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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Jeremiah Chapter 16

Jeremiah 16:2

jer 16:2


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 Co1 7:8, Co1 7:26, Co1 7:29; Mat 24:19; Luk 23:29).

Jeremiah 16:4

jer 16:4

grievous deaths--rather, "deadly diseases" (Jer 15:2).

not . . . lamented--so many shall be the slain (Jer 22:18).

dung-- (Psa 83:10).

Jeremiah 16:5

jer 16:5

(Eze 24:17, Eze 24:22-23).

house of mourning-- (Mar 5:38). Margin, "mourning-feast"; such feasts were usual at funerals. The Hebrew means, in Amo 6:7, the cry of joy at a banquet; here, and Lam 2:19, the cry of sorrow.

Jeremiah 16:6

jer 16:6

cut themselves--indicating extravagant grief (Jer 41:5; Jer 47:5), prohibited by the law (Lev 19:28).

bald-- (Jer 7:29; Isa 22:12).

Jeremiah 16:7

jer 16:7

tear themselves--rather, "break bread," namely, that eaten at the funeral-feast (Deu 26:14; Job 42:11; Eze 24:17; Hos 9:4). "Bread" is to be supplied, as in Lam 4:4; compare "take" (food) (Gen 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" or "mother."

Jeremiah 16:8

jer 16:8

house of feasting--joyous: as distinguished from mourning-feasts. Have no more to do with this people whether in mourning or joyous feasts.

Jeremiah 16:9

jer 16:9

(Jer 7:34; Jer 25:10; Eze 26:13).

Jeremiah 16:10

jer 16:10

(Deu 29:24; Kg1 9:8-9).

Jeremiah 16:11

jer 16:11

(Jer 5:19; Jer 13:22; Jer 22:8-9).

Jeremiah 16:12

jer 16:12

ye--emphatic: so far from avoiding your fathers' bad example, ye have done worse (Jer 7:26; Kg1 14:9).

imagination--rather, "stubborn perversity."

that they may not hearken--rather, connected with "ye"; "ye have walked . . . so as not to hearken to Me."

Jeremiah 16:13

jer 16:13

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 (Dan 3:12; Dan 6:7).

day and night--irony. You may there serve idols, which ye are so mad after, even to satiety, and without intermission.

Jeremiah 16:14

jer 16:14

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, Jer 16:17-18, proves (Jer 23:7-8; Isa 43:18).

Jeremiah 16:15

jer 16:15

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).

Jeremiah 16:16

jer 16:16

send for--translate, "I will send many"; "I will give the commission to many" (Ch2 17:7).

fishers . . . hunters--successive invaders of Judea (Amo 4:2; Hab 1:14-15). So "net" (Eze 12:13). As to "hunters," see Gen 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 (Eze 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 (Mat 4:19; Luk 5:10; Act 2:41; Act 4:4); compare here Jer 16:19, "the Gentiles shall come unto thee" (Co2 12:16).

Jeremiah 16:17

jer 16:17

(Jer 32:19; Pro 5:21; Pro 15:3).

their iniquity--the cause of God's judgments on them.

Jeremiah 16:18

jer 16:18

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."

carcasses--not sweet-smelling 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; Isa 66:17). MAURER explains it, "the carcasses" of the idols: their images void of sense and life, Compare Jer 16:19-20. Lev 26:30 favors this.

Jeremiah 16:19

jer 16:19

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).

Jeremiah 16:20

jer 16:20

indignant protest of Jeremiah against idols.

and they (are) no gods-- (Jer 2:11; Isa 37:19; Gal 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 gods?"

Jeremiah 16:21

jer 16:21

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 them.

my name . . . Lord--Jehovah (Psa 83:18): God's incommunicable name, to apply which to idols would be blasphemy. Keeping His threats and promises (Exo 6:3).

The the Septuagint omits the first four verses, but other Greek versions have them.

Next: Jeremiah Chapter 17