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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 17

Verses 1-18

Jeremiah’s Ninth Prophecy (Reign of Jehoiakim?). Punishment of Judah by Pestilence and Exile.

It is clear from Jeremiah 17:15, in which the people challenge the prophet to point to a fulfilment of his prophecies of woe, that it is at any rate earlier than the capture of Jerusalem at the end of Jehoiachin’s reign.

Verses 1-18

1-4. The sin of Judah is indelible. Hence the severity of the punishment.

2. Groves] RV ’Asherim,’ wooden pillars, or monuments, set up in honour of Astoreth (Astarte), generally near altars (e.g. Judges 6:25). The Law ordered them to be pulled down (Exodus 34:13).

3. O my mountain in the field] The hill on which Jerusalem is built rises high above the plain. On the other hand, it is lower than the surrounding mountains, hence can be spoken of as a ’valley’ in Jeremiah 21:13. For sin] i.e. because of sin.

5-8. God alone is worthy of trust.

6. The heath] RM ’a tamarisk.’ The figure is that of a barren, profitless life.

7, 8. Note the parallels to Psalms 1. But which has been influenced by the other is a question more difficult than important.

8. See] RV ’fear.’

Careful] i.e. anxious.

9-11. God searches out and punishes evil.

11. RV ’As the partridge that gathereth young which she hath not brought forth,’ and which will soon fly away—a popular belief of which Jeremiah avails himself to illustrate the truth that riches unlawfully gotten are a precarious possession.

12-18. God is the Saviour of the faithful.

12, 13. Connected with the preceding v. The covetous man will be disappointed; and all they who forsake Jehovah and His sanctuary shall not endure.

12. Place of our sanctuary] i.e. Zion, where Jehovah’s glory abode.

13. Shall be written in the earth] i.e. shall disappear—a natural simile, a board covered with sand being used for writing lessons in Eastern schools to this day, owing to the scarcity of writing materials.

15. See intro. to Jeremiah 16.

16. I have not hastened, etc.] I have not sought to resign the office of assistant shepherd for Thy people. The woeful day] when his predictions would be fulfilled.

Verses 1-18

1-4. The sin of Judah is indelible. Hence the severity of the punishment.

2. Groves] RV ’Asherim,’ wooden pillars, or monuments, set up in honour of Astoreth (Astarte), generally near altars (e.g. Judges 6:25). The Law ordered them to be pulled down (Exodus 34:13).

3. O my mountain in the field] The hill on which Jerusalem is built rises high above the plain. On the other hand, it is lower than the surrounding mountains, hence can be spoken of as a ’valley’ in Jeremiah 21:13. For sin] i.e. because of sin.

5-8. God alone is worthy of trust.

6. The heath] RM ’a tamarisk.’ The figure is that of a barren, profitless life.

7, 8. Note the parallels to Psalms 1. But which has been influenced by the other is a question more difficult than important.

8. See] RV ’fear.’

Careful] i.e. anxious.

9-11. God searches out and punishes evil.

11. RV ’As the partridge that gathereth young which she hath not brought forth,’ and which will soon fly away—a popular belief of which Jeremiah avails himself to illustrate the truth that riches unlawfully gotten are a precarious possession.

12-18. God is the Saviour of the faithful.

12, 13. Connected with the preceding v. The covetous man will be disappointed; and all they who forsake Jehovah and His sanctuary shall not endure.

12. Place of our sanctuary] i.e. Zion, where Jehovah’s glory abode.

13. Shall be written in the earth] i.e. shall disappear—a natural simile, a board covered with sand being used for writing lessons in Eastern schools to this day, owing to the scarcity of writing materials.

15. See intro. to Jeremiah 16.

16. I have not hastened, etc.] I have not sought to resign the office of assistant shepherd for Thy people. The woeful day] when his predictions would be fulfilled.

Verses 19-27


Jeremiah’s Tenth Prophecy (Reign of Jehoiakim, or even Josiah, for it Speaks of the Possibility of the Continuance of the Monarchy). The Sabbath Obligation

19. The children of the people] perhaps meaning the lay folk as opposed to the priests.

25. A promise of the continuance of the lineage of David.

26. The plain] from the hill-country westward to the Mediterranean.

The mountains] the central portion of the land running from N. to S. Meat offerings] RV ’oblations.’ RM ’meal offerings.’ They were made of flour and oil, with frankincense strewn on the top (Leviticus 2:1).

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 17". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/jeremiah-17.html. 1909.