Jeremiah 17:7
Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
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(7) Blessed is the man . . .—The words that follow in Jeremiah 17:8 are almost a paraphrase of Psalm 1:3. and, we may well believe, were suggested by them. The prophet has, as it were, his own Ebal and Gerizim: trust in God inheriting the blessing, and distrust the curse.

Jeremiah 17:7-8. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord — That lives in continual obedience to him, and relies entirely upon him for every blessing he wants for his body or soul, for himself or others who, under God, are dependant upon him; and whose hope the Lord is — Who makes the Lord’s favour the good he hopes for, and his power the strength he hopes in. Trusting aright in the Lord necessarily implies walking closely with him, and not departing from him in heart. For it is naturally impossible that any one should repose confidence in another for any thing which had been promised under a condition, without a consciousness in himself that he had, at least in some good measure, complied with the condition upon which it was promised. For he shall be like a tree planted, &c. — He shall be prosperous and successful in his counsels and undertakings. He may be compared to a tree planted in a fertile soil, on the bank of a river, to which it extends its roots, and from which it derives abundance of sap and nourishment. And shall not see when heat cometh Ου φοβηθησετα οταν ελθη καυμα, say the LXX., shall not fear when heat cometh. They follow the reading of the Hebrew text, which is to be preferred before that of the margin. And shall not be careful in the year of drought — Shall not be solicitous for fear it should lack moisture; that is, in a time when the leaves of trees standing on dry mountainous places are parched and withered, it shall retain its verdure, and continue to yield its fruit. Blaney translates the clause, “And it is not sensible when heat cometh; but its leaf is green, and in a year of drought it is without concern; nor doth it decline bearing fruit.”17:5-11 He who puts confidence in man, shall be like the heath in a desert, a naked tree, a sorry shrub, the product of barren ground, useless and worthless. Those who trust to their own righteousness and strength, and think they can do without Christ, make flesh their arm, and their souls cannot prosper in graces or comforts. Those who make God their Hope, shall flourish like a tree always green, whose leaf does not wither. They shall be fixed in peace and satisfaction of mind; they shall not be anxious in a year of drought. Those who make God their Hope, have enough in him to make up the want of all creature-comforts. They shall not cease from yielding fruit in holiness and good works. The heart, the conscience of man, in his corrupt and fallen state, is deceitful above all things. It calls evil good, and good evil; and cries peace to those to whom it does not belong. Herein the heart is desperately wicked; it is deadly, it is desperate. The case is bad indeed, if the conscience, which should set right the errors of other faculties, is a leader in the delusion. We cannot know our own hearts, nor what they will do in an hour of temptation. Who can understand his errors? Much less can we know the hearts of others, or depend upon them. He that believes God's testimony in this matter, and learns to watch his own heart, will find this is a correct, though a sad picture, and learns many lessons to direct his conduct. But much in our own hearts and in the hearts of others, will remain unknown. Yet whatever wickedness there is in the heart, God sees it. Men may be imposed upon, but God cannot be deceived. He that gets riches, and not by right, though he may make them his hope, never shall have joy of them. This shows what vexation it is to a worldly man at death, that he must leave his riches behind; but though the wealth will not follow to another world, guilt will, and everlasting torment. The rich man takes pains to get an estate, and sits brooding upon it, but never has any satisfaction in it; by sinful courses it comes to nothing. Let us be wise in time; what we get, let us get it honestly; and what we have, use it charitably, that we may be wise for eternity.Like the heath - Or, "like a destitute man" Psalm 102:17. The verbs "he shall see" (or fear) and "shall inhabit" plainly show that a man is here meant and not a plant.7. (Ps 34:8; Pr 16:20; Isa 30:18). Jeremiah first removed the weeds (false trusts), so that there might be room for the good grain [Calvin]. Trusting in the Lord necessarily implieth also a walking close with him, and not in heart departing from him; for it is naturally impossible that any should repose a confidence in another for any good things, which that other hath promised under any condition, without some satisfaction in himself that he hath in some measure fulfilled the condition upon which the promise is made. But that man that truly trusteth and hopeth in the Lord is and shall be a blessed man. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord,.... In the Word of the Lord, as the Targum, in Christ the essential Word of God; see Psalm 2:12 who have a spiritual knowledge of him, and so trust in him, Psalm 9:10 who have seen the vanity and emptiness of all other objects of trust, there being no salvation in them, only in him; who betake themselves to him as their only refuge; lay hold, rest, and rely upon him, as their Saviour; commit their all unto him; trust him with all their concerns, respecting life and salvation, and with their immortal souls; and expect all from him, grace here, and glory hereafter: who trust in his person for their acceptance with God; in his righteousness for their justification; in his blood for the pardon of their sins; in his fulness for the supply of their wants; in his power for protection and preservation; and in all for eternal life and happiness: and such are blessed persons; for they are in the utmost safety; they are as Mount Zion, which can never be removed; they shall want no good thing, temporal or spiritual, proper for them; they enjoy great peace now, and in the world to come everlasting glory:

and whose hope the Lord is; the Word of the Lord, according to the Targum, as before: Christ, who is the Hope of Israel, our hope, and Christ in us the hope of glory, Jeremiah 14:8, whose hope is from the Lord, of which he is the author and giver; and is a good hope, through his grace; and which has the Lord Jesus Christ for its object; who turn in to him as prisoners of hope; and lay hold on him, the hope set before them; and do hope in him for pardoning mercy, salvation, and eternal life. Blessed men! their hope shall not make them ashamed; they shall not be disappointed, Psalm 146:5.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
7. hope] lit. as mg. trust.Judah's sin is ineffaceably stamped upon the hearts of the people and on their altars. These four verses are closely connected with the preceding, and show why it is necessary that Judah be cast forth amidst the heathen, by reason of its being perfectly stepped in idolatry. Jeremiah 17:1. "The sin of Judah is written with an iron pen, with the point of a diamond graven on the table of their hearts and on the horns of your altars. Jeremiah 17:2. As they remember their children, so do they their altars and their Astartes by the green tree upon the high hills. Jeremiah 17:3. My mountain in the field, thy substance, all thy treasures give I for a prey, thy high places for sin in all thy borders. Jeremiah 17:4. And thou shalt discontinue, and that of thine own self, from thine inheritance that I gave thee, and I cause thee to serve thine enemies in a land which thou knowest not; for a fire have ye kindled in mine anger, for ever it burneth."

The sin of Judah (Jeremiah 17:1) is not their sinfulness, their proneness to sin, but their sinful practices, idolatry. This is written upon the tables of the hearts of them of Judah, i.e., stamped on them (cf. for this figure Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 7:3), and that deep and firmly. This is intimated by the writing with an iron pen and graving with a diamond. צפּרן, from צפר, scratch, used in Deuteronomy 21:12 for the nail of the finger, here of the point of the style or graving-iron, the diamond pencil which gravers use for carving in iron, steel, and stone.

(Note: Cf. Plinii hist. n. xxxvii. 15: crustae adamantis expetuntur a sculptoribus ferroque includuntur, nullam non duritiem ex facili excavantes.)

שׁמיר, diamond, not emery as Boch. and Ros. supposed; cf. Ezekiel 3:9; Zechariah 7:12. The things last mentioned are so to be distributed that "on the table of their heart" shall belong to "written with a pen of iron," and "on the horns of their altars" to "with the point of a diamond grave." The iron style was used only for writing or carving letters in a hard material, Job 19:24. If with it one wrote on tables, it was for the purpose of impressing the writing very deeply, so that it could not easily be effaced. The having of sin engraved upon the tables of the heart does not mean that a sense of unatoned sin could not be got rid of (Graf); for with a sense of sin we have here nothing to do, but with the deep and firm root sin has taken in the heart. To the tables of the heart as the inward seat of sin are opposed the horns of their altars (at "altars" the discourse is directly addressed to the Jews). By altars are generally understood idolatrous altars, partly because of the plural, "since the altar of Jahveh was but one," partly because of Jeremiah 17:2, where the altars in question are certainly those of the idols. But the first reason proves nothing, since the temple of the Lord itself contained two altars, on whose horns the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled. The blood of the sin-offering was put not merely on the altar of burnt-offering, but also on the horns of the altar of incense, Leviticus 4:7-8; Leviticus 16:16. Nor is the second reason conclusive, since there is no difficulty in taking it to be the altars of Jahveh as defiled by idolatry. This, indeed, we must do, since Josiah had destroyed the altars of the false gods, whereas here the altars are spoken of as existing monuments of idolatry. The question, in how far the sin of Judah is ineffaceably engraven upon the horns of her altars, is variously answered by comm., and the answer depends on the view taken of Jeremiah 17:2, which is itself disputed. It is certainly wrong to join Jeremiah 17:2 as protasis with Jeremiah 17:3 as apodosis, for it is incompatible with the beginning of Jeremiah 17:3, הררי. Ew. therefore proposes to attach "my mountain in the field" to Jeremiah 17:2, and to change הררי into הררי: upon the high hills, the mountains in the field - a manifest makeshift. Umbr. translates: As their children remember their will I my mountain in the field, thy possession...give for a prey; and makes out the sense to be: "in proportion to the strength and ineffaceableness of the impressions, such as are to be found in the children of idolatrous fathers, must be the severity of the consequent punishment from God." But if this were the force, then כּן could not possibly be omitted before the apodosis; apart altogether from the suddenness of such a transition from the sins of the people (Jeremiah 17:1) to the sins of the children.

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