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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 4



Verses 5-30

Jeremiah's Fourth Prophecy (or Group of Prophecies). God's Judgment upon the Unrepentant

When the check which Josiah's personal character and influence put upon idolatry was removed, Jeremiah foresaw that the condition of the nation would become well-nigh desperate.

Verses 5-31

5-10. Destruction approaches Jerusalem.

6. Set up the standard] to mark out the safest route to those who were seeking the shelter of the walls of Jerusalem. Evil from the north] The enemy (see Jeremiah 4:13) used chariots, and were therefore probably the Chaldeans, not (as some have supposed) Scythians.

7. The lion] i.e. the enemy. Of the Gentiles] RV 'of nations.'

10. Jeremiah here struggles against the fate announced for the nation. After all its glorious history and the many promises of coming glory that prophets like Isaiah had made to it, was this to be the end? The prophet was 'in a strait betwixt two,' sorrowing for the doom of the nation and anxious to avert it, and yet desirous to vindicate Jehovah's ways to them. Hence this exceeding bitter cry. Some, however, regard the v. as a reference to the mischief done by the false prophets, who had promised peace in the name of the Lord.

11-18. Description of the attack.

11. A dry wind] the Chaldean army coming like a sirocco from the E.

15. Dan was on the northern border of Palestine. Mount Ephraim was the range immediately N. of Judah, only about 10 m. from 'Jerusalem itself. Thus the enemy's approach is rapid.

16. The nations summoned to witness the vengeance on the chosen people. The watchers are the Chaldean besiegers.

17. The besiegers' tents compared to the booths of shepherds or husbandmen.

19-31. The prophet expresses horror at the approaching calamity.

19. My bowels] supposed to be the seat of emotions.

21. See Jeremiah 4:6.

22. God's answer to the implied appeal to know why the invasion was permitted. It is not without cause, for, etc.

24. Lightly] RV 'to and fro.'

27. Yet will I not make a full end] The destruction will not be complete: a remnant shall return: cp. Amos 9:8.

30. And when thou art spoiled] better, 'and thou, spoiled one,' i.e. Jerusalem. Rentest thy face with painting] RV 'enlargest thine eyes with paint.' The Eastern custom was to paint black the border of the eyes, so as to give the effect of size and brilliancy. So Jezebel in 2 Kings 9:30.


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

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

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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