Jeremiah (Ch 13-14)

Years could have passed and now Jeremiah was asked to prophecy again, probably in the year 602 BC during the reign of Jehoiakim.

This chapter contains a single and distinct prophecy, which, under two symbols, a linen girdle left to rot, and all vessels being filled with wine, foretells the utter destruction that was destined to fall upon the whole Jewish nation, including the individuals of every rank and denomination.

Jeremiah 13

1 Thus saith the Lord unto me, “Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.” — go and get thee a linen gird; this girdle represents the people of Judah with their corruption, when they were a people near unto the Lord, when they cleaved unto him, and served him: “and put it upon thy loins”; near the reins, the seat of affection, and that it might be visible and ornamental;

— the prophet was commanded not to put the girdle in water, that is, not to wash it, but to leave it in that state of filthiness which it had contracted in wearing it.

So I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord and put it on my loins.

And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying,

“Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a hole of the rock.” — and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock; by the river side, where the waters, coming and going, would reach and wet it, and it drying again, would rot the sooner;

— this signifies the carrying of the Jews captive to Babylon, by which city the river Euphrates ran, and the obscure state and condition they would be in there; and where all their pride and glory would be marred, as afterwards declared.

So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. — so I went and hid it by Euphrates… or, “in” it; in a hole of the rock, upon the banks of it.

And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.” — that the Lord said unto me, arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there; which may denote the return of these people from captivity, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah; see Jeremiah 25:11;

though this seems to be visionally done, in order to express the wretched state and condition these people were in; especially before the captivity, which was the chief cause for their captivity.

Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it; and behold, the girdle was marred (rotten); it was profitable for nothing. — and, behold, the girdle was marred; or “corrupted” it become rotten by the washing of the water over it, and its long continuance in such a place:

— it was profitable for nothing; it could not be put upon a man’s loins, or be wore any more; nor was it fit for any other use, it was so sadly spoiled and so thoroughly rotten. It was not fit for anything.

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Thus saith the Lord: ‘In this manner will I mar (destroy) the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. — will I destroy the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem; or their glory, or excellency; that which they gloried in, and were proud of; their city which was burnt, and their temple which was destroyed by the Chaldeans; their king, princes, and nobles, who were carried captive into Babylon, by the river Euphrates, and stripped of all their grandeur, honour, and glory;

— the Targum says, “so will I corrupt the strength of the men of Judah, and the strength of the inhabitants of Jerusalem;” meaning the proud or haughty men of Judah, and the many haughty men of Jerusalem would be destroyed.

10 This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and walk after other gods to serve them and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle which is good for nothing. — this evil people, which refuse to hear my words… sent by the prophets, to whom they turned a deaf ear; and though they pressed them, and desired them to give a hearing, they refused; and this showed them to be a bad people, very degenerate and wicked;

— shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing: as they were corrupt in their practices, and were useless and unserviceable to God; so they would be carried captive into a foreign country, where they would be inglorious or shameful, and unprofitable, uncomfortable in themselves, and of no use to one another.

11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto Me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah,’ saith the Lord, ‘that they might be unto Me as a people, and as a name, and as praise, and as glory; but they would not hear.’ — so have I caused the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah to cleave unto me; whom God had chosen above all people to dwell in his courts; whom he favoured with his presence, and cleave to him; so that they were a people near unto him as a man’s girdle is to his loins;

— but they would not hear the words of the Lord, nor obey his voice; but served other gods, departed from the Lord, to whom they should have cleaved, and so became like this rotten girdle.

12 “Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word: ‘Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Every bottle shall be filled with wine.’ And they shall say unto thee, ‘Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?’ — every bottle shall be filled with wine; God’s judgements are often represented under the figure of a cup full of intoxicating liquor: see this metaphor pursued at large, Jeremiah 25:15.

13 Then shalt thou say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land — even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem — with drunkenness. — behold, I will fill all the inhabitants with drunkenness; there is a wine of astonishment and confusion, Psalms 60:3;

— with that wine, saith God, I will fill all orders of persons, kings, priests, prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will dash them one against another I will permit an evil spirit of strife and division to arise among them; a sort of civil strife out of nothing;

— with drunkenness; as wine brings on a state of intoxication, so the effect of God’s wrath and judgements upon the entire nation would be to reduce all its members to a state of helpless distraction, which would cause them to rush to their own ruin, with tribulation;

— with drunkenness; as the Targum interprets by adding, “and shall be like a drunken man;” giddy, stupid, unable to help themselves, or to advise one another.

14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,’ saith the Lord. ‘I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but shall destroy them.’” — and I will dash them one against another; I will permit an evil spirit of civil strife and division to arise among them, as Judges 9:23, so that they shall be set one against another, fathers against their sons, and sons against their fathers, and family against family; 

— I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them: the Lord’s hand was in all this; everything was according to his will; he would not prevent the enemy’s invading, besieging, and taking them, nor hinder themselves from destroying one another; but suffer from one calamity to another, without showing the least mercy to them, so great were their sins, and the provocation in hastening the destruction of their kingdom.

15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord hath spoken.

16 Give glory to the Lord your God before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. — and before your feet stumble; before the time come when ye shall be forced to flee by night unto the mountains for fear of your enemies;

— or, more generally, before you find yourselves overtaken by the pursuing judgements of God, notwithstanding all your endeavours to outrun and escape from them;

— the Targum says, “before tribulation comes upon you, and ye be like to those that walk in darkness.”

17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive. — my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; your haughtiness, stubbornness, and vain confidence; and mine eye shall weep sore; because the Lord’s flock His people, and the sheep of his pasture; are carried away captive.

18 Say unto the king and to the queen, “Humble yourselves, sit down; for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.” — humble yourselves, sit down; or, “sit down humbled”; come down from your thrones, and sit in the dust; humble yourselves before the Lord for your own sins, and the sins of the people;

— in times of general corruption, and which threatens a nation with ruin, it becomes kings and princes to set an example of repentance, humiliation, and reformation; that they should descend from their throne, and lose their grandeur, and be in a low and abject condition, than an exhortation to what was their usual dominance;

— even the crown of their glory; or glorious crown, which should fall from their heads, or be taken from them, when they should be no more served, or treated as crowned heads.

19 The cities of the South shall be shut up, and none shall open them. Judah shall be carried away captive, all of it; it shall be wholly carried away captive. — the cities of the South shall be shut up, and none shall open them… meaning the walls of the cities of the South were closed even before those coming upon them from the north because of their fear of Nebuchadnezzar.

20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north. Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? — the state and whole body of the people being called upon to observe the Chaldean army, which came from the north; and is on the march, just at hand to invade, besiege, take, and carry them captive;

— the Septuagint renders it, “lift up thine eyes, O Jerusalem”; or as the Targum interprets it, “O Israel: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” that is, the people, which were committed to the care and charge of the king,

— as sheep into the hands of a shepherd; and were a fine body of people, chosen of God; a precious and distinguished above all others by their righteous laws and statutes, with special privileges; a people who were to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, and a peculiar people, the glory and a light to the whole earth;

— but now carried, or about to be carried, captive. It is no unusual thing to represent a king as a shepherd, and his people as a flock, guided, governed, and protected by him.

21 What wilt thou say when He shall punish thee? For thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee. Shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail? — the Targum says, “when he shall visit on thee thy sin;” when God shall punish thee for thy sins;

— for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee; some Jews showed the Chaldeans the way into their country, and taught them how to conquer them, and be masters over them; or, “hast taught them against thee”; to thy hurt and detriment;

Hezekiah even who showed the emissaries of Merodachbaladan of the Chaldeans his entire treasure house:

And Hezekiah was glad with them, and showed them the house of his precious things — the silver and the gold, and the spices and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah showed them not; Isaiah 39:2;

And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and showed them all the house of his precious things: the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah showed them not, II Kings 20:13.

— shall not sorrows take thee as a woman in travail? denoting the suddenness of their calamities; the sharpness and severity of them; and that they would be inevitable, even all the treasures of the temple to be carried away, and could no longer be prevented.

22 And if thou say in thine heart, “Why come these things upon me?”—for the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts uncovered, and thy heels made bare. — the phrases are expressive of captivity, the cause of which was the greatness and multitude of their sins; the Targum says, “because thy sins are multiplied, thy confusion is revealed, thy shame is seen;”

— are thy skirts uncovered, and thy heels made bare; being obliged to walk naked and barefoot, their buttocks uncovered, and their legs and feet naked, without stockings or shoes, as captives used to be led, to their great shame and disgrace; see Isaiah 20:2.

23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. — can the Ethiopian change his skin, turning it to a white color, or the leopard his spots, characteristic as they have become of him? 

— then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil; the one was practically as impossible as the other; they were entirely given over to wickedness.

24 “Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. — by the wind of the wilderness; which blows freely and strongly; so the Chaldean army is compared to a dry wind of the high places in the wilderness, even a full wind that should scatter and destroy, Jeremiah 4:11;

— or, “to the wind of the wilderness”; and so may denote the wilderness of the people, or the land of Babylon, whither they should be carried captive, and from whence the wind should come that should bring them.

25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from Me,” saith the Lord; “because thou hast forgotten Me, and trusted in falsehood.

26 Therefore will I uncover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear. — the Targum says, “and I also will reveal the confusion of thy sin upon thy face, and thy shame shall be seen;” that their sins might appear to themselves and others, of which they had reason to be ashamed.

27 I have seen thine adulteries and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! Wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be?” — wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be? The Lord is still stretching out arms of mercy to an apostate nation, a proof of the greatness of His love and patience for sinners.

Jeremiah 14

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth:

“Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up. — the Targum says; these mourned because of the drought and famine that were upon the land:

— they are black unto the ground; that is, the inhabitants of the cities, and those that sit in the gates, their faces are black through famine; see Lamentations 4:8, so the Targum says “their faces are covered with blackness, they are black as a pot.”

And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters; they came to the pits and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. — they came to the pits and found no water; their servants came according to order to the pools and cisterns, or to the deep wells, and to such places where there used to be a great confluence of water, and plenty of it, but now they could find none:

— and covered their heads; as persons ashamed, or as mourners used to do, being full of anguish and distress because of the drought.

Because the ground is chapped, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed; they covered their heads.

Yea, the hind also calved in the field and forsook it, because there was no grass. — because there was no grass; for the hind to feed upon, and so had no milk to suckle its young with; and therefore left it to seek for grass elsewhere, that it might have food for itself, and milk for its young.

And the wild asses stood in the high places; they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes failed, because there was no grass.”

O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do Thou it for Thy name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against Thee.

O the Hope of Israel, the Savior thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest Thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? — why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land; or, a “sojourner” who abides but for a while; and it not being his native place, is not so solicitous for the welfare of it. 

Why shouldest Thou be as a man amazed, as a mighty man that cannot save? Yet Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by Thy name; leave us not. — yet thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us; having his residence and dwelling in the temple at Jerusalem; and therefore was not a stranger and foreigner among them;

— and this carries in it an entreaty and an argument that he would not in his providence conduct towards them in such manner as though he was: leave us not in our distress and trouble, but deliver us out of it.

10 Thus saith the Lord unto this people: “Thus have they loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord doth not accept them; He will now remember their iniquity and visit their sins.”

11 Then said the Lord unto me, “Pray not for this people for their good. — pray not for this people for their good; or “for good things”, as the Septuagint says, for rain, that the famine might cease; and for deliverance from their enemies, that they might not go into captivity; for these things were determined by the Lord.

12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.” — but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; the Lord not only determines the continuance of the famine, notwithstanding the prayers of the prophet; but adds two other judgements, the sword and pestilence, by which he was resolved to consume them; and therefore it was to no purpose to pray to him on their behalf, he was inexorable.

13 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say unto them, ‘Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” — behold, the prophets say unto them; that is, the false prophets, who were influencing the people for evil.

14 Then the Lord said unto me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke unto them. They prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought and the deceit of their heart. — the prophets prophesy lies in my name; it is a wicked thing to tell lies; it is more so to foretell them, and that in the name of the Lord; pretending they have his authority, and are under the influence and guidance of his Spirit;

— and it was sinful for the people to give credit to them, and the more so in that they were forewarned of these prophets and their lies, and had the reverse told them by a true prophet of the Lord, and therefore were inexcusable.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in My name, whom I sent not, yet they say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’: By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. — yet they say, sword and famine shall not be in the land; though the Lord by his true prophet had said there should be both; which proves that they were not sent by the Lord, since what they said was in direct opposition to the word of the Lord; wherefore their doom in righteous judgement follows:

— by sword and famine shall these prophets be consumed; they should be some of the first, if not the first that should perish by these calamities; which would abundantly prove the falsehood of their predictions, and show that their lies could neither secure themselves nor others from the judgements which the Lord had said should come upon them.

16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them — them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters — for I will pour their wickedness upon them. — shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, because of the famine and the sword; they dying of the famine and of the sword, their carcasses should be cast out of their houses into the open streets, and there lie unburied, as a punishment for disbelieving the words of the Lord, and giving heed to the lies of the false prophets:

— them: their wives, their sons, their daughters; or rather, “they” – “their wives, and their sons, and their daughters”: these shall die by the famine and the sword, and shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem.

17 “Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them: ‘Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease; for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow. — the Septuagint, “bring down upon your eyes tears night and day, and let them not cease;”

— for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach; cities are sometimes called virgins, which were never taken; and so Jerusalem have never been taken since it was in the hands of the people of Judah; nor were its inhabitants as yet carried captive, but now together with the famine and the sword, by which many should perish, resulting in sorrows and mournings.

18 If I go forth into the field, then behold, the slain with the sword! And if I enter into the city, then behold, them that are sick with famine! Yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.’” — then behold them that are sick with the famine! just ready to die, being starved for want of provisions; and multitudes dead, and their carcasses lying in the streets unburied; the prophet does not make mention of the dead indeed, only of the sick with famine; the reason of which is because the sick were more than the dead.

19 Hast Thou utterly rejected Judah? Hath Thy soul loathed Zion? Why hast Thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold, trouble! — hast thou utterly rejected Judah?…. the prophet, though forbid, proceeds to prayers and expostulations on account of this people, the people of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin: or, “in rejecting hast thou rejected Judah?” from being a nation, from being under thy care and protection? hast thou cast them away, and wilt thou suffer them to go into captivity as the ten tribes?

20 We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers; for we have sinned against Thee. — we acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers… this is said by the prophet, in the name of the few faithful that were among this people, who were sensible of their own sins, the sins of their ancestors, and which they ingenuously confess; their fathers had sinned, and they had imitated them;

— and continued in the same, and therefore might justly expect the displeasure of the Lord, and his controversy with them; for we have sinned against thee; Jeremiah 14:7.

21 Do not abhor us, for Thy name’s sake; do not disgrace the throne of Thy glory; remember, break not Thy covenant with us. — do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake… which was called upon them, and which they called upon; they deserved to be abhorred, they had done those things which might justly render them abominable, being what was abhorrent to him; and they deprecate this, not, for their own sake, who were unworthy of any favour, but for his own sake, for the sake of his honour and glory, which, as it is dear to the Lord, so to his people.

22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Art not Thou He, O Lord our God? Therefore we will wait upon Thee, for Thou hast made all these things. — art not Thou He, O Lord, our God? Since He had sent the dreadful droughts under whose hardships the land was groaning, therefore He alone could provide relief. 

~ by Joel Huan on November 7, 2021.

One Response to “Jeremiah (Ch 13-14)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 13 and 14 HERE ~ —— […]

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