Jer 16:1-21. Continuation of
the Previous Prophecy.
2. in this place—in Judea. The direction
to remain single was (whether literally obeyed, or only in prophetic
vision) to symbolize the coming calamities of the Jews (Eze 24:15-27) as so severe that the single
state would be then (contrary to the ordinary course of things)
preferable to the married (compare 1Co 7:8, 26, 29; Mt
24:19; Lu 23:29).
4. grievous deaths—rather, "deadly
diseases" (Jer 15:2).
not … lamented—so many shall be
the slain (Jer 22:18).
5. (Eze 24:17, 22, 23).
house of mourning—(Mr 5:38). Margin, "mourning-feast"; such
feasts were usual at funerals. The Hebrew means, in Am 6:7, the cry of joy at a banquet;
here, and La
2:19, the cry of
6. cut themselves—indicating extravagant
grief (Jer 41:5; 47:5), prohibited by the law (Le 19:28).
bald—(Jer 7:29; Isa 22:12).
7. tear themselves—rather, "break
bread," namely, that eaten at the funeral-feast (De 26:14; Job 42:11; Eze 24:17; Ho 9:4). "Bread" is to be supplied, as in La 4:4; compare "take" (food) (Ge 42:33).
give … cup of consolation … for
… father—It was the Oriental custom for friends to send
viands and wine (the "cup of consolation") to console relatives in
mourning-feasts, for example, to children upon the death of a "father"
8. house of feasting—joyous: as
distinguished from mourning-feasts. Have no more to do with this people
whether in mourning or joyous feasts.
9. (Jer 7:34; 25:10; Eze
10. (De 29:24; 1Ki 9:8, 9).
11. (Jer 5:19; 13:22; 22:8, 9).
12. ye—emphatic: so far from avoiding
your fathers' bad example, ye have done worse (Jer 7:26; 1Ki
that they may not hearken—rather,
connected with "ye"; "ye have walked … so as not to hearken to
13. serve other gods—That which was
their sin in their own land was their punishment in exile. Retribution
in kind. They voluntarily forsook God for idols at home; they
were not allowed to serve God, if they wished it, in captivity
day and night—irony. You may there
serve idols, which ye are so mad after, even to satiety, and without
14. Therefore—So severe shall be the
Jews' bondage that their deliverance from it shall be a greater benefit
than that out of Egypt. The consolation is incidental here; the
prominent thought is the severity of their punishment, so great
that their rescue from it will be greater than that from Egypt [Calvin]; so the context, Jer 16:13, 17,
18, proves (Jer 23:7,
8; Isa 43:18).
15. the north—Chaldea. But while the
return from Babylon is primarily meant, the return hereafter is the
full and final accomplishment contemplated, as "from all the
lands" proves. "Israel" was not, save in a very limited sense,
"gathered from all the lands" at the return from Babylon (see on Jer 24:6; Jer 30:3; Jer 32:15).
16. send for—translate, "I will send
many"; "I will give the commission to many" (2Ch 17:7).
fishers … hunters—successive
invaders of Judea (Am 4:2; Hab 1:14, 15). So "net" (Eze 12:13). As to "hunters," see Ge 10:9; Mic
7:2. The Chaldees were famous
in hunting, as the Egyptians, the other enemy of Judea, were in
fishing. "Fishers" expresses the ease of their victory over the
Jews as that of the angler over fishes; "hunters," the keenness of
their pursuit of them into every cave and nook. It is remarkable, the
same image is used in a good sense of the Jews' restoration, implying
that just as their enemies were employed by God to take them in hand
for destruction, so the same shall be employed for their restoration
47:9, 10). So spiritually,
those once enemies by nature (fishermen many of them literally)
were employed by God to be heralds of salvation, "catching men" for
life (Mt 4:19; Lu 5:10; Ac 2:41; 4:4); compare here Jer 16:19, "the Gentiles shall come unto thee"
17. (Jer 32:19; Pr 5:21;
their iniquity—the cause of God's
judgments on them.
18. first … double—Horsley translates, "I will recompense …
once and again"; literally, "the first time repeated": alluding
to the two captivities—the Babylonian and the Roman. Maurer, "I will recompense their former
iniquities (those long ago committed by their fathers) and their
(own) repeated sins" (Jer 16:11, 12). English Version gives a good
sense, "First (before 'I bring them again into their land'), I
will doubly (that is, fully and amply, Jer 17:18;
Isa 40:2) recompense."
sacrifices acceptable to God, but "carcasses" offered to idols,
an offensive odor to God: human victims (Jer 19:5; Eze 16:20), and unclean animals (Isa 65:4;
66:17). Maurer explains it, "the carcasses" of the
idols: their images void of sense and life. Compare Jer 16:19, 20. Le 26:30 favors this.
19, 20. The result of God's judgments on the
Jews will be that both the Jews when restored, and the Gentiles who
have witnessed those judgments, shall renounce idolatry for the worship
of Jehovah. Fulfilled partly at the return from Babylon, after which
the Jews entirely renounced idols, and many proselytes were gathered in
from the Gentiles, but not to be realized in its fulness till the final
restoration of Israel (Isa 2:1-17).
20. indignant protest of Jeremiah against
and they (are) no gods—(Jer
2:11; Isa 37:19; Ga 4:8).
"They" refers to the idols. A man (a creature himself) making
God is a contradiction in terms. Vulgate takes "they"
thus: "Shall man make gods, though men themselves are not
21. Therefore—In order that all may be
turned from idols to Jehovah, He will now give awful proof of His
divine power in the judgments He will inflict.
this once—If the punishments I have
heretofore inflicted have not been severe enough to teach
my name … Lord—Jehovah
83:18): God's incommunicable
name, to apply which to idols would be blasphemy. Keeping His threats
and promises (Ex 6:3).