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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 3



Verse 6

Jeremiah's Third Prophecy. The Fate of the Ten Tribes a Warning to Judah

In this prophecy, as in the last, idolatry is denounced under the figure of unfaithfulness to the marriage vow. But as a marked distinction, God here invites to repentance, and on this there hinges pardon.

6-20. Israel and Judah have both forsaken their Divine Spouse, but forgiveness will follow repentance.

7-11. Samaria, the capital of the kingdom of the Ten Tribes, after a stubborn resistance had been captured by Sargon, king of Assyria, 722 b.c., and more than 27,000 of its inhabitants deported. The isolation and comparative poverty of Judah helped her to survive her northern sister for well over a hundred years. But failure to take advantage of the warning thus afforded her brought its inevitable results. Moreover, in spite of greater privileges, she had added to apostasy treachery, by hypocritically feigning still to pay homage to Jehovah under cover of idolatrous rites. She had rejected Josiah's reforms, and this rejection sealed her fate. 'It is not by the act of its government that a nation stands or falls; Ahaz and Manasseh lent the weight of their influence to the cause of idolatry; Hezekiah and Josiah to the cause of truth: but the nation had to determine which should prevail' (Speaker's Commentary).

8. I saw] some read, 'she saw.' Bill of di vorce] i.e. exile.

11. Justified herself more] for Judah had even more warning than Israel.

12. Toward the north] to Assyria, the place of Israel's captivity.

14. One of.. two of, etc.] A 'city' might be a mere village. A 'family,' i.e. descendants of a common ancestor, suggested a larger number. There were, e.g., only four or five families in the whole tribe of Judah. The reference here is to the return from the exile to Palestine.

16. The blessings of repentance and obedience. Even the ark with the mercy seat on which the brightness which marked Jehovah's presence rested shall be forgotten, for Jehovah shall no longer be confined to one place or one people. All nations shall serve Him; His dominion centred in Jerusalem shall extend to the ends, of the earth.

17. Imagination] RV 'stubbornness.'

19. The Lord tells of His affection for Israel. But] rather,'and.' How] i.e. In what honourable position? The children] the nations of the earth, all of them God's children, as created by Him.

22-25. An acceptable prayer of repentance.

23. The multitude of mountains] RV 'the tumult' (RM 'the noisy throng') 'on the mountains': the orgies and clamorous supplications of idolatrous crowds at the high places.

24. Shame] RV 'the shameful thing,' i.e. the god Baal: cp. Jeremiah 11:13. Hath devoured] hath consumed in the form of sacrifices the fruits of our toil.

Jeremiah 4:1-4. The assurance of forgiveness. 1. Then shalt, etc.] RM 'and wilt not wander.'

3. Break up, etc.] As the farmer is careful to clear the soil of weeds before sowing his seed, so with Israel. The sowing of repentance must be serious and real.

4. Circumcise] Circumcision was a dedication of self to God's service, and a removal of imperfections.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 3:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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