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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Jeremiah 14

 

 

Verse 1

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth - literally, "That which was the word of Yahweh to Jeremiah concerning,' etc.

Dearth - literally, the withholdings, namely, of rain (Deuteronomy 11:17; 2 Chronicles 7:13). The reason why this word should be used especially of the withholding of rain is, that rain is in those regions of all things the one chiefly needed, (Jeremiah 17:8, margin)


Verse 2

Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up.

Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish - "the gates," the place of public concourse in each city looks sad, as being no longer frequented (Isaiah 3:26; Isaiah 24:4).

They are black, i:e., they mourn (blackness being indicative of sorrow) (Jeremiah 8:21).

Unto the ground bowing toward it Unto the ground - bowing toward it.

The cry - of distress (1 Samuel 5:12; Isaiah 24:11).


Verse 3

And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads.

Little ones - rather, 'their inferiors,' i:e., domestics.

They came to the pits - cisterns for collecting rain-water, often met with in the East, where there are no springs.

Covered their heads - (2 Samuel 15:30, "David, wept as he went up, and had his head covered"). A sign of humiliation and mourning.


Verse 4

Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 5

Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass.

Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass - the brute creation is reduced to the utmost extremity for the want of food. The hind, famed for her affection to her young, abandons them.


Verse 6

And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.

The wild donkeys did stand in the high places - they repair to "the high places" most exposed to the winds, which they "snuff in" to relieve their thirst.

Eyes - which are usually most keen in detecting grass or water from the 'heights,' so much so that the traveler guesses from their presence that there must be herbage and water near; but now "their eyes fail."

Dragons - jackals (Henderson). Rather the reference is to the great boas and python serpents, which raise a large portion of their body up in a vertical column, 10 or 12 feet high, to survey the neighbourhood above the surrounding bushes, while with open jaws they drink in the air. These giant serpents originated the widely-spread notions which typified the deluge and all destructive agents under the form of a dragon or monster serpent; hence, the dragon temples, always near water, in Asia, Africa, and Britain-e.g., at Abury, in Wiltshire: a symbol of the ark is often associated with the dragon as the preserver from the waters (Kitto's 'Biblical Cyclopaedia')


Verse 7

O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.

Though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it - what we beg of thee; interpose to remove the drought. Jeremiah pleads in the name of his nation (Psalms 109:21). So "work for us," absolutely used (1 Samuel 14:6).

For thy name's sake - for our backslidings are so many' that we cannot urge thee for the sake of our doings, but for the glory of thy name; lest, if thou give us not aid, it should be said it was owing to thy want of power (Joshua 7:9; Psalms 79:9; Psalms 106:8; Isaiah 48:9; Ezekiel 20:44; Ezekiel 36:21-22). The same appeal to God's mercy, "for His name's sake," as our only hope, since our sin precludes trust in ourselves, occurs Psalms 25:11.


Verse 8

O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?

(Jeremiah 17:13) (Jeremiah 17:13).

Hope of Israel. The reference is, not to the faith of Israel, which had almost ceased but to the promise and everlasting covenant of God. None but the true Israel made God their "hope."

Why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night. The traveler cares little for the land he tarries but a night in; but thou hast promised to dwell always in the midst of thy people (2 Chronicles 33:7-8; Psalms 132:14). Maurer translates, 'spreadeth'-namely, his tent.


Verse 9

Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.

Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied - like a 'mighty man,' at other times able to help (Isaiah 59:1), but now stunned by a sudden calamity, so as to disappoint the hopes drawn from him.

Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us - (Exodus 29:45-46, "I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God;" Leviticus 26:11-12).

Called by thy name - (Daniel 9:18-19) as thine own special people (Deuteronomy 9:29).


Verse 10

Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.

Thus saith the Lord - Yahweh's reply to the prayer (Jeremiah 14:7-9; Jeremiah 2:23-25).

Thus - So greatly.

Loved - (Jeremiah 5:31, "My people love to have it so").

Not refrained their feet - they did not obey God's command, "Withhold thy foot" (Jeremiah 2:25) - namely, from following after idols.

He will now remember their iniquity - (Hosea 8:13; Hosea 9:9). Their sin is so great God must punish them.


Verse 11

Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.

Pray not for this people - (Jeremiah 7:16; Exodus 32:10).


Verse 12

When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.

I will not hear - because their prayers are hypocritical; their hearts are still idolatrous. God never refuses to hear real prayer. The cause of his refusing to hear now was, all their services were formal, and unaccompanied with true repentance of their sin (Jeremiah 7:21-22; Proverbs 1:28; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 58:3).

I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence - the three of the most severe judgments at once; any one of which would be enough for their ruin (2 Samuel 24:12-13).


Verse 13

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, the prophets say unto them. Jeremiah urges that much of the guilt of the people is due to the false prophets' influence.

I will give you assured peace - solid and lasting peace-lit, peace of truth (Isaiah 39:8).


Verse 14

Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not - (Jeremiah 23:21).


Verse 15

Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

They say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed - retribution in kind both to the false prophets and to their hearers (Jeremiah 14:16). (See Jeremiah 5:12-13).


Verse 16

And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

None to bury - (Psalms 79:3).

I will pour their wickedness upon them - i:e., the punishment incurred by their wickedness (Jeremiah 2:19).


Verse 17

Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.

Let mine eyes run down with tears - (Jeremiah 9:1; Lamentations 1:16). Jeremiah is desired to weep ceaselessly for the calamities coming on his nation-called a "virgin," as being heretofore never under foreign yoke (Isaiah 37:22).


Verse 18

If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.

The prophet and the priest go about - i:e., shall have to migrate into a land of exile. Horsley translates, 'go trafficking about the land (see margin, Jeremiah 5:31; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Peter 2:3), and take no knowledge' - i:e., pay no regard to the miseries before their eye (Isaiah 1:3; Isaiah 58:3). If the literal sense of the Hebrew verb [caachar] be retained, I would, with the English version, understand the words as referring to the exile to Babylon; thus, 'the prophet and the priest shall have to go to a strange land to practice their religious traffic' (Isaiah 56:11; Ezekiel 34:2-3; Micah 3:11).


Verse 19

Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!

Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? ... - The people plead with God, Jeremiah being forbidden to do so.

Why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing - (Jeremiah 15:18).

We looked for peace, and there is no good - (Jeremiah 7:15).


Verse 20

We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.

We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness - (Daniel 9:8).


Verse 21

Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us. Us - not in the Hebrew: "the throne of thy glory" may be the object of "do not abhor" ('reject not'); or "Zion" (Jeremiah 14:19).

Do not disgrace the throne of thy glory - Jerusalem, or, the temple, called God's "habitation" (Psalms 132:5).

Break not thy covenant - (Psalms 106:45, "He remembered for them his covenant;" Daniel 9:19).


Verse 22

Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

The vanities of the Gentiles - idols (Deuteronomy 32:21).

Rain - (Zechariah 10:1-2, "Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field").

Or can the heavens - namely, of themselves without God (Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17); they are not the First Cause, and ought not to be deified, as they were by the pagan. The disjunctive "or [ w

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 14:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-14.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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