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creates a night of clouds. 17. And if you hearken not to this, my soul shall weep in secret for (your) arrogance, and my eye shall weep abundantly and run down with tears, because the flock of Yahveh is carried away. 18. Say to the king and the queen-mother: Sit down very low, lor your spleudid crown has fallen from your heads! 19. The cities of the south are closed, no one opens them. Judah is led captive altogether, led captive completely. 20. Lift up thine eyes (O daughter of Zion) and behold those coming from the north! Where is the flock which was given thee, thy
pointed as Hiphil, Yahveh being the subject. blowing, here evening coolness and twilight. The sudden coming of night surprises the wanderer on the mountains, making him stumble. UK, rarely femin. as in Job xxxvi. 22. 1VB*, to be read with Kethib. The i falling away, the imperf., of course, is left. Ver. 17. Tin, Ges. § 69. 2. a. 3, with accus. as in ix. 17. Ver. 18. rrV3J, "princess," is the official title of the queen-mother, 1 Kings xv. 13; 2 Kings x. 13, who took the highest rank at court after the king (cf. 1 Kings ii. 19), which is all the more comprehensible in view of the usual polygamy of the kings. The princess addressed here is either the mother of Jehoiakim, mentioned 2 Kings xxiii. 36, or more probably the mother of Jehoiachin, mentioned 2 Kings xxiv. 8, 12, who shared the lot of her son, cf. Jer. xxii. 26, xxix. 2. The latter view is favoured by the circumstance that Jehoiachin in his three months' reign was only eighteen years old, according to Chronicles (2 Chron. xxxvi. 9) only eight years, which explains the prominence of the queen-mother. In this case the present discourse was uttered during those three months, and shows how secure court and nation fancied themselves to be. i3c i^Bcn, Ges. § 142. 3b; Eng. § 139. D3TirtrD for 'toD, that which is on your heads — head-ornament (?), LXX, Syr., Vulg.: from your heads, appears better beside TV; therefore D is to be read. Ver. 19. The cities of the south, whither one might flee before a foe coming from the north, are already closed, and therefore invested, while the capital is avoided. The way thither is blocked. The perfects, like TV, ver. 18, are, of course, prophetic. rfain, the older femin. form, Ges. § 75. a. 1. Efbf, adj. = ripB*, here: completely, in full tale. Ver. 20. In 2 sing. femin., as in x. 17 ff., the daughter of Zion is again addressed; hence suff. plur., because the one addressed is a collective. Her flocks are the cities devoted to splendid flock? 21. What wilt thou say when he sets as head over thee those whom thou hast made thy familiar friends around thee? Shall not pangs seize thee like a travailing woman? 22. And if thou shalt say in thy heart: Wherefore has this befallen me? For the multitude of thy transgression thy train was discovered, thy heels put to shame. 23. Could an Ethiopian change his skin, or a panther his spots? Then shall you also be able to do good who are accustomed to evil. 24. Thus will I scatter them like stubble passing away in the desert-wind. 25. This is thy lot, thy assigned portion from me, is Yahveh's oracle, because thou hast forgotten me and trusted in deceit. 26. Thus have I also lifted up thy train over thy face, that thy shame may be seen. 27. Thy lewdness and thy neighing, thy wanton shamelessness—on the hills in the field I have seen thy abominations. Alas for thee, O Jerusalem! Thou wilt not be made pure; how long yet?
her or the inhabitants of Judah. Ver. 21. Bt07 belongs to h]) IpS. The object consists of those whom Jerusalem, especially the ruling house, had made its familiar friends, which the prophet plainly disapproves. Ver. 22. The raising of the dress, so that the bare feet are seen, is dishonouring treatment of a princess, as which Jerusalem is here addressed, cf. ver. 26. Ver. 23. As little as the dark Cushite can change his skin, i.e. become white, or the panther lose his spots, are you able to get rid of your evil character, which has become a second nature to you. nroi3n, spots, are the panther's mark. According to Ges. Thes. add. p. 87, they are rather stripes, which would point to the tiger. Ver. 25. Thy assigned portion (according to Kimchi, Gram. Bl. 15b, n3D is to be read), properly, portion of thy measure. Since tD, measure, is not proved with certainty, others prefer, after Hitzig: portion of thy dress = portion poured into thy dress. Ver. 26 after Nah. iii. 5. Ver. 27. Neighing in the sense of v. 8. As in v. 7, here also religious adultery, the unfaithfulness to Yahveh involved in the hill-worship, and gross sensual uncleanness passed into anil sprang from each other.
Contents of ch. xiii. Judgment on the Incorrigible. a. Symbolic Description of this Judgment, vv. 1-14: a. the Spoilt Girdle, vv. 1-11; /3. the Full Jars, vv. 12-14. 6. A Last Warning-Cry, vv. 15-27.
The judgment is first of all pictured and strengthened by a symbolical action. The prophet is directed by God to wear a linen girdle without interruption. It is a symbol of Israel and Judah, which the Lord has made His own people. The linen material, white in colour, points to the priestly purity which the nation is to cultivate (Lev. xvi. 4). The Lord has carefully borne His people and held it in honour without failing, so that the girdle never touched the water, i.e. He never allowed it to mix with the heathen world. But at last the command comes for the prophet to take the girdle to the Euphrates and hide it there in a safe place, where the water may reach it but not carry it away. The idea seems to be, especially after vv. 23, 27, that this command was issued, because the girdle had become intolerably dirty and needed thorough cleansing. But this course proved its destruction; from lying a long time in the damp of the river-bed it was utterly spoilt. The application is self-evident . The girdle carried to the Euphrates is the nation surrendered to the Babylonish captivity because of its impurity, and there, instead of being reformed, becoming quite useless to the Lord, which, of course, does not preclude the survival of a faithful remnant. The captivity will not prove a purifying bath, but will bring about the destruction of the ancient nation. That this symbolical action was not carried out on account of the length of the journey, is an unwarranted supposition of expositors. Such a journey could not be too circumstantial for a prophet, when the object was to picture before the eyes of the nation in living symbol such a crisis in its history.
Ver. 12 ff. gives a figurative saying intended to excite attention still further, and fasten it on the fearful judgment. The seemingly trivial saying: "Every jar will be filled with wine," the prophet is to interpret thus: God will fill all the dwellers in the land with a drink that will make them reel, namely, with the wine of His wrath. More generally the mashal may be thus put: Every vessel will receive the contents for which it is intended. But the dwellers in Jerusalem by their whole nature are destined for nothing else than to become the mark of God's judgment, which will deprive them of their reason and drive them on destruction, which is expressed by the dashing together of earthen vessels (ver. 14).
Ver. 15 ff. adds to this sign of woe a last warning against hardening. It is the last hour, in which repentance is possible, before the night of judgment begins (ver. 16). If now in their blind security they will not listen, nothing remains for the prophet but to weep alone in stillness for the carrying away of his people, already as good as done (ver. 17). Therefore he once more boldly raises his summons to earnest, humble penitence up to the throne. Like the king at Nineveh (Jonah iii. 6), the king of Judah, along with the queen-mother, is to set the example, descend from the throne and sit on the ground in deepest contrition. The urgency of this entire prophecy is seen in a lurid light if we assume that the present occupants of the throne were the unhappy Jehoiachin and his mother, who in a few weeks were to be at the mercy of the harsh foe, and to wander away to the Euphrates, never to return. Yet every one was wrapped in proud security. Only the prophet, whose warning-cry was without effect, saw the calamity pictured in ver. 19 inevitably bursting in, and had to satisfy himself with again and again impressing on his luckless contemporaries, what was the cause of this shameful humiliation of Jerusalem (ver. 22), namely, its incorrigible wickedness, which had become a second nature with them (ver. 23), and would compel the Lord at last— for how long? asks the prophet sadly, yet not despairingly —to give them up to the judgment they had long deserved.
On Occasion Of A Threatening Famine, Cms. xrv., xv.
XIV. 1. That which came to Jeremiah as Yahveh's word on account of the drought. 2. Judah is withered, and they pine in its gates, bowed down to the ground in mourning garb, and the piercing cry of Jerusalem goes up. 3. And the rich amoDg them send the poor for water; they come to the cisterns, find no water, their vessels return empty; they are put to reproach and shame, and veil their head. 4. Because of the ground which is disheartened because there is no rain in the land, the ploughmen are put to shame, they
Ver. 1. rVn icK, inversion as in xlvi. 1, xlvii. 1, xlix. 34. n3n by, not merely "in respect of," but on account of, on occasion of, see on vii. 22. nijta, properly, state of being cut off, specifically want of rain, like rnira, xvii. 8. The rain had failed in the weeks of spring, when it should fall; hence plural. Thus the state had become quite intolerable. Cf. on this calamity, Joel's oracles, i. 17-20. Ver. 2. Her gates as subject of the mourning = the people gathered there. Ewald: her markets. p^K Yip, properly "are black to the earth," pregnantly for: to mourn in black garb, bowed down to the earth. nrnv, piercing cry of anguish and affliction; elsewhere of joy also (Isa. xxiv. 11). Ver. 3. When there is no more water in the city, they send servants to the great reservoirs, e.g. the "fullers' springs," to-day "Job's springs," south of Jerusalem, whence at present water is fetched when the cisterns of the city are dry; but even thence they return with empty vessels. They are blamed, and cover the head in sign of deep sorrow (2 Sam. xv. 30). Ver. 4. nnn, synon. of CO, as in viii. 9. Lifeless nature is depicted as full of feeling. "VDjn, not "therefore" (Hitzig), but "because of." Jeremiah is fond of sentences constructed on a broad scale. Dn3K, as in Joel i. 10 f. The LXX have a smoother text, which, however,