Jeremiah 4:11-12

11. At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,

11. In tempore illo dicetur populo huic (hoc est, de populo hoc; l enim hic accipitur pro b,) et de Jerusalem, ventus siccus (alii transferunt, vehementem) in excelsis deserti (in deserto, ad verbum,) versus viam filiae populi mei, non ad spargendum, neque ad purgandum;

12. Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.

12. Ventus plenior illis veniet mihi: nunc etiam ego loquar judicia cum illis (hoc est, proferam judicia cum illis.)


Jeremiah proceeds with the same prediction: he says, that a terrible wind was coming, which would not only disperse or clear away, but dissipate and overthrow all things. He then expresses how great and how grievous would be the calamity which he had before mentioned. He compares it to dry or and wind; for xu, tsach, sometimes means "clear," and sometimes "arid," as the greatest dryness is found on high places. He means, no doubt, here the wind, which is violent, and disturbs the whole atmosphere, when there are no clouds, and where no trees impede its course. Hence, he speaks of high and desert places. It is the same as though he had said, that so great would be the violence of God's vengeance, and so irresistible would be the eruption, that it would be like a violent wind when it passes through high regions and through dry land or desert places. He says, Towards the way of the daughter of my people; as though he had said, -- that the course of the wind would be such as to bear directly on Judea. The mode of speaking here used is well known to all who are in any degree acquainted with the writings of the prophets. "The daughter of my people, "means the people themselves. Come, then, shall wind towards Judea.

He then adds, Not to scatter nor to cleanse. Husbandmen are wont to winnow the corn when taken from the thrashing -- floor, that the chaff may be carried away by the wind: but the Prophet says, that this wind would not be to clear away or scatter the chaff; for it will be, he says, a very vehement wind. He means, in short, that God would shew so much displeasure towards the Jews, that he would no longer chastise them in a moderate degree, or use any moderation, as he had done previously; for God had already often punished the Jews, but had hitherto acted the part of a physician, having endeavored to heal the vices of the people. As, then, these corrections had been without fruit, the Prophet now says, that God's wrath would now come, not to cleanse as before, nor to scatter the chaff, but to consume everything among the people. Hence he adds (for the two verses are connected together) a fuller wind, or one more complete, shall come to them. Some read, "from these places, "so they render m; but it is rather to be taken as noting the comparative degree, -- that this wind would be much rougher and more violent than other winds which usually clear the land or scatter away the chaff, and separate it from the corn: come, then, shall a much more violent wind.

And come, he says, unto me. God, I doubt not, speaks here. Some think that the Prophet here represents the whole body of the people; and they consider them as saying, that there would come a wind which would rush on themselves. But this is too strained; and further, this explanation is disproved by the context: nor can what follows be applied to the Prophet, I will now pronounce judgments against them. Here then God, in his office as a judge, declares that a wind was nigh, by which he would dissipate and overthrow the whole of Judea, and would no more cleanse it. And thus he shews, that the Chaldeans would not of themselves come, but would be sent to execute his orders; as though he had said, -- that he would be the author of those calamities which were impending over the Jews: come, then, shall wind unto me; that is, it will be ready to obey my orders.

And he adds at last, by way of an exposition, I will then speak judgments with them. To speak judgments is to execute the office of a judge, or to call to judgment, or to summon men to declare their cause, as kings are said to speak judgments when they constrain the guilty to render an account, of themselves. God briefly intimates, that he had hitherto exercised great forbearance towards the Jews; but that as he found that his indulgence availed nothing, except that they became more and more ferocious, he declares, that he would now become their judge to punish their wickedness. 1 He afterwards adds --

1 The Septuagint version of these two verses is as foreign to the original as it can well be; and the Syriac and Arabic are nearly the same. The Vulgate gives a fair version; and the meaning, as given by the Targum, is nearly the same. The latter part of the 11th and 12th are thus rendered by Blayney,-

A wind that scorcheth the plains in the wilderness, [Shall come] toward the daughter of my people, Not to winnow, nor to cleanse;

12. A full wind for a curse shall come at my bidding; Now even I will proceed judicially with them.

Horsley differs as to the 11th verse, and renders it thus,-

The wind that scorcheth the craggy rocks of the wilderness Taketh its course against the daughter of my people, Not for winnowing or cleansing.

The reason assigned for rendering hlam for a curse, "and not "from those places, "as in our version, is, because the enemy did not come from that quarter. But this may be avoided, if we consider "as" or "like" to be understood before wind, which is no uncommon thing in Hebrew. To refer "those" or these to the winds implied in winnowing and cleansing, as Calvin does, and also Gataker and others, is not satisfactory, I would propose the following version,-

The dry wind of the cliffs in the wilderness Is advancing against the daughter of my people, Not to winnow, nor to cleanse;

12. As a full wind from these, it shall come for me: Then will I myself pronounce judgments on them.

The word Krd, as Horsley takes it, is a verb, or rather a participle; and it is usual in Hebrew to put a participle in the first clause, and in the second a verb, as here, in the future tense. The verb means to come upon, so as to tread down or subdue, Judges 5:21; Judges 20:43; Psalm 91:13. "The effect of this wind is not only to render the air extremely hot and scorching, but to fill it with poisonous and suffocating vapors."-Blayney.-Ed.