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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 16

Verse 2

Place. It was going to be destroyed, and the cares of a family might interrupt the prophet. The Fathers believe that Jeremias never married, (see St. Jerome in chap. xxii. Isidor.) which was then a rare example. (Calmet) --- He always lived a single life, and not only in time of tribulation. (St. Jerome, contra Jov. 1.) (Worthington) --- The Church enforces this law of God for her sacred ministers, in subdeacons and the higher orders. St. Paul shews the propriety of such a regulation, (1 Corinthians vii.) which innovators deem unnatural and tyrannical. How then could God enforce it once? With his grace we may observe celibacy like Jeremias. (Haydock)

Verse 4

Illnesses, denoting God’s wrath. (St. Jerome) --- Earth. The privation of sepulture was accounted one of the greatest evils.

Verse 5

Feasting: usual at burials for all relations. (Calmet) --- This custom reduced many to poverty. (Josephus, Jewish Wars ii. 1.) --- Sed cænam funerishæres

Negliget iratus quod rem curtaverit. (Pers. vi.)

--- Mourn, if thou shouldst meet a funeral, Luke vii. 32.

Verse 6

Cut. Moses prohibited this being done in honour of Adonis, Leviticus xix. 27., Deuteronomy xiv. 1., and Ezechiel xxvii. 31. "The custom of cutting the arms and hair still subsists in Judea," says St. Jerome; and in other countries. (Plut.[Plutarch?] Herodotus iv. 71.)

Verse 7

Cup. Most exquisite things were sent on such occasions. (Buxtorf, Syn. xxxv.) (Proverbs xxxi. 6., Tobias iv. 18., and John xi. 19.)

Verse 8

Feasting. Hebrew, "of drinking," in times of joy.

Verse 12

Fathers. Hence you are justly partakers of their punishment, Matthew xxiii. 32. (Calmet) --- A continuance in sin brings on severe punishments; after which, God again shews mercy. (Worthington)

Verse 13

Gods. Elohim, "masters," &c., chap. xvii. 4. Chaldean, "idolatrous nations."

Verse 15

Fathers. He joins consolation with distressing predictions, and alludes to the redemption of mankind, of which the return of the Jews was the most striking pledge.

Verse 16

Rocks. They shall be found in all their lurking places, Ezechiel xii. 12., and Habacuc i. 4. (Calmet) --- The apostles shall save them. (Origen) --- The Medes and Persians shall grant them liberty; or rather Nabuchodonosor shall fish at first, and afterwards hunt or destroy more of the Jews. (Calmet) --- Apostolical men (Worthington) shall be like rocks, (St. Jerome) for the protection of their hearers.

Verse 18

Double: enormous. (Haydock) (Chap. xvii. 18.) --- I will punish them doubly. --- Carcasses. So he styles the victims, or idols, the representations of dead men.

Verse 19

Them. After the captivity many were converted, Esther viii., and 1 Esdras vi. 21. Edom was forced to receive circumcision. But this was nothing in comparison with the crowds which embraced the gospel.

Verse 20

Make gods. This consideration alone suffices to shew their absurdity. (Calmet) --- "Man must now be merciful to god!" (Tertullian, Apol.) --- No one can make even a man, much less a god. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)

Verse 21


Power, in taking vengeance on idolatry. --- Lord. "He who is;" (Calmet) Jehova. (Haydock)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 16". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.