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10. Woe is me, my mother, that thou didst bear me, a man of strife and contention for the whole land I I have not lent, nor do they lend to me; all curse me. 11. Yahveh said: Verily I strengthen thee for good; verily I make the enemy come to thee with supplication in the day of calamity and the time of trouble. 12. Does then iron break, northern iron and brass? [13. Thy wealth and thy treasures I give for a prey, without payment, and because of thy sins in all
Ver. 10. "irrfr, vowel-pointing, Ges. § 44. 2. a. 2; cf. Jer. ii. 27. "I have neither lent nor borrowed" does not mean that all intercourse with him is broken off (Hitzig), but that he has not made enemies by worldly trade. Nothing so readily led (even in ancient Israel) to hate and mutual cursing as the relation between creditor and debtor. "3li^pD, rare form combined of partic. and finite verb. Perhaps the D should be joined to what precedes: Dn^a (elsewhere once only Dn^a, 2 Sam. xxiii. 6) So J. D. Michaelis, Hitzig, Niigelsbach, Graf. Ver. 11. irvnC, reading and meaning doubtful. The translation follows the Kethib inlit? from "nC, to strengthen, which meaning is ascertained from the other dialects; with this ver. 12 also agrees; Keri ^n^t?, from mC, Piel, to loose, redeem. Neither fully suits the following instead of the more common n3iDi>, xiv. 11. But still less is the noun-form IV1KE* to be used, which is found in Targ., Rashi, Kimchi, Jerome: thy remnant = thy remaining portion of life = mnK. Thus the reading remains doubtful. The foe, who in his time of calamity goes humbly at God's instigation to the prophet whom he hated before, and especially to obtain the prophet's intercession with God, is, of course, not the Chaldaean; the hostile Juda?ans are meant. See the fulfilment, xxi. 1 f., xxxvii. 3. Ver. 12 capable of various explanations, but best interpreted after ver. 20, cf. i. 18. As little as iron breaks, can a prophet of the true God, whom God miraculously strengthens, fail. Northern iron is mentioned as the most indestructible for natural reasons, the Chalybes in Pontus having in antiquity the most famous iron and steel works; but perhaps also with a glance at the often-mentioned northern nation that is to be the avenger of God and the prophet. Vv. 13, 14. The nation is directly addressed, whereas in ver. 15 the prophet replies to ver. 12. These verses are therefore to be regarded as interpolated, as well as to be partly corrected after xvii. 3, 4. Ewald puts them after ver. 9, contrary to the probable meaning of ver. 12.
thy borders, 14. and make thee serve * thy foes in a land which thou knowest not. For fire is kindled in my wrath, it will burn against you.] 15. Thou knowest, O Yahveh! Remember me, and pardon me, and avenge me on my persecutors! According to thy long-suffering, carry me not away; know that I bear shame for thy sake. 16. When I found thy words, I swallowed them, and thy words were a pleasure and inward delight to me, because thy name had been proclaimed over me, O Yahveh, God of hosts. 17. I sat not in the circle of the mirthful, nor amused myself; in presence of thy hand I sat solitary, for thou hadst filled me with indignation. 18. Wherefore has my pain become perpetual, and my wound desperate, (wherefore) will it not heal? Thou hast become to me like a deceitful brook, waters which endure
The LXX let the troublesome verses remain, erasing, on the other hand, wrongly xvii. 1-4 to avoid repetition. Ver. 13. Without payment, purchase-money (cf. Isa. lv. 1), without God demanding compensation for Himself from the conquerors. The thrice-occurring a in different senses beside each other is very harsh. May be emended after xvii. 3: for all thy sins in all thy borders. Ver. 14 In the same way, 14a must be corrected after xvii. 4: TTTrajni. lib more closely resembles the leading passage Deut. xxxii. 22 than Jer. xvii. 4. Ver. 15. Thou knowest—says the prophet, replying to the question ver. 12 (cf. Ezek. xxxvii. 3). For certainly to all human appearance he collapses. Ver. 16. iKVDJ, generally: when thy words first lay before (me), when something befell me without action of mine. Dc trip, here over the prophet, who was selected to be God's possession and instrument, see on vii. 10. Ver. 17. Cf. xvi. 8, in which chapter the retiredness, which was the necessary consequence of his prophetic mission, is enjoined in rigid terms. He keeps himself solitary and retired in presence of God's hand; the special reference is to the divine power seizing and possessing the prophet (cf. 1 Kings xviii. 46; 2 Kings iii. 15; Isa. viii. 11; Ezek. i. 3, iii. 14, 22, viii . 3, xxxvii. 1, xl . 1); its approach must always have affected him sadly, since it always portended grave, painful tidings, as intimated by the clause: for Thou didst fill me with (Thy divine) indignation, cf. vi . 11. Ver. 18. 3t3K=3t3K bra, as the following words explain. So wadis were called, which had abundance of water in time of rain, but soon dried up; cf. Job not. 19. Therefore thus said Yahveh: If thou retumest, I will make thee return; thou shalt stand before my face. And if thou bringest forth genuine without base (words), thou shalt be like my mouth. They shall turn to thee, but thou shalt not turn to them. 20. And I make thee an impregnable brasen wall to this people, and they shall fight against thee, but not overpower thee; for I am with thee, to save thee and to deliver thee, is Yahveh's oracle. 21. And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and out of the fist of the violent.
vl 15 ff. Ver. 19. God replies: If thou retumest, i.e. givest thyself again willingly to my service, I will make thee return to the high position and office which thou hadst: thou shalt stand before my face; cf. on xxiii. 18 and 1 Kings xvii. 1. K'Sin, usually rendered: if thou severest noble from mean; better explained after KYiD, xvii. 16, to produce from the mouth; only what is genuine, divinely cleansed, is to proceed from his mouth (cf. Isa. vi. 5 ff.), if he is again to take his place before God's throne. separate, apart from (negative
pp), what is common, base, what springs from man's impure passion. Then again he shall as a genuine prophet be as God's mouth, what he says shall have divine force, so that his enemies must needs obey him (cf. ver. 11); he need not trouble himself about them. Ver. 20. Cf. i. 18 f.
Contents of chs. xiv., xv. The Lord's Message to His Prophet on occasion of a threatening Famine. a. Announcement of the Scourge, and Eejection of the Prophet's Intercession, xiv. 1-18: o. Description of the Scourge, vv. 1-6; ft. Eejection of Jeremiah's Intercession, vv. 7-12; 7. the False Prophets, vv. 13-18. b. Yahveh and His Prophet, xiv. 19-xv. 21: a. Eenewed Intercession of Jeremiah, xiv. 19-22; ft. Fresh Eejection, xv. 1-9; 7. Jeremiah's Temptation and Testing, vv. 10-21.
The closely connected chs. xiv. and xv. were uttered on occasion of a prolonged drought which threatened a famine. The prophet depicts this affliction in similar terms to Joel, and intercedes for his people like Amos, vii. 1-6. The multitude gathered in the temple to appease the Lord by fasting and prayer (Joel i. 13 f., ii. 15 ff.), and false prophets gave them the best assurances, mimicking a Joel (ii. 18 ff.). I,ut, as God's true word informs Jeremiah, the Lord will this time know nothing of their assemblies, not even accepting the urgent, repeated intercession of His prophet. On the contrary, worse than they fear will happen—visitation by the enemy's sword. The prophet, then, breaks down under the burden of this message, worn out with the attacks which his office brings on him, but is afresh strengthened by his God, by whom he thinks himself forsaken, not without passing through severe testing. This discourse must belong to the early period of his work; it is best put under Jehoiakim, in the same period as the temple-discourse, chs. vii.-ix. But the exact period of the drought cannot now be fixed.
a. XIV. 1-18. The longed-for rain, doubtless the " latter rain" in spring, has failed,—a fearful calamity for a land where the fertility of the whole year depends on this rain, and its failure renders a distressing want of water probable for the whole of the hot summer. The prophet sees in spirit the cities lamenting at the gate, even the last reservoirs being empty, the peasants mourning, the beasts of the field pining. He unites himself with his people, and utters for them the prayer, vv. 7-9: If our sins accuse us, so that Thou canst not save us on this score, then do it, act for Thy name's sake, i.e. not merely that Thy name be not reproached among the heathen, but because Thou wast once pleased by revealing Thy gracious name (Ex. xxxiv. 6) to bind Thyself to us, and thus Thy mercy preserves and glorifies Thy name, Thy revelation among us. Cf. ver. 21 and Ps. xxiii. 3. Or can God, who made known His glorious and saving name to us, so declaring us His possession (cf. ver. 9), only tabernacle among us now and again like a strange guest, make a transient stay in the land, instead of dwelling among us and showing an interest in our weal and woe, ver. 8? Or cau He wish to seem powerless to save His people in such straits, ver. 9 1 To this earnest pleading the Lord gives a negative answer. Neither has the nation a right to speak thus, since it itself (ver. 10) has dissolved its union with God, nor will the Lord hear further the prophet's intercession (ver. 11, cf. vii. 6, xi. 14 ff.). All days of humiliation, prayers, and offerings are in vain. Sword and pestilence will be added to the threatened famine (ver. 12). In vv. 13-18 the prophet explains and excuses, as well as he can, the blindness and hardness of the people, declaring that its prophets foster the blindness by their soothing assurances to the effect that (cf. vi. 14, viii. 11) the Lord will give settled peace in this place, by which they mean the temple which is to guard the land (vii. 4). It is clear from vv. 13, 15 that the famine was not yet severe, or such talk would have ceased of itself. But the Lord disclaims these pretended prophets as men who utter, not His word, but their own lying fancies, and pronounces sentence of death on them as on the Church, which loves to listen to their words. The prophet sees nothing but woe, death, and exile in and about Jerusalem, ver. 17 f., and is to declare this to the people at God's bidding.
b. XIV. 19-XV. 21. But Jeremiah cannot bring himself yet to carry out this harsh command on a community looking for a more favourable answer. Despite the divine rejection and refusal, he gathers himself up in bold faith and loving confidence for a new and more earnest intercession, vv. 19-22: No doubt our guilt is open. Yet would that God, for His own glory, might remain true to the ancient covenant of grace, and by removing this affliction, i.e. granting the painfully needed rain, show Himself the God of heaven and earth, far superior to all the gods of the heathen! But nothing will pacify the Lord this time (xv. 1 ff.). Even Moses and Samuel, the great masters of prayer, who more than once sprang into the breach for their people, turning God's anger