Jeremiah Comforts Baruch.
After the completion of the prophecies and histories
appertaining to the Jewish people and kings, Jeremiah subjoins one
referring to an individual, Baruch; even as there are subjoined to the
epistles of Paul addressed to churches, epistles to individuals, some
of which were prior in date to the former. Afterwards follow the
prophecies referring to other nations, closing the book [Grotius]. The date of the events here told is
eighteen years before the taking of the city; this chapter in point of
time follows the thirty-sixth chapter. Baruch seems to have been
regularly employed by Jeremiah to commit his prophecies to writing
36:1, 4, 32).
1. these words—his prophecies from the
thirteenth year of Josiah to the fourth of Jehoiakim.
3. Thou didst say, &c.—Jeremiah does
not spare his disciple, but unveils his fault, namely, fear for his
life by reason of the suspicions which he incurred in the eyes of his
countrymen (compare Jer 36:17),
as if he was in sympathy with the Chaldeans (Jer 43:3), and instigator of Jeremiah; also
ingratitude in speaking of his "grief," &c., whereas he ought to
deem himself highly blessed in being employed by God to record
added—rescued from the peril of my
first writing (Jer 36:26).
I am again involved in a similar peril. He upbraids God as dealing
harshly with him.
I fainted—rather, "I am weary."
no rest—no quiet resting-place.
4. that which I have built … planted I will
pluck up—(Isa 5:5). This
whole nation (the Jews) which I founded and planted with such
extraordinary care and favor, I will overthrow.
5. seekest thou great things for
thyself—Thou art over-fastidious and self-seeking. When My
own peculiar people, a "whole" nation (Jer 45:4), and the temple, are being given to
ruin, dost thou expect to be exempt from all hardship? Baruch
had raised his expectations too high in this world, and this made his
distresses harder to be borne. The frowns of the world would not
disquiet us if we did not so eagerly covet its smiles. What folly to
seek great things for ourselves here, where everything is little, and
all flesh—the whole Jewish nation and
even foreign peoples (Jer 25:26).
but thy life … for a prey—Esteem
it enough at such a general crisis that thy life shall be granted thee.
Be content with this boon of life which I will rescue from imminent
death, even as when all things are given up to plunder, if one escape
with aught, he has a something saved as his "prey" (Jer 21:9). It is striking how Jeremiah, who once
used such complaining language himself, is enabled now to minister the
counsel requisite for Baruch when falling into the same sin (Jer
12:1-5; 15:10-18). This is
part of God's design in suffering His servants to be tempted, that
their temptations may adapt them for ministering to their fellow
servants when tempted.