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LATER ADDITION: WARNING AGAINST IDOLATRY
a. The nothingness of idols
Jer 10:1-5 1
1 Hear the word, which Jehovah has spoken to you,2 house of Israel!
2 Thus saith Jehovah: To the way of the heathen accustom3 yourselves not,
And be not affrighted at the signs of Heaven, because the heathen are affrighted at them;
3 For the institutions of the nations—breath are they!
4 With gold and silver they adorn it,
With nails and hammers they fasten them, that it totter not.
5 They are as the pillars in a cucumber-field and speak not;
They must be borne,6 for they walk not.
Fear them not, for they do no harm,
But also to do good is not in their power.7
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
According to Jeremiah 10:2 the object of this passage is to warn Israel from the worship of idols. In this behalf first the nothingness of idols, the dead work of men, is shown (Jeremiah 10:1-5). Then the incomparable greatness of Jehovah and in contrast with the origin of the idol images His overwhelmingly impressive self-existence and power, in view of which the adoration of empty idols appears disgraceful folly, are set forth as the source of all great phenomena in nature and history (Jeremiah 10:6-16).
Jeremiah 10:1-2. Hear the word … affrighted at them. דֶרֶךְ, way. Comp. Jeremiah 5:4-5. It is simply = religion, cultus. On this account and from what follows (Jeremiah 10:3 sqq.) the “signs of the heaven” cannot be passing and chance signs, be they constellations (Hitzig), or comets, darkness, etc. (Rosenm., Graf), but only permanent signs which are connected with permanent worship, and affrighted is to be understood not of the momentary impression excited by an extraordinary phenomenon, but only of the constant religious terror manifesting itself in the ordinary worship (comp. Malachi 2:5, and פַחַד, Genesis 31:42; Genesis 31:53). Were we to take affrighted in the former sense it would signify either an emphasis on the point of terror: ye may feel joy at favorable signs but ye are not to be terrified at supposed unfavorable signs—which would be a contradiction and at the same time confirm the superstition—or it would be: ye are not to conceive of the signs of heaven as under the influence of higher powers and therefore indifferent to human life, which would be a warning against astrology not in correspondence with the connection. In accordance with the subsequent warning against the worship of images idolatry only can be here spoken of, which renders not merely the extraordinary, but above all the ordinary signs of the heavens the object of adoration. The expression “signs” would refer less to the destination determined by the stars, Genesis 1:14, than to the ancient constellations (Job 9:9), as whose signs appear the stars which form them (comp. the twelve signs of the Zodiac, 2 Kings 23:5).—Because the heathen, etc., is not the argument of the author against idolatry—this does not come till Jeremiah 10:13—but a statement of the reason, from the soul of the Israelites, why this service has so much that is seductive for them. This causal sentence corresponds to “accustom yourselves not.” The learning and becoming accustomed is the effect of the example. How dangerous this was to the Israelites we learn from the warnings: Exodus 23:24; Exodus 23:32-33; Leviticus 18:3 : Deuteronomy 7:1 sqq. Comp. Judges 2:3—כִּי here=because. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 110, 1.
Jeremiah 10:3. For the institutions of the nations … with an axe.—The institutions, etc., stand in antithesis to the ordinances of Jehovah, Leviticus 18:3-4.—Breath are they [lit.: is it]. The singular of the pronoun appears to involve a contemptuous collective sense=all that trash. Comp. Jeremiah 10:8; Ewald, § 319, c; Joshua 13:14.—The nothingness of the deities which are here identified with the idol-images, is clear from their origin. If we trace the origin of the idol we find that the artificer found it as a tree standing among others in the forest, and as adapted to his purpose cut it down.—On the subject in cut out comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 101, 2 b. As to the object it is formally undefined, but from the connection is clearly recognizable as the idol.—Second stage: the forest tree becomes a work of art in the hands of an artificer and by the aid of an axe.
Jeremiah 10:4. With gold and silver … that it totter not. Third stage: adornment with precious metals (Isaiah 30:20; Isaiah 40:19). Fourth stage: fastening on the place of exhibition (Isaiah 41:7).—Fasten them. Observe the change of number. (Comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 105, 7, Anm. 2). With these words the construction passes into the plural. Comp. Jeremiah 10:5. The subject of יָפִיק is ideal, namely the idea of the fastened derived from יְחַזְּקוּם.—Comp. Jeremiah 46:6-7.
Jeremiah 10:5. They are as the pillars … is not in their power.—Pillars in a cucumber field.Jerome: in similitudinem palmæ fabricata sunt. Syr.; tanquam palmæ sunt erectæ, in which תֹמֶר is taken according to analogy from תָּמָרand Judges 4:5, but מקשׁה is very freely translated. Others, following Kimchi’s example take תִּימָרָה תֹּמֶר, columna (Joel 3:8; Song of Solomon 3:6) and תַּמְדוּרִים (Jeremiah 31:21); מקשׁה however=turned work (Exodus 25:18; 31:36; Exodus 37:7; Exodus 37:17; Exodus 37:22; Numbers 8:4; Numbers 10:2 coll. Isaiah 3:24). The comparison is strange. More satisfactory is the explanation proposed by Movers, Fuerst (H. W. B., S. 781), Graf, according to which מקשׁה, as in Isaiah 1:8, signifies a cucumber field and תמר the scarecrows, or more correctly the priapus-pillars erected as such. These priapus-pillars are elsewhere ridiculed as useless watch-guards (comp. Epist. Jerem. 10:70: ὥσπερ ἐν σικυηράτω̣ προβασκάνιου ούδὲν φύλασσον οὕτως εἰσὶν οἱ δεοὶ αὑτῶν. Comp. Passow, s. v., προβασκάνιον, Seldende Diis Syriis, p. 300).—They must be borne. Comp. Isaiah 46:7.
 Movers (De Utr. Rec. Jer. p. 43) was the first to deny the authenticity of the section Jeremiah 10:1-16. After careful examination I have come to the following result: 1. That the passage breaks the connection cannot be doubted. For Jeremiah 9:22-25 and Jeremiah 10:17-25 joined to each other form an appropriate, orderly, progressive conclusion to the great discourse of the prophet. Comp. the introductory remarks on Jeremiah 9:22-25 and Jeremiah 10:17-25. This warning against idolatry to those who had just been rebuked for the most wanton idolatrous abominations (Jeremiah 7:17 sqq.; 30 sqq.) is exceedingly surprising, particularly as the expression, “accustom yourselves not,” Jeremiah 10:2, presupposes either a nation unspotted by idolatry or a nation purified from it, which however exposes itself to new temptations. The view of J. D. Michaelis and Kueper, that the ten tribes already carried away into Assyria are here addressed (on account of “house of Israel,” Jeremiah 10:1), is no improvement, for the interruption of the connection still remains. When Keil (Einl. S. 256) says that the section affords only the foundation to that which Jeremiah has said in Jeremiah 9:22-25 on the glorying of Israel and his equality with the uncircumcised heathen, and that the deeper ground of their idolatry is thus discovered to the people and the necessity of their being scattered among the heathen (Jeremiah 9:15) proved, one might almost suppose that he had not read the passage with the necessary attention, for there is not a trace of reproach which would be thus brought upon Israel; throughout there is not a word on the inner spiritual condition of the people. At most we should conclude from Jeremiah 10:2 that this was presupposed to be a good one. All which Keil designates as the object of this passage has been given by the prophet in part long before, and in part in vers, 24 and 25, for the uncircumcised heart is indeed the deepest ground of all the inner and outer corruption which the prophet so deeply bewails.—2. As to the language, I find in the first three verses some traces of Jeremiah’s idiom, but not so decisively as to feel compelled on their account to admit Jeremiah to be the author. The formula הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר י׳ is certainly Jeremiah’s (comp. Jeremiah 45:1; Jeremiah 46:13; Jeremiah 1:1), hut in Jeremiah it stands only at the commencement of the larger sections. In the midst of the context, as here, it is striking, the more so as it is further extended by שִׁמְעוּ—לָֽמַד is nowhere else, even in Jeremiah, construed with אֵל, but with עַל (Jeremiah 13:21), though very frequently he uses עַל and אֵל as synonymous (comp. on עֲלֵיכֶם Jeremiah 10:1) wherefore also Graf on Jeremiah 13:21 supposes that עַל in this passage is written “as so frequently” for אֵל,—The verb הַת (Jeremiah 10:2) occurs in the Old Test. 55 times, in Jeremiah 20:0 times, from which it is clear that relatively it is used most frequently in this prophet.—חֻקוֹת (Jeremiah 10:3) is the more usual form in Jer.; besides here it is found 5 times (Jeremiah 5:24; Jeremiah 31:35; Jeremiah 33:25; Jeremiah 44:10; Jeremiah 44:23), הֻקִים only twice (Jeremiah 31:36 and Jeremiah 32:11, here perhaps after Deuteronomy 5:28. But the first form is as much used as the latter.—מֵאֵין (Jeremiah 10:6) is a current word in Jer., but used so absolutely, simply as a negation, it is found neither in Jer. nor elsewhere. Comp. the exposition. עֵת פְקֻדִָתָם Jeremiah 10:15, is the only expression which would speak decidedly in favor of the Jer. authorship, if the possibility of imitation were excluded. (Comp. Jeremiah 8:12; Jeremiah 46:21; Jeremiah 50:27; ????????Jeremiah 11:23; Jeremiah 23:12; Jeremiah 48:44). Apart from these few forms which correspond to Jeremiah’s usage, without being exclusively his or being raised above the suspicion of imitation, there are a relatively large number of expressions, which are in part ἄπαξ λεγόμενα, on which however we lay no stress (the Pi. יְיַפֵהוּ Jeremiah 10:4; יָאָֽתָה Jeremiah 10:7; בְּאַחַת in the meaning unâ Jeremiah 10:8; יכְסָֽלוּ ibid.; אֱלחִֹים אֱמֶת Jeremiah 10:10; תַּעְתֻּעִים Jeremiah 10:15) and in part do not occur elsewhere in Jer., but take the place of other usual expressions. To these belong מְרֻקָּע Jeremiah 10:9; לְבוּשׁ אַרְגָּמָן תְּכֵלֶת Jeremiah 10:9; (Jer. uses for the latter בֵּנֵד Jeremiah 12:1; Jeremiah 36:24; Jeremiah 41:5; Jeremiah 43:12; מַד Jeremiah 13:25); תֵּרֻקָּע Jeremiah 10:12; תּבוּנָה and נָטָה שָׁמַיִם ibid. (the latter expression Job 9:8; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 13:5; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 51:13; Isaiah 66:12; Psalms 104:2; Zechariah 12:2): נְשִׂאִים (comp. on the other hand Psalms 135:7) מָרָק and מָטָר Jeremiah 10:13; פֶסֶל Jeremiah 10:14; (Jer. always says פָסִיל8:19; Jeremiah 50:38; Jeremiah 51:47; Jeremiah 51:52), נֶסֶךְ in the sense of מַסֵּכָח Jeremiah 10:14 נֶסֶךְ in Jer. is always libatio, Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 19:3; Jeremiah 32:29; Jeremiah 44:17 sqq.), הֵלֶק and וִֹיִיבֶט Jeremiah 10:16. From all this might well proceed some suspicion as to the authenticity of the passage Jeremiah 10:1-16. In opposition to Movers, Hitzig and De Wette, Graf has fully shown that the supposed Isaiah II. could not be the author (S. 171 Anm.), although many relations are not to be denied. Who was the author and when and by whom the addition was made can scarcely be ascertained.
Jeremiah 10:1; Jeremiah 10:1.—עַל in עֲלֵיכֶם is used here, as frequently in Jeremiah, as synonymous with אֵל (comp. the exchange of the two in Jeremiah 11:2; Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 23:35; Jeremiah 25:2; Jeremiah 27:19; Jeremiah 36:31; Jeremiah 44:20; besides Jeremiah 25:1; Jeremiah 26:15; Jeremiah 35:15; Jeremiah 42:19 coll. Hosea 12:11).
Jeremiah 10:2; Jeremiah 10:2.—לָמַד with אֵל here only. But it is found in Jeremiah 13:21 with the synonymous על. Comp. Graf on this passage.—With לְ and the following subst., Deuteronomy 4:10; Deuteronomy 14:23; Deuteronomy 17:19; Psalms 18:35; Psalms 144:1. With לְ and the following inf., Deuteronomy 18:9; Isaiah 48:17; Jeremiah 12:16; Ezekiel 19:3; Ezekiel 19:6; Psalms 143:10.
Jeremiah 10:3; Jeremiah 10:3.—מַעֲשֵׂה is the accusative of the object. Comp. 1 Kings 18:32 : “he built the stones to an altar.” (Naegelsb. Gr. § 69, 3).—As כּרַת denotes not to hew but only to fell, the object designated is not the immediate but remote end of the activity.
Jeremiah 10:3; Jeremiah 10:3.—מַֽעֲצָד is found only in Isaiah 44:12 in a similar connection. The connection and the dialects are both in favor of the meaning of axe. In Arabic the corresponding word designates a cutting instrument. Comp. Aram. חֲצַד metere. The prefix בּ may depend on מַֽעֲשֶׂה or on בּרָתוֹ, or on both. The latter is the more probable since in fact the axe is the instrument which serves for felling and hewing. Comp. Isaiah 44:14.
Jeremiah 10:5; Jeremiah 10:5.—נָּשׂוּא for נָּֽשְׂאוּ. Comp. Ewald, § 194 b; Olsh. § 38 b, Anm. g; 265 e.
Jeremiah 10:5; Jeremiah 10:5.—אוֹתם for אתּם Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 1:16.
B. THE IDOLS CONTRASTED WITH JEHOVAH
6 None is like Thee,8 O Jehovah!
Great art Thou, and great is Thy name in might.
7 Who should not fear Thee, Thou King of nations?
For unto Thee is it due.9
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their dominion there is none like Thee.
Vain instruction! It is wood!12
9 Silver plates are brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz,
The work of the smith and the hands of the smelter;
Blue and red purple is their raiment,
Artists’ work are they all.
10 But Jehovah is truly God,
He is a living God, and an everlasting King:
Before His anger the earth trembleth,
And the nations cannot endure His wrath.
11 Ye shall therefore say unto them: The gods,
Which have not made heaven and earth,13
Shall vanish away from the earth under the heaven.
12 Who made the earth by His power,
Established the world by His wisdom,
And by His understanding spread out the heavens.
13 At the sound of His voice a heaving of waters in the heavens,
He bringeth up vapors from the ends of the earth;
He produceth lightnings with the rain,
And bringeth the wind out of His storehouses.
14 Stupid are all men there without understanding;
All the founders of idol-images are put to shame,
For a lie is their casting, and there is no spirit in them.
15 For they are vapour and work of deceit;14
In the time of their visitation they perish.
16 Not like these is the portion of Jacob;
For He forms all things and Israel is the stock of His inheritance:
Jehovah Zebaoth is His name.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Jeremiah 10:6-7 contain the theme of the strophe: Jehovah is the highest, there is none like Him, all the world should fear Him. It is stupidity which opposes this truth, says Jeremiah 10:8. The impropriety of this opposition is proved by the exposition of what idols really are. On the other hand the right of Jehovah maintained in Jeremiah 10:7 is proved by the exposition of His attributes and works, Jeremiah 10:10; Jeremiah 10:12-13. From this exposition it is evident how well-founded on the one hand is the judgment pronounced against this opposition (Jeremiah 10:14-15), and on the other hand the justice of Jehovah and the welfare of the people who serve Him. (Jeremiah 10:16.)
Jeremiah 10:6-7, None is like thee … none like thee.—In might is to be referred both to Thou and Thy name. Since the latter in relation to the former can designate only the name in the objective sense, the renown, glory, in might is equivalent to in manifestation of might, comp. Jeremiah 16:21.—Who should not negative expression for the positive,—all must fear Thee.—For among all.Seb. Schmidt here rightly calls attention to the fact that כִּי here is to be regarded as local not partitive, because otherwise God would be compared with men: among all the wise men and in the whole circuit of their dominion, therefore in the whole domain of their wisdom and might, no God is found like unto Jehovah. Comp. Caspari, Micha der Morastite, S. 13 ff.
Jeremiah 10:8. But altogether … it is wood. That which really is does not correspond to that which ought to be. The entirety of the heathen (בְּאַחַת = unâ, Targum Jon. בַּחֲרָא; the meaning in one contradicts the connection) feareth not the Lord, as it becomes them. This is to say, they are stupid as brutes.—Vain instruction! It is wood! If with Graf we should construe these words like 3a, we should develop the meaning that wood is wooden. But since this could not possibly be meant in the figurative sense, in which we use the word wooden, we should be obliged to take it literally, which, however we interpreted מוּסַר, would yield only nonsense. Accordingly עֵץ cannot be the predicate of מוּסַר. We must therefore regard the latter as a declaration made absolutely, with present brevity, an exclamation which represents a sentence.—Since the radical meaning of הֶבֶל is breath, vanitas, we are perfectly justified by passages like Ecclesiastes 1:2; Ecclesiastes 5:6; Ecclesiastes 12:8, in taking the plural in this sense, although an adhesion to the derived meaning (idols) may certainly be contained in the words מוּסַר הי׳ is therefore=institutio vanitatum, in the double sense of vain instruction and that which treats of vanities. At the same time the author may have had in mind an opposition to the “chastisement of Jehovah” (מוּסַר י׳) (Deuteronomy 11:2; Proverbs 3:11; Job 5:17).—Whatever also in idol doctrine is declared great and glorious of the idols is all vain lies and deceit. For the idol is wood! This points back to Jeremiah 10:3, and at the same time declares in contradiction of what follows, that, though the idols may be ornamented with precious metals and material, the heart is still always wood. הוּא is used here, as in Jeremiah 10:3, collectively with a contemptuous side-meaning.
Jeremiah 10:9. Silver plates are brought … artists’ work are they all.כֶּסֶף מ׳ beaten silver, therefore silver plates, comp. Genesis 1:6-8; Numbers 17:3-4. I do not think that these and the following words are to be regarded as a continuation of It is wood or are brought, as forming a relative sentence. For Jeremiah 10:8 compared with Jeremiah 10:3-4, is evidently intended to express that the idol is wood, a common material, and that the more precious metals, etc. are only theshell which covers the base kernel. The thought therefore that the idol is wood, silver and gold is remote from the connection. For what object silver and gold are brought from a great distance is not expressly stated, but is understood from the context, and especially from Jeremiah 10:4.—Tartessus in Spain is mentioned as producing silver in Ezekiel 27:12.—The name אוּפָז occurs besides only in Daniel 10:5, where כֶּתֶם אוּפַז is spoken of. There are three views with respect to it: 1. Uphaz is designated as a real locality, and Bochart (Phaleg. II. 27), supposes it to be Tabrobana (Ceylon) where according to Ptolemy (VII. 4) there was a river and harbor Phasis; (Hitzig and Fuerst, H. W. B. S. 37) a place in Yemen (comp. Usal, Genesis 10:27; Ophir, Sheba, Psalms 45:10; 1 Chronicles 29:4; Psalms 72:15); in which case Uphaz may be regarded either as a compound of או אוּ and פָזi.e. gold coast, or = Vipaça (Hyphasis); 2. Uphaz is regarded as incorrectly written for אוֹפִיר. So the Chaldee and Syriac, Theodoret and many of the moderns; 3. מֵאוּפָז is taken to be identical with מוּפזpurgatum (Part. Hoph. from מָזַז1Ki 10:18, Vid.Fuerst, Conc. p. 895). But since, 1. The hypothesis of a scriptural error is opposed to the critical principle of preferring the more difficult reading; 2. Tartessus is designated only as a land of silver never of gold (with the exception of the general and later passage, Macc. Jeremiah 8:3); 3. The East is elsewhere generally represented as the home of gold (comp. Havila, Genesis 2:11-12; Ophir, Sheba, ut supra)—and finally, 4. The connection of the passage requires the thought that the materials of the idols were brought from the most distant, and opposite places. I am in favor of regarding Uphaz as a definite locality to be sought in the East, although it is not possible now to determine its position more exactly.—The work of the smith is in apposition with silver and gold.—תִּכֵלֶת blue, אַרְגָמָן red purple, comp. Exodus 26:31; Exodus 26:36; Exodus 27:16; Exodus 28:8; Exodus 28:15; Exodus 28:33.—Artists’ [lit. skilful ones] comp. Jeremiah 9:16; Isaiah 40:20.
Jeremiah 10:10. But Jehovah…endure his wrath In contrast to the merely imaginary deity of the idols, Jehovah is designated as the true God (אמת in apposition, comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 66) in contrast to their lifelessness as the living (הַיִים adject. comp. Jeremiah 2:13; the plural as in Deuteronomy 5:23; 1 Samuel 17:26; Jeremiah 23:36 coll.; Joshua 24:19; Isaiah 37:4; Isaiah 37:17. VideNaegelsb. Gr. § 105, 4, a) in contrast to their powerlessness finally as the eternal governor (comp. Exodus 15:18; Psalms 10:16; Psalms 66:7; Psalms 93:1 sqq.; Psalms 97:1). Before such a mighty God the earth trembles (Exodus 19:16 sqq.; Psalms 68:9; Psalms 97:5; Nahum 1:5) and the nations are not in a condition to hold or to bear the fulness of His anger (the figure is that of a vessel which is burst by the liquid poured into it. Matthew 9:17; comp. Jeremiah 2:13).
Jeremiah 10:11. Ye shall therefore say … under the heaven. Houbigant, Venema, Dathe, Blayney, Döderlein, Rosenmueller, Maurer, Ewald, Graf, [Henderson—S. R. A.] and others declare this verse to be a gloss which has crept into the text. Even Neumann (S. 549 Anm.) inclines to this view. I must also decide in its favor. For 1. Since we must suspect the authenticity of Jeremiah 10:1-10; Jeremiah 10:12-16, we have no interest in maintaining that of this verse, but a reason is afforded for the insertion of the verse just here. To the marginal gloss of a second a third might have added a second gloss in a foreign language. He would not have ventured to make such an irrelevant addition to the text of the prophet. Both glosses have in later times been unjustifiably admitted into the text. Jeremiah would certainly not have interrupted a Hebrew discourse by a Chaldee interpolation, when he elsewhere never uses this language, not even in the letter to the exiles, Jeremiah 29:0. The reasons which have been adduced in favor of their authenticity are specious only. They may be found in Neumann, S. 547, sqq. [Vide also Eng. Trans, of Calvin, II. p. 31, n.—S. R. A.]. 2. The verse breaks the connection in the most abrupt manner. Jeremiah 10:12 is by this verse suspended in the air, while without it, Jeremiah 10:12 is connected quite regularly with Jeremiah 10:10. The assumption of a parenthesis also (J. D. Michaelis) does not avail. For then the verse must be a necessary, not interruptive supplement to Jeremiah 10:10, or preparation for Jeremiah 10:12, neither of which is the case.
Jeremiah 10:12. Who made the earth … the heavens—Who made (עֹשֵׂה) is in apposition to the main idea of Jeremiah 10:10 : Jehovah Elohim. The absence of the article before such a participle standing in apposition after a Nom. determ. is frequent. Comp. Jeremiah 2:27; Psalms 9:12; Psalms 104:2-4; Zechariah 12:1. VideNaegelsb. Gr. § 97, 2, a.—The contents of Jeremiah 10:12-13 serve by the enumeration of facts as a confirmation of Jeremiah 10:11, comp. Jeremiah 27:5; Jeremiah 32:17.—established, etc. comp. Psalms 65:7; Psalms 89:12; Psalms 93:1.—spread out, etc. comp. Psalms 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 51:13; Zechariah 12:1.
Jeremiah 10:13. At the sound … storehouses. This verse, with the exception of the beginning is found in Psalms 135:7.—Sound of his voice. It is not necessary with Ewald to take this for לִתִתּוֹ קוֹל, or with Maurer for לִתֵת קוֹלוֹ, or with Hitzig to make הֲמוֹן depend on תִּתּוֹ as the object. For the words mean simply ad vocem, quam edit. We are not then to take נָתַן in the general sense (on the noise which His giving makes) but in the special sense which lies at the root of the expression נָתַן בְּקוֹל (Jeremiah 12:8; Psalms 46:7; Psalms 68:34) i.e., “to make a noise, sound with the voice.” That the thunder is meant is evident from the context. Thunder, lightning, clouds, rain and storm are mentioned as the essential constituents of a tempest, comp. Jeremiah 11:16.
Jeremiah 10:14-15. Stupid are all … they perish. In contrast to the living power of God the vanity of the idols is again set forth. While before Jehovah, when He arises, all trembles and is afraid, the worshippers of idols are by these merely—put to shame. The two members of Jeremiah 10:14 a, stand in the relation of explicative, not of synonymous parallelism. The second is the explanation and more exact definition of the first. A change of reading therefore (אָדָם into חָכָם)or of the usual meaning of the word (דַּעַת = arte factum, idol-image) is unnecessary. נִכְעַר we take in the explicative sense=to appear stupid, to prove so, comp. Isaiah 19:11; Ewald, § 123, b. מִדַּעַת without insight, comp. Naegelsb. Gr. § 112, 5, d.—Men appear in the entire nakedness of their stupidity, in so far as they are put to shame by their idols, which are not God, but dead castings.—Work of deceit. The sense is: a work by which they themselves are stultified and put to shame who make it.
Jeremiah 10:16. Not like these … is his name. The worshippers of Jehovah are yet again comprised with the idolaters, Jehovah is opposed to the idols, and the whole force of the demonstration is concentrated into the significant name of the true God. The first hemistich falls into two members. 1. Not like these is the portion of Jacob. The expression portion of Jacob reminds us of Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalms 16:5. Observe how by this expression Jehovah and His servants are aptly comprised together. 2. Again the first sentence has a double basis: as former of all things Jehovah is not like the idols, and as those who have this God for their portion and inheritance the Israelites are not like the heathen.—Stock of his inheritance. Comp. Deuteronomy 4:20; Psalms 74:2.—On the relation of this passage to Jeremiah 51:19, and of the Hebrew original of the Alexandrian translation, consult Naegelsb. Jeremia u. Bab. S. 93, 131.
Jeremiah 10:6; Jeremiah 10:6.—כָּמוֹךָ מֵאֵין is remarkable. Venema supposes a transposition of the מ from אוֹתָם at the close of Jeremiah 10:5, an hypothesis to which we can have recourse only in extreme cases, especially as the initial and final מ are different in form. Neumann would take מֵאֵין in a causal sense, but 1. it would be scarcely appropriate to designate the Lord as great merely inmparison with other great ones; 2. מֵאֵין must also then be taken as causal in Jeremiah 10:7. Neumann indeed does this, but thus he obtains only a linguistic monstrosity, which condemns itself and also his rendering of the word. Hitzig would read מֵאַיִן, as in Jeremiah 30:7, and with similarity of thought we should certainly expect similarity of expression. But might we not just as well require מָאֵין to be read in Jeremiah 30:7, as in this place? The expression, from whence Thy like? is at least quite unusual. In this sense we elsewhere always find מִי (Deuteronomy 3:24; Deuteronomy 4:7; 2 Samuel 22:32; 2 Kings 18:35; Psalms 18:32; Psalms 77:14; Micah 7:18 and the passages adduced by Hitzig himself Psalms 35:10; Psalms 71:19) while אֵי or אֵיֵה occurs only in an ironical negative sense (ex. gr. Psalms 42:4; Psalms 79:10; Psalms 115:2; Jeremiah 2:27). or in the sense of earnest search (Jeremiah 2:6; Jeremiah 2:8; 2 Kings 2:14), but מֵאַיִן never occurs in that sense.—כֵאֵין occurs frequently in Jeremiah, more frequently than in any other author of the Old Testament.—The preposition מִן is in this connection used evidently sometimes in a causal sense (Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 19:11; Isaiah 50:2; Ezekiel 34:8), but mostly in a negative sense=away from, without. Two negatives thus united do not make an affirmative, but strengthen the negation. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 106, 5; Gesen. § 152, 2. Everywhere, however except here, מִן depends on a preceding verb or noun, and indeed for the most part mediately, so that the preposition is to be considered as depending on an idea of existence (constructio prægnans) latent in the verb (or noun). Comp. Isaiah 6:11; Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 20:9; Jeremiah 32:43; Jeremiah 33:10; Jeremiah 33:12; Jeremiah 34:22; Jeremiah 44:22; Jeremiah 46:19; Jeremiah 48:9; Jeremiah 51:29; Jeremiah 51:37; Ezekiel 33:28; Zephaniah 2:5; Zephaniah 3:6. In Jeremiah 5:9 only is this idea of existence explicitly present.—That in this place כֵאֵין stands so abruptly is very remarkable and contrary to the usage of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 10:7; Jeremiah 10:7.—יָאָֽתָה from יָאָה (which occurs only in this single form and place)=נָאָה, decorum, consentaneum fuit, Isaiah 52:7; Psalms 93:5; Song of Solomon 1:10, On the feminine in the impersonal sense, comp. Naegelsb Gr. § 60, 6, b.
Jeremiah 10:8; Jeremiah 10:8.—יבערו comp. Jeremiah 10:14; Jeremiah 10:21. Elsewhere occur only the participial forms בֹּעֲרִים (Psalms 94:8; Ezek. 21:36) and נִבְעָרָה (Isaiah 19:11). The meaning, according to the analogy of &בְּעִיר בַּעַר = bardum, stolidum esse.
Jeremiah 10:8; Jeremiah 10:8.—ויכסלו. The verb here only—meaning (comp כְּסִיל כֶּסֶל) stultum, stupidum, esse.
Jeremiah 10:8; Jeremiah 10:8.—[Blayney renders: the very word itself being a rebuker of vanities; Noyes better: Most vain is their confidence; it is wood—with the note, “Lit. their doctrine, their instruction: i.e., that in which they are taught to confide.” Henderson has; The tree itself is a reproof of vanities.—S. R. A.]
Jeremiah 10:11; Jeremiah 10:11.—אַרְקָא is a harsher form of אַרְעָא. Comp. Fuerst, H. W. B. 1, S. 142. Buxtorf, Lex. Chald. p. 228. אֵלֶּה is again Hebrew and is referred by the LXX. to שְׁמַיָּא but by most commentators to אֱלָהַיא.
Jeremiah 10:14; Jeremiah 10:14.—מַֽעֲשֵׂה מַּעְתֻּעִים The noun here only, the verb Genesis 27:12; 2 Chronicles 36:16.
2. BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE RETRIBUTION: COMMAND TO THE PEOPLE TO RETIRE; LAMENT OF THE DESOLATED LAND; LAST WATCH-CRY OF THE PROPHET: THE ENEMY IS HERE!
Jer 10:17-22 15
18 For thus saith Jehovah: Behold!
I sling away the inhabitants of this land at this once,
And bring them into straits, that they may find it so.
19 Wo is me for my hurt! My wound is incurable.18
But I say: this is now my suffering and I will bear it.
20 My tent is laid waste and all my cords are broken.19
My children forsake me and are never here.
There is none to pitch my tent and set up my curtains,
21 For the pastors are become stupid and seek not Jehovah.
Hence they have effected nothing prudent and their whole flock is dispersed.
22 Hark, a message comes and great tumult out of the north country,
That the cities of Judah are to become a desolation,
For the habitation of jackals.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
After by Jeremiah 9:25 it is affirmed that the last and only means of safety is despised the prophet now in Jeremiah 10:17-18 addresses a command to the people to remove into exile. The now desolated land is hereupon introduced as lamenting its misfortune and its causes (Jeremiah 10:19-21). At last the prophet announces, as a herald or watchman on the lookout, that the enemy (long predicted and called to execute judgment) is present (Jeremiah 10:22).
Jeremiah 10:17. Pick up thy bundle … distress. It is the prophet who speaks.—מֵאֶרֶץ=from the earth, away from the ground, for here we have to do not with the retirement of the possessors from the country, but only of the hasty gathering up of the few effects, which a poor exile might take with him. The word “bundle”has therefore a contemptuous side-meaning.—In distress. The prophet speaks this of the people already severely distressed by the enemy in the cities whither they have fled, Jeremiah 8:14. Comp. Jeremiah 19:9; Jeremiah 52:5.
Jeremiah 10:18. For thus saith Jehovah … may find it so. Jehovah Himself is now introduced as speaking, to give a reason for the command in Jeremiah 10:17.—Since the time of the Judges the people had often been oppressed by foreign enemies within their borders, now they are to be dragged far away into banishment, comp. Isaiah 22:17—That they may find it so. למען ימצאו. This expression, which has been very variously interpreted is explained most easily by remembering, a. its relation to bring into straits, b. the ease of supplying the indefinite object “it” (Naegelsb. Gr., § 78, 2 Anm.), c. the close connection of the ideas “to find” and “to know.” With respect to the latter, I refer especially to Ecclesiastes 8:17 (and I saw that man cannot find all God’s work, that is done under the sun; though a man labor to seek [it], yet he finds it not, and though a wise man think to know [it], yet can he not find it). Comp. also Jeremiah 16:21.—He who is driven into straits must go whither he is driven. So God by affliction drives Israel into such straits that they must find, i.e., know what it is above all necessary and desirable for them to know, that great “it,” namely, which though unnamed, is well understood. Chap. Isaiah 43:20; Hosea 9:7.
Jeremiah 10:19-20. Wo is me … set up my curtains. That both these verses are the words of the country personified, is seen from “my children,” etc., in Jeremiah 10:20, for neither the prophet says this, nor the people, who are identical with the children and not forsaken, but forsaking.—And I say. In these words also we have a proof that the land is the speaker. For the words express no consciousness of guilt, but a comfort, which the innocent land alone could find, in the fact that a calamity is laid upon it, which must be borne. At the same time we perceive in these words the first gleam of hope in a future deliverance. For men speak thus composedly only when they know that they will not have to bear perpetual but only transient suffering. Comp. Jeremiah 5:4. Also the suffixes of the 1st Pers. in Jeremiah 10:20 are in favor of the land as the speaker.—Forsake me. Comp. Genesis 44:4; Numbers 35:26; Naegelsb. Gr., § 70, b.
Jeremiah 10:21. For the pastors are become stupid … dispersed. The land is the speaker: 1. on account of; 2. because the metaphor of pastoral life is continued; 3. because in the mouth of the land this statement does not appear as the repetition of things which have been already frequently said, but as it were a confirmatory testimony from an impartial witness.—Become stupid. Comp. Jeremiah 10:8,—effect nothing prudent. The meaning is to effect that which is prudent, sensible and in so far also prosperous, comp. Jeremiah 20:11; Proverbs 17:8.
Jeremiah 10:22. Hark, a message … jackal.—These words are, as it were, a last watch-call and signal which denotes (comp. Jeremiah 1:14; Jeremiah 4:6; Jeremiah 6:1; Jeremiah 6:22; Jeremiah 8:16) that the enemy so frequently announced is present.—For a habitation, comp. Jeremiah 9:10.
This strophe apart from the general relationship which it bears to chh. 7, 9, also has many particular points of connection with this passage, especially with Jeremiah 8:13 sqq. Comp. Jeremiah 10:17 with Jeremiah 8:14—קוֹלֵעַ, Jeremiah 10:18 with הִשְׁלַכְתִּי Jeremiah 7:15.—שִׁבְרִי Jeremiah 10:19 with Jeremiah 8:21.—יְצָאֻנִי Jeremiah 10:20 with עזַבִנוּ י׳ Jeremiah 9:18.—מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן Jeremiah 10:22 with Jeremiah 8:16.—לָשוּם וגו׳ Jeremiah 10:22 with Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 9:10.
Jeremiah 10:17; Jeremiah 10:17.—כּנָצָה (ἅπ λεγ) from כָּנַע=the bowed together, twisted together, pack, bundle. On אִספִי comp. Olsh. § 234, b, Isaiah 47:2.
Jeremiah 10:17; Jeremiah 10:17.—The Keri יוֹשֶׁבֶת is superfluous. Comp. Jeremiah 22:23; Genesis 49:11; Hosea 10:11; Olsh. § 123, d.: Naegelsb. Gr. § 43, 1. On the construct state before prepositions, comp. Ib. § 63, 4 c. [Henderson renders: O inhabiters of the siege.]
Jeremiah 10:19; Jeremiah 10:19.—נחלה (Olshaus. § 266, a). Comp. Jeremiah 14:17; Jeremiah 30:12. [Henderson: My stroke is grievous.]
Jeremiah 10:20; Jeremiah 10:20.—[Henderson: all my tent pins are plucked up, but without reason.—S. R. A.]
3. CONSOLATORY GLANCE INTO THE FUTURE
23 I know, Jehovah, that not to man belongs his way,
It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.20
24 Correct me, Jehovah, but only as it is just,
Not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out thy wrath on the nations that know thee not,
And on the nations that call not on thy name;
For they have devoured Jacob, yea they consumed and destroyed him,
And his pasture have they laid waste.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
These verses form a very appropriate conclusion. They involve an honest confession of sin in view of the numerous charges of the discourse. To the threatenings of punishment, however, corresponds the petition to punish not too severely, not in anger, but to pour out the fury on the heathen nations; the basis of which petition is the theocratic hope that Israel cannot be wholly rejected, but there must in the future be a day of grace for them, and vengeance on their enemies. The prophet must be regarded as the speaker, but as speaking not in his own name, but in that of the people.
Jeremiah 10:23. I know … his steps. Man has not the power to determine how and where he will go. Comp. Psalms 37:23; Proverbs 16:1; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21.—הֹלֵךְ is taken by Hitzig=perishable, mortal. And the word, according to passages like Ps. 39:14; Psalms 58:9; Psalms 109:23; Job 19:10, cannot be denied this meaning. But since the most natural sense: it is not for man, so long as he walks, to determine his course—seems equally appropriate, the word may be regarded as having a double sense, or, as uniting both these meanings.
Jeremiah 10:24-25. Correct me … and his pasture have they laid waste. In Jeremiah 10:23 the thought is implicitly contained that Israel had wished in his own strength to walk in his own way contrary to the will of God. He now sees how greatly he has sinned and submits to the necessary and merited punishment, praying only for the utmost possible mildness and forbearance. The final conversion and re-acceptance of the people is thus set forth as prospective.—As is just, comp. Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 46:28. As was remarked on Jeremiah 7:5; Jeremiah 9:23, justice in the Old Testament is not opposed to grace, but to brutal violence. The antithesis of צַדִּיק is not to הָסִיד, but to עָרִיץ the violence (עֹשֶׁק) exercised toward the poor, the stranger, orphan and widow. In contrast to this he who consciously maintains the straight line of justice appears fairly disposed and mild, not making his subjective desires his law, but submitting himself to the objective law. Accordingly this as it is just, which evidently has its antithesis in the following: in thine anger, also involves the idea of mildness, because justice in contrast to that anger which is its own law, and respects no other, appears like mildness. It must be granted that this dualistic conception of God as just towards Israel, but wrathful towards the heathen, is not that of the New Testament. That it is the genuine Old Testament view is shown by passages like Psalms 6:2; Psalms 38:2; Psalms 79:0 (where in Jeremiah 10:6-7 our Jeremiah 10:24 is reproduced); Psalms 137:8. Observe, moreover, how the prophet here turns the tables. To Israel, now being severely punished, he presents the prospect of grace, but before the heathen, who are now God’s instruments in the punishment of Israel, is complete destruction. Comp. Isaiah 47:6; Habakkuk 1:11; Habakkuk 3:8-12, and Jeremiah 50, 51, especially Jeremiah 50:10 sqq.—The repetition and accumulation of verbs in 25b, is to portray graphically the rage of the enemies, comp. Jeremiah 51:34.
Jeremiah 10:23; Jeremiah 10:23.—והכין ו׳. From the LXX. (οὐδὲ ) and the Vulgate (nec viri est, ut ambulet et dirigat gressus suos), we might conclude that they read הֲלֹךְ וְהָכִין, if we might assume any exactness in these translations, and if it were not evident from the Chaldee (דְּאָזֵל וּמְחַקֵן qui ambalat at dirigit), and the Syriac, that they also read הֹלֵךְ. It is impossible to justify the Vau grammatically, when it stands before the infinitive. Even Ewald has accomplished nothing by reference to § 344, a. Gaab, by transposing the Vau, would read הֹלְכוֹ, which is an equally unusual construction, and gives a feeble sense. The easiest way would be to read לְחָכִין, if the very facility of this reading did not stand in its way. The general meaning is clear, but we must abandon for the present an exact determination of the word.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. On Jeremiah 10:6. There cannot be two highest Beings, or there would be none. In the idea of the Absolute is involved that of uniqueness. Polytheism has therefore no highest Being in the absolute sense. Where, however, traces of such are found, polytheism is about either to rise to monotheism (comp. Friedrich Naegelsbach, nachhom. Theol. S. 140), or to dissolve into pantheism.
2. Who shall not fear thee? etc., Jeremiah 10:7, Ghislerus remarks: “S. Remigius, Episc. Rhemensis ex hoc loco probat, multos ex gentibus credidisse et placuisse Deo, additque in hoc multo magis dici Deum gentium, quoniam multo plures credunt in eum ex gentibus, quam ex Judæis.” Comp. Romans 2:14-15, and Tholuck ad h. l.—John 1:4 (λόγος σπερματικός).
3. Augustine remarks on the Infinity of God, de Trin., V. 1. “Intelligimus Deum sine qualitate bonum, sine quantitate magnum, sine indigentia creatorem, sine situ præsentem, sine habitu omnia continentem, sine loco ubique totum, sine tempore sempiternum, sine ulla sui mutatione mutabilia facientem nihilque patientem.”
4. On Jeremiah 10:10. In hemist. a, a proof of the Trinity has been repeatedly found. So ex. gr., Hailbrunner (Jer. proph. monumenta in locos comm. Theol. digesta, Lauingen, 1586, page 38), Förster (S. 61), and among the moderns Neumann (S. 547). The latter says … “the passage affords a sure testimony of the trinitarian view of God in the Old Testament; the truth of the Spirit, the life of the Father, the kingdom of the Son, comprising in themselves the fulness of all emanations of the divine existence in opposition to heathen superstition.” But against this it may be urged that in opposition to the multiplicity of idols the author had to set forth not the trinity, but the unity of the divine nature, as he has done in Jeremiah 10:6-7, and that his purpose here (Jeremiah 10:10) is merely to contrast the false gods with the true, the dead with the living, the powerless with the Almighty. That the contrast is exhibited in three points, we are not indeed to regard as accidental, but to explain it rather by the general significance of the number three, than by the purpose of intimating the Trinity.
5. On Jeremiah 10:14 : “All men are fools. Ye fools and blind, says our Saviour (Matthew 23:0). Such a word, spoken in season takes hold and produces conviction; but it must be administered with spirit and fire; for if it is only human words to men, they will make a quarrel out of them.” Zinzendorf.
6. On Jeremiah 10:14 (A lie is their casting). This applies not only to the idols which men make of earthly materials, but to all self-made idols of the heart. The carnal mind, which tends downwards, feels annoyed by the nearness of God, and seeks therefore at all times to escape from it. But since man cannot do without God, he makes himself a god or gods, as he wants them. Whether these gods are visible and palpable images, or the abstract forms of speculation, the words of the text always apply to them; they are a lie, and there is no spirit in them. Accordingly there is heathenism enough in themidst of Christianity, and it may be asked, which is worse, the new or the old?
7. On Jeremiah 10:16. What perfect historical reality and personality is here! A creator of the universe stands before us, one therefore, who has called all things into existence by His free, personal will, and who at the same time as the living personal Head of all the spirits governing the world is infinitely exalted above every limited local deity. But at the same time the relation of this Deity to the world is not an abstract and general, but a living and personal relation. For this God primarily holds immediate personal intercourse with one nation of the earth, as a father with his son, and He is this nation’s greatest treasure and inalienable property, as on the other hand the nation belongs to Him as the object of His free personal election, which none may dispute or annul.
8. On Jeremiah 10:19 (I must bear it). “I pray all teachers for God’s sake, that they reflect and err not, that they do not, in order to retain their living, repeat these words of Jeremiah, and cover up their laziness, ill-success, frivolity, their own unfruitfulness and selfishness, with the excuse, ‘this is my plague.’ O no, what we should call a plague is burdens of a hundred-weight, from which we long to be freed, which crush us almost to death; persons from whom we would flee as a bird from a cage; a pressure under which we are martyred with shame, and yet have no permission to depart. These lead one finally, after many struggles and cries unto the Lord for his dismission, and after an answer of absolute denial, to say in calmness: I believe this is now my plague, and I must bear it.” Zinzendorf.
9. On Jeremiah 10:20. “The jealousy of the Saviour is so strict, that He will have His children directed to Him (Isaiah 65:11), and the idea of the pastoral office with which some good teachers are infected, of regarding and treating souls as their souls, sheep as their sheep, children as their children, is in the highest degree opposed to His will. Hence He often, for a just judgment, does not allow their joy in souls to last, but lets them see and conclude more of their decline and less of their success, than there really is. For He will not give His glory to another, and the teachers are not Christ, but sent by Him, before Him.” Zinzendorf.
10. On Jeremiah 10:21. “As sheep must either starve or be led to filthy and poisonous pasture, if their shepherds are fools, who do not know how to manage sheep, so is this much more the case in the spiritual pastorate.” Cramer.
11. On Jeremiah 10:23. “The steps of every man are ordered by the Lord, what man understands His way? (Proverbs 20:24). And every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord alone maketh the hearts certain (Proverbs 21:2). Therefore we must pray: Lord, make known to me the way in which I should walk, for after Thee is my desire. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God; let Thy good Spirit guide me in a plain path (Psalms 143:8-10).” Cramer.
12. On Jeremiah 10:23. “Certum est, nos velle, cum volumus, sed ille facit, ut velimus bonum, de quo dictum est, quod præparatur voluntas a Domino (Proverbs 8:35 sec. Sept.) Certum est, nos facere, cam facimus, sed ille facit, ut faciamus præbendo vires efficacissimas voluntati, qui dixit; faciam ut in justificationibus meis ambuletis et judicia mea observetis (Ezekiel 36:26-27).” Augustin. De grat. et lib. arbitr. Cap. 16.
13. On Jeremiah 10:24. “There is a beautiful distinction between the suffering and punishment of the pious and the ungodly, which consists in modo et in fine. For when God chastises the pious He does it not with anger and fury, but as a discrect and kind father or teacher may discipline his son and disciple, without ill-humor. Thus also God does with His children. He does it, not that He may bring them to nothing, but that they may not esteem themselves innocent (Jeremiah 30:11). On the other hand he makes an end of the ungodly, and they must drink up the dregs (Psalms 75:8).” Cramer.
14. On Jeremiah 10:25. “Quæri potest hic, an contra infideles, ut hodie sunt Turcæ et Judæi, orandum? Orandum est contra eos et pro iis. Contra eos, quatenus persequuntur ecclesiam, pro iis, quatenus ecclesiam non persequuntur, ut convertantur, quemadmodum fit in Litania; forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, and turn their hearts.” Förster.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
1. [On Jeremiah 10:7. Saurin:—Fear may be 1. Terror. 2. A disposition to render God all the worship He requires, to submit to all the laws He imposes, to conceive all the emotions of admiration, devotedness and love, which the eminence of His perfections demands. 3. A disposition which considers Him as alone possessing all that can contribute to our happiness and misery. In the last sense (which is meant here) God is the only object of fear; for 1. God is a being whose will is self-efficient; 2. the only being who can act immediately on spiritual souls; 3. the only being who can make all creatures concur in His designs.”—S. R. A.]
2. On Jeremiah 10:10. There are three main forms of idolatry: 1. Polytheism, which does not deny the predicates of deity, but attributes them to false subjects.—2. Pantheism, which denies the subjects and the predicates.—3. Deism, which confesses the subject but denies the predicates.—These errors are opposed in Jeremiah 10:10, from which we derive the theme:—The Scriptural doctrine of God in opposition to the errors of idolatry.—This teaches us to know God, 1. as the true, real God in opposition to those who attribute the divine properties to imaginary false gods; 2. as the living God in opposition to those who represent God as a mere all-pervading force; 3. as the eternal King, in opposition to those who represent God only as a transient work-master, and not as the ever active ruler of the world.
3. There is a homily of Origen (Horn. VIII. ed. Lommatzsch) on Jeremiah 10:12-14, in which by the earth he understands the body, by תֵּבֵל (οἰκουμένη) the soul, by the heavens the spirit. The clouds (mist) Jeremiah 10:13 from the ends of the earth are the saints whom God has chosen from the least of the earth.
4. On Jeremiah 10:14-16. It is manifest that the task of religion is not to make God, but to receive Him, who is, in faith. Every manufactured god is an idol, be it a visible one made with hands, or an invisible one made only in thought. The latter kind of idolatry is alas! very prevalent among us Christians. For a warning against such ruinous heresies, and for the confirmation of our faith in the God, whom as Christians we ought to serve, we institute on the basis of the text, a comparison between the manufactured gods and the God, of whom the Scriptures teach us. I. The manufactured gods, 1. are deceit, etc., Jeremiah 10:14, b; 15, a. Jeremiah 15:2. They perish when they are visited (in the day of divine judgment upon them they vanish into nothing). 3. Those who made them are with all their skill put to shame. II. The God, of whom the Holy Scriptures teach us. 1. He is not a lifeless deceptive image, for He has created all things, the visible and the invisible (Jehovah Zebaoth). 2. Being the source of all life He cannot perish. 3. Those who serve Him are not put to shame, for He is their treasure, as they again are His heritage (He is not only infinitely exalted above time and space, but infinitely near us, His children).
5. On Jeremiah 10:10. From these words of the prophet we may learn what it is in great affliction and sorrow of heart to bow under the mighty hand of God. It Isaiah 1:0, that a man recognize the suffering as his suffering, i.e., (a) as that which he has himself prepared, (b) as that which is right for him, i.e., not too heavy and not too light, but exactly corresponding to its beneficent purpose; 2, that they suffer willingly, (a) in patience, (b) in hope.
6. On Jeremiah 10:23. Theme: Man proposes, God disposes. This Isaiah 1, a humbling of our pride, 2, a strong support of our hope.
Note.—Förster remarks that these words may serve for the text of a concio valedictoria.
7. On Jeremiah 10:25. Theme: How we should behave under the chastisements of God. 1. We should humbly submit to them as necessary and wholesome means of improvement. 2. We should be certain that they will not then transgress those bounds nor proceed to our destruction.
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://studylight.org/
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