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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 5

Jeremiah 4:5 to Jeremiah 6:30 . A new paragraph should begin with Jeremiah 4:5, introducing a new section of the prophecies, which deals with the judgment of Judah, its causes and its instrument. This section is probably somewhat later than Jeremiah 2:1 to Jeremiah 4:4; it amplifies the vision of the boiling caldron ( Jeremiah 1:13). The “ foe from the north” , whom Jeremiah expected to invade Judah, would originally be the Scythians, subsequently the Babylonians (see on Jeremiah 1:13 ff.).

Verses 1-9

Jeremiah 5:1-9 . The Sins of Jerusalem.— Jeremiah is bidden to seek even one man in Jerusalem, for whose sake Yahweh may spare the city ( cf. Genesis 18:16-33), one man of justice and faithfulness ( mg.) ; even the oaths they swear by Yahweh mean nothing. The prophet confesses that it is this lack of faithfulness that has brought a hard discipline on the city, though in vain; yet he turns from “ the man in the street” to those of high degree, for they (emph.) know the ordinances of Yahweh— only to find them united in disobedience ( Jeremiah 5:5; for the figure of the rebellious oxen, cf. Jeremiah 2:20). So comes the foe, like forest lion, or desert wolf ( mg.) , or lurking leopard; since Yahweh’ s provision of a fertile land has but led to wantonness.

Jeremiah 5:7 . assembled themselves in troops: read, with LXX, “ lodged” , as 1 Kings 17:20 (“ sojourn” ).

Jeremiah 5:8 . horses in the morning should probably be “ stallions” (Driver); the suggestion of the figure is actual immorality, which may or may not have been coupled with the sensual worship of the Baalim.

Verses 10-19

Jeremiah 5:10-19 . The Coming of the Foe.— Let the enemy, therefore, destroy the vineyard of Judah, for of its owner Judah has said, “ He does nothing” , rejecting His warnings by (true) prophets. The word they have rejected now becomes a fire to consume ( cf. Jeremiah 23:29; ancient thought attached great power to the spoken word). The enemy (Scythians or, later, Babylonians) comes to destroy, being enduring ( mg.) , foreign in speech ( Isaiah 28:11), and a nation of warriors (“ mighty men” ), whose arrows do not miss ( Jeremiah 5:16). Heathenism at home shall bring exile abroad ( Jeremiah 5:19).

Jeremiah 5:10 . walls should probably be “ vine-rows” ; for the figure, cf. Jeremiah 2:21).

Jeremiah 5:12 . It is not he: lit. “ not he” ; cf. Zephaniah 1:12, end.

Jeremiah 5:18, like many similar remarks, seems to be a later insertion, meant to qualify the rigour of the destruction in Jeremiah 5:17.

Verses 20-31

Jeremiah 5:20-31 . Let Evil-doers Fear Yahweh.— The folly of not fearing Yahweh is rebuked by a reminder of the power of Him who has set an impassable limit even to the sea ( cf. the rebuke of Job’ s presumption by the description of Nature as Yahweh’ s work, Job 38-41). Because they have not feared Him who gives the regular rains (the “ former” in October, the “ latter” in March-April), and the resultant harvest ( Jeremiah 5:24), they have lost these gifts. Punishment is brought down on the nation by evil-doers, who fill their houses with (the gains of) deceit, as bird-catchers their cages with birds, and by the same arts; evil-doers who are prosperous and sleek, and unjust to the helpless. Horrible in Yahweh’ s eyes is the degeneracy of the prophets who ought to teach the truth, and of the priests who follow the suggestions of the prophets ( Jeremiah 5:31 mg.) , and of the people who are satisfied with all this; what of the issue?

Jeremiah 5:24 . The dependence of Palestine on the periodic rains for its fertility was felt to link it to Yahweh in a unique degree; cf. Deuteronomy 11:10-12.

Jeremiah 5:28 . shine: i.e. with fat; cf. Job 15:27, Psalms 73:7).

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 5". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/jeremiah-5.html. 1919.