Jeremiah 15

CHAPTER XV

God declares to Jeremiah that not even Moses and Samuel, whose

prayers had been so prevalent, could divert him from his

purpose of punishing so wicked a people, 1.

Accordingly their captivity is again announced in a variety of

images so full of terror, 2-9,

that the prophet complains of his own hard fate in being

obliged to deliver such unwelcome messages, 10;

for which too he is reproved, 11-14.

Immediately he appeals to God for his sincerity, and

supplicates pardon, 15-18;

and God tempers his reproof with promising again to protect

him in the faithful discharge of his duty, 19-21.

NOTES ON CHAP. XV

Verse 1. Though Moses and Samuel] Moses had often supplicated

for the people; and in consequence they were spared. See Ex 32:11

and following verses, Nu 14:13.

Samuel also had prayed for the people, and God heard him,

1Sa 7:9; but if these or the most holy men were now to

supplicate for this people, he would not spare them.

Cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.] Do not bring

them into my presence by your prayers; let them go forth into

captivity.

Verse 2. Whither shall we go forth?-Such as are for death, to

death] Some shall be destroyed by the pestilence, here termed

death. See Jer 18:21. Others shall be slain by the

sword in battle, and in the sackage of cities. Others shall

perish by famine, shall be starved to death through the mere want

of the necessaries of life; and the rest shall go into captivity.

There shall be different sorts of punishments inflicted on them

according to the nature of their transgressions. Some shall be

punished in one way, and some in another.

Verse 3. I will appoint over them four kinds] There shall appear

four instruments of my justice. 1. The sword to slay. 2. The dogs

to tear what is slain. 3. The fowls of the heaven to feed on the

dead carcasses. And, 4. The wild beasts to destroy all that the

fowls have left.

Verse 4. I will cause them to be removed into an kingdoms of the

earth] This seems to have respect to the succeeding state of the

Jews in their different generations; and never was there a

prophecy more literally fulfilled; and it is still a standing

monument of Divine truth. Let infidelity cast its eyes on the

scattered Jews whom it may meet with in every civilized nation of

the world; and then let it deny the truth of this prophecy, if it

can. The Jews are scattered through every nation, and yet are not

a nation; nor do they form even a colony on any part of the face

of the earth. Behold the truth and the justice of God!

Verse 5. Who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?] Perhaps

there is not a more despised nor a more degraded people under the

sun. Scarcely any one thinks himself called upon to do a kind

office for a Jew. Their character is bad in society, and they are

not at all solicitous to redeem it.

Verse 6. I am weary with repenting.] With repeatedly changing my

purpose. I have often, after purposing to punish, showed them

mercy. I will do it no longer; it is useless. I took them often at

their promise, and in every instance they have failed.

Verse 7. I will fan them with a fan] There is no pure grain; all

is chaff.

In the gates of the land] The places of public justice: and

there it shall be seen that the judgments that have fallen upon

them have been highly merited. And from these places of fanning

they shall go out into their captivity.

Verse 8. The mother of the young men] The metropolis or mother

city, Jerusalem.

Verse 9. She that hath borne seven] She that hath had a numerous

offspring; Jerusalem, the parent of so many cities, villages, and

families in the land. Seven signifies a complete or full number.

Verse 10. A man of contention to the whole earth!] To the whole

LAND, to all his countrymen; though he had done nothing to merit

their displeasure.

Verse 11. I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the

time of evil] This was literally fulfilled; see Jer 39:11, &c.

Nebuchadnezzar had given strict charge to Nebuzar-adan, commander

in chief, to look well to Jeremiah, to do him no harm, and to

grant him all the privileges he was pleased to ask.

Verse 12. Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?]

Shall our weak forces be able to oppose and overcome the powers of

the Chaldeans? nechasheth, which we here translate steel,

property signifies brass or copper united with tin, which gives it

much hardness, and enables it to bear a good edge.

Verse 13. Thy substance-will I give to the spoil without price]

Invaluable property shall be given up to thy adversaries. Or,

without price-thou shalt have nothing for it in return.

Verse 15. O Lord-remember me, and visit me] Let me not be

carried away into captivity; and it does not appear that he had

ever been taken to Babylon. After the capture of the city he went

into Egypt; and either died there, or was put to death by his

countrymen.

Verse 16. Thy word was-the joy and rejoicing of mine heart] When

I did receive the prophetic message, I did rejoice in the honour

thou hadst done me; and I faithfully testified thy will to them.

They have become mine enemies; not because there was any evil in

me, but because I was faithful to thee.

Verse 18. Wilt thou be altogether unto me as-waters that fail?]

Meaning either springs, which in the height of summer grow dry;

or, like that phenomenon in the sandy desert, where, by a peculiar

action of the air on the rising vapours, the resemblance of water

is produced, so that the traveller, deceived, rejoices that he is

come, in the sandy desert, to the verge of a beautiful lake; but

the farther he travels, it is still at the same distance, and at

last vanishes; and he finds the whole was an illusion, for the

waters have failed. Nothing can exceed the disappointment of the

farmer whose subsistence absolutely depends on the periodical

rains, when these fail, or fall short of their usual quantity.

Some times the rice is sown and springs up in the most promising

manner; but the latter rains fail, and whole fields of young rice

wither and perish.

Verse 19. If thou return] By repentance unto me,-

Then will I bring thee again] Restore thee to thy own country.

But some think the words are spoken to the prophet in reference to

his ministry. He had greatly repined because of the persecutions

which he endured. The Lord reprehends him, and is about to take

from him the prophetic gift; but exhorts him first to take the

precious from the vile-not to attend to the deceitful words of

the people, but boldly declare the message he had given him; not

to return unto the people, but let the people return unto him. And

then he should be as God's mouth-his words should appear to be

what they were, the genuine words of God; and the people should be

obliged to acknowledge them as such.

Verse 20. I will make thee-a fenced brazen wall] While thou art

faithful to me, none of them shall be able to prevail against

thee.

Verse 21. I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked]

From the power of this evil people.

And I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.] Out of

the power of the Chaldean armies. Every thing took place as God

had promised, for no word of his can ever fall to the ground.

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