Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying,The Coming Calamities: Restoration Promised, Ruin Imminent on Account of Judah’s Sin and Concerning the Sabbath (16-17)
1. The coming calamities (Jeremiah 16:1-13)
2. The coming days of restoration and blessing (Jeremiah 16:14-21)
Jeremiah 16:1-13. In view of the coming calamities Jeremiah is bidden to remain unmarried and not to raise a family. The verses which describe the coming calamities need no further annotations.
Jeremiah 16:14-21. The great dispersion was announced by the Lord in the preceding verse: “Therefore will I cast you out of this land, into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there ye shall serve other gods day and night; where I will not show you favor.” But is this to last forever? Is this dispersion permanent? Will they always be homeless wanderers? The next verse gives the answer: “I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.” They will be brought back from the land of the north and from all lands where they had been driven. It will be a greater deliverance than the deliverance out of Egypt. Critics have found fault with these verses: “They are out of place here, but whether inserted by accident, or whether to modify the painful impression of the prophecy of judgment in which they are inserted, we cannot say” (Prof. A.S. Peake). They are not out of place, nor inserted by some unknown hand. The Lord declares His gracious purposes which will yet be accomplished. That these verses were not fulfilled in the return of the small remnant from Babylon is obvious. They will be fulfilled in the future, when the house of Israel and the house of Judah will be re-established in the land. Then the so-called “lost tribes” will be found again by Him for whom they were never lost, “For Mine eyes are upon all their ways, they are not hid from My face neither is their iniquity hid from Mine eyes.” He will send fishers and hunters to bring them forth. It is the same of which our Lord speaks in Matthew 24:31. The elect of whom the Lord speaks are not a spiritual Israel, but the elect nation Israel. Then the voice of the prophet is heard in Jeremiah 16:19 with a blessed prophetic declaration: “The Gentiles shall come unto Thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity and things wherein there is no profit.” It denotes the conversion of the world, which--in prophecy never precedes the restoration of Israel, but always follows that great coming event. (See Romans 11:12; Romans 11:15; Acts 15:14-41) .