Jeremiah (Ch 23-24)

The list of kings of Judah towards the end; in successive reigns, as Josiah (reign 640–609), Jehoahaz (reign 609), Jehoiakim (reign 609–598), Jehoiachin or Jechonias (reign 598–597), and Zedekiah (reign 597–586).

Jeremiah 23

1 “Woe be unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” saith the Lord. — woe be unto the shepherds… or, “O ye shepherds” or “governors” as the Targum says; the civil rulers and magistrates, kings and princes of the land of Judag; since ecclesiastical rulers, the priests and prophets, are mentioned as distinct from them in Jeremiah 23:9; whose business it was to rule and guide, protect and defend the people;

— that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord God; set them bad examples, led them into idolatry which were the cause of their ruin, and of their being carried captive, and scattered in other countries; inasmuch as these people were the Lord’s pasture sheep, whom he had an interest in, and a regard unto, and had committed them to the care and charge of these shepherds to be particularly taken care of.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds that feed My people: “Ye have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not visited them. Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings,” saith the Lord. — ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; they had been driven out of their dwellings, and out of their own land, and being among the nations of the world, and took no thoughts for their return;

— behold, I will visit you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord; that is, punish them for their iniquities; since they visited not the flock in a way of mercy and kindness, as the duty of their office required, the Lord would visit them in a way of justice, and punish them according to their doings.

“And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. — and I will gather the remnant of my flock, out of all countries… such of them as did not perish by the sword, famine, and pestilence, or died not in captivity, and chose not to remain in the kingdom where they were.

And I will set up shepherds over them who shall feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking,” saith the Lord. — and I will set shepherds over them, who shall feed them… good shepherds, rulers and governors, that shall rule them with wholesome laws, and protect and defend them; such as Zerubbabel, Nehemiah and others, after the captivity.

“Behold, the days come,” saith the Lord, “that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth. — that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; the Messiah; so it is explained by the Targum, which calls him the Messiah of the righteous; and by the ancient Jews also; who is spoken of frequently by the prophets as a branch, Isaiah 4:2.

In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called: The Lord Our Righteousness. — He shall be called, the Lord our, Righteousness; here the Messiah is spoken of by a name, in a figure, which is used also by Isaiah and Zechariah.

“Therefore, behold, the days come,” saith the Lord, “that they shall no more say, ‘The Lord liveth who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’

but, ‘the Lord liveth who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.” — which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them: which respects not only the deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, which lay north of Judea; but the return of the ten tribes, and also the gathering of them together at the latter day, when they shall turn to the Lord, and return to their own land;

— notice the subtle change: from the house of Judah to the house of Israel; that is, now it is the ten tribes; and second, out of all the countries or nations, rather than just one nation Babylon; hence this is prophetic regarding the ten tribes and for the endtimes.

Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord and because of the words of His holiness. — mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets… the false prophets, as the Targum rightly interprets it, because of their false doctrines and wicked lives; and because of the mischief they did the people, and the ruin they brought upon them and to themselves.

10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of cursing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.

11 “For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in My house have I found their wickedness,” saith the Lord. — for both prophet and priest are profane… being guilty of the mentioned sins; the Targum says, “the scribe and the priest;” and such were the scribes and priests in the time of our Lord; they played “the hypocrite” as some render the word here; and are often charged with the sin of hypocrisy and called hypocrites.

12 “Therefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness; they shall be driven on, and fall therein; for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation,” saith the Lord. — for I will bring evil upon them: the evil of punishment, which is from the Lord: as sword, famine, pestilence and captivity;

— “even the year of their visitation” could also mean a day of visitation at the latter days, see Jeremiah 23:20.

13 “And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: They prophesied in Baal and caused My people Israel to err. — and I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria… the ten tribes of Israel, among whom, in Ahab’s time there were many false prophets, Baal’s prophets, even four hundred and fifty; whose “folly” the Lord had formerly taken notice of; even their idolatry and impiety for giving into which the ten tribes had been carried captive years ago. 

14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing: They commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness. They are all of them unto Me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.” — I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing… or “so have I seen” as before observed even in the prophets of Jerusalem, where the temple was, and where the pure worship of God was professed to be observed;

— and walk in lies; or, “walking in lies” constantly speaking lies in their common talk and conversation; so that they were not to be believed in anything they said; which was monstrous; and delivering out false doctrines in the name of the Lord, pretending they received them from him; which was worse than prophesying in the name of Baal.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.” — therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets… concerning the false prophets, as the Targum says; their sin is before declared, and now their punishment: behold, I will feed them with wormwood; with some bitter affliction and calamity;

— so the Targum says, “behold, I will bring upon them distress bitter as wormwood;”

— and make them drink the water of gall: or “the juice of hemlock” or “poison” or “the savour of death” as they poisoned the people with their false doctrines, they shall drink poison themselves; they shall not only have that which is bitter and unpleasant, but that which is noxious and hurtful; not only a bitter potion, but a destructive one; the Targum says, “I will cause them to drink a cup of the curse, bad as the heads of serpent.”

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts: “Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you. They make you vain; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. — they make you vain; they filled their heads with vain and empty things, and their hearts with vain hopes;

— so the Targum says, “they deceive you;” they taught vain things, and made them vain and sinful in their lives and conversations; and therefore were not to be hearkened to.

17 They say still unto them that despise Me, ‘The Lord hath said, “Ye shall have peace.”’ And they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’” — the Lord hath said, ye shall have peace; all manner of prosperity; that they should dwell in their own land, and not go into captivity, and enjoy the good things of it in peace and prosperity; this they pretended they had from the Lord; which was an aggravation of their sins; not only to tell a lie, but to tell it in the name of the Lord, and in direct opposition to what the true prophets said from the mouth of the Lord, particularly Jeremiah.

18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard His word? Who hath marked His word and heard it?

19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind; it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. — behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury… or, “behold, a whirlwind of the Lord, of the fury is gone forth” which latter clause explains the former; and, hews, that by “the whirlwind of the Lord” is meant his “fury” or “wrath” which, like a whirlwind, would come suddenly and at an unawares and be very boisterous and powerful;

— and which was gone forth from the Lord and the Chaldean army would quickly appear and invade Judea and besiege Jerusalem, compared to a full and fanning wind, and its chariots to a whirlwind, Jeremiah 4:11.

20 The anger of the Lord shall not return, until He has executed and till He has performed the thoughts of His heart; in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. — in the “latter days” (Genesis 49:1Numbers 24:14Deuteronomy 4:30Deuteronomy 31:29), i.e., in the then distant future), in the then distant future — literally, the end of the days, the endtimes;

— in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly; when too late to avert it by repentance and reformation when all this shall be fulfilled, and the seventy years captivity take place;

— or, “in the end of days” in the latter part off time, when the Jews seek the Lord their God, Hosea 3:5; then “shall they understand it with an understanding” as it may be rendered; when they shall have the veil removed from them, and turn to the Lord;

— in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly; or rather, in the latter days ye shall understand it clearly, viz. that the calamities which will have come upon you are the divine judgement upon your sins;

— here and there the Scriptures hint the message is prophetic, into our time, the endtimes; hence one may read the rest of this chapter with the endtimes in mind, especially there is a proliferation of false prophets around.

21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. — I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied; wherefore what they prophesied was not the word of the Lord, but what they themselves devised; and so was what was false;

— as the Targum adds: it is a sad character of men when they speak in public neither by the will of God, nor according to the word of God.

22 But if they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. — but if they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, proclaiming them as they were truly revealed, then they should have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings;

— in other words, they would preach repentance from idolatry instead of confirming the people in their false security, which has ever been a trick of such as falsely proclaimed themselves messengers of the Lord. To give weight to these reproofs, the Lord now shows why it is that He is familiar with the hypocritical conduct of the false prophets.

23 “Am I a God at hand,” saith the Lord, “and not a God afar off? — God is omniscient, and omnipotent; the Targum says, “I God have created the world from the beginning, saith the Lord; and I God will renew the world for the righteous.”

24 Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him?” saith the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” saith the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed.’ — saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed; not a common dream, but a divine dream; this was one way in which the Lord formerly made known his mind and will to his servants, Numbers 12:6; wherefore these false prophets, in imitation of the true ones, and in order to gain credit from the people, pretended they had a dream from the Lord, in which such and such things were revealed to them;

— and this is repeated by them for the greater certainty of it, and to raise the people’s attention as to something very uncommon and extraordinary. So the Targum says “saying, a word of prophecy has been shown to me in a dream.”

26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, — how long shall this be in the heart of the prophets or prophetess, like one called Jezebel, that prophesy lies?…. to invent such lies, and deceive the people, and turn them away from God; agreeably to the preceding and following verses: this shows that this was not through ignorance and inadvertence; it was a meditated and studied thing by them; they contrived it in their hearts, and they were resolute and bent upon it, and took much delight and pleasure in it.

27 who think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal. — they cause my name Yehovah (YHVH) to be forgotten, and substituted it by false prophets and have used Baal as my name and the prophesying in such a name;

— His name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah (not Jehovah since the letter J wasn’t around but only after the sixteenth century; (more on this at the end)

28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” saith the Lord. — the prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; the Septuagint version is, “let him tell his dream” let him tell it as his own, and not as a dream from the Lord;

— let him speak my word faithfully; or “truly” as it is; teachers of the word are stewards, and it is required of such that they be faithful, and a more honourable character they cannot well have; and then may the word of the Lord be said to be spoken faithfully, when nothing else is spoken but that; when there is no mixture of man’s with God’s; and when the whole of it is spoken, and nothing kept back or concealed;

— or, “let him speak my word, truth” which is truth; or, for it is truth; so this is a reason why it should be spoken freely, fully, publicly, and boldly, because it is truth, and nothing but truth: or, “let him speak my word as truth;”

— why do ye mix the chaff with the wheat? the Targum interprets this of persons, paraphrasing the words thus, “behold, as one separates between the chaff and the wheat, so I separate between the righteous and the wicked, saith the Lord.”

29 “Is not My word like as a fire?” saith the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? — is not My Word like as a fire? saith the Lord, devouring and destroying all the philosophy of men which will not stand the test of His eternal truth;

— and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? its power overcoming even the hardest and the strongest fabric of men’s imagination.

30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” saith the Lord, “that steal My words every one from his neighbor. — therefore, because the false prophets were practicing deceit and seducing the people, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal My words, every one from his neighbor; they appropriated the inspired sayings of the true prophets in order to give their own oracles a show of right.

31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” saith the Lord, “that use their tongues and say, ‘He saith.’ — the Targum says, “who prophesy according to the will of their own hearts;” the Targum continues, “therefore, behold, I send my fury against the false prophets.”

32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams,” saith the Lord, “and do tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them. Therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” saith the Lord. — behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, or the prophetess’ false visions, insisting that the fabric of their own thoughts was to be accepted as God’s revelation, and do tell them, and cause My people, as the Lord still calls them for the sake of the true believers in their midst;

— to err by their lies and by their lightness, by their boastful and wanton inventions; yet I sent them not nor commanded them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord, a most emphatic statement that their activity would result in nothing but injury to the people.

33 “And when this people or the prophet or a priest shall ask thee, saying, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ thou shalt then say unto them, ‘What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord.’ — saying, what is the burden of the Lord? according to a custom by which the prophet was asked concerning any new revelations, which they purposely designated as an unpleasant burden, thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? 

— or, “Thou shalt tell them what the burden of Yehovah is,” namely, I will even forsake you, saith the Lord, an unloading of the burden, a rejecting of the people.

34 And as for the prophet and the priest and the people who shall say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ I will even punish that man and his house. — and as for the prophet and the priest and the people that shall say, the burden of the Lord, in blasphemous mockery of His solemn announcement, I will even punish that man and his house, all the members of a man’s family who are guilty with him.

35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What hath the Lord answered?’ and, ‘What hath the Lord spoken?’ — thus shall ye say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, what hath the Lord answered? and, what hath the Lord spoken? thus showing the proper respect for the prophecy of Yehovah.

36 And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more, for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. — and the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more, no more toss this expression about in mockery; for every man’s word shall be his burden, that is, this expression, if used in such a jeering sense, would become a burden to such a scorner, heavy enough to bear him down to the ground; 

— for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts, our God, whose majesty is here emphatically declared, to give added weight to His proclamation.

37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, ‘What hath the Lord answered thee?’ and, ‘What hath the Lord spoken?’ — what hath the Lord answered thee? and what hath the Lord spoken? this is repeated from Jeremiah 23:35; for the confirmation of it, and to show how much the Lord approved of such a way of behaving towards his prophet.

38 But since ye say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ therefore thus saith the Lord: Because ye say this word, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ and I have sent unto you, saying, ‘Ye shall not say: The burden of the Lord,’ — for the words of God were delivered with a salutary tendency, to warn sinners of the danger of their situation, and to call them to repentance. Those, therefore, who made a right use of them would have no cause to complain. But those who despised and rejected them perverted that which should have been for their wealth into an occasion of falling.

39 therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of My presence. — and the city that I gave you and your fathers; the city of Jerusalem, which he had given to them to dwell in, and their fathers before them; but now they having sinned against him, and provoked him;

— therefore, notwithstanding this grant of the place to them, and which is mentioned that they might not depend upon it, and buoy up themselves with hopes that they should be in safety on that account; as he had forsaken them, he would forsake that, and the temple in it, and give it up into the hand of the Chaldeans;

— the Targum says, “I will remove you far away, and the city which I save you and your fathers from my word;” it signifies their going into captivity.

40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame which shall not be forgotten.” — and I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you and a perpetual shame, namely, on the part of all her enemies and all the witnesses of her downfall, which shall not be forgotten; a similar fate awaits those who in our days purposely follow the lead of the false prophets and join them in jeering and mocking those who confess the truth of God’s Word.

Jeremiah 24

The list of kings of Judah towards the end; in successive reigns, as Josiah (reign 640–609), Jehoahaz (reign 609), Jehoiakim (reign 609–598), Jehoiachin or Jechonias (reign 598–597), and Zedekiah (reign 597–586).

1 The Lord showed me, and behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon.

One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs, which could not be eaten they were so bad. — one basket had very good figs, being full of very fine specimens of this fruit, even like the figs that are first ripe, which were considered special delicacies; 

— and the other basket had very naughty figs, bad, unwholesome, rotten fruit, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

Then said the Lord unto me, “What seest thou, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs: the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten they are so evil.” — then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs very good and the evil very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil; the purpose of the question was to impress the lesson upon Jeremiah’s mind, to call attention to the objects which were to symbolize the Jews.

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

“Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. — thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, still the God of the covenant to all who are Israelites in truth; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, regarding them with favor, extending His pleasure to them;

— whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good, to let them experience His blessings, to have them realize that His method of dealing with them was for their own benefit.

For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. — for I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, being most attentive to their wants in this respect, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them and not pull them down, as a building condemned to be wrecked; 

— and led them to repentance in the land of their captivity, the result being that their condition was bettered; and I will bring them again to this land, and I will plant them and not pluck them up;

And I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart. — and I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the Lord, the punishment of the Babylonian captivity directing their minds to the one true God, who could thus carry out His threats, so that they likewise looked for mercy to Him alone;

— and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, thus restoring the original relation, which had been so rudely disturbed and made impossible by their idolatry; for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart, or, “I will be their God when they return to Me with their whole heart.”

“‘And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten they are so evil’” — surely thus saith the Lord — “‘so will I deem Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt. — and as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten they are so evil: surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah, the king of Judah, and his princes, all the rulers and nobles of the people;

— and the residue of Jerusalem that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt, the obstinate Jews, who refused to heed His warning and accept His advice to yield to the Chaldeans.

And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse in all places whither I shall drive them. — and I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, literally, “I will give them for a shaking-up, for evil to all kingdoms of the earth,” so that abuse and misfortune would strike them everywhere, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them, they would be the object of blasphemous derision on the part of all those with whom they would come into contact.

10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.’” — and I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, the great scourges of all times, among them, till they be consumed from off the land, exterminated, extirpated from the Land of Promise, that I gave unto them and to their fathers;

— thus the Lord predicts further invasions and repeated sackings of Jerusalem. Thus was His curse, as uttered in the Law, Deuteronomy 28:37, carried out upon all those who refused Him obedience according to His demand, as a warning to men of all times.

~~~

More on God’s name, Yehovah.

God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah, which are embedded in the Masoretic text over 6000 times, yet when translated into our English language most had been translated as Lord, or LORD, which are titles, but not his name. His name is יהוה‎ Yehovah, or YEHOVAH (but there are no capital letters in Hebrew).

It wasn’t until 1524 that Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian, invented the letter J that this new letter started to take a hold in the writings of western Europe. Even in 1611 when the English Bible the King James has our subject of study by the prophet Jeremiah, he was known as Ieremiah. So Jehovah is a very late comer.

The following verses with the LORD erred in translation. His name Yehovah should be used:

I am the LORD; that is My name. And My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. Joel 2:32

“I am sought of them that asked not for Me; I am found of them that sought Me not. I said, ‘Behold Me, behold Me,’ unto a nation that was not called by My name. Isaiah 65:1

When we call our God, the LORD, we err, because his name is not the LORD, which is a title. His name is YEHOVAH! May We all ask for his forgiveness, and may Our merciful God forgive us all.

~ by Joel Huan on November 12, 2021.

One Response to “Jeremiah (Ch 23-24)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 23 and 24 HERE ~ —— […]

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