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THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
JE RE MI A H.
unto me, Behold, I have put my words in i The time, 3 and the calling of Jeremiah. 11 His
thy mouth. prophetical visions of an almond rod and a seething 10 See, I have this day set thee over the pot. 15 His heavy message against Judah. 17 God nations and over the kingdoms, to 'root out, encourageth him with his promise of assistance. and to pull down, and to destroy, and to
throw down, to build, and to plant. HE words 11 | Moreover the word of the LORD of Jeremiah
came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest the son of thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond Hilkiah, of tree. the priests 12 Then said the Lord unto me, Thou that were in hast well seen : for I will hasten my word to Anathoth in perform it. the land of 13 And the word of the Lord came unto Benjamin : me the second time, saying, What seest
2 To whom thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; the word of and the face thereof is ''toward the north. the LORD 14 Then the Lord said unto me, Out of came in the
the "north an evil "shall break forth upon days of Jo- all the inhabitants of the land.
siah the son 15 For, lo, I will call all the families of of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; year of his reign.
and they shall come, and they shall set every 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim one his throne at the entering of the gates the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the of Jerusalem, and against all the walls end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the thereof round about, and against all the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carry- cities of Judah. ing away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth 16 And I will utter my judgments against month.
them touching all their wickedness, who 4 Then the word of the LORD came unto have forsaken me, and have burned incense me, saying,
unto other gods, and worshipped the works 5 Before I 'formed thee in the belly I of their own hands. knew thee; and before thou camest forth 17 | Thou therefore gird up thy loins, out of the womb I 'sanctified thee, and I and arise, and speak unto them all that I Sordained thee a prophet unto the nations. command thee: be not dismayed at their
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, faces, lest I confound thee before them. I cannot speak: for I am a child.
18 For, behold, I have made thee this 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, day 'sa defenced city, and an iron pillar, and I am a child : for thou shalt go to all that I brasen walls against the whole land, against shall send thee, and whatsoever I command the kings of Judah, against the princes thee thou shalt speak.
thereof, against the priests thereof, and 8 'Be not afraid of their faces: for 'I am against the people of the land. with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 19 And they shall fight against thee;
9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and but they shall not prevail against thee; for I 'touched my mouth. And the LORD said am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. " Gal 1. 15, 16.
Ezek, 3.9. . Exod. 3. 18. Deut. 31, 6, 8. Josh. 1. 5. Heb. 13. 6. *Chap. 5. 14 . Chap. 18.7. Cor. 10. 4, 5. 10 Heb. from the face of the north. 1 Chap 4. 6. 19 Heb. shall be opened 13 Chap. 5. 15, and 6, 92, and 10. 22, 11 Or, break lo pieces. 19'I sa. 50. 7. Chap. 6. 27, and 15. 20.
Isa. 49. 1.5. 7 jea. 6.7.
3 Heb. gade.
• Exod, 4. 10.
JRHEMAH.-There is no prophet of whose personal nistory and character we have more information than concerning Jeremiah. His book of prophecy includes many details which show the difficulties which attended his ministry, and the opposition which he met with from all classes of his countrymen. We learn from the first verse that he was of the sacerdotal tribe, and resided at Anathoth, a city of the tribe of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem, and appropriated to the use of the priests (Josh. xxi. 18). As the priest his father was called Hilkiah. some have supposed that he was the same as the high-priest of that name, who found the book of the Law in the Temple in the time of Josiah. But there seems no foundation for this conjecture. Had the father of Jeremiah been high-priest, the fact would surely have been mentioned: the name of Hilkiah was also a common one among the Jews; to which we may add, that Josephus says that the high-priests were obliged to reside at Jerusalem, which would alone show that the Hilkiah of Anathoth could not have been the high-priest. Jeremiah appears to have been very young, when he was called to the exercise of the prophetical office; from which he modestly endeavoured to excuse himself by pleading his youth and incapacity ; but being overruled by Divine authority, he set himself to discharge the duties of his func tion with unremitted diligence and fidelity, during a period of at least forty-two years, reckoning from the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign. The prophet lived to see that ruin to his country which he had predicted. The Jews who then, against his remonstrances and advice, withdrew into Egypt, took him with them. He there continued to prophesy, protesting against the idolatrous practices which they there adopted, and foretelling the awful consequences. There is a very old and general tradition that his freedom and zeal cost hiin his life: the Jews at Tahpanhes taking such offence at his rebukes and predictions, that they stoned him to death. It is added that he was buried there: and another tradition states that the attention of Alexander the Great having hee drawn to his tomb, occasion was taken to acquaint him with the prophet's predictions, which induced him to order the removal of his remains to Alexandria, where he erected over them a magnificent monument. All this rests on very precarious authority: but, as Blayney observes, “the a 'count of the manner of his exit, though not absolutely certain, is at least very likely to be true, considering the temper and disposition of the parties concerned."
Much has been said of the style of Jeremiah, as distinguished from that of other prophets, particularly Isaiah. Je rome considers his style distinguished by its rusticity, as compared with that of Isaiah, Hosea, and some others. This he attributes to his having been born and bred at Anathoth, where he probably had no opportunity of acquiring that elevation, elegance, and purity of style which is seldom found except in capitals and the courts of princes. But the proximity of Anathoth to Jerusalem renders this rather an unsatisfactory explanation, even were the premises admitted. Bishop Lowth does not subscribe to Jerome's opinion as to the style of this prophet; and is unable to discover the rusticity which he regards as its characteristic. Although deficient neither in elegance nor sublimity, Jere miah must, indeed. give place in both to Isaiah: and while his sentiments are not always elevated, nor his periods uniformly neat and compact; yet his style is in a high degree tender and beautiful, when he has occasion to excite the emotions of sympathy and grief. This observation is strongly exemplified in the Lamentations, where these are the prevailing passions, and in the earlier portion of the book of prophecy. These parts are chiefly poetical. The middle of the book is almost entirely historical, and is written in a prosaic style, suitable to historical narrative. The latter part. again, consisting of the six last chapters, is altogether poetical, and contains several distinct predictions, in which the prophet makes a near approach to the sublimity of Isaiah. Upon the whole, about one-half of the book may be regarded as poetical. See Lowth's · Lectures,' xxi; the introductory note in Blayney's Translation ; Calmet's • Préface sur Jerémie,' &c.
Verses 11, 12. “ A rod of an almond tree... for I will hasten.”—The almond tree seems to have derived its name—expressing haste or vigilance—from its being one of the first, if not the very first of trees, to put forth its blossoms and bear its fruit. From this circumstance it seems to have become a symbol of that which its name expresses ; and, in the present instance, the symbol denotes the speed with which the judgments announced by Jeremiah should be accomplished: and, accordingly, this prophet lived to see most of his prophecies fulfilled.
of Jacob, and all the families of the house
of Israel : I God, having shewed his former kindness, erpostulateth with the Jews their causeless revolt, 9 be
5 ( Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity yond any erample. 14 They are the causes of have your fathers found in me, that they are their own calamities. 20 The sins of Judah. 31 gone far from me, and have walked after Her confidence is rejected.
vanity, and are become vain? MOREOVER the word of the LORD came to 6 Neither said they, Where is the LORD me, saying,
that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, 2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, that led us through the wilderness, through saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember a land of deserts and of pits, through a land 'thee, the kindness of thy 'youth, the love of drought, and of the shadow of death, of thine espousals, when thou wentest after through a land that no man passed through, me in the wilderness, in a land that was not and where no man dwelt? sown.
7 And I brought you into a plentiful 3 Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and country, to eat the fruit thereof and the the firstfruits of his increase : 'all that de- goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye vour him shall offend; evil shall come upon defiled my land, and made mine heritage them, saith the LORD.
an abomination. 4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house 8 The priests said not, Where is the Or, for thy sake,
3 Chap. 12. 14. • Isa. 63. 9, 11, 13. Hos. 13. 4. * Psal. 78. 53, and 106.38.
9 Ezek. 16.8.
Lord? and they that handle the law knew iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord me not: the pastors also transgressed against God. me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, 23 How canst thou say, I am not poland walked after things that do not profit. luted, I have not gone after Baalim ? see
9 9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, thy way in the valley, know what thou hast saith "the Lord, and with your children's done : 'thou art a swift dromedary traversing children will I plead.
10 For pass 'over the isles of Chittim, 24 Awild ass used to the wilderness, and sce; and send unto Kedar, and consi-that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; der diligently, and see if there be such in her occasion who can turn her away? all thing
they that seek her will not weary themselves; 1| Hath a nation changed their gods, in her month they shall find her. which are "yet no gods? but my people 25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, have changed their glory for that which and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, doth not profit.
23There is no hope: no; for I have lored : 12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, strangers, and after them will I go. and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, 26 As the thief is ashamed when he is saith the LORD.
found, so is the house of Israel ashamed ; 13 For my people have committed two they, their kings, their princes, and their erils; they have forsaken me the 'fountain priests, and their prophets, of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, 27 Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; broken cisterns, that can hold no water. and to a stone, Thou hast "brought me
14 | Is Israel a servant? is he a home forth: for they have turned "their back unio born slave? why is he spoiled ?
me, and not their face: but in the time of i 15 The young lions roared upon him, their xetrouble they will say, Arise, and sare and "yelled, and they made his land waste : his cities are burned without inhabitant. 28 But where are thy gods that thou hast
16 Also the children of Noph and Taha- made thee? let them arise, if they słcan sare panes have broken the crown of thy head. thee in the time of thy 28trouble: for $
17 Hast thou not procured this unto thy- cording to the number of thy cities are thy self, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD gods, Judah. thy God, when he led thee by the way? 29 Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye
018 And now what hast thou to do in the all have transgressed against me, saith the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor ? Lord. or what hast thou to do in the way of Assy- 30 In vain have I *smitten your children : ria, to drink the waters of the river ?
they received no correction : your own sword 19 Thine own wickedness shall correct hath "devoured your prophets, like a dethee, and thy backslidings shall reprove stroying lion. thee: know therefore and see that it is an 31 generation, see ye the word of evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD. * Have I been a wilderness unto the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not Israel? a land of darkness ? wherefore say in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. my people, 33We are lords; we will come no
20 For of old time I have broken thy more unto thee? yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, 32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or I will not "transgress; when "upon every a bride her attire? yet my people have forhigh hill and under every green tree thou gotten me days without number. wanderest, playing the harlot.
33 Why trimmest thou thy way to seek 21 Yet I had 'planted thee a noble vine, love? therefore hast thou also taught the wholly a right seed: how then art thou wicked ones thy ways. turned into the degenerate plant of a strange
34 Also in thy skirts is found the blood vine unto me?
of the souls of the poor innocents: I have 22 For though thou wash thee with not found it by secret search, but upon all nitre, and take thee much sope, yet thine these.
Clap. 9 Psal. 36. 9. Chap. 17. 13. avd 18. 14. 10 Heb. become a spoil. 12 Or, ferd on thy crown, Deut. 33. 12. Isa. 8. 8.
18 Or, O swift dromedary. 20 H b. taught.
* Chap 11 13.
*4 Heb. digging. 4
• Rom. 2. 20. 7 Or, over to.
13 Isa. 3. 9. Hos. 5. 5. 10 Exod. 15. 17.
and 80 8. Isa. 5. 1, &c. Matth. 21. 33, Mark 12. 1. 19 Or. O wild ass, &c.
Yi Heb. the desire of her heart. 4 Or, begotten me.
25 Heb, tin hinder part of the neck. 48 Isa. 26. 16. 80 Isa. 9. 13. Chap 5.3. 31 Maith. 23, 89, &c.
82 Verse 5.
11 Heb. gave out their voice 14 Or, serve.
15 Isa. 57. 5,7. Chap 3. 6. 20.9. 17 Job 9. 30. 22 Or, reverse it. 23 Or. Is the case desperate ? 27 Isa. 45. 20. 98 Hócoi. 33 Heb. we have dominion,
35 Yet thou sayest, Because I am inno- of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assy. cent, surely his anger shall turn from me. ria. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou 37 Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, sayest, I have not sinned.
and thine hands upon thinc head: for the 36 Why gaddest thou about so much to LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed thou shalt not prosper in them.
Verse 16. “ "nph.”—This is generally, and with very good reason, believed to have been the same as Memphis, the renowned capital of Lower Egypt. The site has been much disputed. Dr. Shaw and others contended strongly that it must be sought at Ghizeh, nearly opposite to Old Cairo; but a great number of the most eminent travellers and geographers have rather been disposed, from a comparison of the statements in ancient authors with existing appearances and traditions, to fix its position considerably more to the south, near the village of Metrahenny, on the western bank of the Nile, where there are manifest indications of extensive ruin in the form of mounds, channels, and blocks of granite, many of which are covered with sculptures and hieroglyphics, and which are locally considered to form the remains of Memf (Memphis), the royal seat of the Pharaohs. So complete is the desolation foretold by the prophets, that nothing remains to form an object in a pictorial illustration ; and we therefore are only able to offer a representation of the village of Metrahenny, to mark the site of the ancient Memphis. Concerning this great city and the present remains, we shall take an early opportunity of furnishing some further information.
22. “ Nitre." - This well-known word comes from the Hebrew and neter ; being the same as the virgou or airpor of the Greeks. This nitre, or nitron, must not be confounded with the nitrate of potash, or saltpetre, to which the term is now most usually applied. The word occurs nowhere else in Hebrew, except in Prov. xxv. 20; and in his note on that place, Jerome identifies it with the famous nutron of Egypt, observing that the word comes from Nitria, the name of the province in Egypt where that product was most abundantly afforded. Whether the province took its name from the product or the product from the province, is not very clear. The natron, or carbonate of soda, is derived from a chain of lakes to the south-west of the Delta. Their bed is a sort of natural trench three or four leagues long by a quarter wide, the bottom of which is hard and stony. It is dry for nine months in the year ; but in winter there oozes from the earth a water of a reddish violet colour, which fills the lakes to the height of five or six feet: the return of the great heats causing this to evaporate, there remains a bed of this salt, two feet thick and very hard, which is broken with bars of iron. (See Volaey, i. 15.) These lakes also furnish common salt. The natron obtained from this and other sources, was applied to various uses by the nations of the Levant; and, among them. one of the most important was its use as one of the substitutes for soap in washing; for the ancients had no soap like ours. It was employed thus, not only for cleansing clothes, but in purifying the person, particularly in baths; and it continues to be used for the same purposes in the East.
“Sope.”—For an explanation of this, see the note Mal. iii. 3. Is not the employment of the articles here mentioned so as to convey the idea that the use of them implied an extraordinary, and perhaps luxurious, attempt at purification ; and thus showing that the Hebrews did not at this period commonly employ any thing but water for the purpose ? Burckhardt gives a translation of a Bedouin poem, in which the liberal entertainments of a certain sheikh are warmly praised. In describing the after-dinner washing, the original has, “clean washed with soap;" in compliment to the sheikh, who did not grudge such a rare article as soap is in the Desert, that he might do honour to his guests.
23. “ A surist dromedary.”—This word in bikrah, is understood by the rabbins to mean a young camel, or as others, a swift camel-that is, a dromedary; for a dromedary is properly a camel, distinguished fr m the common one only by its breed and training, as a saddle-horse is distinguished from a cart-horse. This breed is called swift with respect to other camels, not with respect to other animals; for the camel is not eminently a swift animal, and those most renowned for their feetness are not in any way comparable to the horse. The best trained riding camels cannot sustain a gallop above half an hour, in which at a forced speed they may make about eight or nine miles. This is their highest exertion. A forced trot is not so contrary to the camel's nature ; and it will support it for several hours without evincing any symptoms of fatigue ; but even here the utmost degree of celerity of the very best bred drume. dary does not exceed about twelve miles an hour; and it is therefore in this pace also less expeditious than a mode. rately good horse. “ It is not therefore," says Burckhardt, to whom we owe this statement, “ by extreme celerity that the hedjeins and delouls are distinguished, however surprising may be the stories related on this subject both in Europe and the East. But they are perhaps unequalled by any quadrupeds for the ease with which they carry their rider through an uninterrupted journey of several days and nights, when they are allowed to persevere in their own favourite pace. which is a kind of easy amble, at the rate of about five miles or tive miles and a half in the hour.” (“Nutes on The Bedouins,' p. 262.)
2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places,
and see where thou hast not been lien with. 1 God's great mercy in Judah's vile whoredom. 6
Judah is worse than Israel. 12 The promises of In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the the Gospel to the penitent. 20 Israel reproved, Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast and called by God, maketh a solemn confession of polluted the land with thy whoredoms and their sins.
with thy wickedness. They say, If a man put away his wife, and 3 Therefore the showers have been withshe go from him, and become another man's, holden, and there hath been no latter rain; ?shall he return unto her again ? shall not and thou hadst a 'whore's forehead, thou rethat land be greatly polluted ? but thou fusedst to be ashamed. hast played the harlot with many lovers; 4 Wilt thou not from this time
unto me, yet return again to me, saith the Lord. My father, thou art the guide of my youth ? 1 Heb. Suying. 3 Deut. 28. 24. Chap. 9. 12, • Chap 6. lõ.
2 Deut 24. 4.