Jeremiah 16:18
And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled my inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double.—A restitution, or fine, to double the amount of the wrong done was almost the normal standard of punishment under the Law of Moses (Exodus 22:4; Exodus 22:7). The words threaten accordingly a full punishment according to the utmost rigour. In Isaiah 40:2 the same thought is presented in its brighter aspect. Israel has received “double for all her sins,” and therefore, having paid, as it were, “the uttermost farthing” (Matthew 5:26), she may now hope for mercy.

The carcases . . .—The word may be used in scorn of the lifeless form of the dumb idols which the people worshipped, to touch which was to be polluted, as by contact with a corpse (Numbers 19:11); but it more probably points to the dead bodies of the victims that had been sacrificed to them. The phrase occurs also in a like context in Leviticus 26:30. It would appear from Isaiah 65:4 that these often included animals which by the Law were unclean: “swine’s flesh and broth of abominable things.”

16:14-21 The restoration from the Babylonish captivity would be remembered in place of the deliverance from Egypt; it also typified spiritual redemption, and the future deliverance of the church from antichristian oppression. But none of the sins of sinners can be hidden from God, or shall be overlooked by him. He will find out and raise up instruments of his wrath, that shall destroy the Jews, by fraud like fishers, by force like hunters. The prophet, rejoicing at the hope of mercy to come, addressed the Lord as his strength and refuge. The deliverance out of captivity shall be a figure of the great salvation to be wrought by the Messiah. The nations have often known the power of Jehovah in his wrath; but they shall know him as the strength of his people, and their refuge in time of trouble.First - Before the return from exile.

I will recompense their iniquity ... double - The ordinary rule of the Law (Isaiah 40:2 note). Sin is twofold; there is the leaving of God's will undone, and the actual wrongdoing. And every punishment is twofold: first, there is the loss of the blessing which would have followed upon obedience, and secondly, the presence of actual misery.

Because they have defiled ... - Rather, "because they have profaned My land with the carcases of their detestable things" (their lifeless and hateful idols, the very touch of which pollutes like that of a corpse, Numbers 19:11); "and hare filled My inheritance with their abominations."

18. first … double—Horsley translates, "I will recompense … once and again"; literally, "the first time repeated": alluding to the two captivities—the Babylonian and the Roman. Maurer, "I will recompense their former iniquities (those long ago committed by their fathers) and their (own) repeated sins" (Jer 16:11, 12). English Version gives a good sense, "First (before 'I bring them again into their land'), I will doubly (that is, fully and amply, Jer 17:18; Isa 40:2) recompense."

carcasses—not sweet-smelling sacrifices acceptable to God, but "carcasses" offered to idols, an offensive odor to God: human victims (Jer 19:5; Eze 16:20), and unclean animals (Isa 65:4; 66:17). Maurer explains it, "the carcasses" of the idols: their images void of sense and life. Compare Jer 16:19, 20. Le 26:30 favors this.

Before I will restore them, and return in my wonted favour to them, I will punish them for their ways which 1 have seen, which are ways of iniquity, and will plentifully punish them; (for so

double here signifies, not the double of what their sins deserve;) because by their idolatry, blood, and cruelty, and other sins, they have defiled the land which I own, and which I have given them; and have filled that country which I have chosen for and named

my inheritance with their

abominable things, that is, practices, or unclean beasts offered to their idols in sacrifices, or innocent persons slain by them. And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double,.... Or, "but first I will recompense", &c. (f); meaning, before he showed favour to them, and returned their captivity, Jeremiah 16:15, he would punish them according to their sins; not double to what they deserved, but to what: they were used to have, or he was used to inflict upon them, punishing them less than their sins deserved; but now he would reward them to the full, though not beyond the measure of justice, yet largely and abundantly, and with rigour and severity. Some understand this of God's gathering together all their sins and iniquities "from the beginning" (g), as they render the word; the sins of their fathers and their own, and punishing them for them all at once; or first their fathers' sins, and then their own, in which they imitated their fathers, and filled up the measure of their iniquity. So the Targum,

"and I will render to the second as to the first, for everyone of both, their iniquities and their sins.''

Because they have defiled my land; out of which he cast the Canaanites for the same reason; and which he chose for the place of his residence and worship, and settled the people of Israel for that purpose in it: that they might serve him in it, and not do as the Heathens before them had done, and which yet they did; and this was what was provoking to him.

They have filled mine inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things; with their idols, which were not only lifeless, but stinking, loathsome, and abominable; or unclean creatures, which were sacrificed unto them; and some think human sacrifices, the bodies of men, are meant: places of idolatrous worship were set up everywhere in the land, and therefore it is said to be filled therewith; and it was an aggravation of their wickedness, that this was done in a land which the Lord had chosen for his own possession, and had given to Israel as an inheritance.

(f) "sed reddum primum". (g) "ab initio" Calvin; "initio", Montanus.

And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled my inheritance with the {h} carcases of their detestable and abominable things.

(h) That is, their sons and daughters, who they offered to Molech.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. first] The word (rî’shônah) is not found in LXX, and was probably inserted after Jeremiah 16:14 f. had been introduced into the text. Co. however thinks it is a corruption of the frequent expression (e.g. Jdg 9:57) ‘al ro’shâm, upon their head.

double] Cp. Isaiah 40:2.

because they have polluted] The mg. is more strictly in accordance with the Hebrew.

the carcases, etc.] the idols themselves, called carcases as being in their nature polluting to the touch like a dead body.

The whole of Jeremiah 16:18 is unmetrical, and Co. rejects the second part (from “because”), as containing language belonging to later times, e.g. “carcases” in connexion with idols, as in Ezekiel 6 (specially in Jeremiah 16:5; Jeremiah 16:13) and Leviticus 26:30.Verse 18. - First - i.e. before "I bring them back again into their land" - I will recompense... double; i.e. amply, in full measure (comp. Jeremiah 17:18; Isaiah 40:2; Revelation 18:6). With the carcasses, etc. The idols, which "defile the consciences" of those who worship them, are compared to the most unclean and loathsome objects. "And when thou showest this people all these things, and they say unto thee, Wherefore hath Jahveh pronounced all this great evil against us, and what is our transgression, and what our sin that we have committed against Jahveh our God? Jeremiah 16:11. Then say thou to them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith Jahveh, and have walked after other gods, and served them, and worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and not kept my law; Jeremiah 16:12. And ye did yet worse than your fathers; and behold, ye walk each after the stubbornness of his evil heart, hearkening not unto me. Jeremiah 16:13. Therefore I cast you out of this land into the land which he know not, neither ye nor your fathers, and there may ye serve other gods day and night, because I will show you no favour. Jeremiah 16:14. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jahveh, that it shall no more be said, By the life of Jahveh, that brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt, Jeremiah 16:15. But, By the life of Jahveh, that brought the sons of Israel out of the land of the north, and out of all the lands whither I had driven them, and I bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers."

The turn of the discourse in Jeremiah 16:10 and Jeremiah 16:11 is like that in Jeremiah 5:19. With Jeremiah 16:11 cf. Jeremiah 11:8, Jeremiah 11:10; Jeremiah 7:24; with "ye did yet worse," etc., cf. 1 Kings 14:9; and on "after the stubbornness," cf. on 1 Kings 3:17. The apodosis begins with "therefore I cast you out." On this head cf. Jeremiah 7:15; Jeremiah 9:15, and Jeremiah 22:26. The article in על־הארץ, Graf quite unnecessarily insists on having cancelled, as out of place. It is explained sufficiently by the fact, that the land, of which mention has so often been made, is looked on as a specific one, and is characterized by the following relative clause, as one unknown to the people. Besides, the "ye know not" is not meant of geographical ignorance, but, as is often the case with ידע, the knowledge is that obtained by direct experience. They know not the land, because they have never been there. "There ye may serve them," Ros. justly characterizes as concessio cum ironia: there ye may serve, as long as ye will, the gods whom ye have so longed after. The irony is especially marked in the "day and night." Here Jeremiah has in mind Deuteronomy 4:28; Deuteronomy 28:36, Deuteronomy 28:63. אשׁר is causal, giving the grounds of the threat, "I cast you out." The form חנינה is hap leg . - In Jeremiah 16:14 and Jeremiah 16:15 the prophet opens to the people a view of ultimate redemption from the affliction amidst the heathen, into which, for their sin, they will be cast. By and by men will swear no more by Jahveh who redeemed them out of Egypt, but by Jahveh who has brought them again from the land of the north and the other lands into which they have been thrust forth. In this is implied that this second deliverance will be a blessing which shall outshine the former blessing of redemption from Egypt. But just as this deliverance will excel the earlier one, so much the greater will the affliction of Israel in the northern land be than the Egyptian bondage had been. On this point Ros. throws especial weight, remarking that the aim of these verses is not so much to give promise of coming salvation, as to announce instare illis atrocius malum, quam illud Aegyptiacum, eamque quam mox sint subituri servitutem multo fore duriorem, quam olim Aegyptiaca fuerit. But though this idea does lie implicite in the words, yet we must not fail to be sure that the prospect held out of a future deliverance of Israel from the lands into which it is soon to be scattered, and of its restoration again to the land of its fathers, has, in the first and foremost place, a comforting import, and that it is intended to preserve the godly from despair under the catastrophe which is now awaiting them.

(Note: Calvin has excellently brought out both moments, and has thus expounded the thought of the passage: "Scitis unde patres vestri exierint, nempe e fornace aenea, quemadmodum alibi loquitur (xi. 4) et quasi ex profunda morte; itaque redemptio illa debuit esse memorabilis usque ad finem mundi. Sed jam Deus conjiciet vos in abyssum, quae longe profundior erit illa Aegypti tyrannide, e qua erepti sunt patres vestri; nam si inde vos redimat, erit miraculum longe excellentius ad posteros, ut fere exstinguat vel saltem obscuret memoriam prioris illius redemptionis.")

לכן is not nevertheless, but, as universally, therefore; and the train of thought is as follows: Because the Lord will, for their idolatry, cast forth His people into the lands of the heathen, just for that very reason will their redemption from exile not fail to follow, and this deliverance surpass in gloriousness the greatest of all former deeds of blessing, the rescue of Israel from Egypt. The prospect of future redemption given amidst announcements of judgment cannot be surprising in Jeremiah, who elsewhere also interweaves the like happy forecastings with his most solemn threatenings; cf. Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:10, Jeremiah 5:18, with Jeremiah 3:14., Jeremiah 23:3., etc. "This ray of light, falling suddenly into the darkness, does not take us more by surprise than 'I will not make a full end,' Jeremiah 4:27. There is therefore no reason for regarding these two verses as interpolations from Jeremiah 23:7-8" (Graf).

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