Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Jeremiah
(Edition 1.0 20230305-20230305)
Chapters 9-12 using both the RSV and the Septuagint (LXX).
Commentary on Jeremiah Part 3
O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2O that I had in the desert a wayfarers' lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a company of treacherous men. 3They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says the LORD. 4Let every one beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother; for every brother is a supplanter, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. 5Every one deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent. 6Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, says the LORD. 7Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people? 8Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peaceably to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him. 9Shall I not punish them for these things? says the LORD; and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this? 10"Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone. 11I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant." 12Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the LORD spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? 13And the LORD says: "Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, or walked in accord with it, 14but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Ba'als, as their fathers taught them. 15Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them poisonous water to drink. 16I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them." 17Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skilful women to come; 18let them make haste and raise a wailing over us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush with water. 19For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'How we are ruined! We are utterly shamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.'" 20Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge. 21For death has come up into our windows, it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares. 22Speak, "Thus says the LORD: 'The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.'" 23Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; 24but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the LORD." 25"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised but yet uncircumcised-- 26Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert that cut the corners of their hair; for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."
Intent of Chapter 9
v. 1 is the end of the lament over Judah that commenced in 8:18.
9:2-9 The basis of this next lament is that the people are entirely corrupt and thus it differs from the previous lament. Instead of sympathy Jeremiah has nothing but contempt for the lying, deceiving untrustworthy, adulterous nation (11:19-23; 12:6; 20:10). Jeremiah would rather a wayfarer’s remote lodging in the desert than with these lying slanderers (1Kgs. 19:3-4).
vv. 3-6 “Let not one of us be guilty of slander (v. 4). The damage from libellous gossip, especially if done with malicious intent, is often impossible to recover. This is not how the mind of God works. We need to have friends and confidants but we should be cautious in exposing ourselves to needless harassment.
The time will come when our affiliation will bring a real persecution and we will stand to a public hatred of The God that will be reflected in hatred against those who keep God’s laws. This mindset of hostility and general wrong way of thinking is what is presently being dealt with through baptism.”
v. 9 5:9
9:10-22 Lamentation over Zion
9:10-12 God says that He will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins and Judah a desolation without inhabitant. Specifically, because they have forsaken God’s Laws and gone after the Baals as their fathers have taught them. Death stalks the land broken only by the howl of jackals (7:34).
9:13-16 A composite commentary on the oracle in vv. 10-12, 17-22 (comp. 5:18-19).
Poisonous water (and wormwood) (8:14; 23:15; Ezek. 23:31-34). Baal worship (including the festivals of the goddess Easter) was a religious system of the demons given to the nations in the Middle East. It has infected Israel and the Church, since Egypt, to this day (see ##105; 222; 235). It will now be finally stamped out at the return of Messiah (see #141F).
9:17-22 Following on from 10-12 above: Here professional women mourners were to be summoned to bewail the fate of Zion. Death was to cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the town squares and into the houses and palaces.
v. 21 The verse reflects a figure of speech in allusion to the Canaanite god of death (see OARSV n.).
9:23-24 True Glory and Eternal Life (No. 133) is to know and understand the Only True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (Jn. 17:3 and 1Cor. 1:31). Man’s goals are nothing (1Kgs. 3:10-12) compared to the Knowledge of God.
9:25-26 The days are coming when the circumcised will be punished as uncircumcised. Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab (see No. 212B; 212C; 212D; 212E; 212F)) and all who dwell in the desert that cut the corners of their hair (as sun worshippers). For they are all uncircumcised and all the House of Israel is uncircumcised in their hearts.
English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible.
Brenton, Sir Lancelot C. L... (1851)
Chapter 9 1 Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes? then would I weep for this my people day and night, even for the slain of the daughter of my people. 2 Who would give me a most distant lodge in the wilderness, that I might leave my people, and depart from them? for they all commit adultery, an assembly of treacherous men. 3 And they have bent their tongue like a bow: falsehood and not faithfulness has prevailed upon the earth; for they have gone on from evil to evil, and have not known me, saith the Lord. 4 Beware ye each of his neighbour, and trust ye not in your brethren: for every one will surely supplant, and every friend will walk craftily. 5 Every one will mock his friend; they will not speak truth: their tongue has learned to speak falsehoods; they have committed iniquity, they ceased not, so as to return. 6 There is usury upon usury, and deceit upon deceit: they would not know me, saith the Lord. 7 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will try them with fire, and prove them; for I will do thus because of the wickedness of the daughter of my people. 8 Their tongue is a wounding arrow; the words of their mouth are deceitful: one speaks peaceably to his neighbour, but in himself retains enmity. 9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a people as this? 10 Take up a lamentation for the mountains, and a mournful dirge for the paths of the wilderness, for they are desolate for want of men; they heard not the sound of life from the birds of the sky, nor the cattle: they were amazed, they are gone. 11 And I will remove the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and make it a dwelling-place of dragons; and I will utterly waste the cities of Juda, so that they shall not be inhabited. 12 Who is the wise man, that he may understand this? and he that has the word of the mouth of the Lord addressed to him, let him tell you wherefore the land has been destroyed, has been ravaged by fire like a desert, so that no one passes through it. 13 And the Lord said to me, Because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them, and have not hearkened to my voice; 14 but went after the lusts of their evil heart, and after the idols which their fathers taught them to worship: 15 therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them with trouble and will cause them to drink water of gall: 16 and I will scatter them among the nations, to them whom neither they nor their fathers knew; and I will send a sword upon them, until I have consumed them with it. 17 Thus saith the Lord, Call ye the mourning women, and let them come; and send to the wise women, and let them utter their voice; 18 and let them take up a lamentation for you, and let your eyes pour down tears, and your eyelids drop water. 19 For a voice of lamentation has been heard in Sion, How are we become wretched! we are greatly ashamed, for we have forsaken the land, and have abandoned our tabernacles! 20 Hear now, ye women, the word of God, and let your ears receive the words of his mouth, and teach your daughters lamentation, and every woman her neighbour a dirge. 21 For death has come up through your windows, it has entered into our land, to destroy the infants without, and the young men from the streets. 22 And the carcases of the men shall be for an example on the face of the field of your land, like grass after the mower, and there shall be none to gather them. 23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, and let not the strong man boast in his strength, and let not the rich man boast in his wealth; 24 but let him that boasts boast in this, the understanding and knowing that I am the Lord that exercise mercy, and judgment, and righteousness, upon the earth; for in these things is my pleasure, saith the Lord. 25 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will visit upon all the circumcised their uncircumcision; 26 on Egypt, and on Idumea, and on Edom, and on the children of Ammon, and on the children of Moab, and on every one that shaves his face round about, even them that dwell in the wilderness; for all the Gentiles are uncircumcised in flesh, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in their hearts.
Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2Thus says the LORD: "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, 3for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. 4Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. 5Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good." 6There is none like thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might 7Who would not fear thee, O King of the nations? For this is thy due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like thee. 8They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! 9Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men. 10But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. 11Thus shall you say to them: "The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens." 12It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 14Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. 15They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish. 16Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name. 17Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who dwell under siege! 18For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it." 19Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, "Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it." 20My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again, and to set up my curtains. 21For the shepherds are stupid, and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. 22Hark, a rumor! Behold, it comes! --a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals. 23I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. 24Correct me, O LORD, but in just measure; not in thy anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. 25Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the peoples that call not on thy name; for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.
Intent of Chapter 10
10:1-16 God and the Idols
Some claim that this is a later elaboration of a now lost oracle by Jeremiah (comp. Isa. 44:9-20; Ps. 115:3-8) (see OARSV n.).
vv. 1-9 “God was specific in His condemnation of the sun cults in Jeremiah’s day. From this text we see God absolutely condemns the solstice festival that we now call Christmas.
Any person who keeps or follows these festivals is a devotee of the god Baal and the sun cults. They are not Christians.”
v. 2 Signs of the heavens eclipses, comets, and astrological observations are meaningless.
v. 4 Men deck it with silver and gold (Comp. Isa. 40:18-20; 41:6-7).
v. 5 They have to be carried see also Is. 46:1-7.
Cucumber field (Isa. 1:8).
Tarshis Sardinia or Tartessus in Southern Spain. Uphaz uncertain
“The decorated pine tree stems directly from the Mystery cults and the worship of the god Attis. He is held to have been a man who became a tree and, hence, is the embodiment of the ancient tree-spirit we meet in ancient Indian or Indus mythology from as early as Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. He is clearly a fertility god of corn and wears a Phrygian cap like Mithras (from the statue in the Lateran; Frazer, v, p. 279).
The bringing in of the pine tree decked in violets and woollen bands is like bringing in the May-tree or Summer-tree in modern folk custom. The effigy that was attached to the tree was a duplicate representative of the god Attis. This was traditionally kept until the next year, when it was burnt (Firmicus Maternus, De errore profanarum religionum; cf. Frazer, v, p. 277 and n. 2). It is forbidden by God in Jeremiah 10:1-9.
The original intent of this custom was to maintain the spirit of vegetation intact throughout the coming year. The Phrygians worshipped the pine tree above all others and it is from this area that we derive the Mysteries and the Mithras system. It is probably sacred to the cults in that it is an evergreen lasting through the solstice period over a large area, when other trees are bare. Remember also that pine-resin was burnt at the solstice festivals. The origins are lost in the antiquity of the Assyro-Babylonian system.” The relics of the “cross” are all usually of pine. Christ was executed on a stauros or stake (see No. 039)
Note that vv. 6,7,8 and 10 are not in the LXX, nevertheless it does not significantly diminish the impact of the meaning of the text.
vv. 10-11 The Lord is the True God
He alone is adonim of the adonim or the Lord of Lords. He created by fiat and delegation and hence the plurality of the text in Jeremiah 10:10-11.
v. 11 Considered an Aramaic gloss unique in Jeremiah from the Fifth Century BCE.
vv. 12-13 There is only one true God as we see. He is the living God and everlasting king. The elohim thus had a variety of roles in the creation. The one true God made the earth by His power and wisdom. Joshua the Messiah the Son of God (No. 134) and The Shema (No. 002B)
vv. 14-16 Israel was reserved as a portion to Yahovah of Hosts. Israel was the rod of His inheritance. Thus Israel had a function to perform in the establishment of God’s inheritance (see 001A, 001B, 001C). Yahovah of Hosts is the Father. He alone (Lam. 3:24) is worthy of Worship (see 51:15-19) No. 002). Yahovah of Hosts works through Yahovah of Israel whom He appointed (Deut. 32:8) and anointed above his partners (Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8-9). Yahovah of Israel is thus the Angel of Yahovah who is an elohim (Zech. 12:8), as will the sons of God become elohim (No. 001). However, flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1Cor. 15:50). Thus the Kingdom and the inheritance look forward to the spiritual. Israel could not become sons of God through the flesh. Neither can unrighteousness inherit the Kingdom (1Cor. 6:9). However, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Lk. 12:32), which is our inheritance. From our resurrection we become sons of God and equal to the angels (Lk. 20:36; F042). Those who received Christ were given the right to become sons of God (Jn. 1:12; F043). That was the purpose of the Incarnation so that we might see the love of God and be His sons (1Jn. 3:1-2; Rev. 21:7; F066v). The first covenant can only be fulfilled or completed through the second element. See also:
10:17-22 Prepare to Leave Related to but later than 9:10-22. The text describes a siege, perhaps in 597 BCE. They are sent into captivity because of the sin and stupidity of the shepherds and that will continue now until the Return of the Messiah (F066v). In Exile, Zion will lose her children (Isa. 49:14-23; 54:1-3).
10:23-25 Prayer of Jeremiah - Judah is guilty and deserves punishment (Prov. 20:24; cf. Rom. 1:18-23). God is asked to not destroy Judah and be merciful (see Am. 7:2-6; Ps. 6:1).
v. 25 is considered by some as a later addition reflecting the Sixth Century BCE desolation of Judah as an accomplished fact rather than the declaration of God, which it actually is (see also Ps. 79:6-7).
English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible.
Brenton, Sir Lancelot C. L... (1851)
Chapter 10 1 Hear ye the word of the Lord, which he has spoken to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn ye not the ways of the heathen, and be not alarmed at the signs of the sky; for they are alarmed at them, falling on their faces. 3 For the customs of the nations are vain; it is a tree cut out of the forest, the work of the carpenter, or a molten image. 4 They are beautified with silver and gold, they fix them with hammers and nails; 5 they will set them up that they may not move; it is wrought silver, they will not walk, it is forged silver They must certainly be borne, for they cannot ride of themselves. Fear them not; for they cannot do any evil, and there is no good in them. 6 7 8 9 brought from Tharsis, gold will come from Mophaz, and the work of goldsmiths: they are all the works of craftsmen, they will clothe themselves with blue and scarlet. 10 11 Thus shall ye say to them, Let the gods which have not made heaven and earth perish from off the earth, and from under this sky. 12 It is the Lord that made the earth by his strength, who set up the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the sky, 13 and set abundance of waters in the sky, and brought up clouds from the ends of the earth; he made lightnings for the rain, and brought forth light out of his treasures. 14 Every man is deprived of knowledge, every goldsmith is confounded because of his graven images; for he has cast false gods, there is no breath in them. 15 They are vain works, wrought in mockery; in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 Such is not the portion of Jacob; for he that formed all things, he is his inheritance; the Lord is his name. 17 He has gathered thy substance from without the lodged in choice vessels. 18 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will overthrow the inhabitants of this land with affliction, that thy plague may be discovered. 19 Alas for thy ruin! thy plague is grievous: and I said, Surely this is thy wound, and it has overtaken thee. 20 Thy tabernacle is in a ruinous state, it has perished; and all thy curtains have been torn asunder: my children and my cattle are no more: there is no more any place for my tabernacle, nor place for my curtains. 21 For the shepherds have become foolish, and have not sought the Lord; therefore the whole pasture has failed, and the sheep have been scattered. 22 Behold, there comes a sound of a noise, and a great earthquake from the land of the north, to make the cities of Juda a desolation, and a resting-place for ostriches. 23 I know, O Lord, that man’s way is not his own; neither shall a man go, and direct his going. 24 Chasten us, O Lord, but with judgment; and not in wrath, lest thou make us few. 25 Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that have not known thee, and upon the families that have not called upon thy name: for they have devoured Jacob, and consumed him, and have made his pasture desolate.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2"Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not heed the words of this covenant 4which I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, 5that I may perform the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day." Then I answered, "So be it, LORD." 6And the LORD said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. 8Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but every one walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not." 9Again the LORD said to me, "There is revolt among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words; they have gone 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. 11Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am bringing evil upon them which they cannot escape; though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to burn incense to Ba'al. 14"Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16The LORD once called you, 'A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit'; but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. 17The LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil which the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by burning incense to Ba'al." 18The LORD made it known to me and I knew; then thou didst show me their evil deeds. 19But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more." 20But, O LORD of hosts, who judgest righteously, who triest the heart and the mind, let me see thy vengeance upon them, for to thee have I committed my cause. 21Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of An'athoth, who seek your life, and say, "Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, or you will die by our hand" -- 22therefore thus says 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; 23and none of them shall be left. For I will bring evil upon the men of An'athoth, the year of their punishment."
Intent of Chapter 11
11:1-23 Jeremiah and the Covenant
Josiah’s reformation was to eliminate all traces of foreign worship and this was carried on through Isaiah, Jeremiah and the latter prophets as we see in Jeremiah also and in Ezekiel (see also 2Kgs. Chs. 22, 23). The purpose was to return to the provisions of the Mosaic Covenant given by God through Christ to Moses (see Acts 7:30-53; 1Cor. 10:1-4; Rev. 12:17; 14:12). The greatest of the Gnostic heresies was that the Law of God (L1) is done away in the Churches of God; especially the Law under the NT. It is God’s Covenant (see 10:14-16 n. above and also ## 152; 096B; above and Christianity and Islam in the Covenant of God (No. 096C); (see v. 3 this covenant; v. 10 my covenant). Messiah will eliminate such antinomian views at his return for the Millennium (#141F). All prophetic preaching is based on the Covenant relationship with God according to His Law and Calendar (No. 156). If a religious authority does not speak according to the Law and the Testimony, there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20). As a result of the continuing apostasy of Israel and Judah, God will bring evil on them in the last days and wipe out their apostasy and backsliding and all their ministry that teach such things. Satan will be put in the pit and Israel and the entire world will be brought captive to the millennial system under Messiah. It is not understood, by some scholars, whether this speech is contemporary with Josiah’s reform from 627/6 BCE or later (after 609 BCE). Although it could have been given by God to Jeremiah in the sequence, as we might expect.
The word Command is used of the covenant in Deuteronomy (Deut. 4:13; 6:17; etc).
v. 3. 27:26;
v. 4. Deut. 4:20;
v. 5 Deut. 7:12-13;
v. 8 Deut. 29:19).
Iron furnace Deut. 4:20; 1Kgs. 8:51; Isa. 48:10. Note that intercession for the apostate people is useless (14:11-12), as are their apostate rituals.
v. 16 The incineration of the green olive trees in the Temple area is symbolic of Judah’s destruction and ultimately all of Israel and the nations in preparation for the Millennium (Ps. 52:8).
11:18-12:6 Jeremiah’s First Personal Lament re: the plot against his life (11:18-19; 12:6; 11:20; 12:3b). In this order the lament is the first of Jeremiah’s six personal laments. The others are in 15:10-21; 17:14-18; 18:18-23; 20:7-13; 20:14-18. He learns that he is the object of an assassination plot and prays to the One True God for protection (17:10; Ps. 26).
11:21-23 His significant exposure of the false prophets and priests, and those associated with them is probably the origin of the threat. In his prophecies (5:12; 18:21; 19:15; 23:12) their end is foretold.
English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible.
Brenton, Sir Lancelot C. L... (1851)
Chapter 11 1 The word that came to Jeremias from the Lord, saying, 2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and thou shalt speak to the men of Juda, and to the dwellers in Jerusalem; 3 and thou shalt say to them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Cursed is the man, who shall not hearken to the words of this covenant, 4 which I commanded your fathers, in the day wherein I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace, saying, Hearken to my voice, and do all things that I shall command you; so shall ye be to me a people, and I will be to you a God; 5 that I may confirm mine oath, which I sware to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then I answered and said, So be it, O Lord. 6 And the Lord said to me, Read these words in the cities of Juda, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. 7 8 But they did them not. 9 And the Lord said to me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Juda, and among the dwellers in Jerusalem. 10 They are turned aside to the iniquities of their fathers that were of old, who would not hearken to my words: and, behold, they go after strange gods, to serve them: and the house of Israel and the house of Juda have broken my covenant, which I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I bring evils upon this people, out of which they shall not be able to come forth; and they shall presently cry to me, but I will not hearken to them. 12 And the cities of Juda and the dwellers in Jerusalem shall go, and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense; which shall not deliver them in the time of their troubles. 13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Juda; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to burn incense to Baal. 14 And thou, pray not for this people, and intercede not for them in supplication and prayer: for I will not hear in the day in which they call upon me, in the day of their affliction. 15 Why has my beloved wrought abomination in my house? will prayers and holy offerings take away thy wickedness from thee, or shalt thou escape by these things? 16 The Lord called thy name a fair olive tree, of a goodly shade in appearance, at the noise of its being lopped, fire was kindled against it; great is the affliction coming upon thee: her branches are become good for nothing. 17 And the Lord that planted thee has pronounced evils against thee, because of the iniquity of the house of Israel and the house of Juda, whatsoever they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger by burning incense to Baal. 18 O Lord, teach me, and I shall know: then I saw their practices. 19 But I as an innocent lamb led to the slaughter, knew not: against me they devised an evil device, saying, Come and let us put wood into his bread, and let us utterly destroy him from off the land of the living, and let his name not be remembered any more. 20 O Lord, that judgest righteously, trying the reins and hearts, let me see thy vengeance taken upon them, for to thee I have declared my cause. 21 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth, that seek my life, that say, Thou shalt not prophesy at all in the name of the Lord, but if thou dost, thou shalt die by our hands: 22 behold, I will visit them: their young men shall die by the sword; and their sons and their daughters shall die of famine: 23 and there shall be no remnant left of them; for I will bring evil upon the dwellers in Anathoth, in the year of their visitation.
Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I complain to thee; yet I would plead my case before thee. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? 2Thou plantest them, and they take root; they grow and bring forth fruit; thou art near in their mouth and far from their heart. 3But thou, O LORD, knowest me; thou seest me, and triest my mind toward thee. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. 4How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because men said, "He will not see our latter end." 5"If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you fall down, how will you do in the jungle of the Jordan? 6For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; believe them not, though they speak fair words to you." 7"I have forsaken my house, I have abandoned my heritage; I have given the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies. 8My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest, she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her. 9Is my heritage to me like a speckled bird of prey? Are the birds of prey against her round about? Go, assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour. 10Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have trampled down my portion, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no man lays it to heart. 12Upon all the bare heights in the desert destroyers have come; for the sword of the LORD devours from one end of the land to the other; no flesh has peace. 13They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns, they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the LORD." 14Thus says the LORD concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage which I have given my people Israel to inherit: "Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. 16And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, 'As the LORD lives,' even as they taught my people to swear by Ba'al, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, says the LORD."
Intent of Chapter 12
12:1-4 In this text Jeremiah questions the traditional view that the wicked always suffer and the righteous prosper. In Judah at this time the wicked, ostensibly faithful, prosper (see also Job Ch. 21, Ps. 73). Jeremiah asserts his integrity (see Ps. 139:23-24) and God, in two proverbs, explains to Jeremiah that the present age is but a preparation for a more demanding future. God says: vv. 5-6 “If we cannot contend with footmen, how can we run with horses in time of trial? If in a safe land we fall down how will we do in the jungles of the Jordan” (see 49:19).
The elect in comparative safety do little. We must learn to run with horses when the Jordan is in flood. The maxim of the soldier is, as you train so you fight. The Warning of the Last Days (No. 044). Keeping the Law is but a qualification test, over the 3400 years, from Moses to Messiah, of obedience to God for the “out resurrection” of Phil. 3:11; cf. Rev. 20 (see #143A).
12:7-13 God’s Lament; In this text, God laments the destruction of His people by the many shepherds (v. 10). He has forsaken His house and abandoned His heritage because it has lifted up its voice against Him. Therefore the nations are summoned as wild beasts against them. His people have sown wheat and harvested thorns and are to be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
12:14-17 They were corrupted by Baal worship and so were the nations around Israel who taught Israel to swear by Baal instead of the One True God Eloah, as Ha Elohim. To this day Israel and the nations are corrupted by the Sun and Mystery Cults and the paganised worship of the sun god and his consort, the goddess Easter (No. 235). The people will be destroyed and then restored after the Sun and Mystery cults are removed and eradicated completely for the Millennial Sabbath system under the Messiah.
English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible.
Brenton, Sir Lancelot C. L... (1851)
Chapter 12 1 Righteous art thou, O Lord, that I may make my defence to thee, yea, I will speak to thee of judgments. Why is it that the way of ungodly men prospers? that all that deal very treacherously are flourishing? 2 Thou hast planted them, and they have taken root; they have begotten children, and become fruitful; thou art near to their mouth, and far from their reins. 3 But thou, Lord, knowest me; thou hast proved my heart before thee; purify them for the day of their slaughter. 4 How long shall the land mourn, and the grass of the field wither, for the wickedness of them, that dwell in it? the beasts and birds are utterly destroyed; because the people said, God shall not see our ways. 5 Thy feet run, and they cause thee to faint; how wilt thou prepare to ride upon horses? and thou hast been confident in the land of thy peace? how wilt thou do in the roaring of Jordan? 6 For even thy brethren and the house of thy father, even these have dealt treacherously with thee; and they have cried out, they are gathered together in pursuit of thee; trust not thou in them, though they shall speak fair words to thee. 7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given my beloved one into the hands of her enemies. 8 My inheritance has become to me as a lion in a forest; she has uttered her voice against me; therefore have I hated her. 9 Is not my inheritance to me a hyaena’s cave, or a cave round about her? Go ye, gather together all the wild beasts of the field, and let them come to devour her. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have defiled my portion, they have made my desirable portion a trackless wilderness; 11 it is made a complete ruin: for my sake the whole land has been utterly ruined, because there is none that lays the matter to heart. 12 The ravagers are come to every passage in the wilderness: for the sword of the Lord will devour from one end of the land to the other: no flesh has any peace. 13 Sow wheat, and reap thorns; their portions shall not profit them: be ashamed of your boasting, because of reproach before the Lord. 14 For thus saith the Lord, concerning all the evil neighbours that touch mine inheritance, which I have divided to my people Israel; Behold, I will draw them away from their land, and I will cast out Juda from the midst of them. 15 And it shall come to pass, after I have cast them out, that I will return, and have mercy upon them, and will cause them to dwell every one in his inheritance, and every one is his land. 16 And it shall be, if they will indeed learn the way of my people, to swear by my name, saying, The Lord lives; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall that nation be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not return, then will I cut off that nation with utter ruin and destruction.
Bullinger’s Notes on Chs. 9-12 (for KJV)
Oh that, &c. Figure of speech Pathopoeia.
waters . . . fountain . . . tears. Figure of speech Catabasis.
slain. Not healed by "balm" or "physician".
bend: or, prepare.
truth = veracity.
neighbour = friend.
trust ye not = do not confide. Hebrew. batah. App-69 .
how shall = how [else] shall, &c.
for the daughter: or, because of [the wickedness of] the daughter, &c.
shot out. Hebrew = piercing. But some codices, with two early printed editions, and Syriac, read "pointed".
My soul = I myself (emphatic). Hebrew. nephesh. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia.
habitations = pastures.
dragons = jackals.
Who . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis.
who . . . ? The Ellipsis is thus correctly supplied.
My law. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 20:0 , &c). App-92 .
therein. In the law, not the voice.
imagination = stubbornness. Reference to Pentateuch, (see note on Jeremiah 3:17 ).
the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel. See note on Jeremiah 7:3 .
water of gall. Compare Jeremiah 8:14 .
heathen = nations.
Thus saith, &c. This (verses: Jeremiah 9:17-20 ) develops the calamity, for which this chapter gives the reason.
cunning = skilful (in this business).
How. ! Supply Ellip sis: "[saying], How is it", &c.
because. Some codices, with three early printed editions (one Rabbinic), read "yea, for", or "for indeed".
Yet: or, For, or Yea.
women. These had been largely the instrumental cause; now they share the calamities.
children = infant.
streets . . .
Speak. This shows that Jerome's Hebrew text was unpointed, for he read d-b-r as deber = pestilence, instead of dabar = word, or dabber = speak.
open field. Some codices, with one early printed edition, read "ground".
none shall gather them. Compare Psalms 79:3 .
Thus saith, &c. The lesson which follows is of universal application.
Let not. Note the Figure of speech Symploke, or Anaphora , for emphasis.
wisdom . . . might . . . riches. These are the three things which men boast of, and trust in. This was Jerusalem's sin.
let not. Some codices, with six early printed editions (one in margin), Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "neither let".
let him, &c. Quoted in 1 Corinthians 1:31 .
knoweth Me. This lies at the foundation of everything: of all trust in God (for One unknown cannot be trusted at all); of all pleasing (Ephesians 1:17 . Colossians 1:9 , Colossians 1:10 ; 1 John 5:20 ). The want of it led to Gentile corruption (Romans 1:28 ); to Israel's fall (Isaiah 1:3 .Luke 19:42 , Luke 19:44 ); and all future blessing is wrapt up in it: for Israel (Jeremiah 31:34 .Isaiah 54:13; Isaiah 54:13 ); and for creation (Isaiah 11:9 ). This is why we have the written Word (2 Timothy 3:15 ), and the living "Word" (John 1:18 ).
Which exercise, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 34:6 ). App-92 .
lovingkindness = favour shown to the unworthy.
judgment = justice to the oppressed. One school of Massorites ( App-30 ) read "and justice", emphasizing the statement by the Figure of speech Polysyndeton. App-6 .
circumcised, &c. : in the flesh, but not in "ears" (Jeremiah 6:10 ), nor in "heart" (Jeremiah 4:4 ). Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 26:41 , Leviticus 26:42 .Deuteronomy 10:16 ; Deuteronomy 30:6 ). Elsewhere only in Ezekiel 44:7 , Ezekiel 44:9 ,
with the uncircumcised = circumcised in uncircumcision: i.e. "circumcised [externally]who [are yet really] uncircumcised", as explained at the end of the next verse. Hence the contrast with the nations mentioned, which all practiced (external) circumcision (Romans 2:25-29 ).
children = sons.
uncircumcised. Supply Ellipsis , from the next clause: "uncircumcised [in heart], and all", &c.
the house of Israel. See note on Jeremiah 2:4 .
heathen = nations.
customs = statutes, or ordinances.
people = peoples.
vain = a breath.
one cutteth a tree = it [is only] a tree which one cutteth.
upright = stiff.
borne = carried.
there is none like, &c. See note on Exodus 15:11 .
Thy name. See note on Psalms 20:1 .
Tarshish. See note on 1 Kings 10:22 .
the living God. Both words in plural, referring to the triune God.
everlasting king = king of the ages, or, of eternity.
Thus shall ye say, &c. This verse is in Chaldee, to serve as a confession of their faith in their exile.
not made . . . shall perish. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia. Hebrew. 'abadu ye'badu.
world = the habitable world. Hebrew. tebel.
discretion = understanding.
wind. Hebrew. ruach. App-9 .
confounded = put to shame.
breath. Hebrew. ruach. App-9 .
vanity. The common appellative for idols.
errors = mockeries.
the time of their visitation. See note on Jeremiah 8:12 .
Former = Framer.
The LORD of hosts. See note on Jeremiah 6:6 .
Gather up = Gather in. Occurs only here.
wares = bundle. For that is all they would be able to take with them.
inhabitant = inhabitress. Put for "the daughter of Zion".
fortress. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), for the city Jerusalem.
find it so = discover the truth of it.
me. Zion now speaks in view of the coming deportation; or, Jeremiah voices the calamity.
a grief: or, my affliction.
and I = but I.
tabernacle = tent, or dwelling.
children = sons.
pastors = shepherds, or rulers.
are become. This points to Jehoiakim's reign.
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. (with' eth) = Jehovah Himself. App-4 .
noise = voice.
bruit = rumour. French bruit, a voice, from Breton (Celtic) bruchellein, to roar (as a lion). Compare Greek. bruchao-mai.
dragons = jackals.
is not in = belongs not to.
it is not. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "nor".
direct = establish.
with = in.
families. Some codices read "kingdoms". Compare Psalms 79:6 .
Thy name = Thee (emphatic). See note on Psalms 20:1 .
Jeremiah's Seventh prophecy (see book comments for Jeremiah).
word. Singular, indicating this as a special prophecy.
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 .
the words. Plural, indicating the many utterances of "this covenant".
this covenant. The old covenant of Exodus had been specially renewed by Judah in Jeremiah's days, under Josiah, in his eighteenth year (2 Kings 23:1-3 ).
the LORD God of Israel. This title occurs in Jeremiah fourteen times (Jeremiah 11:3 ; Jeremiah 13:12 ; Jeremiah 21:4 ; Jeremiah 23:2 ; Jeremiah 24:5 ; Jeremiah 25:15 ; Jeremiah 30:2 ; Jeremiah 32:36 ; Jeremiah 33:4 ; Jeremiah 34:2 , Jeremiah 34:13 ; Jeremiah 37:7 ; Jeremiah 42:9 ; Jeremiah 45:2 ).
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .
God. Hebrew. Elohim.
Israel. Still used of Judah as representing the whole nation. See note on 1 Kings 12:17 .
Cursed be the man, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 27:26 ).
in the day. See App-18 .
from the iron furnace. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:20 ).
Obey = Hear, with Beth (= B) = Listen or attend to.
Obey My voice. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 15:26 ). App-92 .
them: i.e. "the words" of Jeremiah 11:3 .
I will be your God. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 26:3-12 ).
the oath which I have sworn. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 7:12 ).
a land flowing with milk and honey. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 3:8 , Exodus 3:17 ; Exodus 13:5 ; Exodus 33:3 .Leviticus 20:24 .Numbers 13:27 ; Numbers 14:8 ; Numbers 16:13 , Numbers 16:14 .Deuteronomy 6:3 ; Deuteronomy 11:9 ; Deuteronomy 26:9 , Deuteronomy 26:15 ; Deuteronomy 27:3 ; Deuteronomy 31:20 ). Outside the Pent, it is found only in Joshua 5:6 . Joshua 11:4 ; Jos 32:22 ; and Ezekiel 20:6 , Ezekiel 20:15 ; Ezekiel 25:4 ). App-92 .
So be it, O LORD. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 27:15-26 : the same word). App-92 .
rising early, &c. See note on Jeremiah 7:13 .
imagination = stubbornness.
evil. Hebrew. ra'a'. App-44 .
iniquities. Hebrew. 'avah . App-44 .
went = are gone.
the house of Israel. See note on Jeremiah 2:4 .
the house of Judah. See note on Jeremiah 3:18 .
Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .
shameful thing. Hebrew "shame": put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect), for the idol which was the cause of the shame. Compare Jeremiah 3:24 .
for. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "in the time of", as in Jeremiah 11:12 .
is passed from thee? = taketh away from thee [thy wickedness]? or, removeth thy evil (i.e. calamity)?
then thou rejoicest : i.e. if such false worship will remove thy calamity, then thou mayest rejoice; but this was impossible.
olive tree. The symbol of Israel's religious privileges. See note on Judges 9:8-12 .
done = wrought.
hath given = gave. Jeremiah a type of Messiah. See App-85 .
know = knew.
like a lamb. See App-85 .
the tree with the fruit thereof. Hebrew "the dish in his food". Figure of speech Hypallage ( App-6 ), for the food in his dish.
from the land of the living. Jeremiah a type of Christ. See Isaiah 53:8 and App-85 .
of = concerning.
men. Hebrew. Plural of 'enosh. App-14 .
seek = are seeking.
thy life = thy soul. Hebrew. nephesh.
hand. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "hands".
punish = visit upon.
evil. Hebrew. ra'a' . App-44 .
the year of their visitation. See note on Jeremiah 8:12 .
Righteous, &c. Figure of speech Synchoresis. App-6 .
LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 . "Wherefore . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis.
wicked = lawless. Hebrew. rasha'. App-44 . deal very treacherously. Figure of speech Polyptoton. Hebrew are traitors of treachery = are utter traitors.
near. Anathoth was a city of priests.
mouth. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), for the words uttered by it.
reins = kidneys. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6 , for the affections.
prepare = separate, or devote.
How long . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis .
wickedness = lawlessness. Hebrew. rasha'. App-44 .
trustedst = confidedst. Hebrew. batah. App-69 .
called = called loudly.
the dearly beloved. Hebrew love. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), for one loved.
My soul = I Myself (emphatic). Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 . Figure of speech Anthropopatheia.
is = is become.
speckled bird = a bird of prey.
pastors. Used of rulers. See note on Jer 2:80 ; Jeremiah 3:15 .
My portion. One Codex (Dr. Ginsburg's "G. 1") reads "My possession".
pleasant portion. Hebrew portion of desire = my desired portion.
man. Hebrew. 'ish . App-14 .
high = eminent.
but. Some codices, with three early printed editions, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "but" in the text.
revenues = produce.
neighbours. Egypt, Edom, Philistia, Amnion, and Moab.
to inherit. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 32:13 ). App-92 .
them. Authorized Version 1611 omits this word.
every man. Hebrew. 'ish . App-14 .
as = according as.
built = rebuilt. See note on Numbers 13:22 .
obey = hearken.
saith the LORD = [is] Jehovah's oracle. 7-13. The beloved People. Themselves. 14-17. The beloved People. Their enemies.