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Jer 23:1-40. THE WICKED RULERS TO BE SUPERSEDED BY THE KING, WHO SHOULD REIGN OVER THE AGAIN UNITED PEOPLES, ISRAEL AND JUDAH.
This forms the epilogue to the denunciations of the four kings, in Jer 21:1-22:30.
3, 4. Restoration of Judah from Babylon foretold in language
which in its fulness can only apply to the final restoration of
both "Judah" and "Israel" (compare
also "out of all countries," in this verse and
also, "neither shall they be lacking," that is, none shall be missing
or detached from the rest: a prophecy never yet fully accomplished. It
holds good also of the spiritual Israel, the elect of both Jews and
(Mal 3:16, 17;
Joh 10:28; 17:12).
As to the literal Israel also, see
Isa 54:13; 60:21;
5. As Messianic prophecy extended over many years in which many
political changes took place in harmony with these, it displayed its
riches by a variety more effective than if it had been manifested all at
once. As the moral condition of the Jews required in each instance, so
Messiah was exhibited in a corresponding phase, thus becoming more and
more the soul of the nation's life: so that He is represented as the
6. Judah . . . Israel . . . dwell safely--Compare
where "Jerusalem" is substituted for "Israel" here. Only Judah,
and that only in part, has as yet returned. So far are the Jews from
having enjoyed, as yet, the temporal blessings here foretold as the
result of Messiah's reign, that their lot has been, for eighteen
centuries, worse than ever before. The accomplishment must, therefore,
be still future, when both Judah and Israel in their own land shall
dwell safely under a Christocracy, far more privileged than even the
Isa 54:1-17; 60:1-22; 65:17-25;
7, 8. Repeated from Jer 16:14, 15. The prophet said the same things often, in order that his sayings might make the more impression. The same promise as in Jer 23:3, 4. The wide dispersion of the Jews at the Babylonish captivity prefigures their present wider dispersion (Isa 11:11; Joe 3:6). Their second deliverance is to exceed far the former one from Egypt. But the deliverance from Babylon was inferior to that from Egypt in respect to the miracles performed and the numbers delivered. The final deliverance under Messiah must, therefore, be meant, of which that from Babylon was the earnest.
9. because of the prophets--so the Masorites and Targum. But
Vulgate, Septuagint, &c., make this the inscription of the
prophecy, CONCERNING THE
PROPHETS: as in
Jer 46:2; 48:1; 49:1.
Jeremiah expresses his horror at the so-called "prophets" not warning
the people, though iniquity so fearfully abounded, soon to be followed
by awful judgments.
10. adulterers--spiritual, that is, forsakers of God, Israel's true
for idols, at the instigation of the false "prophets"
(Jer 23:9, 15).
Literal adultery and fornication, the usual concomitants of
idolatry, are also meant.
12. slippery ways in . . . darkness--Their "way" is their false
doctrine which proves fatal to them
13. folly--literally, "insipidity," "unsavouriness"
not having the salt of godliness
14. "Jerusalem" and Judah were even worse than "Samaria" and the ten
tribes; the greater were the privileges of the former, the greater was
their guilt. They had the temple in their midst, which the ten tribes
had not; yet in the temple itself they practised idolatry.
16. make you vain--They seduce you to vanity, that is, idolatry, which
will prove a vain trust to you
[GESENIUS]. Rather, "they delude you with vain
promises of security"
18. A reason is given why the false prophets should not be heeded: They have not stood in the counsels of Jehovah (an image from ministers present in a standing posture at councils of Eastern kings) (compare Jer 23:22; Job 15:8). The spiritual man alone has the privilege (Ge 18:17; Ps 25:14; Am 3:7; Joh 15:15; 1Co 2:16).
19. So far from all prosperity awaiting the people as the false
wrath is in store for them.
20. in . . . latter days--that is, "the year of their visitation" (Jer 23:12). Primarily the meaning is: the Jews will not "consider" now God's warnings (De 32:29); but when the prophecies shall be fulfilled in their Babylonish exile, they will consider and see, by bitter experience, their sinful folly. The ultimate scope of the prophecy is: the Jews, in their final dispersion, shall at last "consider" their sin and turn to Messiah "perfectly" (Ho 3:5; Zec 12:5, 10-14; Lu 13:35).
21. sent . . . spoken--"sent" refers to the primary call: "spoken" to the subsequent charges given to be executed. A call is required, not only external, on the part of men, but also internal from God, that one should undertake a pastor's office [CALVIN].
22. stood in . . . counsel--
23. Let not the false prophets fancy that their devices (Jer 23:25) are unknown to Me. Are ye so ignorant as to suppose that I can only see things near Me, namely, things in heaven, and not earthly things as being too remote?