Jer 15:1-21. God's Reply to
Jeremiah's Intercessory Prayer.
1. Moses … Samuel—eminent in
intercessions (Ex 32:11, 12; 1Sa 7:9; Ps 99:6).
be toward—could not be favorably
inclined toward them.
out of my sight—God speaks as if the
people were present before Him, along with Jeremiah.
2. death—deadly plague (Jer 18:21; 43:11; Eze 5:2, 12; Zec 11:9).
3. appoint—(Le 26:16).
4. cause … to be removed—(De
28:25; Eze 23:46). Rather, "I
will give them up to vexation," I will cause them to wander so as
nowhere to have repose [Calvin]; (2Ch 29:8, "trouble;" Margin,
because of Manasseh—He was now dead,
but the effects of his sins still remained. How much evil one bad man
can cause! The evil fruits remain even after he himself has received
repentance and forgiveness. The people had followed his wicked example
ever since; and it is implied that it was only through the
long-suffering of God that the penal consequences had been suspended up
to the present time (compare 1Ki 14:16; 2Ki
21:11; 23:26; 24:3, 4).
5. go aside … how thou doest—Who
will turn aside (in passing by) to salute thee (to wish thee
6. weary with repenting—(Ho 13:14;
11:8). I have so often
repented of the evil that I threatened (Jer
26:19; Ex 32:14; 1Ch 21:15),
and have spared them, without My forbearance moving them to repentance,
that I will not again change My purpose (God speaking in condescension
to human modes of thought), but will take vengeance on them now.
tribulum, a threshing instrument, which separates the chaff from
the wheat (Mt 3:12).
gates of the land—that is, the extreme
bounds of the land through which the entrance to and exit from it lie.
Maurer translates, "I will fan," that
is, cast them forth "to the gates of the land" (Na 3:13). "In the gates"; English Version
draws the image from a man cleaning corn with a fan; he stands at the
gate of the threshing-floor in the open air, to remove the wheat from
the chaff by means of the wind; so God threatens to remove Israel out
of the bounds of the land [Houbigant].
8. Their widows—My people's (Jer 15:7).
have brought—prophetical past: I will
mother of the young men—"mother" is
collective; after the "widows," He naturally mentions bereavement of
their sons ("young men"), brought on the "mothers" by "the spoiler"; it
was owing to the number of men slain that the "widows" were so many
[Calvin]. Others take "mother," as in
20:19, of Jerusalem, the
metropolis; "I have brought on them, against the 'mother,' a young
spoiler," namely, Nebuchadnezzar, sent by his father, Nabopolassar, to
repulse the Egyptian invaders (2Ki 23:29; 24:1), and occupy Judea. But Jer 15:7 shows the future, not the past, is
referred to; and "widows" being literal, "mother" is probably so,
at noonday—the hottest part of the
day, when military operations were usually suspended; thus it means
unexpectedly, answering to the parallel, "suddenly";
openly, as others explain it, will not suit the parallelism
it—English Version seems to
understand by "it" the mother city, and by "him" the "spoiler"; thus
"it" will be parallel to "city." Rather, "I will cause to fall upon
them (the 'mothers' about to be bereft of their sons) suddenly
anguish and terrors."
the city—rather, from a root "heat,"
anguish, or consternation. So the Septuagint.
9. borne seven—(1Sa 2:5). Seven being the perfect number
indicates full fruitfulness.
languisheth—because not even one is
left of all her sons (Jer 15:8).
sun is gone down while … yet
day—Fortune deserts her at the very height of her prosperity
she … ashamed—The mothers
(she being collective) are put to the shame of disappointed
hopes through the loss of all their children.
10. (Jer 20:14; Job 3:1, &c.). Jeremiah seems to have been
of a peculiarly sensitive temperament; yet the Holy Spirit enabled him
to deliver his message at the certain cost of having his sensitiveness
wounded by the enmities of those whom his words offended.
man of strife—exposed to strifes on
the part of "the whole earth" (Ps 80:6).
I have neither lent,
&c.—proverbial for, "I have given no cause for strife against
11. Verily—literally, "Shall it not be?"
that is, "Surely it shall be."
thy remnant—the final issue of
thy life; thy life, which now seems to thee so sad, shall eventuate in
prosperity [Calvin]. They who think that
they shall be the surviving remnant, whereas thou shalt perish, shall
themselves fall, whereas thou shalt remain and be favored by the
conquerors [Junius], (Jer 40:4, 5;
39:11, 12). The Keri
reads, "I will set thee free (or as Maurer, 'I will establish thee') for good" (Jer 14:11; Ezr 8:22; Ps 119:122).
to entreat thee well—literally, "to
meet thee"; so "to be placable, nay, of their own accord to
anticipate in meeting thee with kindness" [Calvin]. I prefer this translation as according with
the event (Jer 39:11, 12; 40:4, 5). Gesenius, from Jer 7:16; 27:18; Job
21:15, translates (not only
will I relieve thee from the enemy's vexations, but) "I will make thine
enemy (that now vexeth thee) apply to thee with prayers" (Jer
12. steel—rather, brass or
copper, which mixed with "iron" (by the Chalybes near the Euxine
Pontus, far north of Palestine), formed the hardest metal, like our
steel. Can the Jews, hardy like common iron though they
be, break the still hardier Chaldees of the north (Jer 1:14), who resemble the Chalybian iron
hardened with copper? Certainly not [Calvin]. Henderson
translates. "Can one break iron, (even) the northern iron, and
brass," on the ground that English Version makes ordinary
iron not so hard as brass. But it is not brass, but a particular
mixture of iron and brass, which is represented as harder than
common iron, which was probably then of inferior texture, owing
to ignorance of modern modes of preparation.
13. Thy substance … sins—Judea's,
without price—God casts His people
away as a thing worth naught (Ps 44:12). So, on the contrary, Jehovah, when
about to restore His people, says, He will give Egypt, &c., for
their "ransom" (Isa 43:3).
even in all thy borders—joined with
"Thy substance … treasures, as also with "all thy sins," their
sin and punishment being commensurate (Jer 17:3).
14. thee—Maurer supplies "them," namely, "thy treasures."
Eichorn, needlessly, from Syriac
and the Septuagint, reads, "I will make thee to serve
thine enemies"; a reading doubtless interpolated from Jer 17:4.
15. thou knowest—namely, my case; what
wrongs my adversaries have done me (Jer 12:3).
revenge me—(See on Jer 11:20). The prophet in this had regard to, not his
own personal feelings of revenge, but the cause of God; he speaks by
inspiration God's will against the ungodly. Contrast in this the law
with the gospel (Lu 23:34; Ac 7:60).
take me not away in thy
long-suffering—By Thy long-suffering towards them, suffer
them not meanwhile to take away my life.
for thy sake I have suffered
rebuke—the very words of the antitype, Jesus Christ (Ps 69:7,
22-28), which last compare
with Jeremiah's prayer in the beginning of this verse.
16. eat—(Eze 2:8; 3:1, 3; Re 10:9,
10). As soon as Thy words
were found by me, I eagerly laid hold of and appropriated them. The
Keri reads, "Thy word."
thy word … joy—(Job
23:12; Ps 119:72, 111;
called by thy name—I am Thine, Thy
minister. So the antitype, Jesus Christ (Ex 23:21).
17. My "rejoicing" (Jer 15:16) was not that of the profane mockers
1:1; 26:4, 5) at feasts. So
far from having fellowship with these, he was expelled from society,
and made to sit "alone," because of his faithful prophecies.
because of thy hand—that is, Thine
inspiration (Isa 8:11; Eze 1:3; 3:14).
filled me with indignation—So Jer 6:11, "full of the fury of the Lord";
so full was he of the subject (God's "indignation" against the ungodly)
with which God had inspired him, as not to be able to contain himself
from expressing it. The same comparison by contrast between the effect
of inspiration, and that of wine, both taking a man out
of himself, occurs (Ac 2:13, 15, 18).
18. (Jer 30:15). "Pain," namely, the perpetual
persecution to which he was exposed, and his being left by God without
consolation and "alone." Contrast his feeling here with that in Jer 15:16, when he enjoyed the full presence
of God, and was inspired by His words. Therefore he utters words of his
natural "infirmity" (so David, Ps 77:10) here; as before he spoke under the
higher spiritual nature given him.
as a liar, and as—rather, "as a
deceiving (river) … waters that are not sure (lasting)";
opposed to "living (perennial) waters" (Job 6:15). Streams that the thirsty traveller had
calculated on being full in winter, but which disappoint him in his
sorest need, having run dry in the heat of summer. Jehovah had promised
Jeremiah protection from his enemies (Jer 1:18, 19); his infirmity suggests that God had
failed to do so.
19. God's reply to Jeremiah.
return … bring …
again—Jeremiah, by his impatient language, had left his
proper posture towards God; God saith, "If thou wilt return (to thy
former patient discharge of thy prophetic function) I will bring
thee back" to thy former position: in the Hebrew there is a play
of words, "return … turn again" (Jer 8:4;
stand before me—minister acceptably to
Me (De 10:8; 1Ki 17:1; 18:15).
take … precious from …
vile—image from metals: "If thou wilt separate what is
precious in thee (the divine graces imparted) from what is vile
(thy natural corruptions, impatience, and hasty words), thou shall be
as My mouth": my mouthpiece (Ex 4:16).
return not thou unto them—Let not them
lead you into their profane ways (as Jeremiah had spoken irreverently,
15:18), but lead thou them to
the ways of godliness (Jer 15:16, 17). Eze 22:26 accords with the other interpretation,
which, however, does not so well suit the context, "If thou wilt
separate from the promiscuous mass the better ones, and lead them to
conversion by faithful warnings," &c.
20, 21. The promise of Jer 1:18, 19, in almost the same words, but
with the addition, adapted to the present attacks of Jeremiah's
formidable enemies, "I will deliver thee out of … wicked …
redeem … terrible"; the repetition is in order to assure Jeremiah
that God is the same now as when He first made the promise, in
opposition to the prophet's irreverent accusation of unfaithfulness