Jeremiah 4:18
Your way and your doings have procured these things to you; this is your wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reaches to your heart.
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(18) This is thy wickedness.—Better, this is thy evil. She was reaping the fruit of her own doing, and this gave her sorrows a fresh bitterness. The Hebrew word, like the English “evil,” includes both guilt and its punishment.

Jeremiah 4:18. Thy way and thy doings — Thy manner of life, and particularly thy idolatries; have procured these things unto thee — Have been the causes of this thy grievous affliction, of bringing such a bitter enemy against thee, which hath reached unto thy very heart. “Whatsoever happens to you,” says Jerome on the place, “happens by your own fault, who have turned the sweet goodness of God into bitterness, and have compelled him, however unwilling, to rage against you.”4:5-18 The fierce conqueror of the neighbouring nations was to make Judah desolate. The prophet was afflicted to see the people lulled into security by false prophets. The approach of the enemy is described. Some attention was paid in Jerusalem to outward reformation; but it was necessary that their hearts should be washed, in the exercise of true repentance and faith, from the love and pollution of sin. When lesser calamities do not rouse sinners and reform nations, sentence will be given against them. The Lord's voice declares that misery is approaching, especially against wicked professors of the gospel; when it overtakes them, it will be plainly seen that the fruit of wickedness is bitter, and the end is fatal.Thy wickedness - This siege is thy wickedness, i. e., in its results; or better, this is thy wretchedness, this army and thy approaching ruin is thy misery.

Because - "For." To feel that one's misery is the result of one's own doings adds bitterness to the anguish, and makes it reach, penetrate to the heart.

18. (Jer 2:17, 19; Ps 107:17).

this is thy wickedness—that is, the fruit of thy wickedness.

Thy way; thy manner of life, and particularly thy idolatries.

Have procured these things unto thee: q.d. Thou canst not lay any blame upon me.

This is thy wickedness, because it is bitter; thy wickedness hath been the cause of this thy grievous affliction, Isaiah 1:1 Jeremiah 2:17,19, of this thy bitterness of bringing such a bitter enemy against thee, a metonymy of the efficient, which hath reached unto thy very heart, as the sword is said to reach unto the soul, Jeremiah 4:10. Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee,.... The way in which they walked, which was an evil one; and the actions which they committed; their idolatries, backslidings, and rebellions, before spoken of in this and the preceding chapter, were the cause of this siege, and those calamities coming upon them; they had none to blame but themselves; it was their own sinful ways and works which brought this ruin and destruction on them:

this is thy wickedness; the fruit of thy wickedness; or, "this thy calamity"; that is, is owing to these things; so the word is rendered in Psalm 141:5,

because it is bitter; not sin, as in Jeremiah 2:19, but the punishment of it; the calamity before mentioned; which was hard and heavy, and grievous to be borne, and yet very just; it was by way of retaliation; "they had bitterly provoked the Lord", as the word may be rendered in the preceding verse; and now he sends them a bitter calamity, and a heavy judgment:

because it reacheth unto thine heart; into the midst of them, and utterly destroyed them. The two last clauses may be rendered, "though it is bitter, though it reacheth unto thine heart" (d); though it is such a sore distress, and such an utter destruction, yet it was to be ascribed to nothing else but their own sins and transgressions.

(d) "quamvis amarum sit, quamvis pertigerit", Calvin.

Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.
18. Thy way and thy doings] See on Jeremiah 7:3.

wickedness] i.e. its result, viz. calamity.Verse 18. - This is thy wickedness; i.e. the effect of thy wickedness. (For the following words, comp. Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 4:10.) Because; rather, truly. Description of the impending ruin, from which nothing can save but speedy repentance. - Jeremiah 4:11. "At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bleak hills in the wilderness cometh on the way toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow and not to cleanse. Jeremiah 4:12. A wind fuller than for this shall come to me; now will I also utter judgments upon them. Jeremiah 4:13. Behold, like clouds it draws near, and like the storm are it chariots, swifter than eagles its horses. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. Jeremiah 4:14. Wash from wickedness thy heart, Jerusalem, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thine iniquitous thoughts lodge within thee? Jeremiah 4:15. For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from the Mount Ephraim. Jeremiah 4:16. Tell it to the peoples; behold, publish it to Jerusalem: Besiegers come from a far country, and let their voice ring out against the cities of Judah. Jeremiah 4:17. As keepers of a field, they are against her round about; for against me hath she rebelled, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 4:18. Thy way and thy doings have wrought thee this. This is thy wickedness; yea, it is bitter, yea, it reaCheth unto thine heart."

A more minute account of the impending judgment is introduced by the phrase: at that time. It shall be said to this people; in other words, it shall be said of this people; substantially, that shall fall upon it which is expressed by the figure following, a hot wind blowing from the naked hills of the wilderness. רוּח is stat. constr., and שׁפים dna its genitive, after which latter the adjective צח should be placed; but it is interpolated between the nomen regens and the n. rectum by reason of its smallness, and partly, too, that it may not be too far separated from its nomen, while בּמּדבּר belongs to שׁפים. The wind blowing from the bleak hills in the wilderness, is the very severe east wind of Palestine. It blows in incessant gusts, and cannot be used for winnowing or cleansing the grain, since it would blow away chaff and seed together; cf. Wetzst. in Del., Job, S. 320. דּרך is universally taken adverbially: is on the way, i.e., comes, moves in the direction of the daughter of Zion. The daughter of Zion is a personification of the inhabitants of Zion or Jerusalem. This hot blast is a figure for the destruction which is drawing near Jerusalem. It is not a chastisement to purify the people, but a judgment which will sweep away the whole people, carry away both wheat and chaff - a most effective figure for the approaching catastrophe of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the carrying away captive of its inhabitants. Hitz. and Graf have, however, taken דּרך as subject of the clause: the path, i.e., the behaviour of my people, is a keen wind of the bare hills in the wilderness. Thus the conduct of the people would be compared with that wind as unprofitable, inasmuch as it was altogether windy, empty, and further as being a hurtful storm. But the comparison of the people's behaviour with a parched violent wind is a wholly unnatural one, for the justification of which it is not sufficient to point to Hosea 8:7 : sow wind and reap storm. Besides, upon this construction of the illustration, the description: not to winnow and not to cleanse, is not only unmeaning, but wholly unsuitable. Who is to be winnowed and cleansed by the windy ways of the people? Jahveh?! Jeremiah 4:14 is indeed so managed by Hitz. and Graf that the tempestuous wind blows against God, "is directed against Jahveh like a blast of defiance and hostility." But this argument is sufficient to overthrow that unnatural view of the figure, which, besides, obtains no support from Jeremiah 4:12. מאלּה cannot refer to בּת־עמּי: a full wind from these, i.e., the sons of my people; and יבוא לי, in spite of the passages, Jeremiah 22:23; Jeremiah 50:26; Jeremiah 51:48; Job 3:25, does not mean: comes towards me, or: blows from them on me; for in all these passages לי is dativ commodi or incommodi. Here, too, לי is dative, used of the originator and efficient cause. The wind comes for me - in plainer English: from me. Properly: it comes to God, i.e., at His signal, to carry out His will. מלא מאלּה is comparative: fuller than these, namely, the winds useful for winnowing and cleansing. Now will I too utter. The intensifying גּם does not point to a contrast in the immediately preceding clause: because the people blows against God like a strong wind, He too will utter judgment against it. The גּם refers back to the preceding לי: the storm comes from me; for now will I on my side hold judgment with them. The contrast implied in גּם lies in the wider context, in the formerly described behaviour of the people, particularly in the sayings of the false prophets mentioned in Jeremiah 4:10, that there will be peace. On דּבּר משׁפּטים, cf. Jeremiah 1:16.

These judgments are already on the way in Jeremiah 4:13. "Like clouds it draws near." The subject is not mentioned, but a hostile army is meant, about to execute God's judgments. "Like clouds," i.e., in such thick dark masses; cf. Ezekiel 38:16. The war-chariots drive with the speed of the tempest; cf. Isaiah 5:28; Isaiah 66:15. The running of the horses resembles the flight of the eagle; cf. Habakkuk 1:8, where the same is said of the horsemen of the hostile people. Both passages are founded on Deuteronomy 28:49; but Jeremiah, while he had the expression קלּוּ מנּמרים סוּסיו, Habakkuk 1:8, in his mind, chose נשׁרים; instead of leopards (נמרים), in this following the original in Deut.; cf. 2 Samuel 1:23 and Lamentations 4:19. Already is heard the cry of woe: we are spoiled, cf. Jeremiah 4:20, Jeremiah 9:18; Jeremiah 48:1.

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