Jeremiah (Ch 5-6)

The following chapters were written around 628 BC, which is about a hundred years after the house of Israel had been exiled to Assyria, when God called upon Jeremiah to deliver his message against the elders of Jerusalem of the house of Israel of an enemy coming out from the north and an impending exile to follow if they continue with all their wickedness and idolatries.

The list of kings of Judah towards the end; in successive reigns, as Jehoahaz (reign 609), Jehoiakim (reign 609–598), Jehoiachin or Jechonias (reign 598–597), and Zedekiah (reign 597–586).

Jeremiah 5

1 “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now and know, and seek in the broad places thereof if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgement, that seeketh the truth, and I will pardon it. — run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem… these are the words of the Lord to Jeremiah to go through the whole city of Jerusalem, every street of it, and that backwards and forwards, not once only, but over and over again;

— and see and seek in the broad places thereof, in the wider streets and intersections of streets, where many people come together, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgement, carrying out justice and righteousness;

— if he could find one righteous, one who executeth justice, God will grant a pardon to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

2 And though they say, ‘The Lord liveth,’ surely they swear falsely.”

3 O Lord, are not Thine eyes upon the truth? Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

4 Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor, they are foolish; for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgement of their God. — therefore I said, Surely these are poor, their shepherds are interrupting themselves to voice an objection to the Lord; they are foolish, acting foolishly on account of their ignorance; 

— for they know not the way of the Lord nor the judgement of their God. The elites assume that only the untaught poor are guilty of such depravity, and that a better state of affairs may be expected in the higher ranks of society.

5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God.” But these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. — I will get me unto the great men, and speak unto them… the princes, nobles, and judges, the elders of the people, the scribes and doctors of the law:

— for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgement of their God; it might be reasonably expected that they had, having had a good education, and being at leisure from worldly business to attend to the law, and the knowledge of it, and whatsoever God had revealed in his word, both in a way of doctrine and duty.

6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall despoil them; a leopard shall watch over their cities. Every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased. — wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them and a wolf of the evenings, one of those found in the great steppes and deserts, shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities, lurking for his prey nearby, the strongest, the most ravenous, and the swiftest of the beasts of prey being chosen as types to represent the formidable character of the Babylonian invaders; 

— every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased, their acts of rebellion against God had become a great multitude. That is the feature which ever makes sin so reprehensible: it always amounts to a rebellion against God, the Father of all mankind.

7 “How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken Me, and sworn by them that are no gods. When I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. — how shall I pardon thee for this? It would obviously be inconsistent with God’s holiness to overlook the transgressions of Israel, to let their wickedness go unpunished. Thy children have forsaken Me and sworn by them that are no gods, or, more emphatic, “by that which is no god,” worshipping a creature of their own imagination;

— when I had fed them to the full, in distributing the blessings of His bounty, or, “I bound them by the oath of allegiance and loyalty,” but they then committed adultery, transgressing the Sixth Commandment in the most flagrant manner, probably in connection with the idolatrous customs which they accepted, 

— and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses, rushing forward in companies in their eagerness to commit this beastly sin.

8 They were as fed horses in the morning; every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife.

9 Shall I not visit for these things?” saith the Lord. “And shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? — shall I not visit for these things, punishing the guilty ones to the limit, saith the Lord, and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 

— how could His anger be withheld under such circumstances? The Lord therefore turns to the Chaldeans, calling upon them to carry out His punishment upon Israel.

10 “Go ye up upon her walls and destroy, but make not a full end; take away her battlements, for they are not the Lord’S.

11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against Me,” saith the Lord. — for the house of Israel and the house of Judah, the entire nation of God’s chosen people, have dealt very treacherously against Me, saith the Lord, their faithlessness being the Lord’s chief reason for complaint.

12 They have belied the Lord, and said, “It is not He; neither shall evil come upon us, neither shall we see sword nor famine. — they have belied the Lord, denying Jehovah, the God of the covenant, and said, It is not He, insisting that He was not the true and only God;

— neither shall evil come upon us, neither shall we see sword nor famine, thus both denying and challenging the threat of the Lord regarding the punishment which He had threatened for apostasy of every kind.

13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them; thus shall it be done unto them.”

14 Therefore, thus saith the Lord God of hosts: “Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make My words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. — wherefore, thus saith the Lord God of hosts, the mighty Captain of the heavenly armies, because ye speak this word, behold, I will make My words in thy mouth fire, Jeremiah being given a sharp and scathing message to the rebellious people whom the Lord here puts far from Him;

— and this people wood, fuel which is easily kindled, and it shall devour them, they would be consumed as a consequence of the denunciation which Jeremiah would make by God’s command.

15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from afar, O house of Israel,” saith the Lord. “It is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. — O house of Israel; this saying seems a bit late, since the house of Israel had been in exiled over a hundred years ago, so this renew warning must be prophetic, for the endtime.

16 Their quiver is as an open sepulcher; they are all mighty men.

17 And they shall eat up thine harvest and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat; they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds; they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees. They shall impoverish thy fortified cities, wherein thou trusted, with the sword. — and they shall eat up thine harvest, the standing grain, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat, which was intended for their food;

— they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds; they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig-trees, everything that in any manner yielded food; they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, destroying all of Israel’s proud fortresses, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.

18 “Nevertheless in those days,” saith the Lord, “I will not make a full end with you. — nevertheless, in those days; this seems futuristic, a prophecy that when this severe punishment strikes the nation, saith the Lord, I will not make a full end with you, He would not yet bring total annihilation upon them. 

19 And it shall come to pass when ye shall say, ‘Why doeth the Lord our God all these things unto us?’ Then shalt thou answer them, ‘As ye have forsaken Me and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying: — this warning is prophetic; it is meant for our time; or the lost ten tribes, it could be for those who were carried captive into Assyria before this prophecy; it is meant for the house of Israel today, yet it also have a message for the Jews, now in the land of Judea;

21 Hear now this, O foolish people and without understanding, who have eyes and see not, who have ears and hear not: — which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not; like the idols they served, Psalms 115:4 this is an upbraiding of them with their folly and stupidity, their want of common sense, their blindness and ignorance; notwithstanding they had the means of light and knowledge, the law, and the prophets.

22 Fear ye not Me?” saith the Lord. “Will ye not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it; and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have revolted and gone.

24 Neither say they in their heart, ‘Let us now fear the Lord our God, who giveth rain, both the former and the latter in his season; He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’

25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you.

26 For among My people are found wicked men; they lie in wait as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. — they lay wait as he that setteth snares; or, “they look about”; that is, every man looks in the ways, to see if a man passed by, that he might rob him of what he had; as a man that lays snares, or sets a trap to catch birds.

27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore they have become great and have waxed rich. — the Targum renders it, a house or place of fattening. The word is rendered a “basket” in Amos 8:1 and may here design one in which birds taken in snares, or by hawking, were put;

— the Septuagint version, and those that follow it, render it, “a snare”: which agrees with what goes before. It seems to intend a decoy, in which many birds are put to allure others; and, what with them, and those that are drawn in by them.

28 They have waxed fat, they shine; yea, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

29 Shall I not visit for these things?” saith the Lord. “Shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing is committed in the land:

31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so. And what will ye do in the end thereof? — the prophets prophesied falsely… proclaiming lies, that the people would have peace and prosperity, and not be carried captive into Babylon, as Jeremiah and other prophets of the Lord had predicted:

— these messages are for both the house of Israel, or the lost ten tribes, and the house of Judah, who has returned to dwell in the land of Judea, names the state of Israel.

Jeremiah 6

1 “O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem! And blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem! For evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. — O ye children of Benjamin, the tribe of Benjamin was with the tribe of Judah, and Jerusalem, at least part of it, was in the tribe of Benjamin, and particularly Anathoth, which was Jeremiah’s birth place, was in that tribe; and this could be a reason why the children of Benjamin are so distinctly addressed;

— today, Tekoa is an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, located 20 km northeast of Hebron, 16 km south of Jerusalem; and Bethhaccerem; this place lay between Jerusalem and Tekoa; 

— the trumpets be blown, that it might be heard far and near; so the warning is generally to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

— during Jeremiah’s time, he warned of an enemy coming from the North, but Ezekiel waned of an enemy coming from the South; so what is it? (more at the end)

I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. — the daughter of Zion is a comely and delicate woman; that dwells at home and lives in pleasure, in peace and quietness, in ease and security, in no fear of enemies, or apprehension of danger; and so it describes the secure state of Israel. 

The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.” — the Targum says, “everyone shall help his neighbour.” The sense is, one king or general shall lay siege against a city, or against cities, and so another, until they have consumed and subdued the whole land.

“Prepare ye war against her! Arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! For the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.

Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.”

For thus hath the Lord of hosts said: “Hew ye down trees, and cast a mound against Jerusalem. This is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. — hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: the reason is because there were ditches around the city; and into these they poured in stones, dirt, trees, pieces of wood and so filled them up, and cast up a mount, on which they could raise their batteries, and demolish the walls, making Jerusalem defenceless.

As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness. Violence and spoil are heard in her; before Me continually are grief and wounds.

Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest My soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.”

Thus saith the Lord of hosts: “They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine; turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.”

10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised and they cannot hearken; behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. — behold, their ear is uncircumcised, closed against all admonitions by their own carnal-mindedness, and they cannot hearken, owing to the hardness of their hearts, brought on by their stubborn opposition;

— behold, the Word of the Lord is unto them a reproach, a mockery and a derision; they have no delight in it.

11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in. “I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. — I am weary with holding in, restraint was no longer a virtue; I will pour it out upon the children abroad, those playing in the streets and lanes;

— and upon the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged, the one who is just growing old, with him that is full of days. Thus the sentence of the Lord would strike all classes of people and every age without exception, the whole nation being included in the outpouring of His wrath.

12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together; for I will stretch out My hand upon the inhabitants of the land,” saith the Lord.

13 “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. — from the prophet even unto the priest everyone dealeth falsely; the false prophet, as the Septuagint and other versions; the priest of Baal, both acted deceitfully; the one in prophesying lies to the people, the other in drawing them off from the pure worship of God;

— the Targum says, “from the scribe to the priest” from the lowest order of teachers to the highest in ecclesiastical office; the whole shows a most general and dreadful corruption.

14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightingly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down,” saith the Lord.

16 Thus saith the Lord: “Stand ye in the highways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk therein.’

17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Hearken to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not hearken.’

18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. — what is among them; what sins and transgressions are committed by them; which were the cause of the Lord’s threatening them with sore judgements, and bringing them upon them; so the Targum says “and let the congregation of Israel know their sins.”

19 Hear, O earth: Behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto My words nor to My law, but rejected it. — even the fruit of their thoughts; the Targum renders it, “the retribution or reward of their works.”

20 To what purpose cometh there to Me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto Me.” — your burnt offerings are not acceptable nor your sacrifices sweet unto Me; because the Lord was not deceived by outward appearances which were not in agreement with the true condition of the heart.

21 Therefore thus saith the Lord: “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbor and his friend shall perish.”

22 Thus saith the Lord: “Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. — during Jeremiah’s time, he warned of an enemy coming from the North, but more relevant for us today, Ezekiel waned of an enemy coming from the South; so what is it? (more at the end)

— and a great nation shall be raised; that is, by the Lord, who would stir them up to this undertaking; the Targum says, “many people shall come openly.”

23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy. Their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.” — they shall lay hold on bow and spear… that is, everyone of them should be furnished with both these pieces of armour, that they might be able to fight near and afar off; they had bows to shoot arrows at a distance, and spears to strike with when near. 

24 We have heard the fame thereof; our hands wax feeble. Anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain as of a woman in travail.

25 Go not forth into the field nor walk by the way, for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. — and fear is on every side; all round the city, being encompassed by the Babylon army: or, the enemy’s sword “is fear on every side”; causes fear in all parts round the city;

— the Targum says, “because the sword of the enemy kills those who are gathered round about;” or on every side.

26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes. Make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the despoiler shall suddenly come upon us.

27 “I have set thee as a tower and a fortress among My people, that thou mayest know and try their way.

28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders; they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.

29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed by the fire; the founder melteth in vain, for the wicked are not plucked away.

30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.”

~~~

More on a prophecy of an “enemy” coming from the SOUTH:

Ezekiel 20:45 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
46 “Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the southland.
47 And say to the forest of the south: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
48 And all flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’”
49 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Doth he not speak parables?’”
Ezekiel 21: And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;
3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north,
5 that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn forth My sword out of his sheath. It shall not return any more.’

Q: Who is this enemy from the SOUTH, and it warns “My sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked” and should we be curious how such scenarios would be played out?

~ by Joel Huan on November 3, 2021.

One Response to “Jeremiah (Ch 5-6)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 5 and 6 HERE ~ —— […]

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