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Jeremiah Chapter 2
It is probable that this chapter was Jeremiah's first sermon after his calling and a most lively touching sermon it is as any we have is all the books of the prophets. Let him not say, I cannot speak, for I am a child for, God had touched his mouth and put His Words into it, and none can speak better that God! This chapter shows God's people that they might repent of their sins and prevent the utter ruin that was coming to them. The charge is high, the aggravations black, the arguments used for their conviction very close and pressing, and the disagreements very strong and distressing. The sin which they are mainly charged with is idolatry, forsaking the TRUE God, their own God, for other false gods. They are told, #1. That this was ungrateful to God, who had been so kind to them (Jer.2:1-8). #2. That it was unheard-of, that they should change their god (Jer.2:9-13). #3. That they had belittled and ruined themselves (Jer.14-19). #4. That they had broken their covenants and deteriorated from their good beginnings (Jer.2:20-21). #5. That their wickedness was too plain to be concealed and too bad to be excused (Jer. 2:22-23, 35). #6. That they persisted willfully and stubbornly in it, and were irreclaimable and determined in their idolatries (Jer.2:24-25,33, 36). #7. That they shamed themselves by their idolatry and would soon be ashamed of it when they would find their idols unable to help them (Jer.2:26-29, 37). #8. That they had not been convinced and reformed by the rebukes of Providence that they had been under (Jer.2:30) #9. That they had put a great contempt upon God (Jer.2:30-31). #10. And added with their idolatries they had mixed the most unnatural murders, shedding the blood of the poor innocents (Jer.2:34).
Theme: Two way condemnation of Judah
The first chapter showed us the remarkable call and commission of Jeremiah. God called him when he was a young man, probably about twenty years old. We also know that the king Josiah was about twenty-one or twenty-two years old when God called Jeremiah.
Jeremiah made it clear that he felt incapable and unworthy of such a calling. He knew what God’s prophets did, and he felt that he could not measure up to the office of a prophet . . . but God did not listen to his excuses. God told him that he would be giving him God's words, not his own.
Chapters 2 through 6 were given during the first five years of Jeremiah's ministry. And since he began to prophesy in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, these messages were given in the five years before the finding of the Book of the Law in the Temple (2 Ki.22:8; 2 Chron.34:15). Chapters 7 through 9 have to do with the cleansing of the temple and the discovery of the Book of the Law, which took place in the eighteenth years of the reign of Josiah. Chapters 10 through 12 is the period of reform and revival after the finding the Book of the Law. The revival was a superficial sort of thing because there was no proper importance placed on the Word of God. We must remember that there will never be a real revival until there is a real emphasis placed upon the Word of God.
To position ourselves for this period of history, we need to study the historical books along with the prophetic books. If we turn back to 2 Chronicles 34, it will fit the messages of Jeremiah into this particular place in history. 2 Chon. 34:1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left. (KJV)
Josiah was an outstanding king who reigned during the twilight of the kingdom of Judah. 2 Chron. 34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images. (KJV) . . . Jeremiah's first five years of prophesying was during this period.
2 Chron. 34:4-8 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them. 5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about. 7 And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. 8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God. (KJV)
It was during this time of cleaning out and repairing the House of the LORD that Hilkiah the priest found a Book of the Law as it had been given to Moses. In those days, there were probably only two copies . . . one was for the king and one was for the high priest. Before Josiah had come to the throne, Judah had sunk to a new low under the wicked and godless reins of his grandfather, Manasseh, and his father, Amon. Neither had any regard for God or His Word, and the one or two copies in existence were finally lost in the sadly neglected Temple.
Jeremiah's first message (Jer. 2:1-5) is to this godless people who had forsaken the Living God. It would be difficult to find any portion of Scripture anywhere that would top this in genuine sadness and tenderness. It is the eloquent and earnest pleading of the God who has been forgotten and insulted. His loving grace and compassion toward the guilty nation are blended with solemn warnings of dreadful days to come . . . IF their hearts are not turned back to Him. I think that this is one of the greatest sermons in the Word of God. The young king, Josiah really was seeking the LORD, but he did not have the Word of God! But . . . he did know, that idolatry must be put down, and now he has the young man, the young prophet, Jeremiah, who will back and encourage him in his decision.
They Rejected the LORD God! (2:1-19)
Jer. 2:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, (KJV)
Jeremiah was told to go and speak in the ears of Jerusalem. God begins by Jeremiah dealing with the Jews, and to put him to work, having fitted him for it. This seems to be his first sermon, it records speed and quick communication about what God sent him to do.
Jer. 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. (KJV)
Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying . . . proclaim it so that they may hear it, declare God's will to the inhabitants. Jeremiah must rebuke them aout their horrid ingratitude in forsaking a God, Who of old had been so kind to them.
Thus saith the LORD . . . found in 150 verses in Jeremiah . . . this was the prophet's usual form of words in this book, where he often indicates that he came with God's message, not his own; and as a result directs his sermon as in God's Name and Person, to the whole body of the people.
I remember thee . . . I remember the kindness that was between us: even though this was sometimes taken in a way of favor (Ne.13:31), yet not always so (Ne.13:29; Ps 137:7).
The kindness of thy youth . . . either the early affections of them to the LORD in their youth; or the kindness that I showed thee in their youth (Isa.46:3). This tells of the time of God's bringing them out of Egypt, which is sometimes called the birth of this people (Isa.44:2; Hos.2:3), and their youth (Isa.54:6; Ho 2:15). The story seems to favor most a stiffnecked people (Deut. 9:6, 24).
The love of thine espousals . . . God entered into a covenant relation with them at the giving of the law (Jer.31:3; Ex.24:7-8; Deut.4:20, 23, 34; Eze.16:8; Hos.11:1; Mal.1:2).
When thou wentest after me in the wilderness . . . either out of that love and affection that they did show to God in following Him; or when they were led by the LORD in the wilderness, and He took care of them, both for protection and provision in that howling wilderness, even though thou did not deserve it, for it plainly seems by the story that they did not follow Him with their entire affection, but went a whoring from Him (Am.5:25-26), and of which we have a large account (Ps.106:7-10).
*****God is doing something quite wonderful in this Scripture! He is asking Israel to remember the springtime of their relationship to Him when He called them out of the land of Egypt . . . how they followed the pillar of fire at night and the pillar of cloud by day (Ex.13:1-2). Out in that frightful and terrible wilderness they sought the LORD. God now reminds them of that. After God had blessed them and given them a good land, they did NOT thank Him, they turned away from Him. As Hosea said of the northern kingdom, Ephraim grew fat and wicked. In their comfortable and sophisticated society, they turned away from the living God to serve idols (Hos.4:17; 5:3-5).
Consider that there is a similarity between Judah and our own nation. God was left out back then . . . and He certainly is left out in today’s world! Our nation was founded by men and women who believed that the Bible was the Word of God, and everything they did was based on that precious Book.
BUT . . . our nation today is controlled by many ungodly people who do not know . . . or want to know . . . its spiritual heritage. The United States has turned away from God. They are going after the idol of the almighty dollar. They go after it in many various ways: pleasure, sex, unjust laws, unjust judges, murder, violence . . . anything that is wicked and immoral! Money is the god of the present day. God is completely left out by the majority (Mat.7:13-14). Only a meager few still love and believe God!
I remember thee, God says to Jerusalem . . . but THEY had forgotten Him. How gracious God is! May we all consider these words in Jeremiah!
Jer. 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Israel was holiness unto the LORD . . . or holy, a people dedicated to God (Lev.21:7; 27:14); set apart from other people for the LORD by special laws and rites.
And the firstfruits of his increase . . . being the first-fruits, and as the first-fruits were holy to God, so was Israel (Ne.10:35; Pro.3:9-10; Eze.44:30).
All that devour him shall offend . . . or devoured, for it refers to the time past, not to the future, and so too the following words; all that were injurious to Israel shall offend; or did offend, were hateful and liable to punishment, as he that devoured that which is holy (Pro.20:25).
Evil shall come upon them . . . some evil was inflicted on them from the LORD, that was always the way it was, to stand up for the vindication of His people, as upon the Egyptians, Amalekites, Sihon, Og, the Midianites, Canaanites and others, as the last four books of Moses do abundantly testify; and by these expressions is implied that now they are likely to find it otherwise (Jer.1:7) . . . this is said to remind them what God had done for them.
Jer. 2:4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: (KJV)
Hear ye the word of the LORD . . . Jeremiah wants their attention to what he is about to speak, as it is the word of the LORD. He is telling them that he deliver's God's message, just like Isaiah did, and NOT his own passions. Isa.1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. (KJV)
O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel . . . Jacob and Israel here being the same, as it is in: Isa. 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (KJV) Although the ten tribes had been conquered by the Assyrians, they were still around. They had not wandered. Jeremiah addresses the house of Jacob and all the families of Israel, which are the same people today. God's message was to them in that day although they were in the Assyrian captivity.
Jer. 2:5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? (KJV)
What iniquity have your fathers found in me . . . what wrong has been done to them? (Isa.5:4; Mic.6:3; Deut. 32:4). The LORD of the covenant asks questions by which the guilt of Israel is clearly implied.
They are gone far from me . . . what sadness this brought to the LORD.
And have walked after vanity . . . this is in direct contrast to walking with God in the wilderness (verse 2). Vanity is often used where idolatry is involved (Deut.6:14; 8:19; 11:28). This shows that idolatry is worthless, but was being pursued by Israel.
Those who abandon religion, usually oppose it more than those who never knew it . . . and for this, they could have NO excuse. God's spiritual Israel (Gal.3:26-29) must own up to their obligations to Him for safe conduct through the wilderness of this world, which is very dangerous to the soul. Sadly, many who once appeared dedicated to the LORD, now live far away from the LORD’S loving Presence. We must be careful that we do not lose passion and fervency in God, as we gain worldly knowledge. BEWARE!!!
*****Jeremiah states how God having shown how kind He had been, calls on them to speak . . . IF they knew of any injury, either in breach of covenant or severity, that they could charge the LORD with, that made them take the road to apostasy (Isa. 1:18; 5:3; Mic.6:2-4). By this manner of speech, Jeremiah appears the more justifiable; he makes both their conviction clearer, and the reproof sharper.
Walked after vanity, idols, showing their folly in going from God to such vain things as idols are (Deut. 32:21; 1Sa 12:20-21; Isa. 41:29).
Israel had become vain in following their imaginations; fools (Rom.1:21-23), as ridiculous as the stocks and stones that they made their idols of (Ps.115:4-8); and they are said to go far from God, and choose their delusions (Jonah 2:8).
In my opinion, there is no doubt that this is one of the great Passages of Scripture. Notice the wonderful way in which God approaches them: What did I do wrong that you have turned from Me? Dear one, in our day, what do people think is wrong with God that they are not more interested in Him? Why are people not loving Him, serving Him? Is there unrighteousness with God? Is God doing something wrong today? He asks us today, What iniquity have your fathers found in me?
See our articles on apostasy: www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_apsotate_world.htm
Jer. 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, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? (KJV)
Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt . . . this may have some respect to the situation of the place, as lying lower than Canaan; but the intention is to rebuke their laziness and stupidity, charging their apostasy, not on their ignorance, but on their stubbornness; their deliverance from Egypt. It is mentioned here, because such a deliverance, never greater, was produced for any people, in which there was so much of His power and love seen; they never considered the operations of His Hands, never concerned themselves about what God had done for them (verse 8), which should have brought them to a more close relationship to Him.
That led us through a land of deserts and of pits . . . deserts are desolate places. And of pits; either natural, dangerous pits that were there; or graves, where passengers are so often quickly buried in the heaps of sand.
Through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt . . . this amplifies the greatness of their dangers in the wilderness, and too, the greatness of their deliverance. A land threatening in every respect, including death, which may be implied in that expression of the shadow of death in this verse, which may allude to several kinds or fears of death in passing through a wilderness.
A land of drought, a land without water. The shadow of death, refers to a land without fruit, bringing forth nothing that might have a tendency to support life, and as a result nothing but death could be expected; and as well, it yielded many venomous creatures such as scorpions and serpents (Num.21:6-9; Deut.8:15; 1 Ki.12:11,14), and too the many enemies that they went in continual danger of; all which could not help but look difficult, and as the shadow of death (Job 3:5; 10:22; 24:17; 34:22; Ps.23:4; 44:19), that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt; as having in it no accommodation for travel, much less for habitation. In these respects it could well be called a howling wilderness (Deut.32:10).
Jer. 2:7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. (KJV)
And I brought you into a plentiful country . . . plentiful country, land of Carmel (Isa.29:17); Canaan (Num.13:27). Isaiah 35:2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. (KJV)
To eat the fruit thereof and the goodness . . . to enjoy all the blessing of it.
But when ye entered, ye defiled my land . . . My land, consecrated to My Name (Lev.25:23); this you have defiled by whoring after your idols (Jer.3:1), and many other abominations (Ps.106:29, 35, 37-39).
And made mine heritage an abomination . . . mine heritage is the same as my land, which they received from God as their heritage.
*****Today we hear a so much about ecology and that we need to clean up the land. That is good . . . because it needs cleaned up. BUT . . . what about all the immoral filth around and the squalor and corrosion in moral character? I think that this is what the LORD God is talking about here. They had polluted God's land. God had wanted them be a witness to Him . . . but instead, they are as bad as the people around them.
Jer. 2:8 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. (KJV)
They that handle the law knew me not . . . they (the priests) that should have taught others (Hos.4:6), who are said here to handle the law. The priests and Levites, were the regular teachers of the law; not that they did so . . . but they should do so, not to pretend to do so. This was their job (Deut.33:10), their practice (Ne.8:8). 1 Kings 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. (KJV)
And the prophets prophesied by Baal . . . they that should have taught the people the true worship of God were instead themselves worshippers of Baal (1 Ki.18:22), persuading themselves they could honor God together with them, such as the calves of gold (1 Ki.12:28).
And walked after things that do not profit . . . things that do not profit (idols) that were never able to do them any service (verses 5, 11). Isa. 44:9-10 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? (KJV) . . . it is a sad state of affair when priests, prophets and people were so corrupt. It is quickly on its way to the USA. BEWARE!!!
*****What man in his right mind can honor a god which his own hands formed? Why does man form a god or melt a graven image to worship it? That stupid god is profitable for nothing! God puts the responsibility on the spiritual leaders today. No nation falls until it falls first spiritually. First, a spiritual apostasy, then a moral dreadfulness, and finally political disorder. Sound familiar? That is the way every nation makes its exit as a great nation.
Where is the LORD? There are far too many people today who are supposed to be preachers of the Bible and supposed witnesses for Him, even among the laymen, who do NOT know the Word of God. It saddens me to say that, but it is the truth. Dear one . . . IF a person does not know the Word of God, then they certainly do NOT know God. It is a MUST to know the Word of God in order to know God!
Jer. 2:9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead. (KJV)
Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD . . . this is to be understood by God’s judgments (Ps.74:22), and that with great severities. Verbally, the LORD will continue to deal with them, to convince them by His prophets, just as He did with their fathers . . . so that they may be without excuse (Jer.7:25-26).
And with your children's children will I plead . . . either for the awfulness of their fathers' sins; for God does often visit the iniquities of the parents upon their children (Ex.20:5); or because they imitate their parents. God is saying, I have not given you up. I am still going to plead with you. How wonderful that is. How wonderful the LORD is!
Jer. 2:10 For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. (KJV)
For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see . . . the isles of Chittim extend to all isles in the Mediterranean Sea, or any other the neighboring coasts; for the Hebrews call all people that are separated from them by the Mediterranean Sea islanders, because they come to them by ship (Isa.23:1).
And send unto Kedar . . . Arabia lays east-south-east of Judea, where Chittim was more north or north-west. Go from north to south, east to west, and make the experiment; look to Chittim, the most civilized, or Kedar, the most barbarous, yet neither have changed their gods.
And consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing . . . does not mean that they were to pass over locally, or send messengers there; but, cast your eyes thither, make your opinions; by what you have ever seen or heard.
Jer. 2:11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. (KJV)
Hath a nation changed their gods . . . no, idols are unmovable and fixed, although they are false gods; what they receive from their fathers they stubbornly hold fast.
But my people have changed their glory . . . their glory, the TRUE God was their glory (Ps.106:20); and Who always did them good, giving them great cause to glory in Him, and to boast of Him.
For that which doth not profit . . . for those stupid idols which never did or ever can do them good, that have no essence or power; but of whom they must necessarily be ashamed (verse 26).
Jer. 2:12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Be astonished, O ye heavens . . . some say angels, but rather the visible heavenly bodies; a pathetical expression in poetical form (Deut.4:26; 32:1), indicating that inanimate creatures, IF they could they be sensible of it, would be astonished.
Be horribly afraid . . . such a shock, as we usually say, makes our hair stand on end; such as a trembling of some dreadful tempest does sometimes cause in a man.
Be ye very desolate, saith the LORD . . . the conduct of this people was so evil, that among all the iniquities of mankind, neither heaven nor earth had witnessed anything so excessively sinful and depraved.
Jer. 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (KJV)
For my people have committed two evils . . . two remarkable evils, and with a witness.
They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters . . . Living waters is a symbol taken from springs, called living (Gen.26:19; Jn.4:10-11; 7:38), because they never stop or discontinue . . . such had God's care and kindness been over and to them (Isa.58:11) . . . the LORD’S Spirit continually proceeding from the Father and the Son to refresh their consciences.
And hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water . . . it is doubled, to show the multitude of their shifting; and broken is added, to show the helplessness of them, as being able to hold no water. When a man hath made many hard moves to get water, he cannot keep it, because it dries up, or if it abide, proves distasteful. This is to be understood to be either their idols, which are empty, vain things, that never answer expectation; or to the Assyrians and Egyptians (verse 18), which proved to be broken reeds. As to all other supports, friends, traditions and merits that they trusted besides God; they are but cisterns at the best, whose water will putrify, being broken vessels, through which they will soak, and leave nothing but mud and dirt behind them.
*****Israel had committed two evils. First, they rejected the LORD, the Fountain of Living Waters. Second, they hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that could not hold water. How many people today have hewn out a little cistern for themselves, and then drink from their own cistern! There is NO way that they can find satisfaction. Consider, every man who has made a million dollars thirsts for more . . . he wants that second million. What about fame? The more they have, the more they want! What about power? The same applies here! There is NEVER enough to satisfy these people! God goes on to deal with these people, mentioning their backsliding for the first time.
Jer. 2:14 Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled? (KJV)
Is Israel a servant? is he a home-born slave? . . . did I ever call him so? Did I not always reckon him my first-born? (verse 31). It may better relate this to his sad condition and abuses from others (Jer.49:1), which God and/or the prophet does here inquire into. Slave is here rightly added to home-born, to express the baseness of his service, because the master had power to make those slaves who were born of slaves in his house; which argues his condition very low, whether he were thus born, or had been forced to sell himself to be a slave.
Why is he spoiled? . . . why has he been carried away like stolen goods? This speaks of the thing that is to be as if it were already done, because of the certainty of it, as of that devastation made by the Assyrians and Chaldeans, who afflicted the remnant of the Jews. Isaiah 42:24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. (KJV)
Jer. 2:15 The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant. (KJV)
The young lions roared upon him . . . the young lions is meant to be Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians . . . called lions because of their fierceness, and young because of their strength (Jer.4:7; 50:17).
And yelled . . . thundered upon him, stating the terrible voice that the lion puts forth, either in the seizing the prey, or the devouring it (Isa.5:29). A symbol, noting the cruelty of the enemy (Ps.74:4).
His cities are burned without inhabitant . . . so consumed and wasted that they are uninhabitable, or shortly shall, they consume and waste them (verse 14).
Jer. 2:16 Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head. (KJV)
Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes . . . two of the king of Egypt's principal seats. Noph is sometimes called Memphis, now Cairo (Isa.19:13). Tahapanes (Eze.30:18), probably took its name from Tahpenes, queen of Egypt (1Ki.11:19); also called Hanes. Isa. 30:4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. (KJV) . . . The inhabitants and natives of these cities are here called their children (Isa.37:12).
Have broken the crown of thy head . . . the Hebrew word for breaking is destroying . . . whatever is chief or principal among them, either of persons or things; wounds in the head being most dangerous. The Egyptians, marching from their cities of Noph and Tahpanhes, have destroyed Israel’s glory and power.
Jer. 2:17 Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way? (KJV)
Hast thou not procured this unto thyself? . . . God by His prophet here, shows that they may have no one to blame but themselves for all that is hastening upon them (Num.32:23).
In that thou hast forsaken the LORD . . . Jeremiah tells here, in forsaking God, without any temptation or provocation . . . they were NOT inexcusable. They had brought on themselves what was to come!
When he led thee by the way . . . the LORD had led them, by His providence in the wilderness, keeping them safe from all dangers (Ex.13:21-22; Isa.63:12-13), and in the way of His wise counsels, which their own carnal wisdom were so opposite to.
Jer. 2:18 And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? (KJV)
And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt . . . what business did they have there? What did they expect from them? What need did they have from them? Why did they send messengers there? NONE of this should have happened IF they had kept close to GOD!
To drink the waters of the river? . . . the Nile, it signifies black, called Melas by the Greeks, either from the blackness of the land it passed through, or of the soil it cast up (Isa.23:3).
*****To drink the waters . . . meaning the same as before, meaning to seek help from either place. Isaiah 8:6 Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son; (KJV) . . . A symbolic parable, where God reminds them of two of their broken cisterns, and shows them their folly to go so far when they might have been better supplied at home. They acted as if the LORD was not able to help them. Compare: Jer. 2:36 Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. (KJV)
The river (Euphrates), often called so by way of eminency; the chief river of Assyria. Isaiah 7:20 In the same day shall the LORD shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard. (KJV)
Jer. 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the LORD GOD of hosts. (KJV)
Thine own wickedness shall correct thee . . . the means either: #1. There was no further evidence against them than their own evil courses (Hos.5:5). Or, #2. Their own wickedness is the cause of their correction. Or, #3. Their wickedness will be as evidence that whatever they suffer is just.
And thy backslidings shall reprove thee . . . means the same as above, but in other words. They will not be instructed until they are corrected. Their many backslidings might teach them more wisdom, and convince them of their folly: so the word reprove signifies (Job 6:1-30; 25:1-6).
Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter . . . know, call to mind their experiences, and consider well with themselves, and they cannot be convinced of those things. What forsaking God has cost them! . . . And anyone else who does!
That thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God . . . what an evil thing and bitter!
And that my fear is not in thee, saith the LORD GOD of hosts . . . My fear is not in thee; or, the fear of me; or, they had no fear of God in them; this being the reason for all their sin and suffering (Ps.36:1; Ro 3:16, 18).
*****Thy backslidings shall reprove thee . . . they had forsaken the LORD their God, and the fear of God was not in them! Five facts about backsliding:
1. It brings correction.
2. It brings rebuke.
3. It is totally evil.
4. It is bitter to reap.
5. It brings on God’s wrath.
They Reared Their Own Gods (2:1-19)
The rest of chapter 2 is a bold condemnation against idolatry, which continues in chapter 3. It is wise that you read this part it in your Bible, all the way through. As you become familiar with the prophecy of Jeremiah, you will be surprised how wonderful it is.
It is remarkable to see that when man rejects God, he will always make himself an idol. When people make their own god, they make it as they see it, as they want it. It really is an outcrop of man’s old nature.
Their gross idolatry (Jer. 2:20-28)
Jer. 2:20 For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. (KJV)
For of old time I have broken thy yoke . . . the bondage and tyranny that they were under in old time in Egypt, as also in various times besides, as appears through the Book of Judges (Isa.57:11).
And burst thy bands . . . a double reference, either to the bands and fetters with which prisoners are accustomed to be bound (Jer.40:4), or those bands wherewith the ends of the yoke of beasts were used to be bound.
Thou saidst, I will not transgress . . . when their deliverance was new, they did make good resolutions. But it was not long before they served or worshipped idols. The word serve is of the female gender, because God speaks of His people as of a woman promising faithfulness, but breaking covenant . . . and because of this, He accused them of their lack of gratitude, who truly did owe themselves to their Redeemer.
When upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot . . . idolaters were accustomed to sacrifice on the tops of high hills, because there they thought themselves nearer Heaven, and some have revered high hills to be gods, as the Indians of Peru at this day. Under every green tree . . . under the shade of these trees, idolaters thought was some hidden deity, with which they spoke. Thou wanderest . . . changed their way to chase after idols, thus breaking the covenant (Isa.57:8). This properly means to go from one's place, as harlots use to do, prompted either by rampant lust, or covetousness; they ran from one tree to another, or from one idol to another. See verses 2:23-24. Playing the harlot means committing idolatry, which here is spiritual harlotry (Jer.3:1-2). This was common.
Jer. 2:21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? (KJV)
Yet I had planted thee a noble vine . . . a noble vine, a usual symbol for the church (Ps.80:8-9; Isa.5:1). The Hebrew is Sorek, and may refer to the place or to the plant. With reference to the place, it may be taken either for a proper name, as Carmel for any fruitful place; so here noting either the place where a vine of the same kind with those that come from Sorek; possibly the country where Samson saw Delilah (Jud.16:4): or the place where planted, in a fruitful land (Ex.15:17; Isa.1:2). If it is referred to the plant, then it points at the excellency of its kind; which the next clause seems to favor . . . and thus it states both God's care, for He had great care of the choicest plant (Isa.27:2-3); and also His expectation, that it should prove so (Isa.5:4) . . . meaning . . . I planted thee, so that they should bring forth choice fruit to me.
Wholly a right seed . . . a right seed of TRUE believers, as in the days of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We may understand it of the ordinances of His church, which are said to be the plants or seed that God furnished (Mat.13:24); and these are called right (Ne.9:13), NOT false or counterfeit.
How then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? . . . degenerate plant or declining in the Hebrew text, yet the addition is necessary in regard of the symbol. Strange . . . this must be taken in a bad sense, just as the word degenerate indicates. It tells of their apostasy, infidelity and other wickednesses.
Jer. 2:22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the LORD GOD. (KJV)
For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap . . . interpreters greatly vary in describing what is meant here by nitre and soap, yet all agree they both are materials that make use of for the cleansing away spots from the skin, clothes or other things. The sense is plain, that the blot of God’s people is by no way to be taken out: it CANNOT be covered by excuses. Even though they would conceal their idolatries, they CANNOT deceive God: nor will He be compensated by sacrifices. No power of superstitious or religious washings can cleanse away spiritual idolatry. Only TRUE repentance can wash away those sins. https://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_doctrine_of_god's_repentance.html
Yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the LORD GOD . . . their sins were so filthy that it leaves a brand behind it that cannot be hid or washed out, but will abide (Jer.17:1). Their sins are laid up with God (Deut.32:34; Job 21:19; Hos.13:12; Rom.2:5). They can by NO means conceal their wickedness from God (Job 9:20) . . . neither can we! BEWARE!!!
Jer. 2:23 How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; (KJV)
How canst thou say, I am not polluted . . . how can they go about to excuse themselves, or deny what is so plain, and so truly charged upon thee? (Verse 20).
I have not gone after Baalim? . . . the word is plural, as all-inclusive of all their idols (Hos.11:2), and is a name usually given to several of them, such as Baal-zebub (2 Ki.1:16), and Baal-peor (Num.25:3), and thus their worship of many. Even though they had the Temple and sacrifices, they still told themselves that they worshipped the TRUE God, although they joined their idolatries with it; just as the Catholics make use of idols in worship, yet do not want to be called idolaters.
See thy way in the valley . . . the valley of Hinnom, or Tophet, south and east of Jerusalem: rendered infamous by the human sacrifices to Moloch in it (Jer.19:2, 6, 13, 14; Jer.32:35; Isa.30:33). Their way in the valley, where they burnt their children's bones in sacrifice (Jer.7:31), or in any valleys where they hast been frequent in thy idolatries.
Know what thou hast done . . . look and consider your ways and what you have done (verse 19).
Thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways . . . a dromedary is a beast used much by carriers in Arabia, being widespread there (Isa.60:6). They were like a swift dromedary, a young she-camel, literally making its ways difficult by wandering to and fro, lusting after the male, just like the Jews' spiritual lust (Hos.2:6-7). Her ways, the way filthiness they had left behind them, where they could be traced, where they left as it were, their footsteps and shrines of their repeated idolatries. Traversing is a symbol taken from creatures that are hunted, that keep no direct path; alluding to the nature of the she dromedary, which in gendering time runs cavorting this way to find a male, and sometimes called wandering (verse 20), and that with great eagerness, fitly termed traversing, much like the description of a whore (Pro.7:11-12); the word being found nowhere but here.
Jer. 2:24 A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. (KJV)
A wild ass used to the wilderness . . . another comparison to express the same thing. A wild ass was born in the wilderness, not tamed to work for man, and satisfies its lust, and has the same nature of the dromedary.
That snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure . . . snuffeth up the wind . . . in a high fever from the inward heat felt at such times, these animals open their mouths and nostrils as wide as possible, to take in large breaths of fresh air, in order to cool them. These animals have only a short “heat” season in which this just prevails; but they act without restraint or limit.
In her occasion who can turn her away? . . . in her occasion who can turn her away? When her time comes, she will run impulsively to her male to satisfy her pleasure, there is none can stop or put a bridle on her raging lust.
All they that seek her will not weary themselves . . . either they need not weary themselves; (speaking of Jerusalem, to which all the rest also is to be applied as in a parable;) they that have a mind to be filthy with her may easily trace her (verse 23), they will not bestow their labor in vain, when she is hot upon her lust, let her take her course until she be satisfied, and wait their time and opportunity; and this agrees with the next words.
In her month they shall find her . . . in her month they shall find her: if this relate to the former sense of not wearying themselves, it notes her boldness and insatiableness; you may have her at any time, even in her months or new moons, a season wherein such acts are abhorrent even to nature itself. Some think that this means the idolatry they committed every new moon. Those who want her do not need to hunt for her because she goes running to them!
*****A wild ass is conditioned to the wilderness (Jer.2:24), not tamed by labor, and therefore very mean, snuffing up the wind at her pleasure when she comes near the he-ass, and on such an occasion no one can turn her away? None can hinder her from that which she lusts. There is no use trying to stop her, until that monthly ‘heat’ is fulfilled (Job 39:1-2), for she is unmanageable. Consider Israel’s sin of idolatry compared to a swift dromedary and a wild ass: (1.) Eager lust is a pitiless thing, and they would not be turned away from the gratifying and indulging of it. God considered them as brute-beasts and no better. (2.) Idolatry is strangely intoxicating, and those that are addicted to it will have difficulty to be cured of it. That lust is as headstrong as any. (3.) There are some so viciously set upon fulfilling their lusts that there is no reason to try to stop them. Those that do try only weary themselves in vain. Ephraim is joined to idols let him alone (Hos.4:17). (4.) The time will come when even the most fierce will be tamed and the most vicious will be manageable when God’s judgment comes upon them, then their ears will be open to discipline, that is the month in which you may find them (Ps.141:5-6). Rev. 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (KJV)
Jer. 2:25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. (KJV)
Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and they throat from thirst . . . good counsel given them by the prophet to stay at home; they should not go a chasing after their spiritual or corporal adulteries, or seek foreign aids, and in so doing to wear out their shoes (Josh. 9:13): or, that they put not off their shoes to go into the bed of lust, for exposing their nakedness (Eze.16:25). Jeremiah tells Israel not to run barefoot and with a parched throat like a shameless adulteress running after strangers.
But thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go . . . no hope (Jer.18:12; Isa.57:10). They were resolved to go on in their own course, they loved strangers, idols (Jer.3:13; De 32:16).
*****They were unwavering in their sin, and they could not be restrained, so they would not be reformed. Consider: Fair warning given them of the ruin that this wicked course of life would certainly bring them to at last, cautioning them NOT to persist in it, but to STOP it. The LORD would indeed bring them into a miserable captivity, when their feet would be unshod, and they would be forced to travel barefoot, and they would be denied water by their oppressors, so that their throat would be dried up with thirst . . . this will be the end thereof. Those that worship strange gods, and strange ways of worship, will rightly be made prisoners to a strange king in a strange land. Dear one, this also applies to us today, because God does NOT change. (Mal.3:6; Heb.6:18; 13:8; Jam.1:17). He must be first in your life, or you are in trouble.
Jer.2:26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, (KJV)
As the thief is ashamed when he is found . . . not ashamed of his sin of theft, but that he is found.
So is the house of Israel ashamed . . . the twelve tribes. Ashamed or confounded when they shall be taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and then their idols, which they went a whoring after, shall be discovered, and so put them to shame, because of the idols inability to help them (Jer. 2:28; Isa.1:29; Hos. 4:19); and their shame will be the more, because they had the status of being God’s people.
They, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets . . . all these should have given better examples, and better instruction.
Jer. 2:27 Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. (KJV)
Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone . . . idols are made of different materials (Dan.5:4), yet Israel chose them above God.
Thou hast brought me forth . . . begotten me (Gen.4:18). This states the stupidity of this people, taking a lifeless stock or stone to be their maker, and to give the honor of God to them (Isa.44:17). They that make idols are like them, as senseless as they (Ps.115:8).
For they have turned their back unto me, and not their face . . . they turn their faces completely towards their idol . . . stating the openness of their apostasy (Jer.7:24).
But in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us . . . the usual language of God's children in distress (Ps.3:7), and often elsewhere. They found the vanity of their idols, and their own folly in relying on them, that cannot help or save, and rejecting God (Jer.2:31), then they will come to Me (Jdg.10:10; Ho 5:15); the same thing with finding her in her month (verse 24); herein abusing God's gentleness, making Him their necessity, not their choice.
Jer. 2:28 But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. (KJV)
But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? . . . their idols, gods of their own making; what do they do for them? (Isa.31:3).
Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble . . . let the idols arise, let them produce their idols to help them, if they can, whom they call their fathers and their makers; or by way of scoff, as Elijah did to Baal's priests (Jdg.10:14). And too, in this word arise there is a suggestion of their lifelessness and deadness (Isa. 46:7; Jer.10:15).
For according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah . . . Agreeing to the number of their cities are their gods. They had their abundant idols near them, imitating the heathens, who had according to Varro (ancient Roman scholar and writer), more than thirty thousand deities. Every city had at least one (2 Ki.17:29-31), and in Jerusalem one in every street (Jer.11:13). It is a hard case if none of their patron gods can help thee (Deut.32:37-39). Can all of them together help them? NO!
Incorrigibleness, blood-shedding, and hypocrisy (Jer.2:29-37)
Jer. 2:29 Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Wherefore will ye plead with me? . . . they all are at God’s mercy, why will they resist? All that the LORD charged them with is clear and unmistakable (verses 23 and 24). Why do you complain and disagree, and make God prove His Promise? There is nothing that they can rightly reply (verse 19).
Ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD . . . they all have transgressed against God, there is not even one that is innocent. Jer.16:13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour. (KJV)
Jer. 2:30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. (KJV)
In vain have I smitten your children . . . either their children, or the inhabitants in every city, they being often called the children of such a city: children of Seir (2 Chron. 25:14), children, of the province (Ezr.2:1), and children of thy people (Lev.19:18), and so it is wide-ranging both of parents and children.
They received no correction . . . no correction, no instruction. The same word is rendered correction (Pro. 23:13), which means instruction (Pro. 5:12). Even though they were corrected, yet they would not be instructed; though God did smite them, yet His rod prevailed as little with them as His Word.
Your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion . . . their own sword had devoured their prophets, like a destroying lion.
***** God rebuked them through the prophets, but they were so apostate that they hated and killed the very men who wanted to help them and who were the salt of the nation. Not only were they ruthless in killing the prophets, but like a roaring lion they had no concern in what they killed. Their own sword had devoured their prophets, like a destroying lion (2 Chron. 36:16; Ne. 9:26; Mat. 23:29, 31; Jer.5:12-13; 20:7).
Jer. 2:31 O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are LORDs; we will come no more unto thee? (KJV)
O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel?. . . have I ever withheld from you any of the blessings needed for your support?
A land of darkness . . . have you, since you passed through the wilderness, and came out of the darkness of Egypt, ever been brought into similar circumstances? They had always had food and all the necessities of life for their bodies; and God’s ordinances and His Word to enlighten and cheer their souls. The LORD had never been a wilderness or a land of darkness to them.
We are LORDs; we will come no more unto thee . . . they wanted to be their own masters. They wanted to worship the gods they liked (Job 21:14-15; Ps.12:4; 82:6).
*****We are LORDs . . . some translate this: We will be our own master; we will not tolerate religious or civil control; we will respect no laws, human or Divine. We will ramble at large, without restraint pursuing our idolatrous lusts. It was this outlook on life that caused them to fall in so fully with the whole system of idolatry . . . and it this same outlook that are causing the idolatry today. BEWARE!!!
We must consider that there is a great likeness between Judah and our own nation. God was left out back then . . . and He certainly is left out in today’s world! Our nation was founded by men and women who believed that the Bible was the Word of God, and everything they did was based on that precious Book. . . . BUT . . . our nation today is controlled by many ungodly people who do NOT know . . . or want to know . . . its spiritual heritage. The United States has turned away from God. They are going after the idol of the almighty dollar. They go after it in many various ways: pleasure, sex, unjust laws, unjust judges, murder, violence . . . anything that is wicked and immoral! Money is the god of the present day. God is completely left out by the majority (Mat.7:13-14). Only a meager few still love and believe God! . . . I remember thee (verse 2) God says to Jerusalem . . . but THEY had forgotten Him. How gracious God is! May we all consider these words in Jeremiah!
Jer. 2:32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. (KJV)
Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? . . . Israel did not even have as much attachment to the LORD as young females had for their dress and jewelry. Oriental women prided themselves on their ornaments (Isa.61:10).
Yet my people have forgotten me days without number . . . days without number means many years, during the whole fifty-five years reign of Manasses, which land was flooded with idolatry, from which came the reform by good King Josiah his grandson had not yet purified it. They had forgotten God: (Jer.13:25; Hos.8:14).
*****Jeremiah lays the blame of all their wickedness upon their forgetting God. They had persistently banished the thoughts of God out of their minds, replaced those thoughts with thoughts of their idols, and avoided all those things that would put them in mind of God.
(1). Even though they were His own people, in covenant with Him and agreeing to a relationship to Him, and had the tokens of His Presence in the midst of them and of His favor to them, they forgot Him. (2). They had long neglected him, days without number. They had not had any serious thoughts of Him in a long time, so that they seemed to have forgotten Him, and was determined never to remember Him again. How many days of our lives have passed without a right remembrance of God?
(3). They did not even have as much affection for Him as young ladies have for their fine clothes and jewelry. It is sad that anyone would love their fine clothes than their God. They left their religion behind, rather than leave any of their ornaments behind them, or part with them. Shouldn’t God be our ornament? Shouldn’t He be our crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to His people? Shouldn’t we look at Him to be so, and our love for Him be an ornament of grace to our head and chains about our neck (Pro.1:9).
Jer. 2:33 Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways. (KJV)
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? . . . trimmest best suits the image of one decking herself as a harlot. Why do they use every kind of scheme to gain alliances with idolatrous nations? (2 Ki. 9:30).
Therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways . . . they trained wicked men in their own wickedness and continued sin and rebellion against God. They would not escape punishment.
Jer. 2:34 Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. (KJV)
Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents . . . their cruelty may can seen openly there, a symbol from birds of rapine (violent seizure of property), whose wings are bloody with their prey. The blood of the souls of the poor innocents, means including their sacrificing of their little children to their idols (Deut.18:10; Ps. 106:37-38; 2 Ki.16:3; 2 Ki.17:17; 2 Ki.21:6; Isa.57:5; Jer.7:31, Jer.32:35; Eze.16:20-21, 36; Eze.20:26; Eze.23:37; Eze.23:47). They murdered souls as well as bodies; so many cruelties, oppressions and murders that they executed upon poor innocent persons, which were not a few in what Manasseh did (2 Ki. 21:16-17; Eze.7:23; 9:9).
I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these . . . by digging; as if the earth had covered the blood, or as if they had committed their wickedness in some out of the way places. God did not need to search deep to find proof that they were guilty, for He saw it on them all, it was on all of them . . . in thy skirts. Not in deep caverns didst thou perpetrate these atrocities, but openly in the valley of Hinnom and within the precincts of the Temple.
Jer. 2:35 Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. (KJV)
Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me . . . how dare they say they were innocent! How dare they deny their guilt! They continued to state their innocence, so they expected that God's judgments would be quickly removed!
Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned . . . God would maintain His process, follow it with conviction, and inflict the deserved punishment. He will not act like a tyrant, carried on rashly and furiously; but as a Righteous Judge (Eze.20:35). God is not angry with her so much because she hath sinned, but because she will not acknowledge her sin.
*****The LORD overrules their plea of “Not guilty”. Because they deny the charge, and stand upon their own justification, therefore God will join issue with them and plead with them, both by His Word and by His rod. He shall show them how much they deceive themselves: (1). They say they have not offended God, that they are innocent, even though they have been guilty of the grossest wickedness. (2). They expect that God will be reconciled to them even though they do not repent and reform. This is very provoking, and God will plead with them, and convince them that His anger is just, for they indeed have sinned, and He will not cease His argument until they, instead of justifying themselves . . . must humble, judge and condemn themselves. A good lesson for us.
Jer. 2:36 Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. (KJV)
Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? . . . when they departed from the LORD, they hunted for foreign alliances for support.
(1). The Assyrians (2 Chron.28:13-21); but they only injured themselves instead of helping themselves.
(2). The Egyptians: but in this they were utterly disappointed, and were ashamed of their confidence.
Jer. 37:7-38 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to enquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. 8 And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. (KJV) . . . The fulfillment of this prediction.
Jer. 2:37 Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them. (KJV)
Thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head . . . they shall find all their confidence in vain, their hope disappointed and their state reduced to desperation. The hand being placed on the head was symbolic of deep sorrow, brought about by utter desolation. Consider Tamar, when ruined and abandoned by her brother Amnon (2 Sam.13:19).
For the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them . . . they shall not prosper in their confidences . . . this as we see in the history of Israel was literally fulfilled. O what a grievous and bitter thing it is to sin against the LORD, and to have Him for an Enemy!
*****Their ambassadors shall return from Egypt, sadly disappointed, with their hands upon their heads, mourning the desperate condition of their people. And Egypt, on whom they relied, shall not be able to prevent it or to rescue them out of captivity. They would not lay their hand on their heart in godly sorrow, or lay their hand on their head in the sorrow for the world. It is no wonder that Egypt cannot help them, when God will not! Dear one, IF the LORD does not help you . . . you are in BIG trouble!
The Egyptians are broken reeds, for the LORD has rejected Israel’s confidences, and He will not make use of them for their relief, nor will He honor them, nor appoint them to be the instruments of any good to them . . . therefore they shall not prosper in them, nor give them any satisfaction. Dear one, there is NO counsel or wisdom of any kind that can prevail against the LORD, so there is no one who can prevail without Him.
The LORD had rejected them for their bold self-reliance because they had been so unfaithful to Him, as to trust in His creatures (their enemies) when they should have trusted in Him alone! He has abandoned them to that destruction from which they thought to shelter themselves. They CANNOT prosper, for NO one ever either hardened himself against God or estranged himself from God and prospered.
In chapter 3 we will find that backsliding is mentioned in one chapter as many times as it is mentioned in the rest of the Bible; so it must be rather important to God.
Book of Jeremiah
Jer.Ch.1 . . Jer.Ch.2 . . Jer.Ch.3 . . Jer.Ch.4 . . Jer.Ch.5 . . Jer.Ch.6 . . Jer.Ch.7 . . Jer.Ch.8 . . Jer.Ch.9 . . Jer.Ch.10 . . Jer.Ch.11 . . Jer.Ch.12 . . Jer.Ch.13 . . Jer.Ch,14 . . Jer.Ch.15 . . Jer.Ch.16 . . Jer.Ch.17 . . Jer.Ch.18 . . Jer.Ch.19 . . Jer.Ch.20 . . Jer.Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Ch.23 . . Ch.24 . . Ch.25 . . Ch.26 . . Ch.27 . . Ch.28 . . Ch.29 . . Ch.30 . . Ch.31 . . Ch.32 . . Ch.33 . . Ch.34 . . Ch.35 . . Ch.36 . . Ch.37 . . Ch.38 . . Ch.39 . . Ch.40 . . Ch.41 . . Ch.42 . . Ch.43 . . Ch.44 . . Ch.45 . Ch.46 . . Ch.47 . . Ch.48 . . Ch.49 . . Ch. 50 . . Ch.51 . . Ch.52 . . Jer. End Times Signs . . Jer. Special Commemnts . . . Home Page