Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
CONTINUATION OF THE
2. in this place--in Judea. The direction to remain single was
(whether literally obeyed, or only in prophetic vision) to symbolize the
coming calamities of the Jews
as so severe that the single state would be then (contrary to the
ordinary course of things) preferable to the married (compare
1Co 7:8, 26, 29;
4. grievous deaths--rather, "deadly diseases"
not . . . lamented--so many shall be the slain
(Eze 24:17, 22, 23).
house of mourning--
Margin, "mourning-feast"; such feasts were usual at funerals.
The Hebrew means, in
the cry of joy at a banquet; here, and
the cry of sorrow.
6. cut themselves--indicating extravagant grief
(Jer 41:5; 47:5),
prohibited by the law
7. tear themselves--rather, "break bread," namely, that eaten at the
"Bread" is to be supplied, as in
compare "take" (food)
give . . . cup of consolation . . . for
. . . father--It was the Oriental custom for friends to
send viands and wine (the "cup of consolation") to console relatives in
mourning-feasts, for example, to children upon the death of a "father"
8. house of feasting--joyous: as distinguished from mourning-feasts.
Have no more to do with this people whether in mourning or joyous
(Jer 7:34; 25:10;
1Ki 9:8, 9).
(Jer 5:19; 13:22; 22:8, 9).
12. ye--emphatic: so far from avoiding your fathers' bad example, ye
have done worse
imagination--rather, "stubborn perversity."
that they may not hearken--rather, connected with "ye"; "ye have
walked . . . so as not to hearken to Me."
13. serve other gods--That which was their sin in their own land was
their punishment in exile. Retribution in kind. They voluntarily forsook God for idols at home; they were not allowed to serve God,
if they wished it, in captivity
(Da 3:12; 6:7).
day and night--irony. You may there serve idols, which ye are so mad
after, even to satiety, and without intermission.
14. Therefore--So severe shall be the Jews' bondage that their
deliverance from it shall be a greater benefit than that out of Egypt.
The consolation is incidental here; the prominent thought is the
severity of their punishment, so great that their rescue from it
will be greater than that from Egypt
[CALVIN]; so the context,
Jer 16:13, 17, 18,
(Jer 23:7, 8;
15. the north--Chaldea. But while the return from Babylon is primarily
meant, the return hereafter is the full and final accomplishment
contemplated, as "from all the lands" proves. "Israel" was not,
save in a very limited sense, "gathered from all the lands" at the
return from Babylon (see on
16. send for--translate, "I will send many"; "I will give the
commission to many"
fishers . . . hunters--successive invaders of Judea
Hab 1:14, 15).
As to "hunters," see
The Chaldees were famous in hunting, as the Egyptians, the other enemy
of Judea, were in fishing. "Fishers" expresses the ease of their
victory over the Jews as that of the angler over fishes; "hunters," the
keenness of their pursuit of them into every cave and nook. It is
remarkable, the same image is used in a good sense of the Jews'
restoration, implying that just as their enemies were employed by God
to take them in hand for destruction, so the same shall be employed for
(Eze 47:9, 10).
So spiritually, those once enemies by nature (fishermen many of
them literally) were employed by God to be heralds of salvation,
"catching men" for life
Ac 2:41; 4:4);
"the Gentiles shall come unto thee"
Pr 5:21; 15:3).
their iniquity--the cause of God's judgments on them.
18. first . . . double--HORSLEY
translates, "I will recompense . . .
once and again"; literally, "the first time repeated": alluding to
the two captivities--the Babylonian and the Roman.
MAURER, "I will
recompense their former iniquities
(those long ago committed by their fathers) and their
(own) repeated sins"
(Jer 16:11, 12).
English Version gives a good sense, "First (before 'I
bring them again into their land'), I will doubly (that is, fully
carcasses--not sweet-smelling sacrifices acceptable to God, but
"carcasses" offered to idols, an offensive odor to God: human victims
and unclean animals
(Isa 65:4; 66:17).
MAURER explains it, "the carcasses" of the
idols: their images void of sense and life. Compare
Jer 16:19, 20.
19, 20. The result of God's judgments on the Jews will be that both
the Jews when restored, and the Gentiles who have witnessed those
judgments, shall renounce idolatry for the worship of Jehovah. Fulfilled
partly at the return from Babylon, after which the Jews entirely
renounced idols, and many proselytes were gathered in from the Gentiles,
but not to be realized in its fulness till the final restoration of
20. indignant protest of Jeremiah against idols.
and they (are) no gods--
"They" refers to the idols. A man (a creature himself) making
God is a contradiction in terms. Vulgate takes "they"
thus: "Shall man make gods, though men themselves are not
21. Therefore--In order that all may be turned from idols to Jehovah,
He will now give awful proof of His divine power in the judgments He
this once--If the punishments I have heretofore inflicted have not been severe enough to teach them.
my name . . . Lord--Jehovah
God's incommunicable name, to apply which to idols would be blasphemy.
Keeping His threats and promises