Attention!
StudyLight.org has pledged to build one church a year in Uganda. Help us double that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 18

Verses 1-18


Jeremiah’s Eleventh Prophecy (Reign of Jehoiakim). Prophecies Illustrated from the Work of the Potter

Jeremiah 18 gives and explains the figure of the potter’s clay, and tells of the effect upon the people. Jeremiah 19 gives and applies the figure of the potter’s broken vessel, while Jeremiah 20 describes the consequent sufferings of Jeremiah and his complaints.

The outrage on the prophet committed by Pashur (Jeremiah 20:2) would certainly not have been permitted in Josiah’s time. On the other hand, there seems from the language used to be still a chance for the people, and the calamity threatened had not yet arrived. Therefore we may date the symbolical actions early in Jehoiam’s reign.

Verses 1-23

1-17. Figure of the potter’s clay.

3. The potter’s house] Clay from which pottery was made was found S. of Jerusalem: cp. Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:10. The potter teaches Jeremiah important lessons concerning the providential rule of the world. ’As I watched him shaping the pliant clay, remodelling the imperfect vessels until they conformed to his ideal, God revealed to me the manner in which He is able to mould at His will the nations. At the same time I realised that man may render God’s work imperfect’ (Sanders and Kent, ’Messages of the Earlier Prophets’).

7-10. Predictions of good or evil were conditional on the moral state of those addressed.

11. Frame] the Hebrew word is the same as that for ’potter.’

14. Will a man leave, etc.] RV ’Shall the snow of Lebanon fail from,’ etc. Understand the answer, ’No, it is perpetual.’ Shall the cold, etc.] RV ’Shall the cold waters that flow down from afar’ (mg. ’of strange land that flow down’) ’be dried up?’ Nature is constant in her operations, hat God, the Rock of Israel, is forsaken by those who used to trust in Him.

15. Vanity] i.e. idols.

16. Hissing] not in contempt, but amazement.

17. I will shew them the back] God’s countenance will be turned away.

18-23. Invocation of evil on the prophet’s enemies.

18. The people’s appeal against Jeremiah’s words to the three classes of persons whom they thought to be in undoubted possession of the truth.

21-23. The stern spirit of the OT. dispensation, as shown in these imprecations, was connected with the comparative darkness in which a future existence was then shrouded. This would make righteous men more eager that God’s glory should be vindicated and His people avenged in this life.

Verses 1-23

1-17. Figure of the potter’s clay.

3. The potter’s house] Clay from which pottery was made was found S. of Jerusalem: cp. Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:10. The potter teaches Jeremiah important lessons concerning the providential rule of the world. ’As I watched him shaping the pliant clay, remodelling the imperfect vessels until they conformed to his ideal, God revealed to me the manner in which He is able to mould at His will the nations. At the same time I realised that man may render God’s work imperfect’ (Sanders and Kent, ’Messages of the Earlier Prophets’).

7-10. Predictions of good or evil were conditional on the moral state of those addressed.

11. Frame] the Hebrew word is the same as that for ’potter.’

14. Will a man leave, etc.] RV ’Shall the snow of Lebanon fail from,’ etc. Understand the answer, ’No, it is perpetual.’ Shall the cold, etc.] RV ’Shall the cold waters that flow down from afar’ (mg. ’of strange land that flow down’) ’be dried up?’ Nature is constant in her operations, hat God, the Rock of Israel, is forsaken by those who used to trust in Him.

15. Vanity] i.e. idols.

16. Hissing] not in contempt, but amazement.

17. I will shew them the back] God’s countenance will be turned away.

18-23. Invocation of evil on the prophet’s enemies.

18. The people’s appeal against Jeremiah’s words to the three classes of persons whom they thought to be in undoubted possession of the truth.

21-23. The stern spirit of the OT. dispensation, as shown in these imprecations, was connected with the comparative darkness in which a future existence was then shrouded. This would make righteous men more eager that God’s glory should be vindicated and His people avenged in this life.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 18". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/jeremiah-18.html. 1909.