ground that at Jer 4:3 a new series of oracles begins, extending to Jer 10:25. These oracles, they say, “are composed under the impressions created by an invasion of a northern nation, looked for with dread and come at last in reality;” while they find no trace of this invasion in Jer 3:6-4:2 . This latter section they hold rather to be the completion to Jer 2:1-3:5, seeing that the severe retort (3:5) upon repentant Judah is justified here (3:10) by the statement that this is no true repentance; that the harsh saying : thou hast thyself wrought out thy misfortunes, cannot be the prophet's last word ; and that the final answer to הֲיִנְטֹ֣ר לְעוֹלָ֔ם in ver. 5 is not found before לֹ֥א אֶטּ֖וֹר לְעוֹלָֽם in ver. 12. By Dahler, Umbreit, Neumann, Jer 3. is taken as an independent discourse ; but they hold it to extend to Jer 4:4, because כִּי in iv. 3 cannot introduce a new discourse. The two views are equally untenable. It is impossible that a new discourse should begin with “for thus saith Jahveh ;” and it is as impossible that the threatening of judgment beginning with iv. 5, “declare ye in Jahveh,” should be torn apart, separated from the call : “plow up a new soil ; circumcise the foreskins of your hearts, that my wrath go not forth like fire and burn,” etc. (4:3, 4). Against the separation and for the unity we have arguments in the absence of any heading and of any trace of a new commencement in chap, iv., and in the connection of the subject-matter of all the sections of these chapters.[6] We have no ground for the disjunction of one part of the discourse from the other in the fact that in Jer 3:6-4:2

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apostate Israel (of the ten tribes) is summoned to return to the Lord, and invited to repentance by the promise of acceptance and rich blessing for those who in penitence return again to God ; while in iv. 3-vi. the devastation of the land and dispersion amongst the heathen are held out as punishment of a people (Judah) persisting in apostasy (see comment, on 3:6 ff.). The supposed connection between the discourse, Jer 3:6-4:2 and Jer 2:1-3:5, is not so close as Hitz. would have it. The relation of Jer 3:6 ff, to Jer 2:1 ff. is not that the prophet desires in Jer 3:6-4:2 to explain or mitigate the harsh utterance in Jer 3:5, because his own heart could not acquiesce in the thought of the utter rejection of his people, and because the wrath of the seer was here calming down again. This opinion and the reference of the threatened judgment in chap, 4-6. to the Scythians are based on unscriptural views of the nature of prophecy. But even if, in accordance with what has been said, these four chapters form one continuous prophetic discourse, yet we are not justified by the character of the whole discourse as a unity in assuming that Jeremiah delivered it publicly in this form before the people at some particular time. Against this tells the indefiniteness of the date given : in the days of Josiah ; and of still greater weight is the transition, which we mark repeated more than once, from the call to repentance and the denunciation of sin, to threatening and description of the judgment about to fall on people and kingdom, city and country; cf. Jer 4:3 with v. 1 and Jer 4:1, 16. From this we can see that the prophet continually begins again afresh, in order to bring more forcibly home to the heart what he has already said. The discourse as we have it is evidently the condensation into one uniform whole of a series of oral addresses which had been delivered by Jeremiah in Josiah's times.

Chap. 3:6-4:2. The rejection and restoration of Israel (of the Ten Tribes). Edit

— Hgstb. speaks of this passage as the announcement of redemption in store for Israel. And he so speaks not without good cause ; for although in Jer 3:6-9 the subject is the rejection of Israel for its backsliding from the Lord, yet this introduction to the discourse is but the historical foundation for the declaration of good news (Jer 3:12-4:2), that rejected Israel will yet return to its God, and have a share in the glory of the Messiah. From the clearly drawn parallel between Israel and Judah in Jer 3:8-11 it is certain that the announcement of Israel's redemption can have no other aim than “to wound Judah.” The contents of the whole discourse maybe summed up in two thoughts: 1. Israel is not to remain alway rejected, as pharisaic Judah imagined ; 2. Judah is not to be alway spared. When Jeremiah entered upon his office

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Israel had been in exile for 94 years, and all hope for the restoration of the banished people seemed to have vanished. But Judah, instead of taking warning by the judgment that had fallen upon the ten tribes, and instead of seeing in the downfall of the sister people the prognostication of its own, was only confirmed by it in its delusion, and held its own continued existence to be a token that against it, as the people of God, no judgment of wrath could come. This delusion must be destroyed by the announcement of Israel's future reinstatement.

Verses 6-10 Edit

Jer 3:6-10Israel's backsliding and rejection a warning for Judah. - Jer 3:6. "And Jahveh spake to me in the days of King Josiah, Hast thou seen what the backsliding one, Israel, hath done? she went up on every high mountain, and under every green tree, and played the harlot there. Jer 3:7. And I thought: After she hath done all this, she will return to me; but she returned not. And the faithless one, her sister Judah, saw it. Jer 3:8. And I saw that, because the backsliding one, Israel, had committed adultery, and I had put her away, and had given her a bill of divorce, yet the faithless one, Judah, her sister, feared not even on this account, and went and played the harlot also. Jer 3:9. And it befell that for the noise of her whoredom the land was defiled, and she committed adultery with stone and wood. Jer 3:10. And yet with all this, the faithless one, her sister Judah, turned not to me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, saith Jahveh." The thought of these verses is this: notwithstanding that Judah has before its eyes the lot which Israel (of the ten tribes) has brought on itself by its obdurate apostasy from the covenant God, it will not be moved to true fear of God and real repentance. Viewing idolatry as spiritual whoredom, the prophet developes that train of thought by representing the two kingdoms as two adulterous sisters, calling the inhabitants of the ten tribes משׁבה, the backsliding, those of Judah בּגודה, the faithless. On these names Venema well remarks: "Sorores propter unam eandemque stirpem, unde uterque populus fuit, et arctam ad se invicem relationem appellantur. Utraque fuit adultera propter idololatriam et faederis violationem; sed Israel vocatur uxor aversa; Juda vero perfida, quia Israel non tantum religionis sed et regni et

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'civitatis respectu, adeoque palam erat a Deo alienata, Juda vero Deo et sedi regni ac religionis adfixa, sed nihilominus a Deo et cultu ejus defecerat, et sub externa specie populi Dei faedus ejus fregerat, quo ipso gravius peccaverat." This representation Ezekiel has in Jer 23 expanded into an elaborate allegory. The epithets משׁבה and בּגודה or בּגדה (Jer 3:11) are coined into proper names. This is shown by their being set without articles before the names; as mere epithets they would stand after the substantives and have the article, since Israel and Judah as being nomm. propr. are definite ideas. משׁוּבה is elsewhere an abstract substantive: apostasy, defection (Jer 8:5; Hos 11:7, etc.), here concrete, the apostate, so-called for her many משׁבות, Jer 3:22 and Jer 2:19. בּגודה, the faithless, used of perfidious forsaking of a husband; cf. Jer 3:20, Mal 2:14. הלכה היא, going was she, expressing continuance. Cf. the same statement in Jer 2:20. ותּזני, 3rd pers. fem., is an Aramaizing form for ותּזנה or ותּזן; cf. Isa 53:10.

Verse 7 Edit

And I said, sc. to myself, i.e., I thought. A speaking by the prophets (Rashi) is not to be thought of; for it is no summons, turn again to me, but only the thought, they will return. It is true that God caused backsliding Israel to be ever called again to repentance by the prophets, yet without effect. Meantime, however, no reference is made to what God did in this connection, only Israel's behaviour towards the Lord being here kept in view. The Chet. ותּראה is the later usage; the Keri substitutes the regular contracted form ותּרא. The object, it (the whoredom of Israel), may be gathered from what precedes.

Verse 8 Edit

Many commentators have taken objection to the וארא, because the sentence, "I saw that I had therefore given Israel a bill of divorce," is as little intelligible as "and the faithless Judah saw it, and I saw it, for," etc. Thus e.g., Graf, who proposes with Ew. and Syr. to read ותּרא, "and she saw," or with Jerome to omit the word from the text. To this we may add, that either the change or the omission destroys the natural relation to one another of the clauses. In either case we would have this connection: "and the faithless one, her sister Judah, saw that, because the backslider Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away...

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yet the faithless one feared not." But thus the gist of the thing, what Judah saw, namely, the repudiation of Israel, would be related but cursorily in a subordinate clause, and the 7th verse would be shortened into a half verse; while, on the other hand, the 8th verse would be burdened with an unnaturally long protasis. Ros. is right in declaring any change to be unnecessary, provided the two halves of Jer 3:7 and Jer 3:8 are connected in this sense: vidi quod quum adulteram Israelitidem dimiseram, tamen non timeret ejus perfida soror Juda. If we compare Jer 3:7 and Jer 3:8 together, the correspondence between the two comes clearly out. In the first half of either verse Israel is spoken of, in the second Judah; while as to Israel, both verses state how God regarded the conduct of Israel, and as to Judah, how it observed and imitated Israel's conduct. וארא corresponds to ואמר in Jer 3:7. God thought the backsliding Israel will repent, and it did not, and this Judah saw. Thus, then, God saw that even the repudiation of the backsliding Israel for her adultery incited no fear in Judah, but Judah went and did whoredom like Israel. The true sense of Jer 3:8 is rendered obscure or difficult by the external co-ordination to one another of the two thoughts, that God has rejected Israel just because it has committed adultery, and, that Judah nevertheless feared not; the second thought being introduced by Vav. In reality, however, the first should be subordinated to the second thus: that although I had to reject Israel, Judah yet feared not. What God saw is not the adultery and rejection or divorce of Israel, but that Judah nevertheless had no fear in committing and persisting in the self-same sin. The כּי belongs properly to לא יראה, but this relation is obscured by the length of the prefixed grounding clause, and so לא יראה is introduced by ,על־כּל־אדות åגו' .ו yb decud literally: that for all the reasons, because the backslider had committed adultery, I put her away and gave her a bill of divorce; yet the faithless Judah feared not. In plain English: that, in spite of all my putting away the backsliding Israel, and my giving her...because she had committed adultery, yet the faithless Judah feared not. On ספר כּריתוּת, cf. Deu 24:1, Deu 24:3.

Verse 9 Edit

In Jer 3:9 Judah's fornication with the false gods is further described. Here מקּל זנåּתהּ ereH is rather stumbling, since ob vocem scortationis

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cannot well be simply tantamount to ob famosam scortationem; for קול, voice, tone, sound, din, noise, is distinct from שׁם or שׁמע, fame, rumour. All ancient translators have taken קל from קלל, as being formed analogously to עז ,תּם ,חם; and a Masoretic note finds in the defective spelling קל an indication of the meaning levitas. Yet we occasionally find קול, vox, written defectively, e.g., Exo 4:8; Gen 27:22; Gen 45:16. And the derivation from קלל gives no very suitable sense; neither lightness nor despisedness is a proper predicate for whoredom, by which the land is polluted; only shame or shameful would suit, as it is put by Ew. and Graf. But there is no evidence from the usage of the language that קל has the meaning of קלון. Yet more inadmissible is the conjecture of J. D. Mich., adopted by Hitz., that of reading מקּל gnidaer fo taht, stock, for מקּל, a stock being the object of her unchastity; in support of which, reference is unfairly made to Hos 4:12. For there the matter in hand is rhabdomancy, with which the present passage has evidently nothing to do. The case standing thus, we adhere to the usual meaning of קל: for the noise or din of her whoredom, not, for her crying whoredom (de Wette). Jeremiah makes use of this epithet to point out the open riotous orgies of idolatry. תּחנף is neither used in the active signification of desecrating, nor is it to be pointed ותּחנף (Hiph.). On the last clause cf. Jer 2:27.

Verse 10 Edit

But even with all this, i.e., in spite of this deep degradation in idolatry, Judah returned not to God sincerely, but in hypocritical wise. "And yet with all this," Ros., following Rashi, refers to the judgment that had fallen on Israel (Jer 3:8); but this is too remote. The words can bear reference only to that which immediately precedes: even in view of all these sinful horrors the returning was not "from the whole heart," i.e., did not proceed from a sincere heart, but in falsehood and hypocrisy. For (the returning being that which began with the abolition of idolatrous public worship in Josiah's reformation) the people had returned outwardly to the worship of Jahveh in the temple, but at heart they still calve to the idols. Although Josiah had put an end to the idol-worship, and though the people too, in the enthusiasm for the service of Jahveh, awakened by the solemn celebration of the passover, had broken in pieces the images and altars of the false

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gods throughout the land, yet there was imminent danger that the people, alienated in heart from the living God, should take the suppression of open idolatry for a true return to God, and, vainly admiring themselves, should look upon themselves as righteous and pious. Against this delusion the prophet takes his stand.

Verses 11-12 Edit

Israel's return, pardon, and blessedness. - Jer 3:11. "And Jahveh said to me, The backsliding one, Israel, is justified more than the faithless one, Judah. Jer 3:12. Go and proclaim these words towards the north, and say, Turn, thou backsliding one, Israel, saith Jahveh; I will not look darkly on you, for I am gracious, saith Jahveh; I will not always be wrathful. Jer 3:13. Only acknowledge thy guilt, for from Jahveh thy God art thou fallen away, and hither and thither hast thou wandered to strangers under every green tree, but to my voice ye have not hearkened, saith Jahveh. Jer 3:14. Return, backsliding sons, saith Jahveh; for I have wedded you to me, and will take you, one out of a city and two out of a race, and will bring you to Zion; Jer 3:15. And will give you shepherds according to my heart, and they will feed you with knowledge ad wisdom. Jer 3:16. And it comes to pass, when ye increase and are fruitful in the land, in those days, saith Jahveh, they will no more say, 'The ark of the covenant of Jahveh;' and it will no more come to mind, and ye will not longer remember it or miss it, and it shall not be made again. Jer 3:17. In that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jahveh; and to it all peoples shall gather themselves, because the name of Jahveh is at Jerusalem: and no longer shall they walk after the stubbornness of their evil heart. Jer 3:18. In those days shall the house of Judah go along with the house of Israel, and together out of the land of midnight shall they come into the land which I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers." In Jer 3:11, from the comparison of the faithless Judah with the backsliding Israel, is drawn the conclusion: Israel stands forth more righteous than Judah. The same is said in other words by Eze 16:51.; cf. (Ezek.) Jer 23:11. צדק in Piel is to show to be righteous, to justify. נפשׁהּ, her soul, i.e., herself. Israel appears more righteous than Judah, not because the apostasy and idolatry of the Israelites was less than that of the people of Judah; in this they are put

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on the same footing in Jer 3:6-10; in the like fashion both have played the harlot, i.e., stained themselves with idolatry (while by a rhetorical amplification the apostasy of Judah is in Jer 3:9 represented as not greater than that of Israel). But it is inasmuch as, in the first place, Judah had the warning example of Israel before its eyes, but would not be persuaded to repentance by Israel's punishment; then again, Judah had more notable pledges than the ten tribes of divine grace, especially in the temple with its divinely-ordained cultus, in the Levitical priesthood, and in its race of kings chosen by God. Hence its fall into idolatry called more loudly for punishment than did that of the ten tribes; for these, after their disruption from Judah and the Davidic dynasty, had neither a lawful cultus, lawful priests, nor a divinely-ordained kingship. If, then, in spite of these privileges, Judah sank as far into idolatry as Israel, its offence was greater and more grievous than that of the ten tribes; and it was surely yet more deserving of punishment than Israel, if it was resolved neither to be brought to reflection nor moved to repentance from its evil ways by the judgment that had fallen upon Israel, and if, on the contrary, it returned to God only outwardly and took the opus operatum of the temple-service for genuine conversion. For "the measure of guilt is proportioned to the measure of grace." Yet will not the Lord utterly cast off His people, Jer 3:12. He summons to repentance the Israelites who had now long been living in exile; and to them, the backsliding sons, who confess their sin and return to Him, He offers restoration to the full favours of the covenant and to rich blessings, and this in order to humble Judah and to provoke it to jealousy. The call to repentance which the prophet is in Jer 3:12 to proclaim towards the region of midnight, concerns the ten tribes living in Assyrian exile. צפנה, towards midnight, i.e., into the northern provinces of the Assyrian empire the tribes had been carried away (2Ki 17:6; 2Ki 18:11). שׁוּבה, return, sc. to thy God. Notwithstanding that the subject which follows, משׁבה, is fem., we have the masculine form here used ad sensum, because the faithless Israel is the people of the ten tribes. לא אפּיל פּני, I will not lower my countenance, is explained by Gen 4:5; Job 29:24, and means to look darkly, frowningly, as outward expression

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of anger; and this without our needing to take פּני for כּעסי as Kimchi does. For I am חסיד, gracious; cf. Exo 34:6. As to אטּור, see on Jer 3:5.

Verses 13-15 Edit

An indispensable element of the return is: Acknowledge thy guilt, thine offence, for grievously hast thou offended; thou art fallen away (פּשׁע), and תּפזּרי את־דּרכיך, lit., hast scattered thy ways for strangers; i.e., hither and thither, on many a track, hast thou run after the strange gods: cf. Jer 2:23.
The repeated call שׁוּבוּ, Jer 3:14, is, like that in Jer 3:12, addressed to Israel in the narrower sense, not to the whole covenant people or to Judah. The "backsliding sons" are "the backsliding Israel" of Jer 3:7, Jer 3:8, Jer 3:11., and of Jer 3:22. In Jer 3:18 also Judah is mentioned only as it is in connection with Israel. בּעלתּי בכם, here and in Jer 31:32, is variously explained. There is no evidence for the meaning loathe, despise, which Ges. and Diet. in the Lex., following the example of Jos. Kimchi, Pococke, A Schultens, and others, attribute to the word בּעל; against this, cf. Hgstb. Christol. ii. p. 375; nor is the sig. "rule" certified (lxx διότι ἐγὼ κατακυριεύσω ὑμῶν); it cannot be proved from Isa 26:13. בּעל means only, own, possess; whence come the meanings, take to wife, have oneself married, which are to be maintained here and in Jer 31:32. In this view Jerome translates, quia ego vir vester; Luther, denn ich will euch mir vertrauen; Hgstb., denn ich traue euch mir an;-the reception anew of the people being given under the figure of a new marriage. This acceptation is, however, not suitable to the perf. בּעלתּי, for this, even if taken prophetically, cannot refer to a renewal of marriage which is to take place in the future. The perf. can be referred only to the marriage of Israel at the conclusion of the covenant on Sinai, and must be translated accordingly: I am your husband, or: I have wedded you to me. This is demanded by the grounding כּי; for the summons to repent cannot give as its motive some future act of God, but must point to that covenant relationship founded in the past, which, though suspended for a time, was not wholly broken up.[7]
The promise of what

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God will do if Israel repents is given only from ולקחתּי (with ו consec.) onwards. The words, I take you, one out of a city, two out of a race, are not with Kimchi to be so turned: if even a single Israelite dwelt in a heathen city; but thus: if from amongst the inhabitants of a city there returns to me but one, and if out of a whole race there return but two, I will gather even these few and bring them to Zion. Quite aside from the point is Hitz.'s remark, that in Mic 5:1, too, a city is called אלף, and is equivalent to משׁפּחה. The numbers one and two themselves show us that משׁפּחה is a larger community than the inhabitants of one town, i.e., that it indicates the great subdivisions into which the tribes of Israel were distributed. The thought, then, is this: Though but so small a number obey the call to repent, yet the Lord will save even these; He will exclude from salvation no one who is willing to return, but will increase the small number of the saved to a great nation. This promise is not only not contradictory of those which declare the restoration of Israel as a whole; but it is rather a pledge that God will forget no one who is willing to be saved, and shows the greatness of the divine compassion.
As to the historical reference, it is manifest that the promise cannot be limited, as it is by Theodrt. and Grot., to the return from the Assyrian and Babylonian exile; and although the majority of commentators take it so, it can as little be solely referred to the Messianic times or to the time of the consummation of the kingdom of God. The fulfilment is accomplished gradually. It begins with the end of the Babylonian exile, in so far as at that time individual members of the ten tribes may have returned into the land of their fathers; it is continued in Messianic times during the lives of the apostles, by the reception, on the part of the Israelites, of the salvation that had appeared in Christ; it is carried on throughout the whole history of the Church, and attains its completion in the final conversion of Israel. This Messianic reference of the words is here the ruling one. This we may see from "bring you to Zion," which is intelligible

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only when we look on Zion as the seat of the kingdom of God; and yet more clearly is it seen from the further promise, Jer 3:15-17, I will give you shepherds according to my heart, etc. By shepherds we are not to understand prophets and priests, but the civil authorities, rulers, princes, kings (cf. Jer 2:8, Jer 2:26). This may not only be gathered from the parallel passage, Jer 23:4, but is found in the כּלבּי, which is an unmistakeable allusion to 1Sa 13:14, where David is spoken of as a man whom Jahveh has sought out for Himself after His heart (כּלבבו), and has set to be prince over His people. They will feed you דּעה . Both these words are used adverbially. דּעה is a noun, and השׂכּיל an infin.: deal wisely, possess, and show wisdom; the latter is as noun generally השׂכּל , Dan 1:17; Pro 1:3; Pro 21:16, but is found also as infin. absol. Jer 9:23. A direct contrast to these shepherds is found in the earlier kings, whom Israel had itself appointed according to the desire of its heart, of whom the Lord said by Hosea, They have set up kings (to themselves), but not by me (Hos 8:4); kings who seduced the people of God to apostasy, and encouraged them in it. "In the whole of the long series of Israelitish rulers we find no Jehoshaphat, no Hezekiah, no Josiah; and quite as might have been expected, for the foundation of the throne of Israel was insurrection" (Hgstb.). But if Israel will return to the Lord, He will give it rulers according to His heart, like David (cf. Eze 34:23; Hos 3:5), who did wisely (משׂכּיל ) in all his ways, and with whom Jahveh was (1Sa 18:14.; cf. 1Ki 2:3). The knowledge and wisdom consists in the keeping and doing of the law of God, Deu 4:6; Deu 29:8. As regards form, the promise attaches itself to the circumstances of the earlier times, and is not to be understood of particular historical rulers in the period after the exile; it means simply that the Lord will give to Israel, when it is converted to Him, good and faithful governors who will rule over it in the spirit of David. But the Davidic dynasty culminates in the kingship of the Messiah, who is indeed named David by the prophets; cf. Jer 22:4.

Verses 16-17 Edit

In Jer 3:16 and Jer 3:17 also the thought is clothed in a form characteristic of the Old Testament. When the returned Israelites shall increase and be fruitful in the land, then shall they no

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more remember the ark of the covenant of the Lord or feel the want of it, because Jerusalem will then be the throne of the Lord. The fruitfulness and increase of the saved remnant is a constant feature in the picture of Israel's Messianic future; cf. Jer 23:3; Eze 36:11; Hos 2:1. This promise rests on the blessing given at the creation, Gen 1:28. God as creator and preserver of the world increases mankind together with the creatures; even so, as covenant God, He increases His people Israel. Thus He increased the sons of Israel in Egypt to be a numerous nation, Exo 1:12; thus, too, He will again make fruitful and multiply the small number of those who have been saved from the judgment that scattered Israel amongst the heathen. In the passages which treat of this blessing, פּרה generally precedes רבה; here, on the contrary, and in Eze 36:11, the latter is put first. The words 'לא יאמרוּ וגו must not be translated: they will speak no more of the ark of the covenant; אמר c. accus. never has this meaning. They must be taken as the substance of what is said, the predicate being omitted for rhetorical effect, so that the words are to be taken as an exclamation. Hgstb. supplies: It is the aim of all our wishes, the object of our longing. Mov. simply: It is our most precious treasure, or the glory of Israel, 1Sa 4:21.; Psa 78:61. And they will no more remember it. Ascend into the heart, i.e., come to mind, joined with זכר here and in Isa 65:17; cf. Jer 7:31; Jer 32:35; Jer 51:50; 1Co 2:9. ולא יפקדוּ, and they will not miss it; cf. Isa 34:16; 1Sa 20:6, etc. This meaning is called for by the context, and especially by the next clause: it will not be made again. Hitz.'s objection against this, that the words cannot mean this, is an arbitrary dictum. Non fiet amplius (Chr. B. Mich.), or, it will not happen any more, is an unsuitable translation, for this would be but an unmeaning addition; and the expansion, that the ark will be taken into the battle as it formerly was, is such a manifest rabbinical attempt to twist the words, that it needs no further refutation. Luther's translation, nor offer more there, is untenable, since עשׂה by itself never means offer.
The thought is this: then they will no longer have any feeling of desire or want towards the ark. And wherefore? The answer is contained in Jer 3:17: At that time will they

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call Jerusalem the throne of Jahveh. The ark was the throne of Jahveh, inasmuch as Jahveh, in fulfilment of His promise in Exo 25:22, and as covenant God, was ever present to His people in a cloud over the extended wings of the two cherubim that were upon the covering of the ark of the law; from the mercy-seat too, between the two cherubs, He spake with His people, and made known to them His gracious presence: Lev 16:2; cf. 1Ch 13:6; Psa 80:2; 1Sa 4:4. The ark was therefore called the footstool of God, 1Ch 28:2; Psa 99:5; Psa 132:7; Lam 2:1. But in future Jerusalem is to be, and to be called, the throne of Jahveh; and it is in such a manner to take the place of the ark, that the people will neither miss it nor make any more mention of it. The promise by no means presumes that when Jeremiah spoke or wrote this prophecy the ark was no longer in existence; "was gone out of sight in some mysterious manner," as Movers, Chron. S. 139, and Hitz. suppose,[8] but only that it will be lost or destroyed. This could happen only at and along with the destruction of Jerusalem; and history testifies that the temple after the exile had no ark. Hence it is justly concluded that the ark had perished in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and that upon the rebuilding of the temple after the exile, the ark was not restored, because the nucleus of it, the tables of the law written by the finger of God, could not be constructed by the hand of man. Without the ark the second temple was also without the gracious presence of Jahveh, the Shechinah or dwelling-place of God; so that this temple was no longer the throne of God, but only a seeming temple, without substance or reality. And thus the Old Testament covenant

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had come to an end. "We have here then before us," Hgstb. truly observes, "the announcement of an entire overthrow of the earlier form of the kingdom; but it is such an overthrow of the form that it is at the same time the highest perfection of the substance - a process like that in seed-corn, which only dies in order to bring forth much fruit; like that in the body, which is sown a corruptible that it may rise an incorruptible." For the dwelling and enthronement of the Lord amidst His people was again to come about, but in a higher form. Jerusalem is to become the throne of Jahveh, i.e., Jerusalem is to be for the renewed Israel that which the ark had been for the former Israel, the holy dwelling-place of God. Under the old covenant Jerusalem had been the city of Jahveh, of the great King (Psa 48:3); because Jerusalem had possessed the temple, in which the Lord sat enthroned in the holy of holies over the ark. If in the future Jerusalem is to become the throne of the Lord instead of the ark, Jerusalem must itself become a sanctuary of God; God the Lord must fill all Jerusalem with His glory (כּבוד), as Isaiah prophesied He would in Isaiah 60, of which prophecy we have the fulfilment portrayed in Apoc. 21 and 22. Jeremiah does not more particularly explain how this is to happen, or how the raising of Jerusalem to be the throne of the Lord is to be accomplished; for he is not seeking in this discourse to proclaim the future reconstitution of the kingdom of God. His immediate aim is to clear away the false props of their confidence from a people that set its trust in the possession of the temple and the ark, and further to show it that the presence of the temple and ark will not protect it from judgment; that, on the contrary, the Lord will reject faithless Judah, destroying Jerusalem and the temple; that nevertheless He will keep His covenant promises, and that by receiving again as His people the repentant members of the ten tribes, regarded by Judah as wholly repudiated, with whom indeed He will renew His covenant.
As a consequence of Jerusalem's being raised to the glory of being the Lord's throne, all nations will gather themselves to her, the city of God; cf. Zec 2:1-13 :15. Indeed in the Old Testament every revelation of the glory of God amongst His people attracted the heathen; cf. Jos 9:9. לשׁם יהוה, not, to the

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name of Jahveh towards Jerusalem (Hitz.), but, because of the name of Jahveh at Jerusalem (as in Jos 9:9), i.e., because Jahveh reveals His glory there; for the name of Jahveh is Jahveh Himself in the making of His glorious being known in deeds of almighty power and grace. לירוּשׁלם, prop. belonging to Jerusalem, because the name makes itself known there; cf. Jer 16:19; Mic 4:2; Zec 8:22. - The last clause, they will walk no more, etc., refers not to the heathen peoples, but to the Israelites as being the principal subject of the discourse (cf. Jer 5:16), since שׁררוּת is used of Israel in all the cases (Jer 7:24; Jer 9:13; Jer 11:8; Jer 13:10; Jer 16:12; Jer 18:12; Jer 23:17, and Psa 81:13), thus corresponding to the original in Deu 29:18, whence it is taken. שׁררוּת prop. firmness, but in Hebr. always sensu malo: obstinacy, obduracy of heart, see in Deut. l.c.; here strengthened by the adjective הרע belonging to לבּם.

Verse 18 Edit

In those days when Jerusalem is glorified by being made the throne of the Lord, Judah along with Israel will come out of the north into the land which the Lord gave to their fathers. As the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple is foretold implicite in Jer 3:16, so here the expulsion of Judah into exile is assumed as having already taken place, and the return not of Israel, only, but of Judah too is announced, as in Hos 2:2, and more fully in Eze 27:16. We should note the arrangement, the house of Judah with (על, prop. on) the house of Israel; this is as much as to say that Israel is the first to resolve on a return and to arise, and that Judah joins itself to the house of Israel. Judah is thus subordinated to the house of Israel, because the prophet is here seeking chiefly to announce the return of Israel to the Lord. It can surely not be necessary to say that, as regards the fulfilment, we are not entitled hence to infer that the remnant of the ten tribes will positively be converted to the Lord and redeemed out of exile sooner than the remnant of Judah. For more on this point see on Jer 31:8.

Verses 19-25 Edit

Jer 3:19-25The return of Israel to its God. - Jer 3:19. "I thought, O how I will put thee among the sons, and give thee a delightful land, a heritage of the chiefest splendour of the nations! and thought, 'My Father,' ye will cry to me, and not turn yourselves away from me. Jer 3:20. truly as a wife faithlessly

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'forsakes her mate, so are ye become faithless towards me, house of Israel, saith Jahveh. Jer 3:21. A voice upon the bare-topped hills is heard, suppliant weeping of the sons of Israel; for that they have made their way crooked, forsaken Jahveh their God. Jer 3:22. ‘Return, ye backsliding sons, I will heal your backsliding,' Behold, we come to thee; for Thou Jahveh art our God. Jer 3:23. Truly the sound from the hills, from the mountains, is become falsehood: truly in Jahveh our God is the salvation of Israel. Jer 3:24. And shame hath devoured the gains of our fathers from our youth on; their sheep and their oxen, their sons and their daughters. Jer 3:25. Let us lie down in our shame, and let our disgrace cover us; for against Jahveh our God have we sinned, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not listened to the voice of our God." Hitz. takes Jer 3:18 and Jer 3:19 together, without giving an opinion on ואנכי אמרתּי. Ew. joins Jer 3:19 to the preceding, and begins a new strophe with Jer 3:21. Neither assumption can be justified. With Jer 3:18 closes the promise which formed the burden of the preceding strophe, and in Jer 3:19 there begins a new train of thought, the announcement as to how Israel comes to a consciousness of sin and returns penitent to the Lord its God (Jer 3:21-25). The transition to this announcement is formed by Jer 3:19 and Jer 3:20, in which the contrast between God's fatherly designs and Israel's faithless bearing towards God is brought prominently forward; and by ואנכי אמרתּי it is attached to the last clause of the 18th verse. His having mentioned the land into which the Israelites would again return, carries the prophet's thoughts back again to the present and the past, to the bliss which Jahveh had designed for them, forfeited by their faithless apostasy, and to be regained only by repentant return (Graf). "I thought," refers to the time when God gave the land to their fathers for an inheritance. Then spake, i.e., thought, I; cf. Psa 31:23. How I will set thee or place thee among the sons! i.e., how I will make thee glorious among the sons (שׁית c. accus. and ב, as in 2Sa 19:29). No valid objection against this is founded by Hitz.'s plea that in that case we must read אשׁיתך, and that by Jeremiah, the teacher of morals, no heathen nation, or any but Israel, can ever be regarded as a son of God (Jer 31:9, Jer 31:20). The fem. אשׁיתך is explained by the

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personification of Judah and Israel as two sisters, extending throughout the whole prophecy. The other objection is erroneous as to the fact. In Jer 31:9 Jahveh calls Ephraim, = Israel, his first-born son, as all Israel is called by God in Exo 4:22. But the conception of first-born has, as necessary correlate, that of other "sons." Inasmuch as Jahveh the God of Israel is creator of the world and of all men, all the peoples of the earth are His בּנים; and from amongst all the peoples He has made choice of Israel as סגלּה, or chosen him for His first-born son. Hitz.'s translation: how will I endow thee with children, is contrary to the usage of the language. - The place which God willed to give Israel amongst His children is specified by the next clause: and I willed to give thee a delightful land (ארץ חמדּה as in Zec 7:14; Psa 106:24). צבי צבאות, ornament of ornaments, i.e., the greatest, most splendid ornament. For there can be no doubt that צבאות does not come from צבא, but, with Kimchi after the Targum, is to be derived from צבי; for the plural צביים from צבי may pass into צבאים, cf. Gesen. §93. 6b, as Ew., too, in §186, c, admits, though he takes our צבאות from צבא, and strains the meaning into: an heirloom-adornment amidst the hosts of heathen. After such proofs of a father's love, God expected that Israel would by a true cleaving to Him show some return of filial affection. To cry, "My father," is a token of a child's love and adherence. The Chet. תּקראוּ and תּשׁוּבוּ are not to be impugned; the Keris are unnecessary alterations.

Verses 20-21 Edit

But Israel did not meet the expectation. Like a faithless wife from her husband, Israel fell away from its God. The particle of comparison כּאשׁר is omitted before the verb, as in Isa 55:9, cf. Isa 55:10 and Isa 55:11. רע does not precisely mean husband, nor yet paramour, but friend and companion, and so here is equal to wedded husband. בּגד c. מן, withdraw faithlessly from one, faithlessly forsake - c. בּ, be faithless, deal faithlessly with one.
Yet Israel will come to a knowledge of its iniquity, and bitterly repent it, Jer 3:21. From the heights where idolatry was practised, the prophet already hears in spirit the lamentations and supplications of the Israelites entreating for forgiveness. על שׁפיים points back to Jer 3:2, when the naked heights were mentioned as the scenes of idolatry. From these places is heard the supplicating cry for pardon. כּי העווּ, because (for that) they

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had made their way crooked, i.e., had entered on a crooked path, had forgotten their God.

Verse 22 Edit

The prophet further overhears in spirit, as answer to the entreaty of the Israelites, the divine invitation and promise: Return, ye backsliding children (cf. Jer 3:14), I will heal your backslidings. ארפּה for ארפּא. Backslidings, i.e., mischief which backsliding has brought, the wounds inflicted by apostasy from God; cf. Hos 14:5, a passage which was in the prophet's mind; and fore the figure of healing, cf. Jer 30:17; Jer 33:6. To this promise they answer: Behold, we come to Thee (אתנוּ for אתאנוּ from אתא, Isa 21:12, for אתה ), for Thou art Jahveh, art our God. Of this confession they further state the cause in Jer 3:23-25.

Verse 23 Edit

From the false gods they have gained but disgrace; the salvation of Israel is found only in Jahveh their God. The thought now given is clearly expressed in the second clause of the verse; less clear is the meaning of the first clause, which tells what Israel had got from idolatry. The difficulty lies in המון הרים, which the early commentators so joined together as to make המון stat. constr. (המון). Similarly Hitz. and Graf: from the hills the host (or tumult) of the mountains is (for) a delusion; Hitz. understanding by the host of the mountains the many gods, or the numerous statues of them that were erected at the spots where they were worshipped, while Graf takes the tumult of the mountains to mean the turmoil of the pilgrims, the exulting cries of the celebrants. But it is as impossible that "the sound of the hills" should mean the multitude of the gods, as that it should mean the tumult of the pilgrims upon the mountains. Besides, the expression, "the host or tumult of the mountains comes from the hills," would be singularly tautological. These reasons are enough to show that הרים cannot be a genitive dependent on המון, but must be taken as coordinate with מגּבעות, so that the preposition מן will have to be repeated before הרים. But המון must be the subject of the clause, else where would be no subject at all. המון means bustle, eager crowd, tumult, noise, and is also used of the surging mass of earthly possessions or riches, Psa 37:16; Isa 60:5. Schnur., Ros., Maur., de W., have preferred the last meaning,

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and have put the sense thus: vana est ex collibus, vana ex montibus affluentia, or: delusive is the abundance that comes from the hills, from the mountains. This view is not to be overthrown by Graf's objection, that we cannot here entertain the idea of abundance, however, imaginary, acquired by the Israelites through idolatry, seeing that in the next verses it is declared that the false gods have devoured the wealth which the Israelites had inherited and received from God. For in the present connection the abundance would be not a real but expected or imagined abundance, the delusiveness of which would be shown in the next verse by the statement that the false gods had devoured the acquisitions of Israel. But to take המון in the sense of affluentia seems questionable here, when the context makes no reference to wealth or earthly riches, and where the abundance of the hills and mountains cannot be understood to mean their produce; the abundance is that which the idolatry practised upon the hills and mountains brought or was expected to bring to the people. Hence, along with Ew., we take this word in the sig. tumult or noise, and by it we understand the wild uproarious orgies of idolatry, which, according to Jer 3:2 and Jer 3:6, were practised on the hills and mountains (קל זנוּתהּ, Jer 3:9). Thus we obtain the sense already given by the Targ.: in vanum coluimus super collibus et non in utilitatem congregavimus nos (אתרגישׁנא ( son , prop. tumultuati sumus) super montibus, i.e., delusive and profitless were our idolatrous observances upon the heights.

Verse 24 Edit

In Jer 3:24 we are told in what particulars idolatry became to them הבּשׁת .לשׁקר, the shame, opprobrious expression for הבּעל, equal to shame-god, cf. Jer 11:13 and Hos 9:10; since the worship of Baal, i.e., of the false gods, resulted in disgrace to the people. He devoured the wealth of our fathers, namely, their sheep and oxen, mentioned as a specimen of their wealth, and their sons and daughters. The idols devoured this wealth, to in respect that sheep and oxen, and, on Moloch's altar, children too, were sacrificed, for sheep and oxen were offered to Jahveh; but because idolatry drew down judgments on the people and brought about the devastation of the land by enemies who devoured the substance of the people, and slew sons and daughters, Deu 28:30, Deu 28:33. From our youth on; - the youth of the people is the period of the judges.

Verse 25 Edit


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people does not repudiate this shame and disgrace, but is willing to endure it patiently, since by its sin it has fully deserved it. נשׁכּבה, not: we lie, but: we will lay us down in our shame, as a man in pain and grief throws himself on the ground, or on his couch (cf. 2Sa 12:16; 2Sa 13:31; 1Ki 21:4), in order wholly to give way to the feelings that crush him down. And let our disgrace cover us, i.e., enwrap us as a mourning robe or cloak; cf. Psa 35:26; Psa 109:29; Mic 7:10, Oba 1:10.

Chap. 4 Edit

Verses 1-2 Edit

Jer 4:1-2The answer of the Lord. - Jer 4:1. "If thou returnest, Israel, saith Jahveh, returnest to me; and if thou puttest away thine abominations from before my face, and strayest not, Jer 4:2. and swearest, As Jahveh liveth, in truth, with right, and uprightness; then shall the nations bless themselves in Him, and in Him make their boast." Graf errs in taking these verses as a wish: if thou wouldst but repent...and swear...and if they blessed themselves. His reason is, that the conversion and reconciliation with Jahveh has not yet taken place, and are yet only hoped for; and he cites passages for אם with the force of a wish, as Gen 13:3; Gen 28:13, where, however, נא or לוּ is joined with it. But if we take all the verbs in the same construction, we get a very cumbrous result; and the reason alleged proceeds upon a prosaic misconception of the dramatic nature of the prophet's mode of presentation from Jer 3:21 onwards. Just as there the prophet hears in spirit the penitent supplication of the people, so here he hears the Lord's answer to this supplication, by inward vision seeing the future as already present. The early commentators have followed the example of the lxx and Vulg. in construing the two verses differently, and take אלי and ולא תנוּד as apodoses: if thou returnest, Israel, then return to me; or, if thou, Israel, returnest to me, then shalt thou return, sc. into thy fatherland; and if thou puttest away thine abominations from before mine eyes, then shalt thou no longer wander; and if thou swearest...then will they bless themselves. But by reason of its position after נאם יהוה it is impossible to connect אלי with the protasis. It would be more natural to take אלי תּשׁוּב as apodosis, the אלי being put first for the sake of emphasis. But if we take it as apodosis at all, the apodosis of the second half of the verse does not rightly correspond

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to that of the first half. לא תנוּד would need to be translated, "then shalt thou no longer wander without fixed habitation," and so would refer to the condition of the people as exiled. but for this נוּד is not a suitable expression. Besides, it is difficult to justify the introduction of אם before ונשׁבּאתּ, since an apodosis has already preceded. For these reasons we are bound to prefer the view of Ew. and Hitz., that Jer 4:1 and Jer 4:2 contain nothing but protases. The removal of the abominations from before God's face is the utter extirpation of idolatry, the negative moment of the return to the Lord; and the swearing by the life of Jahveh is added as a positive expression of their acknowledgment of the true God. תנוּד is the wandering of the idolatrous people after this and the other false god, Jer 2:23 and Jer 3:13. "And strayest not" serves to strengthen "puttest away thine abominations." A sincere return to God demanded not only the destruction of images and the suppression of idol-worship, but also the giving up of all wandering after idols, i.e., seeking or longing after other gods. Similarly, swearing by Jahveh is strengthened by the additions: בּאמת, in truth, not deceptively (לשׁקר, Jer 5:2), and with right and uprightness, i.e., in a just cause, and with honest intentions. - The promise, "they shall bless themselves," etc., has in it an allusion to the patriarchal promises in Gen 12:3; Gen 18:18; Gen 22:18; Gen 26:4; Gen 28:14, but it is not, as most commentators, following Jerome, suppose, a direct citation of these, and certainly not "a learned quotation from a book" (Ew.), in which case בּו would be referable, as in those promises, to Israel, the seed of Abraham, and would stand for בּך. This is put out of the question by the parallel וּבּו יתהלּלוּ, which never occurs but with the sense of glorying in God the Lord; cf. Isa 41:16, Psa 34:3; 64:11; Psa 105:3, and Jer 9:22. Hence it follows that בּו must be referred, as Calv. refers it, to יהוה, just as in Isa 65:16 : the nations will bless themselves in or with Jahveh, i.e., will desire and appropriate the blessing of Jahveh and glory in the true God. Even under this acceptation, the only one that can be justified from an exegetical point of view, the words stand in manifest relation to the patriarchal blessing. If the heathen peoples bless themselves in the name of Jahveh, then are they become partakers of the salvation

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that comes from Jahveh; and if this blessing comes to them as a consequence of the true conversion of Israel to the Lord, as a fruit of this, then it has come to them through Israel as the channel, as the patriarchal blessings declare disertis verbis. Jeremiah does not lay stress upon this intermediate agency of Israel, but leaves it to be indirectly understood from the unmistakeable allusion to the older promise. The reason for the application thus given by Jeremiah to the divine promise made to the patriarchs is found in the aim and scope of the present discourse. The appointment of Israel to be the channel of salvation for the nations is an outcome of the calling grace of God, and the fulfilment of this gracious plan on the part of God is an exercise of the same grace - a grace which Israel by its apostasy does not reject, but helps onwards towards its ordained issue. The return of apostate Israel to its God is indeed necessary ere the destined end be attained; it is not, however, the ground of the blessing of the nations, but only one means towards the consummation of the divine plan of redemption, a plan which embraces all mankind. Israel's apostasy delayed this consummation; the conversion of Israel will have for its issue the blessing of the nations.

Verses 3-31 Edit

Threatening of Judgment upon Jerusalem and Judah. - If Judah and Jerusalem do not reform, the wrath of God will be inevitably kindled against them (Jer 4:3, Jer 4:4). Already the prophet sees in spirit the judgment bursting in upon Judah from the north, to the dismay of all who were accounting themselves secure (Jer 4:5-10). Like a hot tempest-blast it rushes on, because of the wickedness of Jerusalem (Jer 4:11-18), bringing desolation and ruin on the besotted people, devastating the whole land, and not to be turned aside by any meretricious devices (Jer 4:19-31).

Verses 3-4 Edit

Jer 4:3-4 "For thus hath Jahveh spoken to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: Break up for yourselves new ground, and sow not among thorns. Jer 4:4. Circumcise yourselves to Jahveh, and take away the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my fury break forth like fire and burn unquenchably, because of the evil of your doings." The exhortation to a reformation of life is attached by כּי, as being the

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ground of it, to the preceding exhortation to return. The אם תּשׁוּב, Jer 4:1, contained the indirect call to repent. In Jer 4:1 this was addressed to Israel. In Jer 4:3 the call comes to Judah, which the prophet had already in his eye in Jer 3; ; cf. Jer 3:7-8, Jer 3:10-11. The transition from Israel to Judah in the phrase: for thus saith Jahveh, is explained by the introduction of a connecting thought, which can without difficulty be supplied from the last clause of Jer 4:2; the promise that the nations bless themselves in Jahveh will come to be fulfilled. The thought to be supplied is: this conversion is indispensable for Judah also, for Judah too must begin a new life. Without conversion there is no salvation. The evil of their doings brings nought but heavy judgments with it. אישׁ, as often, in collective sense, since the plural of this word was little in use, see in Jos 9:6. ניר לו ניר, as in Hos 10:12, plough up new land, to bring new untilled soil under cultivation - a figure for the reformation of life; as much as to say, to prepare new ground for living on, to begin a new life. Sow not among thorns. The seed-corns are the good resolutions which, when they have sunk into the soil of the mind, should spring up into deeds (Hitz.). The thorns which choke the good seed as it grows (Mat 13:7) are not mala vestra studia (Ros.), but the evil inclinations of the unrenewed heart, which thrive luxuriantly like thorns. "Circumcise you to the Lord" is explained by the next clause: remove the foreskins of your heart. The stress lies in ליהוה; in this is implied that the circumcision should not be in the flesh merely. In the flesh all Jews were circumcised. If they then are called to circumcise themselves to the Lord, this must be meant spiritually, of the putting away of the spiritual impurity of the heart, i.e., of all that hinders the sanctifying of the heart; see in Deu 10:16. The plur. ערלות is explained by the figurative use of the word, and the reading ערלת, presented by some codd., is a correction from Deu 10:16. The foreskins are the evil lusts and longings of the heart. Lest my fury break forth like fire; cf. Jer 7:20; Amo 5:6; Psa 89:47. 'מפּני רע מ as in Deu 28:20. This judgment of wrath the prophet already in spirit sees breaking on Judah.

Verses 5-7 Edit

From the north destruction approaches. - Jer 4:5. "Proclaim in Judah, and in Jerusalem let it be heard, and say,

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'Blow the trumpet in the land; cry with a loud voice, and say, Assemble, and let us go into the defenced cities. Jer 4:6. Raise a standard toward Zion: save yourselves by flight, linger not; for from the north I bring evil and great destruction. Jer 4:7. A lion comes up from his thicket, and a destroyer of the nations is on his way, comes forth from his place, to make they land a waste, that thy cities be destroyed, without an inhabitant. Jer 4:8. For this gird you in sackcloth, lament and howl, for the heat of Jahveh's anger hath not turned itself from us. Jer 4:9. And it cometh to pass on that day, saith Jahveh, the heart of the king and the heart of the princes shall perish, and the priests shall be confounded and the prophets amazed." The invasion of a formidable foe is here represented with poetic animation; the inhabitants being called upon to publish the enemy's approach throughout the land, so that every one may hide himself in the fortified cities.[9].

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The ו before תּקעוּ in the Chet. has evidently got into the text through an error in transcription, and the Keri, according to which all the old versions translate, is the only correct reading. "Blow the trumpet in the land," is that which is to be proclaimed or published, and the blast into the far-sounding שׁופר is the signal of alarm by which the people was made aware of the danger that threatened it; cf. Joe 2:1; Hos 5:8. The second clause expresses the same matter in an intensified form and

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with plainer words. Cry, make full (the crying), i.e., cry with a full clear voice; gather, and let us go into the fortified cities; cf. Jer 8:14. This was the meaning of the trumpet blast. Raise a banner pointing towards Zion, i.e., showing the fugitives the way to Zion as the safest stronghold in the kingdom. נס, a lofty pole with a waving flag (Isa 33:23; Eze 27:7), erected upon mountains, spread the alarm farther than even the sound of the pealing trumpet; see in Isa 5:26. העיזוּ,

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secure your possessions by flight; cf. Isa 10:31. The evil which Jahveh is bringing on the land is specified by שׁבר גּדול, after Zep 1:10, but very frequently used by Jeremiah; cf. Jer 6:1; Jer 48:3; Jer 50:22; Jer 51:54. שׁבר, breaking (of a limb), Lev 21:19, then the upbreaking of what exists, ruin, destruction. In Jer 4:7 the evil is yet more fully described. A lion is come up from his thicket (סבּכו with dag. forte dirim., from שׂובך[ סבך, 2Sa 18:9], or from סבך, Psa 74:5; cf. Ew. §255, d, and Olsh. §155, b), going forth for prey. This lion is a destroyer of the nations (not merely of individual persons as the ordinary lion); he has started (נסע, or striking tents for the march), and is come out to waste the land and to destroy the cities. The infin. is continued by the temp. fin. תּצּינה, and the Kal of נצה is here used in a passive sense: to be destroyed by war.

Verse 8 Edit

For this calamity the people was to mourn deeply. For the description of the mourning, cf. Joe 1:13; Mic 1:8. For the wrath of the Lord has not turned from us, as in blind self-delusion ye imagine, Jer 2:35. The heath of Jahveh's anger is the burning wrath on account of the sins of Manasseh, with which the people has been threatened by the prophets. This wrath has not turned itself away, because even under Josiah the people has not sincerely returned to its God.

Verse 9 Edit

When this wrath bursts over them, the rulers and leaders of the people will be perplexed and helpless. The heart, i.e., the mind, is lot. For this use of לב, cf. Job 12:3; Job 34:10; Pro 7:7, etc. נשׁמּוּ, be paralyzed by terror, like the Kal in Jer 2:12. The prophets are mentioned last, because Jer 4:10 cites a word of prophecy whereby they seduced the people into a false security.

Verse 10 Edit

Jer 4:10 "Then said I, Ah, Lord Jahveh, truly Thou hast deceived this people and Jerusalem in saying, Peace shall be to you, and the sword is reaching unto the soul." This verse is to be taken as a sign addressed to God by Jeremiah when he heard the announcement of the judgment about to fall on Judah, contained in Jer 4:5-9. The Chald. has well paraphrased ואמר thus: et dixi: suscipe deprecationem meam, Jahveh, Deus. but Hensler and Ew. wish to have ואמר changed to ואמר, "so that they say," quite unnecessarily, and indeed unsuitably, since השּׁאת, thou hast deceived, is out of place either in the mouth of the people or of the lying prophets. That the

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word quoted, "Peace shall be to you," is the saying of the false prophets, may be gathered from the context, and this is directly supported by Jer 14:13; Jer 23:17. The deception of the people by such discourse from the false prophets is referred back to God: "Lord, Thou hast deceived," inasmuch as God not only permits these lying spirits to appear and work, but has ordained them and brought them forth for the hardening of the people's heart; as He once caused the spirit of prophecy to inspire as a lying spirit the prophets of Ahab, so that by promises of victory they prevailed upon him to march to that war in which, as a punishment for his godlessness, he was to perish; 1Ki 22:20-23. Umbr. takes the words less correctly as spoken in the name of the people, to whom the unexpected turn affairs had now taken seemed a deception on the part of God; and this, although it was by itself it had been deceived, through its revolt from God. For it is not the people's opinion that Jeremiah expresses, but a truth concerning which his wish is that the people may learn to recognise it, and so come to reflect and repent before it be too late. On the use of the perf. consec. ונגעה, see Ew. §342, b. As to the fact, cf. Jer 5:18, Psa 69:2.

Verses 11-13 Edit

Description of the impending ruin, from which nothing can save but speedy repentance. - Jer 4:11. "At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bleak hills in the wilderness cometh on the way toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow and not to cleanse. Jer 4:12. A wind fuller than for this shall come to me; now will I also utter judgments upon them. Jer 4:13. Behold, like clouds it draws near, and like the storm are it chariots, swifter than eagles its horses. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. Jer 4:14. Wash from wickedness thy heart, Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thine iniquitous thoughts lodge within thee? Jer 4:15. For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from the Mount Ephraim. Jer 4:16. Tell it to the peoples; behold, publish it to Jerusalem: Besiegers come from a far country, and let their voice ring out against the cities of Judah. Jer 4:17. As keepers of a field, they are against her round about; for against me hath she rebelled, saith Jahveh. Jer 4:18. Thy way and thy doings have

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wrought thee this. This is thy wickedness; yea, it is bitter, yea, it reaCheth unto thine heart."
A more minute account of the impending judgment is introduced by the phrase: at that time. It shall be said to this people; in other words, it shall be said of this people; substantially, that shall fall upon it which is expressed by the figure following, a hot wind blowing from the naked hills of the wilderness. רוּח is stat. constr., and שׁפים dna its genitive, after which latter the adjective צח should be placed; but it is interpolated between the nomen regens and the n. rectum by reason of its smallness, and partly, too, that it may not be too far separated from its nomen, while בּמּדבּר belongs to שׁפים. The wind blowing from the bleak hills in the wilderness, is the very severe east wind of Palestine. It blows in incessant gusts, and cannot be used for winnowing or cleansing the grain, since it would blow away chaff and seed together; cf. Wetzst. in Del., Job, S. 320. דּרך is universally taken adverbially: is on the way, i.e., comes, moves in the direction of the daughter of Zion. The daughter of Zion is a personification of the inhabitants of Zion or Jerusalem. This hot blast is a figure for the destruction which is drawing near Jerusalem. It is not a chastisement to purify the people, but a judgment which will sweep away the whole people, carry away both wheat and chaff - a most effective figure for the approaching catastrophe of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the carrying away captive of its inhabitants. Hitz. and Graf have, however, taken דּרך as subject of the clause: the path, i.e., the behaviour of my people, is a keen wind of the bare hills in the wilderness. Thus the conduct of the people would be compared with that wind as unprofitable, inasmuch as it was altogether windy, empty, and further as being a hurtful storm. But the comparison of the people's behaviour with a parched violent wind is a wholly unnatural one, for the justification of which it is not sufficient to point to Hos 8:7 : sow wind and reap storm. Besides, upon this construction of the illustration, the description: not to winnow and not to cleanse, is not only unmeaning, but wholly unsuitable. Who is to be winnowed and cleansed by the windy ways of the people? Jahveh?! Jer 4:14 is indeed so managed by Hitz. and Graf that the tempestuous wind blows against God,

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"is directed against Jahveh like a blast of defiance and hostility." But this argument is sufficient to overthrow that unnatural view of the figure, which, besides, obtains no support from Jer 4:12. מאלּה cannot refer to בּת־עמּי: a full wind from these, i.e., the sons of my people; and יבוא לי, in spite of the passages, Jer 22:23; Jer 50:26; Jer 51:48; Job 3:25, does not mean: comes towards me, or: blows from them on me; for in all these passages לי is dativ commodi or incommodi. Here, too, לי is dative, used of the originator and efficient cause. The wind comes for me - in plainer English: from me. Properly: it comes to God, i.e., at His signal, to carry out His will. מלא מאלּה is comparative: fuller than these, namely, the winds useful for winnowing and cleansing. Now will I too utter. The intensifying גּם does not point to a contrast in the immediately preceding clause: because the people blows against God like a strong wind, He too will utter judgment against it. The גּם refers back to the preceding לי: the storm comes from me; for now will I on my side hold judgment with them. The contrast implied in גּם lies in the wider context, in the formerly described behaviour of the people, particularly in the sayings of the false prophets mentioned in Jer 4:10, that there will be peace. On דּבּר משׁפּטים, cf. Jer 1:16.
These judgments are already on the way in Jer 4:13. "Like clouds it draws near." The subject is not mentioned, but a hostile army is meant, about to execute God's judgments. "Like clouds," i.e., in such thick dark masses; cf. Eze 38:16. The war-chariots drive with the speed of the tempest; cf. Isa 5:28; Isa 66:15. The running of the horses resembles the flight of the eagle; cf. Hab 1:8, where the same is said of the horsemen of the hostile people. Both passages are founded on Deu 28:49; but Jeremiah, while he had the expression קלּוּ מנּמרים סוּסיו, Hab 1:8, in his mind, chose נשׁרים; instead of leopards (נמרים), in this following the original in Deut.; cf. 2Sa 1:23 and Lam 4:19. Already is heard the cry of woe: we are spoiled, cf. Jer 4:20, Jer 9:18; Jer 48:1.

Verse 14 Edit

If Jerusalem wishes to be saved, it must thoroughly turn from its sin, wash its heart clean; not merely abstain outwardly from wickedness, but renounce the evil desires of the heart. In the question: How long shall...remain? we have

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implied the thought that Jerusalem has already only too long cherished and indulged wicked thoughts. תּלין is 3rd pers. imperf. Kal, not 2nd pers. Hiph.: wilt thou let remain (Schnur. and others). For the Hiphil of luwn is not in use, and besides, would need to be תּליני. The מחשׁבות און, as in Pro 6:18; Isa 59:7, refer chiefly to sins against one's neighbour, such as are reckoned up in Jer 7:5., Jer 7:8.

Verses 15-18 Edit

It is high time to cleanse oneself from sin, periculum in mora est; for already calamity is announced from Dan, even from the Mount Ephraim. קול מגּיד, the voice of him who gives the alarm, sc. נשׁמע, is heard; cf. Jer 3:21; Jer 31:15. That of which the herald gives warning is not given till the next clause. און, mischief, i.e., calamity. משׁמיע is still dependent on קול. "From Dan," i.e., the northern boundary of Palestine; see on Jdg 20:1. "From Mount Ephraim," i.e., the northern boundary of the kingdom of Judah, not far distant from Jerusalem. The alarm and the calamity draw ever nearer. "The messenger comes from each successive place towards which the foe approaches" (Hitz.). In Jer 4:16 the substance of the warning message is given, but in so animated a manner, that a charge is given to make the matter known to the peoples and in Jerusalem. Tell to the peoples, behold, cause to be heard. The הנּה in the first clause points forward, calling attention to the message in the second clause. A similar charge is given in Jer 4:5, only "to the peoples" seems strange here. "The meaning would be simple if we could take 'the peoples' to be the Israelites," says Graf. But since גּוים in this connection can mean only the other nations, the question obtrudes itself: to what end the approach of the besiegers of Jerusalem should be proclaimed to the heathen peoples. Jerome remarks on this: Vult omnes in circuitu nationes Dei nosse sententiam, et flagelatâ Jerusalem cunctos recipere disciplinam. In like manner, Chr. B. Mich., following Schmid: Gentibus, ut his quoque innotescat severitatis divinae in Judaeos exemplum. Hitz. and Gr. object, that in what follows there is no word of the taking and destruction of Jerusalem, but only of the siege; that this could form no such exemplum, and that for this the issue must be awaited. But this objection counts for little. After the description given of the enemies (cf. Jer 4:13), there can be no doubt as to the issue of the siege, that is, as to the

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taking of Jerusalem. But if this be so, then the warning of the heathen as to the coming catastrophe, by holding the case of Jerusalem before them, is not so far-fetched a thought as that it should be set aside by Hitz.'s remark: "So friendly an anxiety on behalf of the heathen is utterly unnatural to a Jew, especially seeing that the prophet is doubly absorbed by anxiety for his own people." Jeremiah was not the narrow-minded Jew Hitz. takes him for. Besides, there is no absolute necessity for holding "Tell to the peoples" to be a warning of a similar fate addressed to the heathen. The charge is but a rhetorical form, conveying the idea that there is no doubt about the matter to be published, and that it concerned not Jerusalem alone, but the nations too. This objection settled, there is no call to seek other interpretations, especially as all such are less easily justified. By changing the imper. הזכּירוּ and השׁמיעוּ into perfects, Ew. obtains the translation: "they say already to the peoples, behold, they come, already they proclaim in Jerusalem," etc.; but Hitz. and Graf have shown the change to be indefensible. Yet more unsatisfactory is the translation, "declare of the heathen," which Hitz. and Graf have adopted, following the lxx, Kimchi, Vat., and others. This destroys the parallelism, it is out of keeping with the הנּה, and demands the addition (with the lxx) of בּאוּ thereto to complete the sense. Graf and Hitz. have not been able to agree upon the sense of the second member of the verse. If we make לגּויםde gentibus, then 'השׁמיעוּ וגו ought to be: proclaim upon (i.e., concerning) Jerusalem. Hitz., however, translates, in accordance with the use of משׁמיע in vv. 5 and 15: Cry it aloud in Jerusalem (prop. over Jerusalem, Psa 49:12; Hos 8:1); but this, though clearly correct, does not correspond to the first part of the verse, according to Hitz.'s translation of it. Graf, on the other hand, gives: Call them (the peoples) out against Jerusalem - a translation which, besides completely destroying the parallelism of the two clauses, violently separates from the proclamation the thing proclaimed: Besiegers come, etc. Nor can השׁמיעוּ be taken in the sense: call together, as in Jer 50:29; Jer 51:27; 1Ki 15:22; for in that case the object could not be omitted, those who are to be called together would need to be mentioned; and it is too much to assume גּוים from the לגּוים for

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an object. The warning cry to Jerusalem runs: נצרים, besiegers, (acc. to Isa 1:8) come from the far country (cf. Jer 5:15), and give their voice (cf. 1Ki 2:15); i.e., let the tumult of a besieging army echo throughout the cities of Judah. These besiegers will be like field-keepers round about Jerusalem (עליה refers back to Jerus.), like field-keepers they will pitch their tents round the city (cf. 1Ki 1:15) to blockade it. For against me (Jahveh) was she refractory (מרהc. acc. pers., elsewhere with ב, Hos 14:1; Psa 5:11, or with את־פּי, Num 20:24, and often). This is expanded in Jer 4:18. Thy way, i.e., they behaviour and thy doings, have wrought thee this (calamity). This is thy wickedness, i.e., the effect or fruit of thy wickedness, yea, it is bitter, cf. Jer 2:19; yea, it reacheth unto thine heart, i.e., inflicts deadly wounds on thee.

Verses 19-26 Edit

Jer 4:19-26Grief at the desolation of the land the infatuation of the people. - Jer 4:19. "My bowels, my bowels! I am pained! the chambers of my heart - my heart rages within me! I cannot hold my peace! for thou hearest (the) sound of the trumpet, my soul, (the) war-cry. Jer 4:20. Destruction upon destruction is called; for spoiled is the whole land; suddenly are my tents spoiled, my curtains in a moment. Jer 4:21. How long shall I see (the) standard, hear (the) sound of the trumpet? Jer 4:22. For my people is foolish, me they know not; senseless children are they, and without understanding; wise are they to do evil, but to do good they know not. Jer 4:23. I look on the earth, and, lo, it is waste and void; and towards the heavens, and there is no light in them. Jer 4:24. I look on the mountains, and, lo, they tremble, and all the hills totter. Jer 4:25. I look, and, lo, no man is there, and all the fowls of the heavens are fled. Jer 4:26. I look, and, lo, Carmel is the wilderness, and all the cities thereof are destroyed before Jahveh, before the heath of His anger."
To express the misery which the approaching siege of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah is about to bring, the prophet breaks forth into lamentation, Jer 4:19-21. It is a much debated question, whether the prophet is the speaker, as the Chald. has taken it, i.e., whether Jeremiah is uttering his own (subjective) feelings, or whether the people is brought before us speaking, as Grot., Schnur., Hitz., Ew. believe. The

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answer is this: the prophet certainly is expressing his personal feelings regarding the nearing catastrophe, but in doing so he lends words to the grief which all the godly will feel. The lament of Jer 4:20, suddenly are my tents spoiled, is unquestionably the lament not of the prophet as an individual, but of the congregation, i.e., of the godly among the people, not of the mass of the blinded people. The violence of the grief finds vent in abrupt ejaculations of distress. "My bowels, my bowels!" is the cry of sore pain, for with the Hebrews the bowels are the seat of the deepest feelings. The Chet. אוחולה is a monstrosity, certainly a copyist's error for אחוּלה, as it is in many MSS and edd., from חוּל: I am driven to writhe in agony. The Keri אוחילה, I will wait (cf. Mic 7:7), yields no good sense, and is probably suggested merely by the cohortative form, a cohortative being regarded as out of place in the case of חוּל. But that form may express also the effort to incite one's own volition, and so would here be rendered in English by: I am bound to suffer pain, or must suffer; cf. Ew. §228, a. - קירות , prop. the walls of my heart, which quiver as the heart throbs in anguish. הומה־לּי is not to be joined with the last two words as if it were part of the same clause; in that case we should expect הומה. But these words too are an ejaculation. The subject of הומה is the following לבּי; cf. Jer 48:36. In defiance of usage, Hitz. connects לבּי with לא : my heart can I not put to silence. But this verb in Hiph. means always: be silent, never: put to silence. Not even in Job 11:3 can it have the latter meaning; where we have the same verb construed with acc. rei, as in Job 41:4, and where we must translate: at thy harangues shall the people be silent. The heart cannot be silent, because the soul hears the peal of the war-trumpet. שׁמעתּי is 2nd pers. fem., as in Jer 2:20, Jer 2:33, and freq., the soul being addressed, as in Psa 16:2 (in אמרתּ), Psa 42:6, 12. This apostrophe is in keeping with the agitated tone of the whole verse.

Verses 20-26 Edit

One destruction after another is heralded (on שׁבר, see Jer 4:6). Ew. translates loosely: wound upon wound meet one another. For the word does not mean wound, but the fracture of a limb; and it seems inadmissible to follow the Chald. and Syr. in taking נקרא here in the sense of נקרה , since the sig. "meet" does not suit שׁבר. The thought is this:

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tidings are brought of one catastrophe after another, for the devastation extends itself over the whole land and comes suddenly upon the tents, i.e., dwellings of those who are lamenting. Covers, curtains of the tent, is used as synonymous with tents; cf. Jer 10:20; Isa 54:2. How long shall I see the standard, etc.! is the cry of despair, seeing no prospect of the end to the horrors of the war. The standard and the sound of the trumpet are, as in Jer 4:5, the alarm-signals on the approach of the enemy.
There is no prospect of an end to the horrors, for (Jer 4:22) the people is so foolish that it understands only how to do the evil, but not the good; cf. for this Jer 5:21; Isa 1:3; Mic 7:3. Jer 4:21 gives God's answer to the woful query, how long the ravaging of the land by war is to last. The answer is: as long as the people persists in the folly of its rebellion against God, so long will chastising judgments continue. To bring this answer of God home to the people's heart, the prophet, in Jer 4:23-26, tells what he has seen in the spirit. He has seen (ראיתי, perf. proph.) bursting over Judah a visitation which convulses the whole world. The earth seemed waste and void as at the beginning of creation, Gen 1:2, before the separation of the elements and before the creation of organic and living beings. In heaven no light was to be seen, earth and heaven seemed to have been thrown back into a condition of chaos. The mountains and hills, these firm foundations of the earth, quivered and swayed (התקלקל, be put into a light motion, cf. Nah 1:5); men had fled and hidden themselves from the wrath of God (cf. Isa 2:19, Isa 2:21), and all the birds had flown out of sight in terror at the dreadful tokens of the beginning catastrophe (Gen 9:9). The fruitful field was the wilderness - not a wilderness, but "changed into the wilderness with all its attributes" (Hitz.). הכּרמל is not appell. as in Jer 2:7, but nom. prop. of the lower slopes of Carmel, famed for their fruitfulness; these being taken as representatives of all the fruitful districts of the land. The cities of the Carmel, or of the fruitful-field, are manifestly not to be identified with the store cities of 1Ki 9:19, as Hitz. supposes, but the cities in the most fertile districts of the country, which, by reason of their situation, were in a prosperous condition, but now are destroyed. "Before the heat of His

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anger," which is kindled against the foolish and godless race; cf. Nah 1:6; Isa 13:13.

Verses 27-31 Edit

Jer 4:27-31The devastation of Judah, though not its utter annihilation, is irrevocably decreed, and cannot be turned away by any meretricious expedients. - Jer 4:27."For thus saith Jahveh, A waste shall the whole land be, yet will I not make an utter end. Jer 4:28. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heaven above darken, because I have said it, purposed it, and repent it not, neither will I turn back from it. Jer 4:29.For the noise of the horseman and bowman every city flees; they come into thickets, and into clefts of the rock they go up; every city is forsaken, and no man dwells therein. Jer 4:30.And thou, spoiled one, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself in purple, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou tearest open thine eyes with paint, in vain thou makest thyself fair; the lovers despise thee, they seek thy life. Jer 4:31. For I hear a voice as of a woman in travail, anguish as of one who bringeth forth her first-born, the voice of the daughter of Zion; she sigheth, she spreadeth out her hands: Woe is me! for my soul sinketh powerless beneath murderers."

Verses 27-29 Edit

Jer 4:27 and Jer 4:28 confirm and explain what the prophet has seen in spirit in Jer 4:23-26. A waste shall the land become; but the wasting shall not be a thorough annihilation, not such a destruction as befell Sodom and Gomorrah. עשׂה , as in Nah 1:8., Isa 10:23, and freq. This limitation is yet again in v. Jer 5:10, Jer 5:18 made to apply to Jerusalem, as it has done already to the people at large. It is founded on the promise in Lev 26:44, that the Lord will punish Israel with the greatest severity for its stubborn apostasy from Him, but will not utterly destroy it, so as to break His covenant with it. Accordingly, all prophets declare that after the judgments of punishment, a remnant shall be left, from which a new holy race shall spring; cf. Amo 9:8; Isa 6:13; Isa 11:11, Isa 11:16; Isa 10:20., Mic 2:12; Mic 5:6; Zep 3:13, etc. "For this" refers to the first half of Jer 4:27, and is again resumed in the על כּי following: for this, because Jahveh hath purposed the desolation of the whole land. The earth mourns, as in Hos 4:3, because her productive power is impaired by the ravaging of the land. The heaven blackens itself, i.e., shrouds itself in dark clouds (1Ki 18:45),

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so as to mourn over the desolated earth. The vividness of the style permits "have decreed it" to be appended as asyndeton to "I have said it," for the sake of greater emphasis. God has not only pronounced the desolation of the land, but God's utterance in this is based upon a decree which God does not repent, and from which He will not turn back. The lxx have placed the זמּתי after נחמתּי, and have thus obtained a neater arrangement of the clauses; but by this the force of expression in "I have said it, decreed it," is weakened. In Jer 4:29 the desolation of the land is further portrayed, set forth in Jer 4:30 as inevitable, and exhibited in its sad consequences in Jer 4:31. On the approach of the hostile army, all the inhabitants flee into inaccessible places from the clatter or noise of the horsemen and archers. He that casts the bow, the bowman; cf. Psa 78:9. כּל־העיר means, in spite of the article, not the whole city, but every city, all cities, as may be gathered from the בּהן, which points back to this. So frequently before the definite noun, especially when it is further defined by a relative clause, as e.g., Exo 1:22; Deu 4:3; 1Sa 3:17; cf. Ew. §290, c. For the first כּל־העירthe lxx have πᾶσα ἡ χώρα, and accordingly J. D. Mich., Hitz., and Graf propose to amend to כּל־הארץ, so as to avoid "the clumsy repetition." But we cannot be ruled here by aesthetic principles of taste. Clearly the first "every city" means the populace of the cities, and so בּאוּ is: they (i.e., the men) come, pouring forth. עבים is not here clouds, but, according to its etymology, to be dark, means the dark thickets or woods; cf. the Syr. ̀āb, wood. כּפים, rocks, here clefts in the rocks, as is demanded by the בּ. For this state of things, cf. Isa 2:19, Isa 2:21, and the accounts of Jdg 6:2; 1Sa 13:6, where the Israelites hide themselves from the invading Midianites in caves, ravines, thorn-thickets, rocks, and natural fastnesses.

Verse 30 Edit

In vain will Jerusalem attempt to turn away calamity by the wiles of a courtesan. In Jer 4:31 the daughter of Zion is addressed, i.e., the community dwelling around the citadel of Zion, or the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom, regarded as a female personality (as to בּת־ציּון, see on Isa 1:8). "Spoiled one" is in apposition not to the אתּי, but to the person in the verb;

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it is regarded as adverbial, and so is without inflexion: if thou art spoiled, like ערום, Job 24:7, Job 24:10; cf. Ew. §316, b. The following clauses introduced by כּי are not so connected with the question, what wilt thou do? as that כּי should mean that: what wilt thou do, devise to the end that thou mayest clothe thee? (Graf); the כּי means if or though, and introduces new clauses, the apodosis of which is: "in vain," etc. If thou even clothest thyself in purple. שׁני, the crimson dye, and stuffs or fabrics dyed with it, see in Exo 25:4. פּוּך is a pigment for the eye, prepared from silver-glance, sulphur-antimony - the Cohol, yet much esteemed by Arab women, a black powder with a metallic glitter. It is applied to the eyelids, either dry or reduced to a paste by means of oil, by means of a blunt-pointed style or eye-pencil, and increases the lustre of dark eyes so that they seem larger and more brilliant. See the more minute account in Hillel, on the eye-paint of the East, in ref. to 2Ki 9:30. קרע, tear asunder, not, prick, puncture, as Ew., following J. D. Mich., makes it. This does not answer the mode of using the eye-paint, which was this: the style rubbed over with the black powder is drawn horizontally through between the closed eyelids, and these are thus smeared with the ointment. This proceeding Jeremiah sarcastically terms rending open the eyes. As a wife seeks by means of paint and finery to heighten the charms of her beauty in order to please men and gain the favour of lovers, so the woman Jerusalem will attempt by like stratagems to secure the favour of the enemy; but in vain like Jezebel in 2Ki 9:30. The lovers will despise her. The enemies are called lovers, paramours, just as Israel's quest for help amongst the heathen nations is represented as intrigue with them; see on Jer 2:33, Jer 2:36.

Verse 31 Edit

Jer 4:31, as giving a reason, is introduced by כּי. Zion's attempts to secure the goodwill of the enemy are in vain, for already the prophet hears in spirit the agonized cry of the daughter of Zion, who beseechingly stretches out her hands for help, and falls exhausted under the assassin's strokes. חולה, partic. Kal faem. from חוּל; see Ew. §151, b, and Gesen. §72, Rem. 1. צרה, in parallelism with קול and dependent on "I hear," means cry of anguish. התיפּח, breathe heavily, pant, sign. תּפרשׂ is joined asynd. with the preceding word, but is in sense subordinate to it: she sighs with hands spread out;

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a pleading gesture expressing a prayer for protection. עיף, be exhausted, here = sink down faint, succumb to the murderers.

Chap. 5 Edit

The Causes which Called Down the Judgment Pronounced: The Total Corruption of the People. - Chr. B. Mich. has excellently summed up thus the contents of this chapter: Deus judicia sua, quae cap. IV praedixerat, justificat ostendens, se quamvis invitum, tamen non aliter posse quam punire Judaeos propter praefractam ipsorum malitiam. The train of thought in this chapter is the following: God would pardon if there were to be found in Jerusalem but one who practised righteousness and strove to keep good faith; but high and low have forsaken God and His law, and serve the false gods. This the Lord must punish (Jer 5:1-9). Judah, like Israel, disowns the Lord, and despises the words of His prophets; therefore the Lord must affirm His word by deeds of judgment (Jer 5:10-18). Because they serve the gods of strangers, He will throw them into bondage to strange peoples, that they may learn to fear Him as the Almighty God and Lord of the world, who withholds His benefits from them because their sins keep them far from Him (Jer 5:19-25); for wickedness and crime have acquired a frightful predominance (Jer 5:26-31).

Verses 1-2 Edit

Jer 5:1-2 By reason of the universal godlessness and moral corruption the Lord cannot pardon. - Jer 5:1. "Range through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek upon her thoroughfares, if ye find any, if any doth judgment, seeketh after faithfulness, and I will pardon her. Jer 5:2. And if they say, 'As Jahveh liveth,' then in this they swear falsely. Jer 5:3.Jahveh, are not Thine yes upon faithfulness? Thou smitest them, an they are not pained; thou consumest them, they will take no correction; they make their face harder than rock, they will not turn. Jer 5:4. And I thought, It is but the baser sort, they are foolish; for they know not the way of Jahveh, the judgment of their God. Jer 5:5. I will get me then to the great, and will speak with them, for they know the way of Jahveh, the judgment of their God; yet together have they broken the yoke, burst the bonds. Jer 5:6. Therefore a lion out of the wood smiteth them, a wolf of the deserts

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spoileth them, a leopard lieth in wait against their cities: every one that goeth out thence is torn in pieces; because many are their transgressions, many their backslidings. Jer 5:7. Wherefore should I pardon thee? thy sons have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods. I caused them to sear, but they committed adultery, and crowd into the house of the harlot. Jer 5:8. Like well-fed horses, they are roaming about; each neigheth after the other's wife. Jer 5:9.Shall I not punish this? saith Jahveh; or shall not my soul be avenged on such a people as this?"
The thought of Jer 5:1, that in Jerusalem there is not to be found one solitary soul who concerns himself about uprightness and sincerity, does not, though rhetorically expressed, contain any rhetorical hyperbole or exaggeration such as may have arisen from the prophet's righteous indignation, or have been inferred from the severity of the expected judgment (Hitz.); it gives but the simple truth, as is seen when we consider that it is not Jeremiah who speaks according to the best of his judgment, but God, the searcher of hearts. Before the all-seeing eye of God no man is pure and good. They are all gone astray, and there is none that doeth good, Psa 14:2-3. And if anywhere the fear of God is the ruling principle, yet when the look falls on the mighty hosts of the wicked, even the human eye loses sight of the small company of the godly, since they are in no case to exert an influence on the moral standing of the whole mass. "If ye find any" is defined by, "if there is a worker of right;" and the doing of right or judgment is made more complete by "that seeketh faithfulness," the doing of right or judgment is made more complete by "that seeketh faithfulness," the doing being given as the outcome of the disposition. אמוּנה is not truth (אמת), but sincerity and good faith. On this state of affairs, cf. Hos 4:1; Mic 7:2; Isa 64:5. The pledge that God would pardon Jerusalem if He found but one righteous man in it, recalls Abraham's dealing with God on behalf of Sodom, Gen 18:23. In support of what has been said, it is added in Jer 5:2, that they even abuse God's name for lying purposes; cf. Lev 19:12. Making oath by the life of Jahveh is not looked on here as a confession of faith in the Lord, giving thus as the sense, that even their worship of God was but the work of the lips, not of the heart (Ros.); but the

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solemn appeal to the living God for the purpose of setting the impress of truth on the face of a life, is brought forward as evidence that there is none that strives after sincerity. the antithesis forced in here by Hitz. and Graf is foreign to text and context both, viz., that between swearing by Jahveh and by the false gods, or any other indifferent name. The emphasis lies on swearing לשׁקר, as opposed to swearing in the way demanded by God, בּאמת וּבמשׁפּט וּבצדקה, Jer 4:2. לכן, therein, i.e., yet even in this, or nevertheless.

Verse 3 Edit

The eye of the Lord is directed towards faithfulness, which is not to be found in Jerusalem (Jer 5:1), ל showing the direction toward person or thing, as in Psa 33:18, where ל alternates with אל. Hitz. is wrong in translating: are not thine eyes faithful, i.e., directed according to faithfulness; a sense quite unsuitable here, since the matter in hand is not the character or direction of the eye of God, but that on which God looks. But because God desired sincerity, and there was none in the people of Jerusalem, He has smitten them, chastised them, but they felt no pain (חלוּ from חלה, the tone being drawn back by reason of the '); the chastisement made no impression. Thou consumedst them, exterminatedst them, i.e., "Thou hast utterly exterminated multitudes and swarms of them" (Hitz.), but they refused to receive correction; cf. Jer 2:30. They made their face harder than rock, i.e., hardened themselves by obstinately setting the divine chastisements at naught; cf. Eze 3:7-8.

Verses 4-5 Edit

This total want of good faith and uprightness is found not only in the lower orders of the populace, amongst the mean and ignorant rabble, but in the higher ranks of the educated. This is rhetorically put in this shape, that Jeremiah, believing that only the common people are so deeply sunk in immorality, turns to the great to speak to them, and amongst them discovers a thorough-going renunciation of the law of God. דּלּים, weak, are the mean and poor of the people, who live from hand to mouth in rudeness and ignorance, their anxieties bent on food and clothing (cf. Jer 39:10; Jer 40:7). These do foolishly (נואלוּ as in Num 12:11), from want of religious training. They know not the way of Jahveh, i.e., the way, the manner of life, prescribed to men by God in His word; cf. 2Ki 21:22; Psa 25:9, etc. The judgment of their God, i.e., that

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which God demanded as right and lawful, 2Ki 17:26, etc. The great, i.e., the wealthy, distinguished, and educated. Yet even these have broken the yoke of the law, i.e., have emancipated themselves from obedience to the law (Hitz.); cf. Jer 2:20. Therefore they must be visited with punishment.

Verses 6-8 Edit

This verse is neither a threatening of future punishments, nor is to be taken figuratively (lion, bear, leopard, as figures for dreadful enemies). The change from the perf. הכּם to the imperf. ישׁדדם and יטּרף tells against the future construction, showing as it does that the verbs are used aoristically of chastisements which have partly already taken place, which may be partly yet to come. And the figurative explanation of the beasts of prey by hostile peoples - found so early as the Chald. - is not in the least called for by the text; nor is it easy to reconcile it with the specification of various kinds of wild beasts. The words are a case of the threatening of the law in Lev 26:22, that God will chasten the transgressors of His law by sending beasts of prey which shall rob them of their children. Cf. with the promise, that if they keep His commandments, He will destroy the wild beasts out of the land. Cf. also the fact given in 2Ki 17:25, that God sent lions amongst the heathen colonists who had been transplanted into the depopulated kingdom of the ten tribes, lions which slew some of them, because they served not Jahveh. The true conception of the words is confirmed by Eze 14:15, when in like manner the sending of evil (ravening) beasts is mentioned as an example of God's punishments. הכּה, smite, is a standing expression for the lion's way of striking down his prey with his paws; cf. 1Ki 20:36. זאב ערבות is not wolf of the evening, as Chald. Syr., Hitz. explain it, following Hab 1:8 and Zep 3:3; for ערבות is not the plural of ערב, but of ערבה, steppe: the wolf that lives in the steppe, and thence makes its raids on inhabited spots. The reference of the words to place is suggested plainly by the parallel, the lion out of the wood. The leopard (panther) watches, i.e., lies lurking in wait against their cities, to tear those that come out. The panther is wont to lie in wait for his prey, and to spring suddenly out on it; cf. Hos 13:7. With "because many are thy transgressions," cf. Jer 30:14.

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Since these chastisements have profited nothing God cannot pardon the people. This is the meaning of the question in Jer 5:7, אי לזאת, wherefore should I then pardon? not, should I then pardon for this? for אי by itself does not stand for ה interrog., but is set before the pronom. demonstr. to give it the force of an interrogative adjective; cf. Ew. §326, a. The Cheth. אסלוחest obsoletum adeoque genuinum (Ros.); the Keri substitutes the usual form. To justify the question with a negative answer implied, the people's fall into idolatry is again set up before it in strong colours. Thy sons (the sons of the daughter of Zion, i.e., of the national congregation, and so the individual members of the nation; cf. Lev 19:18) have forsaken me, and swear by them that are not gods, i.e., the idols; cf. Jer 2:11. For אשׁבּיע אותם, I caused them to swear, the old translators have אשׂבּיע , I filled them to the full, and so it is read in many codd. and edd. This reading is preferred by most of the ancient commentators, and they appeal for a parallel to Jer 5:28, and Deu 32:15 ("when Jeshurun waxed fat, he kicked"), Hos 13:6; Neh 9:25, etc., where apostasy from God is chidden as a consequence of superfluity of earthly goods. So Luther: "and now that I have filled them full, they committed adultery." Now possibly it is just the recollection of the passages cited that has suggested the reading אשׂביע. The apodosis, they committed adultery, forms no antithesis to filling full. Adultery presupposes a marriage vow, or troth plighted by an oath. God caused Israel to swear fidelity when He made the covenant with it at Sinai, Ex 24. This oath Israel repeated at each renewal of the covenant, and last under Josiah: 2Ki 23:3; 2Ch 34:31. Hence we must not wholly restrict the searing to the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai, nor wholly to the renewal of it under Josiah. We must refer it to both acts, or rather to the solemnity at Sinai, together with all solemn renewals of it in after times; while at the same time the reference to the renewal under Josiah, this being still fresh in memory, may have been the foremost. We must not confine the reference of ינאפוּ to spiritual adultery (= a fall away from Jahveh into idolatry); the context, especially the next clause, and yet more unmistakeably Jer 5:8, refers to carnal uncleanness. This too was a breach

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of the covenant, since in taking it the people bound itself not only to be faithful to God, but to keep and follow all the laws of His covenant. That the words, crowd into the house of the harlot, i.e., go thither in crowds, are to be taken of carnal uncleanness, may be gathered from Jer 5:8: each neighs after the wife of his neighbour. Fornication is denounced as a desecration of the name of the Lord in Amo 2:7. The first clause of Jer 5:8 suggests a comparison: well-fed horses are they, i.e., they resemble such. On the lechery of horses, see on Eze 23:20. The Cheth. מוזנים is partic. Hoph. of זוּן, in Aram. feed, fatten, here most suitable. The Keri מיזנים would be the partic. Pu. from יזן, the meaning of which is doubtful, given arbitrarily by Kimchi and others as armati sc. membro genitali. משׁכּים, too, is derived from משׁך, and given by Jerome sensu obscaeno: trahentes sc. genitalia; but משׁכּים cannot come from משׁך, משׁכּים being the only possible form in that case. Nor does trahentes, "draught-horses" (Hitz.), give a sense at all in point for the comparison. A better view is that of those who follow Simonis, in holding it to be partic. Hiph. of שׁכה, in Aethiop. oberravit, vagatus est. The participle is not to be joined with "horses" as a second qualifying word, but to be taken with היוּ, the periphrastic form being chosen to indicate the enduring chronic character of the roaming.

Verse 9 Edit

Such abandoned behaviour the Lord must punish.

Verses 10-13 Edit

Jer 5:10-13In spite of the feeling of security fostered by the false prophets, the Lord will make good His word, and cause the land and kingdom to be laid waste by a barbarous people. - Jer 5:10."Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy, but make not a full end: tear away her tendrils; for they are not Jahveh's. Jer 5:11.For faithless to me is the house of Israel become and the house of Judah, saith Jahveh. Jer 5:12.They deny Jahveh, and say, He is not; and evil shall not come upon us, and sword and famine we shall not see. Jer 5:13.And the prophets shall become wind, and he that speaketh is not in them: so may it happen unto them. Jer 5:14.Therefore thus saith Jahveh the God of hosts: Because ye speak this word, behold, I make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. Jer 5:15.Behold, I bring upon you a nation from far, house of Israel, saith Jahveh, a people that is strong,

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a people that is from of old, a people whose speech thou knowest not, and understandest not what it saith. Jer 5:16.Its quiver is as an open grave, they are all mighty men. Jer 5:17.It shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread; they shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters; it shall eat up thy flocks and thy cattle, eat up thy vine and thy fig-tree; it shall break down thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustest, with the sword. Jer 5:18.But yet in those days, saith Jahveh, I will not make a full end with you."
To give emphasis to the threat, that the Lord will avenge Himself on such a people, we have immediately following, in Jer 5:10, the summons given to the enemy to subdue the land.עלוּ בשׁרותיה is variously explained. The old translators took שׁרות to mean walls; but the second clause, tear away the tendrils, seems not to suit this well. And then this word occurs but once again, and with the meaning "caravan," while walls are שׁוּרות in Job 24:11. But this reason is not strong enough to throw any doubt on the rendering: walls, supported as it is by the old versions. The form שׁרות from שׁוּר is contracted from a form שׁורים, constructed analogously to שׁורות. The second clause would be unsuitable to the first only in the case that walls were to mean exclusively town walls or fortifications. But this is not the case. Even if the suffix here referred to Jerusalem, mentioned in Jer 5:1, which is very doubtful, still then the city would be looked on not in the light of a stronghold, but only as representative of the kingdom or of the theocracy. Probably, however, the suffix refers to the daughter of Zion as seat of the kingdom of God, and the idea of a vineyard was in the prophet's mind (cf. Jer 2:21), under which figure Isaiah (Isa 5:1-7) set forth the kingdom of God founded on Mount Zion; so that under walls, the walls of the vineyard are to be thought of. Elsewhere, indeed, these are called גּדרות (also in Jer 49:3), but only where the figure of a vineyard is further developed, or at least is brought more plainly and prominently forward. Here, again, where the enemy is summoned to go upon the walls, this figure is mixed up with that of a city; and so the word שׂרות, as indicating walls of any kind, seems most fitting. Graf has overthrown, as being unfounded, Hitz.'s assertion, that עלה signified only, to go up against a thing; and that

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accuracy and elegance required that the destruction should be of the walls, not of the vineyard itself. עלה c. בּ means also: to go up upon a thing, e.g., Psa 24:3; Deu 5:5; and the verb שׁחתוּ stands quite absolutely, so that it cannot be restricted to the walls. "And destruction can only take place when, by scaling the walls, entrance has been obtained into that which is to be destroyed, be it city or vineyard." We therefore adhere to the sig. walls, especially since the other translations attempted by Ew. and Hitz. are wholly without foundation. Hitz. will have us read שׂרותיה, and take this as plural of שׁורה; next he supposes a row of vines to be intended, but he obtains this sense only by arbitrarily appending the idea of vines. Ew. endeavours, from the Aram. and Arab., to vindicate for the word the meaning: clusters of blossom, and so to obtain for the whole the translation: push in amidst the blossom-spikes. A singular figure truly, which in no way harmonizes with עלוּ ב. "Destroy" is restricted by the following "but make not," etc.; see on Jer 4:27. On "tear away her tendrils," cf. Isa 18:5. The spoilers are not to root up the vine itself, but to remove the tendrils, which do not belong to Jahveh. Spurious members of the nation are meant, those who have degenerated out of their kind.
The reasons of this command are given in Jer 5:11., by a renewed exposure of the people's apostasy. The house of Israel and the house of Judah are become faithless. On this cf. Jer 3:6. The mention of Israel along with Judah gives point to the threatening, since judgment has already been executed upon Israel. Judah has equalled Israel in faithlessness, and so a like fate will be its lot. Judah shows its faithlessness by denying the Lord, by saying לא הוּא. This Ew. translates: not so, after the οὐκ ἔστι ταῦτα of the lxx; but he is certainly wrong in this. Even though הוּא may be used in place of the neuter, yet it cannot be so used in this connection, after the preceding כּחשׁוּ ביהוה. Better to take it: He is not, as the fools speak in Psa 14:1 : there is no God, i.e., go on in their lives as if God were not. "Jahveh is not" is therefore in other words: there exists not a God such as Jahveh is preached to us, who is to visit His people with sore punishments. This view is not open to the objection, quod pro lubitu supplent, which Ros.

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raises against the interpretation: non est is, qualem prophetae describunt. For we take הוּא not as is qualem, but as est sc. Jahveh; and we explain the meaning of Jahveh only in that reference in which He is disowned by these men, namely, as God who visits His people with punishments. In this character He was preached by the prophets. This appears from what is further said by these disowners of God: evil or mischief will not come on us. To a saying of this kind they could have been provoked only by threatenings of punishments. The prophets were not indeed the first to announce judgments; Moses in the law threatened transgressors with the sorest punishments. But the context, the threatening against the false prophets in Jer 5:13, suggests that here we are to think of announcements by the prophets. Doubtless the false prophets assured the people: evil shall not come upon you, in opposition to the true prophets, who threatened the sinful race with the judgments of God. Such prophets are to become wind, sc. with their utterances. הדּבּר is not a noun: the word, but a verb, with the article instead of the relative pronoun, as in Josh. 1:24; 1Ch 26:28, and often: He who speaks is not in them, i.e., in them there is none other speaker than themselves; the Spirit of God is not in them. אין, "there is none," is stronger than לא, meaning: they speak out of their own hearts. The threat, so be it unto them, may be most simply referred to the first clause: they become wind. Let the emptiness of their prophecies fall on their own heads, so that they themselves may come to nought.

Verses 14-16 Edit

But the people is to have proof of the truth of the word of the Lord. Because it, despising the threatening of punishment, says: Misfortune shall not light upon us, the Lord will make the word in the mouth of Jeremiah a fire, and the people wood, that the fire may consume it. On this figure, cf. Isa 1:31; Isa 10:17. Jer 5:15. explain this, and announce the inroad of a dreadful enemy that is to lay waste the land and consume the people. "A people from far," as in Jer 4:16. Judah is called "house of Israel," not so much because it is what remains of Israel, but because, after the captivity of the ten tribes, Judah regarded itself as the only true Israel or people of God. Further description of the hostile people is intended to show its formidable power, and to inspire dread. איתן, enduring,

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firm, strong; cf. Gen 49:24; Mic 6:2. מעולם, dating from eternity, i.e., very ancient, not of recent origin, but become mighty in immemorial antiquity. A people speaking a language unfamiliar to the Jews, to comprehend whom is impossible, i.e., barbarous; cf. Deu 28:49. Further (Jer 5:16), it is a race of very heroes, fully furnished with deadly weapons. J. D. Mich. took objection to the figure, "its quiver is as an open grave;" but his conjecture שׂפתו put nothing better in place of it. The link of comparison is this: as an open grave is filled with dead men, so the quiver of this enemy is filled with deadly missiles.

Verses 17-18 Edit

This people will devour the harvest and the bread, the children, the cattle, and the best fruits of the land. Devour, here as often, in the wider sense, destroy; cf. e.g., Jer 3:24 and Jer 10:25, where the first half of the present verse is compressed into the words: they ate up Jacob. We need not wait to refute Hitz.'s absurd remark, that the author imagined the enemy, the assumed Scythians, to be cannibals. In the second half of the verse the words, "the fenced cities wherein thou trustest,"are a reminiscence of Deu 28:52; and hence we may see, that while our prophet is describing the enemy in Jer 5:15-18, Moses' threatening, Deu 28:49-52, was in his mind. רשׁשׁ, break in pieces, as in Mal 1:4. With the sword, i.e., by force of arms; the sword, as principal weapon, being named, instead of the entire apparatus of war. In Jer 5:18 the restriction of Jer 5:10 (cf. Jer 4:27) is repeated, and with it the threatening of judgment is rounded off.

Verse 19 Edit

Jer 5:19This calamity Judah is preparing for itself by its obduracy and excess of wickedness. - Jer 5:19."And if ye then shall say, Wherefore hath Jahveh our God done all this unto us? then say to them, Like as ye have forsaken me and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours. Jer 5:20. Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, Jer 5:21.Hear now this, foolish people without understanding, that have eyes and see not, have ears and hear not. Jer 5:22. Me will ye not fear, saith Jahve, nor tremble before me? who have set the sand for a bound to the sea, an everlasting boundary that it passes not, and its waves toss themselves and cannot, and roar and pass not over. Jer 5:23.But this people hath a stubborn and

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rebellious heart; they turned away and went. Jer 5:24.And said not in their heart: Let us now fear Jahveh our God, who giveth rain, the early rain and the late rain, in its season; who keepeth for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Jer 5:25.Your iniquities have turned away these, and your sins have withholden the good from you. Jer 5:26.For among my people are found wicked men; they lie in wait as fowlers stoop; they set a trap, they catch men. Jer 5:27.As a cage full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore are they become great and rich. Jer 5:28.They are grown fat and sleek, they go beyond bound in wickedness; the cause they try not, the cause of the orphans, that they might have prosperity; and the right of the needy they judge not. Jer 5:29.Shall I not punish this? saith Jahveh; shall not my soul be avenged on such a people as this? Jer 5:30.The appalling and horrible is done in the land. Jer 5:31.The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule under their lead, and my people loves it so. But what will ye do in the end thereof."
The thought of Jer 5:19, that the people, by its apostasy, draws down this judgment on itself, forms the transition from the threat of punishment to the reproof of sins. The penalty corresponds to the sin. Because Judah in its own land serves the gods of foreigners, so it must serve strangers in a foreign land.

Verses 20-22 Edit

The reproof of sins is introduced by an apostrophe to the hardened race. The exhortation, "Publish this," is addressed to all the prophet's hearers who have the welfare of the people at heart. "This," in Jer 5:20 and Jer 5:21, refers to the chiding statement from Jer 5:23 onwards, that the people fears not God. The form of address, people foolish and without understanding (cf. Jer 4:22; Hos 7:11), is made cutting, in order, if possible, to bring the people yet to their senses. The following clauses, "they have eyes," etc., depict spiritual blindness and deafness, as in Eze 12:22; cf. Deu 29:3. Blindness is shown in that they see not the government of God's almighty power in nature; deafness, in that they hear not the voice of God in His word. They have no fear even of the God whose power has in the sand set an impassable barrier for the mighty waves of the sea. "Me" is put first for emphasis. The waves beat against their appointed barrier, but are

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not able, sc. to pass it.

Verses 23-24 Edit

But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; it bows not beneath the almighty hand of God. "Stubborn and rebellious," joined as in Deu 21:18, Deu 21:20. Hence the following סרוּ is not to be taken from סרר: they defy (Hitz.), but from סוּר: they turn away and go off, and consider not that they owe their daily bread to the Lord. Neither does God's power move the obdurate people to the fear of Him, nor do the proofs of His love make any impression. They do not consider that God gives them the rain which lends the land its fruitfulness, so that at the fixed time they may gather in the harvest. The ו cop. before יורה is rejected by the Masoretes in the Keri as out of place, since גּשׁם is not any special rain, co-ordinate to the early and late rain (Hitz.), or because they had Deu 11:14; Joe 2:23 before them. But in this they failed to notice that the ו before יורה and that before מלקושׁ are correlative, having the force of et - et. שׁבעת is stat. constr. from שׁבעת, weeks, and to it חקּות is co-ordinated in place of an adjective, so that קציר is dependent on two co-ordinate stat. constr., as in Jer 46:9, Jer 46:11; Zep 2:6. But the sense is not, the weeks, the statutes, of the harvest, i.e., the fixed and regulated phenomena which regulate the harvest (Graf), but, appointed weeks of harvest. The seven weeks between the second day of the passover and the feast of harvest, or of weeks, Exo 23:16; Exo 34:22; Deu 16:9., are what is here meant. We must reject the rendering, "oath as to the harvest-time" (L. de Dieu, J. D. Mich., and Ew.), since Scripture knows nothing of oaths taken by God as to the time of harvest; in Gen 8:22 there is no word of an oath.

Verses 25-27 Edit

The people has by its sins brought about the withdrawal of these blessings (the withholding of rain, etc.). הטּוּ, turned away, as in Amo 5:12; Mal 3:5. "These," i.e., the blessings mentioned in Jer 5:24. The second clause repeats the same thing. The good, i.e., which God in His goodness bestowed on them.
This is established in Jer 5:26. by bringing home to the people their besetting sins. In (amidst) the people are found notorious sinners. ישׁוּר in indefinite generality: they spy about, lie in wait; cf. Hos 13:7. The singular is chosen because the act described is not undertaken in company, but by individuals. שׁך from שׁכך, bend down, stoop, as bird-catchers hide

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behind the extended nets till the birds have gone in, so as then to draw them tight. "They set;" not the fowlers, but the wicked ones. משׁחית, destroyer (Exo 12:23, and often), or destruction (Ezek. 21:36); here, by virtue of the context, a trap which brings destruction. The men they catch are the poor, the needy, and the just; cf. Jer 5:28 and Isa 29:21. The figure of bird-catching leads to a cognate one, by which are set forth the gains of the wicked or the produce of their labours. As a cage is filled with captured birds, so the houses of the wicked are filled with deceit, i.e., possessions obtained by deceit, through which they attain to credit, power, and wealth. Graf has overthrown Hitz.'s note, that we must understand by מרמה, not riches obtained by deceit, but he means and instruments of deceit; and this on account of the following: therefore they enrich themselves. But, as Graf shows, it is not the possession of these appliances, but of the goods acquired by deceit, that has made these people great and rich, "as the birds that fill the cage are not a means for capture, but property got by cunning." כּלוּב, cage, is not strictly a bird-cage, but a bird-trap woven of willows (Amo 8:1), with a lid to shut down, by means of which birds were caught.

Verse 28 Edit

Through the luxurious living their wealth makes possible to them, they are grown fat and sleek. עשׁתוּ, in graphic description, is joined asynd. to the preceding verb. It is explained by recent comm. of fat bodies, become glossy, in keeping with the noun עשׁת, which in Sol 5:14 expresses the glitter of ivory; for the meaning cogitare, think, meditate, which עשׁת bears in Chald., yields no sense available here. The next clause is variously explained. גּם points to another, yet worse kind of behaviour. It is not possible to defend the translation: they overflow with evil speeches, or swell out with evil things (Umbr., Ew.), since עבר c. accus. does not mean to overflow with a thing. Yet more arbitrary is the assumption of a change of the subject: (their) evil speeches overflow. The only possible subject to the verb is the wicked ones, with whom the context deals before and after. דּברי־רע are not words of wickedness = what may be called wickedness, but things of wickedness, wicked things. דּברי serves to distribute the idea of רע into the particular cases into which it falls, as in Psa 65:4; Psa 105:27, and elsewhere, where it is commonly

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held to be pleonastic. Hitz. expounds truly: the individual wickednesses in which the abstract idea of wicked manifests itself. Sense: they go beyond all that can be conceived as evil, i.e., the bounds of evil or wickedness. The cause they plead not, namely, the case of the orphans. ויצליחוּ, imperf. c. ו consec.: that so they might have prosperity. Hitz. regards the wicked men as the subject, and explains the words thus: such justice would indeed be a necessary condition of their success. But that the wicked could attain to prosperity by seizing every opportunity of defending the rights of the fatherless is too weak a thought, coming after what has preceded, and besides it does not fit the case of those who go beyond all bounds in wickedness. Ew. and Graf translate: that they (the wicked) might make good the rightful cause (of the orphan), help the poor man to his rights. But even if הצליח seems in 2Ch 7:11; Dan 8:25, to have the signif. carry through, make good, yet in these passages the sig. carry through with success is fundamental; there, as here, this will not suit, הצליח being in any case applicable only to doubtful and difficult causes - a thought foreign to the present context. Blame is attached to the wicked, not because they do not defend the orphan's doubtful pleas, but because they give no heed at all to the orphan's rights. We therefore hold with Raschi that the orphans are subject to this verb: that the orphans might have had prosperity. The plural is explained when we note that יתום is perfectly general, and may be taken as collective. The accusation in this verse shows further that the prophet had the godless rulers and judges of the people in his eye.

Verses 29-31 Edit

Jer 5:29 is a refrain-like repetition of Jer 5:9. - The Jer 5:30 and Jer 5:31 are, as Hitz. rightly says, "a sort of epimetrum added after the conclusion in Jer 5:29," in which the already described moral depravity is briefly characterized, and is asserted of all ranks of the people. Appalling and horrible things happen in the land; cf. Jer 2:12; Jer 23:14; Jer 18:13; Hos 6:10. The prophets prophesy with falsehood, בּשּׁקר, as in Jer 20:6; Jer 29:9; more fully בּשׁמי לשׁקר, Jer 23:25; Jer 27:15. The priests rule על, at their (the prophets') hands, i.e., under their guidance or direction; cf. 1Ch 25:2., 2Ch 23:18; not: go by their side (Ges., Dietr.), for רדה is not: go, march on, but: trample down.

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My people loves it so, yields willingly to such a lead; cf. Amo 4:5. What will ye do לאחריתהּ, as to the end of this conduct? The suff. faem. with neuter force. The end thereof will be the judgment; will ye be able to turn it away? The Judgment is Irrevocably Decreed. - A hostile army approaches from the north, and lays siege to Jerusalem, in order to storm the city (Jer 6:1-8). None is spared, since the people rejects all counsels to reform (Jer 6:9-15). Since it will not repent, it will fall by the hands of the enemy, in spite of the outward sacrificial service (Jer 6:16-21). The enemy will smite Zion without mercy, seeing that the trial of the people has brought about no change for the better in them (Jer 6:22-30).

Chap. 6 Edit

Verses 1-2 Edit

The judgment breaking over Jerusalem. - Jer 6:1. "Flee, ye sons of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem, and in Tekoa blow the trumpet, and over Beth-haccerem set up a sign; for evil approaCheth from the north, and great destruction. Jer 6:2.The comely and the delicate - I lay waste the daughter of Zion. Jer 6:3.To her come shepherds with their flocks, pitch their tents about her round about, and devour each his portion. Jer 6:4.Sanctify war against her; arise, let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day declineth; for the shadows of evening lengthen. Jer 6:5.Arise, let us go up by night, and destroy her palaces. Jer 6:6.For thus hath Jahveh of hosts spoken, Hew down wood, and pile up against Jerusalem a rampart; she is the city that is (to be) punished, she is all full of oppression in her midst. Jer 6:7.As a fountain pours forth its water, so pours she forth her wickedness: violence and spoiling is heard in her; before my face continually, wounds and smiting. Jer 6:8.Be warned, Jerusalem, lest my soul tear herself from thee, lest I make thee a waste, a land uninhabited."
In graphic delineation of the enemy's approach against Jerusalem, the prophet calls on the people to flee. As regarded its situation, Jerusalem belonged to the tribe of Benjamin; the boundary between the tribal domain of Judah and Benjamin passed through the valley of Ben-hinnom on the south side of Jerusalem, and then ran northwards to the west of the city (Jos 15:8; Jos 18:16.). The city was inhabited by Judeans

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and Benjamites, 1Ch 9:2. The summons is addressed to the Benjamites as the prophet's fellow-countrymen. Tekoa lay about two hours' journey southwards from Bethlehem, according to Jerome, on a hill twelve Roman miles south of Jerusalem; see on Jos 15:59. This town is mentioned because its name admits of a play on the word תּקעוּ. The alarm is given in the country south of Jerusalem, because the enemy is coming from the north, so that the flight will be directed southwards. Beth-haccerem, acc. to Jerome, was a hamlet (vicus) between Jerusalem and Tekoa, qui lingua Syra et Hebraic Bethacharma nominatur, et ipse in monte positus, apparently on what is now called the Frank's Hill, Jebel Fureidis; see on Neh 3:14. משׂאת, the lifting up, that which raises itself up, or is raised; here a lofty beacon or signal, the nature of which is not further made known. The meaning, fire-signal, or ascending column of smoke, cannot be made good from Jdg 20:38, Jdg 20:40, since there עשׁן is appended; nor from the statements of classical authors (in Ros.), that in time of war bodies of troops stationed in different places made their positions known to one another by masses of rising flame during the night, and by columns of smoke in the day time. As to the last clause, cf. Jer 1:14. "Great destruction," as in Jer 4:6. - In Jer 6:2 the impending judgment is further described. It falls on the daughter of Zion, the capital and its inhabitants, personified as a beautiful and delicately reared woman. נוה, defectively written for נאוה, contracted from נאוה, lovely, beautiful. The words are not vocatives, O fair and delicate, but accusatives made to precede their governing verb absolutely, and are explained by "the daughter of Zion," dependent on "I destroy:" the fair and the delicate, namely, the daughter of Zion, I destroy. דּמה as in Hos 4:5. The other meaning of this verb, to be like, to resemble, is wholly unsuitable here; and, besides, in this signification it is construed with אל or ל. Ew.'s translation, I mean the daughter of Zion, is not justifiable by the usage of the word, the Piel only, and not the Kal, being capable of this interpretation.

Verse 3 Edit

The destruction comes about by means of shepherds with their flocks, who set up their tents round the city, and depasture each his portion. We need hardly observe that the shepherds and their flocks are a figure

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for princes, who with their peoples besiege and sack Jerusalem; with this cf. Jer 1:15. The figure does not point to a nomad swarm, or the Scythian people, as Ew. supposes. "Each his hand," i.e., what lies to his hand, or next him.

Verses 4-7 Edit

The description passes from figure to reality, and the enemies appear before us as speaking, inciting one another to the combat, encouraging one another to storm the city. To sanctify a war, i.e., prepare themselves for the war by religious consecration, inasmuch as the war was undertaken under commission from God, and because the departure of the army, like the combat itself, was consecrated by sacrifice and other religious ceremonies; see on Joe 3:9. עלה, to go up against a place as an enemy, not, go up upon, in which case the object, them (the city or walls), could not be omitted. It is plainly the storming or capture of the town that is meant by the going up; hence we may understand what follows: and we will destroy her palaces. We have a rousing call to go up at noon or in clear daylight, joined with "woe to us," a cry of disappointment that they will not be able to gain their ends so soon, not indeed till night; in these we see the great eagerness with which they carry on the assault. יום פּנה, the day turns itself, declines towards its end; cf. Psa 90:9. The enemies act under a commission from God, who has imposed on them the labour of the siege, in order to punish Jerusalem for her sins. Jahveh is here most fittingly called the God of hosts; for as God of the world, obeyed by the armies of heaven, He commands the kings of the earth to chastise His people. Hew wood, i.e., fell trees for making the siege works, cf. Deu 20:20, both for raising the attacking ramparts,[10] and for the entire apparatus necessary for storming the town. עצה is not a collective form from עץ, like דּגה from דּג; but the ה is a suffix in spite of the omission of the Mappik, which is given by but a few of the codd., eastern and western, for we know that Mappik is sometimes omitted, e.g., Num 15:28, Num 15:31; cf. Ew. §247, d. We are encouraged to take it so by Deu 20:19, where עצה are the trees in the vicinity of the town, of which only the fruit trees were to be spared in case of siege, while those which did not bear eatable fruit were to be

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made use of for the purposes of the siege. And thus we must here, too, read עצה, and refer the suffix to the next noun (Jerusalem). On "pile up a rampart," cf. 2Sa 20:5; Eze 4:2, etc. הפקד is used as passive of Kal, and impersonally. The connection with העיר is to be taken like חנה in Isa 29:1 : the city where it is punished, or perhaps like Psa 59:6, the relative being supplied: that is punished. כּלּהּ is not to be joined, contrary to the accents, with הפקד (Ven., J. D. Mich.), a connection which, even if it were legitimate, would give but a feeble thought. It belongs to what follows, "she is wholly oppression in her midst," i.e., on all sides in her there is oppression. This is expanded in Jer 6:7. lxx and Jerome have taken הקיר from קרר, and translate: like as a cistern keeps its water cool (ψύχει, frigidam facit), so she keeps her wickedness cool. Hitz. has pronounced in favour of this interpretation, but changes "keep cool" into "keep fresh," and understands the metaphor thus: they take good care that their wickedness does not stagnate or become impaired by disuse. But it would be a strange metaphor to put "keep wickedness cool," for "maintain it in strength and vigour." We therefore, along with Luth. and most commentators, prefer the rabbinical interpretation: as a well makes its water to gush out, etc.; for there is no sufficient force in the objection that מקור from קוּר, dig, is not a spring but a well, that הקיר has still less the force of making to gush forth, and that בּור wholly excludes the idea of causing to spring out. The first assertion is refuted by Jer 2:13, מקור, fountain of living water; whence it is clear that the word does mean a well fed by a spring. It is true, indeed, that the word בּור, a later way of writing בּאר (cf. 1Ch 11:17. 22 with 2Sa 23:15. 20), means usually, a pit, a cistern dug out; but this form is not substantially different from בּאר, well, puteus, which is used for בּור in Ps. 55:24 and Psa 69:16. Accordingly, this latter form can undoubtedly stand with the force of בּאר, as has been admitted by the Masoretes when they substituted for it בּאר; cf. the Arab. bi'run. The noun מקור puts beyond doubt the legitimacy of giving to הקיר, from קוּר, to dig a well, the signification of making water to gush forth.
The form הקרה is indeed referable to קרר, but only shows, as is otherwise

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well known, that no very strict line of demarcation can be drawn between the forms of verbs 'עע and 'הקיר ;עו, again, is formed regularly from קוּר. Violence and spoiling; cf. Jer 20:8, and Amo 3:10; Hab 1:3. "Before my face," before mine eyes, corresponds to "is heard," as wounds and smitings are the consequences of violence. On that head, cf. Psa 55:10-12.

Verse 8 Edit

If Jerusalem cease not from these sins and crimes, the Lord must devote it to spoliation. Let thyself be corrected, warned; cf. Psa 2:10; Lev 26:23. תּקע from יקע, tear oneself loose, estrange oneself, as in Eze 23:17. "A land uninhabited" is an apposition giving greater expressiveness to "a waste," Jer 22:6.

Verse 9 Edit

Jer 6:9This judgment will fall unsparingly on Jerusalem, because they listen to no warning, but suffer themselves to be confirmed in their shameless courses by false prophets and wicked priests. - Jer 6:9."Thus hath Jahveh of hosts said: They shall have a gleaning of the remnant of Israel as of a vine: lay thine hand again as a vine-dresser on the soots. Jer 6:10.To whom shall I speak, and testify, that they may hear? Behold, uncircumcised is their ear, and they cannot give heed: behold, the word of Jahveh is become to them a reproach; they have no pleasure in it. Jer 6:11.But of the fury of Jahveh am I full, am weary with holding it in. Pour it out upon the child on the street, and upon the group of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the old man with him that is full of days. Jer 6:12.And their houses shall pass unto others, fields and wives together; for I stretch out mine hand against the inhabitants of the land, saith Jahveh. Jer 6:13.For great and small are all of them greedy for gain; and from the prophet to the priest, all use deceit. Jer 6:14.And they heal the breach of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. Jer 6:15.They are put to shame because they have done abomination, yet they take not shame to themselves, neither know they disgrace; therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall stumble, hath Jahveh said."
The threatening of Jer 6:9 is closely connected with the foregoing. The Lord will make Jerusalem an uninhabited waste, because it will not take warning. The enemy will make

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a gleaning like vine-dressers, i.e., they will yet search out eve that which is left of the people, and crush it or carry it captive. This still sterner threat does come into contradiction with the repeated pledge, that Israel is not to be wholly extirpated, not to be made an utter end of (Jer 4:27; Jer 5:10, Jer 5:18). For even at the gleaning odd clusters are left, which are not noticed or set store by. The words convey the idea that the enemy will not have done with it after one devastating campaign, but will repeat his inroads. עולל is construed with the accus. of the vineyard in Lev 19:10. The "remnant of Israel" is not the kingdom of Judah at large, but Judah already reduced by judgments. In the second clause the idea of the first is repeated in the form of a command to the gleaners. The command is to be looked on as addressed to the enemy by God; and this turn of the expression serves to put the thought with a positiveness that excludes the faintest doubt. To bring back the hand means: yet again to turn it, stretch it out against a person or thing; cf. Amo 1:8; Isa 1:25. סלסלּות is not baskets, like סלּים, Gen 40:16, but like זלזלּים, Isa 18:5, vine-shoots, prop. waving twigs, like תּלתּלּים, Sol 5:11, from סלל = זלל and תּלל, wave (Ew., Hitz.).

Verses 10-11 Edit

Well might Jeremiah warn the people once more (cf. Jer 6:8), in order to turn sore judgment away from it; but it cannot and will not hear, for it is utterly hardened. Yet can he not be silent; for he is so filled with the fury of God, that he must pour it forth on the depraved race. This is our view of the progress of the thought in these verses; whereas Hitz. and Graf make what is said in Jer 6:11 refer to the utterance of the dreadful revelation received in Jer 6:9. But this is not in keeping with "testify that they may hear," or with the unmistakeable contrast between the pouring out of the divine fury, Jer 6:11, and the testifying that they may hear, Jer 6:10. Just because their ear is uncircumcised to that they cannot hear, is it in vain to speak to them for the purpose of warning them; and the prophet has no alternative left but to pour out on the deaf and seared people that fury of the Lord with which he is inwardly filled. The question: to whom should I speak? etc. (על for אל, as Psa 111:2 and often), is not to be taken as a question to God, but only as a rhetorical turn of the thought, that all further speaking or warning is in vain.

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"Testify," lay down testimony by exhibiting the sin and the punishment it brings with it. "That they may hear," ut audiant, the Chald. has well paraphrased: ut accipiant doctrinam. Uncircumcised is their ear, as it were covered with a foreskin, so that the voice of God's word cannot find its way in; cf. Jer 5:24; Jer 4:4. The second clause, introduced by הנּה, adduces the reason of their not being able to hear. The word of God is become a reproach to them; they are determined not to hearken to it, because it lashes their sins. Jer 6:11 comes in adversatively: But the fury of the Lord drives him to speak. חמת יהוה is not a holy ardour for Jahveh (Graf and many ancient comm.), but the wrath of God against the people, which the prophet cannot contain, i.e., keep to himself, but must pour out. Because they will not take correction, he must inflict the judgment upon them, not merely utter it. The imper. שׁפך is to be taken like השׁב, Jer 6:9, not as an expression of the irresistible necessity which, in spite of all his efforts against it, compels the prophet to pour forth, in a certain sense, the wrath of the Lord on all classes of the people by the very publishing of God's word (Graf); but it is the command of God, to be executed by him, as is shown by "for I stretch out mine hand," Jer 6:12. The prophet is to pour out the wrath of God by the proclamation of God's word, which finds its fulfilment in judgments of wrath; see on Jer 1:10. Upon all classes of the people: the children that play in the street (cf. Jer 9:20), the young men gathered together in a cheerful company, the men and women, old men and them that are full of days, i.e., those who have reached the furthest limit of old age. כּי tells why the prophet is so to speak: for upon the whole population will God's wrath be poured out. ילּכד, not, be taken captive, but, be taken, overtaken by the wrath, as in Jer 8:9; cf. 1Sa 14:41.

Verses 12-14 Edit

Jer 6:12-14Jer 6:12 gives the result of being thus taken: their houses, fields, and wives will be handed over to others, descend to others. Wives are mentioned along with houses and fields, as in the commandment, Exo 20:17; cf. Deu 5:18. The loss of all one's possessions is mentioned in connection with reproof, following in Jer 6:13, of greed and base avarice. The threatening is confirmed in Jer 6:12 by the clause: for I (Jahveh) stretch my hand out, etc. Then in Jer 6:13 and Jer 6:14 the cause of the judgment

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is adduced. The judgment falls upon all, for all, great and little, i.e., mean and powerful (cf. Jer 6:4, Jer 6:5), go after base gain; and the teachers, who ought to lead the people on the true way (Isa 30:21), sue deceit and dishonesty. They heal the breach of the daughter of my people, i.e., the infirmities and injuries of the state, after a light and frivolous fashion (נקלּה is partic.Niph. faem., and על is of the thing that covers another); - in this, namely, that they speak of peace and healing where there is no peace; that they do not uncover the real injuries so as to heal them thoroughly, but treat them as if they were trifling and in no way dangerous infirmities.

Verse 15 Edit

For this behaviour they are put to shame, i.e., deceived in their hope. The perf. is prophetic, representing the matter as being equally certain as if it had been already realized. It cannot bear to be translated either: they should be ashamed (Ros., Umbr. after the Chald.), or: they would be ashamed (Ew.). The following grounding clause adduces the cause of their being put to shame: because they have done abomination; and the next clauses bring in a contrast: yet on the contrary, shame and disgrace they know not; therefore on the day of visitation they will fall with the rest. When these verses are repeated in Jer 8:12, the Niph. הכּלם is used in place of the Hiph. הכלים. It does not, however, follow from this that the Hiph. has here the force of the Niph., but only thus much, that the Hiph. is here used, not in a transitive, but in a simply active meaning: to have shame or disgrace. For פּקדתּים with the relative omitted, time when I visit, we have in Jer 8:12 the simpler form of the noun פּקדּת, as in Jer 10:15; Jer 46:21, and often. Such divergencies do not justify the accommodation of the present passage to these others, since on occasions of repetitions the expression in matters of subordinate importance is often varied. The perf. of the verb has here the force of the fut. exact.The judgment cannot be turned aside by mere sacrifice without a change of heart. - Jer 6:16."Thus hath Jahveh said: Stand on the ways, and look, and ask after the everlasting paths, which (one) is the way of good, and walk therein; so shall ye find rest for your souls. But they say, We will not go. Jer 6:17.And I have set over you watchmen, (saying): Hearken to

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the sound of the trumpet; but they say, We will not hearken. Jer 6:18.Therefore hear, ye peoples, and know, thou congregation, what happens to them. Jer 6:19.Hear, O earth! Behold, I bring evil on this people, the fruit of their thoughts; for to my words they have not hearkened, and at my law they have spurned. Jer 6:20.To what end, then, is their incense coming to me from Sheba, and the good spice-cane from a far land? Your burnt-offerings are not a pleasure, and your slain-offerings are not grateful to me. Jer 6:21.Therefore thus hath Jahveh said: Behold, I lay stumbling-blocks for this people, that thereon fathers and sons may stumble, at once the neighbour and his friend shall perish."

Verse 16 Edit

The Lord has not left any lack of instruction and warning. He has marked out for them the way of salvation in the history of the ancient times. It is to this reference is made when they, in ignorance of the way to walk in, are called to ask after the everlasting paths. This thought is clothed thus: they are to step forth upon the ways, to place themselves where several ways diverge from one another, and inquire as to the everlasting paths, so as to discover which is the right way, and then on this they are to walk. נתיבות עולם are paths that have been trod in the hoary time of old, but not all sorts of ways, good and bad, which they are to walk on indiscriminately, so that it may be discovered which of them is the right one (Hitz.). This meaning is not to be inferred from the fact, that in Jer 18:15 everlasting paths are opposed to untrodden ways; indeed this very passage teaches that the everlasting ways are the right ones, from which through idolatry the people have wandered into unbeaten paths. Thus the paths of the old time are here the ways in which Israel's godly ancestors have trod; meaning substantially, the patriarchs' manner of thinking and acting. For the following question, "which is the way," etc., does not mean, amongst the paths of old time to seek out that which, as the right one, leads to salvation, but says simply thus much: ask after the paths of the old time, so as thus to recognise the right way, and then, when ye have found it, to walk therein. דּרך הטּוב, not, the good way; for הטּוב cannot be an objective appended to דּרך, since immediately after, the latter word is construed in בּהּ as faem. "The good" is the genitive dependent on "way:" way

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of the good, that leads to the good, to salvation. This way Israel might learn to know from the history of antiquity recorded in the Torah. Graf has brought the sense well out in this shape: "Look inquiringly backwards to ancient history (Deu 32:7), and see how success and enduring prosperity forsook your fathers when they left the way prescribed to them by God, to walk in the ways of the heathen (Jer 18:15); learn that there is but one way, the way of the fear of Jahveh, on which blessing and salvation are to be found (Jer 32:39-40)." Find (with ו consec.), and find thus = so shall ye find; cf. Ew. §347, b; Ges. §130, 2. To "we will not go," we may supply from the context: on the way of good.

Verse 17 Edit

But God does not let the matter end here. He caused prophets to rise up amongst them, who called their attention to the threatening evil. Watchers are prophets, Eze 3:17, who stand upon the watch-tower to keep a lookout, Hab 2:1, and to give the people warning, by proclaiming what they have seen in spirit. "Hearken to the sound," etc., are not the words of the watchmen (prophets), for it is they who blow the trumpet, but the words of God; so that we have to supply, "and I said." The comparison of the prophets to watchmen, who give the alarm of the imminent danger by means of the sound of the trumpet, involves the comparison of the prophets' utterances to the clang of the signal-horn-suggested besides by Amo 3:6.

Verse 18 Edit

Judah being thus hardened, the Lord makes known to the nations what He has determined regarding it; cf. Mic 1:2. The sense of "Know, thou congregation," etc., is far from clear, and has been very variously given. Ros., Dahl., Maur., Umbr., and others, understand עדה of the congregation or assembly of the foreign nations; but the word cannot have this meaning without some further qualifying word. Besides, a second mention of the nations is not suitable to the context. the congregation must be that of Israel. The only question can be, whether we are by this to think of the whole people (of Judah), (Chald, Syr., Ew., and others), or whether it is the company of the ungodly that is addressed, as in the phrase עדת קרח(Hitz.). But there is little probability in the view, that the crew of the ungodly is addressed along with the nations and the earth. Not less open to debate is the construction of את־אשׁר־בּם.

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In any case little weight can be attached to Hitz.'s assumption, that את is used only to mark out the אשׁר as relative pronoun: observe it, O company that is amidst them. The passages, Jer 38:16 (Chet.), and Ecc 4:3, where את seems to have this force, are different in kind; for a definite noun precedes, and to it the relation את־אשׁרis subjoined. And then what, on this construction, is the reference of בּם, amidst them? Hitz. has said nothing on this point. But it could only be referred to "peoples:" the company which is amidst the peoples; and this gives no reasonable sense. These three words can only be object to "know:" know what is amongst (in) them; or: what is or happens to them (against them). It has been taken in the first sense by Chald. (their sins), Umbr., Maur.: what happens in or amongst them; in the second by Ros., Dahl.: what I shall do against them. Ewald, again, without more ado, changes בּם into בּא: know, thou congregation, what is coming. By this certainly a suitable sense is secured; but there are no sufficient reasons for a change of the text, it is the mere expedient of embarrassment. All the ancient translators have read the present text; even the translation of the lxx: καὶ οἱ ποιμαίνοντες τὰ ποίμνια αὐτῶν, has been arrived at by a confounding of letters (דעי עדה with רעי עדר). We understand "congregation" of Israel, i.e., not of the whole people of Judah, but of those to whom the title "congregation" was applicable, i.e., of the godly, small as their number might be. Accordingly, we are not to refer את־אשׁר בּםto "peoples:" what is occurring amidst the peoples, viz., that they are coming to besiege Jerusalem, etc. (Jer 6:3.). Nor is it to be referred to those in Judah who, according to Jer 6:16 and Jer 6:17, do not walk in the right way, and will not give ear to the sound of the trumpet. The latter reference, acc. to which the disputed phrase would be translated: what will happen to them (against them), seems more feasible, and corresponds better to the parallelism of Jer 6:18 and Jer 6:19, since this corresponds better to the parallelism of Jer 6:18 and Jer 6:19, since this same phrase is then explained in Jer 6:19 by: I bring evil upon this people.[11]

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Verse 19 Edit

In Jer 6:19 the evil is characterized as a punishment drawn down by them on themselves by means of the apposition: fruit of their thoughts. "Fruit of their thoughts," not of their deeds (Isa 3:10), in order to mark the hostility of the evil heart towards God. God's law is put in a place of prominence by the turn of the expression: My law, and they spurned at it; cf. Ew. §344, b, with 309, b.

Verse 20 Edit

The people had no shortcoming in the matter of sacrifice in the temple; but in this service, as being mere outward service of works, the Lord has no pleasure, if the heart is estranged from Him, rebels against His commandments. Here we have the doctrine, to obey is better than sacrifice, 1Sa 15:22. The Lord desires that men do justice, exercise love, and walk humbly with Him, Mic 6:8. Sacrifice, as opus operatum, is denounced by all the prophets: cf. Hos 6:6; Amo 5:21., Isa 1:11; Psa 50:8. Incense from Sheba (see on Eze 27:22) was required partly for the preparation of the holy incense (Exo 30:34), partly as an addition to the meat-offerings, Lev 2:1, Lev 2:15, etc. Good, precious cane, is the aromatic reed, calamus odoratus (Exo 30:23), calamus from a far country - namely, brought from India - and used in the preparation of the anointing oil; see on Exo 30:23. לרצון is from the language of the Torah; cf. Lev 1:3., Jer 22:19., Exo 28:38; and with לא: not to well-pleasing, sc. before Jahveh, i.e., they cannot procure for the offerers the pleasure or favour of God. With לא ערבוּ לי cf. Hos 9:4.

Verse 21 Edit

Therefore the Lord will lay stumbling-blocks before the people, whereby they all come to grief. The stumbling-blocks by which the people are to fall and perish, are the inroads, of the enemies, whose formidableness is depicted in Jer 6:22. The idea of totality is realized by individual cases in "fathers and sons, neighbour and his friend." יחדּו belongs to the following clause, and not the Keri, but the Cheth. יאבדוּ, is the true reading. The Keri is formed after the analogy of Jer 46:6 and Jer 50:32; but it is unsuitable, since then we would require, as in the passages cited, to have נפל in direct connection with כּשׁל.

Verses 22-25 Edit

Jer 6:22-25 A distant, cruel people will execute the judgment, since Judah, under the trial, has proved to be worthless metal. - Jer 6:22. "Thus hath Jahveh said: Behold, a people cometh

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'from the land of the north, and a great nation raises itself from the furthermost sides of the earth. Jer 6:23. Bows and javelins they bear; cruel it is, and they have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and on horses they ride, equipped as a man for the war against thee, daughter of Zion. Jer 6:24.We heard the rumour thereof: weak are our hands: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Jer 6:25.Go not forth into the field, and in the way walk not; for a sword hath the enemy, fear is all around. Jer 6:26.O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and besprinkle thee with ashes; make mourning for an only son, butter lamentation: for suddenly shall the spoiler come upon us. Jer 6:27. For a trier have I set thee among my people as a strong tower, that thou mightest know and try their way. Jer 6:28.They are all revolters of revolters; go about as slanderers; brass and iron; they are all dealing corruptingly. Jer 6:29.Burned are the bellows by the fire, at an end is the lead; in vain they melt and melt; and wicked ones are not separated. Jer 6:30.Rejected silver they call them, for Jahveh hath rejected them."
In Jer 6:22 the stumbling-blocks of Jer 6:21 are explained. At the end of this discourse yet again the invasion of the enemy from the far north is announced, cf. Jer 4:13 and Jer 5:15, and its terribleness is portrayed with new colours. The farther the land is from which the enemy comes, the more strange and terrible he appears to the imagination. The farthest (hindmost) sides of the earth (cf. Jer 25:32) is only a heightening of the idea: land of the north, or of the far distance (Jer 5:15); in other words, the far uttermost north (cf. Isa 14:13). In this notice of their home, Hitz. finds a proof that the enemies were the Scythians, not the Chaldeans; since, acc. to Eze 38:6, Eze 38:15, and Eze 39:2, Gog, i.e., The Scythians, come "from the sides of the north." But "sides of the earth" is not a geographical term for any particular northern country, but only for very remote lands; and that the Chaldeans were reckoned as falling within this term, is shown by the passage Jer 31:8, according to which Israel is to be gathered again from the land of the north and from the sides of the earth. Here any connection with Scythia in "sides of the earth" is not to be thought of, since prophecy knows nothing of a captivity of

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Israel in Scythia, but regards Assur and Babylon alone as the lands of the exile of Israelites and Jews. As weapons of the enemy then are mentioned bows (cf. Jer 4:29; Jer 5:16), and the javelin or lance (כּידון, not shield; see on 1Sa 17:6). It is cruel, knows no pity, and is so numerous and powerful, that its voice, i.e., the tumult of its approach, is like the roaring of the sea; cf. Isa 5:30; Isa 17:12. On horses they ride; cf. Jer 4:13; Jer 8:16; Hab 1:8. ערוּך in the singular, answering to "cruel it is," points back to גּוי or כּאישׁ . is not for כּאישׁ אחד (Ros.), but for כּאישׁ מלחמה, cf. 1Sa 17:33; Isa 42:13; and the genitive is omitted only because of the למלחמה coming immediately after (Graf). "Against thee" is dependent on ערוּך: equipped as a warrior is equipped for the war, against the daughter of Zion. In Jer 6:24-26 are set forth the terrors and the suspense which the appearance of the foe will spread abroad. In Jer 6:24 the prophet, as a member of the people, gives utterance to its feelings. As to the sense, the clauses are to be connected thus: As soon as we hear the rumour of the people, i.e., of its approach, our hands become feeble through dread, all power to resist vanishes: cf. Isa 13:7; and for the metaphor of travail, Isa 13:8; Mic 4:9, etc. In v. 28 the inhabitants of Jerusalem, personified as the daughter of Zion, are warned not to go forth of the city into the field or about the country, lest they fall into the enemies' hands and be put to death. מגור מסּביב, often used by Jeremiah, cf. Jer 20:3, Jer 20:10; Jer 46:5; Jer 49:29, and, as Jer 20:10 shows, taken from Psa 31:14. Fear or terrors around, i.e., on all sides danger and destruction threaten.

Verses 26-27 Edit

Sorest affliction will seize the inhabitants of Jerusalem. As to "daughter of my people," cf. Jer 4:11; on "gird thee with sackcloth," cf. Jer 4:8. To bestrew the head with ashes is a mode of expressing the greatest affliction; cf. Eze 27:30; Mic 1:10. אבל as in Amo 8:10; Zec 12:10.
The closing verses of this discourse (Jer 6:27-30) are regarded by Hitz. as a meditation upon the results of his labours. "He was to try the people, and he found it to be evil." But in this he neglects the connection of these verses with the preceding. From the conclusion of Jer 6:30, "Jahveh hath rejected them," we may see that they stand connected in matter with the threatening of the spoiler; and the fact is put beyond a doubt

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when we compare together the greater subdivisions of the present discourse. The Jer 6:27-30 correspond in substance with the view given in Jer 5:30-31 of the moral character of the people. As that statement shows the reasons for the threatening that God must take vengeance on such a people (Jer 5:29), so what is said in the verses before us explain why it is threatened that a people approaching from the north will execute judgment without mercy on the daughter of Zion. For these verses do not tell us only the results of the prophet's past labours, but they at the same time indicate that his further efforts will be without effect. The people is like copper and iron, unproductive of either gold or silver; and so the smelting process is in vain. The illustration and the thing illustrated are not strictly discriminated in the statement. בּחון is adject. verb. with active force: he that tries metal, that by smelting separates the slag from the gold and silver ore; cf. Zec 13:9; Job 23:10. מבצר creates a difficulty, and is very variously understood. The ancient comm. have interpreted it, according to Jer 1:18, as either in a fortress, or as a fortress. So the Chald., changing בחון for בחור: electum dedi te in populo meo, in urbe munita forti. Jerome: datur propheta populo incredulo probator robustus, quod ebraice dicitur מבצר, quod vel munitum juxta Aquil., vel clausum atque circumdatum juxta Symm. et lxx sonat. The extant text of the lxx has ἐν λαοῖς δεδοκιμασμένοις. Following the usage of the language, we are justified only in taking מבצר as apposition to בּחון, or to the suffix in נתתּיך; in which case Luther's connection of it with עמּי, "among my people, which is so hard," will appear to be impossible. But again, it has been objected, not without reason, that the reference of "fortress" to Jeremiah is here opposed to the context, while in Jer 1:18 it falls well in with it; consequently other interpretations have been attempted. Gaab, Maur., Hitz., have taken note of the fact that בּצר occurs in Job 36:19, like בּצר in the signification of gold; they take מבצר as a contraction for מן בצר, and expound: without gold, i.e., although then was there no gold, to try for which was thy task. To this view Graf has objected: the testing would be wholly purposeless, if it was already declared beforehand that there was no noble metal in the people. But this objection is not conclusive;

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for the testing could only have as its aim to exhibit the real character of the people, so as to bring home to the people's apprehension what was already well known to God. These are weightier considerations: 1. We cannot make sure of the meaning gold-ore for בּצר by means of Job 36:19, since the interpretation there is open to dispute; and בּצר, Job 22:24, does not properly mean gold, but unworked ore, though in its connection with the context we must understand virgin gold and silver ore in its natural condition. Here, accordingly, we would be entitled to translate only: without virgin ore, native metal. 2. The choice of a word so unusual is singular, and the connection of מבצר with עמּי htiw is still very harsh. Yet less satisfactory is the emendation defended by J. D. Mich., Dahl, Ew., and Graf, מבצּר: "for a trier have I made thee among my people, for a separater;" for בּצר has in Heb. only the meaning cut off and fortify, and the Pi. occurs in Isa 22:10 and Jer 51:53 in the latter meaning, whereas the signif. separate, discriminate, can be maintained neither from Hebrew nor Arabic usage. The case being so, it seems to us that the interpretation acc. to Jer 1:18 has most to be said for it: To be a trier have I set thee amid my people "as a strong tower;" and to this Ges., Dietr. in Lex. s.v., adhere.

Verse 28 Edit

Jer 6:28 gives a statement as to the moral character of the people. "Revolters of revolters" is a kind of superlative, and סרי is to be derived from סרר, not from סוּר, perverse of perverse; or, as Hitz., imitating the Heb. phrase, rebels of the rebellious. Going about as slanderers, see on Lev 19:16, in order to bring others into difficulties; cf. Eze 22:9. To this is subjoined the figurative expression: brass and iron, i.e., ignoble metal as contrasted with gold and silver, cf. Eze 22:18; and to this, again, the unfigurative statement: they are all dealing corruptingly. משׁחיתים, cf. Isa 1:4; Deu 31:29. There is no sufficient reason for joining כּלּם with the preceding: brass and iron, as Hitz. and Graf do in defiance of the accents.

Verse 29 Edit

The trial of the people has brought about no purification, no separation of the wicked ones. The trial is viewed under the figure of a long-continued but resultless process of smelting. נחר, Niph. from חרר, to be burnt, scorched, as in Eze 15:4. מאשׁתּם is to be broken up, as in the Keri, into two words: מאשׁ and תּם (from תמם). For there

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does not occur any feminine form אשּׁה from אשׁ, nor any plural אשּׁת (even אשּׁה forms the plur. אשּׁים), so as to admit of our reading מאשּׁתם or מאשּׁתם. Nor would the plur., if there were one, be suitable; Ew.'s assertion that אשּׁות means flames of fire is devoid of all proof. We connect מאשׁ with what precedes: Burnt are the bellows with fire, at an end is the lead. Others attach "by the fire" to what follows: By the fire is the lead consumed. The thought is in either case the same, only תּם is not the proper word for: to be consumed. Sense: the smelting has been carried on so perseveringly, that the bellows have been scorched by the heat of the fire, and the lead added in order to get the ore into fusion is used up; but they have gone on smelting quite in vain. צרף with indefinite subject, and the infin. absol. added to indicate the long duration of the experiment. In the last clause of the verse the result is mentioned in words without a figure: The wicked have not been separated out (prop., torn asunder from the mass).

Verse 30 Edit

The final statement of the case: They call them (the whole people) rejected silver, i.e., they are recognised as such; for Jahveh has rejected them, has given over trying to make anything of them. The Vanity of Putting Trust in the Temple and in the Sacrificial Service, and the Way to Safety and Life - Jeremiah 7-10
This discourse divides itself into three sections. Starting with the people's confident reliance in the possession of the temple and the legal sacrificial worship, Jeremiah in the first section, by pointing to the destruction of Shiloh, where in the old time the sanctuary of the ark of the covenant had been, shows that Jerusalem and Judah will not escape the fate of Shiloh and the kingdom of Ephraim, in case they persist in their stiffneckedness against the Lord their God (Jer 7:1-8:3). For the confirmation of this threatening he goes on, in the second section, further to tell of the people's determined resistance to all reformation, and to set forth the terrible visitation which hardened continuance in sin draws down on itself (Jer 8:4-9:21). To the same end he finally, in the third

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section, points out the means of escape from impending destruction, showing that the way to safety and life lies in acknowledging the Lord as the only, everlasting, and almighty God, and in seeing the nothingness of the false gods; and, as the fruit of such knowledge, he inculcates the fear of the Lord, and self-humiliation under His mighty hand (Jer 9:22-10:25).
This discourse also was not uttered at any one particular time before the people in the temple, and in the shape in which it comes before us; but it has been gathered into one uniform whole, out of several oral addresses delivered in the temple by Jeremiah upon various occasions in the days of Josiah. According to Jer 26, Jeremiah, at the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, and in the court of the temple before the people, uttered the threatening that if they would not hear the words addressed to them by the prophets, nor reform their lives, the Lord would make the temple like Shiloh, and make the city a curse to all nations. For this speech he was found worthy of death by the priests and false prophets, and was saved only through the interference of the princes of the people Now the present discourse opposes to the people's vain confidence in the temple the solemn warning that the temple will share the fate of Shiloh; and hence many commentators, especially Graf and Näg., have inferred the identity of this with the discourse in Jer 26, and have referred its composition to the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign. But the agreement of the two chapters on this one point is not sufficient to justify such an inference. Jeremiah is wont often to repeat his leading thoughts in his discourses; and so it is not unlikely that more than once, during the eighteen years of his ministry under Josiah, he may have held up the fate of Shiloh and the sanctuary there, as a warning to the people which built its confidence on the possession of the temple and the performance of the legal cultus. If the foundation even of the first section of the present discourse were to be found in that given in Jer 26, taken in connection with the impression it made on the priests and prophets, with the violent feeling it excited, and the storm against Jeremiah which it called forth, then certainly the continuation of this discourse from Jer 7:16 onwards would have been something different from what we find it. In writing down the discourse,

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Jeremiah would certainly not have passed immediately from threatening the people with the fate of Shiloh to the repudiation of all intercessory prayers, and to the statement there made as to the sacrificial service. This we mention without entering on the discussion of the other portions of the discourse. In the whole of the rest of the discourse, as continued Jer 8-10, there is not the least trace of hostility against Jeremiah on the part of priests or people, or any hint of anything that would carry us beyond the time of Josiah into the reign of Jehoiakim.
Jeremiah 7:1-8:3
Warning against a False Trust in the Temple and the Sacrificial Service. The temple does not afford protection from the threatened punishment. If Judah does not change its manner of life, the temple will suffer the fate of Shiloh, and Judah will, like Ephraim, be rejected by the Lord (Jer 7:1-15). Neither intercession on behalf of the corrupt race, nor the multitude of its burnt and slain offerings, will turn aside from Jerusalem the visitation of wrath (Jer 7:16-28); for the Lord has cast away the hardened sinners on account of their idolatry, and will make Jerusalem and Judah a field of death (v. 29-8:3).

Chap. 7 Edit

Verse 1 Edit

Jer 7:1The vanity of trusting in the temple. - Jer 7:1."The word that came to Jeremiah from Jahveh, saying, Jer 7:2. Stand in the gate of the house of Jahveh, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of Jahveh, all ye of Judah, that enter these gates to worship before Jahveh: Jer 7:3.Thus hath spoken Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Make your ways and your doings good, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Jer 7:4.Trust ye not in lying words, when they say, The temple of Jahveh, the temple of Jahveh, the temple of Jahveh, is this. Jer 7:5.But if ye thoroughly make your ways good, and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute right amongst one another; Jer 7:6.Oppress not stranger, fatherless, and widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither follow after other gods to your hurt; Jer 7:7. Then I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land which I have given unto your fathers, from eternity unto eternity. Jer 7:8. Behold, ye trust in lying words, though they profit not. Jer 7:9.How? to steal, to murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and offer

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odours to Baal, and to walk after other gods whom ye know not? Jer 7:10. And then ye come and stand before my face in this house, upon which my name is named, and think, We are saved to do all these abominations. Jer 7:11. Is then this house become a den or murderers, over which my name is named, in your eyes? I too, behold, have seen it, saith Jahveh. Jer 7:12.For go ye now to may place which was at Shiloh, where I formerly caused my name to dwell, and see what I have done unto it for the wickedness of my people Israel. Jer 7:13.And now, because ye do all these deeds, saith Jahve, and I have spoken to you, speaking from early morning on, and ye have not heard; and I have called you, and ye have not answered; Jer 7:14.Therefore I do unto this house, over which my name is named, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I have given to you and to your fathers, as I have done unto Shiloh. Jer 7:15.And cast you away from my face, as I have cast away all your brethren, the whole seed of Ephraim."

Verse 2 Edit

The gate of the temple into which the prophet was to go and stand, is doubtless one of the three gates of the inner or upper court, in which he could stand and address the people gathered before him, in the outer court; perhaps the same in which Baruch read Jeremiah's prophecies to the people, Jer 36:10 (Schmid, Hitz.). The gates through which the people entered to worship are those of the outer court. The form of address: All Judah, ye who enter, etc., warrant us in assuming that Jeremiah delivered this discourse at one of the great annual festivals, when the people were wont to gather to Jerusalem from the length and breadth of the land.

Verses 3-4 Edit

Jer 7:3 contains the central idea of the discourse: it is only morally good endeavours and deeds that give the people a sure title to a long lease of the land. היטיב is not merely, amend one's conduct; but, make one's way good, i.e., lead a good life. The "ways" mean the tendency of life at large, the "doings" are the individual manifestations of that tendency; cf. Jer 18:11; Jer 26:13. "In this place," i.e., in the land that I have given to your fathers; cf. Jer 7:8 and Jer 14:13 with Jer 7:15, Jer 24:5-6. Positive exhortation to a pure life is followed by negative dehortation from putting trust in the illusion: The temple, etc. The threefold repetition of the same word is the most marked way

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of laying very great emphasis upon it; cf. Jer 22:29, Isa 6:3. "These," these halls, the whole complex mass of buildings (Hitz.), as in 2Ch 8:11; and here המּה has the force of the neuter; cf. Ew. §318, b. The meaning of this emphatic way of mentioning the temple of the Lord is, in this connection, the following: Jerusalem cannot be destroyed by enemies, because the Lord has consecrated for the abode of His name that temple which is in Jerusalem; for the Lord will not give His sanctuary, the seat of His throne, to be a prey to the heathen, but will defend it, and under its protection we too may dwell safely. In the temple of the Lord we have a sure pledge for unbroken possession of the land and the maintenance of the kingdom. Cf. the like discourse in Mic 3:11, "Jahveh is in our midst, upon us none evil can come." This passage likewise shows that the "lying words" quoted are the sayings of the false prophets, whereby they confirmed the people in their secure sinfulness; the mass of the people at the same time so making these sayings their own as to lull themselves into the sense of security.

Verses 5-7 Edit

Over against such sayings Jeremiah puts that which is the indispensable condition of continued sojourn in the land. כּי, Jer 7:5, after a preceding negative clause, means: but on the contrary. This condition is a life morally good, that shall show itself in doing justice, in putting away all unrighteousness, and in giving up idolatry. With אם begins a list of the things that belong to the making of one's ways and doings good. The adjunct to משׁפּט, right, "between the man and his neighbour," shows that the justice meant is that they should help one man to his rights against another. The law attached penalties to the oppression of those who needed protection - strangers, orphans, widows; cf. Exo 22:21., Deu 24:17., Jer 27:19; and the prophets often denounce the same; cf. Isa 1:17, Isa 1:23; Isa 10:2; Eze 22:7; Zec 7:10; Mal 3:5; Psa 94:6, etc. for 'לא־ת is noteworthy, but is not a simple equivalent for it. Like ου ̓ μή, כ̓ב implies a deeper interest on the part of the speaker, and the sense here is: and ye be really determined not to shed innocent blood (cf. Ew. §320, b). Hitz.'s explanation, that אל is equal to אשׁר לא or אם לא, and that it her resumes again the now remote אם, is overturned by the consideration that אל is not at the beginning

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of the clause; and there is not the slightest probability in Graf's view, that the אל must have come into the text through the copyist, who had in his mind the similar clause in Jer 22:3. Shedding innocent blood refers in part to judicial murders (condemnation of innocent persons), in part to violent attacks made by the kings on prophets and godly men, such as we hear of in Manasseh's case, 2Ki 21:16. In this place (Jer 7:7), i.e., first and foremost Jerusalem, the metropolis, where moral corruption had its chief seat; in a wider sense, however, it means the whole kingdom of Judah (Jer 7:3 and Jer 7:7). "To your hurt" belongs to all the above-mentioned transgressions of the law; cf. Jer 25:7. "In the land," etc., explains "this place." "From eternity to eternity" is a rhetorically heightened expression for the promise given to the patriarchs, that God would give the land of Canaan to their posterity for an everlasting possession, Gen 17:8; although here it belongs not to the relative clause, "that I gave," but to the principal clause, "cause you to dwell," as in Exo 32:13.

Verse 8 Edit

In Jer 7:8 there is a recurrence to the warning of Jer 7:4, under the form of a statement of fact; and in Jer 7:9-11 it is expanded to this effect: The affirmation that the temple of the Lord affords protection is a sheer delusion, so long as all God's commandments are being audaciously broken. לבלתּי הועיל, lit., to no profiting: ye rely on lying words, without there being any possibility that they should profit you.

Verse 9 Edit

The query before the infin. absoll. is the expression of wonder and indignation; and the infinitives are used with special emphasis for the verb. fin.: How? to steal, kill, etc., is your practice, and then ye come....

Verse 10 Edit

Breaches of almost all the commandments are specified; first the eighth, sixth, and seventh of the second table, and then two commandments of the first table; cf. Hos 4:2. Swearing falsely is an abuse of God's name. In "offer odours to Baal," Baal is the representation of the false gods. The phrase, other gods, points to the first commandment, Exo 20:3; and the relative clause: whom ye knew not, stands in opposition to: I am Jahveh your God, who hath brought you out of Egypt. They knew not the other gods, because they had not made themselves known to them in benefits and blessings; cf. Jer 19:4. While they so daringly break

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all God's commands, they yet come before His face in the temple which Jahveh has chosen to reveal His name there. 'אשׁר נקרא is not: which bears my name (Hitz.); or: on which my name is bestowed, which is named after me (Graf). The name of Jahveh is the revelation of Himself, and the meaning is: on which I have set my glory, in which I have made my glorious being known; see on Deu 28:10 and Amo 9:12. We are saved, sc. from all the evils that threaten us, i.e., we are concealed, have nothing to fear; cf. Eze 14:16, Eze 14:18; Amo 3:12. The perfect denotat firmam persuasionem incolumitatis. Chr. B. Mich. By changing נצּלנוּ into נצּלנוּ, as Ewald, following the Syr., reads, the sense is weakened. 'למען עשׂות וגו is neither: as regards what we have done, nor: because = while or whereas ye have done (Hitz.), but: in order to do that ye may do. למען with the infin., as with the perf., has never the signif., because of or in reference to something past and done, but always means, with the view of doing something; English: to the end that. The thought is simply this: Ye appear in my temple to sacrifice and worship, thinking thus to appease my wrath and turn aside all punishment, that so ye may go on doing all these (in Jer 7:9 enumerated) abominations. By frequenting the temple, they thought to procure an indulgence for their wicked ongoings, not merely for what they had already done, but for what they do from day to day.

Verse 11 Edit

To expose the senselessness of such an idea, God asks if they take the temple for a den of robbers? "In your eyes" goes with היה : is it become in your eyes, i.e., do ye take it for such? If thieves, murderers, adulterers, etc., gathered to the temple, and supposed that by appearing there they procured the absolution of their sins, they were in very act declaring the temple to be a robbers' retreat. פּריץ, the violent, here: the house-breaker, robber. I, too, have seen, sc. that the temple is made by you a den of thieves, and will deal accordingly. This completion of the thought appears from the context.

Verses 12-14 Edit

The temple is to undergo the fate of the former sanctuary at Shiloh. This threat is introduced by a grounding כּי, for. This for refers to the central idea of the last verse, that they must not build their expectations on the temple, hold it to be a pledge for their safety. For since the Lord has seen

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how they have profaned and still profane it, He will destroy it, as the sanctuary at Shiloh was destroyed. The rhetorical mode of utterance, Go to the place, etc., contributes to strengthen the threatening. They were to behold with their own eyes the fate of the sanctuary at Shiloh, that so they might understand that the sacredness of a place does not save it from overthrow, if men have desecrated it by their wickedness. We have no historical notice of the event to which Jeremiah refers. At Shiloh, now Seilân (in ruins) the Mosaic tabernacle was erected after the conquest of Canaan (Jos 18:1), and there it was still standing in the time of the high priest Eli, 1Sa 1:1-3; but the ark, which had fallen into the hands of the Philistines at the time of their victory (1 Sam 4), ), was not brought back to the tabernacle when it was restored again to the Israelites. In the reign of Saul we find the tabernacle at Nob (1Sa 21:2.). The words of Jer 7:12 intimate, that at that time "the place of God at Shiloh" was lying in ruins. As Hitz. justly remarks, the destruction of it is not to be understood of its gradual decay after the removal of the ark (1Sa 4:11; 1Sa 7:1.); the words imply a devastation or destruction, not of the place of God at Shiloh only, but of the place Shiloh itself. This is clearly seen from Jer 7:14 : I will do unto this house (the temple), and the place which I gave to your fathers, as I have done unto Shiloh. This destruction did not take place when the Assyrians overthrew the kingdom of the ten tribes, but much earlier. It may, indeed, be gathered from Jdg 18:20, Jdg 18:31 (see the comment. on this passage), that it was as early as the time of Saul, during a Syrian invasion. By the destruction of the place of God at Shiloh, we need not understand that the tabernacle itself, with its altar and other sacred furniture (except the ark), was swept away. Such a view is contradicted by the statement in 1Ch 21:29; 2Ch 1:3, according to which the tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness was still standing at Gibeon in David's time, and in the beginning of Solomon's reign; cf. with 2Ch 1:5, when the brazen altar of burnt-offering is expressly mentioned as that which was made by Bezaleel. Hence it is clear that the Mosaic tabernacle, with its altar of burnt-offering, had been preserved, and consequently that it must have been moved first from

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Shiloh to Nob, and then, when Saul sacked this town (1 Sam 22), ), to Gibeon. The destruction of the place of God in Shiloh must accordingly have consisted in this, that not only was the tabernacle with the altar carried off from thence, but the buildings necessary in connection with the maintenance of the public worship which surrounded it were swept away when the city was plundered, so that of the place of the sanctuary nothing was left remaining. It is clear that about the tabernacle there were various buildings which, along with the tabernacle and its altars, constituted "the house of God at Shiloh;" for in 1 Sam 3 we are told that Samuel slept in the temple of Jahveh (1Sa 3:3), and that in the morning he opened the doors of the house of God (1Sa 3:15). Hence we may gather, that round about the court of the tabernacle there were buildings erected, which were used partly as a dwelling-place for the officiating priests and Levites, and partly for storing up the heave-offerings, and for preparing the thank-offerings at the sacrificial meals (1Sa 2:11-21). This whole system of buildings surrounding the tabernacle, with its court and altar of burnt-offering, was called the "house of God;" from which name Graf erroneously inferred that there was at Shiloh a temple like the one in Jerusalem. The wickedness of my people, is the Israelites' fall into idolatry in Eli's time, because of which the Lord gave up Israel into the power of the Philistines and other enemies (Jdg 13:1; cf. 1Sa 7:3). "These deeds" (Jer 7:13) are the sins named in Jer 7:9. ואדבּר is a continuation of the infinitive sentence, and is still dependent on יען. Speaking from early morn, i.e., speaking earnestly and unremittingly; cf. Gesen. §131, 3, b. I have called you, i.e., to repent, and ye have not answered, i.e., have not repented and turned to me.

Verse 15 Edit

I cast you out from my sight, i.e., drive you forth amongst the heathen; cf. Deu 29:27; and with the second clause cf. 2Ki 17:20. The whole seed of Ephraim is the ten tribes.

Verses 16-28 Edit

Jer 7:16-28This punishment will be turned aside, neither by intercession, because the people re2fuses to give up its idolatry, nor by sacrifice, which God desires not, because for long they have turned to Him the back and not the face, and have not hearkened to His words. - Jer 7:16. "But thou, pray not for this people,

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and lift not up for them cry and prayer; and urge me not, for I do not hear thee. Jer 7:17.Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem? Jer 7:18.The sons gather sticks, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the Queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto other gods, to provoke me. Jer 7:19.Provoke they me, saith Jahveh, not themselves, to the shaming of their face? Jer 7:20.Therefore thus saith the Lord Jahveh, Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out on this place, upon man, upon beast, upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and shall burn, and not be quenched. Jer 7:21.Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Your burnt-offerings add to your slain-offerings, and eat flesh. Jer 7:22.For I spake not with your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning the matters of burnt-offering or slain-offering. Jer 7:23.But this word commanded I them, saying, Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk in the way which I command you, that it may be well with you. Jer 7:24.But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, and walked in the counsels, in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and turned to me the back, and not the face. Jer 7:25.Since the day that your fathers went forth of the land of Egypt until this day, I sent to you all my servants the prophets, daily from early morn sending them; Jer 7:26.But they hearkened not to me, nor inclined their ear, and were stiffnecked, and did worse than their fathers. Jer 7:27.And though thou speakest all these words unto them, yet will they not hearken unto thee; and though thou callest unto them, yet will they not answer thee. Jer 7:28.Thus speak to them: This is the people that hearken not unto the voice of Jahveh its God, and that receive not correction. Perished is faithfulness, cut off from their mouth."
The purport of Jer 7:16, that God will not suffer Himself to be moved by any entreaties to revoke the doom pronounced on the wicked people, is expressed by way of a command from God to the prophet not to pray for the people. That Jeremiah did sometimes pray thus, however, we see from Jer 14:19. (cf. Jer 18:20), when to his prayer the same answer is given as we have

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here, and all intercession for the corrupt race is characterized as in vain. The second clause: lift not up for them crying, i.e., supplicatory prayer, expresses the same, only more strongly; while the third clause: urge me not, cuts off all hope of success from even the most importunate intercession. The reason for this command to desist is shown in Jer 7:17, by a reference to the idolatry which was openly practised throughout the land by young and old, men and women. Each takes part according to strength and capacity: the sons gather wood together, the fathers set the fire in order, etc. The deity so zealously worshipped by the people is called the Queen of heaven, and is mentioned only by Jeremiah. Besides here, there is reference to her in Jer 44:17, where we see that her worship was very diligently cultivated, and that she was adored as the bestower of earthly possessions. (מלכת is stat. constr., either from the Chald. form מלך, or from מליכה, after the analogy of גּברת, st. constr. of גּבירה; but perhaps it has מלכת in stat. abs.) This worship was combined with that of the stars, the host of heaven, which especially prevailed under Manasseh (2Ki 21:5). Thence it may be presumed that the Queen of heaven was one of the deities who came to Western Asia with the Assyrians, and that she corresponds to the Assyrian-Persian Tanais and Artemis, who in the course of time took the place once occupied by the closely related Phoenician Astarte. She is originally a deification of the moon, the Assyrian Selene and Virgo caelestis, who, as supreme female deity, was companion to Baal-Moloch as sun-god; cf. Movers, Phönizier, i. S. 623ff. With this accords the statement of Steph. Byz., that σελήνη is also πήπανον τι τῷ ἄστρω παραπλήσιον. The offerings which, acc. to this verse and Jer 44:19, were brought to her, are called כּוּנים, a word which would appear to have come to the Hebrews along with the foreign cultus. By the lxx it was Grecized into χαυῶνας, for which we find in glossators and codd. καυῶνας and χαβῶνας. They were, acc. to the Etymol. magn. and Suidas, ἄρτοι ἐλαίῳ ἀναφυραθέντες or λάχανα ὄπτα (? cooked vegetables); acc. to Jerome, χαυῶνας, quas nos placentas interpretati sumus. In any case, they were some kind of sacrificial cakes, which Vitr. put alongside of the πόπανα of Aristophanes and Lucian; cf. the various interpretations in Schleussner, Lexic. in lxx

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s.v. χαυών. These cakes were kindled on the altar (cf. מקטּרים, Jer 44:19) as a kind of Minchah (meat-offering), and with this Minchah a libation or drink-offering (נסכים) was combined. הסּך corresponds to לעשׂות, so that ל has to be repeated; cf. Jer 44:19, Jer 44:25, where we find libations poured out to the Queen of heaven. In the 18th verse the expression is generalized into "other gods," with reference to the fact that the service of the Queen of heaven was but one kind of idolatry along with others, since other strange gods were worshipped by sacrifices and libations. To provoke me; cf. Deu 31:29; Deu 32:16, etc.

Verses 19-20 Edit

But instead of vexing Him (Jahveh) they rather vex themselves, inasmuch as God causes the consequences of their idolatry to fall on their own head. אתם is used reflexively: se ipsos; cf. Ew. §314, c; Gesen. §124, 1, b. For the cause of the shame of their face, i.e., to prepare for themselves the shame of their face, to cover their face with shame; cf. Jer 3:25. - For (Jer 7:20) because of this idolatrous work, the wrath of the Lord will pour itself over the land in the consuming fire of war (cf. Jer 4:4 with Jer 5:17, Nah 1:6, etc.), so as to cut off men and beasts, trees and fruit.

Verses 21-23 Edit

The multiplication of burnt and slain offerings will not avert judgment. Your burnt-offerings add to your slain-offerings. In the case of the זבחים, the greater part of the flesh was eaten at the sacrificial meals by those who brought them. Along with these they might put the burnt-offerings, which were wont to be burnt entire upon the altar, and eat them also. The words express indignation at the sacrifices of those who were so wholly alienated from God. God had so little pleasure in their sacrifices, that they might eat of the very burnt-offerings.
To show the reason of what is here said, Jeremiah adds, in Jer 7:22, that God had not commanded their fathers, when He led them out of Egypt, in the matter of burnt and slain offerings, but this word: "Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God," etc. The Keri הוציאי is a true exegesis, acc. to Jer 11:4; Jer 34:13, but is unnecessary; cf. Gen 24:30; Gen 25:26, etc. This utterance has been erroneously interpreted by the majority of commentators, and has been misused by modern criticism to make good positions as to the late origin of the Pentateuch. To understand it aright, we must carefully take

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into consideration not merely the particular terms of the present passage, but the context as well. In the two verses as they stand there is the antithesis: Not על דּברי did God speak and give command to the fathers, when He led them out of Egypt, but commanded the word: Hearken to my voice, etc. The last word immediately suggests Exo 19:5 : If ye will hearken to my voice, then shall ye be my peculiar treasure out of all peoples; and it points to the beginning of the law-giving, the decalogue, and the fundamental principles of the law of Israel, in Ex 20-23, made known in order to the conclusion of the covenant in 24, after the arrival at Sinai of the people marching from Egypt. The promise: Then will I be your God, etc., is not given in these precise terms in Exo 19:5.; but it is found in the account of Moses' call to be the leader of the people in their Exodus, Exo 6:7; and then repeatedly in the promises of covenant blessings, if Israel keep all the commandments of God, Lev 26:12; Deu 26:18. Hence it is clear that Jeremiah had before his mind the taking of the covenant, but did not bind himself closely to the words of Exo 19:5, adopting his expression from the passages of Leviticus and Deuteronomy which refer to and reaffirm that transaction. If there be still any doubt on this head, it will be removed by the clause: and walk in all the way which I command you this day (והלכתם is a continuation of the imper. שׁמעוּ). The expression: to walk in all the way God has commanded, is so unusual, that it occurs only once besides in the whole Old Testament, viz., Deu 5:30, after the renewed inculcation of the ten commandments. And they then occur with the addition (למען תּחיוּן וטוב, in which we cannot fail to recognise the למען ייטב לכם of our verse. Hence we assume, without fear of contradiction, that Jeremiah was keeping the giving of the law in view, and specially the promulgation of the fundamental law of the book, namely of the decalogue, which was spoken by God from out of the fire on Sinai, as Moses in Deu 5:23 repeats with marked emphasis. In this fundamental law we find no prescriptions as to burnt or slain offerings. On this fact many commentators, following Jerome, have laid stress, and suppose the prophet to be speaking of the first act of the law-giving, arguing that the Torah of offering in the Pentateuch was called for first by the worship of the

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golden calf, after which time God held it to be necessary to give express precepts as to the presenting of offerings, so as to prevent idolatry. But this view does not at all agree with the historical fact. For the worship of the calf was subsequent to the law on the building of the altar on which Israel was to offer burnt and slain offerings, Exo 20:24; to the institution of the daily morning and evening sacrifice, Exo 29:38.; and to the regulation as to the place of worship and the consecration of the priests, Ex 25-31. But besides, any difficulty in our verses is not solved by distinguishing between a first and a second law-giving, since no hint of any such contrast is found in our verse, but is even entirely foreign to the precise terms of it. The antithesis is a different one. The stress in Jer 7:23 lies on: hearken to the voice of the Lord, and on walking in all the way which God commanded to the people at Sinai. "To walk in all the way God commanded" is in substance the same as "not to depart from all the words which I command you this day," as Moses expands his former exhortation in Deu 28:14, when he is showing the blessings of keeping the covenant. Hearkening to God's voice, and walking in all His commandments, are the conditions under which Jahveh will be a God to the Israelites, and Israel a people to Him, i.e., His peculiar people from out of all the peoples of the earth. This word of God is not only the centre of the act of taking the covenant, but of the whole Sinaitic law-giving; and it is so both with regard to the moral law and to the ceremonial precepts, of which the law of sacrifice constituted the chief part. If yet the words demanding the observance of the whole law be set in opposition to the commandments as to sacrifices, and if it be said that on this latter head God commanded nothing when He led Israel out of Egypt, then it may be replied that the meaning of the words cannot be: God has given no law of sacrifice, and desires no offerings. The sense can only be: When the covenant was entered into, God did not speak על דּברי, i.e., as to the matters of burnt and slain offerings. על דּברי is not identical with דּברי עולה .על־דּבר are words or things that concern burnt and slain offerings; that is, practically, detailed prescriptions regarding sacrifice.
The purport of the two verses is accordingly as follows:

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When the Lord entered into covenant with Israel at Sinai, He insisted on their hearkening to His voice and walking in all His commandments, as the condition necessary for bringing about the covenant relationship, in which He was to be God to Israel, and Israel a people to Him; but He did not at that time give all the various commandments as to the presenting of sacrifices. Such an intimation neither denies the divine origin of the Torah of sacrifice in Leviticus, nor discredits its character as a part of the Sinaitic legislation.[12]
All it implies is, that the giving of sacrifices is not the thing of primary importance in the law, is not the central point of the covenant laws, and that so long as the cardinal precepts of the decalogue are freely transgressed, sacrifices neither are desired by God, nor secure covenant blessings for those who present them. That this is what is meant is shown by the connection in which our verse stands. The words: that God did not give command as to sacrifice, refer to the sacrifices brought by a people that recklessly broke all the commandments of the decalogue (Jer 7:9.), in the thought that by means of these sacrifices they were proving themselves

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to be the covenant people, and that to them as such God was bound to bestow the blessings of His covenant. It is therefore with justice that Oehler, in Herzog's Realencykl. xii. S. 228, says: "In the sense that the righteousness of the people and the continuance of its covenant relationship were maintained by sacrifice as such - in this sense Jahveh did not ordain sacrifices in the Torah." Such a soulless service of sacrifice is repudiated by Samuel in 1Sa 15:22, when he says to Saul: Hath Jahveh delight in burnt and slain offerings, as in hearkening to the voice of Jahveh? Behold, to hearken is better than sacrifice, etc. So in Psa 40:7; Psa 50:8., Jer 51:18, and Isa 1:11., Jer 6:20; Amo 5:22. What is here said differs from these passages only in this: Jeremiah does not simply say that God has no pleasure in such sacrifices, but adds the inference that the Lord does not desire the sacrifices of a people that have fallen away from Him. This Jeremiah gathers from the history of the giving of the law, and from the fact that, when God adopted Israel as His people, He demanded not sacrifices, but their obedience to His word and their walking in His ways. The design of Jeremiah's addition was the more thoroughly to crush all such vain confidence in sacrifices.

Verses 24-26 Edit

But they have not regarded that which was foremost and most cardinal in the law. They hearkened not, sc. to my voice; and instead of walking in the ways commanded, they walked in the counsels of the stubbornness of their evil heart. בּמעצות is stat. absol., and בּשׁררוּת is co-ordinated with it in apposition, instead of being subordinated; cf. Ew. §289, c. The lxx have not seen their way to admit such a co-ordination, and so have omitted the second term; and in this, Movers, Hitz., and Graf have followed them, deleting the word as a mere gloss. As to "the stubbornness of their evil heart," see on Jer 3:17. יהיוּ לאחור, they were backwards, not forwards, i.e., they so walked as to turn to me the back and not the face. היה with ל expresses the direction or aim of a thing. The subject to these clauses is the Israelites from the time of Moses down to that of Jeremiah. This is shown by the continuation of the same idea in Jer 7:25 and Jer 7:26. From the time the fathers were led out of Egypt till the present time, God has with anxious care been sending prophets to exhort and warn them;

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but they have not hearkened, they have made their neck hard, i.e., were stiffnecked, and did worse than their fathers, i.e., each succeeding generation did more wickedly than that which preceded it. On למן היּום, (the period) from the the remarks on Hag 2:18. The ל gives to the mention of the time the value of an independent clause, to which that which is said regarding that time is joined by ו consec. יום is adverbial accusative: by the day, i.e., daily, in early morn, i.e., with watchful care sending (on this expression, see at Jer 7:13). יום acquires this sense, not in virtue of its standing for יום יום, but by reason of its connection with the two infinitives absoll.

Verse 27 Edit

Just as little will they listen to Jeremiah's words. ודבּרתּ with ו consec. is properly: Speak to them, and they will not hearken to thee, for: Even if thou speakest to them, they will not hearken to thee.

Verse 28 Edit

Hence the prophet will be bound to say to them: This is the people that hath not hearkened to the voice of God. On this Chr. B. Mich. makes this remark: Etsi adhortationibus tuis non obedient, tamen, ut sciant quales sint et quae paenae ipsos maneant, dicas eis. Perished or gone is faithfulness, and cut off out of their mouth. They have violated the fidelity they owed to God, by not hearkening to His voice, by breaking all His commandments (cf. Jer 7:23 and Jer 7:9). "Out of their mouth" is used instead of "out of the heart," because they continually make profession with their mouth of their devotion to God, e.g., swear by Jahveh, but always lyingly, Jer 7:2.

Verses 29-34 Edit

Jer 7:29-34Therefore the Lord has rejected the backsliding people, so that it shall perish shamefully. - Jer 7:29."Cut off thy diadem (daughter of Zion), and cast it away, and lift up a lamentation on the bald peaked mountains; for the Lord hath rejected and cast out the generation of His wrath. Jer 7:30.For the sons of Judah have done the evil in mine eyes, saith Jahveh, have put their abominations in the house on which my name is named, to pollute it; Jer 7:31.And have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of Benhinnom, to burn their sons and daughters in the fire; which I have not commanded, neither came it into my heart. Jer 7:32.Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jahveh, that they shall no longer say, Tophet and Valley of Benhinnom, but, The valley of slaughter; and they shall bury in Tophet for want of room. Jer 7:33. And

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the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of heaven and the beasts of the earth, with no one to fray them away. Jer 7:34.And I make to cease out of the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for a waste shall the land become. Jer 8:1.At that time, saith Jahveh, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of his princes, the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. Jer 8:2. And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, which they have loved, and which they have served, after which they have walked, and which they have sought and worshipped: they shall not be gathered nor buried; for dung upon the face of the earth shall they be. Jer 8:3. And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue which is left of this evil race, in all the places whither I have driven them that are left, saith Jahveh of hosts."
In these verses the judgment of Jer 7:20 is depicted in all its horror, and the description is introduced by a call upon Zion to mourn and lament for the evil awaiting Jerusalem and the whole land. It is not any particular woman that is addressed in Jer 7:29, but the daughter of Zion (cf. Jer 6:23), i.e., the capital city personified as a woman, as the mother of the whole people. Cut off נזרך, thy diadem. There can be no doubt that we are by this to understand the hair of the woman; but the current opinion, that the words simply and directly means the hair, is without foundation. It means crown, originally the diadem of the high priest, Exo 29:6; and the transference of the same word to the hair of the head is explained by the practice of the Nazarites, to wear the hair uncut as a mark of consecration to the Lord, Num 6:5. The hair of the Nazarite is called in Num 6:7 the consecration (נזר) of his God upon his head, as was the anointing oil on the head of the high priest, Lev 21:12. In this sense the long hair of the daughter of Zion is called her diadem, to mark her out as a virgin consecrated to the Lord. Cutting off this hair is not only in token of mourning, as in Job 1:20; Mic 1:16, but in token of the loss of the consecrated character. The Nazarite, defiled by the sudden

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occurrence of death near to his person, was bound to cut off his long hair, because by this defilement his consecrated hair had been defiled; and just so must the daughter of Zion cut off her hair and cast it from her, because by her sins she had defiled herself, and must be held as unconsecrate. Venema and Ros. object to this reference of the idea to the consecrated hair of the Nazarite: quod huc non quadrat, nec in faeminis adeo suetum erat; but this objection is grounded on defective apprehension of the meaning of the Nazarite's vow, and on misunderstanding of the figurative style here employed. The allusion to the Nazarite order, for the purpose of representing the daughter of Zion as a virgin consecrated to the Lord, does not imply that the Nazarite vow was very common amongst women. Deprived of her holy ornament, Zion is to set up a lament upon bare hill-tops (cf. Jer 3:21), since the Lord has rejected or cast out (Jer 7:30) the generation that has drawn His wrath down on it, because they have set idols in the temple in which He has revealed His glory, to profane it. The abominations are the image of Asherah which Manasseh set up in the temple, and the altars he had built to the host of heaven in both the courts (2Ki 21:5, 2Ki 21:7). Besides the desecration of the temple of the Lord by idolatry, Jeremiah mentions in Jer 7:31, as an especially offensive abomination, the worship of Moloch practised in the valley of Benhinnom. Here children were burnt to this deity, to whom Manasseh had sacrificed his son, 2Ki 21:6. The expression "high altars of Tophet" is singular. In the parallel passages, where Jeremiah repeats the same subject, Jer 19:5 and Jer 32:35, we find mentioned instead high altars of Baal; and on this ground, Hitz. and Graf hold התפת in our verse to be a contemptuous name for Baal Moloch. תּפת is not derived from the Persian; nor is it true that, as Hitz. asserts, it does not occur till after the beginning of the Assyrian period, since we have it in Job 17:6. It is formed from תּוּף, to spit out, like נפת from נוּף; and means properly a spitting out, then that before or on which one spits (as in Job 17:6), object of deepest abhorrence. It is transferred to the worship of Moloch here and Jer 19:6, Jer 19:13., and in 2Ki 23:10. In the latter passage the word is unquestionably used for the place in the valley of Benhinnom where children were offered to

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Moloch. So in Jer 19:6, Jer 19:13 (the place of Tophet), and Jer 19:14; and so also, without a doubt, in Jer 7:32 of the present chapter. There is no valid reason for departing from this well-ascertained local signification; "high altars of the Tophet" may perfectly well be the high altars of the place of abominable sacrifices. With the article the word means the ill-famed seat of the Moloch-worship, situated in the valley of Ben or Bne Hinnom, to the south of Jerusalem. Hinnom is nomen propr. of a man of whom we know nothing else, and בּן( בּני הנּום) is not an appellative: son of sobbing, as Hitz., Graf, Böttcher explain (after Rashi), rendering the phrase by "Valley of the weepers," or "of groaning, sobbing," with reference to the cries of the children slain there for sacrifices. For the name Ben-hinnom is much older than the Moloch-worship, introduced first by Ahaz and Manasseh. We find it in Jos 15:8; Jos 18:16, in the topographical account of the boundaries of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. As to Moloch-worship, see on Lev 18:21 and Eze 16:20. At the restoration of the public worship of Jahveh, Josiah had extirpated Moloch-worship, and had caused the place of the sacrifice of abominations in the valley of Ben-hinnom to be defiled (2Ki 23:20); so that it is hardly probable that it had been again restored immediately after Josiah's death, at the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign. Nor does the present passage imply this; for Jer. is not speaking of the forms of idolatry at that time in favour with the Jews, but of the abominations they had done. That he had Manasseh's doings especially in view, we may gather from Jer 15:4, where the coming calamities are expressly declared to be the punishment for Manasseh's sins. Neither is it come into my heart, i.e., into my mind, goes to strengthen: which I have not commanded.

Verse 32 Edit

Therefore God will make the place of their sins the scene of judgment on the sinners. There shall come days when men will call the valley of these abominations the valley of slaughter, i.e., shall make it into such a valley. Where they have sacrificed their children to Moloch, they shall themselves be slaughtered, massacred by their enemies. And in this valley, as an unclean place (Jer 19:13), shall they be buried "for want of room;" since, because of the vast numbers of the slain, there will be nowhere else to put them.

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Verse 33 Edit

Even the number of the dead will be so great that the corpses shall remain unburied, shall become food for beasts of prey, which no one will scare away. This is taken almost literally from Deu 28:26.

Verse 34 Edit

Thus the Lord will put an end to all joyfulness in life throughout the land: cf. Hos 2:13; Eze 26:13. The voice of the bridegroom and the bride is a circumlocution for the mirth of marriage festivities; cf. 1 Macc. 9:39. All joy will be dumb, for the land shall become a waste; as the people had been warned, in Lev 26:31, Lev 26:33, would be the case if they forsook the Lord.

Chap. 8 Edit

Verses 1-2 Edit

But even then the judgment has not come to a height. Even sinners long dead must yet bear the shame of their sins. "At that time" points back to "days come" in Jer 7:32. The Masoretes wished to have the ו before יוציאוּ deleted, apparently because they took it for ו consec. But it here stands before the jussive, as it does frequently, e.g., Jer 13:10, Exo 12:3. They will take the bones of the kings, princes, priests, and prophets, the rulers and leaders of the people (cf. Jer 2:26), and the bones of the other inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves, and spread them out before the sun, the moon, and the stars, i.e., expose them under the open sky to the influence of the heavenly bodies, so that they shall rot away, become "dung on the face of the earth." The worst dishonour that could be done to the dead, a just return in kind for their worship of sun, moon, and stars: cf. Exo 7:18; 2Ki 21:5; 2Ki 23:11. This worship the prophet describes in its various stages: "Inclination of the heart, the act of devoting and dedicating themselves to the service, the frequenting of gods' sanctuary in order to worship and to obtain oracles; while he strives to bring out in strong relief the contrast between the zeal of their service and the reward they get by it" (Hitz.). They shall not be gathered, i.e., for burial: cf. 2Sa 21:13.; 1Sa 31:13. The dead shall suffer this at the hands of enemies despoiling the land. The reason for so doing was, as Jerome observes, the practice of burying ornaments and articles of value along with the dead. Seeking for such things, enemies will turn up the graves (cf. acts of this kind the case of Ibn Chaldun, in Sylv. de Sacy, Abdollat. p. 561), and, in their

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hatred and insolence, scatter the bones of the dead all about.

Verse 3 Edit

Not less dreadful will be the fate of those who remain in life; so appalling that they will prefer death to life, since every kind of hardship in exile and imprisonment amongst the heathen is awaiting them: cf. Lev 26:36-39; Deu 28:65-67. המּקמות strikes us as peculiar, seeing that the latter word cannot be adjective to the former; for "in all the remaining places of Judah" (Umbr.) gives no suitable sense, and "in all remaining places outside of Judah" is contrary to usage. But הנּשׁארים may be taken as genitive, in spite of the article prefixed to the stat. constr. מקמות; and we may then translate, with Maur.: in all the places of those who remain whither I have driven them. The lxx have omitted the second word; and it is possible it may have found its way hither from the preceding line by an error of transcription. And so Hitz., Ew., and Graf have deleted it as a gloss; but the arguments adduced have little weight. The lxx have also omitted "and say to them," Jer 8:4, have changed כּה into כּי, and generally have treated Jeremiah in a quite uncritical fashion: so that they may have omitted the word from the present verse because it seemed awkward to them, and was not found in the parallel passages, Jer 29:14; Jer 23:3, which are not, however, precisely similar to the present verse.

Verses 4-7 Edit

The People's Obstinacy in Wickedness, and the Dreadfulness of the Judgment. - Since the people cleaves stedfastly to its sin (Jer 8:4-13), the Lord must punish sorely (Jer 8:14 -23). - Jer 8:4-13. "And say to them, Thus hath the Lord said: Doth one fall, and not rise again? or doth one turn away, and not turn back again? Jer 8:5.Why doth this people of Jerusalem turn itself away with a perpetual turning? They hold fast by deceit, they refuse to return. Jer 8:6.I listened and heard: they speak not aright; no one repenteth him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? They all turn to their course again, like a horse rushing into the battle. Jer 8:7.Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and turtle-dove, and swallow, and crane, keep the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of Jahveh. Jer 8:8. How can

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ye say, Wise are we, and the law of Jahve we have? Certainly the lying pen of the scribes hath made it a lie. Jer 8:9.Ashamed the wise men become, confounded and taken; lo, the word of Jahveh they spurn at; and whose wisdom have they? Jer 8:10.Therefore will I give their wives unto others, their fields to new heirs: for from the small to the great, they are all greedy for gain; from the prophet even unto the priest, they all use deceit. Jer 8:11.And they heal the hurt of the daughter of my people as it were a light matter, saying, Peace, peace; and yet there is no peace. Jer 8:12.They have been put to shame because they have done abomination; yet they take not shame to themselves, ashamedness they know not. Therefore they shall fall amongst them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall stumble, that Jahve said. Jer 8:13.Away, away will I sweep them, saith Jahveh: no grapes on the vine, and no figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf is withered; so I appoint unto them those that shall pass over them."
This strophe connects itself with what precedes. A judgment, dreadful as has been described in Jer 7:32-8:3, will come on Judah, because the people cleaves stiffneckedly to its sins. The ואמרתּ of Jer 8:4 corresponds to that in Jer 7:28. The questioning clauses in Jer 8:4 contain universal truths, which are applied to the people of Judah in Jer 8:5. The subjects to יפּלוּ and ישׁוּב are indefinite, hence singular and plural with like significance: cf. Gesen. §137, 3; Ew. §294, b. The verb ישׁוּב, turn oneself, turn about, is here used in a double sense: first, as turn away from one; and then turn towards him, return again. In the application in Jer 8:5, the Pilel is used for to turn away from, and strengthened by: with perpetual turning away or backsliding. נצּחת is not partic. Niph. fem. from נצח, but an adjectival formation, continual, enduring, from נצח, continuance, durableness. "Jerusalem" belongs to "this people:" this people of Jerusalem; the loose grammatical connection by means of the stat. constr. not being maintained, if the first idea gives a sense intelligible by itself, so that the second noun may then be looked on rather in the light of an apposition conveying additional information; cf. Ew. §290, c. תּרמית, equivalent to מרמה, deceit against God. they refuse to return. Sense: they will not receive the truth, repent and

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return to God. The same idea is developed in Jer 8:6. The first person: I have listened and heard, Hitz. insists, refers to the prophet, "who is justified as to all he said in Jer 8:5 by what he has seen." But we cannot account that even an "apt" view of the case, which makes the prophet cite his own observations to show that God had not spoken without cause. It is Jahveh that speaks in Jer 8:5; and seeing that Jer 8:6 gives not the slightest hint of any change in the speaker, we are bound to take Jer 8:6 also as spoken by God. Thus, to prove that they cleave unto deceit, Jahveh says that He has given heed to their deeds and habits, and heard how they speak the לוא־כן, the not right, i.e., lies and deceit. The next clause: not one repents him of his wickedness, corresponds to: they refuse to return; cf. Jer 8:5 (נחם is partic.). Instead of this, the whole of it, i.e., all of them, turn again to their course. שׁוּב with ב, construed as in Hos 12:7 : turn oneself to a thing, so as to enter into it. For מרוּצה, the sig. course is certified to by 2Sa 18:27. The Chet. מרצותם .tehC e is doubtless merely an error of transcription for מרוּצתם, as is demanded by the Keri. Turn again into their course. The thought is: instead of considering, of becoming repentant, they continue their evil courses. This, too, is substantially what Hitz. gives. Ros., Graf, and others, again, take this in the sense of turning themselves away in their course; but it is not fair to deduce this sense for שׁוּב without מן from Jer 8:4; nor is the addition of "from me" justifiable. Besides, this explanation does not suit the following comparison with the horse. It is against analogy to derive מרצותם from רצה with the sig. desire, cupidity. Ew., following the Chald., adopts this sense both here and in Jer 22:17 and Jer 23:10, though it is not called for in any of these passages, and is unsuitable in Jer 22:17. As a horse rusheth into the battle. שׁטף, pour forth, overflow, hence rush on impetuously; by Jerome rightly translated, cum impetu vadens. Several commentators compare the Latin se effundere (Caes. Bell. Gall. v. 19) and effundi (Liv. xxviii. 7); but the cases are not quite in point, since in both the words are used of the cavalry, and not of the steed by itself. This simile makes way for more in Jer 8:7. Even the fowls under the heaven keep the time of their coming and departure, but Israel takes no concern for the judgment

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of its God; cf. Isa 1:3. חסידה, (avis) pia, is the stork, not the heron; see on Lev 11:19. "In the heaven" refers to the flight of the stork. All the birds mentioned here are birds of passage. תּור and סוּס are turtle-dove and pigeon. For סוּס the Masoretes read סיס, apparently to distinguish the word from that for horse; and so the oriental Codd. propose to read in Isa 38:14, although they wrote עגוּר .סוּס is the crane (acc. to Saad. and Rashi), both here and in Isa 38:14, where Gesen., Knob., and others, mistaking the asyndeton, take it as an adjective in the sig. sighing. (Note: Starting from this unproved interpretation of Isa 38:14, and supporting their case from the lxx translation of the present passage, τρυγὼν καὶ χελιδὼν ἀγροῦ στρουθία, Hitz. and Graf argue that עגוּר is not the name of any particular bird, but only a qualifying word to סוּס, in order to distinguish the swallow from the horse, the sense more commonly attached to the same word. But that confused text of the lxx by no means justifies us in supposing that the ו cop. was introduced subsequently into the Heb. text. It is possible that ἁγροῦ is only a corrupt representation of עגוּר, and the στρουθία came into the lxx text in consequence of this corruption. but certainly the fact that the lxx, as also Aquil. and Symm., both here and in Isa 38:14, did not know what to make of the Hebrew word, and so transcribed it in Greek letters, leads us to conclude that these translators permitted themselves to be guided by Isa 38, and omitted here also the copula, which was there omitted before עגוּר. מועדים are the fixed times for the arrival and departure of the birds of passage.

Verse 8 Edit

In spite of this heedlessness of the statutes, the judgment of God, they vainly boast in their knowledge and possession of God's law. Those who said, We are wise, are mainly the priests and false prophets; cf. Jer 8:10, Jer 2:8; Jer 5:31. The wisdom these people claimed for themselves is, as the following clause shows, the knowledge of the law. They prided themselves on possessing the law, from which they conceived themselves to have drawn their wisdom. The second clause, as Hitz. observed, shows that it is the written law that is meant. The law is with us. This is not to be understood merely of the outward possession of it, but the inward, appropriated knowledge, the mastery of the law. The law of Jahveh, recorded in the Pentateuch, teaches not only the bearing towards God due by man, but the bearing of God towards His people. The knowledge of this law begets the wisdom for ruling one's life, tells how

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God is to be worshipped, how His favour is to be procured and His anger appeased.
As against all this, Jeremiah declares: Assuredly the lying pen (style) of the scribes hath made it a lie. Ew., Hitz., Graf, translate ספרים, authors, writers; and the two latter of them take עשׂה = labour: "for a lie (or for deception) hath the lying style (pen) of the writers laboured." This transl. is feasible; but it seems simpler to supply 'תּורת יי: hath made it (the law); and there is no good reason for confining סופר to the original composers of works. The words are not to be limited in their reference to the efforts of the false prophets, who spread their delusive prophecies by means of writings: they refer equally to the work of the priests, whose duty it was to train the people in the law, and who, by false teaching as to its demands, led the people astray, seduced them from the way of truth, and deceived them as to the future. The labours both of the false prophets and of the wicked priests consisted not merely in authorship, in composing and circulating writings, but to a very great extent in the oral teaching of the people, partly by prophetic announcements, partly by instruction in the law; only in so far as it was necessary was it their duty to set down in writing and circulate their prophecies and interpretations of the law. But this work by word and writing was founded on the existing written law, the Torah of Moses; just as the true prophets sought to influence the people chiefly by preaching the law to them, by examining their deeds and habits by the rule of the divine will as revealed in the Torah, and by applying to their times the law's promises and threatenings. For this work with the law, and application of it to life, Jer. uses the expression "style of the Shoferim," because the interpretation of the law, if it was to have valid authority as the rule of life, must be fixed by writing. Yet he did not in this speak only of authors, composers, but meant such as busied themselves about the book of the law, made it the object of their study. But inasmuch as such persons, by false interpretation and application, perverted the truth of the law into a lie, he calls their work the work of the lying style (pen).

Verses 9-12 Edit

Those who held themselves wise will come to shame, will be dismally disabused of their hopes. When the great calamity

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comes on the sin-hardened people, they shall be confounded and overwhelmed in ruin (cf. Jer 6:11). They spurn at the word of Jahveh; whose wisdom then have they? None; for the word of the Lord alone is Israel's wisdom and understanding, Deu 4:6.
The threatening in Jer 8:10 includes not only the wise ones, but the whole people. "Therefore" attaches to the central truth of Jer 8:5 and Jer 8:6, which has been elucidated in Jer 8:7-9. The first half of Jer 8:10 corresponds, in shorter compass, to what has been said in Jer 6:12, and is here continued in Jer 8:10-12 in the same words as in Jer 6:13-15. יורשׁים are those who take possession, make themselves masters of a thing, as in Jer 49:2 and Mic 1:15. This repetition of the three verses is not given in the lxx, and Hitz. therefore proposes to delete them as a supplementary interpolation, holding that they are not only superfluous, but that they interrupt the sense. For he thinks Jer 8:13 connects remarkably well with Jer 8:10, but, taken out of its connection with what precedes as we have it, begins baldly enough. To this Graf has made fitting answer: This passage is in no respect more superfluous or awkward than Jer 6:13.; nor is the connection of Jer 8:13 with Jer 8:10 at all closer than with Jer 8:12. And Hitz., in order to defend the immediate connection between Jer 8:13 and Jer 8:10, sees himself compelled, for the restoration of equilibrium, to delete the middle part of Jer 8:13 (from "no grapes" to "withered") as spurious; for which proceeding there is not the smallest reason, since this passage has neither the character of an explanatory gloss, nor is it a repetition from any place whatever, nor is it awanting in the lxx. Just as little ground is there to argue against the genuineness of the two passages from the variations found in them. Here in Jer 8:10 we have מקּטן ועד־גּדול instead of the מקּטנּםof Jer 6:13; but the suffix, which in the latter case pointed to the preceding "inhabitants of the land," was unnecessary here, where there is no such reference. In like manner, the forms הכּלם for הכלים, and עת פּקדּתם for עת־פּקדתּים, are but the more usual forms used by Jeremiah elsewhere. So the omission of the א in ירפּוּ for ירפּאוּ, as coming either from the writer or the copyist, clearly does not make against the genuineness of the verses. And there is the less

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reason for making any difficulty about the passage, seeing that such repetitions are amongst the peculiarities of Jeremiah's style: cf. e.g., Jer 7:31-33 with Jer 19:5-7; Jer 10:12-16 with Jer 51:15-19; Jer 15:13-14, with Jer 17:3-4; Jer 16:14-15, with Jer 23:7-8, Jer 23:5-6, with Jer 33:15-16; Jer 23:19-20, with Jer 30:23-24, and other shorter repetitions.

Verse 13 Edit

The warning of coming punishment, reiterated from a former discourse, is strengthened by the threatening that God will sweep them utterly away, because Judah has become an unfruitful vine and fig-tree. In אסף we have a combination of אסף, gather, glean, carry away, and הסיף, Niph. of סוּף, make an end, sweep off, so as to heighten the sense, as in Zep 1:1. - a passage which was doubtless in the prophet's mind: wholly will I sweep them away. The circumstantial clauses: no grapes - and the leaves are withered, show the cause of the threatening: The people is become an unfruitful vine and fig-tree, whose leaves are withered. Israel was a vineyard the Lord had planted with noble vines, but which brought forth sour grapes, Jer 2:21; Isa 5:2. In keeping with this figure, Israel is thought of as a vine on which are no grapes. With this is joined the like figure of a fig-tree, to which Micah in Mic 7:1 makes allusion, and which is applied by Christ to the degenerate race of His own time in His symbolical act of cursing the fig-tree (Mat 21:19). To exhaust the thought that Judah is ripe for judgment, it is further added that the leaves are withered. The tree whose leaves are withered, is near being parched throughout. Such a tree was the people of Judah, fallen away from its God, spurning at the law of the Lord; in contrast with which, the man who trusts in the Lord, and has delight in the law of the Lord, is like the tree planted by the water, whose leaves are ever green, and which bringeth forth fruit in his season, Jer 17:8; Psa 1:1-3. Ros. and Mov. are quite wrong in following the Chald., and in taking the circumstantial clauses as a description of the future; Mov. even proceeds to change אסף אסיפם into אסף . The interpretation of the last clause is a disputed point. Ew., following the old translators (Chald., Syr., Aq., Symm., Vulg.; in the lxx they are omitted), understands the words of the transgression of the commands of God, which they seem to have received only in order to break them. ואתּן

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seems to tell in favour of this, and it may be taken as praeter. with the translation: and I gave to them that which they transgress. But unless we are to admit that the idea thus obtained stands quite abruptly, we must follow the Chald., and take it as the reason of what precedes: They are become an unfruitful tree with faded leaves, because they have transgressed my law which I gave them. But ואתּן with ו consec. goes directly against this construction. Of less weight is the other objection against this view, that the plural suffix in יעברוּם has no suitable antecedent; for there could be no difficulty in supplying "judgments" (cf. Jer 8:8). But the abrupt appearance of the thought, wholly unlooked for here, is sufficient to exclude that interpretation. We therefore prefer the other interpretation, given with various modifications by Ven., Rose., and Maur., and translate: so I appoint unto them those that shall pass over them. The imperf. c. ו consec. attaches itself to the circumstantial clauses, and introduces the resulting consequence; it is therefore to be expressed in English by the present, not by the praeter.: therefore I gave them (Näg.). נתן in the general sig. appoint, and the second verb with the pron. rel. omitted: illos qui eos invadent. עבר, to overrun a country or people, of a hostile army swarming over it, as e.g., Isa 8:8; Isa 28:15. For the construction c. accus. cf. Jer 23:9; Jer 5:22. Hitz.'s and Graf's mode of construction is forced: I deliver them up to them (to those) who pass over them; for then we must not only supply an object to אתּן, but adopt the unusual arrangement by which the pronoun להם is made to stand before the words that explain it.

Verses 14-22 Edit

Jer 8:14-22The horrors of the approaching visitation. - Jer 8:14. "Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities, and perish there; for Jahveh our God hath decreed our ruin, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against Jahveh. Jer 8:15.We looked for safety, and there is no good; for a time of healing, and behold terrors. Jer 8:16.From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses; at the loud neighing of his steeds the whole earth trembles: they come, and devour the land and its fulness, the city and those that dwell therein. Jer 8:17.For, behold, I send among you serpents, vipers, of which there is no charming,

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'which shall sting you, saith Jahve. Jer 8:18.Oh my comfort in sorrow, in me my heart grows too sock. Jer 8:19.Behold, loud sounds the cry of the daughter from out of a far country: 'Is Jahveh not in Zion, nor her King in her?' Why provoked they me with their images, with vanities of a foreign land? Jer 8:20.Past is the harvest, ended is the fruit-gathering, and we are not saved. Jer 8:21.For the breaking of the daughter of my people am I broken, am in mourning; horror hath taken hold on me. Jer 8:22.Is there no balm in Gilead, or no physician there? why then is no plaister laid upon the daughter of my people? V. 23.Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears! then would I weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people."
In spirit the prophet sees the enemy forcing his way into the country, and the inhabitants fleeing into the fortified cities. This he represents to his hearers with graphic and dramatic effect. In Jer 8:14 the citizens of Judah are made to speak, calling on one another to flee and give up hope of being saved. "Why do we sit still?" i.e., remain calmly where we are? We will withdraw into the strong cities (cf. Jer 4:5), and perish there by famine and disease (נדּמה for נדּמּה, imperf. Niph., from דּמם: cf. Gesen. §67, 5, Rem. 11; in Niph. be destroyed, perish). The fortresses cannot save them from ruin, since they will be besieged and taken by the enemy. For our sin against Him, God has decreed our ruin. The Hiph. from דמם, prop. put to silence, bring to ruin, here with the force of a decree. מי ראשׁ, bitter waters; ראשׁ or רושׁ, Deu 32:32, is a plant with a very bitter taste, and so, since bitterness and poison were to the Jews closely connected, a poisonous plant; see on Deu 29:17. So they call the bitter suffering from the ruin at hand which they must undergo. Cf. the similar figure of the cup of the anger of Jahveh, Jer 25:15.

Verse 15 Edit

Instead of peace and safety hoped for, there is calamity and terror. The infin. abs. קוּה is used emphatically for the imperf.: We looked for safety, and no good has come to us: for healing, sc. of our injuries, and instead comes terror, by reason of the appearance of the foe in the land. This hope has been awakened and cherished in the people by false prophets (see on Jer 4:10), and now, to their sore suffering, they must feel the

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contrary of it. The same idea is repeated in Jer 14:19. מרפּה is a mis-spelling of מרפּא, Jer 14:19, etc.

Verse 16 Edit

From the northern borders of Canaan (from Dan; see on Jer 4:15) is already heard the dreadful tumult of the advancing enemy, the snorting of his horses. The suffix in סוּסיו refers to the enemy, whose invasion is threatened in Jer 6:22, and is here presumed as known. אבּיריו, his strong ones, here, as in Jer 47:3; Jer 50:11, a poetical name for strong horses, stallions; elsewhere for strong animals, e.g., Psa 22:13; Psa 50:13. The whole earth, not the whole land. With "devour the land," cf. Jer 5:17. עיר and ארץ have an indefinite comprehensive force; town and country on which the enemy is marching.

Verse 17 Edit

The terribleness of these enemies is heightened by a new figure. They are compared to snakes of the most venomous description, which cannot be made innocuous by any charming, whose sting is fatal. "Vipers" is in apposition to "serpents;" serpents, namely basilisks. צפעני is, acc. to Aq. and Vulg. on Isa 11:8, serpens regulus, the basilisk, a small and very venomous species of viper, of which there is no charming. Cf. for the figure, Cant. 10:11; and fore the enemies' cruelty thereby expressed, cf. Jer 6:23; Isa 13:18.

Verses 18-22 Edit

The hopeless ruin of his people cuts the prophet to the very heart. In Jer 8:18 -23 his sore oppressed heart finds itself vent in bitter lamentations. Oh my comfort in sorrow! is the cry of sore affliction. This may be seen from the second half of the verse, the sense of which is clear: sick (faint) is my heart upon me. עלי shows that the sickness of heart is a sore burden on him, crushes him down; cf. Ew. §217, i. "My comfort" is accordingly vocative: Oh my comfort concerning the sorrow! Usually מי יתּן is supplied: Oh that I had, that there were for me comfort! The sense suits, but the ellipse is without parallel. It is simpler to take the words as an exclamation: the special force of it, that he knows not when to seek comfort, may be gathered from the context. For other far-fetched explanations, see in Ros. ad h. l. The grief which cuts so deeply into his heart that he sighs for relief, is caused by his already hearing in spirit the mourning cry of his people as they go away into captivity.

Verses 19-20 Edit

From a far country he hears the people complain: Is Jahveh not in Zion? is He no longer the King of His people there? The suffix in מלכּהּ refers to

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"daughter of my people," and the King is Jahveh; cf. Isa 33:22. They ask whether Jahveh is no longer King in Zion, that He may release His people from captivity and bring them back to Zion. To this the voice of God replies with the counter-question: Why have they provoked me with their idolatry, sc. so that I had to give them over into the power of the heathen for punishment? "Images" is expounded by the apposition: vanities (no-gods; for הבל, see on Jer 2:5) of a foreign land. Because they have chosen the empty idols from abroad (Isa 14:22) as their gods, Jahveh, the almighty God of Zion, has cast them out into a far country amidst strange people. The people goes on to complain in Jer 8:20 : Past is the harvest...and we are not saved. As Schnur. remarked, these words have something of the proverb about them. As a country-man, hoping for a good harvest, falls into despair as to his chances, so the people have been in vain looking for its rescue and deliverance. The events, or combinations of events, to which it looked for its rescue are gone by without bringing any such result. Many ancient commentators, following Rashi, have given too special a significance to this verse in applying it to the assistance expected from Egypt in the time of Jehoiakim or Zedekiah. Hitz. is yet more mistaken when he takes the saying to refer to an unproductive harvest. From Jer 8:19 we see that the words are spoken by the people while it pines in exile, which sets its hopes of being saved not in the productiveness of the harvest, but in a happy turn of the political situation.

Verses 21-22 Edit

The hopeless case of the people and kingdom moves the seer so deeply, that he bursts forth with the cry: For the breaking of my people I am broken (the Hoph. השׁבּרתּי, of the breaking of the heart, only here; in this sig. usu. the Niph., e.g., Jer 38:7. Horror hath taken hold on me, is stronger than: Anguish hath taken hold on me, Jer 6:24, Mic 4:9. Help is nowhere to be found. This thought is in Jer 8:22 clothed in the question: Is there no balm in Gilead, or no physician there? "There" points back to Gilead. Graf's remark, that "it is not known that the physicians were got from that quarter," shows nothing more than that its author has

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mistaken the figurative force of the words. צרי, balsam, is mentioned in Gen 37:25 as an article of commerce carried by Midianite merchants to Egypt (cf. Eze 27:17), but is hardly the real balsam from Mecca (amyris opobalsamum), which during the Roman sovereignty was grown under culture in the gardens of Jericho, and which only succeeds in a climate little short of tropical. It was more likely the resina of the ancients, a gum procured from the terebinth or mastic tree (lentiscus, σχῖνος), which, acc. to Plin. h. nat. xxiv. 22, was held in esteem as a medicament for wounds (resolvitur resina ad vulnerum usus et malagmata oleo). Acc. to our passage and Jer 46:11, cf. Gen 37:25, it was procured chiefly from Gilead; cf. Movers, Phöniz. ii. 3, S. 220ff., and the remarks on Gen 37:25. To these questions a negative answer is given. From this we explain the introduction of a further question with כּי: if there were balm in Gilead, and a physician there, then a plaister would have been laid on the daughter of my people, which is not the case. As to עלתה , lit., a plaister comes upon, see on Jer 30:17.

Chap. 9 Edit

Verse 1 Edit

Jer 9:1. "Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place of wayfarers! then would I leave my people, and go away from them. For they be all adulterers, a crew of faithless ones. Jer 9:2.They bend their tongue like their bow with lying; and not according to faithfulness do they manage in the land, but go on from evil to evil, and me they know not, saith Jahve. Jer 9:3.Beware each of his neighbour, and trust not in any brother; for every brother supplanteth, and every friend goeth slandering. Jer 9:4.And one overreaCheth the other, and truth they speak

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not; they teach their tongue to speak lies, to deal perversely they weary themselves. Jer 9:5.Thy dwelling is in the midst of deceit; in deceit they refuse to know me, saith Jahveh. Jer 9:6.Therefore thus hath spoken Jahveh of hosts: Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how should I deal in regard to the daughter of my people? Jer 9:7.A deadly arrow is their tongue; they speak deceit; with his mouth one speaketh peace with his neighbour, and inwardly within him he layeth ambush. Jer 9:8.Shall I not visit this upon them? saith Jahveh; or on such a people as this shall not my soul take vengeance?"
Jeremiah would flee into the wilderness, far away from his people; because amidst such a corrupt, false, and cunning people, life had become unbearable, Jer 9:1. מי יתּנני, as in Isa 27:4, equivalent to מי יתּן לי, Psa 55:7 : who would give me = Oh that I had! The "lodging-place" is not a resting-place under the open sky, but a harbour for travellers - a building (khan) erected on the route of the caravans, as a shelter for travellers. Adultery and faithlessness are mentioned as cardinal sins. The first sin has been rebuked in Jer 5:7, the second is exposed in Jer 9:2-4. בּוגד, faithless either towards God or one's fellow-men; here in the latter sense. The account of the unfaithful conduct is introduced in Jer 9:2 by the imperf. with ו consec., and is carried on in the perf. Manifestations of sin are the issue of a sinful state of heart; the perfects are used to suggest the particular sins as accomplished facts.
In the clause, "they bend," etc., שׁקר is the second object; and "their bow" is in apposition to "their tongue:" they bend their tongue, which is their bow, with lying. For this construction the Hiph. is the proper form, and this is not to be changed into the Kal (as by Hitz., Gr., Näg.). In Job 28:8 the Hiph. is used instead of the Kal in the sense of tread upon, walk upon; here it is used of the treading of the bow to bend it, and lying is looked upon as the arrow with which the bow is stretched or armed for shooting. If the verb be changed into the Kal, we must join שׁקר with קשׁתּם: their lying-bow. For this connection דּרכּך זמּה, Eze 16:27, may be cited; but it gives us the unnatural figure: their tongue as a bow, which is lying. It is neither the tongue nor the bow which is lying, but that which they shoot with their tongue as with a bow. According to faithfulness; ל of the rule,

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norm, as in Jer 5:3. Not faithfulness to their convictions (Hitz.), but in their behaviour towards their fellow-man. גּבר, be strong, exercise strength, rule, and manage. The prophet has in view the great and mighty who had power in their hands, and who misused it to oppress their inferiors. From evil to evil they go on, i.e., they proceed from one sin to another; but God the Lord they know not, i.e., are determined to know nothing of Him; cf. 1Sa 2:12; Job 18:21. Hence each must keep himself on his guard against the other. To express this in the most emphatic manner, Jeremiah gives it the form of a command: Beware each of his neighbour, trust not in a brother; for each seeks to overreach and trip up the other. In the words עקוב יעקב there seems to be an allusion to Jacob's underhand dealing with his brother Esau, Gen 27:36. On "goes slandering," cf. Jer 6:28, and cf. also the similar description in Mic 7:5-6.

Verses 4-8 Edit

In Jer 9:4 these sinful ways are exposed in yet stronger words. יהתל, uncontracted form of the imperf. Hiph. of תּלל, trip up, deceive. On the infin. העוה, cf. Ew. §238, e, and Gesen. §75, Rem. 17. They weary themselves out, put themselves to great labour, in order to deal corruptly; נלאה as in Jer 20:9; Isa 16:12, elsewhere to be weary of a thing; cf. Jer 6:11; Jer 15:6. - In Jer 9:5 the statement returns to the point at which it commenced: thy sitting (dwelling) is in the midst of deceit. In deceit, i.e., in the state of their mind, directed as it is by deceit and cheating, they refuse to know me, i.e., they are resolved to have nothing to do with the knowledge of God, because in that case they must give up their godless ways.[13]
By reason of this depravity, the Lord must purge His people by sore judgments. He

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will melt it in the fire of affliction (Isa 48:10), to separate the wicked: cf. Isa 1:25; Zec 13:9; and on בּחן, Jer 6:27. For how should I do, deal? Not: what dreadful judgments shall I inflict (Hitz., Gr.), in which case the grounding כּי would not have its proper force; but: I can do none otherwise than purge. Before the face of, i.e., by reason of, the daughter, because the daughter of my people behaves herself as has been described in Jer 9:2-4, and as is yet to be briefly repeated in Jer 9:7. The lxx have paraphrased מפּני: ἀπὸ προσώπου πονηρίας. This is true to the sense, but it is unfair to argue from it, as Ew., Hitz., Gr. do, that רעת has been dropped out of the Hebrew text and should be restored. - In Jer 9:7 what has been said is recapitulated shortly, and then in Jer 9:8 the necessity of the judgment is shown. חץ שׁוחט, a slaying, slaughtering, i.e., murderous arrow. Instead of this Chet., which gives a good sense, the Keri gives שׁחוּט, which, judging from the Chald. translation, is probably to be translated sharpened. But there is no evidence for this sig., since שׁחוּט occurs only in connection with זהב, 1Ki 10:16, and means beaten, lit., spread gold. At מרמה דבּר the plural passes into the singular: he (one of them) speaks; cf. Psa 55:22. ארב for insidious scheming, as in Hos 7:6. With Jer 9:8 cf. Jer 5:9, Jer 5:29.

Verse 9 Edit

Jer 9:9The land laid waste, and the people scattered amongst the heathen. - Jer 9:9."For the mountains I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the pastures of the wilderness a lament; for they are burnt up so that no man passeth over them, neither hear they the voice of the flock; the fowls of the heavens and the cattle are fled, are gone. Jer 9:10. And I make Jerusalem heaps, a dwelling of jackals; and the cities of Judah I make a desolation, without an inhabitant. Jer 9:11.Who is the wise man, that he may understand this? and to whom the mouth of Jahveh hath spoken, that he may declare it? Wherefore doth the land come to ruin, is it burnt up like the wilderness, that none passeth through? Jer 9:12.Jahveh said: Because they forsake my law which I set before them, and have not hearkened unto my voice, neither walked therein, Jer 9:13.But went after the stubbornness of their heart, and after the Baals, which their fathers have taught them. Jer 9:14. Therefore thus hath Jahveh of hosts spoken,