Jeremiah 14:13
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say to them, You shall not see the sword, neither shall you have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.
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(13) Ah, Lord God!—Literally, as in Jeremiah 1:6, Alas, my Lord (Adonaï) Jehovah! We have had in Jeremiah 5:31 a glimpse of the evil influence of the great body of the prophetic order; and now the true prophet feels more bitterly than ever the misery of having to contend against it. The colleges or schools of the prophets had rapidly degenerated from their first ideal, and had become (as the Mendicant Orders did in the history of mediæval Christendom) corrupt, ambitious, seekers after popularity. So Micah (Micah 3:8-11), whose words were yet fresh in the memories of men (see Jeremiah 26:18), had spoken sharp words of the growing evil. So Ezekiel through one whole chapter (Jeremiah 13) inveighs against the guilt of the prophets, male or female, who followed their own spirit, and had seen no true vision.

Ye shall not see . . .—To the eye of Jeremiah the future was clear. The sins of the people must lead to shame, defeat, and exile. Out of that discipline, but only through that, they might return with a better mind to better days. The false prophets took the easier and more popular line of predicting victory and “assured peace” (literally, peace of truth, i.e., true peace) for the people and their city.

Jeremiah 14:13-16. Ah, Lord God! Behold the prophets, &c. — See note on Jeremiah 4:10. Thus saith the Lord — And what he saith he will assuredly make good; By the sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed — They shall fall first by those very judgments, with the hopes of an exemption from which they have flattered others. And the people shall be cast out in the streets, &c. — The people contributed to their own delusions, and readily hearkened to such false prophets as confirmed them in their evil ways: God therefore justly threatens to punish them, because they were unwilling to know the truth.14:10-16 The Lord calls the Jews this people, not his people. They had forsaken his service, therefore he would punish them according to their sins. He forbade Jeremiah to plead for them. The false prophets were the most criminal. The Lord pronounces condemnation on them; but as the people loved to have it so, they were not to escape judgments. False teachers encourage men to expect peace and salvation, without repentance, faith, conversion, and holiness of life. But those who believe a lie must not plead if for an excuse. They shall feel what they say they will not fear.The false prophets in Jeremiah's days were so numerous and influential an to counteract and almost nullify the influence of the true prophet. We find in Isaiah the first indications of the internal decay of the prophetic order; and Micah, his contemporary, denounces the false prophets in the strongest terms Micah 3:5, Micah 3:11. For the secret of their power see Jeremiah 5:31. 13. Jeremiah urges that much of the guilt of the people is due to the false prophets' influence.

assured peace—solid and lasting peace. Literally, "peace of truth" (Isa 39:8).

We have many complaints of this prophet against false prophets that contradicted his prophecies, Jeremiah 4:10 23:9, and we shall hereafter meet with the names of some of them. Corrupt governments never want prophets to their humour, though a bolder transgression can hardly be imagined, than for men to entitle God to their own imaginations and fancies, and we shall, Jeremiah 14:15, meet with the usual wages of such works. Then said I, Ah, Lord God!.... Being grieved at heart for the people, because he was forbid to pray for them, and because the Lord had resolved on the ruin of them; and the rather he pitied them, because they were deceived by the false prophets, and therefore he tries to excuse them, and lay the blame upon them, as follows:

behold, the prophets say unto them; that is, the false prophets, as the Targum; Jeremiah does not call them so, being willing to make the best of it:

ye shall not see the sword; the sword of the enemy drawn in your country, or fall by it:

neither shall ye have famine; by which it appears, that it was not yet come, only foretold; the contrary to which is here affirmed:

but I will give you assured peace in this place; so they spoke as from the Lord, and in his name, with all the confidence imaginable; assuring the people that they should have peace and prosperity, and be in the utmost safety in Jerusalem; and that neither famine nor sword would come to them, nor in the least hurt them. In the Hebrew text it is, "peace of truth" (l); that is, true peace, firm and lasting. The Septuagint render it "peace and truth"; see Isaiah 39:8.

(l) "pacem veritatis", Montanus, Schmidt.

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the {k} prophets say to them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

(k) He pities the people, and accuses the false prophets who deceived them: but the Lord answered that both the prophets who deceived and the people who permitted themselves to be seduced, will perish, Jer 23:15,27:8,9,29:8.

13. assured peace] mg. Heb. peace of truth (stability). They may have sought to support their reassuring assertions by reference to such utterances as those of Isaiah 37:33 ff.

13, 14. For the attitude of the false prophets and their relation to the true see Intr. pp. xxxii. f.; also xxiii. 9 ff.Verse 13. - "Pleading with Providence, the good prophet lays the blame on ill teaching, but the stern answer (Ver. 14), admitting the plea as true, rejects it as inadequate (Ver. 14), and denounces sorrows which (Vers. 17-22) the prophet passionately deprecates" (Rowland Williams). Ah, Lord God! rather, Alas! O Lord Jehovah (see on Jeremiah 1:6). The prophets say unto them. The greater part of the prophetic order had not kept pace with its more spiritual members (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.). They still traded on those natural gifts of divination (Micah 3:6) which were, no doubt, where genuine, of Divine origin, but which, even then, needed to be supplemented and controlled by a special impulse from the Spirit of holiness. Jeremiah, however, declares, on the authority of a revelation, that these prophets did not divine by any God-given faculty, but "the deceit of their own heart" (Ver. 14). The Deuteronomic Torah, discovered after a period of concealment at the outset of Jeremiah's ministry, energetically forbids the practice of the art of divination (Deuteronomy 18:10). The prayer. - Jeremiah 14:7. "If our iniquities testify against us, O Jahveh, deal Thou for Thy name's sake, for many are our backslidings; against Thee have we sinned. Jeremiah 14:8. Thou hope of Israel, his Saviour in time of need, why wilt Thou be as a stranger in the land, like a wayfarer that hath put up to tarry for a night? Jeremiah 14:9. Why wilt Thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot help, and yet Thou art in the midst of us, Jahveh, and Thy name is named upon us - O leave us not!"

The prophet utters this prayer in the name of his people (cf. Jeremiah 14:11). It begins with confession of sore transgression. Thus the chastisement which has befallen them they have deserved as a just punishment; but the Lord is besought to help for His name's sake, i.e., not: "for the sake of Thy honour, with which it is not consistent that contempt of Thy will should go unpunished" (Hitz.). This interpretation suits neither the idea of the name of God nor the context. The name of God is the manifestation of God's being. From Moses' time on, God, as Jahveh, has revealed Himself as the Redeemer and Saviour of the children of Israel, whom He had adopted to be His people, and as God, who is merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and of great goodness and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). As such He is besought to reveal Himself now that they confess their backsliding and sin, and seek His grace. Not for the sake of His honour in the eyes of the world, lest the heathen believe He has no power to help, as Graf holds, for all reference to the heathen nations is foreign to this connection; but He is entreated to help, not to belie the hope of His people, because Israel sets its hope in Him as Saviour in time of need (Jeremiah 14:9). If by withholding rain He makes His land and people to pine, then He does not reveal Himself as the lord and owner of Judah, not as the God that dwells amidst His people; but He seems a stranger passing through the land, who sets up His tent there only to spend the night, who "feels no share in the weal and woe of the dwellers therein" (Hitz.). This is the meaning of the question in Jeremiah 14:8. The ancient expositors take נטה elliptically, as in Genesis 12:8 : that stretches out His tent to pass the night. Hitz., again, objects that the wayfarer does not drag a tent about with him, and, like Ew., takes this verb in the sense of swerve from the direct route, cf. 2 Samuel 2:19, 2 Samuel 2:21, etc. But the reason alleged is not tenable; since travellers did often carry their tents with them, and נטה, to turn oneself, is not used absolutely in the sig. to turn aside from the way, without the qualification: to the right or to the left. סוּר is in use for to turn aside to tarry, to turn in, Jeremiah 15:5. We therefore abide by the old interpretation, since "swerve from the way" has here no suitable meaning.

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