Jeremiah 5:25
Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you.
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(25) These things.—i.e., the rain and the harvest which, from the prophet’s point of view, had been withheld in consequence of the sins of the people.

Jeremiah 5:25-29. Your iniquities have turned away these things — See note on Jeremiah 3:3. For among my people are found wicked men — I need not search for such among the heathen nations, for they are easily found among them that are called by my name. They lay wait, &c. — They use all the arts of fraud and cunning, that they may overreach others, and make a prey of them and their substance. They set a trap, they catch men — Such a trap did Jezebel lay for Naboth, 1 Kings 21:9-10. Such a one was that conspiracy of more than forty men against Paul, Acts 23:13-15. As a cage is full of birds, &c. — As in the foregoing words they were compared to a hunter, or a fowler, who takes beasts or birds in snares; so here, carrying on the same similitude, he describes their houses as cages full of birds, that is, of goods gotten by robbery and fraudful arts. They are waxen fat, they shine — Or, so fat that they shine. By living at ease, and bathing themselves in all the delights of sense, they look so fair and gay that every body admires them. Yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked — “They exceed the common instances of injustice and oppression, and make no conscience of enriching themselves with the spoils of the fatherless, and those who have most need of their charity and kindness.” — Lowth. Waterland renders the clause, “Yea, they have exceeded all expression of wickedness; or, have been wicked beyond expression.” Shall I not visit, &c. — See note on Jeremiah 5:9. 5:19-31 Unhumbled hearts are ready to charge God with being unjust in their afflictions. But they may read their sin in their punishment. If men will inquire wherefore the Lord doeth hard things unto them, let them think of their sins. The restless waves obeyed the Divine decree, that they should not pass the sandy shores, which were as much a restraint as lofty mountains; but they burst all restraints of God's law, and were wholly gone into wickedness. Neither did they consider their interest. While the Lord, year after year, reserves to us the appointed weeks of harvest, men live on his bounty; yet they transgress against him. Sin deprives us of God's blessings; it makes the heaven as brass, and the earth as iron. Certainly the things of this world are not the best things; and we are not to think, that, because evil men prosper, God allows their practices. Though sentence against evil works is not executed speedily, it will be executed. Shall I not visit for these things? This speaks the certainty and the necessity of God's judgments. Let those who walk in bad ways consider that an end will come, and there will be bitterness in the latter end.It was not that the rains did not fall, or that the harvest weeks were less bright; the good was there, but the wickedness of the community blocked up the channels, through which it shou d have reached the people. The lawlessness and injustice of the times kept the mass of the people in poverty.25. National guilt had caused the suspension of these national mercies mentioned in Jer 5:24 (compare Jer 3:3). Your iniquities have turned away these things: q.d. Do not say your ground is parched up with drought, or your fruits are corrupted and rotted by too much or unseasonable rain; we have nothing now in so due a course as we were wont to have it. Would you know the reason of it? You have inverted the ordinances and order of nature, have put heaven and earth out of their regular courses, by your iniquities.

Your sins have withholden good things from you; that either you have been cut short of these good things, or denied a blessing upon them: by this God would not have profane men think that unusual seasons either for better or worse do come by chance, but as he sees convenient, either for the encouragement of the obedient, or punishing the obstinate. Your iniquities have turned away these things,.... Whereas of late years rain was withheld from them in common, and they had not the former and latter rain in its season, nor the appointed weeks of the harvest, and so their land was barren, and famine ensued. This was to be ascribed, not to the want of goodness and faithfulness in God, but to their own iniquities; these mercies were kept back from them in order to humble them, and bring them to a sense of their sins, and an acknowledgment of them:

and your sins have withholden good things from you; as rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, and had also brought many evil things upon them; for more is understood than is expressed.

Your {s} iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you.

(s) If there is any stay, that we receive not God's blessings in abundance, we must consider that it is for our own iniquities, Isa 59:1,2.

25. these things] the blessings mentioned. For the thought cp. Amos 4:6 ff.Verse 25. - Have turned away these things. "These things" are the benefits mentioned in the preceding verse (comp. Jeremiah 3:3; Jeremiah 12:4). Thus the judgment is not entirely future; a foretaste of it has already been given (comp. 1 Kings 17; Amos 4.). This calamity Judah is preparing for itself by its obduracy and excess of wickedness. - Jeremiah 5:19. "And if ye then shall say, Wherefore hath Jahveh our God done all this unto us? then say to them, Like as ye have forsaken me and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours. Jeremiah 5:20. Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, Jeremiah 5:21. Hear now this, foolish people without understanding, that have eyes and see not, have ears and hear not. Jeremiah 5:22. Me will ye not fear, saith Jahve, nor tremble before me? who have set the sand for a bound to the sea, an everlasting boundary that it passes not, and its waves toss themselves and cannot, and roar and pass not over. Jeremiah 5:23. But this people hath a stubborn and rebellious heart; they turned away and went. Jeremiah 5:24. And said not in their heart: Let us now fear Jahveh our God, who giveth rain, the early rain and the late rain, in its season; who keepeth for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Jeremiah 5:25. Your iniquities have turned away these, and your sins have withholden the good from you. Jeremiah 5:26. For among my people are found wicked men; they lie in wait as fowlers stoop; they set a trap, they catch men. Jeremiah 5:27. As a cage full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit; therefore are they become great and rich. Jeremiah 5:28. They are grown fat and sleek, they go beyond bound in wickedness; the cause they try not, the cause of the orphans, that they might have prosperity; and the right of the needy they judge not. Jeremiah 5:29. Shall I not punish this? saith Jahveh; shall not my soul be avenged on such a people as this? Jeremiah 5:30. The appalling and horrible is done in the land. Jeremiah 5:31. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule under their lead, and my people loves it so. But what will ye do in the end thereof."

The thought of Jeremiah 5:19, that the people, by its apostasy, draws down this judgment on itself, forms the transition from the threat of punishment to the reproof of sins. The penalty corresponds to the sin. Because Judah in its own land serves the gods of foreigners, so it must serve strangers in a foreign land.

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