Jeremiah 16

CHAPTER XVI

On account of the evils which threatened his country, the

prophet is forbidden to encumber himself with a wife and

family, or to bear any share in the little joys and sorrows of

his neighbours, which were to be forgotten and absorbed in

those public calamities, 1-9,

which their sins should draw on them, 10-13.

A future restoration however is intimated, 14, 15,

after these calamities should be endured, 16-18;

and the conversion of the Gentiles is foretold, 19-21.

NOTES ON CHAP. XVI

Verse 1. The word of the Lord came also unto me] This discourse

Dahler supposes to have been delivered some time in the reign of

Jehoiakim.

Verse 2. Those shalt not take thee a wife] As it would be very

inconvenient to have a family when the threatened desolations

should come on the place. The reason is given in the following

verses.

Verse 4. They shall die of grievious deaths] All prematurely;

see Jer 14:16.

As dung upon the face of the earth] See Jer 8:2.

Be meat for the fowls] See Jer 7:33.

Verse 5. Enter not into the house of mourning] The public

calamities are too great to permit individual losses to come into

consideration.

Verse 6. Nor cut themselves] A custom of the heathen forbidden

to the Jews, Le 19:28; De 14:1, and which appears now to have

prevailed among them; because, having become idolaters, they

conformed to all the customs of the heathen. They tore their hair,

rent their garments, cut their hands, arms, and faces. These were

not only signs of sorrow, but were even supposed to give ease to

the dead, and appease the angry deities. The Hindoos, on the death

of a relation, express their grief by loud lamentations, and not

unfrequently bruise themselves in an agony of grief with whatever

they can lay hold on.

Verse 8. Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting]

Funeral banquets were made to commemorate the dead, and comfort

the surviving relatives; and the cup of consolation, strong

mingled wine, was given to those who were deepest in distress, to

divert their minds and to soothe their sorrows. These kinds of

ceremonies were common among almost all the nations of the world

on funeral occasions. The Canaanites, the Jews, the Persians,

Arabians, New Zealanders, Huns, &c., &c.

Verse 12. And ye have done worse than your fathers] The sins of

the fathers would not have been visited on the children, had they

not followed their example, and become even worse than they.

Verse 13. Will I cast you out of this land] See Jer 7:15; 9:15.

Verse 14. The Lord liveth, that brought up] See Isa 43:18.

Verse 15. The land of the north] Chaldea: and their deliverance

thence will be as remarkable as the deliverance of their fathers

from the land of Egypt.

Verse 16. I will send for many fishers-for many hunters] I shall

raise up enemies against them some of whom shall destroy them by

wiles, and others shall ruin them by violence. This seems to be

the meaning of these symbolical fishers and hunters.

Verse 18. The carcasses of their detestable-things.] Either

meaning the idols themselves, which were only carcasses without

life; or the sacrifices which were made to them.

Verse 19. The Gentiles shall come] Even the days shall come when

the Gentiles themselves, ashamed of their confidence, shall

renounce their idols, and acknowledge that their fathers had

believed lies, and worshipped vanities. This may be a prediction

of the calling of the Gentiles by the Gospel of Christ; if so, it

is a light amidst much darkness. In such dismal accounts there is

need of some gracious promise relative to an amended state of the

world.

Verse 20. Shall a man make gods unto himself?] Can any be so

silly, and so preposterously absurd? Yes, fallen man is capable of

any thing that is base, mean, vile, and wicked, till influenced

and converted by the grace of Christ.

Verse 21. Therefore, behold, I will this once] I will not now

change my purpose. They shall be visited and carried into

captivity; nothing shall prevent this: and they shall know that my

name is JEHOVAH. Since they would not receive the abundance of my

mercies, they shall know what the true God can do in the way of

judgment.

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