Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 31

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Israel. The ten tribes returned as well as Juda, &c. (Calmet) --- They were more ready to receive Christ than the other two tribes, Matthew xiii., &c. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Desert. From which the former inhabitants had been driven, (4 Kings xvii. 6, 24.; Calmet) or, as those under Moses were favoured, (Haydock) so shall the captives. (Grotius) --- Septuagint, "I found him warm," (Greek: thermon, means also a lupin, which has misled the old Latin interpreters. St. Jerome) murdered "in the desert, with those slain by the sword. Go, and destroy not Israel." (Haydock)

Verse 3

Afar. He has seemed to despise me, (St. Jerome) or he has spoken to my ancestors. (Calmet) --- Chaldean, He has "manifested himself long ago to our fathers. Prophet, tell them I have," &c., Psalm xxxv. 11., and cviii. 11. (Calmet)

Verse 5

Samaria. Its wine was famous, Judges ix. 27. (Josephus, Jewish Wars iii. 2.) --- Time, three years being elapsed, Leviticus xix. 35. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "plant, and shall eat (marginal note, profane) them as common things." They shall not be too greedy, (Haydock) but shall have leisure to enjoy the fruits of their labour. (Calmet)

Verse 6

Watchmen. Some were stationed on eminences to observe the first appearances of the moon, (Calmet) which was a sort of festival. (Haydock)

Verse 7

Head. Rejoice over Babylon. --- Save. Hebrew Hoshang, "I beg," was usually added; and this acclamation is used by the Church.

Verse 8

Together. All shall hasten, and there shall be no impediment, Isaias xxxv. 5.

Verse 9

Shall, or "came" into captivity, Baruch vi. 6., Psalm cxxv. 6., and Isaias lxvi. 20. --- Way. They shall find every accommodation, and plenty of water, Isaias xxxv. 7., and xlix. 10. --- Born. Chaldean, "beloved." I will treat the ten tribes as well as Juda. Christ inebriates his disciples with his graces. (Calmet) --- Ephraim shall be treated with all the love and attention shewn to the first-born. (Worthington)

Verse 12

Sion. There shall be no farther schism or idolatry among them. --- No more, if they prove faithful. This was not the case.

Verse 14

Fatness. Abundant crops secured them more plentiful tythes[tithes], as long as the people preserved their religion. (Haydock) --- No nation had more priests, or better provided for. (Calmet)

Verse 15

High. Literally, "high places." Hebrew Rama. (Haydock) --- There was a city of this name near Bethlehem, where Rachel was buried. Benjamin was her son, and was conducted by this road to Babylon. (Chaldean) (Grotius) (Tirinus) --- Ephraim and Manasses were also her grandchildren, and she may bewail their captivity by personification. St. Matthew (ii. 18.) shews that this prediction was more fully accomplished when the innocents were slain. The same passage may allude to different events. (Calmet) --- All the people of God, both of the ten and of the two tribes, bewailed their captivity, and the mothers lamented for those slain near Bethlehem. (Worthington)

Verse 16

Reward. A time fixed for thy tears being dried up, Isaias xvi. 14., and xl. 10.

Verse 18

I was. Chaldean, Theodoret, and St. Chrysostom have "not." But chastisement produced a salutary effect upon the ten tribes, Osee vi. 1., and xiv. 3. --- Convert. Bring me back from captivity and from my evil ways. This must be attributed to grace. (Calmet) --- We cannot repent without it. (St. Jerome) --- Da quod jubes. (St. Augustine, Confessions x. 19, 31, and 37.) --- God’s grace is the principal cause of justification. Man’s co-operation is the secondary cause. (Worthington)

Verse 19

Thigh, through grief. Femur mœrenti plangere dextra. (Ovid, Metam. xi.) --- Cyrus struck his thigh, mounted his horse, and went to attend the funeral of Abradates. (Xenophon vii.) --- So did Achilles for Patroclus. (Homer, Iliad xvi.) --- Youth, being seduced by Jeroboam.

Verse 20

I spoke. Hebrew, "my word is in him," and he is docile to my instructions.

Verse 21

Tower, to bewail thy past follies; or signals to know the way, or tombs for thy beloved.

Verse 22

Daughter. Bury thy dead, and delay thy return no longer. The Israelites did not soon make use of the leave granted by Cyrus. (Calmet) --- Man. Hebrew, "a hero." (Tirinus) --- The fathers generally explain this of the incarnation. (Calmet) --- Christ had the perfect use of reason in the virgin’s womb. (Haydock) --- He was the brightness of his Father’s glory, Hebrew i. 3. Even some ancient Jews apply this to the Messias. (Galatin. vii. 14.) But the moderns understand that women would offer themselves in marriage; the times would be so happy. This was not so unusual in countries where polygamy prevailed, Ruth iii. 9., Isaias iv. 1., and Canticle of Canticles viii. 1. (Calmet) --- Hence this is hardly the meaning; for God promises something new. (Haydock) --- "The Lord hat created a new thing in a woman." (Aquila) --- Symmachus agrees nearly with the Septuagint, "because the Lord has created thee by salvation a new plantation. Men shall go about in thy salvation." This "might be explained, if it were not sacrilegious to argue respecting God’s word by human sense," says St. Jerome; though this censure of "the Vulgate" (Septuagint) seems rather harsh. He complains here of his copy. Theodoret explains it of the apostles going through the world to spread the gospel. (Haydock) --- Behold whence thy happiness must come, (Menochius) O thou who hast so long proved faithless, going astray after many lovers. (Haydock) --- Christ, in his mother’s womb, was in stature small, but a perfect man (Worthington) in the use of reason, &c. (Haydock)

Verse 23


Bless thee. Thus the captives speak in rapture at their return.

Verse 24

Together. Jerusalem shall be large enough to contain all, at the great festivals.

Verse 26

To me. Thus Jeremias concludes his prediction with joy. (Calmet)

Verse 27

Men. They shall increase exceedingly by my blessing. (Haydock) --- Beasts were the source of their riches. Hence pecunia is derived from pecus. (Worthington)

Verse 29

Edge. Such observations had been too often made, Ezechiel xviii. 12. (Haydock) --- Henceforward you shall not suffer for the faults of Achab, Manasses, &c. Each one shall bear his own burden. The captivity has been like a deluge, cleaning all away. (Calmet)

Verse 31

Covenant. That made with the captives was not such. Their covenant is grown old, and at an end, as St. Paul shews, Hebrews viii. 8. They were not indeed divided, as they had been, Ezechiel xxxvii. 16.

Verse 32

Dominion. As a husband, (Hebrew; Calmet) or "Lord." (Haydock) --- "I despised them." (Septuagint) (Hebrews viii.)

Verse 33

Heart. They were more docile after their return: yet still their service was very imperfect and forced. How many false traditions were received, at the coming of Christ! This of course, regards his disciples.

Verse 34

Lord. Christ himself came to instruct mankind. The true God was better known than ever, even by the illiterate. Yet God requires us to have recourse to men, in order to know his truths, as St. Paul was sent to Hananias, and the eunuch to Philip. [Acts viii., and ix.] (Haydock) --- The apostles were enlightened by the Holy Ghost, (John vi. 45.; St. Augustine, de Spir.; Calmet) who still guides the flock by his pastors. The private spirit is too fanatical and delusive. (Haydock) --- The most ignorant shall easily become acquainted with the truths of salvation. External preaching is requisite, though of little use unless grace touch the mind and the heart. (Tirinus) --- All will hear successively, (Haydock) or embrace the gospel at the same time, for several years before the last day. (Houbigant, pref. in Prop. 356) (Isaias xi. 9., and xlv. 23., and Sophonias iii. 9., &c.) (Haydock)

Verse 36

Ever. Like the Chanaanites and Ephraim during the captivity, Isaias vii. 8. God restored the latter. Yet they are again dispersed from above 17 centuries, so that this perpetuity, which shall equal the world’s duration, belongs to the Church. (Calmet) --- Israel remains, not in the incredulous Jews, but in those who with the apostles embraced and propagated the faith of Christ. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)

Verse 37

Out, experimentally, and not by philosophical hypotheses, which were little known in the days of Jeremias. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "if it be made lower." (Haydock) --- This is impossible; so it is that I should abandon Israel. (Theodoret) --- All was not faithless. (Calmet) --- The Israel of God embraced the gospel. (Haydock)

Verse 38

Come, is only in the margin of the Hebrew, but is found properly in some manuscripts. (Kennicott) --- Corner. On the south, opposite to the former, 2 Esdras iii. 1.

Verse 40

Valley of Hinnom, or Topheth, (chap. vii. 32., and xix. 6.) where Cedron flowed, Zacharias xiv. 4. (Calmet) --- The city was much enlarged on this side, under the Machabees. (Josephus, Jewish Wars vi. 6.) --- Ever. Yet the temple was utterly destroyed by the Romans, so that we must explain this of the Catholic Church, founded on a rock, and proof against the gates of hell, and all the malice of heretics and persecutors, Matthew xvi. 18. (Calmet)

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 31". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.