6:1 O ye children of a Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in b Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in c Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.
(a) He speaks to them chiefly because they should take heed by the example of their brethren the other half of their tribe, who were now carried away prisoners.
6:2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to d a comely and delicate [woman].
(b) Which was a city in Judah, six miles from Bethlehem, (2 Chronicles 11:6).
(c) Read (Nehemiah 3:14).
(d) I have intreated her gently, and given her abundance of all things.
6:3 The shepherds with their flocks e shall come to her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her on every side; they shall feed every one in his place.
(e) She will be so destroyed that the sheep may be fed in her.
6:4 f Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! for the day departeth, for the shadows of the evening are lengthened.
(f) He speaks this in the person of the Babylonians, who complain that the time fails them before they have brought their enterprises to pass.
6:7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: g violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually [are] grief and wounds.
(g) He shows the reason why it would be destroyed, and how it comes from themselves.
6:8 Be thou instructed, O h Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.
(h) He warns them to amend by his correction, and turn to him by repentance.
6:9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn i back thy hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.
(i) He exhorts the Babylonians to be diligent to search out all and to leave none.
6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear [is] k uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is to them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
(k) They delight to hear vain things, and to shut up their ears to true doctrine.
6:11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: l I will pour it out upon the m children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with [him that is] full of days.
6:14 They have healed also the hurt [of the daughter] of my people slightly, saying, n Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace.
(l) As the Lord had given him his word to be as a fire of his indignation to burn the wicked, (Jeremiah 5:14) so he kindles it now when he sees that all remedies are past.
(m) No one will be spared.
(n) When the people began to fear Godís judgments, the false prophets comforted them by flatterings, showing that God would send peace and not war.
6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the o old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [in it].
(o) In which the patriarchs and prophets walked, directed by the word of God: signifying that there is no true way, but that which God prescribes.
6:17 Also I set p watchmen over you, [saying], Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
(p) Prophets who would warn you of the dangers that were at hand.
6:18 Therefore hear, ye q nations, and know, O congregation, what [is] among them.
(q) God takes all the world to witness and the insensible creatures of the ingratitude of the Jews.
6:20 To what purpose cometh there to me r incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a distant country? your burnt offerings [are] not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet to me.
6:22 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the s north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
(r) Read (Isaiah 1:11; Amos 5:21).
(s) From Babylon by Dan, which was north of Jerusalem.
6:24 We have heard the report of it: our hands become t feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, [and] pain, as of a woman in travail.
(t) For fear of the enemy: he speaks this in the person of the Jews.
6:27 I have set u thee [for] a tower [and] a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.
(u) Meaning, Jeremiah, whom God had appointed to try out the godly from the wicked, as a founder does the pure metal from the dross.
6:29 The x bellows is burned, the lead is consumed by the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
(x) All the pain and labour that has been taken with them is lost.