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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 16:16

"Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen," declares the LORD, "and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks.


Adam Clarke Commentary

I will send for many fishers - for many hunters - I shall raise up enemies against them some of whom shall destroy them by wiles, and others shall ruin them by violence. This seems to be the meaning of these symbolical fishers and hunters.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The scattering of the people is to be like that of hunted animals, of which but few escape, the ancient method of hunting being to enclose a large space with beaters and nets, and so drive everything within it to some place where it was destroyed. The destruction of the whole male population was one of the horrible customs of ancient warfare, and the process is called in Herodotus “sweeping the country with a drag-net.” The same authority tells us that this method could only be effectually carried out on an island. Literally, understood, the fishers are the main armies who, in the towns and fortresses, capture the people in crowds as in a net, while the hunters are the light-armed troops, who pursue the fugitives over the whole country, and drive them out of their hiding places as hunters track out their game.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-16.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Jeremiah 16:16

I will send for many fishers;. . .I will send for many hunters.

Fishers and hunters

These refer to the successive invaders of Judea. As to “hunters,” see Genesis 10:9. Nimrod, “ the mighty hunter,” the first founder of an empire on conquest. The Chaldees were famous in hunting, as the Egyptians, the other enemy of Judea, were in fishing.

were employed by God to be the heralds of salvation, “catching men” for life (Matthew 4:19). (A. R. Fausset, M. A.)

Verses 18. And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double.

The double effect of sin

We may illustrate the evil of sin by the following comparison. “Suppose I am going along a street, and were to dash my head through a large pane of glass, what harm would I receive?” “You would be punished for breaking the glass.” “Would that be all the harm I should receive? Your head will be cut by the glass.” “Yes! and so it is with sin. If you break God’s laws, you shaft be punished for breaking them; and your soul is hurt by the very act of breaking them.” (F. Inglis.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Jeremiah 16:16". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/jeremiah-16.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

METAPHOR OF THE FISHERS AND THE HUNTERS

"Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith Jehovah, and they shall fish them up; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. For mine eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from my face, neither is there iniquity concealed from mine eyes. And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable things, and have filled mine inheritance with their abominations."

The fishers and hunters in this passage are metaphors used to describe the thoroughness and completeness of the Babylonian destruction of apostate Israel. All of the sinful people will be flushed out of their hiding places, and none shall escape.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jeremiah-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them,.... Which some understand of the Egyptians, who lived much on fish, and were much employed in catching them, to which the allusion is thought to be; but rather the Chaldeans are intended, whom God, by the secret instinct of his providence, brought up against the Jews; who besieged Jerusalem, and enclosed them in it, and took them as fishes in a net; see Habakkuk 1:14, though some interpret this, and what follows, of the deliverance of the Jews by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus, who searched for them in all places, and sent them into their own land; or of Zerubbabel, and others with him, who used all means to persuade the Jews in the captivity to go with them, and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem; and there are not wanting others, who by the "fishers" think the apostles are meant; who were fishers by occupation, and whom Christ made fishers of men, and sent forth to cast and spread the net of the Gospel in the several parts of Judea, for the conversion of some of that people; see Matthew 4:18,

and after will l send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks; either the same persons, the Chaldeans, are meant here, as before; who, as they should slay those they took in Jerusalem with the edge of the sword, as fishes taken in a net are killed, or presently die, which is the sense of the Targum, and other Jewish commentators; so those that escaped and fled to mountains, hills, and holes of the rocks, to hide themselves, should be pursued by them, and be found out, taken, and carried captive: or, the RomansF5Vid. Joseph de Bello Jud. l. 7. c. 9. sect. 4. . So Nimrod, the beginning of whose kingdom was Babel, being a tyrant and an oppressor, is called a mighty hunter, Genesis 10:8.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Behold, I will send for many g fishermen, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and afterwards will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.

(g) By the fishers and hunters are meant the Babylonians and Chaldeans who would destroy them in such sort, that if they escaped the one, the other would take them.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

send for — translate, “I will send many”; “I will give the commission to many” (2 Chronicles 17:7).

fishers … hunters — successive invaders of Judea (Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:14, Habakkuk 1:15). So “net” (Ezekiel 12:13). As to “hunters,” see Genesis 10:9; Micah 7:2. The Chaldees were famous in hunting, as the Egyptians, the other enemy of Judea, were in fishing. “Fishers” expresses the ease of their victory over the Jews as that of the angler over fishes; “hunters,” the keenness of their pursuit of them into every cave and nook. It is remarkable, the same image is used in a good sense of the Jews‘ restoration, implying that just as their enemies were employed by God to take them in hand for destruction, so the same shall be employed for their restoration (Ezekiel 47:9, Ezekiel 47:10). So spiritually, those once enemies by nature (fishermen many of them literally) were employed by God to be heralds of salvation, “catching men” for life (Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:10; Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4); compare here Jeremiah 16:19, “the Gentiles shall come unto thee” (2 Corinthians 12:16).


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-16.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Fishers — Those enemies whom God made use of to destroy the Jews, hunting them out of all holes and coverts wheresoever they should take sanctuary.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-16.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Some explain this of the apostles; but it is wholly foreign to the subject: they think that Jeremiah pursues here what he had begun to speak of; for they doubt not but that he had been speaking in the last verse of a future but a near deliverance, in order to raise the children of God into a cheerful confidence. But I have already rejected this meaning, for their exposition is not well founded. But if it be conceded that the Prophet had prophesied of the liberation of the people, it does not follow that God goes on with the same subject, for he immediately returns to threatenings, as ye will see; and the allegory also is too remote when he speaks of hunters and fishers; and as mention is made of ‘hills and mountains, it appears still more clearly that the Prophet is threatening the Jews, and not promising them any alleviation in their miseries. I therefore connect all these things together in a plain manner; for, having said that the evil which the Jews would shortly have to endure would be more grievous than the Egyptian bondage, he now adds a reason as a confirmation, —

Behold, he says, I will send to them many fishers, that they may gather them together on every side. He mentions fishers, as they would draw the children of Israel from every quarter to their nets. He then compares the Chaldeans to fishers, who would so proceed through the whole land as to leave none except some of the most ignoble, whom also they afterwards took away; and to fishers he adds hunters. Some understand by fishers armed enemies, who by the sword slew the conquered; and they consider that the hunters were those who were disposed to spare the life of the many, and to drive them into exile; but this appears too refined. Simple is the view which I have stated, that the Chaldeans were called fishers, because they would empty the whole land of its inhabitants, and that they were called hunters, because the Jews, having been scattered here and there, and become fugitives, would yet be found out in the recesses of hins and rocks.

The two similitudes are exceedingly suitable; for the Prophet shews that the Chaldeans would not have much trouble in taking the Jews, inasmuch as fishers only spread their nets; they do not arm themselves against fishes, nor is there any need; and then all the fish they take they easily take possession of them, for there is no resistance. Thus, then, he shews that the Chaldeans would gain an easy victory, for they would take the Jews as fishes which are drawn into nets. This is one thing. Then, in the second place, he says, that if they betook themselves into recesses of mountains, that if they hid themselves in caverns or holes, their enemies would be like hunters who follow the wild beasts in forests and in other unfrequented places; no brambles, nor thorns, nor any obstructions prevent them from advancing, being led on by a strong impulse; so in like manner no recesses of mountains would be concealed from the Chaldeans, no caverns where the Jews might hide themselves, for they would all be taken. We hence see that he confirms by two similitudes, what he had said in a preceding verse. He afterwards adds —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-16.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.


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

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 16:16. Behold, I will send for many fishers It is common with the sacred writers to represent enemies and oppressors under the metaphor of fishers and hunters, because they use all the methods of open force and secret stratagem, to make men their prey. These two similitudes imply, that the Chaldeans should make an entire conquest of their whole land, and strip it of its riches and inhabitants. Nothing can be more absurd than the imagination of some, that by these fishermen are meant the apostles of Christ.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-16.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Though some interpreters make these words a promise, either of God’s restoration of this people, and making use of Cyrus, who, as a fisherman or huntsman, by his proclamation fetched the Jews out of all parts of his dominions, to return to Jerusalem; or of the calling of God’s elect by the apostles, who were God’s fishermen, and went up and down preaching the gospel in all places; yet the next verse rather guideth us to interpret it as a threatening, and by these fishermen and huntsmen to understand all those enemies whom God made use of to destroy these Jews, hunting them out of all holes and coverts wheresoever they should fly and take sanctuary.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-16.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

SOME DETAILS OF THE EXILE, Jeremiah 16:16-21.

16. Fishers… hunters — They shall be treated like hunted animals. Means adapted to their capture shall be employed. The “fishers” will gather into their nets all that can be so reached, and then the “hunters” will pursue the fugitives on the mountains, and in the caves and ravines.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-16.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord was going to summon fishermen (cf. Ezekiel 12:13; Ezekiel 29:4-5; Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:14-17) and hunters (cf. Amos 9:1-4) to round up His people and take them as prey, even those who were in hiding. These agents would be the Babylonian invaders.

"When Jesus used the metaphor of fishermen to describe the mission of his disciples (see Mark 1:17; Matthew 4:19), he was reversing its meaning from that intended by Jeremiah. Jeremiah"s fishers caught men for judgment; Jesus" fishers caught them for salvation." [Note: Kelley, p219.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-16.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Rocks. They shall be found in all their lurking places, Ezechiel xii. 12., and Habacuc i. 4. (Calmet) --- The apostles shall save them. (Origen) --- The Medes and Persians shall grant them liberty; or rather Nabuchodonosor shall fish at first, and afterwards hunt or destroy more of the Jews. (Calmet) --- Apostolical men (Worthington) shall be like rocks, (St. Jerome) for the protection of their hearers.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

many fishers . . . hunters. Reference to Judah"s enemies. Compare Jeremiah 16:18. Amos 4:2. Ezekiel 12:13. Habakkuk 1:14.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Send for - translate, 'I will send many;' "I will give the commission to many" (2 Chronicles 17:7).

I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters ... - successive invaders of Judea (Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:14-15). So "net" (Ezekiel 12:13). As to "hunters," see Genesis 10:9. Nimrod, "the mighty hunter," the first founder of an empire on conquest; Micah 7:2; the Chaldees were famous in hunting, as the Egyptians, the other enemy of Judea, were in fishing. "Fishers" expresses the ease of their victory over the Jews as that of the angler over fish; "hunters," the keenness of them pursuit of them into every cave and nook. It is remarkable the same image of "fishers" and "fish" is used in a good sense of the Jews' restoration, implying that just as their enemies were employed by God to take them in hand for destruction, so the same shall be employed for their restoration (Ezekiel 47:9-10). So, spiritually, those once enemies by nature (fishermen many of them literally) were employed by God to be heralds of salvation, "catching men" for life (Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:10; Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4); (cf. here Jeremiah 16:19). "O Lord, the Gentiles shall come unto thee" (2 Corinthians 12:16).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) I will send for many fishers . . .—The words refer to the threat, not to the promise. The “fishers,” as in Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:15, are the invading nations, surrounding Judah and Jerusalem as with a drag-net, and allowing none to escape. The process is described under this very name of “drag-netting” the country by Herodotus (iii. 149, 6:31), as applied by the army of Xerxes to Samos, Chios, Tenedos, and other islands. The application of the words either to the gathering of the people after their dispersion or to the later work of the preachers of the Gospel is an after-thought, having its source in our Lord’s words, “I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). It is, of course, possible enough that those words may have been suggested by Jeremiah’s, the same image being used, as in the parable of Matthew 13:47, to describe the blessing which had before presented its darker aspect of punishment.

Hunters.—Another aspect of the same thought, pointing, so far as we can trace the distinction between the two, to the work of the irregular skirmisher as the former image did to that of the main body of the army: men might take refuge, as hunted beasts might do, in the caves of the rocks, but they should be driven forth even from these.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
I will send
I will raise up enemies against them, some of whom shall destroy them by wiles, and others shall ruin them by violence. The Chaldeans shall make an entire conquest of the whole land, and strip it of its riches and inhabitants; and those who may escape one party shall fall into the hands of another.
25:9; Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:14,15
hunters
Genesis 10:9; 1 Samuel 24:11; 26:20; Micah 7:2
every mountain
Isaiah 24:17,18; Amos 5:19; 9:1-3; Luke 17:34-37; Revelation 6:15-17

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-16.html.

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Friday, October 30th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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