Jeremiah 9:14
But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:
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(14) Imagination.—Stubbornness, as in Jeremiah 3:17.

Baalim.—The generic name for false gods of all kinds, and therefore used in the plural. (Comp. Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 2:23.)

9:12-22 In Zion the voice of joy and praise used to be heard, while the people kept close to God; but sin has altered the sound, it is now the voice of lamentation. Unhumbled hearts lament their calamity, but not their sin, which is the cause of it. Let the doors be shut ever so fast, death steals upon us. It enters the palaces of princes and great men, though stately, strongly built, and guarded. Nor are those more safe that are abroad; death cuts off even the children from without, and the young men from the streets. Hearken to the word of the Lord, and mourn with godly sorrow. This alone can bring true comfort; and it can turn the heaviest afflictions into precious mercies.Imagination - Or, as in the margin.

Which their fathers taught them - It was not the sin of one generation that brought upon them chastisement: it was a sin, which had been handed down from father to son.

14. (Jer 7:24).

Baalim—plural of Baal, to express his supposed manifold powers.

fathers taught them—(Ga 1:14; 1Pe 1:18). We are not to follow the errors of the fathers, but the authority of Scripture and of God [Jerome].

Imagination, or stubbornness and obstinacy: see Jeremiah 7:24.

Baalim: see Jeremiah 2:23. The prophet doth not charge them with new crimes, but with their tenacious sticking to their idolatry.

Which their fathers taught them: see Jeremiah 7:18. It seems they might partly thank their education for it, as well as their own natural perverseness: hence we should learn to follow God’s counsel in the Scriptures, and not blindly follow our fathers’ counsel, precepts, or examples, or our own will, which is the worst guide.

But have walked after the imagination of their own heart,.... What their own hearts devised, chose, and were best pleased with; See Gill on Jeremiah 7:24,

and after Baalim; the idols of the Gentiles; these they served and worshipped, and not the true God:

which their fathers taught them; which was so far from excusing them, that it was an aggravation of their sin, that they had continued in their wicked ways and idolatrous practices, from age to age, from one generation to another. This then was the cause of their calamity and destruction; they had forsaken the law of the Lord, and had broken that; they had chose their own ways, and had been guilty of idolatrous practices time out of mind; wherefore the Lord had shown much longsuffering and patience with them, and would now no longer forbear he was just and righteous in his doings.

But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which {l} their fathers taught them:

(l) He shows that the children cannot excuse themselves by their fathers: for both father and child if they are wicked will perish.

14. the Baalim] See on ch. Jeremiah 2:8.

Verse 14. - Imagination; rather, stubbornness (see on Jeremiah 3:17). Baalim. The Hebrew has "the Baalim;" practically equivalent to "the idol-gods" (see on Jeremiah 2:8). Which their fathers taught them. "Which" refers to both clauses, i.e. to the obstinacy and the Baal-worship. Jeremiah 9:14The description of the offence is again followed by the threatening of judgment. To feed with wormwood and give gall to drink is a figure for sore and bitter suffering at the overthrow of the kingdom and in exile. The meaning of the suffix in מאכילם is shown by the apposition: this people. On water of gall see Jeremiah 8:14, and for the use of לענה and ראשׁ together see Deuteronomy 29:17. - 'הפיצותים וגו implies a verbal allusion to the words of Deuteronomy 28:64 and Deuteronomy 28:36, cf. Leviticus 26:33. With this latter passage the second clause: I send the sword after them, has a close affinity. The purport of it is: I send the sword after the fugitives, to pursue them into foreign lands and slay them; cf. Jeremiah 42:16; Jeremiah 44:27. Thus it is indicated that those who fled into Egypt would be reached by the sword there and slain. This does not stand in contradiction to what is said in Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:18, etc., to the effect that God will not make an utter end of them (Graf's opinion). This appears from Jeremiah 44:27, where those that flee to Egypt are threatened with destruction by famine and sword עד כּלּותי או, while Jeremiah 44:28 continues: but they that have escaped the sword shall return. Hence we see that the terms of the threatening do not imply the extirpation of the people to the last man, but only the extirpation of all the godless, of this wicked people.
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