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THE words of Jeremias the son of Helcias, of the priests that were in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin.

THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAS.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

Jeremias was a priest, a native of Anathoth, a priestly city,  in the tribe of Benjamin, and was sanctified from his mother's womb to be a prophet of God; which office he began to execute when he was yet a child in age.  He was in his whole life, according to the signification of his name, great before the Lord, and a special figure of Jesus Christ, in the persecutions he underwent for discharging his duty, in his charity for his persecutors, and in the violent death he suffered at their hands; it being an ancient tradition of the Hebrews, that he was stoned to death by the remnant of the Jews who had retired into Egypt, (Ch.) at Taphnes.  His style is plaintive, (W.) like that of Simonides, (C.) and not so noble as that of Isaias and Osee.  S. Jer.

 

--- He was the prophet of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews, predicting many things which befell both, and particularly the liberation of the latter, A. 3485, after the seventy years' captivity, dating from A. 3415, (C.) or 3398, the 4th of Joakim.  Usher  C. xxv.  H.

 

--- He began to prophesy when he was very young, A. 3375, in the 13th year of Josias, (C.) before that prince had brought his reformation to any great perfection.  H.


Ver. 1.  Helcias, the high priest who discovered the book of the law, (Clem. Strom. i. &c.) though this be uncertain.

 

--- Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them.  C.



Anathoth

Anathoth was a sacerdotal town in Benjamin. M. --- Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them. C.

2 The word of the Lord which came to him in the days of Josias the son of Amon king of Juda, in the thirteenth year of his reign.


3 And which came to him in the days of Joakim the son of Josias king of Juda, unto the end of the eleventh year of Sedecias the son of Josias king of Juda, even unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive, in the fifth month.

Ver. 3.  Joakim.  His immediate predecessor and successor, both called Jechonias, (H.) are passed over, as their reign was short, (C.) only lasting three months each.  H.

 

--- Fifth.  Jerusalem was taken on the 9th of the preceding month.  But the temple was not burnt, nor the captives sent off till the fifth month, or the 10th of the civil year.  C. xxxix. 8. and lii. 13. and 4 K. xxv. 2.  C.

 

--- Jeremias also prophesied in Egypt.  C. xliv.  W.

 

--- But this title alludes to his principal predictions.  M.




4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.

Ver. 5.  Knew, with affection, and designed thee for this office for eternity.  Many think (C.) that Jeremias was purified from original sin before his birth.  S. Aug.

 

--- He had this privilege, and was also a priest, prophet, virgin, and martyr.  W.

 

--- Yet to sanctify, often means only to set aside.  Ex. xiii. 2.  Eccli. xlix. 9.

 

--- Nations, whose overthrow he points out.  C. xxv. 27. 44. &c.  C.



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6 And I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.

Ver. 6.  Ah.  Heb. ahah.  Sept. "thou Being."  Prot. "Then said I: Ah, Lord God."  H.

 

--- He does not imitate a child.  He might be above 30 years old, though some say (C.) only 14, (T.) or less; yet he finds himself devoid of eloquence, like Moses.  Ex. xiv. 10.  C.


7 And the Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 And the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth: and the Lord said to me: Behold I have given my words in thy mouth:

Ver. 9.  Mouth; perhaps H. with a coal, by means of an angel, (Is. vi. 5.) in a sort of dream.  He found himself changed into a new man.



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10 Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant.

Ver. 10.  Root up, to announce the fall and restoration of many nations.  Ezec. iv. 2.  C.

 

--- Jeremias spoke of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews.  W.



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11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: What seest thou, Jeremias? And I said: I see a rod watching.

Ver. 11.  Watching.  Heb. "of an almond."  Sept. "nut-tree."  H.

 

--- The almond-tree flourishes in January, and bears fruit in March.  Theod.  Pliny xvi. 25.

 

--- Thus God will speedily send his scourge from Babylon, to punish his people.  C.

 

---The sense is the same.  M.

 

--- God's law is outwardly bitter, but the kernel is sweet.  Theod.  W.


12 And the Lord said to me: Thou hast seen well: for I will watch over my word to perform it.
13 And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying: What seest thou? And I said: I see a boiling caldron, and the face thereof from the face of the north.

Ver. 13.  North, whence the wind blows, to make the fire burn more intensely.  Assyria lay to the north, and Babylon to the east of Judea; but the troops always penetrated the northern frontier, as they could not pass through the Desert Arabia.  The caldron represented Jerusalem.  Ezec. xi. 3. and xxiv. 3.



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14 And the Lord said to me: from the north shall an evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

Ver. 14-15.  North.  The tributary kings were forced to attend.  Judith ii. 7. and 3 K. xx. 1.

 

--- About.  The princes thus took Sedecias, and sent  him to Reblatha.  C. xxxix. 3.  C.



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Jeremias

Jeremias

And the Lord said to me: from the north shall an evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

15 For behold I will call together all the families of the kingdoms of the north: saith the Lord: and they shall come, and shall set every one his throne in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and upon all the walls thereof round about, and upon all the cities of Juda,


16 And I will pronounce my judgements against them, touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have sacrificed to strange gods, and have adored the work of their own hands.

Jeremias

Jeremias

And I will pronounce my judgements against them, touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have sacrificed to strange gods, and have adored the work of their own hands.

17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee. Be not afraid at their presence: for I will make thee not to fear their countenance.

Ver. 17.  Loins.  Make haste, and take courage.  Job xxxviii. 3.  M.


18 For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Juda, to the princes thereof, and to the priests, and to the people of the land.

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19 And they shall fight against thee, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.

Ver. 19.  Prevail.  God does not promise peace, but victory.  W.

 


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