Day 228: Jeremiah 16-18

(The previous post covered God's explanation that even Moses and Samuel would be unable to change His Mind from the coming judgment on Judah.)

Jeremiah 16
1 The word of Jehovah came also unto me, saying,

(Verses 2-13: the ruin of the Jews and their land was foretold.)

2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters, in this place.

(Jeremiah was relatively young when God called him to be a prophet. Jeremiah was told to not take a wife or have children in Jerusalem…)

3 For thus saith Jehovah concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land:
4 They shall die grievous deaths: they shall not be lamented, neither shall they be buried; they shall be as dung upon the face of the ground; and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the heavens, and for the beasts of the earth.

(…because the city and its people would not stand long enough for a family to be brought up in it, having a family would not be profitable.)

5 For thus saith Jehovah, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament, neither bemoan them; for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith Jehovah, even lovingkindness and tender mercies.

(God said to not cry out for the people because God's mercy had ended, judgment was coming.)

6 Both great and small shall die in this land; they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them;
7 neither shall men break bread for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.

(The dead would not be buried and there would be no mourning of the dead.)

8 And thou shalt not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and to drink.
9 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.

(Gladness would stop, the judgment would be fierce.)

10 And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt show this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath Jehovah pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against Jehovah our God?

(God was preparing Jeremiah for the response he would receive from the people. The blame would be put on Jeremiah by the people because he spoke these words.)

11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith Jehovah, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;
12 and ye have done evil more than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart, so that ye hearken not unto me:

(The reason the judgment came was because of the evil the people did. It was their fault, not Jeremiah's.)

13 therefore will I cast you forth out of this land into the land that ye have not known, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; for I will show you no favor.

(Because of their wickedness, the Jews would be put in exile.)

14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that it shall no more be said, As Jehovah liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

(In the days to come, the people would not proclaim Jehovah as the living God who brought up the Israelites out of Egypt…)

15 but, As Jehovah liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries whither he had driven them. And I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

(…but they would proclaim that God lived who brought Israel out of captivity and brought them back to the land that was given to their fathers.)

16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith Jehovah, and they shall fish them up; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.

(Eventually, the Israelites would all be gathered back together.)

17 For mine eyes are upon all their ways; they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity concealed from mine eyes.
18 And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable things, and have filled mine inheritance with their abominations.

(The Jews would be judged doubly for polluting God's land and for filling His inheritance with their abominations. This was Just.)

19 O Jehovah, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction, unto thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, even vanity and things wherein there is no profit.

(The people would eventually come to the knowledge that their fathers had led them astray to things with no profit.)

20 Shall a man make unto himself gods, which yet are no gods?
21 Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know my hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is Jehovah.

(The judgment would cause the people to know God's Hand and His might and they would know His Name was Jehovah.)

Jeremiah 17
1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the tablet of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

(Judah's sin was written on the tablet of their hearts where truth ought to be: Proverbs 3:3.)

2 whilst their children remember their altars and their Asherim by the green trees upon the high hills.

(Instead of teaching the coming generations of God's commandments, the children of Israel experienced their fathers' idols.)

3 O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures for a spoil, and thy high places, because of sin, throughout all thy borders.

(The "mountain" was Jerusalem.)

4 And thou, even of thyself, shalt discontinue from thy heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger which shall burn for ever.

(The Jews would be put into captivity because of their actions.)

5 Thus saith Jehovah: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from Jehovah.

(Cursed was the man who trusted in man and made the physical preeminent while departing from God...)

6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited.

(…because he would have no fruit and would not even recognize good (Right and Just) when it came.)

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in Jehovah, and whose trust Jehovah is.

(Blessed was the man who trusted in God and whom God trusted...)

8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat cometh, but its leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

(…for (because) he would never cease from yielding fruit, he would be profitable: Psalm 1.)

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?
10 I, Jehovah, search the mind, I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

(We reaped what we sowed. God was Just.)

11 As the partridge that sitteth on eggs which she hath not laid, so is he that getteth riches, and not by right; in the midst of his days they shall leave him, and at his end he shall be a fool.

(Just as a partridge that sat on eggs that were not actually theirs, so was a man that got riches for the wrong reason. Both were examples of deception: A right what with a wrong (or no) how/why.)

12 A glorious throne, set on high from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.

(Jeremiah began to pray…)

13 O Jehovah, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be put to shame. They that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living waters.

(Jeremiah recognized God and built his faith. The men whose names would be "written in the earth" were those who had forsaken God. Those who sought and loved God had their names written in the Book of Life which was in heaven.)

14 Heal me, O Jehovah, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.

(Jeremiah asked for healing. Jeremiah wanted repair.)

15 Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of Jehovah? let it come now.
16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a shepherd after thee; neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was before thy face.

(Jeremiah referenced Justice: Jeremiah had been obedient to God's Words.)

17 Be not a terror unto me: thou art my refuge in the day of evil.
18 Let them be put to shame that persecute me, but let not me be put to shame; let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed; bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.

(Jeremiah's request was for those who persecuted him to be put to shame, dismayed, and destroyed with "double destruction." Notice, Jeremiah did not request these things to be done in a specific way. Jeremiah left how this would be done in God's Hands.)

19 Thus said Jehovah unto me: Go, and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;

(God told Jeremiah to stand in the gate. The gates of a city were the places where leaders of that city would gather.)

20 and say unto them, Hear ye the word of Jehovah, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates:
21 Thus saith Jehovah, Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;
22 neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work: but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

(God told Jeremiah to tell the leaders of Judah and all the people of Judah to honor the Sabbath day as God also commanded their fathers.)

23 But they hearkened not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, and might not receive instruction.

(The people remained in pride. They did not consider they could be wrong.)

24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith Jehovah, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein;
25 then shall there enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain for ever.

(If the people obeyed God regarding the Sabbath, then the people and Jerusalem would remain forever…)

26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places round about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the lowland, and from the hill-country, and from the South, bringing burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, and meal-offerings, and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving, unto the house of Jehovah.

(…and people from outside of Jerusalem would come carrying offerings and sacrifices for God.)

27 But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden and enter in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

(If the people did not honor the Sabbath day, then God would devour the city and its gates with fire that would not be quenched.)

Jeremiah 18
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

(God sent Jeremiah to the potter's house to hear His Words…)

3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he was making a work on the wheels.
4 And when the vessel that he made of the clay was marred in the hand of the potter, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

(When a vessel of clay was marred (destroyed), it would be used again to make a different vessel.)

5 Then the word of Jehovah came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith Jehovah. Behold, as the clay in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel.

(God was the potter. Israel was the clay. The rest of the chapter showed God moving for or against Israel in response to Justice. This verse did not mean that God had complete control over everything we do.)

7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it;

(God was asking at what point should He break (judge) the vessel.)

8 if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

(If that vessel (Israel) repented of its evil, God would not break (judge) it.)

9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
10 if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

(If Israel turned from the good and did not obey God's Voice, God would repent from the good He said would benefit them. Notice, God was responding to their actions. The different responses were an effect of Israel doing good or doing evil.)

11 Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

(God sent Jeremiah to proclaim repentance to the Jews.)

12 But they say, It is in vain; for we will walk after our own devices, and we will do every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart.

(They responded by saying there was no profit in repentance and they would continue to walk in their own paths.)

13 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Ask ye now among the nations, who hath heard such things; the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.
14 Shall the snow of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field? or shall the cold waters that flow down from afar be dried up?

(The picture here was that it would be foolish to leave the snow and waters of Lebanon for a place with barren rock, just as it would be foolish to leave the Living God for idols made by the hands of man.)

15 For my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false gods; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, in a way not cast up;
16 to make their land an astonishment, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and shake his head.

(The Israelites caused such destruction on their inheritance that people passing by that land would be astonished and filled with pity.)

17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.

(East winds in the Bible always brought a curse.)

18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

(Again, the people turned against Jeremiah.)

19 Give heed to me, O Jehovah, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.
20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember how I stood before thee to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them.

(Jeremiah saw his good being paid with evil.)

21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and give them over to the power of the sword; and let their wives become childless, and widows; and let their men be slain of death, and their young men smitten of the sword in battle.

(Jeremiah wanted judgment on the people.)

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them; for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.
23 Yet, Jehovah, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me; forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight; but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thou with them in the time of thine anger.

(Jeremiah wanted God to not blot out their sin.)

(This post covered God's attempt to get the people to honor the Sabbath and the people's refusal. God then showed Jeremiah His thought process through the analogy of the potter.)

Day 229

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