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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Jeremiah 13

 

 

Verse 1

Jeremiah 13:1 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.

Ver. 1. Go, get thee a linen girdle.] Or, Belt, or swath.

And put it not in water.] Or, Lye, to wash it or whiten it; but take it as it is first made, Ut sorditiem magis contrahat, to show, say some, that the Jewish nation, when first chosen, was black by sin and nothing amiable; better skilled and exercised in making mortar and bricks in Egypt than in the worship of God and in good manners.

Or put it not in water,] i.e., Keep it from being rotted, as a type of God’s care of, and kindness to, that people.


Verse 2

Jeremiah 13:2 So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put [it] on my loins.

Ver. 2. So I got a girdle.] God is to be obeyed readily, and without questioning.


Verse 3

Jeremiah 13:3 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,

Ver. 3. And the word of the Lord came to me.] Heb., Was to me. "At sundry times," (a) or piecemeal, God spake to his servants the prophets. [Hebrews 1:1]


Verse 4

Jeremiah 13:4 Take the girdle that thou hast got, which [is] upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.

Ver. 4. Arise, go to Euphrates.] A river which ran by Babylon, six hundred and fourscore miles from Jerusalem. The prophet’s journey therefore thither seemeth to have been but visional, as was Isaiah’s going barefoot, Hosea’s marriage with a whore, Ezekiel’s lying on one side three hundred and ninety days together; his journey from Chaldea to Jerusalem. [Ezekiel 8:3-4]


Verse 5

Jeremiah 13:5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.

Ver. 5. So I went and hid it by Euphrates.] In the cliff of a rock, where it might lie dry, never once asking the reason. This was simple and acceptable obedience, far beyond that of the Popish novices, who yet if their padres or superiors send them to China or Peru, without dispute or delay they do presently set forward.


Verse 6

Jeremiah 13:6 And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.

Ver. 6. And it came to pass after many days.] See on Jeremiah 13:3.


Verse 7

Jeremiah 13:7 Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.

Ver. 7. Then I went to Euphrates.] See on Jeremiah 13:4. Those that are for an actual journey allege that Jeremiah might do this without danger in the days of Jehoiakim, who was the King of Babylon’s vassal, and paid him tribute.

And, behold, the girdle was rotted, it was profitable for nothing.] This showed that the Jews should in that country lie rotting, as it were, in baseness, and servility, and sin together many years, so that God might justly have left them there still in misery, as a man leaves his rotten girdle to become dung.


Verse 8

Jeremiah 13:8 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ver. 8. Then the word, &c.] Adaptat simile. fit simile, See Jeremiah 13:3.


Verse 9

Jeremiah 13:9 Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.

Ver. 9. After this manner will I mar the pride.] Their pomp and power, wherein they pride themselves.


Verse 10

Jeremiah 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.

Ver. 10. This evil people.] Populus ille pessimus; these Poneropolitans, who are naught all over, nequitia cooperti.

Walk in the imagination of their heart.] See Jeremiah 9:13; Jeremiah 11:8.


Verse 11

Jeremiah 13:11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.

Ver. 11. So have I caused to cleave unto me.] For nearness and dearness; the loins are the seat of strongest desires and affections.

And for a name and for a praise.] That I might be magnified and glorified in them, and for them also, among other nations.


Verse 12

Jeremiah 13:12 Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?

Ver. 12. Therefore.] Or, Moreover.

Thou shalt speak unto them this word.] This other paradigm or parable; an excellent way of teaching, and much used in both Testaments.

Every bottle shall be filled with wine.] Wine they loved well, and a great vintage they now expected. They shall have it, saith God; but of another nature than they look for. Their heads (not altogether unlike bottles for roundness and emptiness of all good) shall be filled with a dry drunkenness, even with errors and terrors, a spirit of giddiness, &c.

Do we not certainly know? &c.] This they seem to speak insolently and jeeringly - q.d., you should tell us some news.


Verse 13

Jeremiah 13:13 Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.

Ver. 13. Behold, I will fill.] Heb., Lo, I am filling; but the liquor is such as whereof you shall have small joy. See Jeremiah 13:12.


Verse 14

Jeremiah 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.

Ver. 14. And I will dash them one against another.] As so many earthen bottles, brittle and soon broken. Si collidimur frangimur, If smashed and broken said those in the fable.


Verse 15

Jeremiah 13:15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.

Ver. 15. Hear, and give ear.] Or, Hear and hearken, be not naughty. Here the prophet calleth upon them again to repent, and to that end to listen diligently, and to lay aside the highness of their hearts and the stoutness of their stomachs, since it is the Lord that speaketh. "The lion roareth; who can but fear?" [Amos 3:8] Repentance is the Removens prohibens, as being founded in humility, and wrought by the word preached. [Jonah 3:4-10 Acts 2:37-41]


Verse 16

Jeremiah 13:16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, [and] make [it] gross darkness.

Ver. 16. Give glory to the Lord your God.] Confess your sins; [Joshua 7:19] one part of repentance put for the whole. Jeremiah was as constant a preacher of repentance, as Paul, and after him Augustine, were of the free grace of God. The impenitent person robbeth God of his right; the penitent man sarcit iniuriam Deo irrogatam, seemeth to make some kind of amends to God, whom he had wronged, by restoring him his glory, which he had run away with, while he putteth himself into the hands of justice, in hope of mercy.

Before he cause darkness,] scil., Of calamity and captivity. Currat poenitentia, ne praecurrat sententia.

Before your feet stumble.] (a) So, before ye fall upon the dark and dangerous crags and precipices of eternal perdition. Which, to prevent, work while the light lasteth; walk while it is yet day.


Verse 17

Jeremiah 13:17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for [your] pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’S flock is carried away captive.

Ver. 17. My soul shall weep in secret places.] Good men are apt to weep, Et faciles motus mens generosa capit. Good ministers should be full of compassionate tears, weeping in secret for their people’s unprofitableness, and their danger thereby. The breast and right shoulder of the sacrifice belonged to the priest, to show that he should be a breast to love, and a shoulder to support the people in their troubles and burdens.


Verse 18

Jeremiah 13:18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, [even] the crown of your glory.

Ver. 18. Say to the king and to the queen.] Or Madam, the lady or mistress; that is, to the queen regent, even to Necustah, the mother of Jeconiah, say the Jews. When Beza, in the behalf of the reformed churches in France, made a speech at Possiacum before the young king and the queen mother, he spake so effectually, saith Rivet, that a great cardinal who heard it wished that either he had been dumb that day, or that they had all been deaf. This king and queen in the text might be as much convinced, though not thoroughly converted.

Humble yourselves, sit down.] Heb., Humble, sit below.

For your principalities.] Or, Your head attires.

The crown of your glory.] Or, Your crown of glory; that is, your glorious crown, of which you shall have cause enough to say, as Antigonus did of his diadem, O vilis pannus, &c. Or, as another monarch,

Nobilis es, fateor, rutilisque onerata lapillis,

Innumeris curis sod comitata venis:

Quod bene si nossent omnes expendere, nemo,

Nemo foret quite tollere vellet humo. ”


Verse 19

Jeremiah 13:19 The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open [them]: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.

Ver. 19. The cities of the south shall be shut up,] i.e., The cities of Egypt, whither ye think to flee, shall be shut up against you, through fear of the Chaldees.


Verse 20

Jeremiah 13:20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where [is] the flock [that] was given thee, thy beautiful flock?

Ver. 20. Lift up your eyes, &c.] Still he bespeaketh the king and the queen.

Where is the flock that was given thee?] Thee, O queen regent (for the pronoun is feminine), or thee, O state; Redde, Vare, legiones, said Augustus, bewailing the loss of so many gallant soldiers in Germany, under the command of Varus, who was there also slain.

Thy beautiful flock.] Heb., Thy flock of goodliness. See Proverbs 14:28. {See Trapp on "Proverbs 14:28"}


Verse 21

Jeremiah 13:21 What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them [to be] captains, [and] as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?

Ver. 21. For thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee,] scil., By thy crouching unto them, and craving their help, thou hast made the Chaldeans masters of all thou hast. So did the British princes Vortiger and Vortimer bring in the Saxons here, and the Greeks the Turks.


Verse 22

Jeremiah 13:22 And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, [and] thy heels made bare.

Ver. 22. Are thy skirts discovered.] Thou art brought to most miserable shame and servitude, having scarce a rag to thy back, or a shoe for thy foot.


Verse 23

Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Ver. 23. Can the Ethiopian change his skin?] Proverbial speeches arguing a very great difficulty, if not an utter impossibility, Aethiopem abluo ut candidum reddam, said Diogenes, when he reproved an ill man to no purpose; I do but wash a blackamore. And the like said Nazianzen concerning Julian the apostate. It is said that the negroes paint the devil white, as being a colour contrary to their own, and which they less well affect. Will the Ethiopian change his skin? so the Hebrew hath it.

Or the leopard his spots.] Sin is in us as the spots of a leopard, not by accident, but by nature, which no art can cure, no water wash off; because they are not in the skin, but in the flesh and bones, in the sinews and in the most inner parts. Where then is man’s freewill to good? &c.

Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.] Custom in sin takes away the sense of it, and becomes a second nature; which, though expelled with a fork, as it were, will yet return again. It looks for continual entertainment where it hath once gotten a haunt, as humours fall toward their old issue. Canis qui semel didicerit edere corium, nunquam desistet, A dog who at times learns to eat flesh, will never stop, saith Lucian; an evil custom is not easy left. Nothing so weak as water; yet let much water (so sin, Satan, and custom) be joined together, and nothing stronger. It was not for nothing, therefore, that the Cretans, when they would curse their enemies with most bitter execrations, they wished that they might take delight in some or other evil custom. Modestoque voti genere efficacissimum ultionis genus reperiunt, saith the historian; (a) by a modest kind of wish they sufficiently avenged themselves.


Verse 24

Jeremiah 13:24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.

Ver. 24. Therefore I will scatter them.] This was no small aggravation of their misery, that they should be thus severed one from another. So the persecutors of the primitive times relegated and confined the poor Christians to isles and mines, where they could not have access one to another for mutual comfort and support, as Cyprian complaineth. (a)


Verse 25

Jeremiah 13:25 This [is] thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.

Ver. 25. This is thy lot.] Look for no better, since thou, by going after lying vanities, forsakest thine own mercies, being miserable by thine own election.

Because thou hast forgotten me.]

Esque oblita mei; vitiorumque oblita caeno.


Verse 26

Jeremiah 13:26 Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.

Ver. 26. Therefore I will discover thy skirts.] Since thou hast discovered and prostituted thyseff to other lovers, I will shame thee before all men.


Verse 27

Jeremiah 13:27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, [and] thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when [shall it] once [be]?

Ver. 27. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean?] He closeth with this emphatic and most affectionate contestation, pressing them to hearty and speedy repentance, as he had done oft before, but with little good success. The cock crowed, though Peter still denied his Master. Peter knocked still, though Rhoda opened not to him. He launched out into the deep, though he had laboured all night for nothing. So did good Jeremiah here, in obedience to God, and goodwill to his unworthy countrymen.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 13:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-13.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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