Jeremiah 13:3
And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) The second time.—No dates are given, but the implied interval must have been long enough for the girdle to become foul, while the prophet apparently waited for an explanation of the strange command.

13:1-11 It was usual with the prophets to teach by signs. And we have the explanation, ver. 9-11. The people of Israel had been to God as this girdle. He caused them to cleave to him by the law he gave them, the prophets he sent among them, and the favours he showed them. They had by their idolatries and sins buried themselves in foreign earth, mingled among the nations, and were so corrupted that they were good for nothing. If we are proud of learning, power, and outward privileges, it is just with God to wither them. The minds of men should be awakened to a sense of their guilt and danger; yet nothing will be effectual without the influences of the Spirit.A linen girdle - The appointed dress of the priestly order (Leviticus 16:4, ...).

Put it not in water - i. e., do not wash it, and so let it represent the deep-grained pollution of the people.

CHAPTER 13

Jer 13:1-27. Symbolical Prophecy (Jer 13:1-7).

Many of these figurative acts being either not possible, or not probable, or decorous, seem to have existed only in the mind of the prophet as part of his inward vision. [So Calvin]. The world he moved in was not the sensible, but the spiritual, world. Inward acts were, however, when it was possible and proper, materialized by outward performance, but not always, and necessarily so. The internal act made a naked statement more impressive and presented the subject when extending over long portions of space and time more concentrated. The interruption of Jeremiah's official duty by a journey of more than two hundred miles twice is not likely to have literally taken place.

1. put it upon thy loins, &c.—expressing the close intimacy wherewith Jehovah had joined Israel and Judah to Him (Jer 13:11).

linen—implying it was the inner garment next the skin, not the outer one.

put it not in water—signifying the moral filth of His people, like the literal filth of a garment worn constantly next the skin, without being washed (Jer 13:10). Grotius understands a garment not bleached, but left in its native roughness, just as Judah had no beauty, but was adopted by the sole grace of God (Eze 16:4-6). "Neither wast thou washed in water," &c.

No text from Poole on this verse. And the word of the Lord,.... The Targum is,

"the word of prophecy from before the Lord:''

came unto me the second time, saying; what distance of time there was between this order and the former is not known.

And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
The spoilers of the Lord's heritage are also to be carried off out of their land; but after they, like Judah, have been punished, the Lord will have pity on them, and will bring them back one and all into their own land. And if the heathen, who now seduce the people of God to idolatry, learn the ways of God's people and be converted to the Lord, they shall receive citizenship amongst God's people and be built up amongst them; but if they will not do so, they shall be extirpated. Thus will the Lord manifest Himself before the whole earth as righteous judge, and through judgment secure the weal not only of Israel, but of the heathen peoples too. By this discovery of His world-plan the Lord makes so complete a reply to the prophet's murmuring concerning the prosperity of the ungodly (Jeremiah 12:1-6), that from it may clearly be seen the justice of God's government on earth. Viewed thus, both strophes of the passage before us (Jeremiah 12:7-17) connect themselves singularly well with Jeremiah 12:1-6.

Jeremiah 12:14-15

The evil neighbours that lay hands on Jahve's heritage are the neighbouring heathen nations, the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, and Syrians. It does not, however, follow that this threatening has special reference to the event related in 2 Kings 24:2, and that it belongs to the time of Jehoiakim. These nations were always endeavouring to assault Israel, and made use of every opportunity that seemed favourable for waging war against them and subjugating them; and not for the first time during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, at which time it was indeed that they suffered the punishment here pronounced, of being carried away into exile. The neighbours are brought up here simply as representatives of the heathen nations, and what is said of them is true for all the heathen. The transition to the first person in שׁכני is like that in Jeremiah 14:15. Jahveh is possessor of the land of Israel, and so the adjoining peoples are His neighbours. נגע ב, to touch as an enemy, to attack, cf. Zechariah 2:12. I pluck the house of Judah out of their midst, i.e., the midst of the evil neighbours. This is understood by most commentators of the carrying of Judah into captivity, since נתשׁ cannot be taken in two different senses in the two corresponding clauses. For this word used of deportation, cf. 1 Kings 14:15. "Them," Jeremiah 12:15, refers to the heathen peoples. After they have been carried forth of their land and have received their punishment, the Lord will again have compassion upon them, and will bring back each to its inheritance, its land. Here the restoration of Judah, the people of God, is assumed as a thing of course (cf. Jeremiah 12:16 and Jeremiah 32:37, Jeremiah 32:44; Jeremiah 33:26).

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