Your substance and your treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all your sins, even in all your borders.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thy substance and thy treasures . . .—Assuming the words to stand in their right place, we must look on them as addressed to Jeremiah as the intercessor, and therefore the representative, of his people. If we admit a dislocation, of which there seem many signs, we may connect them with Jeremiah 15:5-6, and then they are spoken to Jerusalem. The recurrence of the words in Jeremiah 17:3-4, as addressed to the mountain of the plain, i.e., Zion, makes this probable.
Without price.—As in Psalm 44:12; Isaiah 52:3, this implies the extremest abandonment. The enemies of Israel were to have an easy victory, for which they would not have to pay the usual price of blood; nor did God, on His side, demand from them any payment for the victory He bestowed. He gave away His people as men give that which they count worthless.Jeremiah 15:13-14. Here God turns his speech from the prophet to the people. Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil — All thy riches and precious things shall be spoiled: there shall be no price taken for the redemption of them. For all thy sins in all thy borders — All parts of the country, even those which lay most remote, had contributed to the national guilt, and all shall be brought to account. And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies, &c. — They shall stay in their own country till they see their estates and all their property ruined, and then they shall be carried into captivity, to spend the remains of a miserable life in slavery. And all this is the fruit of God’s wrath; for a fire, says he, is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn upon you — And, if not extinguished in time, will burn to eternity.
(1) God would give Judah's treasures away for nothing; implying that He did not value them.
(2) the cause of this contempt is Judah's sins.
without price—God casts His people away as a thing worth naught (Ps 44:12). So, on the contrary, Jehovah, when about to restore His people, says, He will give Egypt, &c., for their "ransom" (Isa 43:3).
even in all thy borders—joined with "Thy substance … treasures, as also with "all thy sins," their sin and punishment being commensurate (Jer 17:3).
and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders; this spoiling of their substance should befall them because of their sins, which they had committed in all the borders of their land, where they had built their high places, and had set up idolatrous worship; or else the meaning is, that their substance and treasure in all their borders, in every part of the land, should be the plunder of their enemies, because of their sins.Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13, 14. For these vv. which, as addressed to the people, break harshly into the dialogue between Jehovah and the prophet, and are most likely an insertion from Jeremiah 17:3 f., see notes there.Verses 13, 14. - Thy substance, etc. These verses form an unlooked-for digression. The prophet has been in a state of profound melancholy, and the object of Jehovah is to rouse him from it. In Vers. 11, 12, the most encouraging assurances have been given him. Suddenly comes the overwhelming declaration contained in Vers. 13, 14. And when we look closely at these verses, two points strike us, which make it difficult to conceive that Jeremiah intended them to stand here. First, their contents are not at all adapted to Jeremiah, and clearly belong to the people of Judah; and next, they are repeated, with some variations, in Jeremiah 17:3, 4. It should also be observed that the Septuagint (which omits Jeremiah 17:1-4) only gives them here, which seems to indicate an early opinion that the passage only ought to occur once in the Book of Jeremiah, though the Septuagint translator failed to choose the right position for it. Without price; literally, not for a price. In the parallel passage there is another reading, "thy high places," which forms part of the next clause. Hitzig and Graf suppose this to be the original reading, the Hebrew letters having been partly effaced and then misread, after which "not" was prefixed to make sense. However this may be, the present reading is unintelligible, if we compare Isaiah 52:3, where Jehovah declares that his people were sold for nothing, i.e. were given up entirely to the enemy, without any compensating advantage to Jehovah. And that for all thy sins, even, etc.; literally, and in all thy sins and in all thy borders. The text is certainly difficult. Externally a parallelism exists between the two halves of the clause, and one is therefore tempted to render literally. As this will not make sense, however, we are forced either to render as the Authorized Version, or to suppose that the text is not accurately preserved. The parallel passage has a different but not a more intelligible reading. Ewald omits "and" in both halves of the clause, which slightly diminishes the awkwardness. And I will make thee to pass, etc. The natural rendering of the Hebrew is, "And I will make thine enemies to pass," etc., which clearly cannot be the prophet's meaning. The parallel passage (Jeremiah 17:4) has, "And I will make thee to serve thine enemies," etc.; and so the Septuagint, the Syriac, the Targum, and many manuscripts here. For a fire is kindled in mine anger; a reminiscence of Deuteronomy 32:22, suggesting that the judgment described in the Song of Moses is about to fall upon Judah. Jeremiah 15:6, and, like the latter, is to be understood prophetically of what God has irrevocably determined to do. It is not a description of what is past, an allusion to the battle lost at Megiddo, as Hitz., carrying out his priori system of slighting prophecy, supposes. To take the verbs of this verse as proper preterites, as J. D. Mich. and Ew. also do, is not in keeping with the contents of the clauses. In the first clause Ew. and Gr. translate שׁערי gates, i.e., exits, boundaries of the earth, and thereby understand the remotest lands of the earth, the four corners of extremities of the earth, Isaiah 11:12 (Ew.). But "gates" cannot be looked on as corners or extremities, nor are they ends or borders, but the inlets and outlets of cities. For how can a man construe to himself the ends of the earth as the outlets of it? where could one go to from there? Hence it is impossible to take הארץ of the earth in this case; it is the land of Judah. The gates of the land are either mentioned by synecdoche for the cities, cf. Micah 5:5, or are the approaches to the land (cf. Nahum 3:13), its outlets and inlets. Here the context demands the latter sense. זרה, to fan, c. בּ loci, to scatter into a place, cf. Ezekiel 12:15; Ezekiel 30:26 : fan into the outlets of the land, i.e., cast out of the land. שׁכּל, make the people childless, by the fall in battle of the sons, the young men, cf. Ezekiel 5:17. The threat is intensified by אבּדתּי, added as asyndeton. The last clause: from their ways, etc., subjoins the reason.
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