Jeremiah 20:4
For thus said the LORD, Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself, and to all your friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.
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(4) I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends.—We should have looked for a different explanation, indicating that terrors from without should gather round the cruel and relentless persecutor, but the prophet’s words go deeper. He should be an object of self-loathing, outer fears intensifying his inward terror and acting through him on others. He is the centre from which terrors radiate as well as that to which they converge.

20:1-6 Pashur smote Jeremiah, and put him in the stocks. Jeremiah was silent till God put a word into his mouth. To confirm this, Pashur has a name given him, Fear on every side. It speaks a man not only in distress, but in despair; not only in danger, but in fear on every side. The wicked are in great fear where no fear is, for God can make the most daring sinner a terror to himself. And those who will not hear of their faults from God's prophets, shall be made to hear them from their consciences. Miserable is the man thus made a terror to himself. His friends shall fail him. God lets him live miserably, that he may be a monument of Divine justice.A terror to thyself, and to all thy friends - Jeremiah plays upon the meaning of Magormissabib saying that Pusbur would be a terror to all around. It is remarkable that he prophesies no evil of Pashur Jeremiah 20:6. His was to be the milder fate of being carried into captivity with Jehoiachin, and dying peaceably at Babylon Jeremiah 20:6, whereas his successor Zephaniah was put to death at Riblah Jeremiah 52:24, Jeremiah 52:27. His punishment probably consisted in this. He had prophesied "lies." When then he saw the dreadful slaughter of his countrymen, Jehoiakim put to death, his young son dragged into captivity, and the land stripped of all that was best, his conscience so condemned him as the guilty cause of such great misery that in the agonies of remorse he became a terror to himself and his friends. 4. terror … to all thy friends—who have believed thy false promises (Jer 20:6). The sense must be in order to accord with "fear round about" (Jer 20:3). I will bring terror on thee and on all thy friends, that terror arising from thyself, namely, thy false prophecies. Thou and thy prophecies will be seen, to the dismay both of thee and thy dupes, to have caused their ruin and thine. Maurer's translation is therefore not needed, "I will give up thee and all thy friends to terror." God now expoundeth the name of Magor-missabib, threatening to fill this wicked priest with terrors, that he and all his friends should be affrighted, reflecting upon his most miserable state and condition; and his friends, from whom he might possibly expect some relief, should be as miserable as he; and it should be an addition to his misery, that his eyes should see it, and see his whole country ruined, some being slain by the sword of the king of Babylon, others by him carried into captivity. For thus saith the, Lord, behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends,.... This is an interpretation of the name given, "Magormissabib": and shows that it was not a mere name he had, but that he should be in fact what that signifies; his conscience should be filled with terror at the judgments of God coming upon him for his sins; and which could not be concealed in his own breast from others, but he should be seized with such tremblings and shakings, and be such a spectacle of horror, that his own familiar friends, instead of delighting in his company, would shun it, and run away from him: unless this terror is to be understood of the Chaldean army, which should not only terrify him, but his friends, in whom he placed his confidence; these would be thrown into such a consternation, as not to be able to help him or themselves; to which the following words agree:

and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it; which would be an aggravation of the calamity, that not only he should be deprived of their assistance, but that they should fall into and by the hands of the Babylonians, and in his sight also:

and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon; the whole land, and the inhabitants of it:

and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword; being in his hands, he shall do as he pleases with them, either carry them captive, or slay them; and some he will dispose of one way, and some another.

For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword.
In Jeremiah 19:6-13 the threatened punishment is given again at large, and that in two strophes or series of ideas, which explain the emblematical act with the pitcher. The first series, Jeremiah 19:6-9, is introduced by בּקּותי, which intimates the meaning of the pitcher; and the other, Jeremiah 19:10-13, is bound up with the breaking of the pitcher. But both series are, Jeremiah 19:6, opened by the mention of the locality of the act. As Jeremiah 19:5 was but an expansion of Jeremiah 7:31, so Jeremiah 19:6 is a literal repetition of Jeremiah 7:32. The valley of Benhinnom, with its places for abominable sacrifices (תּפת, see on Jeremiah 7:32), shall in the future be called Valley of Slaughter; i.e., at the judgment on Jerusalem it will be the place where the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah will be slain by the enemy. There God will make void (בּקּותי, playing on בּקבּק), i.e., bring to nothing; for what is poured out comes to nothing; cf. Isaiah 19:3. There they shall fall by the sword in such numbers that their corpses shall be food for the beasts of prey (cf. Jeremiah 7:33), and the city of Jerusalem shall be frightfully ravaged (Jeremiah 19:8, cf. Jeremiah 18:16; Jeremiah 25:9, etc.). מכּתה (plural form of suffix without Jod; cf. Ew. 258, a), the wounds she has received. - In Jeremiah 19:9 is added yet another item to complete the awful picture, the terrible famine during the siege, partly taken from the words of Deuteronomy 28:53. and Leviticus 26:29. That this appalling misery did actually come about during the last siege by the Chaldeans, we learn from Lamentations 4:10. - The second series, Jeremiah 19:10-13, is introduced by the act of breaking the pitcher. This happens before the eyes of the elders who have accompanied Jeremiah thither: to them the explanatory word of the Lord is addressed. As the earthen pitcher, so shall Jerusalem - people and city - be broken to pieces; and that irremediably. This is implied in: as one breaks a potter's vessel, etc. (הרפה for הרפא). The next clause: and in Tophet they shall bury, etc., is omitted by the lxx as a repetition from Jeremiah 7:32, and is object to by Ew., Hitz., and Graf, as not being in keeping with its context. Ew. proposes to insert it before "as one breaketh;" but this transposition only obscures the meaning of the clause. It connects very suitably with the idea of the incurable breaking in sunder. Because the breaking up of Jerusalem and its inhabitants shall be incurable, shall be like the breaking of a pitcher dashed into countless fragments, therefore there will be lack of room in Jerusalem to bury the dead, and the unclean places of Tophet will need to be used for that purpose. With this the further thought of Jeremiah 19:12 and Jeremiah 19:13 connects simply and suitably. Thus (as had been said at Jeremiah 19:11) will I do unto this place and its inhabitants, ולתת, and that to make the city as Tophet, i.e., not "a mass of sherds and rubbish, as Tophet now is" (Graf); for neither was Tophet then a rubbish-heap, nor did it so become by the breaking of the pitcher. But Josiah had turned all the place of Tophet in the valley of Benhinnom into an unclean region (2 Kings 23:10). All Jerusalem shall become an unclean place like Tophet. This is put in so many words in Jeremiah 19:13 : The houses of Jerusalem shall become unclean like the place Tophet, namely, all houses on whose roofs idolatry has been practised. The construction of הטּמאים causes some difficulty. The position of the word at the end disfavours our connecting it with the subject בּתּי, and so does the article, which does not countenance its being taken as predicate. To get rid of the article, J. D. Mich. and Ew. sought to change the reading into תּפתּה טמאים, after Isaiah 30:33. But תּפתּה means a Tophet-like place, not Tophet itself, and so gives no meaning to the purpose. No other course is open than to join the word with "the place Tophet:" like the place Tophet, which is unclean. The plural would then be explained less from the collective force of מקום than from regard to the plural subject. "All the houses" opens a supplementary definition of the subject: as concerning all houses; cf. Ew. 310, a. On the worship of the stars by sacrifice on the housetops, transplanted by Manasseh to Jerusalem, see the expos. of Zephaniah 1:5 and 2 Kings 21:3. 'והסּך, coinciding literally with Jeremiah 7:18; the inf. absol. being attached to the verb. finit. of the former clause (Ew. 351, c.). - Thus far the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, which he was to proclaim in the valley of Benhinnom. - The execution of the divine commission is, as being a matter of course, not expressly recounted, but is implied in Jeremiah 19:14 as having taken place.
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