Jeremiah 17:15
Behold, they say to me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Behold, they say unto me.—The speakers are not named or defined, but they are clearly the mockers who questioned Jeremiah’s prophetic character, on the ground (comp. Deuteronomy 18:22) that his threats had received no fulfilment. Presumably, therefore, the words were written before the death of Jehoiakim and the capture of Jerusalem.

Let it come now.—The last word is the usual formula of request, and implies a mocking tone in the speakers: “Let it come, if you please.

Jeremiah 17:15-18. Behold, they say unto me — Scoffing at me, as if I had denounced threatenings in thy name, without any order or direction from thee: Where is the word of the Lord? — Like the scoffers, mentioned by St. Peter, 2 Peter 3:4, saying, Where is the promise of his coming? This has been the practice of all wicked men, hardened in their sinful courses, and resolved to go on in them: they put the evil day far from them, and scoff at all denunciations of divine wrath. Let it come now — So said these scoffers, daring the vengeance of God, and challenging him to execute the judgments he had threatened. As for me, I have not hastened, &c. — Dr. Waterland translates this clause, “But as for me, I have not forced or intruded myself upon thee for a pastor.” To the same sense the Geneva translation interprets the words. According to which reading the prophet solemnly appeals to God that he had not intruded himself into the office of a prophet, nor had been desirous of an employment that foreboded so much evil to others, and brought a great deal of trouble upon himself. The words in the Hebrew, however, are literally as our translation expresses them, and may be paraphrased thus, “As I did not seek the office of a prophet, so when thou wast pleased to call me to it I did not decline it.” The LXX, render it, εγω δε ουκ εκοπιασα κατακολουθων οπισω σου, I have not been weary of following thee. Neither have I desired the woful day — Namely, the day of the accomplishment of his prophecies. Though, when it came, it would prove him to have been a true prophet, which they had questioned, and would be the avenging of him upon his persecutors, and therefore, on those accounts, he might have been tempted to desire it; yet, as it would be a woful day to Jerusalem, he deprecated it, and could appeal to God that he wished it might never come. That which came out of my lips was right before thee — That is, it exactly agreed with what I had received from thee. Be not a terror unto me — Amidst all the terrors, with which mine adversaries threaten me, let me still find comfort in thee; and let not any apprehension of being forsaken by thee be added to my other fears. Let them be confounded, &c. — See notes on Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 16:18.17:12-18 The prophet acknowledges the favour of God in setting up religion. There is fulness of comfort in God, overflowing, ever-flowing fulness, like a fountain. It is always fresh and clear, like spring-water, while the pleasures of sin are puddle-waters. He prays to God for healing, saving mercy. He appeals to God concerning his faithful discharge of the office to which he was called. He humbly begs that God would own and protect him in the work to which he had plainly called him. Whatever wounds or diseases we find to be in our hearts and consciences, let us apply to the Lord to heal us, to save us, that our souls may praise his name. His hands can bind up the troubled conscience, and heal the broken heart; he can cure the worst diseases of our nature.This taunt shows that this prophecy was written before any very signal fulfillment of Jeremiah's words had taken place, and prior therefore to the capture of Jerusalem at the close of Jehoiakim's life. "Now" means "I pray," and is ironical.15. Where is the word?—(Isa 5:19; Am 5:18). Where is the fulfilment of the threats which thou didst utter as from God? A characteristic of the last stage of apostasy (2Pe 3:4). They say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? scoffing at me, as if I had threatened them in thy name without any order or direction from thee, as the scoffers mentioned by Peter, 2 Peter 3:4, said, Where is the promise of his coming? This hath been the practice of all wicked men hardened in their sinful courses, and resolved to go on, to put the evil day far from them, and to scoff at all denunciations of God’s judgments, Isaiah 5:19 Amos 5:18.

Let it come now; daring the vengeance of God, and challenging God to damn them, or to execute the vengeance with which he threateneth them. Behold, they say unto me,.... Or, "they are saying unto me" (y), continually; these were their daily flouts and jeers:

Where is the word of the Lord? that thou hast so often talked of? thou hast for a long time threatened us with a siege, and famine, pestilence, and the sword, and captivity, but none of these come to pass; where is the accomplishment of them? thou hast pretended to have the word of the Lord for all this; but where is it, or the fulfilment of it? so the Targum,

"where is that which thou hast prophesied in the name of the Lord?''

the judgments, as punishments for sin, he prophesied of. This has been always usual in all ages, that when God's judgments threatened have not been immediately executed, scoffers and mockers have rose up, suggesting they would never come; see Malachi 2:17;

let it come now; immediately, or we shall not believe it ever will; a very impudent, daring, and wicked expression: this is like that in Isaiah 5:19. The Targum is,

"let it now be confirmed;''

or fulfilled; declaring as their impiety, so their infidelity; not believing it ever would be fulfilled.

(y) "ecce illi sunt dicentes ad me", Schmidt.

Behold, {o} they say to me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.

(o) The wicked say that my prophecy will not come to pass, because you deferred the time of your vengeance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. The scoffs of his enemies suggested to him thoughts of such faithlessness as would never otherwise have occurred to him. For their derision of his predictions cp. Isaiah 5:19. The v. shews that the time is, at any rate, before the capture of Jerusalem at the end of Jehoiakim’s reign. If that event had occurred, the people would not, as here, challenge the prophet to point out a fulfilment of his prophecies of woe.

now] not denoting time, but in the sense of we pray thee.Verse 15. - The occasion of this prayer is the hostility of his neighbors, and their mocking question, Where is the word of the Lord? The prophecy seems to be floating as it were in mid-air, unable to alight (Isaiah 9:8) and fulfill itself, so that Jeremiah could be plausibly treated as a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22). Hence, as Keil remarks, the discourse of which this forms the conclusion must have been spoken before the first Babylonian invasion of Judah. To bring this truth home to the people, the prophet in Jeremiah 17:9 discloses the nature of the human heart, and then shows in Jeremiah 17:10 how God, as the Searcher of hearts, requites man according to his conduct. Trust in man has its seat in the heart, which seeks thereby to secure to itself success and prosperity. But the heart of man is more deceitful, cunning than all else עקב, from the denom. עקב .moned , to deal treacherously). אנוּשׁ, lit., dangerously sick, incurable, cf. Jeremiah 15:18; here, sore wounded by sin, corrupt or depraved. Who can know it? i.e., fathom its nature and corruptness. Therefore a man must not trust the suggestions and illusions of his own heart.
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