Jeremiah 17:17
Be not a terror to me: you are my hope in the day of evil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Be not a terror . . .—i.e., a cause of terror or dismay. The words are explained by what follows. The prophet had put his hope in Jehovah, but if he were left to himself, his message unfulfilled, himself a by-word and a jest, what a contrast would all this be to what he had been led to hope! Would not his work as a prophet be more terrible than ever? The feeling expressed is like that of Jeremiah 15:10.

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.A terror - Rather, "a cause of dismay," or consternation Jeremiah 1:17. By not fulfilling Jeremiah's prediction God Himself seemed to put him to shame.17. a terror—namely, by deserting me: all I fear is Thine abandoning me; if Thou art with me, I have no fear of evil from enemies. Though these rebellious wicked men affright and terrify me, yet, Lord, be not thou a terror to me, own and defend me as thy prophet; for thou alone art he in whom I place my hope and trust in a day of trouble. Be not a terror unto me,.... By deserting him, and leaving him in the hands of his enemies; or by denying him supports under their reproaches and persecution; or by withdrawing his gracious presence from him, than which nothing is more terrible to a good man; or by withholding the comfortable influences of his Spirit; or by suffering terrors to be injected into him from any quarter; and more is meant than is expressed; namely, that God would be a comforter of him, and bear him up under all his troubles:

thou art my hope in the day of evil: the author and object of his hope; the ground and foundation of it, from whom he hoped for deliverance, when it was a time of distress with him, from outward as well as from inward enemies; he was his hope in a time of outward calamity, and in the hour of death and day of judgment.

Be not {q} a terror to me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.

(q) However the wicked deal rigorously with me, yet let me find comfort in you.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. terror] a cause of dismay. See ch. Jeremiah 1:17, with note. The root occurs as a verb (dismayed) twice in the next v.Verse 17. - Jeremiah reckons on Jehovah's protection; he therefore entreats that his God will not bring him to shame by leaving his prophecies unfulfilled. A terror is a weak rendering; a consternation would be better. Only God searches the heart and tries the reins, the seat of the most hidden emotions and feelings, cf. Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 12:3, and deals accordingly, requiting each according to his life and his doings. The ו before לתת, which is wanting in many MSS and is not expressed by the old translators, is not to be objected to. It serves to separate the aim in view from the rest, and to give it the prominence due to an independent thought; cf. Ew. 340, b. As to the truth itself, cf. Jeremiah 32:19. With this is joined the common saying as to the partridge, Jeremiah 17:11. The aim is not to specify greed as another root of the corruption of the heart, or to give another case of false confidence in the earthly (Ng., Graf); but to corroborate by a common saying, whose truth should be obvious to the people, the greater truth, that God, as Searcher of hearts, requites each according to his works. The proverb ran: He that gains riches, and that by wrong, i.e., in an unjust, dishonourable manner, is like a partridge which hatches eggs it has not laid. In the Proverbs we often find comparisons, as here, without the כּ similit.: a gainer of riches is a partridge (Rephuhn, properly Rphuhn from rpen equals rufen, to call or cry); a bird yet found in plenty in the tribe of Judah; cf. Robinson, Palestine. All other interpretations are arbitrary. It is true that natural history has not proved the fact of this peculiarity of the partridge, on which the proverb was founded; testimonies as to this habit of the creature are found only in certain Church fathers, and these were probably deduced from this passage (cf. Winer, bibl. R. W., art. Rebhuhn). But the proverb assumes only the fact that such was the widespread popular belief amongst the Israelites, without saying anything as to the correctness of it. "HatCheth and layeth not" are to be taken relatively. דּגר, the Targum word in Job 39:14 for חמּם, fovere, sig. hatch, lit., to hold eggs close together, cover eggs; see on Isaiah 34:15. ילד, to bring forth, here of laying eggs. As to the Kametz in both words, see Ew. 100, c. The point of the comparison, that the young hatched out of another bird's eggs forsake the mother, is brought out in the application of the proverb. Hence is to be explained "forsake him:" the riches forsake him, instead of: are lost to him, vanish, in the half of his days, i.e., in the midst of life; and at the end of his life he shall be a fool, i.e., the folly of his conduct shall fully appear.
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