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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Jeremiah 2

 

 

Verses 1-5

CHAPTERS 2:1-3:5

Expostulation and Impeachment

1. His love and kindness to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 2:1-3)

2. The unfaithful people (Jeremiah 2:4-11)

3. The two evils and the results (Jeremiah 2:12-18)

4. Impeachment (Jeremiah 2:19-30)

5. Expostulation (Jeremiah 2:31-37)

6. Jehovah waiting to show mercy (Jeremiah 3:1-5)

Jeremiah 2:1-3. The first message Jeremiah received begins with reminding Jerusalem of the kindness Jehovah bestowed upon the nation in her youth, and how she went after Him in the wilderness. He had separated Israel to belong to Him, to be a holy nation, the first fruits of His increase, which probably means that other nations should through Israel be called to know Him. He was their protector and those who tried to devour them would be held guilty.

Jeremiah 2:4-11. After Jehovah had called to the remembrance of the people the days of her youth, He reproves them for their unfaithfulness. This is the opening chapter of the roll which Jehudi read in the presence of Jehoiakim, which he threw into the fire after he had mutilated it with his penknife (Jeremiah 36:23). The remonstrance starts with a pathetic question: “What iniquity have your fathers found in Me, that they are gone far from Me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?” Was there anything unrighteous in Him: had He dealt in a treacherous way? Was the fault in Jehovah that they had left Him? They had not thought on His faithfulness as He had led them out of Egypt, through the desert and the shadows of death. It was forgotten by them, and when Jehovah brought them to the land of promise they had defiled the land. Priests, pastors and prophets had apostatized. Thus Jehovah states His case to plead with them and their children. Their folly and ingratitude were worse than that of heathen nations. Such was the failure of the favored nation. The failure of Christendom is even greater when we think of the greater manifestation of God’s love in the gift of His Son, and the greater blessing and deliverance.

Jeremiah 2:12-18. The two evils are, forsaking Jehovah, the fountain of living waters, and the hewing for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jehovah was the storehouse of the living waters, put at the disposal of His people without money and without price. But instead of confessing, “All my springs are in Thee,” they had left Him, the source of life and comfort; and turned to broken cisterns of their own invention, as well as to the idols and worshipped them. It is so among the professing people of God in this dispensation; the two evils are present with us also. The result for Israel was enslavement. The young lions came (the Assyrian invasion) and made the land waste. Noph (Memphis) and Tahpanhes (Daphnae), that is, Egypt, did the same. It came as the fruit of having forsaken the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah 2:19-30. The impeachment begins with the solemn statement: “Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken Jehovah Thy God, and that my fear is not in Thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” They had broken the covenant and played the harlot. The noble vine He had planted had degenerated. Their iniquity was marked before the Lord, and nothing that they did could remove the stain (Jeremiah 2:22). Yet they denied their guilt of going after idols. And when the Lord tells them, “withhold thy foot from being unshod,” that is, running so much after strange gods, so that the feet become unshod, by wearing out the sandals, they boldly declared, “There is no hope; no, for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.” Their backs and their faces were turned from Jehovah. But when the time of trouble comes, they will say, “Arise, save us.” But could or would the false gods they had made respond and save them? Some day a remnant of that nation will turn to the Lord and cry, “Arise, save us,” and He will answer.

Jeremiah 2:31-37. Israel’s conduct was incomprehensible. Once more it is the “Why” of Jehovah. What had He done that they should turn away from Him? Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet His people had forgotten Him, who had loved and adorned them, days without number. He will plead with them because they said, I have not sinned.

Jeremiah 3:1-5. Here is the first time the gracious invitation is given, “Return again to Me, saith the LORD.” And how many times after, the Lord pleads in the riches of His mercy for His people to return unto Him and offers them forgiveness.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Jeremiah 2:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/jeremiah-2.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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