Jeremiah 7:29

29. Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.

29. Tonde comam tuam et projice et attolle super excelsa lamentationem; quid reprobavit (vel, vilipendit; sed verbum reprobandi magis placet hoc loco) Jehova, et reliquit aetatem indignationis suae.


Here again Jeremiah exhorts his own people to lament; and he uses the feminine gender, as though he called the people, the daughter of Sion, or the daughter of Jerusalem. He then, according to a common mode of speaking, calls the whole people a woman.1

He first bids her to shave off the hair. The word rzn, nesar, means the hair, derived from the Nazarites, who allowed their hair to grow: and there may be here a striking allusion to the Nazarites who were sacred to God; as though he had said, "This people are profane, and therefore ought to have nothing in common with the Nazarites." Hence also is derived rzn, nesar, a crown. Though then the word means the hair, yet the allusion is not to be overlooked, -- that this people, rejected by God, are bidden to cut off and to throw away the hair. After the throwing away of the hair there was to be great lamentation; Raise, he says, on high places a lamentation. This may seem to be an exhortation to repentance: but as we have seen elsewhere, though the prophets often gave the people the hope of pardon and reconciliation, yet in this place the Prophet no doubt denounces a final judgment, and is a herald of lamentation, because the prevailing impiety was irreclaimable. He does not then perform here the duty of a teacher, but in a hostile manner denounces ruin: for it immediately follows --

For rejected hath Jehovah and forsaken the generation of his wrath. The word rwd, dur, means an age, not time, but men of the same age: as we call that our generation which now lives in the world, and that which is dead the generation of our fathers, and what succeeds us the next generation. It is indeed true, that the Israelites in every age were worthy of a similar vengeance; but God no doubt shews here, that his vengeance was at hand, for he had long borne with the perverse conduct of the people, and suspended his judgment. As then vengeance was now to be executed, the Prophet calls that age the age of God's wrath; for we know that the genitive case in Hebrew has often such a meaning as this. Then the age of his wrath means the age or generation devoted to extreme vengeance; for their wickedness against God was extreme, as long as he treated them with forbearance. The longer then he had deferred his judgment, the heavier punishment was at hand. It afterwards follows --

1 The emendations of Houbigant, adopted by Blayney, are by no means to be approved; for without the authority of any MSS. or versions, he changes the gender of these verbs in succession. It is a common thing in the prophets to call the people the daughter of Sion: and probably they are here so addressed, because the hair is an ornament to a female, and to cut it off is a token of deep distress.-Ed.