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Jeremiah’s Seventh Prophecy (Reign of Jehoiachin). The Linen Girdle
The date of this prophecy is shown pretty clearly by the word ’queen’ (Jeremiah 13:18), which means queen-mother, namely, Nehushta, mother of Jehoiachin. The queen-mother had always a high position, and in Jehoiachin’s case this would be specially so, owing to his tender years.
1-11. The symbol of the linen girdle.
1. Go, etc.] It is doubtful whether this and the subsequent acts of the prophet were real or done only in symbol. As, however, Jeremiah appears to have been absent from Jerusalem during the most of the latter years of Jehoiachin, he may well be supposed during part of that time to have been in or near Babylon: cp. Jeremiah 13:4. This would account for the kindly feeling shown towards him afterwards by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 39:11), which seems to point to an earlier acquaintance.
The girdle represents the people of Judah (Jeremiah 13:9-10). Jehovah chose them for His service and glory, but they turned away and served other gods. Therefore as the girdle lost its beauty, so will they lose their beauty and come to ruin beside the Euphrates.
10. Imagination] RV ’stubbornness.’
12-14. The symbol of the bottles. Under the figure of intoxication, through which the people shall be helpless to resist the enemy’s attack, the prophet intimates God’s punishment for headstrong continuance in sin: cp. Jeremiah 25:15 and for Israel under the figure of a bottle or jar, cp. Jeremiah 18:1-6. Bottle] RM ’jar’ (of earthenware; not the skin bottles of NT.). The bottle represents the people, and the wine the wrath of God. But the people failed to see the significance of the message.
15-27. Vain appeal to Judah.
16. Give glory] a Hebrew idiom, meaning, confess your sins: cp. Joshua 7:19; John 9:24. Danger, difficulty, and gloom are near.
17. In secret places] The prophet will mourn apart, as he did in Jehoiakim’s reign.
18. See note at head of chapter The kings practised polygamy; hence the high position taken by the queen-mother: cp. 1 Kings 15:13; 2 Kings 10:13. Principalities] RV ’headtires,’ diadems.
19. Cities of the south] i.e. of Judah.
Shall be] RV ’are.’ Shut up] i.e. besieged, blockaded, by the Chaldeans.
20. The north] see on Jeremiah 1:13. Where is the flock?] Where are the towns that once lay, like a fair flock of sheep, grouped around thee?
21. RV ’What wilt thou say when he shall set thy friends over thee as head, seeing thou thyself hast instructed them against thee?’ The reference is to Egypt and Babylon, the friendship and guidance of which countries Judah had alternatively courted, and thus was but preparing the way for subjection to them. He is Jehovah.
22. Made bare] and thus subject to the roughness of the road as thou art led captive.
23. They are incapable of repentance.
24. The wind of the wilderness] see on Jeremiah 4:11.
25. Of thy measures] RV ’measured unto thee.’ Falsehood] i.e. idolatry: cp. Jeremiah 10:14; Jeremiah 16:19.
27. Made clean] i.e. from infidelity and idolatry. When shall it once be?] RV ’How long shall it yet be?’
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 13". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany