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THE sin of Juda is written with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond, it is graven upon the table of their heart, upon the horns of their altars.

Ver. 1.  The.  Grabe (de Vit. p. 8.) observes that the four first verses were omitted in the Sept. by some careless transcriber, long before the days of Origen, who restored them from the Heb. and the other Gr. versions.  On such occasions his work was very useful; but the marks being soon neglected, great confusion ensued.  S. Jer.  Kennicott, Dis. ii.

 

--- Grabe has restored these verses in his edition.  H.

 

--- Eusebius (Dem. x.) and Theodoret acknowledged them; and Nobilius found the first verse thus expressed in many copies, (C.) as it is in Grabe: "The sin of Juda is expressed in writing with a finger nail of adamant, cleaving to the breast of," &c.  H.

 

--- Altars, to appear more conspicuously to the latest times.  This excited God's indignation.  C.

 

--- These figurative expressions shew the inveterate malice of the people.  W.




2 When their children shall remember their altars, and their groves, and their green trees upon high mountains, 3 Sacrificing in the field: I will give thy strength, and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin in all thy borders.

Ver. 3.  Sin of idolatry.  C. xv. 13.


4 And thou shalt be left stripped of thy inheritance, which I gave thee: and I will make thee serve thy enemies in a land which thou knowest not: because thou hast kindled a fire in my wrath, it shall burn for ever.

Ver. 4.  Be left.  Prot. "discontinue from thine," &c.  H.

 

--- The land shall have its sabbaths, which thou wouldst not allow.  Chal.  Ex. xxii. 11.  Lev. xxvi. 34.


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

Ver. 5.  Thus.  Sept. continue from the last chapter, "cursed," &c.  H.

 

--- Sedecias had formed alliances with several princes, instead of turning to the Lord.  C. xxvii. and xxxvii.  C.

 

--- Our chief dependence must be on God, not on human policy.  W.



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6 For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come: but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited.

Ver. 6.  Tamaric.  A barren shrub, that grows in the driest parts of the wilderness.  Ch.

 

--- Harhar denotes some sort (H.) of "useless wood."  Sym.  See C. xlviii. 6.  Isai. xvii. 2.

 

--- Salt, like the environs of Sodom, the fruits of which were bad.



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7 Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. 8 And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit.

Ver. 8.  Fruit.  See Ps. i. 3.  Pindar, Nem. viii.  How different from the wicked!  C.



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9 The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?

Ver. 9.  Perverse.  Sept. "deep."

 

--- Unsearchable.  Sept. "man, who shall know him?"  H.

 

--- God alone can search the heart by his own power.  He enables saints to do it by the light of glory, or of prophecy; as Eliseus and S. Peter knew secret transactions.  W.


10 I am the Lord who search the heart and prove the reins: who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices.

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11 As the partridge hath hatched eggs which she did not lay: so is he that hath gathered riches, and not by right: in the midst of his days he shall leave them, and in his latter end he shall be a fool.

Ver. 11.  Partridge.  Heb. kore, (H.) may mean the "coucou."  The kra lays many eggs, all of which she does not hatch.  C.

 

--- Prot. "As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not," &c.  H.

 

--- It is rare that all produce birds; so the unjust do not succeed (C.) in the end.  H.

 


12 A high and glorious throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctification:

Ver. 12.  Throne.  The temple.  We may also read "O high," &c.  C. xiv. 21.


13 O Lord the hope of Israel: all that forsake thee shall be confounded: they that depart from thee, shall be written in the earth: because they have forsaken the Lord, the vein of living waters.

Ver. 13.  Earth, where alone their portion shall be, (Apoc. iii. 5,) or they shall be forgotten.  It is a proverbial expression, like that of Catullus:

Dixit: sed mulier cupido quod dixit amanti

In vento et rapidâ scribere oportet aquâ.

 

--- Living, which never fail, unlike those of the wicked.  C. ii. 13.


14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved, for thou art my praise. 15 Behold they say to me: Where is the word of the Lord? let it come.

Ver. 15.  Come.  We have several instances of such impious sarcasms.  Isa. xxviii. 10. and xxxiv. 13.  Amos ii. 12.  Mic. ii. 6.  C.

 

--- We fear not the Chaldees.  M.


16 And I am not troubled, following thee for my pastor, and I have not desired the day of man, thou knowest. That which went out of my lips, hath been right in thy sight.

Ver. 16.  Troubled.  Heb. "in haste to be a pastor after thee."  Chal. "I delay not, at thy command, to announce thy truths to them."  C. i. 6.  Jeremias was aware of the dangers attending his office, yet not dismayed.

 

--- Day: approbation, (1 Cor. iv. 3.) or advantages of the world.  C.

 

--- Of man.  Heb. also, "of the wretched:" anush.  I wished rather for the people's welfare, (H.) and sought not their ruin.  Chal.  Theodor.


17 Be not thou a terror unto me, thou art my hope in the day of affliction. 18 Let them be confounded that persecute me, and let not me be confounded: let them be afraid, and let not me be afraid: bring upon them the day of affliction, and with a double destruction, destroy them.

Ver. 18.  Let them be confounded, &c.  Such expressions as these in the writings of the prophets, are not to be understood as  imprecations proceeding from malice or desire of revenge, but as prophetic predictions of evils that were about to fall upon impenitent sinners, and approbations of the ways of the divine justice.  Ch.

 

--- The prophet has already prevented this objection.  v. 16.  H.

 


19 Thus saith the Lord to me: Go, and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Juda come in, and go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem:

Ver. 19.  Gate of the palace, or that by which the kings entered the temple, on the west.  The time when this admonition was given is not ascertained.




20 And thou shalt say to them: Hear the word of the Lord, ye kings of Juda, and all Juda, and all the inhabitant of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates.


21 Thus saith the Lord: Take heed to your souls and carry no burdens on the Sabbath day: and bring them not in by the gates of Jerusalem.

Ver. 21.  Souls.  Those who broke the sabbath were to die.  Ex. xxx. 15.  Num. xv. 32.

 

--- Burdens, or servile work.  C.

 

--- The Jews trifle in deciding what is a burden.  Orig. prin. iv. 2.

 

--- Sabbath often denotes the observance of the whole law.  W.




22 And do not bring burdens out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work: sanctify the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 But they did not hear, nor incline their ear: but hardened their neck, that they might not hear me, and might not receive instruction. 24 And it shall come to pass: if you will hearken to me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burdens by the gates of this city on the sabbath day: and if you will sanctify the sabbath day, to do no work therein:

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25 Then shall there enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes, sitting upon the throne of David, and riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Juda, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall be inhabited forever.

Ver. 25.  David.  I will observe my covenant.  2 K. vii. 12.

 

--- Horses: in prosperity, (M.) provided this law, as well as all the rest, be observed.  H.

 

--- Such temporal rewards were commonly proposed under the law, as spiritual ones are now.  W.




26 And they shall come from the cities of Juda, and from the places round about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plains, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing holocausts, and victims, and sacrifices, and frankincense, and they shall bring in an offering into the house of the Lord.

Ver. 26.  Sacrifices.  Heb. mincha, (H.) "offerings" of flour, wine, &c.  C.




27 But if you will not hearken to me, to sanctify the sabbath day, and not to carry burdens, and not to bring them in by the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day: I will kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the houses of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

Ver. 27.  Fire, by means of Nabuzardan.  M.

 

--- The city shall be entirely destroyed.  C.




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