The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

Jeremiah 44:17

But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our own
And not what went out of the mouth of God, or his prophet: but whoever they had resolved on within themselves to do, and had declared with their mouths they would, or had vowed with their lips; so Abarbinel interprets it of a vow; this they were determined to perform, let God and his prophet say what they would: to burn incense unto the queen of heaven;
which, according to Abarbinel, was the moon, which is the queen of heaven, as the sun is king; it was called by the Heathens Coelestis and Urania: but there are some that think that some great star in heaven, that is king over the rest, is meant; so the Targum renders it, the star of heaven; which they understand of the sun, as Kimchi observes; the sun being much worshipped in Egypt; but Kimchi himself derives the word for "queen", here used, not from the root which signifies "to reign"; but from another, which signifies "to work"; and so renders it, "the work", or "frame of heaven"; the sun, moon, and stars; and so the Syriac version is "the host of heaven"; (See Gill on 7:18); and to this deity, be it what it will, they burned incense; and they were determined to continue it, and all other idolatrous rites and practices particularly: and to pour out drink offerings unto her;
which was another part of ceremonial worship, which the true God required of the people of Israel; but were here resolved to give it to another god: as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in
the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem;
they plead custom and prescription, antiquity and authority; the examples of ancestors and kings; the general practice of their nation, both in the metropolis of it, and in its several cities, where it not only universally obtained, but was visibly and openly done; and, more, they plead the temporal advantage of it: for [then] had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil:
had fulness of bread, and of all provisions; health, peace, and safety; and no judgment was upon them, seen or felt by them; the sword, famine, or pestilence. The goddess Coelestis, or the moon, which seems to be here meant, was, as Tertullian F4 says "pluviarum pollicitatrix", "the promiser of rains" and so of all good things: or, "were merry" F5, as the Heathens were at their new moons, when they indulged to their cups, and lived jovially; hence that of Horace F6.


F4 Apolog. c. 23.
F5 (Mybwj hyhgw) "et eramus hilares", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F6 "Da lunae propere novae, Da noctis mediae, [poculum]". Carmin. l. 3. Ode 19.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 44:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <>. 1999.