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Destruction of Jerusalem and Judah (6:1-30)
Jeremiah warns that the enemy forces will invade from the north. The citizens of Jerusalem should therefore flee from the city to the hilly regions south of Jerusalem, where they may be able to find refuge from the invaders (6:1-2). As shepherds lead their sheep to feed in new pastures, so will the enemy commanders lead their forces to ‘devour’ Jerusalem. They will attack by day and by night (3-5). In building their siegeworks around the city, the enemy soldiers will ruin the nearby fields and forests. The reason for Jerusalem’s destruction is that the city is morally corrupt and spiritually sick (6-8).
The enemy will be as thorough in destruction as a grape-picker is in picking every grape he can find on the vine. Jeremiah hopes that some might be spared, but he can find none who will listen to his message. Therefore, he can announce only judgment (9-11a). In this judgment, no age group will be spared. All property will be seized by the plundering invaders (11b-12). Common people and religious leaders alike are shamelessly corrupt, but all they have gained through injustice will be lost. Priests and prophets assure the people that all is well, when in fact the nation is doomed (13-15).
God has urged the people to follow the ways of godly people of the past who kept his law. He has warned them of punishment if they ignore him. But it has all been without result (16-17). God therefore announces to the nations of the world that his people will now reap the fruit of their disobedience (18-19). The people offer incense and sacrifices, but God is not pleased with such offerings when the offerers do not listen to his teaching. Religious exercises will not save a disobedient people from God’s judgment (20-21).
Judah will be powerless against the invading armies of this cruel, well equipped enemy (22-24). Even innocent civilians, when fleeing to safety in the country, should be careful to keep well clear of the enemy forces (25-26).
As God’s servant, Jeremiah is like a refiner of silver who tries to remove the dross (wickedness) from the precious metal (God’s people). But the people refuse to be refined. They do not want to be separated from their evil. They are therefore rejected as worthless (27-30).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 6". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12