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Before CHRIST about 612.
ch. 9. 12.
Judah invited to return to God. CHAP. III. Israel less criminal than Judah. Before the land with thy whoredoms and But she returned not. And her trea- Before 629. with thy wickedness.
cherous sister Judah saw it. s 3 Therefore the bshowers have been b Deut. 28.
8 And I saw, when for all the 24. withholden, and there hath been no causes whereby backsliding Israel e Chap.6. 15. latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's committed adultery I had put her
forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. away, and given her a bill of di
4 Wilt thou not from this time cry vorce; yet her treacherous sister Juunto me, My father, thou art the dah feared not, but went and played guide of my youth?
5 Will he reserve his anger for 9 And it came to pass through the
tery with stones and with stocks.
thou seen that which backsliding Is- me with her whole heart, but + feign- 1 Heb. in d Chap. 2. 20. rael hath done? she is d gone up upon edly, saith the LORD.
every high mountain and under every 1l And the Lord said unto me,
herself more than treacherous Judah.
Behold the he keep it to enger for
looking about them on all sides, raising themselves up promise of pardon upon her repentance, and the hopes on their horses, running here and there to see if they of a glorious restoration in aftertimes, which are plainly cannot perceive any smoke, or dust, or tracks on the marked out to be the times of the Gospel, when the ground, or any other marks of people passing along. Gentiles themselves were to become a part of the Sir J. Chardin.
Church, ver. 12-21. The children of Israel, con3. Therefore the showers have been withholden, &c.?| fessing and bewailing their sins, have the same comThe general import of this passage is, That God had | fortable assurances as before repeated to them, ver. 22; begun in some degree to chastise His people, (as He chap. iv. 2. threatened, Lev. xxvi. 19; Deut. xxviii. 23,) with a view In the second part, which begins chap. iv. 3, and is to their reformation; yet His chastisement had not prefaced with an address to the people of Judah and produced the desired effect, for they continued as Jerusalem, exhorting them to prevent the Divine judgabandoned as before, without shewing the least sign of ments by a timely repentance, the Babylonian invasion shame or remorse. By “the showers” we are to under- | is clearly and fully foretold, with all the miseries which stand what is otherwise called “the former or first rain,” | would attend it; and the universal and incorrigible debeing the first that falls in autumn after a long summer's pravity of the people is represented at large, and pointed drought, which is usually terminated in Judea and the out as the justly provoking cause of the national ruin. neighbouring countries by heavy showers, that last for Dr. Blayney. some days. Dr. Blayney. Concerning the rains of backsliding Israel See the note on chap. vii. Judea, see the notes on Deut. xi. 14 ; xxviii. 12. / 24.
5. Will he reserve his anger for ever? &c.] In this 7. — And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.] The and the foregoing verse God puts into the people's two kingdoms of Israel and Judah are described as mouths words, whereby they might express their humi- sisters in iniquity. The same metaphor is applied to liation and their hope in His mercy, which they might Samaria and Jerusalem, the two metropolises of those still expect on their true repentance. He concludes kingdoms, Ezek. xxiii. 4, &c. The word “treacherous" with affirming, that His arguments had no weight with properly denotes a wife unfaithful to her husband; see them: “Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things ver. 20. W. Lowth. as thou couldest;" they continued to do as they had 9. And it came to pass through the lightness &c.] She said or resolved; they carried their wicked thoughts was not nice in her choice of objects; but eagerly fell into execution, in spite of all His remonstrances and in with all kinds of idolatrous worship indiscriminately, expostulations. W. Lowth, Dr. Blayney.
descending so low as to images of wood and stone. 6. The Lord said also unto meHere begins an en- | Dr. Blayney. tire new section, or distinct prophecy, which is con- 11.- The backsliding Israel hath justified herself tinued to the end of the sixth chapter. The charge of That is, hath appeared righteous in comparison with hypocrisy upon Judah, ver. 10, points out the date of Judah. A phrase of the like sort occurs, Luke xviii. this prophecy to have been in the reign of Josiah, and 14. Dr. Blayney. some time after his eighteenth year, when the people Israel and Judah are both shamefully wicked: and under the influence of their good king were professedly yet, of the two, Judah is worse than Israel : her engaged in measures of reformation; which however treachery is so much more, as she had more favours are here declared to have been insincere.
from Me. Bp. Hall. She sinned against greater conThis prophecy consists of two distinct parts. The victions; and would not take warning by that desofirst part contains a complaint against Judah, for having lation, which God brought on the whole kingdom of exceeded the guilt of her sister Israel, whom God had Israel for their idolatries. Compare Ezek. xvi. 51. W. already cast off for her idolatrous apostasy, ver. 6–12. | Lowth. The Prophet is hereupon sent to announce to Israel the 12.– toward the north,] Assyria and Media, whither
The promises of the Gospel to the penitent. JEREMIAH. Israel reproved, and called by God, Before r thou backsliding Israel, saith the and all the nations shall be gathered Before
your fathers to possess.
anger to fall upon you: for I am Jerusalem: neither shall they walk e Ps. 86. 15. emerciful, saith the Lord, and I will any more after the || imagination of . Or, not keep anger for ever.
their evil heart. 13 Only acknowledge thine ini- 18 In those days the house of Juquity, that thou hast transgressed dah shall walk li with the house of 101, to. against the Lord thy God, and hast Israel, and they shall come together scattered thy ways to the strangers out of the land of the north to the under every green tree, and ye have land that I have ll given for an inbe- || Or, caused not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. ritance unto your fathers.
14 Turn, Ó backsliding children, 19 But I said, How shall I put saith the LORD; for I am married thee among the children, and give unto you: and I will take you one of thee a pleasant land, ta goodly + Heb land a city, and two of a family, and I heritage of the hosts of nations? and Heb. an will bring you to Zion:
I said, Thou shalt call me, My f Chap. 23. 4. 15 And I will give you pastors father; and shalt not turn away † from
according to mine heart, which shall me.
departeth from her + husband, so have + Heb. friend.
dren, and I will heal your backslidings. 17 At that time they shall call Behold, we come unto thee; for thou Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; art the Lord our God.
heritage of glory, or, beauty. + Heb. from after me.
owledge whiclestone Fasada e of the house, land,
+ Heb. come upon the heart.
Or, it be magnified.
the ten tribes of Israel were carried by their conqueror, pensation are abrogated by Christ and His Gospel, which lay to the north of Judea. W. Lowth. See the note on they will then embrace. Dr. Wells. chap. iv. 6.
18. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with 14.-- I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, the house of Israel,] Most of the prophecies, which &c.] The word “family” here is equivalent to a coun- mention the restoration of the Jews, join Judah and try or kingdom : compare chap. i. 15; Zech xiv. 17, 18. Israel together, as equal sharers in that blessing. See W. Lowth. This passage relates to their call into the chap. xxx. 3 ; xxxi. 1 ; 1. 4, 20; Isai. xi. 13; Ezek.
all at a time, nor in a national capacity, but severally as 19. But I said, How shall I put thee &c.] But I said, individuals, here and there one. So it is said, “ And | How shall it come about, that thou, which deservest not ye shall be gathered one by one, Oye children of the name of a servant, shalt become a dear son to Me; Israel,” Isaiah xxvii. 12. Dr. Blayney.
and shalt have a pleasant and happy inheritance be16. — they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant queathed to thee, even a blessed room in My Church? of the Lord :1 Here God comforts the Jews with an And I answered Myself again, It is by the means of thy assurance, that, though upon their return to Him they faithful invocation of Me, and of thy true repentance might not find themselves in possession of exactly the and holy obedience, that this shall be effected. Bp. same privileges as they had before, they should receive Hall. The conditions of adoption into the Christian ample indemnification, so as to leave them no just cause Church, and of enjoying the privileges of the Gospel of regret. The ark of the covenant was the visible seat covenant, are expressly stated by Christ and His of God's residence among His people; it was therefore Apostles to be the same as are here prescribed, namely, the object of their boast ; but after the destruction of the profession of a true faith in God, and uniforın the first temple, they had it no more. But to compen- obedience for the time to come. “ Thou shalt call sate this loss, they are told in the next verse, that Me, My Father; and shalt not turn away from Me." • Jerusalem should be called the throne of the Lord," Dr. Blayney. to which, not the Jews only, but“ all the nations should 21. À voice was heard upon the high places, 7 The be gathered.” By Jerusalem is meant the Christian Prophet, foreseeing that the Jews will at length be Church: see Gal. iv. 26; Rev. xxi. 2, 3. The greater touched with an hearty repentance for all their misprivileges of this latter would supersede all boast on doings, represents them as bewailing themselves upon account of those, which had at any time belonged to the high places," the scenes of their former idolathe Jewish church. Dr. Blayney.
tries. Compare chap. xxxi. 9; 1. 4; Zech. xii. 10. W. - neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they | Lowth. remember it ;) Meaning, The Jews shall then be con 22. — Behold, we come unto thee ; &c.] What follows vinced that the ark and other parts of the Mosaical dis. I to the end of the chapter is spoken in the name of the
b 2 Cor. 10. 17.
maketh a solemn confession of their sins. CHAP. III, IV. God calleth Israel by his promise.
Before 23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped 2 And thou shalt swear, The Lord Before about 612. for from the hills, and from the mul- liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in about 612.
titude of mountains : truly in the righteousness; and the nations shall
shall they glory.
sow not among thorns.
the evil of your doings.
5 Declare ye in Judah, and pubi God calleth Israel by his promise. 3 He
| lish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye exhorteth Judah to repentance by fearful the trumpet in the land: cry, gather judgments. 19 A grievous lamentation for together, and say, Assemble yourthe miseries of Judah.
selves, and let us go into the defenced
if thou wilt put away thine abomina- ||| retire, stay not: for I will bring Chap. 1. 13,
14, 15. & 6.
+ Heb. breaking.
Israelites, accepting the Divine invitation, ver. 22; ac - and the nations shall bless themselves in him, &c.] knowledging the vanity of their misplaced trust, ver. A prediction of the Gospel times, when the heathens 23; and professing the deepest contrition and shame shall join with the true Israelites in paying all solemn for their misbehaviour, ver. 24, 25. Dr. Blayney. | acts of worship and devotion to the true God alone;
24, For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers see Isai. Ixv. 16; and in ascribing all honour and glory &c ) It is this shameful idolatry which hath undone to Him and His only Son, the Messiah, in whom all both our late forefathers and us. Bp. Hall. “ Shame," nations were to be blessed. See Gen. xxii. 18; Gal. ii. or “ that shameful thing," meaning the idol that they | 8; and compare Isai. xlv. 25. W. Lowth. worshipped, called by the same name, chap. xi. 13; 3. For thus saith the Lord &c.] See note on chap. Hos. ix. 10; and with good reason; because, in return iii. 6. for all the expense and pains bestowed on it, it only - Break up your fallow ground, &c.] Hitherto, frustrated the hopes of its votaries; and left them mor-my people, your hearts have been like a rough, tified with disappointment, and overwhelmed with dis- thorny, uncultured ground; but now break up this grace. W. Lowth, Dr. Blayney.
fallow ground of yours, by an unfeigned repentance, The Hebrews, instead of pronouncing the name of and root up these thorns of your corruptions. Bp. Baal, of which they had a dread, used in its place the Hall. name of “ Bosheth,” shame, confusion. Thus instead 4. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, &c.] Circumof Mephi-baal, and Meri-baal, they said, Mephi-bosheth, cision, as well as baptism, had a moral import, and deand Meri.bosheth. Calmet.
noted the obligation of putting away all sinful lusts of Or it may mean in a general sense, that “shame;" the flesh, every irregular and inordinate affection and that is, the destruction of our country and our cap- appetite. Dr. Blayney. tivity, attended with shame, have consumed us. Dr. 5. - Blow ye the trumpet in the land : &c.] The ProWels.
phet here describes the dreadful preparations for war,
such as “blowing the trumpet,” and “setting up the Chap. IV. The two first verses of this chapter ought standard,” for assembling men together; in order to not to have been separated from the foregoing; being their leaving the open country, and retiring with their spoken in reply to the confession of the people of families and goods “into the defenced cities,” both for Israel, and concluding that part of the prophecy which their own safety, and that they might maintain those respected them. Dr. Blayney. See the note on chap. garrisons against the power of the invading enemy. W. ii. 6.
Lowth. Ver. 2. And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, &c.] 6. — from the north, 7 Babylonia, Chaldea, Assyria, This is as much as to say, Thou shalt be of the number and Media, are constantly represented in Scripture as of those that worship the true God. For an oath is one being to the north of Judea. Probably the Prophets of the most solemn acts of religious invocation; and speak of the kings of Babylonia and Chaldea, not so therefore God's people are expressly charged to swear much with a view to their geographical situation, which by His name, and by no other, Deut. vi. 13; x. 20; is rather to the east of Palestine, as to the course which Josh. xxiii. 7. And to “swear to," or by, “the Lord they took in their expeditions against Judea. The deof hosts,” is used as synonymous with the profession of serts of Arabia being not practicable for an army, they His true religion, Isai. xix. 18. Dr. Blayney.
God exhorteth Judah to repentance JEREMIAH.
by fearful judgments. Before 7 The lion is come up from his this people and to Jerusalem, A dry Before about 612. thicket, and the destroyer of the Gen- wind of the high places in the wilder- about 612.
tiles is on his way; he is gone forth ness toward the daughter of my peo-
places shall come unto me: now also those. d Chap. 6.26: 8 For this d gird you with sackcloth, will I + give sentence against them. Heb. utter
lament and howl: for the fierce anger 13 Behold, he shall come up as
whirlwind: bis horses are swifter than
thoughts lodge within thee? 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God!! 15 For a voice declareth f from f Chap. 8. 16. surely thou hast greatly deceived this Dan, and publisheth affliction from people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye mount Ephraim. shall have peace; whereas the sword | 16 Make ye mention to the nareacheth unto the soul.
tions; behold, publish against Jeru11 At that time shall it be said to salem, that watchers come from a far
sacus, and approached Judea on the north side, by way multitudes in a moment. W. Lowth. Concerning the of Damascus and Syria. Calmet.
hot wind of the Arabian desert, see the notes on Numb. 7. The lion is come up from his thicket, &c.] Ne- xi. 1; 2 Kings xix. 35. buchadnezzar, king of Babylon; compare chap. v. 6; In prophetick language, tempestuous winds, or the whose monarchy is represented by a lion, Dan. vii. 4. motion of clouds, is put for wars. Sir Isaac Newton. He is called here “ the destroyer of the Gentiles," or In this place, under the metaphor of this wind, the rather nations ; Judea and all the neighbouring coun- Prophet describes the Chaldean armies invading Judea. tries being given up into his hands by God's decree. W. Lowth. See chap. xxv. 9; xxvii. 6. W. Lowth. In the lan- 12. — shall come, unto me :) At My commandguage of prophecy, several animals, as a lion, a bear, a ment: compare Matt. viii. 9. 'I'he winds, storms, and leopard, a goat, according to their qualities, are put other meteors are said to fulfil God's word, and attend for several kingdoms and bodies politick. Sir Isaac upon His commands. See Ps. cxlviii. 8; Job xxxviii. Newton.
35. W. Lowth. That the calamity spoken of was of 10. — surely thou hast greatly deceived this people] | God's appointment, coming from Him, for a judicial That is, Thou hast suffered them to be greatly deceived purpose, is apparent from the words that follow. Dr. by their false prophets : see the note on Isai. Ixiii. 17. Blayney. These pretenders to prophecy studied only to speak 13. — he shall come up] That is, the person designed pleasing things to the people, and soothe them in their by “the lion,” and “the destroyer of the Gentiles," impenitency and carnal security : and Thou hast in ver. 7; namely, the king of Babylon. Compare Isai. Thy just judgment given them up to follow these v. 26–28. Dr. Blayney. delusions. Compare 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12, W. Lowth. 14. — How long shali thy vain thoughts lodge within
The Prophet takes care to remove all pretence of thee?? That is, How long wilt thou delude thyself charging God, by throwing the blame upon the people with vain hopes of escaping the judgments of God by themselves : see ver. 18. In one place “the sword” is any other way than by repentance ? Notwithstanding said to “ reach unto the soul :" in the other, the reason the frequent relapses of the people into idolatry, with is assigned, because their “wickedness” had reached what patience did God expect their repentance, and the thither before. The people had been desperately wicked; result of all the merciful messages and warnings given would accept of no sober counse), nor bear any just them from time to time by His Prophets, as one that reproof: they loved “ smooth things ;” they delighted earnestly desired it, and even longed for it! Compare in flattery and lies; they “ walked after the imagination ch. xiii. 27; and viii, 6; where God is represented, of their own hearts,” chap. xxiii. 17; and therefore after the manner of men, waiting with great patience, God gave them up to strong delusions, and suffered as one that would have been glad to hear any penitent them to be grossly imposed on by lying prophets of word drop from them, to see any sign of their repenttheir own choosing. In Scripture phrase, God is fre- ance and return to a better mind. Abp. Tillotson. quently said to do what He permits to be done, because 15. For a voice declareth from Dan, &c.] The ruall events are in His disposal, and wait His pleasure. mour of the enemy's approach is heard first from Dan, The device may be man's; but God directs it to better which, being the most northern part of Judea, was first purposes than man could think of; and so, by taking of all invaded. See chap. viii. 16. And the evil tidings the thing into His own hands, and governing the issue still increase, as the army marches forward toward Jeof it, He makes it in a certain sense His own. Dr. rusalem, by the way of mount Ephraim. W. Lowth. Waterland.
16. — watchers] By “watchers” are meant besiegers, 11.- A dry wind The same with “a destroying placing centinels round the city, to prevent any from wind,” chap. li. 1 ; an hot pestilential wind, as the coming in or going out; and keeping the place in Arabick translates it in that place, which destroys great I continual alarm by shouts of war. Dr. Blayney.
malls of my keart.
A grievous lamentation
for the miseries of Judah. c Before country, and give out their voice standing: they are wise to do evil, Before about 612. against the cities of Judah.
but to do good they have no know- about 612. 17 As keepers of a field, are they ledge. against her round about; because she 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, hath been rebellious against me, saith it was without form and void; and the the LORD.
heavens, and they had no light.
procured these things unto thee; this they trembled, and all the hills moved
because it reacheth unto thine heart. | 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no h Isai. 22. 4. 19 My h bowels, my bowels ! I man, and all the birds of the heavens + Heb. the am pained at + my very heart; my were fled.
heart maketh a noise in me; I can- | 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful
the presence of the Lord, and by his
liyet will I not make a full end. i Chap. 5. 18.
because I have spoken it, I have
17. As keepers of a field, are they against her round in them their usual food. The face of the country, in about ;] As in the East pulse, roots, &c. grow in open the once most fertile parts of it, now overgrown with and uninclosed fields, when they begin to be fit to be briars and thorus, assumes the dreary wildness of the gathered, guards are planted, if near a great road, more, desert. The cities and villages are either thrown down if distant, fewer, in a round about these grounds, as is and demolished by the hand of the enemy, or crumble practised in Arabia. Sir J. Chardin.
into ruins of their own accord for want of being inha18. - this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, &c.] bited. Dr. Blayney. These are the bitter effects of thine obstinacy in wicked The Prophets often describe God's judgments upon a ness, which, like a deadly wound or disease, toucheth land or nation, as if the whole frame of nature were in the very heart and seat of life. W. Lowth.
a state of dissolution, because these particular judg19. My bowels, my bowels ! I am pained at my very ments are an earnest of the general judgment. W. heart; &c.] Oh the unspeakable sorrow and affliction | Lowth. that I feel for the misery of my people! My bowels | 27.— yet will I not make a full end. In the severest yearn, and my heart aches within me, to think of this judgments which God brings upon a people, He still woful destruction which is approaching to Jerusalem! reserves a remnant, to whom He will make good His I cannot contain myself, but I must break forth into promises ; see chap. xxx. 11; xlvi. 28. This sense of lainentation; because I do, as it were, hear beforehand the words may be confirmed by 1 Sam. iii. 12; “When the sound of the trumpet of Nebuchadnezzar, and his I begin, I will also make an end :" that is, I will make a alarm to this miserable war. Bp. Hall.
thorough destruction, and pursue Eli's family with 20. — suddenly are my tents spoiled, &c.] That is, judgments, till I have utterly consumed it. Or the the cities and houses; in allusion to the ancient way of words may be understood in this sense; Though I make dwelling in tents. Compare chap. x. 20; Isai. xxxiii. the whole land desolate by sword and famine, yet still 20; liy. 2. W. Lowth.
| I have severer judgments in reserve ; (compare chap. v. 23–26. I beheld the earth, &c.] The images, under 10. 18 ;) namely, the destruction of the city and temple, which the Prophet represents the approaching desola- and the captivity of the people that outlive the former tion as foreseen by him, are such as are familiar to the captivities. W. Lowth. Hebrew poets on the like occasions. But the assem- | 28. — because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and blage is finely made, so as to delineate all together a will not repent,] God's purpose of delivering up the most striking and interesting picture of a ruined coun- | Jews into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar was irreversitry, and to justify what has been before observed of the ble, upon the supposition that the greatest part of them author's happy talent for pathetick description. The would continue impenitent, which He likewise foresaw; earth is brought back, as it were, to its primitive state see ver. 22, and chap. vii. 16, 27, 28; xiii. 14; xiv. 11, of chaos and confusion; the cheerful light of the hea 12; xxv. 9–11. Though elsewhere upon their revens is withdrawn, and succeeded by a dismal gloom; I pentance, to which God frequently exhorted them by the mountains tremble and the hills shake under dread-1 His Prophets, (see chap. xxv. 4, 5,) He promises the reful apprehensions of the Almighty's displeasure; a moval of His judgments : see ver. 14 of this chapter, and frightful solitude reigns all around, not a vestige is to chap. vii. 3; xvii. 25; xviii. 11; xxii. 4; xxvi. 3; be seen of any of the human race ; even the birds them. | xxxvi. 3. Herein Jeremiah's preaching was very difselves have deserted the fields, unable to find any longer | ferent from that of the false prophets, who promised peace