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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 15

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, [yet] my mind [could] not [be] toward this people: cast [them] out of my sight, and let them go forth.

Then said the Lord unto me. — In answer to my prayer he replied, Thou hast well prayed, sed stat sententia, I am set, I am inexorable.

Though Moses. — That chancellor of heaven, as one calleth him; who not only "ruled with God," but overruled. Exodus 32:11-14 , Numbers 14:19-20

And Samuel. — A mighty man likewise in prayer. See 1 Samuel 7:9 , called therefore Pethuel, as some think, Joel 1:1 that is, a God persuader. These two were famous in their generations for hearty love to, and prayers for, that rebellious people, and did much for them. But, so the case now stood, if these favourites were alive, and should intercede their utmost for them, it should avail nothing. See Ezekiel 14:14 .

Yet my mind could not be to this people. — This is spoken after the manner of men - q.d., I am implacably enraged, I am unchangeably resolved against them.

Cast them out of my sight. — Tell them that I have utterly rejected them, and I will ratify and realise thy speeches. See on Jeremiah 1:10 .

And let them go forth. — Or, Let them be gone - q.d., I am the worse to look upon them.

Verse 2

And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as [are] for death, to death; and such as [are] for the sword, to the sword; and such as [are] for the famine, to the famine; and such as [are] for the captivity, to the captivity.

If they say unto thee. — As they will be apt enough to do in a jeer.

Such as are for death,i.e., For the pestilence commonly called mortality, because it is so deadly a disease. Those at Genoa have lately found it so. And yet it is here reckoned first, as the least and tightest of all the four threatened judgments, which must needs be bad enough when the pest is the best of them all. The Turks shun not the company of those that have the plague, but pointing upon their foreheads, say it was written there at their birth when they should die, and of what disease. These in the text could as little avoid the deaths they were assigned to, as Aeschylus the tragedian could his being knocked on the head. For whenas he was foretold that he should die with a stroke coming from above, he shunned houses, and was wont to remain in the open air, but he was killed by a tortoise falling from the mouth of an eagle upon his bald head, mistaken for a stone. Aelian, l. 1. c. 5. s. 19. 1:225,227; Valerius Maximus, l. 9. ext. c. 12. 1:375

Verse 3

And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.

And I will appoint over them four kinds. — Heb., Families, or kindreds - i.e., quatuor cognata carnivora, dogs, birds, and beasts being added to the former four evils, Jeremiah 15:2 quasi per auxesin.

Verse 4

And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for [that] which he did in Jerusalem.

Because of Manasseh. — Because of his sins, idolatry and bloodshed especially, wherein the people partook and persisted, and were therefore justly punished.

The son of Hezekiah. — But altogether degenerate. He was therefore the worse, because he should have been better, and yet the worse again, because he was author publicae corruptelae, a ringleader of rebellion to others, as was Jeroboam.

Verse 5

For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?

Who shall bemoan thee? — Heb., Who shall come out of his place to comfort thee? Or, Who shall shake his head in commiseration to thee?

Verse 6

Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.

I am weary with repenting.Patiendo, ac parcendo. I have so oft revoked my threats, that unless I should wrong my justice, I can do so no more.

Verse 7

And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave [them] of children, I will destroy my people, [since] they return not from their ways.

And I will fan them with a fan. — Not of purgation Deo gratias quod lingua Petiliani non sit ventilabrum Christi. - Jerome. as Jeremiah 6:29-30 but of perdition. Such as that, Jeremiah 51:2 .

In the gates of the land. — As men use to winnow grain at a windy door, where the chaff is blown quite away.

Verse 8

Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused [him] to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city.

The widows are increased to me. — Or, Before me; or, In my sight.

Above the sands of the seas. — Hyperbole.

A spoiler at noon day. — Nebuchadnezzar, that choice young man; for so some render the text. And so he was, when he came against Jerusalem and burned it, viz., in the eighteenth year of his reign.

And terrors upon the city. — Or, Terrors, even the city; that is, say the Septuagint and Chaldee, the army of the Chaldees, which for their numbers and order of pitching their tents, seemed to be a city.

Verse 9

She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while [it was] yet day: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the LORD.

She that hath born seven languisheth. — Jerusalem, that mater multipara, a fruitful mother.

She hath given up the ghost. — Heb., She putteth out her soul. as Job 11:20 We read of some mothers who, hearing of their sons to be slain in battle, have fallen down dead in the place.

Her sun is gone down. — See on Amos 8:9 . A Christian, when at worst, can sing, Non omnium dierum sol occidit, Not on all days the sun sets. I look for better days yet.

Verse 10

Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; [yet] every one of them doth curse me.

Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast born me,scil., In such an age wherein I may not pray for my people, nor can preach unto them to any good purpose. Buchanan bewailed it that he was born nec coelo, nec solo, nec coeculo erudite. Camden’s Elisabeth. Jeremiah lamenteth here for a worse matter. Surely he might well say for his manifold sufferings:

Littora quot conchas, quot amaens rosaria flores,

Quotque soporiferum grana papaver habet;

premor salversis, ”& c.

- Ovid., Trist.

A man of strife and a man of contention.Virum arguentem. - Arab. Generally opposed and quarrelled, for my free and faithful discharge of my duty. This is the world’s wages to godly ministers, whom they usually make their buttmark. But God be thanked, saith he with Jerome, quod dignus sim quem mundus oderit, that I am worthy whom the world should hate. Lutherus pascitur convitiis, saith he of himself, Luther is fed with reproaches.

I have neither lent on usury,i.e., I have neither bought nor sold, as we say, meddled nor made with them. I have had as little to do with them any way as was possible. Usura praecipuum fomentum litium. Usuary particularily starts quarrels. I have kept myself close to my calling, and yet I cannot avoid their variance and virulencies. To preach is to derive upon a man’s self the hatred of the world, saith Luther.

Verse 11

The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee [well] in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.

Verily it shall be well with thy remnant. — Heb., If it be not well, q.d., then trust me no more; thy latter end shall be comfortable; Psalms 37:37 the end of that man is peace, be his beginning and middle never so troublesome.

Verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well. — Or, I will intercede for thee with the enemy. See this fulfilled, Jeremiah 40:4 . God can speak for his in the hearts of their enemies, and make their foes to favour them, as many of the Papists here did Wycliffe, and after him Bradford.

Verse 12

Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel? — That is, say some, shall these hardhearted Jews be too hard for me? or, for thee, Jeremiah, whom I have made an "iron pillar and brazen walls" against the whole land Jeremiah 1:18 Never think it. Brighten thee they may, but not break thee. The northern iron is noted for the best and toughest.

Verse 13

Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and [that] for all thy sins, even in all thy borders.

Thy substance and thy treasure. — This is spoken by an apostrophe to the people, who are here told again what to trust to for their national sins.

Verse 14

And I will make [thee] to pass with thine enemies into a land [which] thou knowest not: for a fire is kindled in mine anger, [which] shall burn upon you.

And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies. — Or, To serve thine enemies; for there is a double reading of the text.

Verse 15

O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.

O Lord, thou knowest. — Jeremiah had begun a complaint, Jeremiah 15:10 not without some tang and tincture of human infirmity. Invalidum omne natura querulum. God graciously interrupted him, and came leaping over all those "mountains of Bether," all lets and impediments, to his comfort and best satisfaction. Jeremiah 15:11-12 Nevertheless Jeremiah hath not done, but goeth on as before; et humanum aliquid patitur.

Remember me, and visit me. — He was full, and speaks thick.

Take me not away in thy longsuffering. — While thou bearest with them, take care of me, that I perish not by their perfidy aud cruelty.

Know that for thy cause I have suffered rebuke.Ceu dabitorem compellat Deum, suaque adducit merita. He delivers himself as if he held God to be his debtor. This was not so well.

Verse 16

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Thy words were found, and I did eat them. — I was well apaid of thy messages that came at first to me, and of that commission thou gavest me to be a prophet; yea, I took no small delight and complacence therein; and having found this honey, I ate it; as Proverbs 25:16 but since I have met with much bitterness in this wicked world for my plain dealing. See Ezekiel 3:3 Revelation 10:10 . Herodotus writeth of the river Hypanis, that for five days’ journey the water of it runneth clear and sweet; and then, for four days’ journey farther, bitter and brackish. The ministry is an honourable and comfortable function, but hath its troubles and encumbrances.

Verse 17

I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.

I sat not in the assembly of the mockers. — That scoffed and mocked at God’s messages and menaces. Or, I have not sat in the assembly of those that make merry; sed serius fui, spiransque compunctionem; I came not at feasts and merry meetings since I became a prophet.

I sat alone. — As Moses in like case did. Exodus 33:7

Verse 18

Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, [which] refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, [and as] waters [that] fail?

Why is my pain perpetual? … — Here the prophet too freely expostulates with God, as less faithful, or less mindful at least, of the promised preservation. This was in a fit of diffidence and discontent, as the best have their outbursts, and the greatest lamps have needed snuffers. The Milesians, saith the philosopher, are not fools; yet they do the things that fools use to do. So the saints do oft as wicked ones, but not in the same manner and degree.

Verse 19

Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, [and] thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.

Therefore, thus saith the Lord. — Or, Notwithstanding, man’s perverseness breaketh not off the course of God’s goodness.

If thou return. — If thou cast out this devil of discontent, and (accounting distrust worse than distress) apply thyself cheerfully and constantly to the work of the ministry, I will continue and confirm thee in thine office, notwithstanding thy present frailties and failings. Hic vides non praescribi gratiae Dei menses et annos. So our Saviour, presently upon their repentance for their shameful forsaking him at his apprehension, restored his disciples to their apostolic function. John 20:21-23

And if thou take forth the precious from the vile,i.e., The gracious from the vicious, preaching comfort to those and terror to these; not giving, as he in the fable did, straw to the dog and a bone to the ass, but to every one his proper portion, without fear or flattery. Probe vir, hae nihil ad te, dixit Zwinglius cum in vitia acriter inveheretur.

Thou shall be as my mouth. — Speaking as a prophet of mine, and as I myself would do, if in thy place.

Let them return to thee,i.e., Conform to thee, but do not thou chime in with them, as the false prophets do.

Verse 20

And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I [am] with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

And I will make thee. — See on Jeremiah 1:18-19 .

Verse 21

And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.

And I will deliver thee. — I will, I will; never fear it, man, but go on courageously. Deal courageously, and God shall be with the good. 2 Chronicles 19:11

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 15". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/jeremiah-15.html. 1865-1868.
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