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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Jeremiah 11

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The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET

CHAPTER 11

Jer 11:1-23. EPITOME OF THE COVENANT FOUND IN THE TEMPLE IN JOSIAH'S REIGN. JUDAH'S REVOLT FROM IT, AND GOD'S CONSEQUENT WRATH.

      2. this covenant--alluding to the book of the law ( Deu 31:26 ) found in the temple by Hilkiah the high priest, five years after Jeremiah's call to the prophetic office ( 2Ki 22:8 - 23:25 ).
      Hear ye--Others besides Jeremiah were to promulgate God's will to the people; it was the duty of the priests to read the law to them ( Mal 2:7 ).

      3. ( Deu 27:26 Gal 3:10 ).

      4. in the day--that is, when. The Sinaitic covenant was made some time after the exodus, but the two events are so connected as to be viewed as one.
      iron furnace-- ( Deu 4:20 1Ki 8:51 ). "Furnace" expresses the searching ordeal; "iron," the long duration of it. The furnace was of earth, not of iron ( Psa 12:6 ); a furnace, in heat and duration enough to melt even iron. God's deliverance of them from such an ordeal aggravates their present guilt.
      do them--namely, the words of the covenant ( Jer 11:3 ).
      so, &c.-- ( Lev 26:3, 12 ).

      5. oath-- ( Psa 105:9, 10 ).
      a land flowing with milk and honey--(See on JF & B for Nu 14:8).
      as it is this day--These are the concluding words of God to the Israelites when formerly brought out of Egypt, "Obey. . . that I may at this time make good the promise I made to your fathers, to give," &c. [MAURER]. English Version makes the words apply to Jeremiah's time, "As ye know at this time, that God's promise has been fulfilled," namely, in Israel's acquisition of Canaan.
      So be it--Hebrew, Amen. Taken from Deu 27:15-26. Jeremiah hereby solemnly concurs in the justice of the curses pronounced there (see Jer 11:3 ).

      6. Jeremiah was to take a prophetic tour throughout Judah, to proclaim everywhere the denunciations in the book of the law found in the temple.
      Hear. . . do-- ( Rom 2:13 Jam 1:22 ).

      7. rising early-- ( Jer 7:13 ).

      8. imagination--rather, "stubbornness."
      will bring--The words, "even unto this day" ( Jer 11:7 ), confirm English Version rather than the rendering of ROSENMULLER: "I brought upon them."
      words--threats ( Jer 11:3 Deu 27:15-26 ).

      9. conspiracy--a deliberate combination against God and against Josiah's reformation. Their idolatry is not the result of a hasty impulse ( Psa 83:5 Eze 22:25 ).

      11. cry unto me--contrasted with "cry unto the gods," ( Jer 11:12 ).
      not hearken-- ( Psa 18:41 Pro 1:28 Isa 1:15 Mic 3:4 ).

      12. cry unto the gods. . . not save-- ( Deu 32:37, 38 ). Compare this verse and beginning of Jer 11:13 Jer 2:28.
      in the time of their trouble--that is, calamity ( Jer 2:27 ).

      13. shameful thing--Hebrew, "shame," namely, the idol, not merely shameful, but the essence of all that is shameful ( Jer 3:24 Hsa 9:10 ), which will bring shame and confusion on yourselves [CALVIN].

      14. There is a climax of guilt which admits of no further intercessory prayer ( Exd 32:10, in the Chaldee version, "leave off praying"; Jer 7:16 1Sa 16:1 15:35 1Jo 5:16 ). Our mind should be at one with God in all that He is doing, even in the rejection of the reprobate.
      for their trouble--on account of their trouble. Other manuscripts read, "in the time of their trouble" a gloss from Jer 11:12.

      15. my beloved--My elect people, Judea; this aggravates their ingratitude ( Jer 12:7 ).
      lewdness with many-- ( Eze 16:25 ). Rather, "that great (or, manifold) enormity"; literally, "the enormity, the manifold"; namely, their idolatry, which made their worship of God in the temple a mockery (compare Jer 7:10 Eze 23:39 ) [HENDERSON].
      holy flesh-- ( Hag 2:12-14 Tts 1:15 ), namely, the sacrifices, which, through the guilt of the Jews, were no longer holy, that is, acceptable to God. The sacrifices on which they relied will, therefore, no longer protect them. Judah is represented as a priest's wife, who, by adultery, has forfeited her share in the flesh of the sacrifices, and yet boasts of her prerogative at the very same time [HORSLEY].
      when thou doest evil--literally, "when thy evil" (is at hand). PISCATOR translates, "When thy calamity is at hand (according to God's threats), thou gloriest" (against God, instead of humbling thyself). English Version is best (compare Pro 2:14 ).

      16. called thy name--made thee.
      olive-- ( Psa 52:8 Rom 11:17 ). The "olive" is chosen to represent the adoption of Judah by the free grace of God, as its oil is the image of richness (compare Psa 23:5 104:15 ).
      with. . . noise of. . . tumult--or, "at the noise," &c., namely, at the tumult of the invading army ( Isa 13:4 ) [MAURER]. Or, rather, "with the sound of a mighty voice," namely, that of God, that is, the thunder; thus there is no confusion of metaphors. The tree stricken with lightning has "fire kindled upon it, and the branches are broken," at one and the same time [HOUBIGANT].

      17. that planted thee-- ( Jer 2:21 Isa 5:2 ).
      against themselves--The sinner's sin is to his own hurt (see on JF & B for Jer 7:19).

      18, 19. Jeremiah here digresses to notice the attempt on his life plotted by his townsmen of Anathoth. He had no suspicion of it, until Jehovah revealed it to him ( Jer 12:6 ).
      the Lord. . . thou--The change of person from the third to the second accords with the excited feelings of the prophet.
      then--when I was in peril of my life.
      their doings--those of the men of Anathoth. His thus alluding to them, before he has mentioned their name, is due to his excitement.

      19. lamb--literally, a "pet lamb," such as the Jews often had in their houses, for their children to play with; and the Arabs still have ( 2Sa 12:3 ). His own familiar friends had plotted against the prophet. The language is exactly the same as that applied to Messiah ( Isa 53:7 ). Each prophet and patriarch exemplified in his own person some one feature or more in the manifold attributes and sufferings of the Messiah to come; just as the saints have done since His coming ( Gal 2:20 Phl 3:10 Col 1:24 ). This adapted both the more experimentally to testify of Christ.
      devices-- ( Jer 18:18 ).
      tree with. . . fruit--literally, "in its fruit" or "food," that is, when it is in fruit. Proverbial, to express the destruction of cause and effect together. The man is the tree; his teaching, the fruit. Let us destroy the prophet and his prophecies; namely, those threatening destruction to the nation, which offended them. Compare Mat 7:17, which also refers to prophets and their doctrines.

      20. triest. . . heart-- ( Rev 2:23 ).
      revealed--committed my cause. Jeremiah's wish for vengeance was not personal but ministerial, and accorded with God's purpose revealed to him against the enemies alike of God and of His servant ( Psa 37:34 54:7 112:8 118:7 ).

      21. Prophesy not-- ( Isa 30:10 Amo 2:12 Mic 2:6 ). If Jeremiah had not uttered his denunciatory predictions, they would not have plotted against him. None were more bitter than his own fellow townsmen. Compare the conduct of the Nazarites towards Jesus of Nazareth ( Luk 4:24-29 ).

      22. The retribution of their intended murder shall be in kind; just as in Messiah's case ( Psa 69:8-28 ).

      23. ( Jer 23:12 ).
      the year of. . . visitation--The Septuagint translates, "in the year of their," &c., that is, at the time when I shall visit them in wrath. JEROME supports English Version. "Year" often means a determined time.

Introduction to Isaiah ← Prior Book
Introduction to Lamentations Next Book →
Commentary on Jeremiah 10 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Jeremiah 12 Next Chapter →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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