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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Jeremiah 8

Verses 1-22

Balm in Gilead

Jeremiah 8:21-22

The lament of a good man over the sins of his countrymen.

I. The Nature of the Malady.

1. Hereditary. 'By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.'

2. Universal. 'All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.'

3. Dangerous. 'The wages of sin is death.'

II. The Means of Cure. The medicine here referred to is a resinous substance obtained from the balsam-tree, which flourished near Gilead, and was far-famed for its healing properties; often sold for twice its weight in silver. Obtained by cutting the bark with an axe when the fresh juices were most vigorous. The quantity which exuded from one tree did not exceed sixty drops a day. The Gospel is the cure for sin-sick souls. This is:

4. An infallible remedy.

5. The only infallible remedy.

6. A remedy within the reach of all.

III. The Reasons Why the Cure is Not Effected. Why does the Gospel fail? It is not Christ's fault, but ours.

7. Insensibility and indifference on the part of the sinner.

8. Apathy and neglect on the part of the disciples of Christ.

F. J. Austin, Seeds and Saplings, p. 24.

References. VIII. 22. Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlvi. 1894, p. 301. W. M. Punshon, Balm in Gilead, Sermons, p. 513; see also Outlines of Sermons on the Old Testament, p. 245. IX. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxviii. No. 2274. IX. 1 . Ibid. vol. iii. No. 150. A. Phelps, The Old Testament a Living Book for All Ages, p. 7.

Copyright Statement
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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 8". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. 1910.