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thus: What seest thou? And I said: I see a caldron kindled, and it looks from the north. 14. Then Yahveh said to me: From the north calamity shall break forth over all the inhabitants of the land. 15. For, behold, I summon all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says Yahveh, and they shall come and set every one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls round about, and against all the cities of Judah. 16. And I will utter my judgments over them because of all their wickedness, in that they have forsaken me and burnt incense to other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. 17. Thou then gird thy loins and arise and speak to them all that I command thee. Quail not before them, lest I make thee quail before them. 18. But I, behold, I have this day made thee a fortified city and an iron pillar and brasen walls
north, after ver. 14. Thus "its front is from the north" indicates the direction from which the danger threatens, cf. vi . 1. rmBv, side towards the north = north side, as in ver. 15 with weakened n— of the direction, essentially=pBV, Ges. § 88. 2b; Eng. § 88. Among the Arabs also boiling vessels are not seldom a symbol of the breaking out of war. Ver. 14. nnBn, will be let loose. Such conjectures as neri, etc. (cf. LXX sxxaufyatrai), would give a play of words with Ppibj, but are not necessary. Ver. 15. rmBV, see on ver. 13. To set down the chair = to prepare to hold judgment (Ps. cxxii. 5). This, so to speak, is done by the besiegers; they pass judgment on the city lying at their feet; but according to ver. 16 the proper Judge is the Lord. The reference is not to the usual judgmentplace within the gate (Hitz., Cheyne), as though the walls had already fallen, which the next words refute (cf. iv. 16 f.); but nnD means, as in xix. 2 and usually, the place oiUside the gate. Ver. 16. nK D'tabcd ian, peculiar to Jer. iv. 12, xii. 1, xxxix. 5, lii. 9; 2 Bangs xxv. 6; DniK for DnK. Jeremiah often nses the former for the latter form, Ges. § 103. 1. a. 1; Eng. § 101. *itDp may signify: to offer incense or burntsacrifice, Herzog, xii. 484; here embraces both; the two were often united. Piel is always used of illegal sacrifices. Ver. 17. Cf. ver. 7 f. nnn, Niph. (of nnn) to be dismayed; Niph. nnn, to put into this state. If the prophet is unbelievingly afraid of them, God will leave him to himself. Ver. 18. 'jki corresponds to nnKi above: if he boldly does his part, the against the whole land: the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the people of the land. 19. And they shall fight against thee, but shall not overpower thee; for I am with thee, says Yahveh, to deliver thee.
Lord will do His. 5>y in hostile sense: against the whole land. h specializes further: in relation to the different classes with which he will have to do. The plural man, mania, applies to the entire circuit of the walls; the sing. is found in the parallel passage, xv. 20. Ver. 19b = 8b.
Contents of ch. i. On the general heading of the book, i . 1-3, which may be Baruch's, follows by way of introduction the account of Jeremiah's call to be a prophet in his own words, i . 4-19. The proper call and instating in the office (vv. 4—10) is accompanied by two visions bearing closely on Jeremiah's work (vv. 11-16), and concluded by an encouraging confirmation of the divine promise.
Ver. 5. The more painful the opposition in which Jeremiah found himself involved as God's seer and spokesman (Nabi), the more needful it was for him to know from the first that a divinely-created harmony existed between his person and his office, his calling having been present to God's thought before he himself existed, and therefore determined the latter in its very origin. Even then God knew him (i.e. discerned his individual character and made it His own, God's irpoyvmais of man being at once receptive and determining), and sanctified him, i.e. set him apart to the service which he was to perform, not only in Israel-Judah, but among the nations, as a prophet whose word was of universal significance. Cf. ver. 10, xxv. 17-26, xlvi.-li.
Ver. 6. The called one at once feels the heavy responsibility laid upon him. In contrast with false prophets, who rush uncalled into this honourable office, he struggles against it and appeals like Moses (Ex. iii. 11, iv. 10, 13) to his unfitness, which he justifies by his youthful inexperience. But the Lord does not accept his urgent request to be relieved from the burden, and silences his objection by reminding him, that as prophet he has not to decide what he will say, but will receive from Himself the matter and aim of his message as well as all needful protection, ver. 7 f. Thus he is overcome by God, cf. xx. 7. The touching of his mouth by the Lord's hand, ver. 9, forms the answer to Jeremiah's complaint, ver. 7, just as Isa. vi. 6 f. does to the complaint of Isaiah, vi. 5. Here as there we must not suppose a mere poetical draping of inward transactions, but an actual event, although in vision. Jeremiah learnt, as he was told, that he was entrusted with a divine message. The effect of the message is described (ver. 10) by two pairs of words as destructive, and then by one pair as edifying, because for the most part and at first his message was to be of this nature, before there could be any question of salutary edifying. This also is the gist of the two visions, ver. 11 f., which set forth two peculiarities of Jeremiah's prophecy: the almond-rod in token that in this prophet fulfilment will follow close on the prophecy, and the seething caldron, the symbol of a hostile martial power, here described as yet indefinitely as a northern one. See Introd. p. 16. This menace of judgment runs without break through Jeremiah's discourses up to the time of fulfilment; the reasons for this are amply explained, ver. 16. After these hints about the future subject of his prophecies, the Lord again exhorts him to act boldly, since he would be lost without such courage (ver. 17), while in God's strength he will be able to defy the whole land with all its powers. The figures, ver. 18 (cf. Ezek. iii. 8 f.), set off the unyielding, unconquerable firmness peculiar to Jeremiah as the divinely sent and equipped prophet, in strong contrast with the gentleness and tenderness cf his disposition. As man he melts in tears and pines away in sympathy; as the bearer of God's word he is firm and hard like pillar and wall, on which the storm of a nation's wrath breaks in vain.
First Threatening Discourse, Ch. ii. 1-m. 5.
II. 1. And the word of Yahveh came to me as follows: 2. Go and preach in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: Thus speaks Yahveh: I bear in mind for thee the favour of thy youth, the love of thy betrothal, when thou walkedst after me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. 3. Israel was sanctified to the Lord, his first-fruit produce: All who consume him shall suffer punishment, evil comes upon them, says Yahveh.. 4. Hear ye Yahveh's word, O house of Jacob, and all ye tribes of the house of Israel! 5. Thus says Yahveh: What wrong, pray, did your fathers find in me, that they went far from me and walked after emptiness, and
Ver. 2. The favour or friendliness and lore is, of course, that of the nation towards God, not conversely. Ver. 3. ^Kit" Bnp (without ,"Pn) tells not merely of something done once, but reminds of the divine purpose whose fulfilment ran through history, and had not altogether ceased then (xii. 14), and will again take full effect when Israel again becomes God's people (xxx. 16, li. 5). The element in the nation's holiness (Ex. xix. 6; Deut. vii . 6, xiv. 2, xxvi. 19), here coming specially to notice, is inviolableness. Whoever attacks it becomes guilty before the Lord, and will taste His displeasure. For he attacks God's property, His first-fruit produce (genit. appos.), i.e. the firstfruit of the nations (cf. xxxi. 7 and Amos vi. 1, where certainly the title is ironical), the Lord's revenue or property, as the firstfruits of field produce are not to be enjoyed in profane manner, and especially not to be eaten by foreigners, Ex. xxiii. 19; Num. xviii. 12 f.; Lev. xxii. 10,13. Any one who ate them by oversight had to pay a fine, Lev. v. 14 ff., xxii. 14 ff. Ver. 5. bin, empty breath, nothingness; a nickname used by Jeremiah for idols, which are described in ver. 8 by l^W t6; also became empty? 6. And they did not consider: Where is Yahveh, who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deadly darkness, through which no one passes, and where no one dwells? 7. And I brought you to a land of orchards, to eat its fruit and its good; then you came and defiled my land, and made my inheritance an abomination. 8. The priests asked not: Where is Yahveh? and they that handle the law knew me not, and the shepherds did me outrage, and the prophets prophesied through Baal, and ran after those who profit not. 9. Therefore I will yet reckon with you, says Yahveh; and with your children's children I will reckon. 10. For go to the isles of the Chittim and see, and send to Kedar and inquire diligently, and see whether any
plur. viii. 19, xiv. 22, as already Deut. xxxii. 21. In general this first discourse evidently points to the song, Deut. xxxii. Cf. iny, Deut. xxxii. 4.—Man becomes like his god (cf. Eom. i. 21 f.): they became themselves vain, untrue, unstable in their spirit and walk, fears and hopes. Cf. xxiii. 16; 1 Kings xvii. 5. Ver. 6. Poetical description of the wilderness as a terrible land, in which they had enjoyed God's help in a glorious manner. Land of gloom (r»D)v), because darkening the eye with pain and weakness, or according to the certainly ancient Masoretic pointing: "land of the shadow of death." Ver. 8. The handlers of the law, they who should handle it, which was part of the office of the priests and Levites (cf. viii. 8, xviii. 18; Deut. xvii. 9-11, xxxiii. 10), knew me not, and were therefore unfit for the office. For it needs knowledge of God and fellowship with Him to be able constantly to draw from the law-book and rightly to apply the real Torah, instruction in the divine will.—6yV t6 as in ver. 11, used with preposition and therefore substantially: being incapable of action, and so useless. Ver. 9. This sin is unexpiated and will remain so. This presupposes that the backsliding itself has not ceased, amendment has begun in appearance only; cf. Ex. xx. 5. Ver. 10. The Chittim, properly the inhabitants of the island D'na, Cyprus (cf. the Phoenician colony K/r/ov there): and then more generally, as this passage shows, the inhabitants of the western islands and coasts. Alongside these stand, also by way of example, the sons of Kedar (son of Ishmael, Gen. xxv. 13) dwelling in the east, an Arabian tribe; this also had become a general name for the Arabs of the desert.—Jn, Aramaic