The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJeremiah 12:1
Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee…
first verses of this chapter properly belong to the preceding, being of
the same argument, and in strict connection with the latter part of it.
Jeremiah appears to be under the same temptation, on account of the
prosperity of the wicked, as Asaph was, (Psalms 73:1) only he seems to have
been more upon his guard, and less liable to fall by it; he sets out:
with this as a first principle, an undoubted truth, that God was
righteous, and could do nothing wrong and amiss, however unaccountable
his providences might be to men: he did not mean, by entering the list
with him, or by litigating this point, to charge him with any
unrighteousness this he took for granted, and was well satisfied of,
that the Lord was righteous, "though", says he, "I plead with thee" F20;
so some read the words. De Dieu renders them interrogatively, "shall I
plead with thee?" shall I dare to do it? shall I take that boldness and
use that freedom with thee? I will. The Targum is the reverse,
``thou art more just, O Lord, than that I should contend before
yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments;
not of his laws, statutes,
word, and ordinances, sometimes so called; but rather of his
providences, which are always dispensed with equity and justice, though
not always manifest; they are sometimes unsearchable and past finding
out, and will bear a sober and modest inquiry into them, and debate
concerning them; the people of God may take the liberty of asking
questions concerning them, when they are at a loss to account for them.
So the Targum,
``but I will ask a question of judgments before thee.''
The words may be rendered, "but I will speak judgments with thee" F21;
things that are right; that are agreeable to the word of God and sound
reason; things that are consistent with the perfections of God,
particularly his justice and holiness; which are founded upon equity
and truth; I will produce such reasons and arguments as seem to be
reasonable and just.
Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?
or they prosper in all
their ways? whatever they take in hand succeeds; they enjoy a large
share of health of body; their families increase, their trade
flourishes, their flocks and herds grow large and numerous, and they
have great plenty of all outward blessings; and yet they are wicked men,
without the fear of God, regard not him, nor his worship and ways; but
walk in their own ways which they have chosen, and delight in their
abominations. Some understand this, as Jarchi, of Nebuchadnezzar, to
whom God had given greatness and prosperity, to destroy the house of
God; but by what follows, in the latter part of the next verse, it
appears that God's professing people, the Jews, are meant, and most
likely the priests at Anathoth.
Wherefore are all they happy;
easy, quiet, secure, live in peace and
that deal very treacherously?
with God and men, in religions and civil
F20 (Kyla byra yk) "etiamsi contendam tecum", Cocceius, Gataker.
F21 (Ktwa rbda Myjpvm Ka) "verum tamen judicia loquar tecum",
Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt.
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=jer&chapter=012&verse=001>. 1999.