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all friendship and fellowship with it. This "peace of God," as the next clause shows, includes in particular His favour or friendship and mercy. The neglecting of mourning for the dead on Jeremiah's part is, further, a sign of its coming universal cessation through the wholesale dying of the inhabitants; just so, Jeremiah's avoidance of all pleasant society (ver. 8) is a sign of the approaching end of all joy and festivity (ver. 9). By these regulations the seclusion of the prophet, referred to in xv. 17, which was a necessary consequence of his grave mission, is intensified and made a divine command. To the question as to the reason of this sign of divine displeasure the man of God would not fail to give an answer. We know it already from i. 16, v. 19, ix. 11 f., and many passages. But here, xvi. 11, 12, the relation of the present generation to the guilt of their fathers is stated with special clearness: they must suffer for the guilt of their fathers because they have done still worse than the latter. The punishment consists in exile to a distant land, where they will have opportunity enough to indulge their leaning to the worship of strange gods, since God will care no more about them. But the worse the coming affliction, the more wondrous will be the deliverance, a redeeming act of God, rivalling, nay surpassing, the redemption from Egypt by Moses, ver. 14 f. First of all, however, a terrible catastrophe, plainly ending in exile, must befall the land, a repeated, complete judgment for all the abominations with which it is defiled (vv. 16-18). In presence of the foolish and shameful rejection suffered by God at His people's hands, the prophet is constrained (ver. 19) to praise his God, this proved Deliverer, to whom even the heathen will bring their homage, as foretold by Isaiah, Micah, and other prophets, and as already revealed to Jeremiah (iii. 17). They will submit to the "King of the nations" (x. 7), breaking away from their hereditary gods, so that the exchange described in ii. 11 as unheard of will then take place in a good sense, forming a splendid contrast to the black ingratitude and apostasy of Judah and Israel. Turning his gaze to Judah, to which ver. 21 refers, the prophet continues in his own words, ver. 20. Now in distinction from former mild visitations they will feel the full power of God's judicial hand, learning who He is, "that my name is Yahveh." This name involves not only the divine nature, hut also the holy, almighty power which is its outcome. Or should a generation in its superficial repentance appeal to the fact, that crass idolatry and the bloody horrors of heathenism were abolished in the land? Ch. xvii. 1-4 gives the answer to this. On the contrary, the guilt of the land is imprinted ineffaceably on the conscience of the nation, and innocent blood is smeared on the horns of the altars. That guilt is unexpiated, as the present generation well remembers, so that it is without excuse. Thus will the Lord in wrath give up the land and surrender the inhabitants to exile.
b. XVII. 5-18. There follow (xvii. 5 ff.) in calmer, more didactic form, prophetic sayings respecting carnal trust in men and saving trust in God. Their occasion and practical application may be variously conceived. Perhaps the king's confidence in foreign, Egyptian help may have occasioned them. But elsewhere also (cf. ix. 2 2 ff.) the prophet loves the thought that God alone is to be trusted, and that His menaces of judgment must be submitted to, since He has to do with people of defiant spirit, and boasting of their power in outward security. The man who makes flesh his arm, i.e. expects effectual help from a creature of earth, is like a withered plant in a cheerless desert, condemned to remain without hope of better days or refreshing springs (ver. 5 f.). On the other hand, he who trusts in the Lord is compared to a tree planted on unfailing water-brooks, which even in time of drought has no reason to fear the want of living sap and fertilizing power. No doubt the human heart in its impurity and complete corruption is blind to this truth (ver. 9); but it will not be able to escape testing by the all-judging God (ver. 10). In particular, whoever puts his trust iu wealth dishonestly acquired will find himself basely forsaken of this mammon (ver. 11), a truth which it is not superfluous to enforce at any time, but which was uttered, according to xxii. 13-17, in reference to the evil example set by King Jehoiakim in this respect.
XVII. 12-18 is an application of the doctrine laid down to the prophet and his opponents. The latter are, outwardly regarded, the rich and powerful, who lack no earthly means for carrying through their cause; Jeremiah has nothing but his God, in whom he has to trust without sensible evidence. And yet he does not waver for a moment between God and the world, but in earnest prayer (cf. xvi. 19) in the name of the believing Church, acknowledges this glorious God, who dwells from of old in Zion, and has ever shown Himself mighty and gracious in Israel, whereas all who fell away from Him were covered with shame (ver. 12 f.). In his personal suffering he turns full of confidence to this God, who can and will save him (ver. 14). He is attacked by the revilings of those who, relying on the treacherous appearance of security, give the lie to the prophet's announcements of woe (ver. 15, cf. Isa. v. 19; Ezek. xii. 22). But he is conscious of having exclusively followed his God in his work, of having faithfully discharged the office of shepherd entrusted to him, and of not having longed for the time of judgment in the spirit of the false piety that yields to pessimistic complaints. God has heard his words, by which, on the contrary, he sought once and again to stay the doom and appease the Lord's wrath (ver. 16). May God, his Lord, then, not abandon him and give him over to the mockery of his foes, but declare for him and against them (ver. 17). The imprecation in ver. 18 is explained, like that of many psalms, from the longing, warranted in Old Testament days, for the revelation of God's judicial truth and retributive justice, while showing at the same time how great the interval between Jeremiah and the perfect Sufferer whose sufferings resembled his own in many features.
Hold The Sabbath In Honour, Ch. Xvii. 19-27.
XVII. 19. Thus said Yahveh to me: Go and take thy stand in the gate of (thy) countrymen, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, 20. and thou shalt say to them: Hear ye Yahveh's word, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah and all ye inhabitants of Jerusalem who enter in by these gates! 21. Thus says Yahveh: Take heed to your souls and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, bringing it in by the gates of Jerusalem. 22. And bring no burden from
Chapter XVII. 19-27.
Ver. 19. A "gate of the countrymen" is found nowhere else. Of the various conjectures on the point the most probable one is, that the royal gate mentioned in the first place is the Benjamin-gate (so also Ewald, who alludes to xxxviii. 7, according to which the kings there held judgment), which was the chief means of communication northwards. This we corroborate thus: The designation OV '33 or Dun '33 (Keri) is strange, quite unsuitable here in the sense of xxvi. 23, but perhaps originating in the latter passage. We must take the phrase after the analogy of xxxvii . 13, or directly read: 1BJ? '3a (so LXX). The specific countrymen of the prophet are the Benjaminites (see on vi. 1), who are also specially referred to in ver. 26. Cf. xxxvii. 13, where Jeremiah will betake himself to his Dy, his countrymen and kinsmen, by the Benjamin-gate. The kings mentioned in the plural, as they are addressed in ver. 20 and xix. 3 (cf. xxv. 18). The plural, therefore, refers not to rulers in succession, but to the members of the royal house who exercised judicial power (xxi. 11 f.), and thus shared in the government . Ver. 21. 2 iDBO, to take care, in reference to something, that it take no harm (not: in your souls); cf. Mal. ii. 15 f., similarly with p, Deut. iv. 15 f., and see on Jer. xxvi. 19. Ver. 22. Cf. Ex. xx. 10 f.; Deut. v. 12 ff. Ver. 23. your houses on the Sabbath-day, and do no kind of work and hallow the Sabbath-day, as I commanded your fathers; 23. but they hearkened not, and inclined not their ear, and stiffened their neck, in not hearing and receiving correction. 24. And it shall come to pass, if you really hearken to me, is Yahveh's oracle, to bring no burden into the gates of this city on the Sabbath-day, and to hallow the Sabbath-day, doing no work therein, 25. then kings shall enter by the gates of this city with princes, sitting on David's throne, riding on chariots and horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain for ever. 26. And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places surrounding Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the lowland, and from the mountain-land, and from the south, bringing burntofferings and sacrifices, aud meat-offerings and incense, and shall bring thank-offerings into the house of Yahveh. 27. And if you hearken not to me, to hallow the Sabbath-day, and to bear no burden and to come in with it by the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day, I kindle a fire in your gates, and it shall consume the palaces of Jerusalem, and shall not be quenched.
yDic, wrongly written for Keri; see on ii. 25. Cf. vii . 26, 28. Ver. 25. D'itn is a subordinate addition to D"^70 ; hence D'3B* points backs to the latter. Graf, Niigelsbach (Cheyne) needlessly erase Dnci. Cf. xxii. 4 (xiii. 13). Ver. 26. The different parts of the land of Judah, of which here only the desert is not mentioned, as in xxxii. 44, xxxiii. 13, see Josh. xv. 20 ff. The kinds of offering are specialized like the parts of the land. Here also, as in vii. 21 f., the whole offering comes first; along with this rot, sacrifice, sacrificial feast, aud nnJD, unbloody gift, the latter joined with incense, Lev. ii. 1. "And shall bring thank - offerings." The min is not expressly coordinated with the preceding sacrifices; but whereas the latter intimate the diverse materials and ritual, this addition states the chief design of the offerings brought from all parts of the land. They are especially thank-offerings, intended to express thankful praise to God for benefits received. The thank-offering is the principal class of the shelamim, Lev. vii. 11. Cf. Herzog, xL p. 49, and Dillmann on Lev. vii. 16. Ver. 27b after Amos ii. 5 (i. 14).