Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
JEREMIAH, AS TO
DESTRUCTION IN THE
2. Jeremiah--He probably was one of the number carried off from
Mizpah, and dwelt with Johanan
Hence the expression is, "came near"
Let . . . supplication be accepted--literally, "fall"
pray for us--
The Jews use this form to express their belief in the peculiar relation
in which Jeremiah stood to God as His accredited prophet.
Jeremiah in his reply reminds them that God is their God
("your God") as well as his as being the covenant people
They in turn acknowledge this in
"the Lord our God."
few of many--as had been foretold
3. They consulted God, like many, not so much to know what was
right, as wishing Him to authorize what they had already determined on,
whether agreeable to His will or not. So Ahab in consulting Micaiah
Compare Jeremiah's answer
4. I have heard--that is, I accede to your request.
your God--Being His by adoption, ye are not your own, and are bound
to whatever He wills
(Ex 19:5, 6;
1Co 6:19, 20).
answer you--that is, through me.
keep nothing back--
5. Lord be a true . . . witness--
Re 1:5; 3:14; 19:11).
6. evil--not moral evil, which God cannot command
but what may be disagreeable and hard to us. Piety obeys
God, without questioning, at all costs. See the instance defective in
this, that it obeyed only so far as was agreeable to itself
(1Sa 15:3, 9, 13-15, 20-23).
7. ten days--Jeremiah did not speak of himself, but waited God's
time and revelation, showing the reality of his inspiration. Man left
to himself would have given an immediate response to the people, who
were impatient of delay. The delay was designed to test the sincerity of
their professed willingness to obey, and that they should have full time
True obedience bows to God's time, as well as His way and will.
10. If ye . . . abide--namely, under the Babylonian
authority, to which God hath appointed that all should be subject
(Da 2:37, 38).
To resist was to resist God.
build . . . plant--metaphor for, I will firmly establish you
I repent . . . of the evil--
I am satisfied with the punishment I have inflicted on you, if
only you add not a new offense [GROTIUS]. God is
said to "repent," when He alters His outward ways of dealing.
12. show mercies--rather, I will excite (in him)
feelings of mercy towards you
cause you to return--permit you to return to the peaceable enjoyment
of the possessions from which you are wishing to withdraw through fear
of the Chaldeans. By departing in disobedience they should incur the
very evils they wished thereby to escape; and by staying they should
gain the blessings which they feared to lose by doing so.
13. if ye say, &c.--avowed rebellion against God, who had often
as now, forbidden their going to Egypt, lest they should be entangled
in its idolatry.
14. where we shall see no war--Here they betray their impiety in not
believing God's promise
(Jer 42:10, 11),
as if He were a liar
15. wholly set your faces--firmly resolve
in spite of all warnings
16. sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you--The very evils we
think to escape by sin, we bring on ourselves thereby. What our hearts
are most set on often proves fatal to us. Those who think to escape
troubles by changing their place will find them wherever they go
The "sword" here is that of Nebuchadnezzar, who fulfilled the
prediction in his expedition to Africa (according to
MEGASTHENES, a heathen writer), 300
17. all the men--excepting the "small number" mentioned
(Jer 44:14, 28);
namely, those who were forced into Egypt against their will, Jeremiah,
Baruch, &c., and those who took Jeremiah's advice and fled from Egypt
before the arrival of the Chaldeans.
18. As mine anger, &c.--As ye have already, to your sorrow, found
Me true to My word, so shall ye again
(Jer 7:20; 18:16).
shall see this place no more--Ye shall not return to Judea, as those
shall who have been removed to Babylon.
19. I have admonished--literally, "testified," that is, solemnly
admonished, having yourselves as My witnesses; so that if ye perish,
ye yourselves will have to confess that it was through your own fault,
not through ignorance, ye perished.
20. dissembled in your hearts--rather, "ye have used deceit against
your (own) souls." It is not God, but yourselves, whom ye deceive, to
your own ruin, by your own dissimulation
[CALVIN]. But the words following accord best with
English Version, ye have dissembled in your hearts (see on
towards me, when ye sent me to consult God for you.
21. declared it--namely, the divine will.
I . . . but ye--antithesis. I have done my part; but ye do
not yours. It is no fault of mine that ye act not rightly.
22. sojourn--for a time, until they could return to their country.
They expected, therefore, to be restored, in spite of God's prediction
to the contrary.