Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 15

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Jeremiah 15)

Verse 1

[1] Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.

Cast them out — I am not able to abide the sight of them, therefore let them go forth.

Verse 4

[4] And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.

Manasseh — Manasseh is here named as the son of Hezekiah for his shame, because of his degeneracy from so good a parent; it is expressly said, 2 Kings 23:26, that not withstanding Josiah's reformation, yet the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his wrath, kindled against Judah, for the provocations of Manasseh.

Verse 6

[6] Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.

I am weary — I am resolved to bear no longer.

Verse 7

[7] And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.

A fan — Not a purging fan by affliction, to separate their chaff and dross from them, but a scattering fan.

In the gates — This is added in pursuit of the metaphor of fanning, men usually chusing barn-doors to fan at, that they may have the advantage of the wind.

Verse 8

[8] Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city.

Their widows — The prophet still speaks of things to come as if present. In Jehoiakim's time we read of no such plenty of widows; they were multiplied when the city was besieged and taken in Zedekiah's time, to a great number, hyperbolically compared to the sands of the sea.

The mother — Jerusalem was the mother of the Jewish people, against whom, Nebuchadnezzar the spoiler, at noon-day, was sent.

Verse 9

[9] She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was yet day: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the LORD.

Seven — Seven signifies many: the prophet complains, that the country of Judah, that had been very numerous in people, now grew feeble.

While — In the midst of her prosperity.

Confounded — A part of them were confounded by the judgments of God which came upon them before their captivity.

Verse 10

[10] Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.

I have not — I have done them no wrong, yet they speak of me all manner of evil.

Verse 11

[11] The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.

Thy remnant — The latter words of the verse expound the former; for by remnant is meant the remnant of days that Jeremiah had to live.

Verse 12

[12] Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

The northern iron — As the northern iron and steel is the hardest, and no iron could break that, so God having edged and hardened their enemies, the Chaldeans, all opposition to them would signify nothing.

Verse 13

[13] Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders.

The substance — All thy precious things shall be spoiled, there shall be no price taken for the redemption of them.

Verse 15

[15] O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.

Thou knowest — My sincerity, or my sufferings.

Visit me — With thy love.

Verse 16

[16] Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Thy words — The words which from time to time thou didst reveal to me, were by me greedily digested.

I am called — I became a prophet by thy authority, therefore, do thou own and defend me.

Verse 17

[17] I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.

I sat not — God had all along filled his mouth with such dreadful messages, that his whole prophetical life had been to him a time of mourning and solitude, a time when he sat alone, mourning and weeping in secret for the wrath of God revealed to him against his people.

Verse 18

[18] Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail

Why — Jeremiah, though a great prophet, was (as Elijah) a man subject to like passions with other men.

Verse 19

[19] Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.

If thou — These are God's words to the prophet, rebuking his distrust in God, and promising him, that if he did return from his distrust in God's providence, he would restore him to the former favour he had with him, and he should be his prophet to reveal his mind to the people; and that if he would separate the precious truths of God from the vile conceits of men, then God would continue him as his prophet, to speak in his name to the people.

But — He charges the prophet to keep his ground, and not to go over to wicked men.

Verse 21

[21] And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.

The wicked — The wicked Jews.

The terrible — And the power of the terrible Chaldeans.

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