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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Jeremiah 16

 

 

Verse 1

Jeremiah 16:1 The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying,

Ver. 1. The word of the Lord came also unto me.] It is the property of this prophet to handle the same thing several ways, and by sundry effectual arguments. God’s ministers must turn themselves, as it were, into all shapes and fashions, both of speech and spirit, to win people to God.


Verse 2

Jeremiah 16:2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.

Ver. 2. Thou shalt not take thee a wife, &c.] It is very likely that this befell the prophet in a vision. Or, if otherwise, it was but for a sign, and in regard of the great calamity impendent, that he is here forbidden marriage, otherwise lawful enough, and in some cases necessary. The contrary doctrine (such as was that of the Tatian heretics and Popish canonists) is a doctrine of devils. [1 Timothy 4:1]


Verse 3

Jeremiah 16:3 For thus saith the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land;

Ver. 3. For thus saith the Lord concerning the sons - born in this place,] i.e., At Anathoth, say some; but others better, at Jerusalem. So great and grievous shall be the calamity, that married people shall be ready to wish, as Augustus did for another cause, Utinam aut caelebs vixissem, aut orbus periissem, Oh that either I had lived single, or else died childless!


Verse 4

Jeremiah 16:4 They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; [but] they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

Ver. 4. They shall die of grievous deaths.] Heb., Death of diseases or grievances, as did Jehoram, [2 Chronicles 21:18] and Philip II of Spain, &c.; they shall die piecemeal, morte valetudinariorum, by death of the sickrooms, which is a misery, especially if the disease be slow, and yet sharp, as some are.

They shall not be lamented nor buried.] Which are two of the usual dues of the dead.


Verse 5

Jeremiah 16:5 For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, [even] lovingkindness and mercies.

Ver. 5. Enter not into the house of mourning.] Or banquets, whether at burials or bridals. {as Amos 6:7} Of funeral banquets, see Deuteronomy 26:14. These the Greeks called περιδειπνα, the Latins Parentalia. See Jeremiah 16:7.


Verse 6

Jeremiah 16:6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall [men] lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:

Ver. 6. Both the great and the small shall die.] Princes and peasants, lords and lowlies together.

Nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald.] Neque caedetur neque calvabitur. This they had learned of the heathen, and would needs use it, though flatly forbidden them. [Leviticus 19:27-28 Deuteronomy 14:1] Now they were told that they should have little either lust or leisure to do any such matter.


Verse 7

Jeremiah 16:7 Neither shall [men] tear [themselves] for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall [men] give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.

Ver. 7. Neither shall men tear themselves for them.] Or, Neither shall they deal them bread in mourning to comfort any for the dead. Compare Ezekiel 24:17. Of feasting at funerals mention is made by Herodotus, Cicero, Lucian, Pliny, Clement, and Chrysostom. See Jeremiah 16:5.

Neither shall men give them the cup of consolation,] i.e., The consolatory cup, usually given at funerals to the disconsolate friends of the deceased. See on Proverbs 31:6-7.


Verse 8

Jeremiah 16:8 Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink.

Ver. 8. Thou shall not also go into the house of feasting.] Ministers may lawfully go to feasts, [John 2:1-2] but not in times of common calamity. See Isaiah 22:12-14. Pliny (a) telleth us that when in the time of the second Punic war, one Fulvius Argentarius was seen at Rome looking out at a window with a rose garland on his head, the senate sent for him, laid him in prison, and would not suffer him to come forth till the war was at an end.


Verse 9

Jeremiah 16:9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

Ver. 9. Behold, I will cause to cease.] See Jeremiah 7:34. {See Trapp on "Jeremiah 7:34"}


Verse 10

Jeremiah 16:10 And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what [is] our iniquity? or what [is] our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?

Ver. 10. And they shall say unto thee, Wherefore?] This is still the guise of hypocrites, to justify themselves, and quarrel the preacher that reproveth them. See Jeremiah 5:19.

What is our iniquity?] Nature showeth no sin; it is no causeless complaint of a grave divine, that some deal with their souls as others do with their bodies. When their beauty is decayed, they desire to hide it from themselves by false glasses, and from others by painting; so their sins from themselves by false glosses, and from others by excuses.


Verse 11

Jeremiah 16:11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;

Ver. 11. Because your fathers.] See Jeremiah 2:5; Jeremiah 7:24-25.


Verse 12

Jeremiah 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

Ver. 12. And ye have done worse.] See Jeremiah 7:26.

For, behold, ye walk.] See Jeremiah 9:13; Jeremiah 11:8; Jeremiah 13:10.


Verse 13

Jeremiah 16:13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, [neither] ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.

Ver. 13. Therefore I will cast you.] Jeremiah 10:18. Because ye have sinned wilfully and willingly, ye shall be cast out of this land, though full sore against your wills.

And there shall ye serve other gods.] (a) Will ye nill ye (for a just punishment of your voluntary idolatries); being compelled by your imperious enemies so to do, except ye will taste of the whip, as now the Turks’ galley slaves.

Where I will not show you favour.] This was a cutting speech, and far worse than their captivity; like as that was a sweet promise, "They shall be as if I had not cast them off, and I will hear them." [Zechariah 10:6]


Verse 14

Jeremiah 16:14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

Ver. 14. Therefore. behold.] Or, Notwithstanding, scil., these grievous threatenings and extreme desolations. Thus the Lord still remembereth his remnant, and the covenant made with them. Ministers also must comfort the precious, as well as threaten the vile and vicious. Evangelizatum, non maledictum missus es: laudo zelum, modo non desideretur mansuetudo, said Oecolampadius to Farellus in a certain epistle - Thou wert sent to preach gospel, and not law only; to pour off as well as wine into wounded consciences. I commend thy zeal, so it be tempered with "meekness of wisdom."

That it shall no more be said,] i.e., Not so much be said: the lustre of this deliverance shall in some sort dim the lustre of that, but both must be perpetually celebrated.


Verse 15

Jeremiah 16:15 But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

Ver. 15. But the Lord liveth, &c.] Or, "Let the Lord live, and let the God of our salvation be exalted." [Psalms 18:46] {See Trapp on "Psalms 18:46"} How much more, then, should our redemption from sin, death, and hell by Jesus Christ obscure all temporal deliverance! See for this Jeremiah 23:7-8 cf. Jeremiah 3:16.


Verse 16

Jeremiah 16:16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

Ver. 16. Behold, I will send for many fishers, &c.] scil., To enclose in their αμφιβληστορα, large and capacious nets, whole shoals of them together. These were the Chaldees, whom God sent for, arcano instinctu cordium, by putting it into their hearts to come up against Jerusalem. Howbeit, some by fishers understand the Egyptians, who lived much by fishing, and by hunters the Chaldeans. {as Genesis 10:8-9}

And they shall hunt them.] Out of all their starting holes and lurking places, as the Romans afterwards pulled them out of their secret places, &c.


Verse 17

Jeremiah 16:17 For mine eyes [are] upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.

Ver. 17. For mine eyes are upon all their ways.] And though they hide me from themselves, yet can they not hide themselves from me possibly, nor from my hunters, who shall ferret them out.


Verse 18

Jeremiah 16:18 And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.

Ver. 18. And first,] i.e., Before I restore them. I will recompense their iniquity and their sin

double,] i.e., Abundantly. (a) I will have my full pennyworths of them; not double to their deserts, {as Isaiah 40:2; Isaiah 60:1}

With the careases,] i.e., With their idolatries, more odious and loathsome than any stinking carcases can be.


Verse 19

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and [things] wherein [there is] no profit.

Ver. 19. My refuge.] Better than those of the fugitive Jews, out of which they were hunted and murdered.

The Gentiles shall come to thee.] By faith and repentance.


Verse 20

Jeremiah 16:20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they [are] no gods?

Ver. 20. Should a man make gods to himself?] Nonne res haec stupore digna? Is not this a strange sottishness? The Gentiles here see it, and yet the Papists will not.


Verse 21

Jeremiah 16:21 Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name [is] The LORD.

Ver. 21. I will for this once.] And "this once" shall stand for all. Affliction shall not rise up the second time. [Nahum 1:9]

And I will make them to know.] Effectu magis quam affectu. Effecting more than affecting.

My hand and my might,] i.e., My mighty hand, mine irresistible power in their just punishment.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-16.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, September 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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