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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 9

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-9




1. Considering their incorrigible wickedness, Jeremiah longs to get away from his people, (vs. 2a; comp. Psalms 55:6-7; Psalms 120:5-6).

2. He views them all as adulterous deceivers, (vs. 2b; Jeremiah 5:7­8;23:10;5:11; 12:1, 6).

a. Instead of being valiant in faithfulness, their tongues are weapons of falsehood, (vs. 3a, 8; Psalms 64:2-4; Isaiah 59:4) - having become major instruments of political strategy in the land.

b. Proceeding from evil to evil, they do not even know the Lord, (vs. 3b; Jeremiah 4:22; Jeremiah 5:4-5; 1 Samuel 2:12; Hosea 4:1).

3. They are warned to beware of both brother and neighbor, (vs. 4-5; Psalms 12:1-2; Proverbs 26:24-25).

a. Who can trust a brother that is as crafty as Jacob, the supplanter? (Jeremiah 12:6; Genesis 27:35).

b. Who can trust a neighbor whose tongue has been trained to lie, and to peddle slander? (Jeremiah 6:28; comp. Psalms 15:3; Proverbs 10:18; Micah 6:12).

4. Perverted, and too weak to change, injury feeds on injury, and deceit on deceit - because of which they refuse to know the Lord, (vs. 6; Jeremiah 8:5; Jeremiah 11:10; Jeremiah 13:10; John 3:19-20). 5. Thus, the Lord announces His intention to "refine" them by severe discipline (Jeremiah 6:27; Isaiah 1:25; Malachi 3:3) -purging away their dross, (vs. 7).

a. The Lord despises such deception as permits one to speak peace to his neighbor, while devising an ambush for him within his heart, (vs. 8; Psalms 28:3; Psalms 55:21; Psalms 62:4).

b. His very holiness requires that He punish such sin! (vs. 9a; Jeremiah 5:9; Jeremiah 5:29).

c. On such a nation, therefore, He will surely avenge Himself! (vs. 9b: Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 59:18).

Verses 10-16


1. Whoever the speaker may be in verses 10-11, the lamentation over the ruin and desolation of Judah expresses the heart of both Jeremiah and his Lord, (Jeremiah 4:25; Jeremiah 12:4; Jeremiah 12:10; Ezekiel 14:4-5).

2. Was there anyone in the land wise enough to discern the cause of Judah’s calamity? (vs. 12; Psalms 107:43; Hosea 14:9; comp. Jeremiah 23:16).

3. The Lord will leave no room for misunderstanding, (vs. 13-14).

a. It is because they have forsaken the law of the Lord -refusing to obey His voice, and to walk in the way He has appointed, (vs. 13; Jeremiah 5:19; 2 Chronicles 7:19-20).

b. Rather, they have walked according to the stubbornness of their own hearts - following after Baalim as their fathers had taught them, (vs. 14; Jeremiah 7:24; Jeremiah 11:8; Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 2:23; comp. Romans 1:21-25).

4. Thus, the Lord of hosts, and God of Israel, declares that He will feed them with wormwood and give them poisonous water to drink! (vs. 15; Jeremiah 8:14; Jeremiah 23:15; comp. Deuteronomy 29:18-21).

5. He will, further, disperse them among strange nations (comp. Deuteronomy 28:64) - following them with the sword, until He has consumed them, (vs. 16; Jeremiah 44:27).

Verses 17-22


1. Here is a call for professional mourners to take up a lamentation of wailing until it is joined by the whole land, (vs. 17-18).

2. A mournful song is heard in Zion - of ruin, confusion, abandonment and exile, (vs. 19; Jeremiah 14:17; Isaiah 22:4; comp Amos 5:16-17).

3. Jeremiah pictures death as a thief - climbing into the windows of houses and palaces to cut off the people in the very prime of life, (vs. 21; Jeremiah 15:7-9).

4. The dead will fall as manure upon the field, and like grain left behind by the reapers; there will be no one left to bury them! (vs. 22; Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 25:33; Isaiah 5:25).

Verses 23-24


A number of principles are set forth in this passage which contrasts dramatically with the content of the prophetic burden in which it appears; they need careful consideration.

1. First, there is a warning against a false sense of security, (vs. 23).

a. The "wise man" must not glory, take pride in, or place his confidence in human wisdom; being incomplete, it is not trustworthy, (comp. Isaiah 47:10; Ezekiel 28:3-7).

b. Nor should the "mighty man" trust in his might; material force is effective only in relationship to MATERIAL things; it is helpless before moral ideals and spiritual truth, (Isaiah 10:8-12).

c. And the "rich man" must not glory, or place his confidence in his wealth; there are too many things that material wealth cannot purchase or ensure, (Job 31:25-25; Job 31:28; Psalms 49:6-9).

2. Second, there is a setting forth of the true elements of security (vs. 24b) - the things which the Lord practices, and in which He takes delight, (comp. Psalms 36:5-7; Micah 7:18).

a. Loving-kindness (the Hebrew "hesed") - the only proper response to divine grace - involving unquestioning and unwavering loyalty to the Lord, and obedience to His will and word, (Exodus 34:6-7; Psalms 51:1).

b. Justice - the administration of affairs in strict equity, and according to truth, so that all relationships are adjusted in such a way as is equitable and right - thus, securing the best possible conditions for human life and happiness, (Isaiah 61:8; Isaiah 5:16-17; Isaiah 30:18).

c. Righteousness - straightness, uprightness -involving such conformity to the divine will as links all things to Him; it strengthens the whole of life and defies all wickedness.

2. The secret of true greatness is found in knowing God - the all­ wise, all-mighty and all-sufficient One! (comp. John 17:3; Matthew 6:33).

Verses 25-26


1. Jeremiah has already stressed the necessity of a "circumcised heart," (4:4).

2. Here is a warning that flesh-circumcision (the mere observation of a legalistic ritual) will not exempt one from punishment, (comp. Galatians 5:6; Galatians 6:15); Judah is listed, along with Egypt, Edom, Ammon and Moab, as being ripe for judgment - even though physically circumcised, (Leviticus 26:41; etc.).

3. Judah is no different from the Gentiles (in the eyes of God) so long as she is "uncircumcised In heart"; the cutting of the flesh means nothing to Him if the heart is not loyal to His covenant!

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-9.html. 1985.
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