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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Jeremiah 5

Verses 1-8

JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 5

THE HOPELESS SINFULLNESS OF JUDAH

Va. 1-8: NO BASIS FOR PARDON.

1. The Lord calls for a search of Jerusalem to see whether a single man may be found who earnestly endeavors to be true, and to walk justly, (vs. 1-3; comp. 2 Chronicles 16:9).

a. He shows Himself ready to pardon the city for the sake of ONE RIGHTEOUS MAN!

b. Though there were plenty who presumptuously swore "by the life of Jehovah" (claiming Him as their God), they only perjured themselves thereby (vs. 2), for they lived as if God did not exist! (Jeremiah 3:10; Isaiah 48:1; Titus 1:16).

c. The prophet discovers that the people of Jerusalem have been unmoved by divine discipline; making their faces like flint, they have refused to repent and return to the Lord with their whole hearts, (Jeremiah 2:30; Isaiah 1:5; Jeremiah 7:25-28; Jeremiah 8:5; Ezekiel 3:7-9).

2. He reasons within himself that this must be because the people are all poor and ignorant of Jehovah and the ordinances by which He rules, (vs. 4; Jeremiah 4:22; Jeremiah 8:7; Hosea 4:6).

3. So, he purposes to speak with those of higher station in life; surely they will know the way of the Lord, and his claims upon them; yet, he finds that, to a man, they have broken the yoke and cast aside the principles designed to control them, (vs. 5; Micah 3:1-3; comp. Psalms 2:3).

4. Because of multiplied transgressions, and ever-increasing backslidings, the Lord will send judgment upon them: the lion to slay, (Jeremiah 4:7); the wolf to destroy, (Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 1:7-8; Zephaniah 3:3); and the leopard to tear, (Hosea 13:7-8).

5. How can God pardon His well-fed children who have forsaken Him to honor "no-gods"-flocking to their harlot-houses; going in troops to commit adultery with their idols, (vs. 7; Jeremiah 2:11; Galatians 4:8; Jeremiah 7:9-10; comp. Numbers 15:1-3).

6. Like well-fed range horses, they have, each one, neighed after their neighbor’s wife - the natural outcome of their idolatry, (vs. 8; Jeremiah 29:23; Ezekiel 23:11-18).

7. Why shouldn’t God visit such a people to avenge His righteous soul upon their sins? (vs. 9, 29; Jeremiah 9:9).

Verses 10-19

Vs. 10-19: DESTRUCTION, BUT NOT ANNIHILATION

1. Likening Judah unto a vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-5), the command is given to take away her branches (a thorough pruning) which the Lord no longer claims; yet, the vineyard is not to be utterly destroyed, (vs. 10, 18: Jeremiah 4:27).

2. Both Israel and Judah have dealt treacherously against the Lord - rejecting the discipline of His hand, (vs. 11-12; Jeremiah 3:6-7; Jeremiah 3:20; comp. Jeremiah 43:1-4).

3. Their prophets have become vain - full of "wind" instead of "the spirit" - no longer proclaiming the word of the Lord, (Jeremiah 23:17; Jeremiah 14:13 -­16); thus, God has rejected them! (vs. 13).

4. Making His word as "fire," in the mouth of Jeremiah, and His people as "wood"; Judah will be devoured by the judgment which he proclaims, (vs. 14-18; Jeremiah 23:29).

a. God is bringing upon them, from afar, an ancient nation, whose language they do not understand, (vs. 15; Jeremiah 4:16; Isaiah 5:26-30; Deuteronomy 28:47-51; comp. Isaiah 28:11).

b. Their quiver (comp. Isaiah 22:6) is likened unto an opened grave; their men to valiant warriors, (vs. 16).

c. The produce of the land will be utterly consumed by the enemy, (Jeremiah 8:16; Jeremiah 50:5; Jeremiah 50:17; Deuteronomy 28:31-33; Deuteronomy 8:13) - the fortified cities, in which Judah trusts, will be impoverished by the sword of the Chaldeans, (vs. 17; Hosea 8:14).

d. But God, in mercy, will NOT make a full end of Judah, (vs. 13; Jeremiah 4:27).

5. When the people, in their humiliation, shall ask why the Lord has brought such judgment upon them, they will be told that, since they forsook the Lord and served idols in their own land, they must serve strangers in a land that is not their own, (vs. 19; Deuteronomy 29:24-26; 1 Kings 9:8-9; Jeremiah 16:10-13).

Verses 20-31

Vs. 20-31: REBELLION, INJUSTICE AND COMPLACENCY

1. The house of Jacob, and Judah in particular, is called to attention, (vs.20-21).

a. They are a foolish people (vs 4; Jeremiah 4:22; Deuteronomy 32:6) - without understanding, (vs. 21a).

b. They do not SEE with their eyes, or HEAR with their ears, (Isaiah 6:9-10; Ezekiel 12:2; Matthew 13:13-15; Jeremiah 6:10).

2. Do they not fear the Lord (vs. 22; Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 10:7; Deuteronomy 28:58-59)? Will they not tremble, in awe, before His presence?

a. He has set the sand as a boundary for the sea - making an everlasting ordinance which it cannot pass, (Psalms 104:5-9; Job 38:8­-11).

b. Though the waves toss and roar, they cannot pass over or prevail against the boundary Jehovah has set.

3. But the people of the covenant have manifested a rebellious and revolting heart - refusing to be restrained by the ordinances of God! (vs. 23; Jeremiah 6:28; Psalms 78:8).

4. Even when the showers of divine blessings are withheld, the hearts of this people are not inclined to return, with reverence, to the Lord who has ever been faithful to them, (vs. 24; Jeremiah 3:3; Matthew 5:45; Joel 2:23).

5. Through her persistence in such criminality as made a mockery of the law of Jehovah, Judah has forfeited much good, (vs. 25-28; Jeremiah 2:17; Jeremiah 4:18).

a. Among her are wicked men who, as fowlers, set traps to catch men! (vs. 26; Jeremiah 18:22; Micah 7:2-3).

b. As a cage is filled with birds, their houses are filled with wealth gained by deceit, (vs. 27).

c. It is by this means that they have become FAT (a term of contempt for the rich, Deuteronomy 32:15; Job 15:27; Psalms 73:7) and SLEEK; they literally "shine," (vs. 28a).

d. Winking at evil, they do not seriously plead the case of the orphan; they refuse to judge the claim of the poor, (vs. 28b; Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 14:29).

6. Can Judah presumptuously imagine that God will not avenge His soul on such a people? (vs. 29; Malachi 3:5).

7. Jeremiah is astonished and horrified by what has developed in the land, (vs. 30-31; comp. Jeremiah 23:14; Hosea 6:10).

a. The prophets speak falsely - or, perhaps, "in the name of Baal."

b. The priests make their own rules - to appease a perverted people.

c. And the people are delighted with the new, liberal order! (vs. 31; Amos 4:5; Micah 2:11).

d. But what will they do when the predicted judgment falls, and they find that their trust has been in falsehoods? That is a good question to be faced by presumptuous and rebellious hearts in ANY AGE!

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-5.html. 1985.