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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 17

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

Verses 1-27

Jeremiah 17:0

4. Refutation of the objection (Jeremiah 16:10) that the people had not generally served idols

Jeremiah 17:1-4

1          The sin of Judah is written with an iron stylus,1

Graven with a diamond point on the tablet of their heart,
On the horns of their altars;

2     As their children remember their altars,

And their images of Baal2 by3 the green trees, by the high hills.

3     My mountain together with4 the fields,

Thy substance and all thy treasures will I give up to spoil,
Thy heights!—for thy sin in all thy borders.

4     And thou shalt withhold thy hand from the inheritance which I have given thee;

And I cause thee to serve thy enemies in a land that thou knowest not:
For ye have kindled a fire in my nostrils that shall burn forever.


The denial of having sinned against Jehovah (Jeremiah 16:10) must mean that the fact of idolatry is denied. Against such a bold and shameless assertion the prophet rises here with visibly increasing indignation. He says that the sin of Judah is certified, and as it were, recorded in the archives, viz. (a in their own conscience, in which the memory of their idolatrous abominations is fixed like an ineffaceable brand, and (b) externally, on the horns of the altars, where the blood of the slaughtered children adheres as an equally ineffaceable memorial (Jeremiah 17:1). These two testimonies were just as deep and inextinguishable to them, the actors present, as to the children the impression of that horrible cult which had snatched away so many from their midst would remain unforgetable. And so deep was this impression, that the mere sight of green trees and high hills was sufficient to refresh it continually (Jeremiah 17:2). On the basis of the facts thus certified, the prophet repeats the announcement of the divine punishments, which will consist in plunder of substance, desolation of the land, according to the analogy of the year of release, and deportation into an unknown land (Jeremiah 17:3-4).

Jeremiah 17:1; Jeremiah 2:5 The sin of Judah … high hills.Origen (Hom. XVI. ed. Lommatzsch., S. 301), Isid. Hisp. (De Pass. Dom., Jeremiah 22:0). Ghisler (ad h. l.) by Judah here understand Judas Iscariot.—Iron stylus. Comp. Job 19:24.—diamond point, שָׁמִיר, which occurs besides, in this sense, only in Ezekiel 3:9; Zechariah 7:12, appears to designate especially the diamond, which serves as a pointed cutting instrument, since everywhere else (Isaiah 5:9; Isaiah 7:23-25; Isaiah 9:17; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 27:4) it is used in the meaning of “thorn.” Comp. Herzog, Real-Enc. III., S. 642; Winer, R.-W.-B. I., S. 284.—On the tablet, etc. Passing momentary events make only a superficial impression. But whatever has exercised a long-continued and intensive activity is deeply graven. In opposition to the assertion (Jeremiah 17:10) that Israel has not sinned against the Lord, the prophet points to the continuance of idolatry among the people, and the deep, inextinguishable traces, which it has left behind. These are double; of an external and internal sort. Internally is the conscience, the remembrance, the whole spiritual habitus, which keeps before Israel the fact of the long practised idolatry. Externally are the idol-altars, with the blood of the children offered upon them, crying towards heaven, which testify of the sin to all the world. It is therefore audacity on the part of the people to pretend that they have forgotten the fact. The expression write on the table of the heart is found also in Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 7:3.—horns of the altars. That the idol-altars are meant is evident 1, from the plural, for there was but a single altar of Jehovah (J. D. Michaelis); 2, from the connection, for Israel’s sin was to be read only on the idol-altars, not on the altar of the Lord,—or on the latter only in so far as they had perhaps used it for idolatrous worship (comp. 2 Chronicles 15:3; Winer, s. v. Brandopferaltar). The altars in Jeremiah 17:2 are doubtless also those of the idols, and identical with those mentioned in Jeremiah 17:1.—On the horns of the altar of burnt offering and the sprinkling of these with the blood of the guilt offering, comp. Exodus 27:2 (coll. Psalms 118:27); Jeremiah 29:12; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34; Leviticus 8:15; Leviticus 9:9. That the idol-altars also had such horns is clear from Amos 3:14. Comp. Winer, R.-W.-B. s. v. Hörner.—Their altars, lit., youraltars. On the change of person comp. rems. on Jeremiah 5:14; Jeremiah 12:13.—remember. We may reject at the outset the ungrammatical explanations which either take כְּ=לְ (so that their children remember, Luther, Zwingle, substantially Calvin) or understand God as the subject of remember (Seb. Schmidt, Clericus, Ch. B. Michaelis). All those interpretations are at least very harsh, which regard the Jews as the subject, (ut recordantur filiorum suorum ita altarium, etc., i.e., their altars are as dear to their hearts as their children, R. Salomo, D. Kimchi, Abarbanel, Diodatus, Maurer; remembering their children, they remember also the altars on which they offered them, Hitzig) or which take כְּ in the sense of because, if, (Jerome, Chald., Arab., and many later) or which find the apodosis in Jeremiah 17:3 (Ewald, Umbreit). Since in Jeremiah 17:1 there is evidently likewise the idea of a monumentum, a record assuring a perpetual remembrance, the reciprocal relation of Jeremiah 17:1-2 is indicated at the outset. There is a third memorial of the sin denied by the Israelites, the testimony of which is the more unexceptionable as it proceeds from the mouth of children (Psalms 8:3; Matthew 21:16): the remembrance by the children of that horrible worship to which so many from their midst fell a sacrifice. The prophet points to an effect of that horrid ritual, which is not indeed elsewhere expressly testified, but is in itself entirely natural. Why should not Moloch have been the terror of the Israelitish children, when there was such real and sad ground for it, as is wanting in other bugbears which terrify the children of the present day?—Their children is therefore the subject of remember, and the construction is as ex. gr., Jeremiah 5:26; Jeremiah 6:7. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 95, 2.—Images, etc. The אֲשֵׁרִים are the masculine images of Baal [not of Astarte, as Henderson.—S. R. A.] (comp. 1 Kings 14:23; 2Ki 17:10; 2 Kings 23:14, etc.) as אֲשֵׁרוֹת are primarily and in general the images corresponding to the female principle of Baal. What was their form is still undecided, also whether they had special relation to the service of Moloch. Should the latter not be the case, yet their relation to the murderous rites of child-sacrifice is beyond a doubt. For children were offered to Baal in all his forms, comp. Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 32:35. Herzog, Real-Enc. I. S. 638; IX., S. 715.—By the green trees, על־עץ. Hitzig and Graf rightly take עַל here in a causal sense connecting it with remember, not with altars. If the place was to be designated where the altars and images stood, we cannot conceive why the prophet should write “on green trees,” and deviate from the stereotyped form of “under every green tree.” It is accordingly more probable that it is to express that the mere sight of green trees and high hills awoke in the Israelite children the remembrance of those terrible altars and images. We can certainly show no passage in which עַל is used, after a verb of remembrance, of that which occasioned the remembrance. But all those passages are analogous in which עַל designates the occasioning circumstances in general, ex. gr., Genesis 26:7; Genesis 26:9; Ps. 44:32; 1 Samuel 4:13. Comp. עַל־מָה, Jeremiah 9:11; Job 13:14.

Jeremiah 17:3. My mountain … in all thy borders. The words הררי בשׂדה are either connected with the preceding context in various ways (Jerome: Sacrificantes in agro; Syr.: in montibus et in deserto; Chald.: Super montes in agro; Arab.: in montibus et in agris;R. Salomo, Abarbanel, Kimchi: O mons mi, qui in agro es, as a designation of Jerusalem, to which the previous context is addressed; Zwingli: ut filii recordantur ararum … collium, montium et agrorum;Ewald, Meier: הַרְרֵי בַשָּׂדֶה as in apposition to גְּבָעוֹת), or with the following, when it is either rendered as in the vocative, and Zion, as the high place of the country και’ ἐξοχήν, or Israel as sacrificing on mountains, or fleeing to mountains (Calvin), is understood by it, or it is connected with thy heights (Luther), or as an accusative with thy substance (montem meum una cum agro … dabo, Gesenius, Gaab, Rosenmueller, Umbreit). Hitzig calls attention to Jeremiah 18:14; Jeremiah 21:13, where Zion is designated as צוּר שָׂדַי and צוּר הֵמִּישֹׁר. But here the connection is quite different. In this place the prophet would evidently say that all property, movable and immovable, divine and human, dedicated to the service of God and the service of idols will be given up to plunder on account of their intensive (Jeremiah 17:1-2), as extensive and universally diffused sin (in all thy borders). For this reason also I do not believe that mountain is to be rendered as in the vocative. It is rather accusative, dependent on I will give, and the explanation already mentioned as that of Gesenius, Gaab, Rosenmueller and Umbreit, is the correct one. The mountain of the Lord also is desecrated; it therefore, in so far as it contains property that can be so treated, will also, like the fruitful field, be given up to plunder. The prophet says fields, because he wishes to designate only the land, which produces substance and treasures, or things that may be plundered. Thy substance and all, etc., is a more particular explanation of my mountain. It tells us how a mountain and fields can be plundered. Thy substance, thy treasures have primary reference to fields. But that also which the mountain contained belonged in a certain respect to the people, and they were likewise despoiled of it. On the subject comp. Jeremiah 27:16; Jeremiah 28:3; Jeremiah 52:17 sqq.—Thy heights is in antithesis to my mountain. Even the sanctuaries dedicated to the idols were to be objects of spoliation. It is clear that thy heights is governed by give, but its abrupt position is strange. If we could connect exclusively with for thy sin, this difficulty would be removed. But not only the high places, but all that has been previously mentioned is given up on account of their sin. Syrus and the Arabic (MS. Oxon), omit thy heights altogether. Hitzig translates “for atonement,” comparing Zechariah 14:17; Deuteronomy 29:11, and with respect to the construction, Deut. 21:29. But the expression in all thy borders would then be quite feeble and superfluous. Graf after Gesenius, De Wette and others:—Thy heights with the sin cleaving thereto I give up. But was it necessary to guard against the thought that the Lord would give up the heights without the sin, or that He would omit the latter? How is such a separation of the heights and the sin even conceivable? Thy heights may then be regarded as an emphatic asyndeton.—For thy sin. Comp. Micah 1:5; 2 Kings 24:3.—In all thy borders. This addition corresponds exactly to the previously stated extent of the punishment: Since the sin has been universally diffused, so all the possessions in the whole land will be made the means of punishment.

Jeremiah 17:4. And thou shalt … forever. In this verse ובך causes the only difficulty. It has been either entirely passed over (Syrus, Arab., Luther), or explained in a more or less forced manner, as unfreely (Vatable), by thy iniquity, naked and bare, alone (so Jerome, on the ground of which Ewald would alter to לְבָדָד). But it is evident that Jeremiah had in view Deuteronomy 15:2-3. This has been recognized by many expositors. Some (ex. gr., Seb. Schmidt, Rosenm.) supply, therefore, יָדְֽךָ from Deuteronomy 15:2. J. D. Michaelis was the first to suppose that יָדְֽךָ alone should be read. Graf expresses this distinctly, and without doubt correctly. For on the one hand וּבְךָ, however interpreted, yields no satisfactory meaning. On the other hand the expression שׁמטּ יד מן ו׳, withhold thy hand, etc., corresponds perfectly to the connection. The year of release (comp. Deuteronomy 15:1-13), so called from the שְׁמִטָּה, the release of the debtor from the oppressive hand of the creditor, coincides with the Sabbatic year (comp. Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:1-7), in which the land is to remain uncultivated (comp. Saalschuetz, Mos. Recht., S. 162 ff.; Herzog, R-Enc. XIII., S. 204 ff.). The state of desolation, in which the land will be in consequence of the destined exile of the people is in Leviticus 26:24-25 expressly compared with that Sabbatic year, or year of release, and is called the Sabbath-time of the land (שַׁבְתֹתֶיהָ). In 2 Chronicles 36:21 (comp. 3 Esdr. 1:58) it is expressly set forth that the Babylonian captivity was the fulfilment of the divine word proclaimed by Jeremiah, according to which the land was promised its holiday (שָׁבָּתוֹת). But in no other place than this does Jeremiah intimate this thought. If now it is undoubted that this passage, with reference to Deuteronomy 15:2 coll. Leviticus 26:34-35, designates the exile as a period of release for the land, we cannot avoid perceiving in וּבְךָ an altered form of the יָדְֽךָ of Deuteronomy. On I cause thee to serve, vide supra, on Jeremiah 15:14.—For ye have kindled, etc. The words are a free quotation from Deuteronomy 32:22, while those in Jeremiah 15:14, at least in their first part, agree verbatim with the original passage.


Jeremiah 17:1; Jeremiah 17:1.—צפרן. This word, which occurs besides only in Deuteronomy 21:12 is the nail, unguis, but since the finger-nail cannot be used for the engraving of ineffaceable writing, the word must mean a sharp, cutting instrument in general, in correspondence with the fundamental meaning of the root (= incidere, insculpere. Comp. Aram. טְפַר).

Jeremiah 17:2; Jeremiah 17:2.—[A. V.: their groves; De Wette: their Astartes (but comp. Exeget. Notes).—S. R. A.]

Jeremiah 17:2; Jeremiah 17:2.—Explanations which render עַל as local = with, together with (אֵצֶל, R. Sal.), or cumulative = una cum (Seb. Schmidt and others) are as unsatisfactory as the reading בָּל־עֵץ, which is found in the Chald., Syr., and in 16 Codd. of Kennicott and 9 of De Rossi.

Jeremiah 17:3; Jeremiah 17:3.—בִּ = in the midst, but in the sense of accompaniment, together with. Comp. Jeremiah 11:19; Naegelsb. Gr., § 112, 5, a.

[5] The LXX. does not contain verses 1–4. Without doubt Jerome is correct in saying, forsitan pepercerunt populo suo. Origen in the Hexapla gives under asterisks the following translation, which he found in other translators: Jeremiah 17:1. Ἁμαρτια Ἰούδα γεγραπται ἐν γραφείῳ σιδηρῷ·, ἐν ὄνυχι�, έγκεκολαμμἐνη ἐπἰ τοῦ στήθους τῆς καρδίας αὑτῶν, καὶ τοῖς κέρασι τῶν θυσιαστηρίων αὐτῶν.

Jeremiah 17:2. H̔νἰκα�, ἐπἰ βουμῶν μετεὠρων, ὀρέων ἐν�.

Jeremiah 17:3. Ἰσχύν σου καὶ πάντας θησαυρούς σου εἰς προνοὴνδώσω, τὰ ὐψηλά σου ἐν�.

Jeremiah 17:4. Kαὶ ἁφαιρθήσεται (αι. ἀφαιρεθήσῃ), καὶ ταπεινωθήσεται (αι. ταπεινωθήσῃ) ἀπὸ τῆς κληρονοηίσς σου, ἧς ἔδωκάσοι, καὶ�̓γνως· ὄτι πῦρ ἐγκἐκαυσται ἐν τῷ θυμῷ ηου, ἔως αιῶνος καυσθἤσεται. Τάδε λἐγει κύριος. Τhus in Montfaucon, Hexapl. Tom. II., p. 210.—Eusebius also, Dem. Ev. X. 5 (comp. Jeremiah 2:25), communicates the words, remarking that he found them ἀν ταῖς τῶν λοιπῶν ἑρμηνευτῶν ἐκδόσεσι, ετι μετὰ παραδόσεως άστεμίσκων ἐν τοῖς ακριβἐσι τῶν παρα τοῖς Ο. ἀντιγρἀφοις Drusius remarks that in nonnullis codd. græcis et in uno Vaticano leguntur sub asteriscis.

CONCLUSION (Jeremiah 17:5-18)

1. Retrospective glance at the deep roots of the corruption

Jeremiah 17:5-13

5          Thus saith Jehovah: Cursed the man, who trusts in men,

And makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from Jehovah.

6     He will be like one forsaken6 in the desert

And will not see when good comes,
And will dwell in the arid places in the wilderness,
In a land salt and uninhabited.

7     Blessed the man who trusts in Jehovah,

And whose confidence Jehovah is!

8     He is like a tree planted by water,

And which stretches forth7 its roots to8 the river,

And will not fear9 when the heat comes, and its leaf is green,

And in the year of drought it will not have care nor cease from fruit-bearing.

9     The heart is more deceitful than anything

And profoundly corrupt Who can know it?

10     I, Jehovah, search the heart, try the reins,

Even10 to give every one according to his way,

According to the fruit of his doings.

11     A partridge, which fosters without having laid,

Is he who accumulates riches not by right.
In the half of his days he will leave them,
And at his end he will be a fool.

12     O throne of glory, height11 of beginning, place of our sanctuary!

13     Hope of Israel, Jehovah!

All who forsake thee are put to shame!
Those who depart12 from me must be written in the earth,

Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, Jehovah.


This long discourse ends with a concluding address in two parts, the first of which relates to general, the second to personal matters. In the first (Jeremiah 17:5-13) the prophet indicates the most inward and hidden roots of the spiritual and physical corruption of his people. He mentions three chief moral defects, attaching to each the corresponding punishment. At the head he places the perverse disposition, which regards not the Lord, but flesh as the source and treasure of all blessing (Jeremiah 17:5). The punishment of this sin is mentioned in Jeremiah 17:6, the shadow being further deepened in Jeremiah 17:7-8 by the contrast there presented. The second radical defect, designated in Jeremiah 17:9, is the perfidiousness of the heart in connection with its weakness. In consequence of this habitus, the human heart is unfathomable to human sight, yet the Lord is in a position to look through and to judge it (Jeremiah 17:10). Avarice is designated as the third destructive root to which every means is right, to which, however, poverty and shame must follow as a just recompense (Jeremiah 17:11).—The last two verses express once more in a comprehensive manner, and after a solemn invocation of Jehovah, the judgment of destruction on all those who have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living water (Jeremiah 17:12-13).

Jeremiah 17:5-6. Thus saith Jehovah … salt and uninhabited. The prophet had in the previous context repeatedly designated the Lord as his and Israel’s only safety: Jeremiah 14:8; Jeremiah 14:22; Jeremiah 15:20-21; Jeremiah 16:19. He, however, expressly intimated in Jeremiah 16:19, that the Israel of those times was wanting in confidence in this Saviour. Here he renders this sin of unbelief strongly prominent, portraying it according to its positive and its negative side. He mentions the positive side first. Man and flesh designate the totality of all earthly visible forces in antithesis to the spiritual power of the invisible God. It is precisely their visibility which withdraws the carnal mind from the invisible things to be apprehended by faith alone. The mind is first taken captive by things visible. Then having gained a firm footing in these, it breaks loose from the Invisible. It was so in the Fall. This confidence in things visible, however, is idolatry (comp. Luther’s explanation of the first commandment). Hence the curse may well be an allusion to Deuteronomy 27:15 coll. Deuteronomy 11:28.—Man and flesh. (אָדָם and בָּשָׂר) synonymous also in Isaiah 31:3 coll. Job 10:4; Psalms 56:5. [“The Hebrew language, having three distinct words for man, has the advantage of our English in the finer shades of a passage like this, ‘cursed is the man (strong man) who trusteth in man (frail man of the earth) who maketh flesh (mere weakness) his arm.’ ” Cowles.—S. R. A.]—His arm, זְרוֹעַ, the organ for the exhibition of physical force. He who delivers over this function to another, i.e. makes him his arm, has him for his assistant, for protection and deliverance Comp. Isaiah 33:2; Psalms 83:9.—A land salt, etc. Comp. Job 39:6; Psalms 107:34.—Will dwell. תשׁב intransitive, as in Jeremiah 17:25; Jeremiah 30:18; Jeremiah 50:13; Jeremiah 50:39; Isaiah 13:20.

Jeremiah 17:7-8. Blessed the man … fruit bearing. We might, suppose that these verses were so co-ordinate with the two preceding that the two pairs would constitute an independent, self-contained whole. But then the following verses would be entirely disconnected. I therefore think that verses 7 and 8 are to serve as a foil to the thought expressed in Jeremiah 17:5-6, which is shown to be the main thought by its position—As a tree. Comp. Psalms 1:3.—Drought. Comp. Jeremiah 14:1.

Jeremiah 17:9-10. The heart is more deceitful … his doings. Were the hearts of men, and especially of the Israelites, upright and directed to the true and the good, they must agree in word and deed with that which the prophet has declared in Jeremiah 17:5-8. But there is nothing in the world so deceitful as the human heart, which understands the art thoroughly of pursuing the evil under the appearance of wishing the right (comp. Jeremiah 5:0 and Jeremiah 9:2-8). This deceitfulness is however only a symptom of the deep depravity, the incurable sickness by which the heart is possessed.—Deceitful, עקב. Comp. on Jeremiah 9:3. The word occurs here only as an adjective with this meaning.—Corrupt, אנשׁ. The meaning “desperate” is not contained in the word. It is everywhere = severely sick, incurable (Jeremiah 15:18; Jeremiah 30:12; Jeremiah 30:15; Isaiah 17:11; Micah 1:9; Job 34:6), full of the deepest pain (Jeremiah 17:16). No man is in a condition to see through the deceitful hypocrisy of the human heart, but the Lord can do it, and founds on this His knowledge, His strict and righteous judgment. Comp. Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 12:3; Jeremiah 20:12.—Even to give. Separating the statement of the object from the fundamental declaration, the word even sets forth the independence of the latter. God is not omniscient merely for the purpose of judging, but in His essential nature. Comp. besides comm. on Jeremiah 6:2.

Jeremiah 17:11. A partridge … be a fool. As the third root of spiritual and bodily corruption the prophet names avarice, which is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). The selfish inquire not about the right (comp. Jeremiah 5:1; Jeremiah 5:26 sqq.; Jeremiah 6:6-7; Jeremiah 13:8; Jeremiah 13:10), therefore the blessing of God is also denied them. Lightly come lightly go. Forsaken and put to shame the unrighteous man is at last like the bird, of which it is said that it collects the young of others and fosters them, but is forsaken by them as soon as they perceive that a stranger has usurped a mother’s rights over them. The form of comparison is like that in Proverbs 10:20; Proverbs 11:22; Proverbs 16:24, etc. It is doubtful what bird is to be understood by קֹרֵא. The word is found besides only in 1 Samuel 16:20. The ancient translators and most of the Comm. understand the partridge, and the dialects also favor this rendering. Only natural history does not confirm this peculiarity of the partridge. Comp. Winer s. v. Rebhuhn. [“The ancients believed that she stole the eggs of other birds and hatched them as her own. See Epiphan. Physiol. cap. 9.; Isid.Origg. Jeremiah 12:7.” Henderson.—S. R. A.].—Fosters. דָּגָר occurs besides only in Isaiah 34:15. It is there expressly distinguished from בקע, to hatch, and can mean only the gathering together and cherishing by warmth of the newly hatched young. Winer quotes inter al. a passage from Olympiodorus: ὁ πέρδιξ * * * τοὺς�͂ιται νεοτ τούς οἵτινες γνόντες ὕστερον, ὅτι οὐκ εἰσὶν αὐτο̄υ, καταλιμπάνουσιν αὐτόν. This agrees admirably with the sense and connection of the passage, though it must still remain undecided whether we have here a real popular opinion existing at the time of Jeremiah, or only one deduced from this passage.—Shall leave them refers to the riches. On fool comp. Jeremiah 10:8; Jeremiah 10:14.

Jeremiah 17:12-13. O throne of gloryJehovah. Comprehensive conclusion in the form of a brief but solemn invocation of Jehovah. From Hope of Israel it is evident that the words of the prophet were addressed in the last instance to the person of the Lord. But he mentions first the exteriora, which are the places and bearers of His glory: his throne, the place where His throne stands, the sanctuary which surrounds it, for he wishes to set forth distinctly how foolish and criminal it is to do that, which he has censured in Jeremiah 17:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Jeremiah 17:11 and which he afterwards comprises in one word, “forsake the Lord.” Israel has given up the truly real and eternal sanctuaries for the miserable high-places of idolatry. I do not therefore hold the view that Jeremiah 17:12 is addressed to Jehovah Himself, for the reason given by Graf, that the Lord cannot possibly be called place of sanctuary.—O throne of glory. Comp. 1 Samuel 2:8; Isaiah 22:23; Jeremiah 14:21. The Lord’s throne appears in the Old Test in three degrees. First, Jerusalem is thus named (Jeremiah 3:17), second, the ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:22; Psalms 80:2; Psalms 99:1), third, the proper, so to speak, and transcendent throne (Isaiah 6:1; Ezekiel 1:26; Daniel 7:9; Psalms 9:5; Psalms 11:3; Psalms 47:9; Psalms 110:1). These three degrees are however so connected, that he who forsakes one does the same to the other. The prophet has primarily in view here, as at any rate in Jeremiah 14:21, the visible throne of the Lord.—Height of beginning. The idea expressed by מָרוֹם has also several gradations. 1. Mt. Zion is called הַרֹ מְרוֹם ישׂראל, Ezekiel 17:23; Ezekiel 20:40 coll. Ezekiel 34:14; Jeremiah 31:12. Jeremiah 31:2. It is very often used to designate the transcendent abode of Jehovah, Isaiah 33:5; Isaiah 57:15; Micah 6:6; Jeremiah 25:30; Psalms 93:4; Psalms 68:19, etc. The expression מראשׁון, which occurs here only (comp. מֵרֹאשׁ, Proverbs 8:23) agrees with מרום in both senses. For that transcendent abode is from the beginning, eternally existing (comp. Psalms 93:2), and Zion also as chosen from eternity is in idea the eternal dwelling-place of God. (Comp. Psalms 132:13-14 coll. Exodus 15:17; Exodus 20:24; Deuteronomy 5:12).—Place of our sanctuary. Comp. Isaiah 60:13; Daniel 8:11. Even the sanctuary of Israel (מקדש) is a double one, an earthly and a heavenly. The former is made according to the type of the latter (Exodus 25:8-9; Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30). Thus though the expression refers primarily to the earthly sanctuary the heavenly is not excluded. There is no objection to the impersonal rendering of these three substantives in the prophet’s addressing words of prayer to them. For what the prophet declares with respect to them: “All who forsake thee are put to shame,” would be quite unprejudicial even if “Hope of Israel,” etc., did not come between. But the three former are entirely sunk in this last conception, since it is only in and by Jehovah that they have any existence or meaning. Hence also the singular suffix in עֹזְבֶיךָ. The older commentators render throne of glory as nominative, either taking the first and the last three words together (solium gloriæ excelsum, ab initio locus sanctuarii nostri, Calvin), or regarding throne (thronus, qui est altitudo ab æterno, est locus sanctuarii, Seb. Schmidt), or height (a throne in glory is the height of beginning, the place of our sanctuary, Neumann) as the nominative. According to these renderings however it is scarcely possible to find a suitable connection.—Hope of Israel. Comp. Jeremiah 14:8; Jeremiah 50:7.—Written in the earth. In the earth (in the dust, Job 14:8), where what is written will be speedily effaced, shall those who depart from me be written. The antithesis on the one hand would be to Jeremiah 17:1 (the sin in brass, the sinners in dust), on the other hand to the book of life (Exodus 32:32; Psalms 69:29; Daniel 12:1; Malachi 3:16; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 21:27). Meier reads: they vanished away in the laud (Job 15:30), all who are recorded in it (Jeremiah 17:1; Jeremiah 22:30) that they have forsaken the fountain, etc. This exegesis also is exposed to several objections: 1. that סוּר must be taken in the sense of vanish away: 2. the imperf. יִבָּתֵבוּ I therefore prefer to adhere to the reading of the Chethibh. The rapid change of person forms no objection to this. Comp. on Jeremiah 5:14; Jeremiah 9:7; Jeremiah 12:13; Jeremiah 17:1. The Lord then continues in confirmation of the prophet’s address.—Fountain, etc. Comp. Jeremiah 2:13; Psalms 36:10.


Jeremiah 17:6; Jeremiah 17:6.—כערער. The ancient translations all express here, doubtless on the ground of the antithesis in Jeremiah 17:8, the name of a tree or shrub, while in Psalms 102:0 where alone the word occurs a second time, they all, in accordance with the context, express the idea of miser. Since now עַרְעָר is formed after the analogy of כַּבְכָּב ,זַלְזַל ,דַּרְדַּר ,נַלְנַל (כּוֹכָב), etc. (comp. Olsh. § 189, a; Naegelsb. Gr., § 42, a, S. 87), since, further, the corresponding verbal root is given by Jeremiah 51:58 (עַרְעֵר תִּתְעַרְ עַר) unquestionably with the meaning denudare (comp. Isaiah 23:13; Isaiah 32:11; Habakkuk 3:9. מָעוֹר nuditas, עָרם nudus, עָרִירִי nudus, solitarius; Genesis 15:2; Leviticus 20:20-21; Jeremiah 22:30), the meaning of “naked, destitute, wretched,” is assured also in this passage. [Henderson: “I acquiesce in the opinion of Dr. Robinson, that it is the same as the Arab. عرعر Arar, the juniper-tree which is found in the vicinity of the Arabah, or the Great Valley, to the south of the Dead Sea. See Bibl. Res. II., 506. Thus De Wette: Wacholderbaum. The same form of the word occurs Psalms 102:18, where the idea conveyed is that of naked, destitute. The point of comparison in the two passages of our prophet is the forlorn appearance of a solitary juniper, deprived of all nourishment in the arid desert.”—Hitzig referring to the composition of Psalms 102:0, after the flight of Jonathan into the desert of Tekoa, and the connection with Jeremiah 48:6, where also flight is spoken of, decides that the word designates one who has flet or been driven into the desert, or one who has come into misfortune as starved or perishing.—S. R. A.]. On the words in Jeremiah 48:6, כַּעֲרוֹעֵר בַּפדְבָּר, comp. rems. there.

Jeremiah 17:8; Jeremiah 17:8.—יובל. ἄπ. λεγ., synonymous with יבל, Isaiah 30:25; Isaiah 44:4.

Jeremiah 17:8; Jeremiah 17:8.—עַל for אֵל as frequently in Jer. Comp. on Jeremiah 10:1.

Jeremiah 17:8; Jeremiah 17:8.—ולא ירא. The Keri reads יִרְאֶח after Jeremiah 17:6. The Chethibh should be punctuated יִרָא (Imperf. from יָרֵא), corresponding to יִרְאַנ, and is at any rate to be preferred; as also the ancient translations express it, with the exception of the Chaldee.

Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 17:10.—ולתת. Comp. Jeremiah 32:19. The Vau, which the ancient translations and many Codd. omit, is not so superfluous as Graf supposes.

Jeremiah 17:12; Jeremiah 17:12.—מרום might grammatically be in the accusative, but as בָּבוֹד appears to be contrasted with בּשֶׁת (Jeremiah 3:24; Jeremiah 11:13), so does מרום ו׳ with בּמוֹת.

Jeremiah 17:13; Jeremiah 17:13.—יסורי. The Chethibh יְסוּרַי would be formed like יְתוּר ,יְקוּם ,יָרִיב, (Olsh. § 212). The form יַסוּר as a noun, does not, however, occur elsewhere, and the sudden change of person is strange. The Keri reads וְסוּרַי. The meaning is the same (= those departing from me. Comp. קָמַי, Jeremiah 51:1); the form is likewise a rare one. (Yet comp. Jeremiah 2:21; Isaiah 49:21; Olsh. § 172, b.) Meier reads יָסיּרוּ.


Jeremiah 17:14-18

14          Heal me, Jehovah, that I may be healed;

Deliver me that I may be delivered, for thou art my praise!

15     Behold, they say to me: Where is the word of Jehovah? Let it come now.

16     But I have not hastened away from being a pastor after thee;

And the calamitous day I have not desired, thou knowest.
That which went forth from my lips was from thee.

17     Be not13 a terror to me, my refuge in the day of distress!

18     My persecutors must be put to shame,

But I must not be put to shame;
They must be dismayed, but I must not be dismayed!
Bring14 upon them the day of calamity,

And doubly15 with destruction destroy them!


The second, personal half of the conclusion. The prophet prays for safety and deliverance for himself (Jeremiah 17:14). In opposition to the scornful doubt in the fulfilment of his predictions, expressed in Jeremiah 17:15, he prays on the ground of the fact that he had not hastened into the prophetic office, or declared his own inventions (Jeremiah 17:16), that the Lord, his refuge, would not be a terror to him or suffer him to be put to shame, but his persecutors, and bring upon them the day of calamity and double destruction (Jeremiah 17:17-18).

Jeremiah 17:14. Heal me … thou art my praise. The prophet begins with a prayer for safety and deliverance in general.—Heal me. Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalms 6:3; Psalms 30:3.—My praise, the object of my confident boasting. Comp. Deuteronomy 10:21;. Psalms 71:6.

Jeremiah 17:15-16. Behold, they say … was from thee. The prophet resumes the thought in Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 15:15-19 (coll. Jeremiah 20:7-12).—Where, etc. Comp. Isaiah 5:19; Ezekiel 12:22 sqq. It is used ironically also in Psalms 42:4; Psalms 42:11; Psalms 79:10; 2 Kings 18:34, etc.—On Let it come now, comp. Jeremiah 28:8, Jeremiah 9:0 : Deuteronomy 18:21-22 coll. Jeremiah 13:2.—But I have not, etc. The prophet would deserve such scorn, if he had taken the word of the Lord into his mouth in his own strength, or deceitfully, as others did, Jeremiah 14:14-15.—But he is not a pseudo-prophet, but a prophet against his will. Comp. Jeremiah 1:6 sqq.; Jeremiah 20:7.—The words I have not hastened (לא אצתי מ׳) have been variously explained. But all the commentators (when they do not alter the reading, as the Syr., which reads מֵרָעָה) concur in understanding רֹעֶה of the spiritual pastorate. The thought that he had not hastened from the pastoral office or spiritual pasture after Jehovah does not however suit the connection. For he can wish only to defend himself against the imputation of having hurried. It is very remarkable that not a single comm. has yet thought of taking רֹעֶה in a physical sense; doubtless because the knowledge of Jeremiah’s priestly descent has seemed to preclude the thought of his having been a shepherd. But why may not Jeremiah, who was called as a נַעַר to the prophetic office, have previously tended his father’s sheep? The shepherd’s state was rendered sacred to the Israelites by the example of their fathers, and kings as well as prophets had proceeded from it (comp. Amos 1:1; Amos 7:14 coll. Exodus 3:1). Moreover the מִנְרָשׁ [pasture, common], which was possessed by every priestly and levitical city (comp. Joshua 21:0. and 1 Chronicles 6:0.), was according to Numbers 35:4 expressly intended “for the cattle.” Anathoth also had its מִגְרָשׁ (Joshua 21:18). Comp. Herzog, R.-Enc. VI. S. 150. How well now it suits the connection if Jer. says: They scorn me as a prophet and yet I did not hurry away from being a shepherd (מִהִיוֹת רֹעֶה=מִרֹעֶה. Comp. Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 48:2; Psa 83:5; 1 Samuel 15:23; 1 Samuel 15:26) after thee.—אוּץ = to press, to haste:Exodus 5:13; Joshua 10:13; Proverbs 19:2; Proverbs 21:5; Proverbs 28:20.—אהריך. Comp. Jeremiah 2:2; Jeremiah 3:19. Going after Jehovah is in antithesis to going after the flock (comp. 1 Chronicles 17:7). [Hitzig: “I have not hastened away not to keep after thee. In אוּץ is the idea of wilfulness, following one’s own impulse in any direction. ‘I did not struggle away so that I should not be pasturing,’ etc.אחריד does not suit the usual rendering of רעח as the trade of the shepherd, but leads to this, that Jahve is the shepherd, leader, and Jeremiah the lamb, Psalms 23:1. Willingly following him (comp. 1 Samuel 7:2; Numbers 14:24) he allowed himself to be fed by Jahve (comp. Proverbs 10:21) with words of truth and with revelation Jeremiah 15:16.” Henderson appears to follow Hitzig in this rendering.—Wordsworth: “Rather, I have not hastened backward from being a shepherd (a prophet) after thee. When I was called by Thee, I did not withdraw myself hastily from Thy service (see Gesen. 23), but I obeyed Thy call without delay: and I did not desire the woful day.”—So also Cowles.—S. R. A.]

And the calamitous day. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 17:9. From the connection the prophet can mean only the day of his entrance into the prophetic office. (Comp. Jeremiah 20:7 sqq.; Jeremiah 15:10-11). For he needed not to give the assurance that he did not desire the day of calamity for the whole people. He might indeed have been reproached with loving to prophesy evil, but there is nothing of this in the text.—Thou knowest. Comp. Jeremiah 15:15.—That which went forth, etc. That which has gone forth from his lips, since he has been a prophet, God knows and approves, he has nothing then to fear from the criticism of men. Comp. Proverbs 5:21; Lamentations 2:19.

Jeremiah 17:17-18. Be not a terror … destroy them. The negative petition, comp. Jeremiah 17:14.—persecutors, pursuers. Comp. Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 20:11.—doubly with destruction. Comp. Jeremiah 16:18.


Jeremiah 17:17; Jeremiah 17:17.—תּהְיֵה, comp. Ewald, § 224 c; Naegelsb. Gr., § 38, Anm. 2.

Jeremiah 17:18; Jeremiah 17:18.—חביא, a rare form instead of חָבִא, but comp. 1 Samuel 20:40; Olsh., § 256 b, S. 569.

Jeremiah 17:18; Jeremiah 17:18.—כִשְׁנֶה (not מִשְׁנֵה) is accus. modi. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 70 g.


1. On Jeremiah 14:7. “Medicina erranti confessio, qua de re Psalms 32:3-4 et Ambrosius eleganter: Confessio verecunda suffragatur Deo, et pœnam, quam defensione vitare non possumus, pudore revelamus (lib. de Joseph., c. 36), et alibi idem: Cessat vindicta divina, si confessio præcurat humana. Etsi enim confessio non est causa meritoria remissionis peccatorum, est tamen necessarium quoddam antecedens.” Förster.

2. “In earnest and hearty prayer there is a conflict between the spirit and the flesh. The flesh regards the greatness of the sins, and conceives of God as a severe Judge and morose being, who either will not help further or cannot. The spirit, on the other hand, adheres to the name of God, i. e., to His promise; he apprehends God by faith as his true comfort and aid, and depends upon Him.” Cramer.

3. On Jeremiah 14:9 a. “Ideo non vult Deus cito dare, ut discas ardentius orare.” Augustine.

4. On Jeremiah 14:9 b. “Quia in baptismo nomen Domini, i. e., totius SS. et individuæ Trinitatis super nos quoque invocatum est, eo et ipso nos in fœdus Dei recepti sumus et inde populus Dei salutamur.” Förster.

5. On Jeremiah 14:10. “So long as the sinner remains unchanged and uncontrite God cannot remove the punishment of the sin (Jeremiah 26:13).” Starke.—“Quotidie crescit pœna, quia quotidie crescit et culpa.” Augustine.

6. On Jeremiah 14:11-12. [“We further gather from this passage that fasting is not in itself a religious duty or exercise, but that it refers to another end. Except then they who fast have a regard to what is thereby intended—that there may be a greater alacrity in prayer—that it may be an evidence of humility in confessing their sins,—and that they may also strive to subdue all their lusts;—except these things be regarded, fasting becomes a frivolous exercise, nay, a profanation of God’s worship, it being only superstitious. We hence see that fastings are not only without benefit except when prayers are added, and those objects which I have stated are regarded, but that they provoke the wrath of God as all superstitions do, for His worship is polluted.” Calvin.—S. R. A.] “Unbelief is a mortal sin, so that by it the good is turned into evil. For fasting or praying is good; but when the man who does it has no faith it becomes sin (Psalms 109:7).” Cramer.

7. On Jeremiah 14:14. “He who would be a preacher must have a regular appointment. In like form for all parts of divine worship we must have God’s word and command for our support. If we have it not all is lost.” Cramer.

8. On Jeremiah 14:14 (I have not sent them). “This does not come at all into the account now-a-days; and I do not know, whether to such a preacher, let him have obtained his office as he may, in preaching, absolution, marrying and exorcising, or on any other occasion, when he appeals to his calling before the congregation or against the devil, the thought once occurs, whether he is truly sent by God. Thus the example of the sons of Sceva (Acts 19:14; Acts 19:16) is no longer considered, and it appears that the devil is not yet disposed by such frightful occurrences to interrupt the atheistical carelessness of the teachers.” Zinzendorf.

9. On Jeremiah 14:15. “The example of Pashur and others shortly afterwards confirms this discourse. This is an important point. One should however, with that modesty and prudence, which Dr. Wiesmann (Prof. of Theol. in Tübingen), who seems called of God to be a writer of church history, in his Introd. in Memorabilia historiæ sacræ N. T. (1731 and 1745) which I could wish were in the hands of all teachers, repeatedly recommends, have regard to this also, when so-called judgments on the wicked are spoken of, that when the Lord in His wisdom and omnipotence exercises justice on such transgressors by temporal judgments, these are often a blessing to them and the yet remaining means of their salvation. It is related that a certain clergyman in a Saxon village, about the year 1730, felt such a judgment upon himself and his careless ministry, and after happy and humble preparation on a usual day of fasting and prayer, presented himself before his church as an example, and exercised on himself what is called church discipline, whereupon he is said to have fallen down dead with the words,

‘My sin is deep and very great,
And fills my heart with grief.
O for thy agony and death,
Grant me, I pray, relief.’
He is no doubt more blessed, and his remembrance more honorable, than thousands of others, who are praised by their colleagues in funeral discourses as faithful pastors, and at the same time, or already before, are condemned in the first but invisible judgment as dumb dogs, wolves or hirelings.” Zinzendorf.

10. On Jeremiah 14:16. “Although preachers lead their hearers astray, yet the hearers are not thus excused. But when they allow themselves to be led astray, the blind and those who guide them fall together into the ditch (Luke 6:39).” Cramer. [“When sinners are overwhelmed with trouble, they must in it see their own wickedness poured upon them. This refers to the wickedness both of the false prophets and the people; the blind lead the blind, and both fall together into the ditch, where they will be miserable comforters one to another.” Henry.—S. R. A.]

11. On Jeremiah 14:19. Chrysostom refers to Romans 11:1 sqq., where the answer to the prophet’s question is to be found.

12. On Jeremiah 14:21. “Satan has his seat here and there (Revelation 2:13). I should like to know why the Saviour may not also have His cathedral. Assuredly He has, and where one stands He knows how to maintain it, and to preserve the honor of the academy.” Zinzendorf.

[“Good men lay the credit of religion, and its profession in the world, nearer their hearts than any private interest or concern of their own; and those are powerful pleas in prayer which are fetched from thence, and great supports to faith. We may be sure that God will not disgrace the throne of His glory, on earth; nor will He eclipse the glory of His throne by one providence, without soon making it shine forth, and more brightly than before, by another. God will be no loser in His honor in the long run.” Henry.—S. R. A.]

13. On Jeremiah 14:22. “Testimony to the omnipotence of God, for His are both counsel and deed (Proverbs 8:14). Use it for consolation in every distress and for the true apodictica [demonstration] of all articles of Christian faith, however impossible they may appear.” Cramer.—[“The sovereignty of God should engage, and His all-sufficiency encourage, our attendance on Him, and our expectations from Him, at all times.” Henry.—“Hence may be learned a useful doctrine—that there is no reason why punishments, which are signs of God’s wrath, should discourage us so as to prevent us from venturing to seek pardon from Him; but on the contrary a form of prayer is here prescribed for us; for if we are convinced that we have been chastised by God’s hand, we are on this very account encouraged to hope for salvation; for it belongs to Him who wounds to heal, and to Him who kills to restore to life.” Calvin.—S. R. A.]

14. On Jeremiah 15:1. On the part of the Catholics it is maintained that “hoc loco refellitur hæreticorum error … orationes defunctorum sanctorum nihil prodesse vivis. Contrarium enim potius ex hisce arguendum suggeritur, nempe istiusmodi sanctorum mortuorum orationes et fieri coram Deo solere pro viventibus, et quando viventes ipsi non posuerint ex semet obicem, illas esse iis maxime proficuas. Ghisl. Tom. II. p. 296). To this it is replied on the part of the Protestants. 1. Enuntiatio isthæc plane est hypothetica. 2. Eo tantum spectat, ut si Moses et Samuel in vivis adhuc essent, adeoque in his terris pro populo preces interponerent suas, perinde ut ille, Exodus 32:0. hic vero 1 Samuel 7:0. (Förster, S. 86).” He also adds two testimonies of the fathers against the invocation of saints. One from Augustine, who (contra Maximin., L. 1), calls such invocation sacrilegium, the other from Epiphanius who (Hæres 2) names it an error seductorum, and adds “non sanctos colimus, sed sanctorum dominum.”—That the intercession of the living for each other is effective, Cramer testifies, saying “Intercession is powerful, and is not without fruit, when he who prays and he for whom he prays are of like spirit.” Comp. Romans 15:30; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 John 5:16. [To the same effect also Calvin and Henry.—S. R. A.]

15. On Jeremiah 15:4 b. “Scilicet in vulgus manant exempla regentum, utque ducum lituos, sic mores castra sequuntur.”—“Non sic inflectere sensus humanos edicta valent ut vita regentum.”—“Qualis rex talis grex.” Förster.

16. “God keeps an exact protocol [register] of sins, and visits them to the third and fourth generation.” Cramer. [“See what uncertain comforts children are; and let us therefore rejoice in them as though we rejoiced not.” Henry.—S. R. A]

17. On Jeremiah 15:5. “When God abandons us we are abandoned also by the holy angels, and all creatures. For as at court when two eyes are turned away the whole court turns away; so when the Lord turns away all His hosts turn away also.” Cramer.

18. On Jeremiah 15:7. “God as a faithful husbandman has all kinds of instruments for cleaning His grain. He has two kinds of besoms and two kinds of winnowing-fan. With one He cleanses, winnows the grain and sweeps the floor, so that the chaff may be separated from the good wheat. This is done by the Fatherly cross. But if this does not avail He takes in hand the besom of destruction.” Cramer.

19. On Jeremiah 15:10. “The witnesses of Jesus have the name among others of being hard and rough people, from whom they cannot escape without quarreling. It is not only a reproach which Ahab and such like make to Elijah, ‘Art thou he that troubleth Israel?’ (1 Kings 19:17). But even true-hearted people like Obadiah do not thoroughly trust to them; every one has the thought, if they would only behave more gently it would be just as well and make less noise. Meanwhile the poor Elijah is sitting there, knowing not what to do; a Jeremiah laments the day of his birth … why am I then such a monster? Why such an apple of discord? What manner have I? How do I speak? ‘For when I speak, they are for war’ (Psalms 120:7). He does not at once remember that they called the master Beelzebub, and persecuted all the prophets before him; that his greatest sin is that he cares for the interests of Jesus in opposition to Satan.” Zinzendorf. [“Even those who are most quiet and peaceable, if they serve God faithfully, are often made men of strife. We can but follow peace; we have the making only of one side of the bargain, and therefore can but, as much as in us lies, live peaceably.” Henry.—S. R. A.]

20. On Jeremiah 15:10 b. (I have neither lent nor borrowed at usury). “My dear Jeremiah! Thou mightest have done that; that is according to the custom of the country, there would be no such noise about that. There is no instance of a preacher being persecuted because he cared for his household. But to take payment in such natural products as human souls, that is ground of distrust, that is going too far, that thou carriest too high, and thou must be more remiss therein, otherwise all will rise up against thee; thou wilt be suspended, removed, imprisoned or in some way made an end of, for that is pure disorder and innovation, that smacks of spiritual revolutionary movements.” Zinzendorf.

21. On Jeremiah 15:15 a. (Thou knowest that for thy sake I have suffered reproach). “This is the only thing that a servant of the Lamb of God should care for, that he does indeed suffer not the least in that he has disguised and disfigured the doctrine of God and his Saviour. … It might be wished that no servant of the Lord, especially in small cities and villages, would now and then make a quarrel to relieve the tedium, which will occupy the half of his life, and of which it may be said in the end: vinco vel vincor, semper ego maculor.” Zinzendorf.

22. On Jeremiah 15:16. “The sovereign sign of a little flock depending on Christ is such a hearty, spiritual tender disposition towards the Holy Scriptures, that they find no greater pleasure than in their simple but heart-searching truths. I, poor child, if I but look into the Bible, am happy for several hours after. I know not what misery I could not alleviate at once with a little Scripture.” Zinzendorf. [On Jeremiah 17:17. “It is the folly and infirmity of some good people that they lose much of the pleasantness of their religion by the fretfulness and uneasiness of their natural temper, which they humor and indulge instead of mortifying it.” Henry.—S. R. A.]

23. On Jeremiah 15:19, a. (And thou shalt stand before me: [Luther: thou shalt remain my preacher]) “Hear ye this, ye servants of the Lord! Ye may be suspended, removed, lose your income and your office, suffer loss of house and home, but ye will again be preachers. This is the word of promise. * * * And if one is dismissed from twelve places, and again gets a new place, he is a preacher to thirteen congregations. For in all the preceding his innocence, his cross, his faith preach more powerfully than if he himself were there.” Zinzendorf.

Note.—On this it may be remarked that in order to be the mouth of the Lord it is not necessary to have a church.

24. On Jeremiah 15:19 b. (Before thou return to them) “We can get no better comfort than this, that our faithful Lord Himself assures us against ourselves. I will make thee so steady, so discreet, so well-founded, so immovable, that, hard as the human heart is, and dead and opposed, yet it will be rather possible that they all yield to thee, than that thou shouldest be feeble or slack and go over to them.” Zinzendorf.

25. On Jeremiah 15:20. “A preacher must be like a bone, outwardly hard, inwardly full of marrow.” Förster. [“Ministers must take those whom they see to be precious into their bosoms, and not sit alone, as Jeremiah did, but keep up conversation with those they do good to, and get good by.” Henry.—S. R. A.]

26. On Jeremiah 16:2. “It is well-known that in no condition is celibacy attended by so many evils as in that of the clergy and that this condition entails in a certain measure a present necessity of marrying. For if any one needs a helpmeet to be by his side, it is the man who must be sacrificed to so many different men of all classes. But all this must be arranged according to circumstances. Ye preachers! Is it made out that ye marry only for Jesus? … that you have the church alone as your object? and that you subject yourselves to all the hardships of this condition with its tribulations only for the profit of many? First, then, examine maturely in your offices, whether there is no word of the Lord, whether circumstances do not show, whether there is not an exception from the rule in your case, that you are to take no wife; whether Paul does not call to you in spirit, ‘I would that thou wert as I.’ May it not sometimes be said? ‘Take no wife at this time or at this place!’ or ‘Take not another!’ How does the matter look on closer examination? The rather, as it is known to the servants of Christ to be no hyperbolical speech, when it is said, ‘The minister has slain his thousands, but the minister’s wife her ten thousands.’ He that loves anything more than Christ is not worthy of Him. If it cannot be cured endure it. But see to it the more, that those who have wives be as those who have them not (1 Corinthians 7:29). Lead your wife in prayer diligently and plainly, as Moses with Zipporah (Exodus 4:25, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me). If they would not have you dead they must leave you your Lord. I know not when anything was so pleasing to me as when I saw a certain minister’s wife weeping sorely from apprehension that her husband would not endure a certain trial. She saw clearly that he would retain his charge, but she feared the Saviour would make it hard to him.”Zinzendorf.

27. On Jeremiah 16:2. “Ridiculi sunt Papicolæ, qui ex hoc typo articulum religionis suæ de cœlibatu saceraotum exstruere conantur. Nahum 1:0Nahum 1:0. tota hæc res fuit typica. Typica autem et symbolica theologia non est argumentativa juxta axioma Thomæ. 2. Non simpliciter interdicitur conjugium prophetæ in omni loco, sed tantum in hoc loco.” Förster.

28. On Jeremiah 16:7. This passage (as also Isaiah 58:7) is used by the Lutheran theologians to prove that panem frangere may be equivalent to panem distribuere, as also Luther translates: “They will not distribute bread among them.” This is admitted by the Reformed, who, however, remark that it does not follow from this that frangere et distribuere also “in Sacramento æquipollere, quod esset a particulari ad particulare argumentari.” Comp. Turretin., Inst. Theol. Elencht. Tom. III., p. 499.

29. On Jeremiah 16:8. “When people are desperately bad and will not be told so, they must be regarded as heathen and publicans (Matthew 17:18; Titus 3:10; 1 Corinthians 5:9).” Cramer.

30. On Jeremiah 16:19. “The calling of the heathen is very consolatory. For as children are rejoiced at heart when they see that their parents are greatly honored and obtain renown and praise in all lands, so do all true children of God rejoice when they see that God’s name is honored and His glory more widely extended.” Cramer.—This passage is one of those which predict the extension of the true religion among all nations, and are therefore significant as giving impulse and comfort in the work of missions. Comp. Deuteronomy 32:21; Hosea 2:1, 25; Joel 3:5; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 65:1; Romans 10:12 sqq.

31. On Jeremiah 16:21. “Nothing can be learned from God without God. God instructs the people by His mouth and His hand, verbis et verberibus.” Cramer.

32. On Jeremiah 17:1. “Scripta est et fides tua, scripta est et culpa tua, sicut Jeremias dixit: scripta est Juda culpa tua graphio ferreo et ungue adamantino. Et scripta est, inquit, in pectore et in corde tuo. Ibi igitur culpa est ubi gratia; sed culpa graphio scribitur, gratia spiritu designatur.” Ambros. de Sp. s. III. 2.

33. On Jeremiah 17:1. “The devil is God’s ape. For when he sees that God by the writing of His prophets and apostles propagates His works and wonders to posterity, he sets his own pulpiteers to work, who labor with still greater zeal, and write not only with pens and ink, but also with diamonds, that such false religion may have the greater respect and not go down.” Cramer.

34. On Jeremiah 17:5.

“O man in human help and favor
Trust not, for all is vanity,
The curse is on it,—happy he,
Who trusts alone in Christ the Saviour.”
[“When water is blended with fire, both perish; so when one seeks in part to trust in God and in part to trust in men, it is the same as though he wished to mix heaven and earth together, and to throw all things into confusion. It is then to confound the order of nature, when men imagine that they have two objects of trust, and ascribe half their salvation to God and the other half to themselves or to other men.” Calvin.—S. R. A.]

35. On Jeremiah 17:5. “A teacher is commanded to be the first to honor the authorities, to pray for them and be subject to them as God’s servants… But since the authorities, in all which pertains to the concerns of the soul, have part only as members, there is great occasion for this cursed dependence on flesh … when one from the hope of good personal protection … gives up the work of the Lord to the powers of the earth. … It is true the church is to have foster-parents who are kings. But nevertheless neither kings nor princes are its tutelar deities, much less lords and commanders of the church, but one is our Master, one our Judge, one our King, the Crucified.” Zinzendorf.

36. On Jeremiah 17:5. Reformed theologians, ex. gr., Lambertus Danæus (ob. 1596) have applied this passage in the sense of John 6:63, in their controversies against the Lutheran doctrine of the Supper. But as Calvin declared, it is not the flesh of Christ, but only earthly flesh and that per contemtum which is here spoken of Comp. Förster, S. 97.

37. On Jeremiah 17:7. “Blessed are those teachers, who have betaken themselves, to His protection, who once promised His Church, that even the gates of hell should not prevail against it …… Who has ever been put to shame who trusted in Him?” Zinzendorf.

38. On Jeremiah 17:9. “This is a spiritual anatomy of the heart. Examples: Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:0.); Hezekiah (38:39); the children of Israel (Numbers 14:0.). Alii sumus dum lætamur et omnia in vita nobis secundo vento succedunt; alii vero in temporibus calamitosis, ubi quid præter sententiam acciderit. Comp. Ser. Jer 11:27.” (MS. note in my copy of Cramer’s Bibel).

39. On Jeremiah 17:9. Νᾶφε καὶ μέμνασο�. This applies with respect to ourselves and others. For the defiant it avails as an extinguisher (Romans 12:3); but the despairing may be reassured by it (1 John 3:19-20).

40. On Jeremiah 17:14. (Thou art my praise)…… “When a teacher confines himself to the praise of the cross and lets all other matters of praise go, which might adorn a theologian of these times, and adheres immovably to this: ‘I am determined to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ the crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2),—amid all the shame of His cross He is victorious over the rest.” Zinzendorf.

41. On Jeremiah 17:16. (That which I have preached was right before thee). “It is not difficult to know in these times what is right before the Lord. There is His word; he who adheres to this strictly, knows in thesi that he is right …… In all this it is the teacher’s chief maxim, not to make use of the application without need, but to make the truth so plain in his public discourse, that the hearers must necessarily make the application to themselves. … ‘Thus saying, thou reproachest us also,’ said the lawyer (Luke 11:45).… Others went away convicted in their consciences.” Zinzendorf.

42. On Jeremiah 17:17. “That is a period which straitens the hearts of witnesses, when their rock, their protection, their consolation, their trust is a terror to them. But under this we must bow and faithfully endure, and we shall have a peaceable fruit of righteousness. Discipline always ends gloriously.” Zinzendorf.


On Jeremiah 14:7-9. Jeremiah a second Israel, who wrestles with the Lord in prayer. 1. In what the Lord is strong against the prophet: the sin of the people. 2. In what the prophet is strong against the Lord: the Name of the Lord (a) in itself. This compels him to show that He is not a desperate hero, or giant, who cannot help; (b) in that His name is borne by Israel. Thus the Lord is bound to show Himself as He who is in Israel (not a guest or stranger), and consequently the Comforter and Helper of Israel.—Heim und Hoffmann, The Major Prophets (Winnenden, 1839). As Daniel (Jeremiah 9:6) prayed, We have sinned and committed iniquity, etc., so Jeremiah took his share in the sin and guilt of his people.—This is true penitence, when one no longer wishes to contend with God in tribulation, but confesses his sin and condemnation, when he sees that if God should treat us according to our misdeeds, He could find no ground for grace. But for His name’s sake He can show us favor. He Himself is the cause of the forgiveness of sin.—Calwer Handbuch [Manual]. Notwithstanding the ungodliness of the people the prophet may still say, “Thou art among us,” because the temple of the Lord and His word were still in the land, and the pious have never all died out. [On Jeremiah 14:7-9. “Prayer hath within itself its own reward. The prayer of the prophet consists of confession and petition. 1. Confession fitly begins. It is the testimony of iniquity, and that this iniquity is against God. When we are to encounter any enemy or difficulty, it is sin weakens us. Now confession weakens it, takes off the power of accusation, etc. 2. Petition: For Thy name’s sake. This is the unfailing argument which abides always the same and hath always the same force. The children of God are much beholden to their troubles for clear experiences of themselves and God. Though thou art not clear in thy interest as a believer, yet plead thy interest as a sinner, which thou art sure of.” Leighton.—S. R. A.]

2. On Jeremiah 14:13-16. Against false prophets. 1. They tell the world what it likes to hear (Jeremiah 17:13); 2. The Lord denies them (Jeremiah 17:14); 3. The Lord punishes them (Jeremiah 17:15); 4. The Lord also punishes those who allow themselves to be deceived by them (Jeremiah 17:16).—Tüb. Bibelw.: To enter the preacher’s office without divine calling, what an abomination is that! But mark this, ye hirelings! the sentence of condemnation is already pronounced over you (Jeremiah 23:21; Matthew 7:15).—Osiander Bibl.: God avenges the deception of false teachers most severely, if not in this world in the next (Acts 13:10-11).—Starke: God punishes both deceivers and deceived, the latter cannot then lay all the guilt on the former (Jer 27:45).

3. On Jeremiah 14:19-22. The church’s distress and consolation. 1. The distress is (a) outward (Jeremiah 17:19), (b) inward (Jeremiah 17:20, the reason of the outward, confession). 2. The consolation (a). The Lord’s Name, [α] It is called and is One (Jeremiah 17:22): [β] His glory and that of the church (throne of glory) are one; (b) the Lord’s covenant (Jeremiah 17:21).—What in the present circumstances should be our position towards God? 1. The divine providence, in which we are at present: 2. Our confession, which we make before God: 3. Our petition, which we should address to Him. Voelter in Palmer’s Ev. Casual-Reden. [Occasional Discourses], 4th Ed., 1865.

4. On Jeremiah 15:16. Sermon on a Reformation or Bible-Anniversary. The candlestick of the Gospel has been rejected by more than one church. We therefore pray: Preserve to us Thy word (Ps. 109:43). 1. Why we thus pray (Thy Word is our hearts’ joy and comfort); 2. Why we hope to be heard (for we are named by Thy name).

5. On Jeremiah 15:19. Caspari (Installation-sermon at Munich, Adv., 1855). These words treat; 1, of the firm endurance; 2, of the holy zeal; 3, of the joyful confidence, with which a preacher of God must come to an evangelical church.

6. Homilies of Origen are extant on Jeremiah 15:5-6; (Hom. XII., Ed. Lommatzsch); Jeremiah 15:10-19 (Hom. XIV.); Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 17:5 (Hom. XV.). [On Jeremiah 15:20. “I. God’s qualification to be an overseer of the church. The metaphor of a wall implies, (1) courage, (2) innocence and integrity, (3) authority. II. The opposition a church-governor will be sure to meet with, (1) by seditious preaching and praying, (2) by railing and libels; (3) perhaps by open force. III. The issue and success of such opposition (they shall not prevail).” South.—S. R. A.]

7. On Jeremiah 16:19-21. Missionary Sermon. The true knowledge of God. 1. It is to be had in Christianity (Jeremiah 17:19, a). 2. It will also make its way to the heathen, for (a) It is God’s will that they should be instructed (Jeremiah 17:21); (b) they are ready to be instructed (Jeremiah 17:19 b. Jeremiah 17:20).

8. On Jeremiah 17:5-8. The blessing of faith and the curse of unbelief (comp. Ebal und Gerizim). 1. Why does the curse come upon the unbeliever? (He departs in his heart from the Lord). 2. Wherein this curse consists (Jeremiah 17:6). 3. Why must blessing be the portion of the believer? (Jeremiah 17:7). 4. Wherein this blessing consists (Jeremiah 17:8).

9. On Jeremiah 17:5-8, and Jeremiah 18:7-10. Schleiermacher (Sermon on 28 Mar., 1813, in Berlin): We regard the great change (brought about by the events of the period) on the side of our worthiness before God. 1. What in this respect is its peculiar import and true nature. 2. To what we must then feel ourselves summoned.

10. On Jeremiah 17:9-10. The human heart and its Judges 1:0. The antithesis in the human heart. 2. The impossibility of fathoming it with human eyes. 3. The omniscient God alone sees through it; and 4, judges it with justice. [“The heart is deceitful—it always has some trick or other by which to shuffle off conviction.” Henry.—“It is extremely difficult for sinners to know their hearts. I. What is implied in their knowing their own hearts. 1. It implies a knowledge of their selfishness. 2. Of their desperate incurable wickedness. 3. Of their extreme deceitfulness. II. Why it is so extremely difficult for them to know their own hearts. 1. They are unwilling to know them. 2. Because of the deceitfulness of sin. They love or hate, as they appear friendly or unfriendly to them: (a) God, (b) Christ, (c) good men, (d) one another, (e) the world, (f) their own hearts, (g) the means of grace, (h) their convictions, (i) heaven—Improvement. The only way to know the heart is to inquire whether it loves God or not, etc. 2. Saints can more easily ascertain their true character than sinners Song of Song of Solomon 3:0. All changes in life are trials of the heart,” etc., etc. Emmons.—“I. The human heart exhibits great fraud and treachery. 1. We are changeable by that connection which the soul has with the body. 2. By its connection with external objects by our senses. 3. By its love of novelty and variety. 4. By its hasty resolutions. 5. By its self-love. II. Its excessive malice is seen in history and experience. III. Its deep dissimulation and hypocrisy render it inscrutable. Inferences: 1. We should entertain a sober diffidence of ourselves. 2. We should not be surprised when men use us ill or disappoint us. 3. We should take care and give good principles and a good example to those young persons under our guidance. 4. We should be ready to confess our offences to God. 5. We should bear in mind that we are under the inspection of one who searcheth the hearts,” etc. Jortin.—See also two Sermons by Jer. Taylor.—S. R. A.].

11. Rud. Kœgel (Court and Cathedral preacher at Berlin, 1865). Sermon on Jeremiah 17:9; Jeremiah 17:19, and Hebrews 13:9 : Two pictures: 1, the unregenerate; 2, the regenerate heart.

12. On Jeremiah 17:12-13. Sermon for the dedication of a church, the anniversary of the Reformation, or on Whitsunday. The church of the Lord. 1. What it is in itself (place of sanctuary, throne of divine glory, house of Him, who is Israel’s hope). 2. What it will be (it will ever remain firm, Matthew 16:18): 3. What they find who forsake it (Jeremiah 17:19).

13. On Jeremiah 17:14-18. Cry for help of a preacher tempted on account of the truth. 1. The temptation (Jeremiah 17:15). 2. The demonstration of innocence (Jeremiah 17:16). 3. The cry for help, (a) negative (Jeremiah 17:17-18), (b) positive (Jeremiah 17:19). [On Jeremiah 17:14. The penitent’s prayer. 1. The words express an earnest desire for salvation. 2. He applies to Almighty God for it. 3. Through the medium of prayer. 4. With confidence that he will be heard. Dr. A. Thomson of Edinburgh.—S. R. A.].


(Jeremiah 17:19-27.)

This short passage is closely connected neither with what precedes nor with what follows. Many commentators have, indeed, devised an extensive frame, so as to include this passage in it together with the previous or subsequent context, but these artificial expedients are not satisfactory. The previous discourse is, as shown above, complete in itself, and requires no further addition. The following passages are also as peculiar and independent as this. This forms a small but important and in form a finished whole. Why should not the prophet have addressed short speeches to the people?
As to the date, all is in favor of the reign of Jehoiakim
. 1. The state still exists in unenfeebled independence; no trace betrays that the power of the Chaldeans had become predominant, or that they were immediately threatening. 2. The censure of the transgression of so important a command corresponds rather with the times of the godless Jehoiakim, than of the pious Josiah. The great similarity with Jeremiah 22:1-5, which passage indubitably pertains to the reign of Jehoiakim, is in favor of referring this discourse to the same period. [Henderson: “Eichhorn, Rosenmüller and Maurer, are of opinion that this portion of the chapter belongs to the reign of Jehoiakim, who rapidly undid all the good which had been effected by Josiah, and among other evils encouraged the profanation of the Sabbath, with the due observance of which the prosperity of the State was bound up. The language of the prophet, however, is not objurgatory, as we should have expected, if the profanation in question had actually existed. It is rather that of caution and warning, with a promise of prosperity in case of obedience, and a threatening of destruction to the city in case of disobedience. It would seem, therefore, to belong to the time of Josiah, and to have been delivered in connection with or shortly after his reformation.”—Hitzig refers this passage together with chapter 18, to the period of Jeconiah, or that immediately following the death of Jehoiakim.—S. R. A.]

Exhortation To Hallow The Sabbath

Jeremiah 17:19-27

19Thus saith the Lord [Jehovah] unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people,16 whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they20go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord [Jehovah], ye kings of Judah and all Judah, and all the inhabitants21of Jerusalem that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord [Jehovah]; Take heed ye to yourselves [Care with foresight for your souls],17 and bear no burden on 22the Sabbath-day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow23ye the Sabbath-day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed [heard] not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear18 nor24receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord [Jehovah] to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath-day, but hallow the Sabbath day to do [by doing] no work therein;19 25then shall there enter into [through] the gates of this city kings and princes20 sitting upon [who sit on] the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city26shall remain [be inhabited] forever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places about [environs of] Jerusalem and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plains and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing [people who bring] burnt offerings and sacrifices and meat-offerings and incense, and bringing27sacrifices of praise unto the house of the Lord [Jehovah]. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering [or enter] into the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day; then will I kindle a fire in the [your] gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and it shall not be quenched.


Jeremiah is to go under the gate of the city and there warn all the people from the king downwards against the desecration of the Sabbath by bearing burdens and laboring as their fathers had done (Jeremiah 17:18-23). If they would sanctify the Sabbath, their city should remain forever, and their gate should be witnesses of a lively traffic, of importance to the king’s house, the city and the temple (Jeremiah 17:24-26). But if they should continue to desecrate the Sabbath, an inextinguishable fire should consume the gates and palaces of the city (Jeremiah 17:27). Accordingly three parts may be distinguished in this passage.

Jeremiah 17:19-23. Thus saith Jehovah … nor receive instruction.—Go, etc. Comp. Jeremiah 2:2; Jeremiah 3:12; Jeremiah 19:1.—Gate of the children of the people. This gate is mentioned here only. It is, therefore, difficult to determine its position with certainty, as according to Von Raumer (Paläst., 4th Ed., S. 291), not two interpreters agree as to its position. The first question is whether it was a gate of the city or of the temple. Graf correctly remarks that, with respect to a gate of the city יצאו must stand first and יבאו last (comp. 2 Chronicles 23:8). The name בני־העם would also be a very strange one for a city gate. The expression occurs with three meanings. 1. It designates the difference between strangers and natives, although in this sense עם is found in the Old Testament not with the article, but only with suffixes: Genesis 23:11; Judges 14:16; Leviticus 19:18; Ezekiel 3:11; Numbers 22:5; Leviticus 20:17.—2. It designates a difference in rank among the people themselves, and in two degrees, the mass of the people in opposition to the king and the princes (2 Chronicles 35:7 coll. 8), and again the commonalty in opposition to the more respectable classes (Jeremiah 26:23; 2 Kings 23:6).—3. The expression designates the difference between priests and not priests, in which sense it corresponds to our term “laity” (2 Chronicles 35:5; 2 Chronicles 35:12-13). It occurs only in the passages cited. Since now nothing is known of a gate of the city through which strangers might not pass, or of one through which only the kings and the dregs of the people, or only the kings and the rest of their subjects to the exclusion of the priests might pass, it follows that the gate must have been a gate of the temple through which only the laity went in and out, since special entrances were reserved for the priests. What gate it was it is difficult to say. The expression was probably not one in general use, but employed only by the priests, since according to the second explanation it included a somewhat dishonorable side-meaning. The rarity of the expression also justifies the conclusion that it was a temporary expression, i. e., in use only in those times, since as is well-known the city gates of Jerusalem bore successively different names. Comp. Raumer’sPaläst. S. 290, 1.—When in 2 Chronicles 23:5, the high-priest Jehoiada posted a third of his people at the שַׁעַר הַיְסוֹד, it is natural to suppose that this was the gate through which he expected Athaliah to pass. It is then further probable that this gate was identical with the one mentioned in our passage “whereby the kings of Judah went in and out.” [Henderson:—“The gate of the mass of the people … was in all probability the gate of David, corresponding to what is now called the Jaffa Gate, and was called the ‘people’s’ gate from the circumstance of its being the principal thorough fare for the tribes in the South, the West, and the North-West.”—S. R. A.] That this gate, even were it a gate of the temple, was adapted to the proclamation of this divine message, is evident if we reflect (a), that this gate also might by the purchase and sale of temple-necessaries (comp. Matthew 21:12) be the scene of Sabbath-desecrating traffic; (b) that even if this was not the case, at any rate the gate was one which was much frequented, perhaps more than all the rest.—Not do any work. Comp. Exodus 12:16; Exodus 20:8 sqq.; Deuteronomy 5:12 sqq.—The Sabbath was the day of Jehovah (comp. the passages quoted) a monimentum temporale for his service, hence the observance of this day stood or fell with the worship of Jehovah.—But they obeyed not. The first half of Jeremiah 17:23 is taken verbatim from Jeremiah 7:26.

Jeremiah 17:23 is parenthetical, suggested by as I commanded, etc.

Jeremiah 17:24-26. And it shall come … Jehovah Sitting upon the throne. Comp. Jeremiah 13:13; Jeremiah 22:4.—Shall remain. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 17:6.—Men of Judah. Comp. Jeremiah 32:44; Jeremiah 33:13; coll. Joshua 10:40; Judges 1:9; Deuteronomy 1:7; Zechariah 7:7.—The plains.שְׁפֵלָה is the low country between Joppa and Gaza, Joshua 9:1; Joshua 12:8; Joshua 15:33 sqq.; 1 Kings 10:27; Obadiah 1:19; Raumer, Paläst. S. 51.—South, נֶגֶב is the southern, as שְׁפֵלָה the western, מִרְבָּד the eastern, הָחָר the northern, parts of the tribe of Judah, separating the two last mentioned. Comp. Joshua 15:55 sqq.; 2 Samuel 24:7.

Jeremiah 17:27. But if ye will not … not be quenched. The negation before to bear must also be referred to enter. Comp. Jeremiah 17:21.—Will I kindle. Comp. Jeremiah 21:14; Jeremiah 49:27; Amos 1:14.


1. On Jer 17:30. “It is no derogation to the sagacity of a teacher if he directs his public instructions, admonitions and warnings with some special adaptation to the rulers of the country. Only he must guard against offensive or abusive expressions, and see to it that he carefully distinguish between their office and their life, and be sure of his case, that he is not following the motions of nature, but the calling of the Lord. Act 23:3; 1 Kings 14:7-8.” Starke.

2. Man in this earthly life needs, besides work, rest also for body and soul. It would be inept to have one rest day for the body and another for the soul. It would be equally so to have more or fewer holidays than God has ordained by sanctification of the Seventh day, whereby He who is the creator of time has at the same time given us the fundamental principles of its division. As the rest of the body is both negative and positive (abstinence from labor and recuperation of forces) so also is that of the soul. The soul is from God, and must on its day of rest be freed from earthly cares and brought into the element of its heavenly origin, as it were into a cleansing and invigorating bath. The observance by Christians of the first, instead of the Seventh day, as a weekly holiday is well founded in the fact that the day of Christ’s resurrection is also a day of creation, and so much the more glorious as the new and imperishable world is more glorious than the old and perishable world.

3. “Neglect not church going. For though the unbelieving heathen thought it a foolish course to spend the day in idleness, yet temporal subsistence will not therefore fail, but rather will the weekly work of other days flourish the more. Matthew 6:33.” Cramer.

4. [“God did not regard the external rite only, but rather the end, of which He speaks in Exodus 31:13, and in Ezekiel 20:12. In both places He reminds us of the reason why He commanded the Jews to keep holy the Seventh day, and that was that it might be to them a symbol of sanctification. ‘I have given My Sabbaths,’ He says, ‘to you, that ye might know that I am your God who sanctifieth you.’… And it appears from other places that this command was typical—Christ being the substance. Colossians 2:16.” Calvin.—S. R. A.]


The weekly holiday as the day of Jehovah and as the day of the Lord. 1. What they have in common. The weekly holiday is in both cases (a) a monument of the loving care of our God (a) for our body (β) for our soul; (b) a right of God which forms on our part a holy obligation towards God, ourselves, and our neighbor. 2. The differences. (a) The day of Jehovah is founded on the creation of the perishable world; the day of the Lord is founded on the resurrection of Christ, as of a new, eternal world; (b) the observance of the day of Jehovah was only legal, i. e., (a) imposed by external compulsion, (β) by requirements to be fulfilled by outward observance;—the observance of the day of the Lord is to be more and more an evangelical one, i. e. (a) a free, (b) a spiritually free one, i. e., satisfying the right as well as the obligation of personality.

[“What blessings God has in store for those who make conscience of Sabbath sanctification. 1. The court shall flourish. The honor of the government is the joy of the kingdom, and the support of religion would contribute greatly to both. 2. The city shall flourish. Whatever supports religion tends to establish the civil interests of a land. 3. The country shall flourish. By this the flourishing of a country may be judged of. What does it do for the honor of God? Those who starve their religion either are poor, or are in a fair way to be Song of Song of Solomon 4:0. The church shall flourish. It is a true observation which some have made, That the streams of all religion run either deep or shallow, according as the banks of the Sabbath, are kept up or neglected.” Henry.—S. R. A.]


Jeremiah 17:19; Jeremiah 17:19.—[Hitzig: Of the common man]. The Chethibh reads בני־עם, but this does not make any difference in the sense. If the absence of the article is not due to an oversight, it may be explained by the later, less exact use of language, of which we repeatedly find traces in Jeremiah (comp. Jeremiah 3:2; Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 14:18).

Jeremiah 17:21; Jeremiah 17:21.—בנפשׁובים. The construction is like Malachi 2:15-16, בְּרוּחֲכֶם. But בִּ is not = by, per, after verbs of petition or conjuration (by your life not. Vid. Gesen., Thes. III., S. 1443), or=for the sake of (Meier), but the Niphal involves the meaning of having regard to, observing, and בְּ depends on this. Comp. שִׁמְרוּ־מִי בַנֵּעַר, 2 Samuel 18:12. That this is the sense of the connection follows plainly from 2 Samuel 20:10, “took no heed to the sword;” Deuteronomy 24:8, “take heed to the plague.” Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 100, 3.

Jeremiah 17:23; Jeremiah 17:23.—שׁומע [Chethibh, שׁמוע] Hiller in Arcano Kri et K’tib, remarks that the Masoretes, when they wished to indicate the Scriptio plena, in order that the difference of their reading might be remarked, set the mater lectionis in another place in the word. So also in Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 9:7; Jeremiah 27:1; Jeremiah 29:23; Jeremiah 32:23. Comp. the Explicatio lectionum masoret. in the Hebrew Bible of Simonis, Halle, 1752.

Jeremiah 17:24; Jeremiah 17:24.—On the form בֹּה. Comp. Ewald, § 84, b; 247, d. Olsh. § 96, c; 40, h.

Jeremiah 17:25; Jeremiah 17:25.—וְשָׂרִים is strange. Graf not without reason, assumes an oversight, caused by the frequent juxtaposition of the two words. Comp. Jeremiah 49:38; Hosea 13:10; 2 Samuel 18:5; 1Ch 24:6; 2 Chronicles 28:21; 2 Chronicles 29:30; 2 Chronicles 30:12; Esther 1:16; Esther 1:21, etc.

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 17". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/jeremiah-17.html. 1857-84.
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