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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 13

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary


Jeremiah 13. Five detached prophecies, all except the fourth being of uncertain date.

Verses 1-11

Jeremiah 13:1-11 . The Symbol of the Waist-cloth, its removal signifying the rejection and ruin of Judah, as a consequence of her disobedience. The prophet buys and wears a linen waist-cloth, not yet put in water, as a declaration of Yahweh’ s adoption of His people into closest intimacy. The prophet then removes it, and buries it in a rocky cleft where it is spoilt by damp, the removal being a sign that Yahweh puts His people from Him into the ruin of exile. Such symbolism as this, so frequent on the part of Hebrew prophets (for Jeremiah, cf. Jeremiah 16:5 ff., Jeremiah 27:2 ff; Jeremiah 28:10 ff., Jeremiah 32:6 ff., Jeremiah 43:8 ff., Jeremiah 51:63), has still something of the “ symbolic magic” of primitive peoples clinging to it; it has the force, and more, of the spoken word, and helps to secure the result it “ symbolises” ( 2 Kings 13:16 f.*). Such symbolism helps to explain the NT emphasis on baptism.

Jeremiah 13:1 . The object named is not the outer girdle, but a covering worn next the skin.

Jeremiah 13:4 . Euphrates: Hebrew “ Perath” ; Jeremiah 13:10 is improbable, owing to the distance, that this was literally the place of the burial; perhaps Parah ( Joshua 18:23) near Anathoth is meant, this spot being chosen as suggestive of the Euphrates, and so, symbolical of the place of exile.

Jeremiah 13:10 . shall even be: “ lot it be” .

Verses 12-14

Jeremiah 13:12-14 . The Figure of the Wine-jars.— The fate of the men of Judah is that they shall be filled like jars with the wine of drunkenness ( cf. Jeremiah 25:15 ff., Psalms 60:3), and then shall be dashed to destruction (as a potter might dash such earthen jars together; cf. Psalms 2:9).

Verses 15-17

Jeremiah 13:15-17 . Israel’ s Pride.— The prophet warns against the arrogancy that persistently refuses to obey ( i.e. “ give glory to” ; cf. 1 Samuel 6:5) Yahweh, and compares the disobedient with travellers on mountain paths, who wait vainly in the twilight for light, until the night falls ( Jeremiah 13:16 mgg) . He is filled with grief at their coming captivity.

Verse 18

Jeremiah 13:18 f. A Dirge on the Doom of Jehoiachin and his Mother (Nehushta, 2 Kings 24:8; 2 Kings 24:15), c. 597.

Jeremiah 13:18 should read, “ Say ye (LXX) to the king and the queen-mother, sit ye down low ( mg.) , for come down from your head (VSS) is your beautiful crown” ( mg.) . The queen-mother is more important than the queen in an Oriental court ( cf. Jeremiah 22:26).— the South denotes a particular district, the Negeb (p. 32), in the south of Judah ( Joshua 15:21-32).

Verses 20-27

Jeremiah 13:20-27 . Jerusalem’ s Shame.— This prophecy, as perhaps others in this chapter, would suit the position of affairs under Jehoiakim, after Carchemish (605). Jerusalem is asked concerning the welfare of her people, in the day of invasion by the foe from the north ( Jeremiah 4:6, etc.: here of the Babylonians). Jeremiah 13:21 should read, “ When he shall set over thee as head those whom thou hast thyself taught to be friends unto thee,” i.e. those who have been courted as friends are now become masters. Her anguish and shame are merited; a change seems hopeless, since habit has become second nature ( Jeremiah 13:23). Ruin is inevitable ( Jeremiah 13:24 mg.) . The shameful exposure of her nakedness ( Jeremiah 13:26 mg.) is an appropriate punishment of her sensuality ( Nahum 3:5; cf. Isaiah 47:3, Ezekiel 16:37). Jeremiah 13:27 reads, “ After how long time yet wilt thou not be cleansed?” For the force of neighings, see Jeremiah 5:8.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 13". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/jeremiah-13.html. 1919.
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