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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Jeremiah 9

Verse 1

This verse is joined in the Hebrew to the preceding chapter. But any break at all here interrupts the meaning.

A fountain - Rather, “a reservoir,” in which tears had been stored up, so that the prophet might weep abundantly.

Verses 2-9

An arrow shot out - Rather, “a murderous arrow.”

In heart he layeth his wait - Rather, “inwardly he layeth his ambush.”

Verses 10-22

The “handful” means the little bundle of grain which the reaper gathers on his arm with three or four strokes of his sickle, and then lays down. Behind the reaper came one whose business it was to gather several of these bundles, and bind them into a sheaf. Thus, death strews the ground with corpses as thickly as these handfuls lie upon the reaped land, but the corpses lie there unheeded.

Verse 23

To the end of Jeremiah 10:0 the prophet urges upon the people the practical conclusion to be drawn from God’s righteous dealings with them. The three things on which men most pride themselves are shown in this verse to have proved vain.

Verse 24

This is the prophet’s remedy for the healing of the nation. It is the true understanding and knowledge of God, of which the first means the spiritual enlightenment of the mind 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, the other the training of the heart unto obedience John 8:31-32. This knowledge of God is further said to find in Him three chief attributes,

(1) “lovingkindness,” i. e., readiness to show grace and mercy;

(2) “judgment,” a belief in which is declared in Hebrews 11:6 to be essential to faith;

(3) “righteousness,” which is essential to religion absolutely.

Unless men believe that God’s dealings with them in life and death are right and just, they can neither love nor reverence him.

Verse 25

All them which are circumcised ... - Rather, “all circumcised in uncircumcision,” i. e., all who though outwardly circumcised have no corresponding inward purity.

Verse 26

All that are in the utmost corners - Really, all who have the corners of their hair shorn. The people meant are those Arabs who cut the hair close upon the forehead and temples, but let it grow long behind. See Leviticus 19:27.

For all these nations are uncircumcised - Or, “for all the pagan are uncircumcised.” circumcision probably prevailed partially in the pagan mysteries as a sign of special sanctity, but to the Jews alone it represented their covenant-relation to God.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.