Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The word of the Lord came unto me.—The words imply obviously a revelation, the introduction of a new element into the human consciousness. In many cases such a revelation implied also the spiritual tension of an ecstatic or trance-like state, a dream, or an open vision. It almost presupposed a previous training, outward or inward, a mind vexed by hot thoughts and mourning over the sins of the people. Here there is no mention of dream or vision, and we must assume, therefore, a distinct consciousness that the voice which he heard in his inmost soul was from Jehovah. For the thought of pre-natal calling, see Isaiah 49:1.Jeremiah 1:4-5. Then the word of the Lord came unto me — With a satisfying assurance to himself, that it was the word of the Lord, and not a delusion. Before I formed thee in the belly — That is, the womb. Having spoken before on the time of his call, he now speaks of the manner of it. I knew thee — That is, I had thee in my view, or approved thee as a fit minister for this work, in the same sense as it is said, Acts 15:18, Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world; he contemplated the plan of them, and approved it in his mind, before he created and brought them into being. I sanctified thee — I set thee apart in my counsel for executing the office of a prophet. We have examples of a similar designation with that mentioned here, in John the Baptist and St. Paul, as the reader will see if he consult the texts referred to in the margin. And ordained thee a prophet unto the nations — He speaks thus to Jeremiah, not to the other prophets, because he stood in need of greater encouragement than they, both in respect to the tenderness of his years, and the difficulties which he was to encounter. And ordained thee a prophet to the nations — To other nations besides the Jews.Jeremiah 15:13; Jeremiah 20:7, Jeremiah 20:14-18).
unto me—other manuscripts read "to him"; but English Version probably represents the true Hebrew text; this inscription was doubtless made by Jeremiah himself.Then, i. e. when he was first called to his office; or, The Lord then began to speak unto me.
Me; a change of the person, a thing very usual with the prophets. Jeremiah 1:2. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions read, "unto him". Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. Now the word, etc.] This preface to the Book forms at once Jeremiah’s plea and his support, the credentials of his mission to which he might refer the people when hostile and himself in seasons of despondency. We have in this section the declaration of God’s purpose concerning him (Jeremiah 1:5); Jeremiah’s protest (Jeremiah 1:6); God’s reply (Jeremiah 1:7-8); the act of divine consecration (Jeremiah 1:9); the nature of the charge itself (Jeremiah 1:10).
4–10. The Prophet’s call and its nature
4–19. Jeremiah’s call
The passage will fall into four sections.
(i) Jeremiah 1:4-10. The prophet’s call and its nature. (ii) Jeremiah 1:11-12. The symbol of the almond tree, shewing that Jehovah is wakeful to perform his word. (iii) Jeremiah 1:13-16. That of the caldron, indicating a threatened invasion of Judah. (iv) Jeremiah 1:17-19. Words of encouragement.Verses 4-19. - The call of Jeremiah. Verse 4. - Unto me. For the change of person, comp. Ezekiel 1:4. Isaiah 49:16), for the old ones pass away because they do not please God; but these are pleasing to Him, and are eternally like His love, whose work and image they are. The prophet here thinks of the church of the future as being upon a new earth and under a new heaven. But he cannot conceive of the eternal in the form of eternity; all that he can do is to conceive of it as the endless continuance of the history of time.
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