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Jer 24:1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs [were] set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
Ver. 1. The Lord showed me. ] By showing as well as by saying, hath God ever signified his mind to his people; by the visible as well as by the audible word, as in sacrifices and sacraments, for their better confirmation in the faith.
And, behold, two baskets. ] Dodaim, so called from dodim, breasts, because these two baskets resembled two breasts.
Were set before the temple. ] Either visionally, or else actually there set; whether presented for firstfruits, as Deu 26:2 or set to be sold in such a public place.
Before the temple. ] To show that the Jews of both sorts gloried in the same God, but were differently regarded by him, and accordingly sentenced.
After that Nebuchadnezzar. ] This then was showed to Jeremiah about the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign.
Had carried away captive Jeconiah. ] Who was therefore and thenceforth called Jeconiah Asir, 1Ch 3:16 that is, Jeconiah the Prisoner. He was a wicked prince, and therefore written childless, and threatened with deportation. Jer 22:30 Howbeit, because by the advice of the prophet Jeremiah he submitted to Nebuchadnezzar (who carried him away to Babylon, where, say the Rabbis, he repented, and was therefore at length advanced by Evilmerodah, as Jer 52:31 ), he and his company are here comforted, and pronounced more happy, however it might seem otherwise, than those that continued still in the land; and this, say the Hebrews, a was not obscurely set forth also by those two baskets of figs, whereof that which was worst showed best, and the other showed worst, till they came to be tasted.
With the carpenters, ] Or, Craftsmen. 2 Kings 24:14 ; 2Ki 24:16
And smiths. ] Heb., Enclosers - that is, say some, goldsmiths, whose work it is to set stones in gold; and these, thus carried away, are as a type of such, saith Oecolampadius, as are penitent and patient till the Lord shall turn again their captivity as the streams in the south.
a Raban., Hugo., Lyra.
Jer 24:2 One basket [had] very good figs, [even] like the figs [that are] first ripe: and the other basket [had] very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
Ver. 2. One basket had very good figs. ] Maturas et praecoquas, ripe and ready early, bursas melle plenas, as one once called such good figs, purses full of honey.
“ Ficus habet lactis nivei, rutilique saporem
Mellis, et ambrosiae similes cum nectare succos. ”
The other basket had very naughty figs. ] Sour and ill-tasted, because blasted, haply, or worm eaten, &c. Of the Athenians Plutarch a saith, that they were all very good or stark naught; no middle men: like as that country also produceth both the most excellent honey and the most deadly poison. Sure it is that non sunt media coram Deo, neque placet tepiditas, before God every man is either a good tree yielding good fruit, or an evil tree bearing evil fruit. He that is not with Christ is against him. He acknowledgeth not a mediocrity, he detesteth an indifference in religion; hot or cold he wisheth men, and threateneth to "spue the lukewarm out of his mouth." Rev 3:15-16 The best that can be said of such neuter passives is that which Tacitus saith of Galba, Magis extra vitia quam cum virtutibus, that they are rather not vicious than virtuous; their goodness is merely negative. The world crieth them up for right honest men, but God decrieth them for naught, stark naught; they may not be endured, they are so naught. See Luke 16:15 .
a In Vit. Dion.
Jer 24:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
Ver. 3. What seest thou, Jeremiah? ] See on Jeremiah 1:11 .
The good figs, very good. ] See on Jeremiah 24:2 .
Jer 24:4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Ver. 4. Again the word of the Lord. ] Transitio ad Anagogen: the interpretation followeth, whereby will appear the different judgment made of persons and things by God and men.
Jer 24:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for [their] good.
Ver. 5. Like these good figs. ] Quas sic dat et arbor et aura, when once God hath made the tree good, the fruit will be good.
So will I acknowledge. ] Heb., Know, that is, own, or take special notice of, and this made the difference.
Whom I have sent out of this place for their good. ] It is for their good, temporal and eternal, that God chastiseth his children. Jehoiachin was preferred at length; and as the Jewish doctors say, converted, as Manasseh had been before him. Daniel and his associates were set over the kingdom. The Jews got good estates and respect in the land of their captivity, Jer 29:4 Esther 9:4 ; Est 9:29 and were at length sent back with many favours and privileges, &c.
Jer 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull [them] down; and I will plant them, and not pluck [them] up.
Ver. 6. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good. ] I will see to their safety, and provide for their necessities. See Psalms 34:15 . See Trapp on " Psa 34:15 "
Jer 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I [am] the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
Ver. 7. And I will give them an heart to know me. ] a This was better than all the rest, scil., a sanctified use of their afflictions. This we should highly prize, and pray for.
And they shall be my people. ] This falling out of lovers shall but be a renewing of love between us.
For they shall return unto me. ] God must sometimes whip his people to duty, and gather them from evil, as well as entice them, ut uvae dulces sint et non labruseae.
a Promissio Evangelica, ut infra., chap, xxxi. 33.
Jer 24:8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
Ver. 8. And as the evil figs. ] Zedekiah and his subjects, who were looked upon as the happier, because at home; and derided, likely, Jeconiah and his concaptives as cowards. Sure it is, that they were not bettered by their brethren’s miseries.
Jer 24:9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for [their] hurt, [to be] a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.
Ver. 9. And I will deliver them. ] As men throw out naughty figs, rotten apples, or the like. All the figs were carried out, but in diverse baskets, and for diverse purposes.
To be a taunt and a curse. ] As when they were called in scorn by the heathen Verpi, Apellae, Recutiti, &c., and were noted, as they are still, for a nasty people.
Jer 24:10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.
Ver. 10. And I will send the sword. ] So Jeremiah 14:15 ; Jeremiah 34:17 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 24". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany