Jeremiah (Ch 9-10)

In the next two chapters, Jeremiah sympathises with the calamities of his people, that they should humble themselves before the mighty hand of God. It begins with an exhortation to hear the word of the Lord, and not to learn the way of the heathens, since their customs were in vain, which lead on to expose their idols, and against the greatness and glory of God.

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 9

1 Oh, that my head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging place for wayfaring men, that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.

“And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies, but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me,” saith the Lord. — and they bend their tongues like their bow for lies… their tongues were like bows, and their lying words like arrows, which they directed against persons to their injury; see Psalms 11:2, or, “like their deceitful bow” to which the Targum agrees, “they teach their tongues words of falsehood, they are like to a deceitful bow.”

— the words may be rendered, “they bend their tongues, their bow is a lie” either deceitful, or carries a lie in it, and shoots one out of it.

“Take ye heed every one of his neighbor, and trust ye not in any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will walk with slanders.

And they will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. — they have taught their tongue to speak lies; the tongue, as it were, being almost compelled, as though unwilling to become guilty of so much wickedness, and become so accustomed to lying that they cannot do otherwise; it is as it were natural to them:

— Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints, Hosea 11:12;

— Ephraim is prone to telling lies, or a chronic liar (more at the end)

Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,” saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will melt them and try them; for how else shall I do for the daughter of My people?

Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in heart he lieth in wait.

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

10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast have fled; they are gone.

11 “And I will make Jerusalem heaps and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.”

12 Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, that he may declare it? For why has the land perished and burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through? — nobody seems to understand the various symbols and riddles in the book of Ezekiel to put all the puzzles into a cohesive and coherent picture;

— Jews couldn’t understand what or how the house of Israel could have any relevance since the days they went into exile; Christians taught themselves that they have already replaced the Israelites and God’s graceful promises of eternity are now theirs! Hence neither understand the meaning in “The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet” Isaiah 28:3.

13 And the Lord saith, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, neither walked therein,

14 but have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after the Baalim, which their fathers taught them.”

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood and give them water of gall to drink. — the word rendered wormwood here, it seems, signifying an herb which is not only bitter and nauseous, but also noxious; hence the Targum says, “I will bring tribulation upon them, bitter as wormwood:”

— and give them water of gall to drink; meaning either of the entrails of a beast so called, or of the juice of the herb hemlock, as the word is rendered in Hosea 10:4, as poison of a serpent, and so the Targum says, “and I will give them the cup of cursing to drink as the heads of serpents:” signifying that their punishment would be very severe, though just;

— thus they believe in fantasies; of bunnies and eggs, or a Santa ho-ho-ho, or praying to a non existent holy ghost in their foreheads.

16 I will scatter them also among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send a sword after them till I have consumed them.” — yes, this enemy is 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?

17 Thus saith the Lord of hosts: “Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for skillful women, that they may come.

18 And let them make haste and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids gush out with waters.

19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion: ‘How are we despoiled! We are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.’”

20 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbor lamentation.

21 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.

22 Speak, “Thus saith the Lord: ‘Even the carcasses of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.’”

23 Thus saith the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might; let not the rich man glory in his riches. — thus saith the Lord, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, not in his natural wisdom, or knowledge of natural things: this is often but an appearance of wisdom, but to a true knowledge of God; 

— let not the rich man glory in his riches; these come of the hand of God, and these cannot profit in a day of wrath, nor deliver from death, corporeal, spiritual, or eternal;

— the Targum paraphrases them thus, “thus saith the Lord, let not Solomon the son of David the wise man praise (or please himself) in his wisdom; nor let Samson the son of Manoah the mighty man please himself in his might.”

24 But let him that glorieth glory in this: that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord who exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight,” saith the Lord.

25 “Behold, the days come,” saith the Lord, “that I will punish all them that are circumcised with the uncircumcised—

26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.” — the house of Judah and the house of Israel are listed among the heathens here.

Jeremiah 10

1 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel. — in previous chapters God’s words were usually directed against Jerusalem, the elders of Judah and priests, but pop here, it is to the O house of Israel;

— but other chapters were also directed at Israel: “Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel,” (Jeremiah 2:4,26). So the rest of Jeremiah should be read in this context.

Thus saith the Lord: “Learn not the way of the heathens, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. — of the nations round about them, particularly the Chaldeans, whom the Jews were destined to live in captivity; meaning their religious ways, their ways of worship, their superstition and idolatry, and yet they learn from them; from the Samaritans to the Chaldeans;

— and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; the Chaldeans were addicted to astrology, and attributed to the heavenly bodies a considerable influence over human affairs. This naturally tended to beget a religious dread and awe of those objects: the sun, moon, and planets are said to have been set in the firmament for signs; from the eclipse of the sun to the eclipse of the moon.

For the customs of the people are vain; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not; they must be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”

Inasmuch as there is none like unto Thee, O Lord—Thou art great, and Thy name is great in might”

who would not fear Thee, O King of nations? For to Thee doth it appertain, inasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto Thee. — the Targum renders it, “King of all people;”

— among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like unto Thee; no matter where a person searches for a god who might stand a comparison with Yehovah, the quest will be useless: He Yehovah alone is the one object of worship.

But they are altogether brutish and foolish; the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

Silver beaten into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman and of the hands of the founder. Blue and purple is their clothing; they are all the work of skillful men.

10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and an everlasting King. At His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation. — at His wrath the earth shall tremble, shrinking back in terror before His living wrath, as the children of Israel had experienced at Mount Sinai.

11 “Thus shall ye say unto them: ‘The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.’”

12 He hath made the earth by His power; He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.

13 When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He maketh lightning with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasuries.

14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

15 They are vanity and the work of errors; in the time of their visitation they shall perish. — and the work of errors, of deceit and mockery, causing their worshipers to be mocked and derided when the nothingness of the idols becomes evident; 

— in the time of their visitation they shall perish, that is, when God shall punish the idol-worshippers, the idols themselves shall likewise perish.

16 The portion of Jacob is not like them, for He is the Former of all things; and Israel is the rod of His inheritance; the Lord of hosts is His name.

17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.

18 For thus saith the Lord: “Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.”

19 Woe is me for my hurt! My wound is grievous; but I said, “Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.”

20 My tabernacle is despoiled, and all my cords are broken; my children are gone forth from me, and they are no more; there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.

21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord; therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

22 Behold, the noise of the clamor is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons. — here in Jeremiah, the house of Judah had been constantly warned of an enemy coming out from the North, but in Ezekiel 20-21, the house of Israel had been warned of a yet ‘unknown’ enemy of the future coming from the opposite direction, the South.

23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

24 O Lord, correct me, but with judgment, not in Thine anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing.

25 Pour out Thy fury upon the nations that know Thee not, and upon the families that call not on Thy name; for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

~~~

Ephraim is prone to telling lies:

Below are some classic examples of lying and deceit in the house of Ephraim for reflection:

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was a perceived confrontation that led to the United States engaging in the Vietnam War. It involved a falsely claimed clash between ships of North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for an attack on the USS Maddox, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005, proved that the US government lied to justify a war against Vietnam. 

The outcome of this deception was the passage by US Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon Johnson the authority and justification for deploying US forces against “communist aggression”. 

“But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie. Not a single time. Never,” Bill Clinton testified before the nation, Jan. 26, 1998. For his deceit, Clinton became the second president in American history impeached by the House of Representatives.

In an August 2002 speech that kicked off the Bush White House administration’s campaign for war against Iraq, Cheney asserted, “Simply stated, there’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

In October 2002, the late Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed he had “bullet-proof” evidence that Saddam was tied to Osama bin Laden. And a National Intelligence Estimate said Iraq had “continued its weapons of mass destruction program.”

“However, there is no doubt at all that the development of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein poses a severe threat not just to the region, but to the wider world.” – Tony Blair, House of Commons, 10 April 2002.

Prime Minister Tony Blair defended himself in 2005: “I have never told a lie. No. I don’t intend to go telling lies to people. I did not lie over Iraq.”

Colin Powell, the former and late Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs of Staff in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on June 7, 2020, called Donald Trump a chronic liar. “The one word I have to use with respect to what he’s been doing for the last several years is the word I would never have used before, never would have used with any of the four presidents I worked for, he lies,” said Colin Powell. “He lies about things. And he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable.”

~ by Joel Huan on November 5, 2021.

One Response to “Jeremiah (Ch 9-10)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 9 and 10 HERE ~ —— […]

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