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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 14

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes


The occasion of this prophecy Jer. 14–15 was a drought, the terrible effects of which are described with much force. Probably, therefore, it belongs to the early years of Jehoiakim, when Jeremiah saw all the efforts of Josiah’s reign utterly frustrated.

Verse 1

The dearth - Really, the drought,

Verse 2

They are black unto the ground - The people assembled at the gates, the usual places of concourse, are in deep mourning and sit humbly on the ground.

Verse 3

Little ones - mean ones, the common people. The word is unique to Jeremiah Jeremiah 48:4.

The pits - i. e., tanks for holding water.

Covered their heads - The sign of grief.

Verse 4

Is chapt - Rather, is dismayed. “The ground” is used metaphorically for the people who until the ground.

In the earth - i. e., “in the land.”

Verse 6

Like dragons - “Like jackals” Jeremiah 9:11.

No grass - The keen sight of the wild donkey is well known, but they look around in vain for herb.

Verse 7

Do thou it - Rather, “deal thou, act thou for Thy Name’s sake, i. e., not according to the strict measure of right and wrong, but as a God merciful and gracious.

Verse 9

Astonied - The word may possibly mean “one who is taken by surprise and loses his presence of mind.”

Verse 10

The answer is addressed to the people. Jeremiah had prayed as their representative, but he must not intercede: for to the same degree that God was determined to punish them, to the same degree (thus) they love to continue their offence.” Compare Jeremiah 15:6 note.

Therefore the Lord ... - Translate:

“And Yahweh hath no pleasure in them:

Now will He remember their iniquity and visit their sins.”

Interference in their behalf is out of the question.

Verse 12

Their cry i. e - prayer offered aloud.

Oblation - A meat-offering Leviticus 2:1.

The sword, famine, and pestilence - The two latter ever follow upon the track of the first Ezekiel 5:12, and by these God will consume them, yet so as to leave a remnant. The chastisement, which crushes those who harden themselves against it, purifies the penitent.

Verse 13

The false prophets in Jeremiah’s days were so numerous and influential an to counteract and almost nullify the influence of the true prophet. We find in Isaiah the first indications of the internal decay of the prophetic order; and Micah, his contemporary, denounces the false prophets in the strongest terms Micah 3:5, Micah 3:11. For the secret of their power see Jeremiah 5:31.

Verse 14

Divination - i. e., “conjuring,” the abuse of the less understood powers of nature. It was strictly forbidden to all Jews Deuteronomy 18:10.

A thing of nought - Probably a small idol made of the more precious metals Isaiah 2:20. These methods the prophet declares to be the “deceit of their heart, i. e., not self-deceit, but a willful and intentional fraud.

Verse 16

I will pour ... - i. e., their wickedness shall be brought home to them.

Verse 17

A message from God to the effect that the calamity would be so overwhelming as to cause perpetual weeping; it is set before the people under the representation of Jeremiah’s own sorrow.

The virgin daughter of my people - The epithet testifies to God’s previous care of Judah. She had been as jealously guarded from other nations as virgins are in an oriental household (compare Song of Solomon 4:12).

Verses 19-22

A second (compare Jeremiah 14:7-9) earnest intercession, acknowledging the wickedness of the nation, but appealing to the covenant and to God’s Almighty power.

Lothed - More exactly, “hath thrown away as worthless.”

Jeremiah 14:20

Our wickedness, and - Omit and. National sin is the sin of the fathers, perpetuated generation after generation by the children.

Jeremiah 14:21

This verse is in the original very emphatic, and consists of a series of broken ejaculations: “Abhor not for thy name’s sake! Disgrace - lightly esteem” in Deuteronomy 32:15 - “not the throne of thy glory! Remember! Break not etc. with us!” The throne of Yahweh’s glory is Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 14:22

None of the idols of the Gentiles can put an end to this present distress.

Art not thou he, O Lord our God! - Rather, “art thou not Yahweh our God?”

Thou hast made all these things - i. e., the heaven with its showers.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/jeremiah-14.html. 1870.
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