Jeremiah 32:31
For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) From the day that they built it . . .—The words confirm the inference already drawn in the preceding note, that the thoughts of the prophet turn to the time when Israel was yet one people under David and Solomon. Even then, he seems to say, the city had fallen far short of the holiness which it ought to have attained. and which David sought for it (Psalms 15-24), and had only been for anger and for fury to the Lord. There is no Hebrew word answering to “provocation.” It is noticeable that the prophet, as if forgetting that Jerusalem had been a Jebusite city before David took possession (2Samuel 5:6-10), speaks as if it had been built by Israel. It is obvious, however, that it was so much enlarged and altered after this capture, that the words which so describe it may have been not only practically, but almost literally, true.

32:26-44 God's answer discovers the purposes of his wrath against that generation of the Jews, and the purposes of his grace concerning future generations. It is sin, and nothing else, that ruins them. The restoration of Judah and Jerusalem is promised. This people were now at length brought to despair. But God gives hope of mercy which he had in store for them hereafter. Doubtless the promises are sure to all believers. God will own them for his, and he will prove himself theirs. He will give them a heart to fear him. All true Christians shall have a disposition to mutual love. Though they may have different views about lesser things, they shall all be one in the great things of God; in their views of the evil of sin, and the low estate of fallen man, the way of salvation through the Saviour, the nature of true holiness, the vanity of the world, and the importance of eternal things. Whom God loves, he loves to the end. We have no reason to distrust God's faithfulness and constancy, but only our own hearts. He will settle them again in Canaan. These promises shall surely be performed. Jeremiah's purchase was the pledge of many a purchase that should be made after the captivity; and those inheritances are but faint resemblances of the possessions in the heavenly Canaan, which are kept for all who have God's fear in their hearts, and do not depart from him. Let us then bear up under our trials, assured we shall obtain all the good he has promised us.From their youth - God's mighty deeds for Israel began in Egypt Jeremiah 32:20, and so did Israel's sin.31. provocation of mine anger—literally, "for mine anger." Calvin, therefore, connects these words with those at the end of the verse, "this city has been to me an object for mine anger (namely, by reason of the provocations mentioned, Jer 32:30, &c.), that I should remove it," &c. Thus, there will not be the repetition of the sentiment, Jer 32:30, as in English Version; the Hebrew also favors this rendering. However, Jeremiah delights in repetitions. In English Version the words, "that I should remove it," &c., stand independently, as the result of what precedes. The time is ripe for taking vengeance on them (2Ki 23:27).

from the day that they built it—Solomon completed the building of the city; and it was he who, first of the Jewish kings, turned to idolatry. It was originally built by the idolatrous Canaanites.

Solomon finished the building of Jerusalem, and he at least suffered idolatry in it, 1 Kings 11:4,8. People have always been so fond of worshipping God according to their own fancies and inventions, that even in Judah (except in David’s time) the worship of God could hardly be preserved pure during the entire reign of one king. As if they had done it on purpose to provoke me to destroy the city, and cast the people of it out. Nothing more easy than for people to keep close to the Divine rule, as to external acts in worship; nothing is more provocative of God than their doing the contrary. Yet nothing hath been more rarely done in any nation, as if men had set themselves to dare a jealous God.

For this city hath been tame as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury,.... Or, "upon mine anger, and upon my fury this city was to me" (h); that is, it was upon his heart, and in his mind and purpose, being provoked to anger and wrath by their sins, to have destroyed it long ago, though he had deferred it to this time; the inhabitants of this city had been always a provoking people to him; and he had thought to have poured out his wrath and fury upon them:

from the day they built it, even unto this day: when built and inhabited by the idolatrous Canaanites; possessed by the Jebusites; rebuilt by David; beautified with the temple and other stately buildings by Solomon, who was drawn it, to idolatry by his wives. It is a tradition of the Jews, mentioned both by Jarchi and Kimchi, that the same day that the foundation of the temple was laid, Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter; and which was the foundation of his idolatry; and which was more or less practised in every reign afterwards, to this time; and which so provoked the Lord, that he took up this resolution early, though he did not put it in execution; expressed as follows:

that I should remove it from before my face; as a man does that which is nauseous and abominable to him; meaning the removing the inhabitants of it into other lands, or causing them to go into captivity; so the Targum.

(h) "super naso meo, et super ira mea fuit mihi civitas haec", Montanus; "in furore meo, et in ira mea", Pagninus, Vatablus.

For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. from the day that they built it] a somewhat loose expression (as it existed in Canaanitish times; see 2 Samuel 5:6 ff.) for its earliest days as an Israelitish city.

Verse 31. - From the day that they built it. It is useless to tell an impassioned orator that his words are not strictly consistent with primitive history. The Israelites may not have built Jerusalem, but Jeremiah was not to be debarred from the strongest form of expression open to him for such a reason. He means "from the earliest times." Jeremiah 32:31The answer of the Lord. - Behold, I am Jahveh, the God of all flesh; is there anything impossible to me? Jeremiah 32:28. Therefore, thus saith Jahveh: Behold, I give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, that he may take it. Jeremiah 32:29. The Chaldeans that fight against this city shall come, and shall set fire to this city, and burn it and the houses on whose roofs you have burned incense to Baal and poured out libations to other gods, to provoke me. Jeremiah 32:30. For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only what is evil in mine eyes from their youth; for the children of Israel have only provoked me with the work of their hands, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 32:31. For this city has been to me a burden upon mine anger and upon my wrath from the day that it was built till this day, that I might remove it from before my face;] Jeremiah 32:32. Because of all the wickedness of the children of Israel and the children of Judah, which they have done, to provoke me-they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 32:33. They turned to me the back and not the face; and though they were constantly being taught, they would not hear so as to receive instruction. Jeremiah 32:34. And they placed their abominations in the house which is called by my name, in order to defile it; Jeremiah 32:35. And built high places to Baal in the valley of Ben-hinnom, to devote their sons and their daughters of Moloch-which I did not command them, nor did it come into my mind that they would do such abomination-that they might lead Judah to sin. Jeremiah 32:36. And now, therefore, thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel, concerning this city, of which ye say, 'It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, through the sword, famine, and pestilence:' Jeremiah 32:37. Behold, I shall gather them out of all lands whither I have driven them in my wrath, and in mine anger, and in great rage, and shall bring them back to this place, and make them dwell safely. Jeremiah 32:38. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. Jeremiah 32:39. And I will give them one heart and one way, to fear me always, for good to them and to their children after them. Jeremiah 32:40. And I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I shall not turn aside form doing them good; and I will put my fear in their heart, that they may not depart from me. Jeremiah 32:41. And I shall rejoice over them, to do them good, and shall plant them in this land, in truth, with my whole heart and my whole soul. Jeremiah 32:42. For thus saith Jahveh: 'Just as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so shall I bring on them all the good of which I speak regarding them.' Jeremiah 32:43. And fields shall be bought in this land, of which ye say, It is a desolation, without man or beast, and it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Jeremiah 32:44. They shall buy fields for money, and write it in the letter, and seal it up, and take witnesses, in the land of Benjamin, and in the places round Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the hill-country, and in the cities of the plain, and in the cities of the south; for I shall turn again their captivity, saith Jahveh."

The Lord replies to the three points touched on in the prayer of the prophet. First, in Jeremiah 32:27, He emphatically confirms the acknowledgment that to Him, as Creator of heaven and earth, nothing is impossible (Jeremiah 32:17), and at the same time points out Himself as the God of all flesh, i.e., the God on whom depend the life and death of all men. This description of God is copied from Numbers 16:22; Numbers 27:16, where Jahveh is called "the God of the spirits of all flesh." "All flesh" is the name given to humanity, as being frail and perishing. - Then God reaffirms that Jerusalem will be given into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, and be burned by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:28.), because Israel and Judah have always roused His wrath by their idolatry and rebellion against His commands (Jeremiah 32:30-35). The substance of these verses has been often given before. On והצּיתוּ cf. Jeremiah 21:10; Jeremiah 37:8; on אשׁר cf. Jeremiah 19:13 with Jeremiah 7:9, Jeremiah 7:18. The mention of the children of Israel in connection with the children of Judah is not to be understood as if the destruction of Jerusalem was partly owing to the former; but it is here made, to signify that Judah can expect no better fate than the Israelites, whose kingdom has been destroyed long before, and who have for a long time now been driven into exile. היוּ, "they were only doing," i.e., doing nothing else than what is displeasing to the Lord. In Jeremiah 32:30 "the children of Israel" is a designation of the whole covenant people. The whole sentence has reference to Deuteronomy 31:29. "The work of their hands" is not the idols, but signifies the whole conduct and actions of the people. Jeremiah 32:31. The difficult construction היתה־לּי...על־אפּי is most easily explained from the employment of היה על with reference to the superincumbency of a duty or burden lying on one. "This city became to me a burden on my wrath," an object which lay upon my wrath, called it forth. No other explanation can be vindicated. The passages Jeremiah 52:3 and 2 Kings 24:3, 2 Kings 24:20, are of a different character, and the meaning juxta, secundum for על, after 2 Kings 6:14 (Hitzig), is quite unsuitable. The words, "from the day when it was built," are not to be referred to the earliest founding of Jerusalem, but to that time when the Israelites first built it; and even in reference to this, they are not to be pressed, but to be viewed as a rhetorically strong expression for, "from its earliest times." Even so early as David's time, opposition against Jahveh showed itself in the conspiracy of Absalom; and towards the end of Solomon's reign, idolatry had been introduced into Jerusalem, 1 Kings 11:5. After the words "to remove it from before my face," there follows once more, in Jeremiah 32:32, the reason of the rejection; cf. Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 11:17, and for enumeration of the several classes of the population, Jeremiah 2:26; Jeremiah 17:25. The sins are once more specified, Jeremiah 32:33-35; in Jeremiah 32:33, as a stiff-necked departure from God, and in Jeremiah 32:34. the mention of the greatest abomination of idolatry, the setting up of idols in the temple, and of the worship of Moloch. With 33a cf. Jeremiah 2:27. The inf. abs. ולמּד stands with special emphasis instead of the finite tense: though they were taught from early morn, yet they were inattentive still. On this point cf. Jeremiah 2:13, Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 25:3-4. On לקחת מוּסר cf. Jeremiah 17:23; Jeremiah 7:28. Jeremiah 32:34, Jeremiah 32:35 are almost identical with Jeremiah 7:30-31. לעשׂות וגו does not belong to the relative clause אשׁר לא וגו' (Nהgelsbach), but is parallel to להעביר וגו', continuing the main clause: "that they should commit these abominations, and thereby cause Judah to sin," i.e., bring them into sin and guilt. החטי with א dropped; see Jeremiah 19:15. - After setting forth the sin for which Judah had drawn on herself the judgment through the Chaldeans, the Lord proclaims, Jeremiah 32:36., the deliverance of the people from exile, and their restoration; thus He answers the question which had been put to Him, Jeremiah 32:25. ועתּה, "but now," marks what follows as the antithesis to what precedes. "Therefore, thus saith Jahveh," in Jeremiah 32:36, corresponds to the same words in Jeremiah 32:28. Because nothing is impossible to the Lord, He shall, as God of Israel, gather again those who have been scattered through every land, and bring them back into their own country. "To this city," - namely, of which ye speak. The suffix of מקבּצם refers to העיר, whose inhabitants are meant. Jerusalem, as the capital, represents the whole kingdom. "The dispersed" are thus, in general, the inhabitants of Judah. Hence, too, from the nature of the case, "this place" is the kingdom of Judah. On this point cf. Ezekiel 36:11, Ezekiel 36:33; Hosea 11:11.

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