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The Call of Jeremiah (13th year of Josiah). First Prophecy
1-3. See Introduction.
3. The fifth month] i.e. when Jerusalem was destroyed (2 Kings 25:3, 2 Kings 25:8).
4-10. Jeremiah’s call and first prophecy.
4. The word of the Lord came unto me] see art. ’Introduction to Hebrew Prophecy.’ We cannot doubt that Jeremiah had long mourned over his people’s sins, and yet perhaps hesitated to undertake the burden of witnessing against them. At length he became conscious of a divine call to the prophetic office, which was not to be restricted: cp. Jeremiah 20:7.
5. I knew thee] approved, selected thee: cp. Genesis 18:19; Psalms 1:6; Nahum 1:7. Sanctified] consecrated: cp. John Baptist (Luke 1:15-17) and St. Paul (Galatians 1:15-16). Unto the nations] This points out a distinction between the work of Jeremiah as a prophet and that of many of his predecessors, e.g. Elijah and Elisha. Their predictions were concerned with the Jews only. Those of Jeremiah, on the other hand, had to do with the heathen world as well, and also with the nations of subsequent ages, as he foretold the blessings that were to come on the earth through the Messiah. See Intro.
6. A child] not probably in years, but in fitness. ’Who is sufficient for these things?’
9. Touched my mouth] symbolic of divine grace and inspiration: cp. Isaiah 6:6; Ezekiel 2:9 to Ezekiel 3:3.
10. Jeremiah’s work was to be radical and destructive in denouncing the sins of his people and predicting their chastening, but also one of restoration and rebuilding through leading them to repentance.
11-19. Words of encouragement. Jeremiah is vouchsafed two visions. The first (11, 12) was the branch of an almond tree, which is extremely early in blossoming. This indicated that God would very soon execute His purposes and judgments.
12. Since the days of Manasseh the Lord had not visited upon the people their sins. That period of rest was like the winter. The Lord is now rousing Himself; yet not only to punish, but to save as well. Through Josiah’s reforms and Jeremiah’s ministry religion is to be kept alive in a remnant, viz. those carried to Babylon, and so the return shall at last be brought about.
13. The second vision was that of a seething pot with its mouth ’towards the south’ (lit. ’from the face of the north’), and about to boil over. The meaning was as hinted in Jeremiah 1:14, that the great Babylonian power to the N. of Palestine, which had long been at strife with Elam and Media, would soon be directed against Judæa, the danger to which always depended upon the fact that it lay on the direct route of an army proceeding from the E. against Egypt.
15. Shall set every one his throne, etc.] This prediction was literally fulfilled (see Jeremiah 39:3). The function of administering justice was exercised by the king in person, and the neighbourhood of the city gate was the ordinary place at which trials were held. Here then the rulers of the invader’s army will sit in judgment on the conquered people.
17. Gird up thy loins] The shortening of the robe by drawing it up through the girdle was preparatory to active exertion: cp. Elijah 1 Kings 18:46.
18. I have made thee.. a defenced city, etc.] God would endue Jeremiah with firmness and resolution to carry out his mission in spite of all opposition.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 1". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent