Jeremiah 10:25
Pour out your fury on the heathen that know you not, and on the families that call not on your name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Pour out thy fury.—The words are identical with those of Psalm 79:6-7, but it is more probable that the Psalmist borrowed from the Prophet. By many critics the Psalm is referred to the time of the Maccabees, and it would seem, from the language of Jeremiah 10:1-3, that it must at any rate have been after the destruction of the Temple by the Chaldeans. On the last supposition the two writers may have been contemporaries.

Jeremiah 10:25. Pour out thine indignation upon the heathen, &c. — Let thy justice be made known, by bringing an exemplary punishment upon the Chaldeans and their allies, (see Jeremiah 1:15,) who do not acknowledge thy providence, but ascribe all their successes to their idols: for they have eaten up Jacob, &c. — See note on Jeremiah 6:3. This prayer, it must be observed, did not proceed from a spirit of malice or revenge in the prophet, nor was it intended to prescribe to God on whom he should execute his judgments, or in what order; but, 1st, It is an appeal to his justice; as if he had said, Lord, we are a provoking people, but are there not other nations that are more so? And shall we only be punished?

2d, It is a prediction of God’s judgments upon all the impenitent enemies of his church and kingdom. If judgment begin thus at the house of God: what shall be the end of those that obey not his gospel? 1 Peter 4:17. 10:17-25 The Jews who continued in their own land, felt secure. But, sooner or later, sinners will find all things as the word of God has declared, and that its threatenings are not empty terrors. Submission will support the believer under every grief allotted to him; but what can render the load of Divine vengeance easy to be borne by those who fall under it in sullen despair? Those cannot expect to prosper, who do not, by faith and prayer, take God with them in all their ways. The report of the enemy's approach was very dreadful. Yet the designs which men lay deep, and think well formed, are dashed to pieces in a moment. Events are often overruled, so as to be quite contrary to what we intended and expected. If the Lord has directed our steps into the ways of peace and righteousness, let us entreat him to enable us to walk therein. Say not, Lord, do not correct me; but, Lord, do not correct me in anger. We may bear the smart of God's rod, but we cannot bear the weight of his wrath. Those who restrain prayer, prove that they know not God; for those who know him will seek him, and seek his favour. If even severe corrections lead sinners to be convinced of wholesome truths, they will have abundant cause for gratitude. And they will then humble themselves before the Lord.With judgment - In Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 46:28, the word "judgment" (with a different preposition) is rendered "in measure." The contrast therefore is between punishment inflicted in anger, and that inflicted as a duty of justice, of which the object is the criminal's reformation. Jeremiah prays that God would punish Jacob so far only as would bring him to true repentance, but that he would pour forth his anger upon the pagan, as upon that which opposes itself to God Jeremiah 10:25. 24, 25. Since I (my nation) must be corrected (justice requiring it because of the deep guilt of the nation), I do not deprecate all chastisement, but pray only for moderation in it (Jer 30:11; Ps 6:1; 38:1); and that the full tide of Thy fury may be poured out on the heathen invaders for their cruelty towards Thy people. Ps 79:6, 7, a psalm to be referred to the time of the captivity, its composer probably repeated this from Jeremiah. The imperative, "Pour out," is used instead of the future, expressing vividly the certainty of the prediction, and that the word of God itself effects its own declarations. Accordingly, the Jews were restored after correction; the Babylonians were utterly extinguished.

know thee … call … on thy name—Knowledge of God is the beginning of piety; calling on Him the fruit.

heathen … Jacob—He reminds God of the distinction He has made between His people whom Jacob represents, and the heathen aliens. Correct us as Thy adopted sons, the seed of Jacob; destroy them as outcasts (Zec 1:14, 15, 21).

Pour out thy fury upon the heathen: this may imply both petition, that God would do so, and prediction, that God will certainly do so, which toward the close of the prophecy we find was fulfilled, God first sending the king of Babylon to overthrow divers of the heathen nations, and then Babylon itself destroyed with a great destruction. He will make a difference between us and the heathen, such as

know thee not, i.e. such as do not acknowledge and own thee for their God: the phrase is frequent; 1 Samuel 2:12 Job 18:21 2 Thessalonians 1:8: the sense is expressed here in the next words, that do not call on thy name. That call not on thy name; a synecdoche, one part of worship put for the whole: q.d. If thou wilt be pouring out thy fury, the effects of it be to thine enemies, not unto thine own people, who worship thee.

For they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate: here he gives a reason as a motive to God why he should do so; which words see explained on Psalm 79:5-7, whence they are taken, and possibly Jeremiah himself was the author of that Psalm after the city was destroyed, and he carried into Egypt; and for the phrase of devouring him, see Jeremiah 8:16. Pour out thy fury upon the Heathen that know thee not,.... Make a difference between thy people that know thee, and make a profession of thy name, and worship thee, and the Heathen, the nations of the world who are ignorant of God, and worship stocks and stones; while thou correctest thine own people in measure, in love, and not in wrath, pour out without measure all thy fury upon the Gentiles that know not God, and are guilty of the grossest idolatry:

and upon the families that call not on thy name; this does not signify single families, commonly so called; but kingdoms, as the Targum interprets it; Heathen kingdoms and nations, that call not upon or worship the God of Israel, but their own idols; such as the family of Egypt, Zechariah 14:17 and so it is expressed in a parallel place, Psalm 79:6, which is either taken from hence, or this from thence:

for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate; a heap of words to express the great destruction and desolation of the land of Israel, of Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah; and of their houses and dwelling places, private and public; and of their spoiling them of all their goods, substance, wealth, and riches; which is given as a reason of the above imprecation.

Pour out {r} thy fury upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

(r) As God cannot only be known and glorified by his mercy that he uses toward his Church, but also by his justice in punishing his enemies, he prays that this glory may fully appear both in the one and the other, Ps 79:6.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. yea, they have devoured him] Plainly by an error of repetition in MT. In the Ps. (see above) the words are not found.Verse 25. - This verse is repeated, with slight differences, in Psalm 79:6, 7. The fault of the heathen is that they exceeded their commission (Isaiah 10:6, 7; Isaiah 47:6; Zechariah 1:15), and aimed at destroying, instead of merely punishing, Jehovah's erring people. His habitation; rather, his pasture (comp. Jeremiah 12:10)



The captivity of the people, their lamentation for the devastation of the land, and entreaty that the punishment may be mitigated. - Jeremiah 10:17. "Gather up thy bundle out of the land, thou that sittest in the siege. Jeremiah 10:18. For thus hath Jahveh spoken: Behold, I hurl forth the inhabitants of the land this time, and press them hard, that they may find them. Jeremiah 10:19. Woe is me for my hurt! grievous is my stroke! yet I:think: This is my suffering, and I will bear it! Jeremiah 10:20. My tent is despoiled, and all my cords are rent asunder. My sons have forsaken me, and are gone: none stretches forth my tent any more, or hangs up my curtains. Jeremiah 10:21. For the shepherds are become brutish, and have not sought Jahveh; therefore they have not dealt wisely, and the whole flock is scattered. - Jeremiah 10:22. Hark! a rumour: behold, it comes, and great commotion from the land of midnight, to make the cities of Judah a desolation, an abode of jackals. - Jeremiah 10:23. I know, Jahveh, that the way of man is not in himself, nor in the man that walketh to fix his step. Jeremiah 10:24. Chasten me, Jahveh, but according to right; not in Thine anger, lest Thou make me little. Jeremiah 10:25. Pour out Thy fury upon the peoples that know Thee not, and upon the races that call not upon Thy name! for they have devoured Jacob, have devoured him and made an end of him, and laid his pastures waste."

Jeremiah 10:17-20

In Jeremiah 10:17 the congregation of the people is addressed, and captivity in a foreign land is announced to them. This announcement stands in connection with Jeremiah 9:25, in so far as captivity is the accomplishment of the visitation of Judah threatened in Jeremiah 9:24. That connection is not, however, quite direct; the announcement is led up to by the warning against idolatry of vv. 1-16, inasmuch as it furnishes confirmation of the threat uttered in Jeremiah 10:15, that the idols shall perish in the day of their visitation, and shows besides how, by its folly in the matter of idolatry, Judah has drawn judgment down on itself. The confession in Jeremiah 10:21 : the shepherds are become brutish, points manifestly back to the description in Jeremiah 10:14 of the folly of the idolaters, and exhibits the connection of Jeremiah 10:17-25 with the preceding warning against idolatry. For "gather up," etc., Hitz. translates: gather thy trumpery from the ground; so that the expression would have a contemptuous tone. But the meaning of rubbish cannot be proved to belong to כּנעה; and the mockery that would lie in the phrase is out of place. כּנעה, from Arab. kǹ, contrahere, constipare, means that which is put together, packed up, one's bundle. The connection of אסף and מארץ is pregnant: put up thy bundle and carry it forth of the land. As N. G. Schroeder suspected, there is about the expression something of the nature of a current popular phrase, like the German Schnr dein Bndel, pack up, i.e., make ready fore the road. She who sits in the siege. The daughter of Zion is meant, but we must not limit the scope to the population of Jerusalem; as is clear from "inhabitants of the land," Jeremiah 10:18, the population of the whole land are comprised in the expression. As to the form יושׁבתי, see at Jeremiah 22:23. אספּי with dag. lene after the sibilant, as in Isaiah 47:2. "I hurl forth" expresses the violent manner of the captivity; cf. Isaiah 22:17. "This time;" hitherto hostile invasions ended with plundering and the imposition of a tribute: 2 Kings 14:14; 2 Kings 16:5; 2 Kings 18:13. - And I press them hard, or close them in, למען ימצאוּ. These words are variously explained, because there is no object expressed, and there may be variety of opinion as to what is the subject. Hitz., Umbr., Ng., take the verb find in the sense of feel, and so the object צרה would easily be supplied from the verb הצרתי: so that they may feel it, i.e., I will press them sensibly. But we cannot make sure of this meaning for מצא either from Jeremiah 17:9 or from Ecclesiastes 8:17, where know (ידע) and מצא are clearly identical conceptions. Still less is Graf entitled to supply as object: that which they seek and are to find, namely, God. His appeal in support of this to passages like Psalm 32:6; Deuteronomy 4:27 and Deuteronomy 4:29, proves nothing; for in such the object is manifestly suggested by the contest, which is not the case here. A just conclusion is obtained when we consider that הצרתי contains a play on בּמּצור in Jeremiah 10:17, and cannot be understood otherwise than as a hemming in by means of a siege. The aim of the siege is to bring those hemmed in under the power of the besiegers, to get at, reach them, or find them. Hence we must take the enemy as subject to "find," while the object is given in להם: so that they (the enemy) may find them (the besieged). Thus too Jerome, who translates the disputed verb passively: et tribulabo eos ut inveniantur; while he explains the meaning thus: sic eos obsideri faciam, sicque tribulabo et coangustabo, ut omnes in urbe reperiantur et effugere nequeant malum. Taken thus, the second clause serves to strengthen the first: I will hurl forth the inhabitants of this land into a foreign land, and none shall avoid this fate, for I will so hem them in that none shall be able to escape.

This harassment will bring the people to their senses, so that they shall humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. Such feelings the prophet utters at Jeremiah 10:19., in the name of the congregation, as he did in the like passage Jeremiah 4:19. As from the hearts of those who had been touched by their affliction, he exclaims: Woe is me for my breach! i.e., my crushing overthrow. The breach is that sustained by the state in its destruction, see at Jeremiah 4:6. נחלה, grown sick, i.e., grievous, incurable is the stroke that has fallen upon me. For this word we have in Jeremiah 15:18 אנוּשׁה, which is explained by "refuseth to be healed." ואני introduces an antithesis: but I say, sc. in my heart, i.e., I think. Hitz. gives אך the force of a limitation equals nothing further than this, but wrongly; and, taking the perf. אמרתּי as a preterite, makes out the import to be: "in their state of careless security they had taken the matter lightly, saying as it were, If no further calamity than this menace us, we may be well content;" a thought quite foreign to the context. For "this my suffering" can be nothing else than the "hurt" on account of which the speaker laments, or the stroke which he calls dangerous, incurable. אך has, besides, frequently the force of positive asseveration: yea, certainly (cf. Ew. 354, a), a force readily derived from that of only, nothing else than. And so here: only this, i.e., even this is my suffering. חלי, sickness, here suffering in general, as in Hosea 5:13; Isaiah 53:3., etc. The old translators took the Yod as pronoun (my suffering), whence it would be necessary to point חלי, like גּוי, Zephaniah 2:9; cf. Ew. 293, b, Rem. - The suffering which the congregation must bear consists in the spoliation of the land and the captivity of the people, represented in Jeremiah 10:20 under the figure of a destruction of their tent and the disappearance of their sons. The Chald. has fairly paraphrased the verse thus: my land is laid waste and all my cities are plundered, my people has gone off (into exile) and is no longer here. יצאני construed with the accus. like egredi urbem; cf. Genesis 54:4, etc. - From "my sons have forsaken me" Ng. draws the inference that Jeremiah 10:19 and Jeremiah 10:20 are the words of the country personified, since neither the prophet could so speak, nor the people, the latter being indeed identical with the sons, and so not forsaken, but forsaking. This inference rests on a mistaken view of the figure of the daughter of Zion, in which is involved the conception of the inhabitants of a land as the children of the land when personified as mother. Nor is there any evidence that the land is speaking in the words: I think, This is my suffering, etc. It is besides alleged that the words give no expression to any sense of guilt; they are said, on the contrary, to give utterance to a consolation which only an innocent land draws from the fact that a calamity is laid upon it, a calamity which must straightway be borne. This is neither true in point of fact, nor does it prove the case. The words, This is my suffering, etc., indicate resignation to the inevitable, not innocence or undeserved suffering. Hereon Graf remarks: "The suffering was unmerited, in so far as the prophet and the godly amongst the people were concerned; but it was inevitable that he and they should take it upon their shoulders, along with the rest." Asserted with so great width, this statement cannot be admitted. The present generation bears the punishment not only for the sins of many past generations, but for its own sins; nor were the godly themselves free from sin and guilt, for they acknowledge the justice of God's chastisement, and pray God to chasten them בּמשׁפּט, not in anger (Jeremiah 10:24). Besides, we cannot take the words as spoken by the prophet or by the godly as opposed to the ungodly, since it is the sons of the speaker ("my sons") that are carried captive, who can certainly not be the sons of the godly alone.

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