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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Jeremiah 6

 

 

Verses 1-30

III. Recapitulation, consisting of a combination of the points already presented: the call to return, announcement of punishment and its reasons

( Jeremiah 6:1-26)

1. Exhortation to flee from Jerusalem

Jeremiah 6:1-8

1 Flee, ye children of Benjamin, out of Jerusalem,

And in Blow[FN1] (Tekoa) blow the trumpet,

And over the vineyard (Beth-hakkerem) erect the signal,[FN2]

For calamity threatens from the north and great ruin.

2 Thou art like the meadow, the tenderly cared for,

O daughter of Zion.

3 Against her shall come shepherds and their flocks

And pitch their tents against her round about,

And depasture each his spot.

4 Sanctify war against her!

“Arise, let us go up at noon!

Wo to us, for the day has turned,

For the shadows of evening are lengthening.

5 Arise, and let us go up in the night

And destroy her palaces!”

6 For thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth,

Fell her trees,[FN3] and raise a rampart[FN4] against Jerusalem!

She is the city of which it is ascertained

That nothing but rude violence is found in her.

7 As a spring[FN5] poureth forth its waters

So she poureth forth her wickedness.

Injustice and desolation are heard of in her,

Sickness and wounds are continually before me.

8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest my soul be forced from thee,

Lest I make thee desolate, a land uninhabited.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

That Jeremiah 6:1-8 form a strophe is seen partly from their close connection ( Jeremiah 6:6 traces the undertaking of the besiegers to a divine command), partly from the fact that the eight verses contain the complete cycle of the fundamental thought of the prophet, announcement of judgment, statement of reasons ( Jeremiah 6:6-7) and call to reform ( Jeremiah 6:8). At the same time however a climax is evident on a comparison with the preceding context. For the prophet here sees the judgment upon Jerusalem so near its accomplishment that he already earnestly admonishes to flight those who live to the south of this city.

Jeremiah 6:1. Flee, ye children of Benjamin . . great ruin.—Flee, comp. Jeremiah 4:6.—Children [sons] of Benjamin is explained without doubt by the circumstance that Benjaminites formed a part (probably the principal part. Comp. Graf, Winer, R W. B, s. v., Jerusalem) of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. According to the original settlement of boundaries ( Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16) Jerusalem belonged entirely to Benjamin. But even before David’s time it was inhabited by Ju-deans ( Joshua 15:63) and Benjaminites ( Judges 1:21). Since David’s time, being the capital of the whole country, it also belonged to the whole people (comp. Raumer, Paläst. S. 339) and doubtless had inhabitants from all the tribes, which would not however exclude Judeans and Benjaminites from forming the bulk of the population. Jeremiah’s mentioning only the latter may be explained by the fact that he himself was of the tribe of Benjamin ( Jeremiah 1:1).—From [from the midst] is an antithesis to towards Zion, 46. While there they were called upon to flee to Jerusalem, where at first they would find safety, now they are exhorted to flee from Jerusalem.—תְּקּועַ (to blow, blow, Germ, stossen, Stoss. Comp. the place named Stoss in Appenzell, Switz.) is mentioned partly for the sake of the paronomasia and partly because it is a prominent point to the south of Jerusalem; for after the capital, the bulwark of the South, has fallen, this also is threatened and must think of flight. Tekoa lay9 to12 m. p. south from Jerusalem. It is mentioned in 1 Samuel 14:2; Amos 1:1, etc. Jerome says on this passage, “ Thecuam quoque viculum esse in rnonte situm, et 12 millibusab Hierosolyrnis separatum quotidie oculis cernimus.” According to Robinson (II:406) [Thomson, The Land and the Book, II. p424] the place is stilli called Tekua, and is situated on a mountain covered with ruins.—For a similar paronomasia Vid. Micah 1:10 sqq.—בֵּית־הַכֶּרֵם is mentioned; only here and in Nehemiah 3:14. Jerome testifies : that it was a considerable elevation, near to Tekoa.—According to Pococke it is the Frank mountain, “an insulated, lofty cone.” Comp. Raumer, Paläst., S223 [Robinson, Bill. Res. II, pp174, 182–184. Ritter, Geog. III, p96.—S. R, A.] מַשִׂאֵת from its radical meaning of elatio obtains a variety of derivative significations. See the Lexicons. Here as in Judges 20:38; Judges 20:40, it denotes the sign raised high aloft, (else where נֵם).—For calamity, comp46.

Jeremiah 6:2. Thou art like the meadow . . . daughter of Zion. The passage is difficult, and has been very variously explained. נָוָה is taken in the sense of “meadow” (Luther, Neumann); habitatrix (Venema); shepherdess (Seb. Schmidt). Most commentators render it = נָאוָה ( Song of Solomon 2:14; Song of Solomon 4:3; Song of Solomon 5:3) pulchra, formosa. מִעֻנָּגָה from עָנַגdelicate vixit (Pual here only) is without doubt = delicate habita, which is always well cared for, spared, never roughly handled, comp. הְָעַגֻגָה, Deuteronomy 28:56; Isaiah 47:1.—דּמיתי 1. assimilavi (Vulg, Kimcai, Abarb, Pagn, Tremell, Pisoator, etc.); 2. similis facta es (Syr.); 3. similis sum (Seb. Schmidt); 4. periisti mihi (Venema); 5. as fair and luxurious have I imagined the daughter of Zion (derived from the meaning “ to compare, ” comp. Song of Solomon 2:17; Song of Solomon 8:14; Fuerst); 6. the fair and luxurious—I mean the daughter of Zion—to her come, etc. (Ewald, Meier); 7. I make still (Neumann), exterminate (so most recent commentators). The connection requires without doubt the meaning of gay, well-tended and well-preserved meadow. For after, in Jeremiah 6:1, a grievous calamity in general is set in immediate prospect before Jerusalem, we see from Jeremiah 6:3 more particularly that this calamity will consist in a visitation of rough shepherds, who will ruthlessly depasture and desolate Jerusalem with their flocks. In contrast with its later condition, Jerusalem before its desolation can be represented under no more suitable figure than that of a meadow well-preserved and tended by its owner with special predilection. נָוָה designates not only a visitation generally, but also a pastoral visitation in particular (caula cum pascuo, Fuerst), as is clear from Job 8:6; coll. Zephaniah 2:6. Comp. נָאוֹת, Jeremiah 9:9; Jeremiah 23:10; Jeremiah 25:36. דָּמָה is indisputably = similis fuit ( Psalm 89:7; Psalm 52:7; Psalm 144:4, etc.) It is usually construed with לְ (see the passages cited) or with אֵל ( Ezekiel 31:8). But that it may also have the subject compared, without a preposition, in the nominative is seen from Ezekiel 32:2, where it reads כְּפִיר גּוֹים נִדְמֵיתָ, i. e., a lion among the nations art thou compared. Comp. Isaiah 38:13. The meanings of Niphal and Kal intrans. here, as frequently, coincide. The construction is explained thus, that נִדְמָה,דָּמָה properly signify: to be as a comparison, as a thing compared; Egypt is (in Ezek. l. c.) compared; i. e, by way of comparison, figuratively designates, a lion. Israel (in this passage) is as a figure or comparison a meadow—דָּמִיתִי I take as the Syriac did, according to the frequent usage in Jeremiah (comp. on Jeremiah 2:20) as 2 Pers. Fem.—The Masoretes have not added in the Keri the regular form here as in the other passages, which may be explained by the circumstance that they took דמיתי as the 1 person. The article before נָוה is generic as in Jeremiah 4:25; comp. Naegelsb, § 71, 4, a.—ו before הַמְעֻנָּנָה is epexegetical = and indeed, comp. Naegelsb.Gr., § 111, 1 a.

Jeremiah 6:3. Against her shall come shepherds … each his spot. The enemies are compared with shepherds, who break in with flocks and ruthlessly depasture and tread down. Comp. Micah 5:4-5.—And pitch their tents, etc., comp. Jeremiah 1:15.—יָד side, place, spot. Comp. Leviticus 2:17; Deuteronomy 23:13; Isaiah 56:5.

Jeremiah 6:4. Sanctify war against her . . the shadows of evening are lengthening.—Sanctify as in Joel 4:9; Micah 3:5; Zephaniah 1:7; Jeremiah 22:7; Jeremiah 51:27. The expression refers to the solemn ceremonies attending the proclamation and commencement of war. Comp. Ezekiel 21:26 sqq.—This and the following are calls made from the midst of the enemy.—The expressions exhibit the zeal of the enemy with dramatic liveliness. This zeal is so great that the unfavorable time of the day even cannot detain them. At noon, when the heat usually compels all to rest they depart, and when the evening comes they deplore it, but instead of going to rest prepare at once for the assault.—Has turned. Comp. Psalm 90:9, [all our days turn away].

Jeremiah 6:5. Arise, and let us go up … destroy her palaces, אַרְמְנוֹת is translated by Schnurrer and Ewald, here and in Jeremiah 9:20, by lofty buildings, in order to comprise the fortifications. But here, as frequently, the expression denotes the final object, the completion of the work of destruction. Comp. Jeremiah 17:27; Amos 1:4.

Jeremiah 6:6. For thus saith Jehovah .. found in her. The besieging of Jerusalem by its enemies is not a baseless, vain undertaking. It rests on a double, solid ground: 1. Immediately on a divine command (כִּרְתוּ); 2. mediately on the ungodliness of Israel, which provokes the vengeance of Jehovah (כֻּלָּהּ עשֶׁק וגו׳ to Jeremiah 6:7, fin.)—Fell her trees is evidently an allusion to Deuteronomy 20:19-20, where it is commanded that Israel when they besiege a city, are not to cut down all the trees for the purposes of the siege (walls and machines.—Comp. Winer, R. W. B., and HerzogReal-Enc. Art. Festungen). Here the enemy is commanded to do the exact contrary. Thus it is rendered evident how savage the enemy is and what Israel has to expect. The latter are so ungodly that the enemy is excused from those considerations which were imposed on the Israelites themselves in war. If this passage is thus based on Deuteronomy 20:19-20, we are then justified in regarding כִּרְתוּ עֵצָה as a verbal reminiscence.—The following sentence is construed in three ways: 1. Hæc illa urbs—punitur quantaquanta est—oppressio in ea; 2. hæc est urbs in quam animadvertitur,—tota illa oppressio in ea; 3. urbs ista—exploratum Esther, quod non est nisi oppressio in ea.—Of these interpretations the first must be unconditionally rejected, for כֻּלָּהּ is as unnecessary with הָפְקַד, as it is necessary to what follows. The second is the most generally adopted. But the abrupt הפקד is flat; we expect a stronger word and the imperfect, since the visitation is impending. I therefore prefer the third interpretation, adopted by Abarbanel and Seb. Schmidt. Since כָקד=explorare (comp. Psalm 17:13; Job 7:18) הָפְקד may well mean exploratum est. This agrees excellently with what follows: that their inward part is full of thoughts of violence is confirmed by the fact that, they well forth these like a spring its waters; the cry thereof is heard, the effects there-of are visible ( Jeremiah 6:7). Levit5:23 also evidently hovered before the mind of the prophet. Since there only besides the Hophal occurs, though with another meaning; so there also is found the idea of עשֶׁק. For the restoration is there alluded to of that which any one has appropriated by violence (עשֶׁק) or by illegal retention of property entrusted to him. Though the thought in general is a very different one, yet a comparison of this passage explains (a) why the prophet here designates the sin of Israel as עשֶׁק (b) the choice of the singular word הָפְקַד; also (c) the article in הָעיר is satisfactorily explained, if the prophet refers to a former utterance. כֻלָהּ עשֶׁק בְּקרְבָּהּ is a confusio duarum constructionum, כֻּלָּהּ עשֵׁק and עשֶׁק בֶּקִרְבָּהּ.

Jeremiah 6:7. As a spring. … continually before me.—The Inf. הָקיר points to a root קוּר, from which besides only קַרְתִּי ( 2 Kings 19:24; Isaiah 37:25). The following הֵקֵרָה presupposes a root קרר, from which no verbal form occurs in the Old Test. Yet by virtue of the relationship of the verbs עו׳ and עע׳ it not rarely happens that the same word derives forms from both conjugations. Comp. Ewald, § 114, a.—The interpretation is difficult of הֵקֵרָה הָקִיר and קוּר בּוֹר means: to dig ( 2 Kings 19:24), but קָרר means (after מְקֵרָה קֹר, coldness, קַר fresh), to be cold, fresh. The meaning to pour forth therefore seems to suit neither the one nor the other of these two roots. Hence after the example of the LXX. and Jerome many commentators have interpreted the passage thus: “As the cisterns keep their water cool, so Jerusalem keeps its wickedness constantly fresh” (Graf). This rendering seems to be supported by בּוֹר meaning not spring, but pit, cistern. I cannot nevertheless regard this explanation as correct; for1. the connection is opposed to it, according to our explanation, but also aside from this are heard of and before me afterwards require the meaning of to bring forth, reveal. 2. Although the root קוּר in the single passage where it occurs has the meaning to dig, yet even in this place it is used of digging for water, and must include a reference to springing water, while the only noun derived from it is מָקוֹר, which certainly does not denote a pit or cistern, but a spring or fountain, since, as it is generally used only in a poetic and figurative sense (comp. fountain of blood, Leviticus 12:7; Leviticus 20:18; fountain of tears, Leviticus 8:23) it expresses the idea of a spring in its highest and most original sense. Accordingly this meaning of to spring, to pour forth, is certainly not ascribed to הָקיר without reason. As to בּוֹר, it certainly does in itself denote a pit or cistern. But in the later books it also designates a pit, in which water is springing, a well-spring (puteus): Proverbs 5:16 : Ecclesiastes 12:6.—Injustice and desolation [Violence and spoil] is a standing formula; Jeremiah 20:18; Ezekiel 45:9; Amos 3:10; coll. Habakkuk 1:3are heard (comp. Isaiah 60:18) and the following before me are explained by the preceding poureth forth, as all three members of the sentence afford proof of the fact ascertained, Jeremiah 6:6.—In are continually before me there is a climax; not only are deeds of violence heard of, but their most palpable effects are continually being witnessed.

Jeremiah 6:8. Be warned, O Jerusalem … a land uninhabited. Here also as above ( Jeremiah 3:1; Jeremiah 3:7; Jeremiah 3:12-22; Jeremiah 4:1; Jeremiah 4:3-4; Jeremiah 4:14, etc.) the prophet uses the threatening of punishment as a support for a call to repentance. The Lord’s heart is still towards Jerusalem, though it is to be feared that it will be alienated from the stiff-necked, impenitent people. תקע from יָקע (to be thrust away, to turn away) occurs only in the imperfect, while the perfect forms are formed from נָקַע. Comp. Ezekiel 23:17-18.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Jeremiah 6:1—[“It is singular that the Sept. render this in Jeremiah 4:6, ‘Haste ye,’ and here ‘Be ye strong.’ The Targum renders it ‘migrate’ or, remove ye. The idea of assembling it never has.—Where Blayney got the phrase, ‘Retire in a body’ it is difficult to say.” Ed. of Calvin.—S. R. A.]

FN#2 - Jeremiah 6:1—[“The word has no connection with ‘fire,’ as mentioned in our version, which has been derived from the Rabbins Blayney’s rendering is ‘light, up a fire—beacon,’ but the words admit of no such meaning”. Ed. of Calvin.—S. R. A.]

FN#3 - Jeremiah 6:6—עֵצָה is not to be regarded as a fem. collective form (comp. דָנָה) which does not occur elsewhere, but ה is the suffix without mappik, as frequently ( Exodus 9:18; Numbers 15:28; Psalm 48:14; Ew. § 247, d; Olsh. § 40, c; Naegelsb. § 44, 4, Anm.) The LXX. Vulg. Syr. and several Codd. in De Rossi also express the suffix.

FN#4 - Jeremiah 6:6.—שָׁפַךְ סֹלְלָה is the standing mode of expression, so much so that סללה occurs only in this connection, 2 Samuel 20:15; 2 Kings 19:32; Isaiah 37:33; Ezekiel 4:2; Ezekiel 17:17; Ezekiel 21:27; Ezekiel 26:8; Daniel 11:15.

FN#5 - Jeremiah 6:7.—It is probable that בּוֹד here stands for בֹּאד, as the Masoretes suppose to have happened, vice versa, in 2 Samuel 23:15-16; 2 Samuel 23:20. This is also proved by the fem. suffix in מֵימֶיהָ. For בּוֹר, pit is masc, while בֹֹּאר is fem. This change of gender between the noun and the suffix is probably also the ground of the Keri בַּיר, which does not occur elsewhere. On the construction comp. Jeremiah 5:16, and Naegelsb. Gr., 95, 2.

2. THE PROPHET IS COMPELLED BY AN INWARD PRESSURE TO ANNOUNCE THE JUDGMENT OF EXTERMINATION, NOTWITHSTANDING THE UNWILLINGNESS TO HEAR ON ACCOUNT OF THE UNIVERSAL HORRIBLE CORRUPTION

Jeremiah 6:9-15

9 Thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth:

They shall glean the remnant of Israel as a vine.

Turn again and again thine hand[FN6] as a grape-gatherer to the baskets.

10 To[FN7] whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear?

Behold their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken.

Behold the word of Jehovah is a mockery to them;

They have no delight in it.

11 But I am full of the fury of Jehovah,

I cannot longer restrain myself.[FN8]

Pour out over the child in the street

And over the company of youths together;

For both man and wife shall be taken,

The aged with him that is full of days.

12 And their houses shall come to others,

Fields and wives together,

For I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land,

Saith Jehovah.

13 For from the least to the greatest all are given to covetousness,

And from the prophet to the priest they practice deceit.

14 And healed the hurt of the daughter[FN9] of my people most slightly,

Saying: Peace, Peace! And[FN10] there is no peace.

15 They are put to shame,[FN11] for they wrought abominations,

Yet they blush not, nor[FN12] know how to be ashamed.[FN13]

Therefore will they fall with them that fall.

At the time that I visit them, they will be overthrown,

Saith Jehovah.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

This strophe reproduces with some modification one side of the fundamental thought of the discourse: under a new figure (that of gleaning) the prophet announces the entire destruction of the people ( Jeremiah 6:9). Here however the thought occurs to him that he is really speaking in vain, because nobody wishes to hear him ( Jeremiah 6:10). This objection is removed by the fact that the prophet cannot be silent. He therefore gives free course to the prophetic impulse to pour out upon the whole people the fulness of the divine wrath ( Jeremiah 6:11-12), which they have so richly deserved by their sins, (pre-eminently of covetousness, deceit and shamelessness, Jeremiah 6:13-15).

Jeremiah 6:9. Thus saith Jehovah … to the baskets. Not hastily but carefully is the divine judgment executed: thorough work is done, as in gleaning ( Isaiah 24:13; Obadiah 1:5; Jeremiah 49:9). These words seem also to refer to a precept of the Law, namely, to that which expressly forbade the Israelites to glean ( Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 24:21). The case is the same here as with Fell her trees, Jeremiah 6:6. This gleaning does not of course contradict what was said in Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:10; Jeremiah 5:18.—I will not utterly make an end. Even in gleaning something may be left. Comp. Isaiah 6:11 sqq.; Zechariah 13:8-9.—סַלְסִלּוֹת here only. Ewald, Hitzig, Graf, Meier, appealing to זַלְזַלִּים, Isaiah 18:5 coll. תַּלְתַּלִּים, Song of Solomon 5:11, סַנְסַנִּים, Song of Solomon 7:9, would give it the meaning of “branches, tendrils,” which they also regard as favored by the connection, since הָשִׁיב יָד denotes to turn the hand against any one with a hostile intention (comp. Amos 1:8; Isaiah 1:25; Psalm 81:15). But in the first place the plucking of grapes is not a hostile Acts, but a kindness to the vine. Secondly, the connection requires the idea of repetition, so that the phrase must not be taken in the sense of the passages cited, but much more according to the analogy of Psalm 72:10; 2 Kings 3:4; 2 Kings 17:3; as to turn back again and again. Thirdly, the mention of the basket portrays much more vividly the fate of the grapes than the mention of the branch would; for the former sets before us the grapes as definitively separated from the vine. Fourthly, the linguistic relations are in favor of the rendering “basket,” for the word most nearly related, םַל, decidedly has this meaning ( Genesis 40:16-17 : Levit29:3).

Jeremiah 6:10. To whom shall I speak … delight in it. After in Jeremiah 6:9 he has presented to their view the extremity to which they would be reduced, the objection occurs to the prophet that all his speaking is in vain.—Uncircumcised is used in the Old Test. of the ear in this place only. In the New Test. comp. Acts 7:51. Of the heart, Leviticus 26:41; Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 9:25; Ezekiel 44:7; Ezekiel 44:9. Of the lips, Exodus 6:12; Exodus 6:30. We see from and they cannot hearken that it designates a substantial incapability, which, however, is guilty, as hardness of heart and perversity. Amockery, comp. Jeremiah 20:7-8.

Jeremiah 6:11. But I am full of the fury … full of days. The objection raised in Jeremiah 6:10 is removed by the impossibility of keeping silence. On the subject comp. Jeremiah 20:9.—The prophet feels as though the Lord’s fury were his own, and he is so full of it that it is with him as in Matthew 12:34 [out of the abundance of the heart, etc.].—Pour, etc. The change of the person is here just as in Turn, etc., Jeremiah 6:9. The Lord, whose fury he cannot restrain, calls to him to pour it out. With Ewald then to change to שָׁפוֹך is quite unnecessary. The fury shall be poured over the whole people, irrespective of sex or age. Comp. Jeremiah 18:21; Lamentations 2:21.—On company of youth comp. Jeremiah 15:17.—יִלָּכֵדוּ is to be taken in the wider sense=to be caught, comp. Joshua 7:15.—זָקֵן is the aged man without respect to his vigor, the man “full of days” is he who is superannuated and decrepit.

Jeremiah 6:12-13. And their houses … practice deceit. Comp. Jeremiah 8:10 sqq.—נָסַבּוּ as in 1 Kings 2:15; Numbers 36:7-8. The prophet seems to be thinking of this latter passage in the same antithetical way, as of the passages from the Law in Jeremiah 6:6; Jeremiah 6:9. Comp. also Deuteronomy 28:30.—I will stretch. Comp. Jeremiah 15:6.—In Jeremiah 6:13 begins a repeated enumeration of the sins of the people as forming a motive for the fury described in Jeremiah 6:11. The faults of covetousness, deceit and wantonness which smothered shame, are here rendered prominent. It seems as though the prophet as in Jeremiah 5. has still in mind the antithesis of אְֶמוּנָה—given to covetousness. The prophet seems to have thought of Isaiah 56:11. Comp. Kueper, S. 144. The same expression also in Proverbs 1:19; Proverbs 15:27; Habakkuk 2:9; Ezekiel 22:27.

Jeremiah 6:14. And healed the hurt … no peace. This is the deceit, or at least one and a very important kind of deceit, which the priests and prophets practised, that they designated (as was certainly to their material interest.) the course adopted by the people and the princes as true and saving. Comp. Jeremiah 14:14 sqq.; Jeremiah 23:9-40; Jeremiah 27:14-15; Jeremiah 28:1-10.—healed is intended ironically. The aorist denotes that they have done this hitherto.—And there is no peace. Comp. Micah 3:5; Ezekiel 13:10 and supra, Jeremiah 4:10.

Jeremiah 6:15. They are put to shame … will be overthrown, saith Jehovah. הוֹבִישׁ (comp. Jeremiah 8:9; Jeremiah 10:14, etc.) means likewise to make a shameful figure, as הִשְׁמִין, to make fat, i. e., to become fat, i. e., to bring forth whiteness, i. e., to become white. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 18, 3.—They are put to shame, says the prophet, because those false predictions of peace have already been frequently falsified. And this could not be otherwise, since their prophecy was an abomination. The Lord therefore in respect to them does just the contrary of that which He does in respect of true prophecy ( Jeremiah 1:12).—But notwithstanding this, that they were put to shame, yet they were not ashamed.—Not know how reminds us of Isaiah 56:11.—fall with them, etc. When the victims of their false guidance fall, they will not, as they have hoped, escape scot-free, but will be overthrown. Comp. the expression in Jeremiah 51:49.

Footnotes:

FN#6 - Jeremiah 6:9.—השב ידך. It is quite unnecessary with Hitzig and Graf to explain the suffix ךָ by the reduplication of the following כ (in כְּבֹצֵר). The discourse is rather dramatically vivid as in Jeremiah 6:3-6.—חָשֶׁב is to turn back as the grape-gatherer does his hand with respect to the basket, therefore=to turn again and again.

FN#7 - Jeremiah 6:10.—על here as frequently in Jer. (comp. Jeremiah 19:15; Jeremiah 25:2; Jeremiah 26:15; Jeremiah 27:19; Jeremiah 28:8; Jeremiah 44:20) has almost the meaning of אֵל, except that here the proximate idea of hostility may be detected in it.

FN#8 - Jeremiah 6:11.—[Henderson: I am weary of containing it; the A. V. better: I am weary of holding in.] Comp. Isaiah 1:14 Jeremiah 9:4; Jeremiah 15:6.

FN#9 - Jeremiah 6:14.—[“בַּת, daughter, is omitted in thirty-eight MSS. and twenty-four printed editions. The combination בַּת עַמּי, the daughter of my people, however, meaning the people themselves, is not foreign to Jeremiah. See Jeremiah 8:21-22.” Henderson.—S. R. A.]

FN#10 - Jeremiah 6:14.—עַל־נְקָלָּה comp. עַל־שֶׁקֶר ( Leviticus 5:22), עַל־יֶתֶר ( Psalm 31:24).

FN#11 - Jeremiah 6:15.—[Henderson translates: They ought to have been ashamed. He says: “Verbs in Heb. express sometimes, not the action, but the duty or obligation to perform it. Comp. אֲשֶׁר לא־יֵעָשׂוּ, which ought not to be done, Genesis 20:9. יִשְׁמְדי, should keep, Malachi 2:7.”—S. R. A.]

FN#12 - Jeremiah 6:15.—נַם לֹא־נַם לֹא־=neither—nor. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 110, 3.

FN#13 - Jeremiah 6:15.—חַכְלים־ elsewhere Niph. ( Jeremiah 8:12; Jeremiah 31:19). The Hiphil here as in הוֹבִישׁוּ.

3. BECAUSE ISRAEL WOULD NOT HEAR THE PROPHET ANNOUNCES TO ALL LANDS AND NATIONS THE IMPENDING JUDGMENT, TO BE EXECUTED BY A PEOPLE FROM THE NORTH.

Jeremiah 6:16-26

16 Thus has Jehovah spoken:

Stand in the ways[FN14] and look around

And inquire for[FN15] the paths of ancient times,

Which is the way of salvation;[FN16]

And walk therein and find a resting place[FN17] for your souls!

But they said: We will not walk therein.

17 Then I set[FN18] watchmen over you, saying:

“Hearken to the sound of the trumpet!”

But they said: We will not hearken thereto.

18 Therefore hear, ye nations,

And know, O congregation, what is among them.

19 Hear, O earth! Behold I bring evil upon this people,

The fruit of their counsels.

For they have not heeded my words,

And my law—they despised it.[FN19]

20 To what purpose should incense come to me from Sheba,

And the sweet cane from a far country?

Your burnt offerings are not grateful to me,

And your sacrifices are not pleasant to me.

21 Therefore thus saith Jehovah:

Behold I lay stumbling-blocks against the people,

And the fathers and sons together shall fall over them;

The inhabitant and his companion shall perish.[FN20]

22 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a people comes from the north country,

And a great nation arises from the ends of the earth.

23 Bow and lance they bear,

Cruel are they and have no mercy.

Their voice roars like the sea,

And they ride upon horses,

Equipped as a man for war, against thee, thou daughter of Zion.

24 We have heard the report of them; feeble are our hands,

Anguish has seized us, and trembling as a parturient.

25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk in the way,

For the sword of the enemy[FN21]—fear on every side.

26 Daughter of my people, gird thee in sackcloth,

And wallow thyself in ashes.

Make mourning as for an only son—bitter lamentation;

For suddenly will the destroyer come upon us.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

This last strophe of the discourse forms two parts. In the first part ( Jeremiah 6:16-20) the prophet shows the genesis of the calamity. The Lord had at first kindly directed Israel in the right way ( Jeremiah 6:16), but when they had refused to walk in it, He had solemnly threatened them with His punishment ( Jeremiah 6:17). Since they regarded not this also, He turns now with His announcement of punishment to all nations, calling them as it were to witness to the justice of His cause ( Jeremiah 6:18-19). He refutes a nugatory objection of Israel’s ( Jeremiah 6:20). In the second part the merited destruction is announced to the people of Israel directly ( Jeremiah 6:21-26), first in general ( Jeremiah 6:21), then its execution is described in detail ( Jeremiah 6:22-25), so that (a) the nation from the North is again mentioned as the instrument of this execution, with more particular features; (b) the experience of the punishment is presented in the words of the suffering people. Finally the prophet calls upon the people to do that which alone remains to them, namely, to humble themselves in deepest mourning.

Jeremiah 6:16. Thus has Jehovah spoken … we will not walk therein. אָמַר compared with the progress of time in Jeremiah 6:17 sqq. is to be regarded as preterite.—As the absence of the article is not to be pressed we translate: stand in the ways, i. e., not in any or some, but in all. They are to compare by examination all the ways (דֶּדֶךְ here as in Psalm 139:24; Amos 8:14=religion, cultus). A criterion is at the same time given them, by which to recognize the right way, viz., antiquity. The oldest is the true religion. Let them examine the different religions of the primitive period, in order to find the oldest among the old ways, which is then the way of good or well-being.

Jeremiah 6:17. Then I set watchmen over you … we will not hearken thereto.—Watchmen, used frequently by the prophet for seers and warners. Comp. Ezekiel 3:17; Ezekiel 33:7, coll. Isaiah 21:11-12; Jeremiah 31:6.—Hearken to the sound, etc. Observe the climax: after Israel had rejected the friendly admonition in Jeremiah 6:16, the prophets standing on the walls like watchmen must strike wholesome terror into their hearts by sounding the trumpet of their denunciatory prophecies. But even this is in vain.

The words hearken, etc., may be regarded as spoken by Jehovah or by the prophets themselves; for even the latter might admonish the Israelites to respect the warning, which they brought to them. Yet this admonition certainly seems more appropriate in the mouth of Jehovah. Comp. Jeremiah 2:25.

Jeremiah 6:18. Therefore hear, ye nations … what is among them. After the Lord had found among the Israelites a hearing neither for friendly admonition nor for severe warning, He turns to the other nations, in order that they may learn Jehovah’s judgment on His people and its true motives.—Concerning עֵדָה opinions are much divided. According to the connection and the unquestioned Masoretic reading it can mean neither testimony (Aqu.) nor troop (Hitzig) nor congregation in the sense of the Israelites, for an address to the whole or a part of the Israelite nation would form a most violent interruption in the parallelism and connection. I do not see why it should not denote the totality of the heathen nations, united as it were into a grand jury. It is true, no passage can be produced, where עֵרָה has exactly this meaning, but it is a word of such general signification, that it may fairly have this sense. For if in Judges 14:8 it signifies a swarm of bees, in Job 15:34 and Psalm 22:16 an assembly of the wicked, and in Numbers 16:5, the company of Korah, no one can say that it may not in certain circumstances be used of the assembly of the heathen. Since now according to the idea of the connection previously stated, the prophet turns in Jeremiah 6:18 right diligently to the heathen, because Israel would not hear him, עֵדָה can denote no other than the totality of the heathen in antithesis to the single nations, who were addressed as הַנוֹים; thus singuli et omnes. At the same time it is not improbable, that עֵדָה (comp. הוֹעִידad judicium citare, Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44) might also designate a “judicialis conventus” (so Venema, Rosenm, J. D. Mich.)—The phrase אֶת־אֲשֶׁר־בָּם is also variously interpreted. Some (Leiste, Rosenm.) translate: quæ in iis faciam, which presupposes an impossible ellipsis; Ewald would read בָּה instead of בָּם, Graf changes into וּדְעוּ־אֲשֶר הֲערֹתִי בָּם. I find no difficulty in the text, as it exists. The heathen assembled, as it were for a jury, are first to know what thoughts Israel cherishes within. For this purpose a glance into their heart is afforded them by what is said in Jeremiah 6:16-17. On the basis of this state of the facts it is then disclosed to them in Jeremiah 6:19, what the Lord will bring as a punishment upon Israel. In I bring evil upon, upon is in antithesis to among in Jeremiah 6:18.

Jeremiah 6:19. Hear, O earth! … they despised it.—Hear, etc., forms a climax in relation to Jeremiah 6:18 : the whole earth is called to witness. Comp. Deuteronomy 32:1 (coll. Deuteronomy 30:19; Deuteronomy 31:28); Micah 1:2; Micah 6:1-2; Isaiah 1:2. After the Lord has granted a glance into the heart of Israel, He shows the punishment which is the result of this inward condition, and which is therefore designated as the fruit of their counsels (comp. Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 4:18).

Jeremiah 6:20. To what purpose should incense … are not pleasant to me. לְבוֹנָה the aromatic resin of a tree not yet definitely ascertained. Comp. Exodus 30:31; Leviticus 2:1, etc.; Isaiah 60:6; Herzog, Real-Enc. XVII. S. 602; XII. S. 501.—שְׁבָא (not to be confounded with כְבָא, i. e., Meroe) is the tribe and home of the Sabæans in Southern Arabia. Comp. Isaiah 60:6; Ezekiel 27:22; Joel 4:8; Psalm 72:15.—קָנִה הַטוֹב, comp. Exodus 30:23 (קָנֶה בשֶׁם); Isaiah 43:24; Ezekiel 27:19; Song of Solomon 4:14 = calamus, the root of which was used in the preparation of the anointing oil. Vid. Winer, R. W. B., Art. Kalamus.—In these words the Lord meets an objection of the Israelites to the effect that they had not failed in outward worship. The sense of the reply coincides with 1 Samuel 15:22; Micah 6:8; Isaiah 1:11 sqq.; Psalm 50:8 sqq.; Jeremiah 51:18, etc.—The juxtaposition of עוֹלוֹת and זְבָחים is also found in several of the passages mentioned, comp. Jeremiah 7:21; Drechsler, Jes. I. S. 63.

Jeremiah 6:21. Therefore thus saith Jehovah … and his companion shall perish. After the refutation of the vain objection in Jeremiah 6:20 the prophet turns again to the people of Israel. He seems to presuppose that the people excited to jealousy by Jeremiah 6:18-19, (comp. Romans 11:14) in opposition to their former disinclination even to hear the Lord, yet at least answer him. The answer is indeed worth nothing, and therefore now follows a direct announcement of judgment, addressed to the Israelites themselves, first, in this verse21, in general.-Stumbling-blocks. Comp. Isaiah 8:14 : Ezekiel 3:20.

Jeremiah 6:22. Thus saith Jehovah … ends of the earth. This and the following verses specify the calamity announced generally in Jeremiah 6:21. For the third time the executioner is mentioned as a mighty nation from the North. (Comp. Jeremiah 4:6 sqq.; Jeremiah 5:15 sqq.)—The passage repeated and applied to Babylon in Jeremiah 50:41-43.—ירכתי א׳extrema terræ. Comp. Isaiah 14:13; Isaiah 14:15; Jeremiah 25:32; Jeremiah 31:8, etc.

Jeremiah 6:23. Bows and lances they bear … against thee, thou daughter of Zion. Comp. Habakkuk 1:7.—Like the sea. Comp Isaiah 5:30; Isaiah 17:12; Isaiah 24:14.—On the question what nation, see the remarks above on Jeremiah 1:14.—Equipped as a man for war. The singular attaching to cruel are they. On the change of number, comp. Ewald, § 317, b.As a man can neither denote one Prayer of Manasseh, nor a hero. Rather do equipped and against thee (as the accents also denote) belong together and as a man for war declares how this preparation is made; not as a woman for peaceful labor, but as a man for war, is the enemy equipped against Zion.

Jeremiah 6:24-25. We have heard the report … fear on every side. A description of the feeling which Israel experiences on the incursion of the enemy, so that Jeremiah 6:22-23 on the one hand, and Jeremiah 6:24-25 on the other correspond to each other as objective and subjective, or as cause and effect.—Anguish. Comp. Jeremiah 4:31; Jeremiah 49:24; Jeremiah 50:43.—Trembling as, etc. Comp. Psalm 48:8; Micah 4:9; Jeremiah 22:23; Jeremiah 50:43.

Jeremiah 6:25 is also related to Jeremiah 6:24 as the effect to the cause: the not venturing out of Jerusalem is the consequence of what has been heard. The personification of Jerusalem as a woman lies at the basis of the forms תֵּלְכִי,תֵּצְאִי, for which the way is prepared by as a parturient, and continued by daughter of my people Jeremiah 6:26.—Fear on every side, Psalm 31:14; Jeremiah 20:3; Jeremiah 20:10; Jeremiah 46:5; Jeremiah 49:29; Lamentations 2:22; see especially remarks on Jeremiah 20:10.

Jeremiah 6:26. Daughter of my people … come upon us.—Gird thee, etc., comp. Jeremiah 4:8,—wallow, comp. Jeremiah 25:34; Micah 1:10; Ezekiel 27:30.—Mourning, etc. Comp. Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10.—Bitter lamentation. Comp. Jeremiah 31:15; Hosea 12:15.—The prophet in conclusion advises Jerusalem to do the only thing that remains to her; repent in sackcloth and ashes (comp. Isaiah 58:5; Jeremiah 25:34; Ezekiel 27:30; Daniel 9:3) and deep, sincere mourning. For their sins or their destruction? Doubtless for both. For the former is occasioned by penitence, the latter by inevitable destruction. Penitence and mourning can no longer ward off the destruction (as might have been possible before, comp. Jeremiah 4:1-4; Jeremiah 14:6; Jeremiah 14:8). The prophet indeed expresses this in the words “for suddenly will the destroyer come upon us.” But though the calamity cannot be warded off by penitence and mourning it may yet be thus mitigated, and the way may be thus prepared for subsequent restoration.

Footnotes:

FN#14 - Jeremiah 6:16.—עמדו על־דרבים comp. Jeremiah 3:2; Isaiah 49:9, where likewise the article is wanting. In Jeremiah 3:2 the words אֶדֶץ,שְׁפָים are also without the article, although in meaning they are definite. Comp. Gesen. § 109; Naegelsb. Gr. § 71, 3.

FN#15 - Jeremiah 6:16.—דֶּרֶךְ הַטּוֹב (via boni, not bona, on account of the following בָּהּ). Comp. Psalm 139:24.

FN#16 - Jeremiah 6:16.—שָׁאַל with לְ, Genesis 26:7; Genesis 32:30.

FN#17 - Jeremiah 6:16.—וּמִצִאוּ. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 90, 2.—מַדְנוֹעַ. Comp. Matthew 11:29.

FN#18 - Jeremiah 6:17.—וַהֲקימוֹתִי. The perfect is abnormal, and is a sign of the later idiom. Comp. Ewald, § 343, c2

FN#19 - Jeremiah 6:19.—On the construction comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 88, 7, c, et supra, iii9

FN#20 - Jeremiah 6:21.—For יֹאבֵדוּ the Keri has וְאָבֵדוּ because the Masoretes connected שָׁכֵן וְרֵעוֹ as the subject with כָשְׁלוּ, which is however unnecessary and unjustifiable.

FN#21 - Jeremiah 6:25.—To translate: the enemy hath a sword [as Henderson] is very flat. Better לְאֹיֵב (אֲשֶׁר) חֶרֶב, and as subject co-ordinate with the following מנור [for the sword of the enemy and fear are, etc.]. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 67, 2.

4.Conclusion: object and result of the Discourse

Jeremiah 6:27-30

27 I have set thee a prover[FN22] among my people, the ore,[FN23]

That thou mayest know and prove their way.

28 They are all arch traitors,[FN24] slanderers[FN25]—brass and iron;

Profligate are they all![FN26]

29 The bellows glows,[FN27] out of its fire comes—lead;

In vain one[FN28] melts and melts,

The base[FN29] are not separated.

30 Reprobate silver they are called,

For Jehovah has reprobated them.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The prophet’s sermon by no means aimed at a general conversion, it was rather to serve only as a touch-stone. By it a separating process was to be instituted, by which it would be decided which was good and which base metal ( Jeremiah 6:27). Unfortunately the great mass proved to be common brass ( Jeremiah 6:28). In the smelting-process also (past and future) the same result is presented. In two further figures which express essentially the same thing, the Lord compares Israel with a piece of ore, which in the fire reduces lead, and again with one which contains silver, but unhappily so mixed, that the base cannot be separated from the true metal ( Jeremiah 6:29-30).

Jeremiah 6:27. I have set.… their way. The people are denominated the ore, because their value is to be ascertained by the process of assaying. The term (מִבְצָר) is also doubtless chosen with reference to Jeremiah 1:18, where it is used of the prophet [a fortified (tried) city]. The nation is also tried, not as a fortress, but as ore which is yet to be proved.

Jeremiah 6:28. They are … all.—Slanderers. The prophet here as elsewhere (comp. remarks on Jeremiah 6:13 sqq.), in thus particularizing appears to have had the eighth commandment in mind. Comp. Luther’s explanation: to betray, to backbite, or to make an evil report.—Brass and iron. These words state, still figuratively, the result of the proving, Jeremiah 6:27 : the ore contains not gold or silver, but only base metal.

Jeremiah 6:29. The bellows glows … separated. The bellows glows or is on fire. This refers of course to Israel: their fire is the fire in which they are melted, the fire of affliction, both of the past, the present and the future. Even the severest trials of affliction can produce from this people nothing but lead. It is seen that the prophet proceeds to a related figure, as immediately afterwards he also makes application of a third. The first figure represents the prophet as a trier of metals, who first takes the rough ore in hand in order mineralogically to distinguish its constituent parts. In the second figure the ore is exposed to fire, in order in this way to ascertain its metallic value. The result is lead. I find accordingly that the Keri מֵאֵשׁ תָּם, however explained, is an entirely necessary alteration.—In what follows the prophet makes use of a third figure. Israel is here definitely presented as silver ore. But in the smelting-places it. appears that the silver is so mingled with the stone that the production of clear pure silver is impossible. Israel therefore remains—refuse, impure silver, which, as unfit for noble uses, the Lord rejects.—base [wicked]. The prophet passes from the figurative to the literal mode of speaking.

Jeremiah 6:30. Reprobate silver … Jehovah has reprobated them.—The conclusion is sad. But this reprobate silver is not Israel in general, but only the Israel of the present time. Comp. Jeremiah 3:11-25; Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:10; Jeremiah 5:18.

Footnotes:

Footnotes:

FN#22 - Jeremiah 6:27.—בָּחוֹן (on the form comp. Ewald, § 152, b) [Green’s Gr. § 185, 2, c] occurs here only. It is=בֹּחֵן ( Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10).

FN#23 - Jeremiah 6:27.—מבצר, Durell, Gaab, Maurer, Hitzig=מִבְּצָר, i. e, without gold, בְּצָר being equivalent to בֶּצֶר ( Job 36:19) and ב unreduplicated as in מִבְּצִיר ( Judges 8:2). Ewald, Meier would punctuate מִבַצֵּר (Separator) [Henderson: an explorer]. Yet both are unnecessary, if we take מִבְצָר itself in the meaning of בֶּצֵר ( Job 22:24) בְצָר ( Job 36:19) בְּצוּר ( Job 22:24) as also מִכְתָּב is used as of like meaning with כְתָב ( 2 Chronicles 35:4), מִמְשָׁק with מֶשֶׁק ( Genesis 15:2-3; Zephaniah 2:9), מִשְׁפָט with שֶׁפֶט ( Exodus 6:6; Exodus 7:4, etc.), מִשְָׁקל with שֶׁקֶל (according to its radical meaning), etc. מִבְצָד would accordingly=בֶצֶד, abscissum, a piece, in the sense of a piece of ore cut off (comp. Fuerst, s. v. בְּצָר and מִבְצָר).מִבְצָר I would however prefer not to make מִבְצָר dependent on בָּחוֹן, from which it is remotely, but on עַמּי, with which it is immediately connected. The construction is then as in דַּרְכֵּךְ זִמָּה ( Ezekiel 16:27), הֲכֹלָתוֹ חוֹב ( Ezekiel 18:7). Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 63, 4, g.

FN#24 - Jeremiah 6:28.—סָרֵי סוֹרְרִיםס is so expressed by the Vulg, Syr, Chald. and Aquila that it is evident they read שָׂרֵי, which is also actually found in Cod. Regiom. I. and II. as well as in 22 Codd. of Kennicott and in18 of De Rossi. This reading may have been occasioned by the unusual construction and the similarity of the passages Isaiah 1:23; Hosea 9:15. The construction is however not unusual in this, as substantives are not rarely thus connected. Comp. הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים,עֶבֶת עֲבָדִים etc. Vid. Naegelsb. Gr. § 61, 3.—סָדֵי moreover may be (comp. פַר וְזָעִף, 1 Kings 20:43; 1 Kings 21:4) Part. Kal from סָרַר, so that from this form a double Part. Kal would be formed. [Henderson: desperate revolters.]

FN#25 - Jeremiah 6:28.—הֹלְכֵי רָכִל. Comp. Jeremiah 9:3; Ezekiel 22:9. On the construction Vid. Naegelsb. Gr. § 70, b. [Henderson renders: conversant with destruction.—S. R. A.]

FN#26 - Jeremiah 6:28.—משׁחיתים. Comp. Isaiah 1:4 (on the direct causative signification of the Hiphil=to do a pernicious thing. Vid. Naegelsb. Gr. § 18, 3).

FN#27 - Jeremiah 6:29.—נָחַר Niph: from חָרַר (so most of the older translators and commentators) can mean only: the bellows is on fire, is red hot (Hitzig). This meaning is required by the connection, for it is to be declared, that an extreme degree of heat was applied, which is here denoted by the burning of the bellows. But even this degree of heat has extracted nothing from the ore but—lead. The other explanation from נָהַר (anhelat) is indeed well founded on the nominal forms נְחִיר נְחָרָה,נַחַר, but it gives an unsatisfactory sense; for it is not declared generally that the bellows works, but that it has done its best. The Chethibh must be pronounced מֵאֶשָׁתָם and presupposes a noun אֶשָׁה, which does not occur, but is formed quite normally. [Henderson: נָחר may either be the root of the verb, to snort, and designed in this place to express the sound produced by the continued blowing of the bellows; or it may be the Niphal of חָרַר, to burn. The former best suits the connection. Thus Michaelis, Rosenmueller, Dahler, De Wette, Scholz and Umbreit.—S. R. A.]

FN#28 - Jeremiah 6:29.—צָרַף צָרףֹ. The third plur. sing. is employed to denote an independent subject—one. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 101, 2, b.

FN#29 - Jeremiah 6:29.—רָעִים never denotes the dross directly.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. On Jeremiah 6:1 sqq. “It is very difficult to believe the preaching of God’s anger and punishment, for we look at the powerful assistance, the watchmen, the towers and fortresses, and trust in them. But fortresses here, fortresses there! These cannot withstand human force, let alone the calamity which comes from God Himself.” Cramer.

[On Jeremiah 6:2. M. Henry: “The more we indulge ourselves in the pleasures of this life, the more we disfit ourselves for the troubles of this life.” On Jeremiah 6:4. “It is good to see how the counsel and decree of God are pursued and executed in the devices and designs of men, even theirs that know Him not, Isaiah 10:6-7.”—S. R. A.]

2. On Jeremiah 6:6. “This is the strongest and most dangerous mining-powder of cities and fortresses, when sin, shame, vice and wantonness get the upper hand. For instance, Sodom and Gomorrah.” Cramer.

3. On Jeremiah 6:7. “Sin cries, rises and stinks up to heaven, so that God and the angels are obliged to shut mouth, nose and ears. Compare Genesis 18:20; Jonah 1:2.” Förster.

4. On Jeremiah 6:9. “God has two kinds of vintage: one is in grace, when He plucks His glorious grapes, the fruits of good works, and says: ‘Destroy it not, for there is a blessing in it’ ( Isaiah 65:8). But where He finds only poisonous berries ( Isaiah 5:2) and is as one who gleans in the vineyard ( Micah 5:14) He employs other vintagers with iron gloves, and presses them out in His anger ( Revelation 14:20) till neither stem nor stalk is left.” Cramer.

5. On Jeremiah 6:10. “Patience! Perhaps it is not long since the preaching was begun. But in the beginning it is just so with one. When one year or forty accustomed to office, things are more tractable, God grant, not too comfortable. We must tell our story with a simple heart, as it is. We must be violent enough to gain a hearing. This joyful, honest, ever-enduring testimony of the truth, which is in us, will excite attention in time, and moreover never returns void ( Isaiah 55:11).” Zinzendorf.

6. On Jeremiah 6:10-11. “Draw off thy shoes, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground, Exodus 3:5. Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David, the prophet before the altar at Bethel, our Jeremiah in particular, and Paul, the evangelical Apostle, used the severest and most feeling methods against the mockers of their religion in the least and the greatest, and it is evident that God will not allow Himself to be mocked. Freely as the heart is treated, and little the violence that God does to it, yet the creature is often cut short when it comes to testifying. For there is a great difference between respect and love. Love is a grace, but respect is in accordance with a creature’s nature; it is imbued in every one. For the devil himself, if his hands are bound in the least (as then more is granted him than any other), when it comes to respect—must ‘tremble’ ( James 2:19). The Lord teach the witnesses the right measure, that their threatenings and the feelings of men suitably concur, and that it may be with every witness for religion as with John, whom King Herod feared and heard him.” Zinzendorf.

7. On Jeremiah 6:14. How beautiful are the feet of them that announce true peace! ( Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 2:1.) In like measure destructive are the feet of those who preach false peace. The latter are Satan, who transforms himself into an angel of light ( 2 Corinthians 11:14).

8. On Jeremiah 6:16. “There are two kinds of patres. Some are the ancients, some the young. Of the young fathers Asaph says ( Psalm 78:8): that they were not as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation (comp. Ezekiel 20:18). But as regards the ancient, original fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, the Evangelists, Apostles and such like, these are the true fathers, who preserve God’s word for us, that by means of it we may follow them, and ask after the former ways. Thus we go right and safely.” Cramer.

9. On Jeremiah 6:16. “Hic arripiunt Papicolæ semitas antiquas, indeque nobis persuadere conantur, ut et nos semitas antiquas quæramus, i. e, ut religions Lutherana valere jussa nos adjungamus ecclesiæ papisticæ, quam omnium antiquissimam nusquam non superbe jactitant. Sed nos ipsis 1. obvertimus illud Ignatii: nobis vera antiquitas est Jesus Christus, cui nolle obedire manifestum est exitium. 2. Argumentum, quod isthinc consarcinare satagunt, hunc in modum invertimus: ea ecclesia pro vera habenda, quæ omnium antiquissima. Atqui nostra—est antiquissima. Cœpit enim mox ab initio mundi in Paradiso cum Protevangelio ( Genesis 3:15, coll. Jeremiah 15:6): Romanensium vero ecclesia, sicut ipsi haud diffitentur, circa a Chr. 606 cœpit. Ergo.” Förster.

10. On Jeremiah 6:16. “Those are the honest knaves, who tell the prophet to his face: we will not do it ( Jeremiah 44:16). But such the Lord will honestly punish. For the servant, who knew his Lord’s will and did it not, shall suffer double stripes ( Luke 12:47).” Cramer.

11. [Calvin: On Jeremiah 6:19. “We may learn from this passage that nothing is more abominable in the sight of God than the contempt of divine truth: for His majesty, which shines forth in His word, is thereby trampled under foot; and further, it is an extreme ingratitude in men when God Himself invites them to salvation, wilfully to seek their own ruin and to reject His favor.” On Jeremiah 6:20. “And we see at this day, that men cannot be rightly taught, except we carry on war against that external splendor with which they will have God to be satisfied. As then men deceive themselves with such trifles, it is necessary to show that all those things which hypocrites obtrude on God, without sincerity of heart, are frivolous trumperies.”—S. R. A.]

12. On Jeremiah 6:27 sqq. “When goldsmiths wish to purify the silver, they add lead to it. When preachers would try their hearers, they must apply the law. The fire is God’s word ( Jeremiah 23:29), the bellows the Holy Spirit in the mouth of the teacher, the metals the hearers, of which some are objectionable, others are unobjectionable.” Cramer.

13. On Jeremiah 6:27. As Christ is called a sign which shall be spoken against, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed ( Luke 2:34-35), the power dwells in His word generally to compel men to separation and decision. For no one can remain neutral towards Him long. He is a touchstone which makes manifest the real condition of the heart, whether the man is of God, or not of God, Hebrews 4:12; John 8:47.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1. Jeremiah 6:6-8 may serve for the text of an exhortation to repentance. On the punitive justice of God1. With what it threatens us2. Why it threatens us3. How this threatening can be averted.

2. On Jeremiah 6:6-7. “We find such fountains of evil in our own perverted hearts. Original sin is the true fountain of evil, from which from childhood up much water of obstinacy, disobedience, indolence, envy, falsehood is poured forth. And such water flows every year more abundantly. Soon also flows the water of vanity, of impurity and excess, of reviling and cursing. How does man help himself? Either he will not allow others to observe what wickedness comes from his heart, and hides his sins, or he is himself grieved that so much sin flows from his heart, and begins to stop the flow, i. e., he makes good resolves and proposes no more to commit the old sins. But lo! the streams break forth again, and the fountain of a depraved heart ceases not to flow. Again others allow the stream free course and pollute the city and the country with their sins, as the Jewish people did. Where is help to be found against this fountain of a depraved heart? In the fountain of which Zechariah prophesies, Jeremiah 13:1.” Hochstetter, 12 Parables from the proph. Jeremiah, S. 12, 13.

3. [Tillotson on Jeremiah 6:8. 1. The infinite goodness and patience of God towards a sinful people, and His great unwillingness to bring ruin upon them2. The only proper and effectual means to prevent the misery and ruin of a sinful people3. The miserable case and condition of a people when God takes off His affection from them.”—S. R. A.]

4. On Jeremiah 6:11-12. The double trouble of a preacher of the truth1. From without, (a) indisposition to hear, (b) scorn2. From within, irresistible necessity of announcing the word of the Lord.

5. On Jeremiah 6:13-15. Warning against false prophets: 1. Their course: they teach false worship, i. e., they lead not to God but away from Him, by (a) being silent as to the real inconvenient truth, (b) putting the conscience to sleep by a falsehood2. Their motive: covetousness, selfishness ( Jeremiah 6:13). 3. Their end: they are put to shame ( Jeremiah 6:15).

6. On [Chalmers: “The evils of false security1. It is not based on the mercy offered by God2. It casts an aspersion on the character of God3. It is hostile to the cause of practical righteousness.”—Spurgeon: “I have heard of a city missionary who kept a record of two thousand persons who were supposed to be on their death-bed but recovered, and whom he should have put down as converted persons, had they died; and how many do you think lived a Christian life afterwards out of the two thousand? Not two. Positively he could only find one who was found to live afterwards in the fear of God. Is it not horrible that when men and women come to die they should cry, ‘Comfort, comfort!’ and that hence their friends conclude that they are children of God, while after all they have no right to consolation, but are intruders on the enclosed grounds of the blessed God?”—S. R. A.]

7. On [South: “Shamelessness in sin the certain forerunner of destruction1. What shame is more effectual than law2. How men cast off shame3. The several degrees of shamelessness4. Reasons why shamelessness is so destructive5. The destruction by which it procures the sinner’s ruin.”—S. R. A.]

8. On Jeremiah 6:16. Which is the good way? That which has1, the right starting point (the one, unalterable, ancient truth); 2the right ending (rest for the soul). [Doolittle has a sermon with this text on the theme, “Popery a novelty,” and Calamy has two on the Trinity!—S. R. A.]

9. On Jeremiah 6:16. New Year’s Sermon. What does a retrospect of the ways of the past year show us? 1. That they have been under God’s wondrous guidance; 2. that they were intended to be only ways of salvation for our soul; 3. that we have often said, we will not walk in them; 4. that we should care best for our salvation, if we would henceforth walk in the good ways of God. Florey, 1863.

10. On Jeremiah 6:18-21. The righteous judgments of God1. They do not shun publicity, but rather appeal to the moral sense of the whole world2. They bring upon men their merited recompense3. They can be averted, not by outward worship, but by honest submission to God’s word ( Jeremiah 6:19-20).

11. On Jeremiah 6:27-30. The word of truth a touchstone for the human heart1. The good are attracted by it; 2. the bad turn away and are rejected.

 


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 6:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/jeremiah-6.html. 1857-84.

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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
the Fifth Week after Easter
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