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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 14

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-6




1. When seasonal rains failed to come in the Near East drought, famine and starvation came swiftly.

a. Jeremiah here relays to Judah and Jerusalem "the word of the Lord" concerning a terrible drought that is about to afflict the land, (comp. Jeremiah 3:3; Jeremiah 12:4; Jeremiah 23:10).

b. The word reveals that God sometimes withheld the rain as a sign of His displeasure, and as a warning of more severe judgment to follow upon the unrepentant, (Deuteronomy 28:12; Deuteronomy 28:23-24; Amos 4:7-8).

2. Judah and Jerusalem are here pictured as in deep mourning because of such affliction; the whole land is involved.

a. Her nobles send their little ones to the cisterns for water, only to have them return with empty jars, and their heads covered as a symbol of perplexity and grief, (vs. 3; comp. 2 Samuel 15:30; 2 Samuel 19:4).

b. Observing the parched soil, her farmers cover their heads in grief and dismay, (vs. 4; comp. Joel 1:11; Joel 1:19-20).

c. The hinds deliver their calves, but abandon them because there is no grass or water by which milk may be provided for their sustenance, (vs. 5).

d. And the wild donkeys stand on the bare hills panting for air - their eyes failing them because there is no herbage, (vs. 6; comp. Job 39:5-8).

Verses 7-9


1. Jeremiah confesses the sinful crookedness of his people -whose backslidings are many, (vs. 7; comp. Isaiah 59:12).-

2. He admits that his people do not deserve God’s mercy, but God is their only Hope and Saviour in time of trouble, (VS. 8; comp. Jeremiah 17:13; Acts 28:20; Colossians 1:27).

3. Thus, he pleads for God to maintain the honor of His holy name, as the covenant-God of Israel, by manifesting His continuing mercy toward them - a plea that had often been made by others before him, (Exodus 32:11-14; Psalms 25:11; Psalms 31:3; Psalms 79:9).

4. Surely God cannot manifest such indifference as might be expected from a stranger who was merely passing through the land! (vs. 8b).

5. Why should He permit Himself to be regarded by the heathen as "bewildered"? or as a notable warrior whose courage failed when his people faced their greatest need? (vs. 9a; comp. Numbers 11:23; Isaiah 50:2­3; 50:1-2).

6. Since He dwells in the midst of this people, who are identified with Him in covenant-relationship, failure to act in their behalf will surely diminish His reputation among the heathen! (vs. 9b; Comp. Isaiah 63:19).

7. Though forbidden to do so, Jeremiah is so overcome with anguish for his rebellious brethren that he prays for them! His education is not yet complete.

Verses 10-12


1. God soundly rejects Jeremiah’s plea for clemency toward Judah; since she has not refrained herself from wandering after other gods, He can no longer accept her; remembering her iniquity, He will surely visit her sins with judgment! (vs. 10; comp. Hosea 8:13):

2. Again, Jeremiah is forbidden to pray for this people, (vs. 11­-12; Jeremiah 7:16; Jeremiah 11:14; comp. Exodus 32:9-10).

a. Though they cry unto Him, in fasting, God will not hear them! (Jeremiah 11:11; Isaiah 1:15).

b. Though they bring to Him the appointed burnt and meal­offerings, He will not accept them! (Jeremiah 6:20; Jeremiah 7:21-26).

c. Rebellious Judah will be consumed by sword, famine and disease, (Jeremiah 8:13; Jeremiah 21:9-10).

Verses 13-16


1. Jeremiah argues that his people have been grossly misled by false prophets who assure them of a peaceful future- with no sword or famine, (vs. 13; 23:16-17).

2. The Lord condemns such action on the part of those false prophets whom He has not sent - declaring their words to be lying visions, divinations of no value, and self-deception, (vs. 14; Jeremiah 23:25-32).

3. The sword and famine which they have declared will not come upon the people will consume the false prophets themselves, (vs. 15; Jeremiah 5:12; Ezekiel 14:10).

4. But, since the people want to be deceived, judgment will fall upon deceiver and deceived alike, (vs. 16; Jeremiah 5:31).

5. It must be recognized that deception by "false prophets" is just as serious today as in ancient Judah; the man of God must be sure that He is proclaiming THE WORD OF GOD - not the philosophies or wishes of men! (Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11; Matthew 24:24; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1).

Verses 17-22


1. It is not quite clear whether the lamentation, of verses 17-18, is that of Jeremiah or his Lord; in fact, both are deeply moved by the wickedness of Judah, (comp. Jeremiah 9:1; Jeremiah 13:17; Jeremiah 8:21; Isaiah 37:22; La 1:15; 2:13).

2. But, in verse 19, it is clearly Jeremiah who is astounded that Jehovah should reject, loathe and smite His people when they looked for healing and for peace, (comp. Jeremiah 30:12-15; Jeremiah 8:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:3).

3. Once again Jeremiah confesses the sins of His people and urges a three-fold basis for His appeal, (vs. 20-21).

a. God’s name, honor and reputation are at stake: He must not despise and abandon the people whom He has called unto Himself, (comp. Genesis 18:23-33).

b. God’s city - the throne of His glory - where He has place His memorial name forever, (Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 17:12).

c. God’s covenant: He knows that if God’s covenant-love is abandoned ALL IS LOST for Judah!

4. Judah has constantly given credit to Baal (a storm­god) for the fertility of the soil, and for the rain in its season, rather than recognizing these things as blessings from Jehovah, (Jeremiah 5:24; Hosea 2:5; Hosea 2:8; comp. Jeremiah 44:17-18).

5. Jeremiah confesses the sins of his people and declares that "Our hope Is In you!" Unfortunately, however, he spoke ONLY FOR HIMSELF: this was NOT the mind or attitude of the nation; thus, they MUST BE PUNISHED!

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 14". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-14.html. 1985.
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