1-3. The dead shall share in the universal punishment.
1. Shall bring out the bones] either from pure wantonness, or in the hope of finding treasure or ornaments of value.
2. Before the sun] the heavenly bodies will not be prevented by all the offerings and devotions that they have received from using their influence to hasten the rotting of the carcases of their sometime worshippers.
3. Family] the whole nation: see on Jeremiah 3:14.
4-17. The people are hardened in sin.
4. They] RV 'men.' If a man stumble, he will naturally regain his footing: if he lose his way he will return to it. Not so with this people.
6. As the horse, etc.] meaning, an eager plunge into wrongdoing.
7. The turtle and the crane and the swallow] rather, 'The turtle dove and the swift and the crane': cp. Isaiah 1:3.
8. Lo, certainly in vain.. in vain] RV 'But, behold, the false pen of the scribes hath wrought falsely,' i.e. they have used their knowledge of the Law to deceive others, persuading them that they may transgress with impunity. The scribes (frequently mentioned in NT.) were a class of persons who devoted themselves to the study and exposition of the Law. That they were a leading class as early as the time of Josiah (and Jeremiah's whole argument depends on this fact) is a strong argument in favour of the belief that the Book of the Law even at that time had well-grounded claims to antiquity.
10. Shall inherit them] shall take possession of them. The idea is forcible seizure by the invader.
11. See on Jeremiah 6:14.
13. And the things .. from them] RM 'I have appointed them those that shall pass over them': viz. the Assyrians invading them as a flood.
14f. The people address one another, while suffering under the troubles thus described.
Enter into the defenced cities] i.e. out of villages for protection. Water of gall] bitterness is our portion.
16. His horses] i.e. those of the Babylonian invader. Strong ones] warhorses. So in Jeremiah 47:3; Jeremiah 50:11.
17. Cockatrices] RV 'basilisks,' RM 'adders': Jeremiah may have chosen the word because of its resemblance in sound in the Hebrew to the word northern, the invaders coming from that quarter. Charmed] so as to be harmless.
18-22. Jeremiah speaks.
18 When I would] RV 'O that I could.'
19f. Jeremiah is in thought anticipating the captivity and the distressful cries of the exiles in the direction of their home.
20. When the harvest was bad there was still hope of the yield from grapes, etc. But the people had lost one chance of deliverance after another, and might now despair. Summer] RM 'ingathering of summer fruits.'
21. Black] RM 'mourning.'
22. 'Is there no way of saving this people?' Gilead was a mountainous part of Palestine E, of the Jordan. Balm (balsam) was found there, and naturally in the same place would be found those skilled in its use.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 8". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany