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At that time, says the L ord, the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of its officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be brought out of their tombs; 2and they shall be spread before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and served, which they have followed, and which they have inquired of and worshiped; and they shall not be gathered or buried; they shall be like dung on the surface of the ground. 3Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, says the L ord of hosts.


The Blind Perversity of the Whole Nation


You shall say to them, Thus says the L ord:

When people fall, do they not get up again?

If they go astray, do they not turn back?


Why then has this people turned away

in perpetual backsliding?

They have held fast to deceit,

they have refused to return.


I have given heed and listened,

but they do not speak honestly;

no one repents of wickedness,

saying, “What have I done!”

All of them turn to their own course,

like a horse plunging headlong into battle.


Even the stork in the heavens

knows its times;

and the turtledove, swallow, and crane

observe the time of their coming;

but my people do not know

the ordinance of the L ord.



How can you say, “We are wise,

and the law of the L ord is with us,”

when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes

has made it into a lie?


The wise shall be put to shame,

they shall be dismayed and taken;

since they have rejected the word of the L ord,

what wisdom is in them?


Therefore I will give their wives to others

and their fields to conquerors,

because from the least to the greatest

everyone is greedy for unjust gain;

from prophet to priest

everyone deals falsely.


They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,

saying, “Peace, peace,”

when there is no peace.


They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;

yet they were not at all ashamed,

they did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;

at the time when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,

says the L ord.


When I wanted to gather them, says the L ord,

there are no grapes on the vine,

nor figs on the fig tree;

even the leaves are withered,

and what I gave them has passed away from them.



Why do we sit still?

Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities

and perish there;

for the L ord our God has doomed us to perish,

and has given us poisoned water to drink,

because we have sinned against the L ord.


We look for peace, but find no good,

for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.



The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan;

at the sound of the neighing of their stallions

the whole land quakes.

They come and devour the land and all that fills it,

the city and those who live in it.


See, I am letting snakes loose among you,

adders that cannot be charmed,

and they shall bite you,

says the L ord.


The Prophet Mourns for the People


My joy is gone, grief is upon me,

my heart is sick.


Hark, the cry of my poor people

from far and wide in the land:

“Is the L ord not in Zion?

Is her King not in her?”

(“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,

with their foreign idols?”)


“The harvest is past, the summer is ended,

and we are not saved.”


For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,

I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.



Is there no balm in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

Why then has the health of my poor people

not been restored?

He says, Heard has been the snorting of horses from Daniel Dan was on the extremities, as it is well known, of the land of Canaan. Some think that the loudness of the noise is intended, as it was heard from such a distance in the holy city itself; but I know not whether this can be gathered from the words of the Prophet. The simpler and the correcter meaning then is, that though Jerusalem rested securely, they were not yet in a quiet state on the borders of the land, for they were disturbed by the snorting of the enemies’ horses. From Dan then has been heard a snorting When the inhabitants of a city indulge in pleasures, while the borders of the land are assailed by enemies, it might be pertinently said to them, “Why do ye here live at your ease? your neighbors and your brethren are exposed to the assaults of enemies: war therefore ought to be waged in your land, though it has not yet reached your gates and your walls.” So the Prophet speaks here: “From Dan has been heard the snorting of his horses.” The relative “his” may be applied to the Assyrians; for the Hebrews often use relatives without antecedents. But it is more probable that Jeremiah refers to the first mover of the war, even God; as though he had said, — “God will send forth hostile armies, which will disturb the borders of your land.” He then calls them the horses of God; for the Chaldeans did not wage that war, but under the authority of God, as we have often seen, and shall have to notice often again.

Then he says, At the noise of the neighings of his strong ones, etc. He calls the horses “strong,“ אבירים, abirim; and as he had not described them, he now does so. Trembled, he says, has the land at the noise of the neighings of his strong ones As he mentions the neighings of horses, we must understand “strong” as referring to the horses themselves. Come, he says, shall they, and shall devour the land and its fullness, the city and its inhabitants Here is an irregularity as to the number; for he puts city for cities, as he threatens not only Jerusalem, but also the neighboring cities. Whatever then might be the abundance in the land, the enemies would devour it; and he says also, that they would devour the cities and their inhabitants. It follows —

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