Jeremiah (Ch 11-12)

Jeremiah’s message were written 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 an enemy coming out from the north and an impending exile to follow if they continue with all their wickedness and idolatries, but his message was also for the house of Israel at the endtime.

Jeremiah 11

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

“Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

and say thou unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, — cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant; which the prophet, it may be, had in his hands, even the book of the law, and held it forth unto them, while he was speaking; the language of which is, cursed is everyone that does not constantly and perfectly perform what is contained in it, Deuteronomy 27:26.

which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt from the iron furnace, saying, “Obey My voice, and do them, according to all which I command you; so shall ye be My people and I will be your God,” — according to all I command you; everything was to be done that was commanded, and a perfect and uniform obedience is to be yielded to the law, in order to enjoy the blessing, or a penalty is incurred.

that I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.’” Then answered I, and said, “So be it, O Lord.” — that I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, the special promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Deuteronomy 7:8;

— to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day, this beautiful and rich land being still in the possession of the children of Israel. 

Then the Lord said unto me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear ye the words of this covenant and do them. — proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: with a loud voice, and openly, that all may hear.

For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, “Obey My voice.”

Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart. Therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did them not.’”

And the Lord said unto me, “A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear My words, and they went after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers. — in previous verses God’s words were usually directed against Jerusalem, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, their elders and priests, but here, it is to the house of Israel again.

11 Therefore thus saith the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto Me, I will not hearken unto them. — and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them: because their prayers were hypocritical, and not attended true repentance; otherwise, when men cry to God, under a sense of sin, being truly sorry for it, he hears them, and delivers them;

— but these would be concerned only for the evil that was come upon them, and not the evil they had been guilty of; and such sinners, when they pray to him, the Lord hears not;

— the Targum says, “and they shall pray before me, and I will not receive their prayers.”

12 Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense; but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. — go and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense; Baal; to Astarte, the queen of heaven; to a Christianised Mithra, the Persian sun-god, who was born on December 25th, on the winter solstice; to the moon, planets, and other hosts of heaven.

13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.’ — for according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah, practically a different idol for every city; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars, a different one for every open place;

— to that shameful thing, to the idol which is the essence of all that is shameful and even altars to burn incense unto Baal, this idol being the chief abomination of the Canaanite nations since remote times. The Lord, having thus set forth the wickedness of Judah, turns to His prophet with the command that he should not interfere with His just punishment upon the apostate nation.

14 “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto Me for their trouble. — the Targum understands this of the prayers of the prophet for them, paraphrasing the words thus,”for there is no acceptance before me (or it is not pleasing to me) when thou shall pray for them before me, in the time of their evil;”

— neither their prayers, nor the prophet’s for them, would be acceptable to God, or of any avail, he being determined to bring evil upon them.

15 What hath My beloved to do in Mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? When thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.

16 The Lord called thy name, ‘A Green Olive Tree,’ fair and of goodly fruit. With the noise of a great tumult He hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.

17 For the Lord of hosts, who planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.” — for the evil of the house of Israel; the ten tribes, who had committed sin, and for which the evil pronounced had been executed on them already, being some time ago carried captive:

— a message to the house of Israel again; this reminder could be historic but more probably, it is prophetic: the evil of whose heinous sins shall be followed with most dreadful punishments.

18 And the Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it; then Thou showed me their doings.

19 But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.” — like a lamb or an ox; the Targum translates it “as a choice lamb;”

— that is brought to the slaughter; to be sacrificed or killed by the butcher; so ignorant was the prophet of the designs of his townsmen against him, and not at all jealous that they wished him ill; since he meant none to them, but sought their good:

— let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof and let us cut him off from the land of the living that his name may be no more remembered; they wanted to bring ruin, if possible, death, to Jeremiah and his family and cause his warning be buried; or be forgotten. Therefore the prophet calls upon the Lord for vengeance in his just cause.

20 But, O Lord of hosts, who judgest righteously, who triest the reins and the heart, let me see Thy vengeance on them, for unto Thee have I revealed my cause. — but, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously… this is the prophet’s appeal to God, as the Judge of the whole earth, who will do right; he found there was no justice to be done him among men; he therefore has recourse to a righteous God, who he knew judged righteous judgement:

— let me see thy vengeance on them; the Targum says “I shall see the vengeance of thy judgement on them;”

— for unto thee have I revealed my cause; as a client to his patron; told his whole case, and left it with him, believing he would execute justice for him.

21 “Therefore thus saith the Lord of the men of Anathoth, who seek thy life, saying, ‘Prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that thou die not by our hand’ — saying, prophesy not in the name of the Lord; without their leave, and such hard things as he did, unless he would prophesy smooth things, and then he might go on, otherwise he must expect to die:

— that thou die not by our hand; or means; they intimate, that, should he persist in prophesying, they should not stay to carry on a judicial process against him, before a judge or the Sanhedrin, but should do as those called zealots in later times did; lay violent hands upon him.

22 therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine. — the young men shall die by the sword, being cut down by the enemy in battle, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine, the result of the unmerciful siege begun by the enemies.

23 And there shall be no remnant of them; for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.’” — And there shall be no remnant of them, the Lord being determined to carry out His sentence of extermination upon them;

— this seems more prophetic than historical; for during their historical moment their remnants were carried off to either Assyria for the house of Israel or to Babylon for the house of Judah; so if there is no remnant left then it has to be prophetic, into our time;

— but in the book of Ezekiel more details were given about putting an end to even the remnants. Ezekiel 11:13 And it came to pass when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice and said, “Ah, Lord God! Wilt Thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?” — the conditions around Israel would be so bad that those few, if any, who survive would ask, “Would God make a full end to the remnant of Israel?”

Jeremiah 12

1 Righteous art Thou, O Lord, when I plead with Thee; yet let me talk with Thee of Thy judgements: Why doth the way of the wicked prosper? Why are all they happy that deal very treacherously? — yet let me talk with thee of thy judgements; of his laws, statutes, word, and ordinances;

— the Targum says, “but I will ask a question of judgements before thee;” things that are right; that are agreeable to the word of God and sound reason; things that are consistent with God, particularly his justice;

— why doth the way of the wicked prosper? Why is it that they seem to be fortunate in all their dealings?  Why are their designs and projects successful? 

— why are they all happy that deal very treacherously? How may the fact be explained that the very ones who are guilty of the worst perfidy, who practice the basest knavery, live in peace?

Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit. Thou art near in their mouth, but far from their reins. — thou art near in their mouth; they often made use of the name of God, either in swearing by it, or praying to him in an external manner; they called themselves the Lord’s people, and boasted of being his priests, and employed in his service; they took his covenant, and the words of his law, into their mouths, and taught them the people, and yet had no sincere regard for these things:

— and far from their reins; from the affections of their hearts, and the desires of their souls; they had no true love for God, nor fear of him, nor faith in him. The Targum says, “near are the words of thy law in their mouth, and far is thy fear from their reins.”

But Thou, O Lord, knowest me; Thou hast seen me and tried mine heart toward Thee. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. — prepare them for the day of slaughter; or, “sanctify them”; set them apart for it: this, doubtless, refers to the time of Jerusalem’s destruction by the Chaldeans.

How long shall the land mourn and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts are consumed, and the birds, because they said, “He shall not see our last end.”

“If thou hast run with the footmen and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trusted, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?

For even thy brethren and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee; believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.

“I have forsaken Mine house, I have left Mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies. — I have forsaken my house… the temple, where the Lord took up his residence; this was fulfilled in the first temple, when it was destroyed by the Chaldeans; and more fully in the second, when that voice was heard in it, a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, as Josephus relates, “let us go hence;”

— the Targum says, “I have forsaken the house of my sanctuary.”

Mine heritage is unto Me as a lion in the forest: it crieth out against Me; therefore have I hated it.

Mine heritage is unto Me as a speckled bird: the birds round about are against her. Come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field; come to devour.

10 Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. — many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard… this is a metaphor not just applying to the heathens, Nebuchadnezzar and his generals, but often apply to the elders and princes of Israel and Judah; shepherds that destroyed them are from with their own elders, princes or governors, civil or religious;

— the Targum paraphrases it, “many kings slay my people.”

11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto Me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.

12 The despoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness; for the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land. No flesh shall have peace. — the spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness… of Judea; or which lay between Chaldea and Judea, through which the Chaldean army came; called here the “spoilers”, because they spoiled and plundered all places where they came;

— for the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end; of the land even the other end of the land; the sword of the Chaldeans is called the sword of the Lord, because it was drawn by his order and appointment, and by him to do execution, and the calamity thereof;

— no flesh shall have peace; no inhabitant of Judea shall be in safety, but be exposed to the sword, or to captivity.

13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns; they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit; and they shall be ashamed of your produce because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

14 “Thus saith the Lord against all Mine evil neighbours, who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. — “evil neighbours”: the Egyptians, Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Tyre, and Sidon; whom the Lord calls his neighbours, because they were near the land of Canaan, where his people dwelt, his presence, and where the temple was in which he took up his residence; and his “evil” neighbours, because they often distressed and afflicted his people;

— behold, I will pluck them out of their land; cause them to be carried captive into other lands, or be destroyed on their own; see Jeremiah chapters forty six through forty nine: and pluck out the house of Judah from among them; such of the Jews they had formerly carried captive, or who had fled to them upon the Chaldean invasion; these the Lord would cause to come forth from among them, and return them to their own land.

15 And it shall come to pass after I have plucked them out, I will return and have compassion on them, and will bring them back, every man to his heritage and every man to his land. — and will bring them again every man to his heritage; thus, after God had threatened severe judgements upon several countries, he promises of their return from their captivity in the latter days; which probably relates chiefly to their conversion seems to indicate the conversion of the Gentiles in the latter day, when the fullness of them shall be brought in.

16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘The Lord liveth,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then shall they be built in the midst of My people. — then shall they be built in the midst of my people; become part of the building of God’s physical and spiritual government; being laid upon the same foundation of the patriarchs, the prophets and the apostles;

— the Targum says, “and they shall be established in the midst of my people.”

17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” saith the Lord. — I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the Lord: root it up from being a nation, strip it of all its privileges and enjoyments, and destroy it with an everlasting destruction; see Zechariah 14:16.

~ by Joel Huan on November 6, 2021.

3 Responses to “Jeremiah (Ch 11-12)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 11 and 12 HERE ~ —— […]

  2. You’re welcome!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the Word of God!

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