Jeremiah (Ch 17-18)

Chapter 17 continues with more prophecies of the destruction of the house of Judah, their sins of idolatry, of Sabbaths breaking, both houses were notorious for their violations; of which they were sinners and both were send into captivity.

Jeremiah 17

1 “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron and with the point of a diamond. It is engraved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars, — with a pen of iron; this is an allegory; that is to say that it is deeply engraved, and cannot be erased with a pen of iron, with a diamond point;

— as expressed by Jeremiah, it’s called ‘an iron wall,’ and by Ezekiel, it was said (Ezekiel 3:9): “As a diamond, harder than flint have I made your forehead;”

— there is no need to limit the sin of Judah to idolatry, but it includes all other sins, like breaking the Sabbaths; and so the Targum expresses it in the plural number, “the sins of Judah;” though, if any particular sin is intended, its main one seems to be idolatry.

whilst their children remember their altars and their wooden idols by the green trees upon the high hills. — their children remember their altars… which is a further proof of their long continuance in idolatrous practices; they trained up their children in them; who, when grown up, imitated them, and went on in the same evil ways.

O My mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin throughout all thy borders. — O my mountain in the midst of the field… meaning either the temple, called the mountain of the house, and of the Lord’s house, Micah 3:12, or else Jerusalem, which stood on a hill in the midst of a plain, surrounded with fruitful fields and gardens; or in the midst of a land like a field;

— the Targum says, “because thou worshippest idols upon the mountains in the field:”

— I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil; all the riches of the city and temple to be the spoil and plunder of the enemy; and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. 

And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not; for ye have kindled a fire in Mine anger which shall burn for ever.” — I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not; the Babylonians in Chaldea; or, later, the Romans.

Thus saith the Lord: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

For he shall be like the heath (a tract of wasteland) in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. — blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord; in the Word of the Lord, as the Targum says.

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be disquieted in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? — and it is a common mistake among mankind to think their own hearts a great deal better than they really are; the truth is, the heart of man, in his corrupt and fallen state, is false and deceitful above all things.

10 “I, the Lord, search the heart; I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” — I the Lord search the heart… the inward parts of it, every room and corner in it; and know the thoughts of it; all its intents, purposes, designs, contrivances, and imaginations; all the secret motions and emotions of it, and any wickedness that is in it.

11 As the partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not, so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool. — the partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not, or, a partridge hatching eggs which it has not laid;

— as the words may be more literally rendered, hatcheth eggs which she did not lay; so he that getteth riches, but not by his labour;

— the Targum says, “at his end he is called a wicked man;” because of the unjust manner in which he got his riches, and which appears by his end; every filthy rich is an abomination.

12 A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed. “And they that depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.”

14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for Thou art my praise.

15 Behold, they say unto me, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now.”

16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a shepherd to follow Thee; neither have I desired the woeful day, Thou knowest; that which came out of my lips was right before Thee.

17 Be not a terror unto me; Thou art my hope in the day of evil.

18 Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded; let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed. Bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction. — bring upon them the day of evil; of punishment; which they put far away, and scoff at; though the prophet did not desire the woeful day to come upon the people in general, yet upon his persecutors in particular. 

19 Thus said the Lord unto me: “Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;

20 and say unto them, ‘Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem that enter in by these gates.

21 Thus saith the Lord: Take heed for yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; — neither carry forth a burden on the Sabbath, neither do ye any work; servile work is also forbidden to be done upon all solemn festivals, Leviticus 23:8; Leviticus 23:35, much more upon the sabbath days;

— but hallow ye the sabbath days; as the sabbath was instituted as a sign or token of God’s covenant with his people.

22 neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. — neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day… not of dirt and soil only, but of any ware or merchandise, in order to be sold in the city or elsewhere:

— neither do ye any work; any servile work, any kind of manufacture, either within doors or without; or exercise any kind of trade, or barter and merchandise, or do any sort of worldly business; nothing but what was of mere necessity, for the preservation of life; see Exodus 20:10;

— the penalty for breaking the Sabbath is death; but the gift of observing it is the identification of being of his chosen ones (more at the end)

23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.

24 “‘And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto Me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day to do no work therein, — but hallow ye the sabbath day; or, “sanctify it” by separating it from all worldly business, and devoting it to the worship of God in public and private, spending it wholly in acts of religion and piety:

— one part of the sanctification of the sabbath lay in a cessation from all servile work, though not wholly, but also in the observance of religious worship, and the one was in order to the other; for, unless they abstained from worldly business, they could not be at leisure to attend divine service.

25 then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain for ever.

26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, and meat offerings and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise unto the house of the Lord.

27 But if ye will not hearken unto Me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.’” — there should be no fire kindled on the sabbath, but where the sabbath is profaned, it was that Jerusalem was destroyed and its people carried away as captives because they profaned the sabbath;

— and the observance of it was the distinguishing character of a Jew, whereby he declared himself to be a worshipper of the true God, who made heaven and earth, and ordained the sabbath day as a memorial of the creation. So that for the Jews to profane the sabbath, was in effect to renounce their share in God’s covenant;

— the sabbath was instituted as a sign or token of God’s covenant with his people, Exodus 31:13; it was to identify the people to God “that ye may know that I am the Lord,” and God to his people “that I am the Lord who doth sanctify you.” It’s a two-way streets.

Jeremiah 18

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

“Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words.” — and there I will cause thee to hear my words; there the Lord would tell him what he had further to say to him, and what he should say to the people; and by sensible objects before him, he would cause him to understand more clearly what he will say to them.

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. — then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels, literally, “on the disks,” for the potter’s lathe consisted of two horizontal wooden plates, the lower one larger than the upper, the clay being molded into shape on the upper disk.

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make it.

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

“O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter?” saith the Lord. “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in Mine hand, O house of Israel. — in previous chapters 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;

— 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;

— emphasis here is the house of Israel, which is repeated above, the lost ten tribes; but could also include the house of Judah, for they committed the same sins and would certainly share the same punishments.

At the instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to pull down and to destroy it,

if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

And at the instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, — to build and to plant, the royal family of the house of David; which applied to the planting of Jewish princesses to Ireland;

— the destruction of Zedekiah’s Pharez line; to the planting of the Zarah line ruling in the British Isles! (for more see “Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright” by J.H. Allen).

10 if it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good wherewith I said I would benefit them.

11 Now therefore go to speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I frame evil against you and devise a device against you. Return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.’” — behold, I frame evil against you; as the potter frames his clay upon the wheel, to which the allusion is; which is to be understood of the evil of punishment, but not of any secret purpose, and settled determination, in the mind of God to bring it upon them;

— and devise a device against you; the same as before; by which it looked as if he had thought of the matter, and had contrived a scheme, which if he went on with, would issue in the subversion of their whole state.

12 And they said, “There is no hope; but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.”

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord: “Ask ye now among the heathen: Who hath heard such things? The virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.

14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? Or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?

15 Because My people hath forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity; and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, on a road not cast up,

16 to make their land desolate and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.

17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.” — I will scatter them as with an east wind, a violent wind from the desert, before the enemy;

— I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity, the metaphor is taken from the custom of kings and princes, which is, to turn their backs on, that is, will not look upon them in a favourable way, nor with any pity and compassion for them, nor hear their cries; but turn his back upon them, and a deaf ear unto them.

18 Then said they, “Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.” — then said they, come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah… being enraged at the warning messages threatening them, they propose to enter into a confederacy and consultation together, to think of ways and means to stop the mouth of the prophet, and even to take away his life;

— since he had told them that God had devised a device against them, they would scheme for devising devices against him; so that they might walk after their own devices, without being teased and tormented by this prophet:

— nor counsel from the wise; we have wise rulers and governors, and members of the Sanhedrin, and judges of all controversies, and who are capable of giving advice upon any occasion; does he think to know better than our statesmen and sages, our counsellors in the temple and state affairs?

— nor the word from the prophet; we have prophets among us, that prophesy as well as he; and whose words of prophecy shall be fulfilled, when his will not; who assure us that we shall have peace and prosperity; and therefore let us not regard what this man says, or be intimidated by his threats:

— and so the Targum says, “let us bear false witness against him;” or, “let us smite him in the tongue” cut it out; or stop his mouth, and hinder him from speaking any more in this manner to the people; or, “let us smite him for the tongue” because of the words he says, or the prophecies he delivers.

19 Give heed to me, O Lord, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.

20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? For they have dug a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before Thee to speak good for them, and to turn away Thy wrath from them. — they have digged a pit for my soul; that is, they have laid snares for me as for a wild beast; for pits are digged for wild beasts to fall into, that they may be taken;

— for they have digged a pit for my soul, where they hoped to catch him unawares.

21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle. — and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; let them have neither husbands nor children; which latter might be a comfort to them, when they are being stripped of these men and children, their affliction and distress would be much greater.

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when Thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them; for they have dug a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet. — let a cry be heard from their houses, as the attacking forces enter, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them, namely, the murderous hordes of the invaders; for they have digged a pit to take me and hid snares for my feet, as the fowler does for the bird.

23 Yet, Lord, Thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me; forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from Thy sight, but let them be overthrown before Thee; deal thus with them in the time of Thine anger. — deal thus with them in the time of thine anger; the set time for thy wrath to come upon them to the uttermost; then do unto them according to all the imprecations or curses now being prepared; which the prophet foresaw, and believed he would do; and therefore thus spake.

~~~

More about keeping the Sabbaths:

“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord who doth sanctify you,” Exodus 31:13.

“Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you. Every one who defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people,” Exodus 31:14.

“Six days may work be done, but on the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whosoever doeth any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death,” Exodus 31:15.

Keeping the Sabbaths identify the people to God “that ye may know that I am the Lord,” and God to his people “that I am the Lord who doth sanctify you.” It’s a two-way streets.

Even in the New Testament, Jews and Gentiles converted to Christianity, called Nazarenes, were meeting in synagogues on the Sabbath (Mark 6:2Luke 4:31Luke 13:10–16Acts 13:142742–4415:2116:1317:218:4). Obviously, with no work being done on the Sabbath day, the Sabbath day would be the ideal day to have organized worship services. This indicates early Christian believers still believe that the Sabbath be the day of rest as well as a day of worship. Besides being a sign of identity, of affiliation, before God and his chosen ones, the Sabbath is also the fourth of the Ten Commandments; and the penalty for profaning its observance is death.

~ by Joel Huan on November 9, 2021.

One Response to “Jeremiah (Ch 17-18)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 17 and 18 HERE ~ —— […]

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