The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJeremiah 2:20
For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands,
&c.] The yoke of the people, as the Targum expresses it, that was upon
their necks, and the bands in which they were bound by them; referring
to the deliverance of them of old from Egyptian bondage by the hands of
Moses, and out of their several captivities among their neighbours by
the means of the judges, and in their time; though the Vulgate Latin
version renders it, "of old thou hast broken my yoke, and burst my
bands"; or "thy yoke", and "thy bands", as the Septuagint and Arabic
versions; the yoke of the law that the Lord put upon them, and the
bands of statutes and ordinances which he enjoined them; but the former
sense is best:
and thou saidst, I will not transgress;
here is a double reading; the
Cetib or writing is (dwbea) , "I will not serve"; which is followed by the
Vulgate Latin, which so renders it; and by the Septuagint version, "I
will not serve thee"; and which is the sense of the Arabic version, "I
will not subject myself", that is, to the law and will of God; and so
the Syriac version, though to a quite different sense, "I will serve no
other god any more": which agrees with the Keri or reading, which is
(rwbea) , "I will not transgress"; and this is confirmed by the Targum,
which paraphrases the words thus,
``and ye said, we will not add any more to transgress thy word;''
and by Jarchi and Kimchi, who interpret it of transgressing the words
and commands of God; both have one and the same sense. For whether it
be read, "I will not serve"; the meaning is, as Kimchi observes, "I
will not serve idols"; or no other god, as the Syriac version: or
whether, "I will not transgress"; that is, the command of the Lord, by
serving other gods. Hillerus F16 reconciles the writing and reading
after this manner, rendering (dwbea al) , "I will not serve", and
(rwbea al) , "I will not pass", to servitude; though, in another place
F17 "I will not pass over", that is, the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates
with the captives; and refers to (Micah 1:11) (Isaiah 47:2) , but doubtless
reference is had to the promise of obedience and service, which the
Israelites made at Mount Sinai quickly after their deliverance out of
Egypt, (Exodus 19:8) (24:7) , but this promise they did not keep: "when",
or "for", or "but", or "although" F18,
upon every high hill, and under every green tree, thou wanderest,
playing the harlot;
that is, committing spiritual whoredom or idolatry
with idols, set on high hills and mountains, and under green trees,
groves, and shady places; going from one idol to another, as harlots go
from one stew to another; or as whoremongers go from harlot to harlot.
F16 De Arcano Kethib & Keri, p. 27, 28.
F17 Ib. p. 89, 90.
F18 (yk) "nam", Vatablus, Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius; "atqui",
Calvin, Gataker; "quamvis", Piscator.
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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Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 2:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=jer&chapter=002&verse=020>. 1999.