Jeremiah 14:19
Have you utterly rejected Judah? has your soul loathed Zion? why have you smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!
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(19) Hast thou utterly rejected Judah?—The heart of the patriot overpowers even the conviction of the prophet, and, though bidden not to pray, he bursts forth, in spite of the command, with a prayer of passionate intercession.

Hath thy soul lothed Zion?—The Hebrew implies the act of rejection as well as the feeling which leads to it.

Jeremiah 14:19-22. Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? — The prophet again returns to God, and expostulates with him, humbly imploring mercy for his people, which shows that he did not understand God’s words to him,

(Jeremiah 14:11,) as an absolute prohibition to pray for them. Hath thy soul loathed Zion? — Which was formerly thy delight, and the place thou didst choose for thy special residence. Why hast thou smitten, &c. — That is, So smitten that there is no healing — Wounded us past recovery; none else can, and thou wilt not heal us. We looked for peace, &c. — All our hopes and expectations have been frustrated. We acknowledge our wickedness — The accumulated guilt of our land; and the iniquity of our fathers

Which we have imitated, and therefore are justly punished for it. We do not cover our sin, in which case we know we should not obtain mercy; we confess it, and hope to find thee faithful and just in forgiving it. Do not abhor us — Hebrew, שׁל תנאצ, do not despise, or reject us. What he deprecates is the judgments come already, and further coming on the people, the famine, sword, and pestilence, with the drought, under the sad effects of which they at present laboured; and he prays for their removal or prevention in these words, in which he implies, that the love of God to a people is the source of all the good which they can expect, and his wrath the source of all evil that can befall them. To enforce his petition he pleads, 1st, God’s honour: For thy name’s sake — That name of thine on which we call, and by which we are called; thy nature and attributes; let not these suffer an eclipse; let it not be said or thought by the heathen that thou art either unable or unwilling to protect and save thy people. Do not disgrace the throne of thy glory — The temple, with the ark in it, the especial symbol of thy presence, termed (Jeremiah 17:12,) a glorious high throne from the beginning. Let not the desolations of it give occasion to idolaters to reproach him that used to be worshipped there, as if he wanted power or inclination to protect it; or, as if the gods of Babylon had been too strong for him. 2d, He pleads God’s promise and covenant with Israel: Remember, break not thy covenant with us — “Thou hast promised to be our God, and that we should be thy people, chap. Jeremiah 11:4; that is, That thou wouldst take us under thy protection. We have indeed forfeited all our title to thy promises by our sins, yet we beseech thee still to remember the relation we bear to thee.” Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles — The vain idols, the imaginary beings, which have no existence save in the fancies of their worshippers, or the gods made by men’s hands; that can give rain? or can the heavens give showers? — Without thy providence. Are showers purely owing to natural causes? Dost thou not direct when and where they shall fall? The giving rain in its season is an argument for God’s providence, often insisted upon in the Scriptures: see note on Jeremiah 5:24. And the prophet, imploring from God a removal of the drought, argues from the impossibility of obtaining relief in any other way, neither the heathen idols, nor the clouds, without God’s will, being able to give rain. Art not thou he, O Lord our God? — Namely, that givest it. Therefore we will wait upon thee — For this blessing, and for the supply of all our other wants. 14:17-22 Jeremiah acknowledged his own sins, and those of the people, but pleaded with the Lord to remember his covenant. In their distress none of the idols of the Gentiles could help them, nor could the heavens give rain of themselves. The Lord will always have a people to plead with him at his mercy-seat. He will heal every truly repenting sinner. Should he not see fit to hear our prayers on behalf of our guilty land, he will certainly bless with salvation all who confess their sins and seek his mercy.A second (compare Jeremiah 14:7-9) earnest intercession, acknowledging the wickedness of the nation, but appealing to the covenant and to God's Almighty power.

Lothed - More exactly, "hath thrown away as worthless."

19. The people plead with God, Jeremiah being forbidden to do so.

no healing—(Jer 15:18).

peace … no good—(Jer 8:15).

The prophet again returns to God, expostulating with him, and humbly imploring mercy for his people, which lets us know that he did not understand God’s words to him, Jeremiah 14:11, as an absolute prohibition of him to pray for this people.

Zion was a place whose gates God loved, and Judah was his pleasant portion. Lord, saith the prophet, is it possible thou shouldst loathe a place which thou so much lovedst, or cast off a people which thou hast so much owned?

Why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? he acknowledgeth God to be he that had smitten them, and their condition without him to be helpless and hopeless; and that all their hopes and expectations were frustrated. Hast thou utterly rejected Judah?.... The prophet, though forbid, proceeds to prayers and expostulations on account of this people, the people of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin: or, "in rejecting hast thou rejected Judah?" (t) from being a nation, from being under thy care and protection? hast thou cast them away, and wilt thou suffer them to go into captivity as the ten tribes? what! Judah, whom the Lord hath chosen, and where was his dwelling place? what! Judah, from whom the chief ruler, the Messiah, was to come? what! Judah, from whom the sceptre was not to depart, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, till Shiloh came? and, what! wilt thou reject, and utterly reject, this tribe, upon which so many favours have been bestowed, and from which so much is expected?

Hath thy soul loathed Zion? whom thou hast formerly so much loved and delighted in, and chosen for thine habitation; Zion, the joy of the whole earth, and a perfection of beauty.

Why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? brought upon them his judgments; or, however, was about to bring them upon them, famine, sword, and captivity; and there was no deliverance from them, no way to escape them, no relief, no remedy, or no healing, as in 2 Chronicles 36:16.

We looked for peace: as the false prophets foretold; or through alliance with neighbouring nations, even all safety and prosperity; and had no notion of desolation and war:

and there is no good; as was promised and expected, but all the reverse:

and for the time of healing; national and civil disorders, from which might have been hoped for a train of blessings:

and behold trouble! fears, frights, perplexities, and distresses; trouble from without, and from within. The Targum is,

"a time of pardon of sins, and behold punishment of sins.''

(t) "reprobando reprobasti", Montanus, Schmidt.

Hast thou utterly rejected {n} Judah? hath thy soul abhorred Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!

(n) Though the prophet knew that God had cast off the multitude, who were hypocrites and bastard children, yet he was assured that for his promise sake he would still have a Church, for which he prays.

Verse 19. - We looked for peace, etc.; a repetition of Jeremiah 8:15. The Lord's answer. - Jeremiah 14:10. "Thus saith Jahveh unto this people: Thus they loved to wander, their feet they kept not back; and Jahveh hath no pleasure in them, now will He remember their iniquities and visit their sins. Jeremiah 14:11. And Jahveh hath said unto me: Pray not for this people for their good. Jeremiah 14:12. When they fast, I hear not their cry; and when they bring burnt-offering and meat-offering, I have no pleasure in them; but by sword, and famine, and pestilence will I consume them. Jeremiah 14:13. Then said I: Ah Lord Jahveh, behold, the prophets say to them, Ye shall see no sword, and famine shall not befall you, but assured peace give I in this place. Jeremiah 14:14. And Jahveh said unto me: Lies do the prophets prophesy in my name: I have not sent them, nor commanded them, nor spoken to them; lying vision, and divination, and a thing of nought, and deceit of their heart they prophesy to you. Jeremiah 14:15. Therefore thus saith Jahveh concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, when I have not sent them, who yet say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land: By sword and famine shall these prophets perish. Jeremiah 14:16. And the people to whom they prophesy shall lie cast out upon the streets of Jerusalem, by reason of the famine and of the sword, and none will bury them, them and their wives, their sons and their daughters; and I pour their wickedness upon them. Jeremiah 14:17. And thou shalt say to them this word: Let mine eyes run down with tears day and night and let them not cease; for with a great breach is broken the virgin-daughter of my people, with a very grievous blow. Jeremiah 14:18. If I go forth into the field, behold the slain with the sword; and if I come into the city, behold them that pine with famine; for prophet and priest pass into a land and know it not."

To the prophet's prayer the Lord answers in the first place, Jeremiah 14:10, by pointing to the backsliding of the people, for which He is now punishing them. In the "thus they love," etc., lies a backward reference to what precedes. The reference is certainly not to the vain going for water (Jeremiah 14:3), as Chr. B. Mich. and R. Salomo Haccohen thought it was; nor is it to the description of the animals afflicted by thirst, Jeremiah 14:5 and Jeremiah 14:6, in which Ng. finds a description of the passionate, unbridled lust after idolatry, the real and final cause of the ruin that has befallen Israel. Where could be the likeness between the wild ass's panting for breath and the wandering of the Jews? That to which the "thus" refers must be sought for in the body of the prayer to which Jahveh makes answer, as Ros. rightly saw. Not by any means in the fact that in Jeremiah 14:9 the Jews prided themselves on being the people of God and yet went after false gods, so that God answered: ita amant vacillare, as good as to say: ita instabiles illos esse, ut nunc ab ipso, nunc ab aliis auxilium quaerant (Ros.); for נוּע cannot here mean the waving and swaying of reeds, but only the wandering after other gods, cf. Jeremiah 2:23, Jeremiah 2:31. This is shown by the addition: they kept not back their feet, cf. with Jeremiah 2:25, where in the same reference the withholding of the feet is enjoined. Graf is right in referring huts to the preceding prayer: "Thus, in the same degree as Jahveh has estranged Himself from His people (cf. Jeremiah 14:8 and Jeremiah 14:9), have they estranged themselves from their God." They loved to wander after strange gods, and so have brought on themselves God's displeasure. Therefore punishment comes on them. The second clause of the verse is a reminiscence of Hosea 8:13. - After mentioning the reason why He punishes Judah, the Lord in Jeremiah 14:11. rejects the prayer of the prophet, because He will not hear the people's cry to Him. Neither by means of fasts nor sacrifice will they secure God's pleasure. The prophet's prayer implies that the people will humble themselves and turn to the Lord. Hence God explains His rejection of the prayer by saying that He will give no heed to the people's fasting and sacrifices. The reason of this appears from the context - namely, because they turn to Him only in their need, while their heart still cleaves to the idols, so that their prayers are but lip-service, and their sacrifices a soulless formality. The suffix in רצם refers not to the sacrifices, but, like that in רנּתם, to the Jews who, by bringing sacrifices, seek to win God's love. כּי, but, introducing the antithesis to "have no pleasure in them." The sword in battle, famine, and pestilence, at the siege of the cities, are the three means by which God designs to destroy the backsliding people; cf. Leviticus 26:25.

In spite of the rejection of his prayer, the prophet endeavours yet again to entreat God's favour for the people, laying stress, Jeremiah 14:13, on the fact that they had been deceived and confirmed in their infatuation by the delusive forecastings of the false prophets who promised peace. Peace of truth, i.e., peace that rests on God's faithfulness, and so: assured peace will I give you. Thus spoke these prophets in the name of Jahveh; cf. on this Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 5:12. Hitz. and Graf propose to change שׁלום אמת into שׁלום ואמת, acc. to Jeremiah 33:6 and Isaiah 39:8, because the lxx have ἀλήθειαν καὶ εἰρήνην. But none of the passages cited furnishes sufficient ground for this. In Jeremiah 33:6 the lxx have rendered εἰρήνην καὶ πίστιν, in Isaiah 39:8, εἰρήνη καὶ δικαιοσύνη; giving thereby a clear proof that we cannot draw from their rendering any certain inferences as to the precise words of the original text. Nor do the parallels prove anything, since in them the expression often varies in detail. But there can be no doubt that in the mouth of the pseudo-prophets "assured peace" is more natural than "peace and truth." But the Lord does not allow this excuse. He has not sent the prophets that so prophesy: they prophesy lying vision, divination, falsehood, and deceit, and shall themselves be destroyed by sword and famine. The cumulation of the words, "lying vision," etc., shows God's wrath and indignation at the wicked practices of these men. Graf wants to delete ו before אליל, and to couple אליל with קסם, so as to make one idea: prophecy of nought. For this he can allege none other than the erroneous reason that קסם, taken by itself, does not sufficiently correspond to "lying vision," inasmuch as, he says, it has not always a bad sense attached to it; whereas the fact is that it is nowhere used for genuine prophecy. The Chet. אלוּל and תּרמוּת are unusual formations, for which the usual forms are substituted in the Keri. Deceit of their heart is not self-deceit, but deceit which their heart has devised; cf. Jeremiah 23:26. But the people to whom these prophets prophesied are to perish by sword and famine, and to lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem; cf. Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 16:4. They are not therefore held excused because false prophets told them lies, for they have given credit to these lies, lies that flattered their sinful passions, and have not been willing to hear or take to heart the word of the true prophets, who preached repentance and return to God.

(Note: The Berleburg Bible says: "They wish to have such teachers, and even to bring it about that there shall be so many deceiving workers, because they can hardly even endure or listen to the upright ones. That is the reason why it is to go no better with them than we see it is." Calvin too has suggested the doubt: posset tamen videri parum humaniter agere Deus, quod tam duras paenas infligit miseris hominibus, qui aliunde decepti sunt, and has then given the true solution: certum est, nisi ultro mundus appeteret mendacia, non tantam fore efficaciam diaboli ad fallendum. Quod igitur ita rapiuntur homines ad imposturas, hoc fit eorum culpa, quoniam magis propensi sunt ad vanitatem, quam ut se Deo et verbo ejus subjiciant.)

To Hitz. it seems surprising that, in describing the punishment which is to fall on seducers and seduced, there should not be severer judgment, in words at least, levelled against the seducers as being those involved in the deeper guilt; whereas the very contrary is the case in the Hebrew text. Hitz. further proposes to get rid of this discrepancy by conjectures founded on the lxx, yet without clearly informing us how we are to read. But the difficulty solves itself as soon as we pay attention to the connection. The portion of the discourse before us deals with the judgment which is to burst on the godless people, in the course of which those who had seduced the people are only casually mentioned. For the purpose in hand, it was sufficient to say briefly of the seducers that they too should perish by sword and famine who affirmed that these punishments should not befall the people, whereas it was necessary to set before the people the terrors of this judgment in all their horror, in order not to fail of effect. With the reckoning of the various classes of persons: they, their wives, etc., cf. the account of their participation in idolatry, Jeremiah 7:18. Hitz. rightly paraphrases ושׁפכתּי: and in this wise will I pour out. רעתם, not: the calamity destined for them, but: their wickedness which falls on them with its consequences, cf. Jeremiah 2:19, Hosea 9:15, for propheta videtur causam reddere, cur Deus horribile illud judicium exequi statuerit contra Judaeos, nempe quoniam digni erant tali mercede (Calv.).

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