Jeremiah 2:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.

King James Bible
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

American Standard Version
The priests said not, Where is Jehovah? and they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The priests did not say: Where is the Lord? and they that held the law knew me not, and the pastors transgressed against me: and the prophets prophesied in Baal, and followed idols.

English Revised Version
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Webster's Bible Translation
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Jeremiah 2:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"And then came to me the word of Jahveh, saying: Go and publish in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: I have remembered to thy account the love of thy youth, the lovingness of thy courtship time, thy going after me in the wilderness, in a land unsown. Holy was Israel to the Lord, his first-fruits of the produce: all who would have devoured him brought guilt upon themselves: evil came upon him, is the saying of Jahveh." The Jeremiah 2:2 and Jeremiah 2:3 are not "in a certain sense the text of the following reproof" (Graf), but contain "the main idea which shows the cause of the following rebuke" (Hitz.): The Lord has rewarded the people of Israel with blessings for its love to Him. זכר with ל pers. and accus. rei means: to remember to one's account that it may stand him in good stead afterwards - cf. Nehemiah 5:19; Nehemiah 13:22, Nehemiah 13:31; Psalm 98:3; Psalm 106:45, etc. - that it may be repaid with evil, Nehemiah 6:14; Nehemiah 13:29; Psalm 79:8, etc. The perfect זכרתּי is to be noted, and not inverted into the present. It is a thing completed that is spoken of; what the Lord has done, not what He is going on with. He remembered to the people Israel the love of its youth. חסד, ordinarily, condescending love, graciousness and favour; here, the self-devoting, nestling love of Israel to its God. The youth of Israel is the time of the sojourn in Egypt and of the exodus thence (Hosea 2:17; Hosea 11:1); here the latter, as is shown by the following: lovingness of the courtship. The courtship comprises the time from the exodus out of Egypt till the concluding of the covenant at Sinai (Exodus 19:8). When the Lord redeemed Israel with a strong hand out of the power of Egypt, He chose it to be His spouse, whom He bare on eagles' wings and brought unto Himself, Exodus 19:4. The love of the bride to her Lord and Husband, Israel proved by its following Him as He went before in the wilderness, the land where it is not sown, i.e., followed Him gladly into the parched, barren wilderness. "Thy going after me" is decisive for the question so much debated by commentators, whether חסד and אהבה stand for the love of Israel to its God, or God's love to Israel. The latter view we find so early as Chrysostom, and still in Rosenm. and Graf; but it is entirely overthrown by the לכתּך אחרי, which Chrysost. transforms into ποιῆσας ἐξακολουθῆσαι μου, while Graf takes no notice of it. The reasons, too, which Graf, after the example of Rosenm. and Dathe, brings in support of this and against the only feasible exposition, are altogether valueless. The assertion that the facts forbid us to understand the words of the love of Israel to the Lord, because history represents the Israelites, when vixdum Aegypto egressos, as refractarios et ad aliorum deorum cultum pronos, cannot be supported by a reference to Deuteronomy 9:6, Deuteronomy 9:24; Isaiah 48:8; Amos 5:25., Psalm 106:7. History knows of no apostasy of Israel from its God and no idolatry of the people during the time from the exodus out of Egypt till the arrival at Sinai, and of this time alone Jeremiah speaks. All the rebellions of Israel against its God fall within the time after the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai, and during the march from Sinai to Canaan. On the way from Egypt to Sinai the people murmured repeatedly, indeed, against Moses; at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh was pursuing with chariots and horsemen (Exodus 14:11.); at Marah, where they were not able to drink the water for bitterness (15:24); in the wilderness of Sin, for lack of bread and meat (Jeremiah 16:2.); and at Massah, for want of water (Jeremiah 17:2.). But in all these cases the murmuring was no apostasy from the Lord, no rebellion against God, but an outburst of timorousness and want of proper trust in God, as is abundantly clear from the fact that in all these cases of distress and trouble God straightway brings help, with the view of strengthening the confidence of the timorous people in the omnipotence of His helping grace. Their backsliding from the Lord into heathenism begins with the worship of the golden calf, after the covenant had been entered into at Sinai (Exodus 32), and is continued in the revolts on the way from Sinai to the borders of Canaan, at Taberah, at Kibroth-hattaavah (Numbers 11), in the desert of Paran at Kadesh (Numbers 13; 20); and each time it was severely punished by the Lord.

Neither are we to conclude, with J. D. Mich., that God interprets the journey through the desert in meliorem partem, and makes no mention of their offences and revolts; nor with Graf, that Jeremiah looks steadily away from all that history tells of the march of the Israelites through the desert, of their discontent and refractoriness, of the golden calf and of Baal Peor, and, idealizing the past as contrasted with the much darker present, keeps in view only the brighter side of the old times. Idealizing of this sort is found neither elsewhere in Jeremiah nor in any other prophet; nor is there anything of the kind in our verse, if we take up rightly the sense of it and the thread of the thought. It becomes necessary so to view it, only if we hold the whole forty years' sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness to be the espousal time, and make the marriage union begin not with the covenanting at Sinai, but with the entrance of Israel into Canaan. Yet more entirely without foundation is the other assertion, that the words rightly given as the sense is, "stand in no connection with the following, since then the point in hand is the people's forgetfulness of the divine benefits, its thanklessness and apostasy, not at all the deliverances wrought by Jahveh in consideration of its former devotedness." For in Jeremiah 2:2 it is plainly enough told how God remembered to the people its love. Israel was so shielded by Him, as His sanctuary, that whoever touched it must pay the penalty. קדשׁ are all gifts consecrated to Jahveh. The Lord has made Israel a holy offering consecrated to Him in this, that He has separated it to Himself for a סגלּה, for a precious possession, and has chosen it to be a holy people: Exodus 19:5.; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2. We can explain from the Torah of offering the further designation of Israel: his first-fruits; the first of the produce of the soil or yield of the land belonged, as קדשׁ, to the Lord: Exodus 23:19; Numbers 8:8, etc. Israel, as the chosen people of God, as such a consecrated firstling. Inasmuch as Jahveh is Creator and Lord of the whole world, all the peoples are His possession, the harvest of His creation. But amongst the peoples of the earth He has chosen Israel to Himself for a firstling-people (,ראשׁית הגּוים Amos 6:1), and so pronounced it His sanctuary, not to be profaned by touch. Just as each laic who ate of a firstling consecrated to God incurred guilt, so all who meddled with Israel brought guilt upon their heads. The choice of the verb אכליו is also to be explained from the figure of firstling-offerings. The eating of firstling-fruit is appropriation of it to one's own use. Accordingly, by the eating of the holy people of Jahveh, not merely the killing and destroying of it is to be understood, but all laying of violent hands on it, to make it a prey, and so all injury or oppression of Israel by the heathen nations. The practical meaning of יאשׁמוּ is given by the next clause: mischief came upon them. The verbs יאשׁמוּ and תּבא dna יא are not futures; for we have here to do not with the future, but with what did take place so long as Israel showed the love of the espousal time to Jahveh. Hence rightly Hitz.: "he that would devour it must pay the penalty." An historical proof of this is furnished by the attack of the Amalekites on Israel and its result, Exodus 17:8-15.

Jeremiah 2:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

priests

Jeremiah 2:6 Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness...

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so...

Jeremiah 8:10,11 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them...

Jeremiah 2:9-15 Why I will yet plead with you, said the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead...

1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

Isaiah 28:7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way...

Isaiah 29:10 For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers...

Isaiah 56:9-12 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yes, all you beasts in the forest...

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you...

and they that

Jeremiah 8:8,9 How do you say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? See, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain...

Deuteronomy 33:10 They shall teach Jacob your judgments, and Israel your law: they shall put incense before you, and whole burnt sacrifice on your altar.

Malachi 2:6-9 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity...

Luke 11:52 Woe to you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves...

John 8:55 Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like to you: but I know him...

John 16:3 And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Romans 2:17-24 Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God...

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully...

the pastors

Jeremiah 10:21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper...

Jeremiah 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot...

Jeremiah 23:1,2 Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! said the LORD...

prophets

Jeremiah 23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

1 Kings 18:29,22,40 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice...

do not

Jeremiah 2:11 Has a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.

Jeremiah 7:8 Behold, you trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

1 Samuel 12:21 And turn you not aside: for then should you go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

Isaiah 30:5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

Habakkuk 2:18 What profits the graven image that the maker thereof has graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies...

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Cross References
1 Samuel 2:12
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.

Jeremiah 4:22
"For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are 'wise'--in doing evil! But how to do good they know not."

Jeremiah 9:14
but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.

Jeremiah 10:21
For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.

Jeremiah 16:19
O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: "Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.

Jeremiah 18:18
Then they said, "Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words."

Jeremiah 23:13
In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.

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