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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 6

Verses 1-30


The Prophet Sets Forth the Sin of the Nation and Points Out the Inevitable Result (Reign of Josiah, and Probably Before the Reforms of that King: cp.
Jeremiah 3:6)

This section furnishes us with the gist of the prophet’s testimony during the early years of his ministry, and doubtless represents the commencement of the roll written by Baruch at Jeremiah’s dictation. In these five chapters he lays before his hearers the grossness of their conduct in deserting Jehovah, and urges repentance and amendment while yet the impending judgment is delayed. For the idolatrous and ’high place’ worship of the period see Intro., and cp. Intro, to Hosea.

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 1-30

1-8. The hostile army approaches.

1. Benjamin] Jerusalem was within the territory assigned to this tribe. Tekoa] 11m. S. of Jerusalem, and in the line of flight for its inhabitants seeking to escape an enemy from the N. A sign of fire] a warning signal. Beth-hacoerem] probably a hill between Jerusalem and Tekoa, and thus suitable for a beacon station.

2. RV ’The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion will I cut off,’ a tenderly worded lament over the ill-fated city. Daughter] is used for the inhabitants collectively.

3. A figure of the devastating enemy. Flocks eating the herbage on every side are a figure to express dévastation.

4, 5. The invaders propose a determined and continuous attack.

4. Prepare] RM ’Heb. sanctify.’ Entering on a war was accompanied by religious ceremonies: cp. Deuteronomy 20:2.

6. Hew ye down trees] to clear the approaches to the city. Cast a mount] earth was carried in baskets and poured in a heap until it was on a level with the walls: cp. this method of assault in 2 Kings 19:32; Isaiah 29:3.

To be visited] with punishment.

7. Grief] RV ’sickness.’

9-21. Retribution awaiting the guilty people.

9. Into the baskets] RM ’upon the shoots.’ As the grape-gatherer goes back over the tendrils, lest he should have missed any of the fruit, so the people shall be subject to sue-cessive gleanings at the hand of their conquerors, who are here addressed.

10. Uncircumcised] in the sense of ’imperfect’: cp. Exodus 6:12.

11. Abroad] RV ’in the street.’

14. They] the leaders, prophets, and priests.

The hurt] the sins and shortcomings. They are like physicians who for their own ease assure their patients that all is well.

16. God’s appeal. ’A national calamity is at hand. As prudent men ye will desire to avoid it. Make enquiries what paths led your ancestors to prosperity. Were they those of idolatry or of true religion and purity?’

17. Watchmen] the prophets sounding the alarm. The trumpet] warning of approaching danger.

18. What is among them] i.e. what is the punishment impending over Judah.

20. Sheba] in the S. of Arabia. The general sense of the v. is, ’To obey is better than sacrifice’ (1 Samuel 15:22). Cane] i.e. calamus, a sweet-scented reed, used in making the anointing oil.

21. Stumblingblocks, etc.] the enemy’s invasion, which would, as it were, trip them up in their easy-going ways.

22-24. The approaching invader. These vv. are repeated with necessary changes in Jeremiah 50:41-43 where Babylon is the object of the threat.

22. The sides of the earth] an expression for the far distance.

23. The Assyrian monuments show us rows of impaled victims hanging round the walls of besieged towns, also men collecting in heaps hands cut off from the vanquished enemy.

25. Fear is on every side] a favourite expression with Jeremiah (20:3mg, 10; Jeremiah 46:5; Jeremiah 49:29).

27-30. The nation incapable of reform. Jehovah reassures Jeremiah of his divine commission. The prophet appears under the figure of one testing metal by smelting. The result of the process is that no precious metal is found. All is dross.

27. A tower] RM ’trier,’ or tester. A fortress] He shall have God’s protection in his task.

28. They are brass and iron] They have none of the precious metal in them.

29. All the prophet’s fervour is without effect. Nothing of value rewards the long assay. Are burned] RV ’blow fiercely.’

Plucked away] i.e. eliminated from the good.

30. Reprobate] RV ’refuse.’

Verses 1-30

1-8. The hostile army approaches.

1. Benjamin] Jerusalem was within the territory assigned to this tribe. Tekoa] 11m. S. of Jerusalem, and in the line of flight for its inhabitants seeking to escape an enemy from the N. A sign of fire] a warning signal. Beth-hacoerem] probably a hill between Jerusalem and Tekoa, and thus suitable for a beacon station.

2. RV ’The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion will I cut off,’ a tenderly worded lament over the ill-fated city. Daughter] is used for the inhabitants collectively.

3. A figure of the devastating enemy. Flocks eating the herbage on every side are a figure to express dévastation.

4, 5. The invaders propose a determined and continuous attack.

4. Prepare] RM ’Heb. sanctify.’ Entering on a war was accompanied by religious ceremonies: cp. Deuteronomy 20:2.

6. Hew ye down trees] to clear the approaches to the city. Cast a mount] earth was carried in baskets and poured in a heap until it was on a level with the walls: cp. this method of assault in 2 Kings 19:32; Isaiah 29:3.

To be visited] with punishment.

7. Grief] RV ’sickness.’

9-21. Retribution awaiting the guilty people.

9. Into the baskets] RM ’upon the shoots.’ As the grape-gatherer goes back over the tendrils, lest he should have missed any of the fruit, so the people shall be subject to sue-cessive gleanings at the hand of their conquerors, who are here addressed.

10. Uncircumcised] in the sense of ’imperfect’: cp. Exodus 6:12.

11. Abroad] RV ’in the street.’

14. They] the leaders, prophets, and priests.

The hurt] the sins and shortcomings. They are like physicians who for their own ease assure their patients that all is well.

16. God’s appeal. ’A national calamity is at hand. As prudent men ye will desire to avoid it. Make enquiries what paths led your ancestors to prosperity. Were they those of idolatry or of true religion and purity?’

17. Watchmen] the prophets sounding the alarm. The trumpet] warning of approaching danger.

18. What is among them] i.e. what is the punishment impending over Judah.

20. Sheba] in the S. of Arabia. The general sense of the v. is, ’To obey is better than sacrifice’ (1 Samuel 15:22). Cane] i.e. calamus, a sweet-scented reed, used in making the anointing oil.

21. Stumblingblocks, etc.] the enemy’s invasion, which would, as it were, trip them up in their easy-going ways.

22-24. The approaching invader. These vv. are repeated with necessary changes in Jeremiah 50:41-43 where Babylon is the object of the threat.

22. The sides of the earth] an expression for the far distance.

23. The Assyrian monuments show us rows of impaled victims hanging round the walls of besieged towns, also men collecting in heaps hands cut off from the vanquished enemy.

25. Fear is on every side] a favourite expression with Jeremiah (20:3mg, 10; Jeremiah 46:5; Jeremiah 49:29).

27-30. The nation incapable of reform. Jehovah reassures Jeremiah of his divine commission. The prophet appears under the figure of one testing metal by smelting. The result of the process is that no precious metal is found. All is dross.

27. A tower] RM ’trier,’ or tester. A fortress] He shall have God’s protection in his task.

28. They are brass and iron] They have none of the precious metal in them.

29. All the prophet’s fervour is without effect. Nothing of value rewards the long assay. Are burned] RV ’blow fiercely.’

Plucked away] i.e. eliminated from the good.

30. Reprobate] RV ’refuse.’

Verses 1-30

1-8. The hostile army approaches.

1. Benjamin] Jerusalem was within the territory assigned to this tribe. Tekoa] 11m. S. of Jerusalem, and in the line of flight for its inhabitants seeking to escape an enemy from the N. A sign of fire] a warning signal. Beth-hacoerem] probably a hill between Jerusalem and Tekoa, and thus suitable for a beacon station.

2. RV ’The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion will I cut off,’ a tenderly worded lament over the ill-fated city. Daughter] is used for the inhabitants collectively.

3. A figure of the devastating enemy. Flocks eating the herbage on every side are a figure to express dévastation.

4, 5. The invaders propose a determined and continuous attack.

4. Prepare] RM ’Heb. sanctify.’ Entering on a war was accompanied by religious ceremonies: cp. Deuteronomy 20:2.

6. Hew ye down trees] to clear the approaches to the city. Cast a mount] earth was carried in baskets and poured in a heap until it was on a level with the walls: cp. this method of assault in 2 Kings 19:32; Isaiah 29:3.

To be visited] with punishment.

7. Grief] RV ’sickness.’

9-21. Retribution awaiting the guilty people.

9. Into the baskets] RM ’upon the shoots.’ As the grape-gatherer goes back over the tendrils, lest he should have missed any of the fruit, so the people shall be subject to sue-cessive gleanings at the hand of their conquerors, who are here addressed.

10. Uncircumcised] in the sense of ’imperfect’: cp. Exodus 6:12.

11. Abroad] RV ’in the street.’

14. They] the leaders, prophets, and priests.

The hurt] the sins and shortcomings. They are like physicians who for their own ease assure their patients that all is well.

16. God’s appeal. ’A national calamity is at hand. As prudent men ye will desire to avoid it. Make enquiries what paths led your ancestors to prosperity. Were they those of idolatry or of true religion and purity?’

17. Watchmen] the prophets sounding the alarm. The trumpet] warning of approaching danger.

18. What is among them] i.e. what is the punishment impending over Judah.

20. Sheba] in the S. of Arabia. The general sense of the v. is, ’To obey is better than sacrifice’ (1 Samuel 15:22). Cane] i.e. calamus, a sweet-scented reed, used in making the anointing oil.

21. Stumblingblocks, etc.] the enemy’s invasion, which would, as it were, trip them up in their easy-going ways.

22-24. The approaching invader. These vv. are repeated with necessary changes in Jeremiah 50:41-43 where Babylon is the object of the threat.

22. The sides of the earth] an expression for the far distance.

23. The Assyrian monuments show us rows of impaled victims hanging round the walls of besieged towns, also men collecting in heaps hands cut off from the vanquished enemy.

25. Fear is on every side] a favourite expression with Jeremiah (20:3mg, 10; Jeremiah 46:5; Jeremiah 49:29).

27-30. The nation incapable of reform. Jehovah reassures Jeremiah of his divine commission. The prophet appears under the figure of one testing metal by smelting. The result of the process is that no precious metal is found. All is dross.

27. A tower] RM ’trier,’ or tester. A fortress] He shall have God’s protection in his task.

28. They are brass and iron] They have none of the precious metal in them.

29. All the prophet’s fervour is without effect. Nothing of value rewards the long assay. Are burned] RV ’blow fiercely.’

Plucked away] i.e. eliminated from the good.

30. Reprobate] RV ’refuse.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 6". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/jeremiah-6.html. 1909.