Jeremiah 4:5-6

5. Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defensed cities.

5. Nuntiate (vel, promulgate) in Jehudah, et Jerusalem facite audire, (hoc est, publicate,) et dicite et clangite tuba in terra; vocate, colligite et dicite, Congregamini, et intremus civitates munitas.

6. Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

6. Tollite signum (vel, vexilium) in Sion; congregamini (vel, confugite; alii vertunt, viriliter agite, deducunt enim hoc verbum ab zze, sed plures sequuntur diversum sensum ab zze, quod est fugere, vel, se colligere metus causa,) ne stetis (vel, non stabitis,) quoniam malum ego accerso (venire facio) ab aquilone, et contritionem magnam.


Jeremiah treats his own people here with more severity, for he saw that they were refractory, and so obstinate in their vices, that they could not by wise counsels be restored to the way of safety. Hence he addresses them here as men wholly irreclaimable, and to whom instruction proved useless. But though according to the manner of the prophets, he sounds a trumpet for the sake of filling them with terror, he seems yet to speak tauntingly, when he bids them to proclaim in Judah, and to publish in Jerusalem; as though he had said, When distress shall seize you, you will then by experience perceive that God is angry with you: though to -- day ye believe not my warnings; yet that God may not, indeed, by a violent hand, bring you back to himself, and as ye seek evasions for yourselves, ye shall sound the trumpet, and proclaim, "The enemies are coming, and are nigh at hand; let, therefore, every one flee to Jerusalem, and enter into the city, and resort unto Zion: "that is, "If we cannot secure our safety in the city, we shall at least be safe in the fortress of Sion." But God, he says, brings an evil on you from the north; and whatever ye may think will be for your safety will be wholly useless. It is, however, proper, especially to regard the Prophet as God's herald proclaiming war; and that though he exults over their perverseness, he yet declares that such would be everywhere the terror, that they would seek safety by flight.

Sound, he says, in Judah, and publish, or proclaim, in Jerusalem, (wdygh, egidu, announce, literally.) He speaks not here for the same purpose as Joel did, (Joel 1:1, 15,) when he bade them to sound the trumpet; for the latter exhorted the people to repent; but Jeremiah, as I have already said, tauntingly reproves here the people for their obstinacy and perverseness; as though he had said, "I see what ye will do, when God's vengeance shall come upon you, that ye may not even then repent; for ye will sound the trumpet through the whole land, 'Let all resort to Sion;' as though ye could resist there your enemies, and preserve your lives." He does not, then, bid them to sound the trumpet, but, on the contrary, shews what they would do.

Some improperly give this rendering, "Fulfill ye, "but the common version is, "Assemble yourselves." But interpreters seem not to me to have regarded the etymology of the word; for it is of the same meaning in Hebrew as when we say, Amassez-vous, Gather yourselves. And say, Be ye assembled, and let us go into fortified cities. It will, indeed, be announced to you to seek hiding -- places to protect you from the assaults of your enemies; if so, Raise a banner in Sion, and flee; but God will at the same time bring evil on you from the north.

The words wdmetala, al-tomedu, may be explained in two ways, -- "Stand not," that is, "Hasten quickly," as it is the case with those in extreme fear; or, "Ye shall not stand," that is, "Though ye may seek a firm position on Mount Sion, ye shall not yet be able to continue there." The first exposition appears to me the best, as it is more suitable to the context.1


Grant, Almighty God, that as we cease not daily to alienate ourselves from thee by our sins, and as thou yet kindly exhortest us to repent, and promisest to be appeasable and propitious to us, -- O grant, that we may not perversely go on in our sins, and be ungrateful to thee for thy great kindness; but that we may so return to thee, that our whole life may testify that our repentance has been unfeigned, and that we may so acquiesce in thee alone, that the depraved lusts of our flesh may not draw us here and there, but that we may continue fixed and immovable in our purpose, and so labor to obey thee through the whole course of our life, that we may at length partake of the fruit of our obedience in thy celestial kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.

1 These two verses contain a very spirited address, in a style truly poetical,-

5. Announce ye in Judah, And in Jerusalem publish, and say,- Yea, sound the trumpet in the land, Proclaim, do it fully, and say,- " Be assembled, and let us enter into fortified cities;

6. Raise a banner towards Sion; Hasten ye, stay not: " For an evil am I bringing from the north, And a great destruction.

The people of Judah were summoned to enter into fortified cities, and Mount Sion was to be the resort of the inhabitants of Jerusalem: "Hasten ye, "speu>sate-hasten, Septuagint. This is the meaning of ze in Hiphil. See Exodus 9:19; Isaiah 10:31. In Jeremiah 6:1, it is translated "Gather yourselves to flee;" but "hasten," or remove vigorously or quickly, would be the best rendering.-Ed.