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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 5

 

 

Introduction

Jeremiah 4:5 to Jeremiah 6:30. A new paragraph should begin with Jeremiah 4:5, introducing a new section of the prophecies, which deals with the judgment of Judah, its causes and its instrument. This section is probably somewhat later than Jeremiah 2:1 to Jeremiah 4:4; it amplifies the vision of the boiling caldron (Jeremiah 1:13). The "foe from the north", whom Jeremiah expected to invade Judah, would originally be the Scythians, subsequently the Babylonians (see on Jeremiah 1:13 ff.).


Verses 1-9

Jeremiah 5:1-9. The Sins of Jerusalem.—Jeremiah is bidden to seek even one man in Jerusalem, for whose sake Yahweh may spare the city (cf. Genesis 18:16-33), one man of justice and faithfulness (mg.); even the oaths they swear by Yahweh mean nothing. The prophet confesses that it is this lack of faithfulness that has brought a hard discipline on the city, though in vain; yet he turns from "the man in the street" to those of high degree, for they (emph.) know the ordinances of Yahweh—only to find them united in disobedience (Jeremiah 5:5; for the figure of the rebellious oxen, cf. Jeremiah 2:20). So comes the foe, like forest lion, or desert wolf (mg.), or lurking leopard; since Yahweh's provision of a fertile land has but led to wantonness.

Jeremiah 5:7. assembled themselves in troops: read, with LXX, "lodged", as 1 Kings 17:20 ("sojourn").

Jeremiah 5:8. horses in the morning should probably be "stallions" (Driver); the suggestion of the figure is actual immorality, which may or may not have been coupled with the sensual worship of the Baalim.


Verses 10-19

Jeremiah 5:10-19. The Coming of the Foe.—Let the enemy, therefore, destroy the vineyard of Judah, for of its owner Judah has said, "He does nothing", rejecting His warnings by (true) prophets. The word they have rejected now becomes a fire to consume (cf. Jeremiah 23:29; ancient thought attached great power to the spoken word). The enemy (Scythians or, later, Babylonians) comes to destroy, being enduring (mg.), foreign in speech (Isaiah 28:11), and a nation of warriors ("mighty men"), whose arrows do not miss (Jeremiah 5:16). Heathenism at home shall bring exile abroad (Jeremiah 5:19).

Jeremiah 5:10. walls should probably be "vine-rows"; for the figure, cf. Jeremiah 2:21).

Jeremiah 5:12. It is not he: lit. "not he"; cf. Zephaniah 1:12, end.

Jeremiah 5:18, like many similar remarks, seems to be a later insertion, meant to qualify the rigour of the destruction in Jeremiah 5:17.


Verses 20-31

Jeremiah 5:20-31. Let Evil-doers Fear Yahweh.—The folly of not fearing Yahweh is rebuked by a reminder of the power of Him who has set an impassable limit even to the sea (cf. the rebuke of Job's presumption by the description of Nature as Yahweh's work, Job 38-41). Because they have not feared Him who gives the regular rains (the "former" in October, the "latter" in March-April), and the resultant harvest (Jeremiah 5:24), they have lost these gifts. Punishment is brought down on the nation by evil-doers, who fill their houses with (the gains of) deceit, as bird-catchers their cages with birds, and by the same arts; evil-doers who are prosperous and sleek, and unjust to the helpless. Horrible in Yahweh's eyes is the degeneracy of the prophets who ought to teach the truth, and of the priests who follow the suggestions of the prophets (Jeremiah 5:31 mg.), and of the people who are satisfied with all this; what of the issue?

Jeremiah 5:24. The dependence of Palestine on the periodic rains for its fertility was felt to link it to Yahweh in a unique degree; cf. Deuteronomy 11:10-12.

Jeremiah 5:28. shine: i.e. with fat; cf. Job 15:27, Psalms 73:7).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 5:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/jeremiah-5.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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