Jeremiah 2:1
Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
II.

(1) The first chapter had given the narrative of the call which had impressed itself indelibly on the prophet’s mind. The next five run on as one continuous whole, and, looking to the fact that the original record of his prophetic work during the reign of Josiah had been destroyed by Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 36:23), and was afterwards re-written from memory, it is probable that we have a kind of précis of what was then destroyed, with some additions (Jeremiah 36:32), and possibly some omissions. In Jeremiah 3:6 we have the name of Josiah definitely mentioned.

Jeremiah 2:1. Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me — The discourse begun here is continued to the end of the fifth verse of the next chapter. In it God professes to retain the same kind and merciful disposition toward his people which he had manifested in their earlier days. He expostulates with them on their ungrateful returns for his past goodness, and shows that it was not want of love in him, but their own extreme and unparalleled wickedness, which had already subjected, and would still subject them, to calamities and misery. He concludes with a pathetic address, exhorting them to return to him, with an implied promise of acceptance; and laments the necessity he was under, through their continued obstinacy, of giving them further proofs of his displeasure. See Blaney.

2:1-8 Those who begin well, but do not persevere, will justly be upbraided with their hopeful and promising beginnings. Those who desert religion, commonly oppose it more than those who never knew it. For this they could have no excuse. God's spiritual Israel must own their obligations to him for safe conduct through the wilderness of this world, so dangerous to the soul. Alas, that many, who once appeared devoted to the Lord, so live that their professions aggravate their crimes! Let us be careful that we do not lose in zeal and fervency, as we gain knowledge.Moreover - literally, And. Notice the connection between Jeremiah's call and first prophecy. CHAPTER 2

Jer 2:1-37. Expostulation with the Jews, Reminding Them of Their Former Devotedness, and God's Consequent Favor, and a Denunciation of God's Coming Judgments for Their Idolatry.

Probably in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah (Jer 1:2; compare Jer 3:6, "also … in … days of Josiah"). The warning not to rely as they did on Egypt (Jer 2:18), was in accordance with Josiah's policy, who took part with Assyria and Babylon against Egypt (2Ki 23:29). Jeremiah, doubtless, supported the reformation begun by Josiah, in the previous year (the twelfth of his reign), and fully carried out in the eighteenth.God’s numerous and continued mercies render the Jews in their idolatry inexcusable, and unparalleled in any nation; and themselves the causes of their calamities, Jeremiah 2:1-19. Their gross idolatry, Jeremiah 2:20-28; incorrigibleness, blood-shedding, and hypocrisy, Jeremiah 2:29-37.

Now God begins by Jeremiah to deal with the Jews, and to put him upon his work, having fitted him for it: this seeming to be his first sermon, it notes speed, and quick despatch about his business.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying. Here begins the book, and Jeremiah's first sermon; and the following contains the message he was sent with, to which the preceding chapter is only a preface or introduction. The Targum calls it,

"the word of the prophecy from before the Lord.''

Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. the kindness of thy youths the love of thine espousals] This has been taken as meaning, the kindness and love (a) of Israel towards God, or (b) of God towards Israel. In favour of (a) is urged (i) the sense of the rest of the v., (ii) that the ‘kindness’ and ‘love’ spoken of evidently refer to the past, while God’s attitude of grace towards Israel is still the same that it has ever been. On the other hand for (b) it may be said (i) that the original word (חֶסֶד) is ordinarily used of God’s attitude to man (but see Isaiah 57:1; Hosea 6:4; Hosea 6:6), (ii) that even in the wilderness Israel was often unfaithful (cp. Jeremiah 7:25; Ezekiel 2:3; Ezekiel 20:13 ff.), (iii) that the whole tone of Deut., to which these prophecies (see Intr. iii. § 16) are so closely related in language, indicates God’s free choice of Israel and her ingratitude. In this latter case the sense will be (using a bold metaphor), “I have not forgotten my love for my young bride,” i.e. Israel’s consecration and my promise to defend her. For this metaphorical application of the thought of a marriage union between Jehovah and Israel, cp. Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 54:4 ff., Isaiah 62:4 f.

Jeremiah 2:1"And then came to me the word of Jahveh, saying: Go and publish in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: I have remembered to thy account the love of thy youth, the lovingness of thy courtship time, thy going after me in the wilderness, in a land unsown. Holy was Israel to the Lord, his first-fruits of the produce: all who would have devoured him brought guilt upon themselves: evil came upon him, is the saying of Jahveh." The Jeremiah 2:2 and Jeremiah 2:3 are not "in a certain sense the text of the following reproof" (Graf), but contain "the main idea which shows the cause of the following rebuke" (Hitz.): The Lord has rewarded the people of Israel with blessings for its love to Him. זכר with ל pers. and accus. rei means: to remember to one's account that it may stand him in good stead afterwards - cf. Nehemiah 5:19; Nehemiah 13:22, Nehemiah 13:31; Psalm 98:3; Psalm 106:45, etc. - that it may be repaid with evil, Nehemiah 6:14; Nehemiah 13:29; Psalm 79:8, etc. The perfect זכרתּי is to be noted, and not inverted into the present. It is a thing completed that is spoken of; what the Lord has done, not what He is going on with. He remembered to the people Israel the love of its youth. חסד, ordinarily, condescending love, graciousness and favour; here, the self-devoting, nestling love of Israel to its God. The youth of Israel is the time of the sojourn in Egypt and of the exodus thence (Hosea 2:17; Hosea 11:1); here the latter, as is shown by the following: lovingness of the courtship. The courtship comprises the time from the exodus out of Egypt till the concluding of the covenant at Sinai (Exodus 19:8). When the Lord redeemed Israel with a strong hand out of the power of Egypt, He chose it to be His spouse, whom He bare on eagles' wings and brought unto Himself, Exodus 19:4. The love of the bride to her Lord and Husband, Israel proved by its following Him as He went before in the wilderness, the land where it is not sown, i.e., followed Him gladly into the parched, barren wilderness. "Thy going after me" is decisive for the question so much debated by commentators, whether חסד and אהבה stand for the love of Israel to its God, or God's love to Israel. The latter view we find so early as Chrysostom, and still in Rosenm. and Graf; but it is entirely overthrown by the לכתּך אחרי, which Chrysost. transforms into ποιῆσας ἐξακολουθῆσαι μου, while Graf takes no notice of it. The reasons, too, which Graf, after the example of Rosenm. and Dathe, brings in support of this and against the only feasible exposition, are altogether valueless. The assertion that the facts forbid us to understand the words of the love of Israel to the Lord, because history represents the Israelites, when vixdum Aegypto egressos, as refractarios et ad aliorum deorum cultum pronos, cannot be supported by a reference to Deuteronomy 9:6, Deuteronomy 9:24; Isaiah 48:8; Amos 5:25., Psalm 106:7. History knows of no apostasy of Israel from its God and no idolatry of the people during the time from the exodus out of Egypt till the arrival at Sinai, and of this time alone Jeremiah speaks. All the rebellions of Israel against its God fall within the time after the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai, and during the march from Sinai to Canaan. On the way from Egypt to Sinai the people murmured repeatedly, indeed, against Moses; at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh was pursuing with chariots and horsemen (Exodus 14:11.); at Marah, where they were not able to drink the water for bitterness (15:24); in the wilderness of Sin, for lack of bread and meat (Jeremiah 16:2.); and at Massah, for want of water (Jeremiah 17:2.). But in all these cases the murmuring was no apostasy from the Lord, no rebellion against God, but an outburst of timorousness and want of proper trust in God, as is abundantly clear from the fact that in all these cases of distress and trouble God straightway brings help, with the view of strengthening the confidence of the timorous people in the omnipotence of His helping grace. Their backsliding from the Lord into heathenism begins with the worship of the golden calf, after the covenant had been entered into at Sinai (Exodus 32), and is continued in the revolts on the way from Sinai to the borders of Canaan, at Taberah, at Kibroth-hattaavah (Numbers 11), in the desert of Paran at Kadesh (Numbers 13; 20); and each time it was severely punished by the Lord.

Neither are we to conclude, with J. D. Mich., that God interprets the journey through the desert in meliorem partem, and makes no mention of their offences and revolts; nor with Graf, that Jeremiah looks steadily away from all that history tells of the march of the Israelites through the desert, of their discontent and refractoriness, of the golden calf and of Baal Peor, and, idealizing the past as contrasted with the much darker present, keeps in view only the brighter side of the old times. Idealizing of this sort is found neither elsewhere in Jeremiah nor in any other prophet; nor is there anything of the kind in our verse, if we take up rightly the sense of it and the thread of the thought. It becomes necessary so to view it, only if we hold the whole forty years' sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness to be the espousal time, and make the marriage union begin not with the covenanting at Sinai, but with the entrance of Israel into Canaan. Yet more entirely without foundation is the other assertion, that the words rightly given as the sense is, "stand in no connection with the following, since then the point in hand is the people's forgetfulness of the divine benefits, its thanklessness and apostasy, not at all the deliverances wrought by Jahveh in consideration of its former devotedness." For in Jeremiah 2:2 it is plainly enough told how God remembered to the people its love. Israel was so shielded by Him, as His sanctuary, that whoever touched it must pay the penalty. קדשׁ are all gifts consecrated to Jahveh. The Lord has made Israel a holy offering consecrated to Him in this, that He has separated it to Himself for a סגלּה, for a precious possession, and has chosen it to be a holy people: Exodus 19:5.; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2. We can explain from the Torah of offering the further designation of Israel: his first-fruits; the first of the produce of the soil or yield of the land belonged, as קדשׁ, to the Lord: Exodus 23:19; Numbers 8:8, etc. Israel, as the chosen people of God, as such a consecrated firstling. Inasmuch as Jahveh is Creator and Lord of the whole world, all the peoples are His possession, the harvest of His creation. But amongst the peoples of the earth He has chosen Israel to Himself for a firstling-people (,ראשׁית הגּוים Amos 6:1), and so pronounced it His sanctuary, not to be profaned by touch. Just as each laic who ate of a firstling consecrated to God incurred guilt, so all who meddled with Israel brought guilt upon their heads. The choice of the verb אכליו is also to be explained from the figure of firstling-offerings. The eating of firstling-fruit is appropriation of it to one's own use. Accordingly, by the eating of the holy people of Jahveh, not merely the killing and destroying of it is to be understood, but all laying of violent hands on it, to make it a prey, and so all injury or oppression of Israel by the heathen nations. The practical meaning of יאשׁמוּ is given by the next clause: mischief came upon them. The verbs יאשׁמוּ and תּבא dna יא are not futures; for we have here to do not with the future, but with what did take place so long as Israel showed the love of the espousal time to Jahveh. Hence rightly Hitz.: "he that would devour it must pay the penalty." An historical proof of this is furnished by the attack of the Amalekites on Israel and its result, Exodus 17:8-15.

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