|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:11-19 God gave Jeremiah a view of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The almond-tree, which is more forward in the spring than any other, represented the speedy approach of judgments. God also showed whence the intended ruin should arise. Jeremiah saw a seething-pot boiling, representing Jerusalem and Judah in great commotion. The mouth or face of the furnace or hearth, was toward the north; from whence the fire and fuel were to come. The northern powers shall unite. The cause of these judgments was the sin of Judah. The whole counsel of God must be declared. The fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. Better to have all men our enemies than God our enemy; those who are sure they have God with them, need not, ought not to fear, whoever is against them. Let us pray that we may be willing to give up personal interests, and that nothing may move us from our duty.
Verse 14. - Out of the north. Previously to the battle of Carchemish, the Babylonians are only mentioned vaguely as a northern people (see Jeremiah 4:6; Jeremiah 6:1, 22; Jeremiah 10:22). Strictly speaking, they were an eastern people from the point of view of Palestine; but the caravan-road which the Chaldaean armies had to take entered Palestine at Dan (comp. Jeremiah 4:15; Jeremiah 8:16), and then proceeded southward. (On the question whether a Scythian invasion is referred to, at least conjointly with the Babylonian, see Introduction.) An evil; rather, the evil; viz. the calamity which in deepening gloom forms the burden of the prophet's discourses. Shall break forth; literally, shall open; i.e. let loose by opening (comp. the use of the same verb in Isaiah 14:17, literally, "looseth not his prisoners homewards;" and Amos 8:5, literally, "that we may open," i.e. "bring forth wheat"). There is, however, some difficulty in explaining the choice of this expression. We might indeed suppose that the caldron had a lid, and that the removal or falling off of this lid is the "opening" referred to by the phrase.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then the Lord said unto me,.... Explaining the above vision:
out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land; that is, out of Babylon, which lay north, as Jarchi says, and so the Talmud (t); or north east, as Kimchi and Ben Melech, to the land of Israel; from hence came Nebuchadnezzar and his army, which are meant by "the evil" that should break forth, or "be opened" (u) and loosed, which before were bound and hindered by the providence of God; see Revelation 9:14 and come upon all the inhabitants of the land of Israel; and who are signified by the boiling pot to the north; or, however, by the fire under it, which came from thence; for rather by the pot is meant Jerusalem; and, by the boiling of it, its destruction by the Chaldeans; see Ezekiel 11:3.
(t) T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 6. 1. and Bava Bathra, fol. 25. 2.((u) "aperietur", Munster, Tigurine version, Cocceius; "pandetur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. break forth—"shall disclose itself."
Out of the north—(Jer 4:6; 6:1, 22; 10:22; 25:9; Eze 26:7). The Chaldeans did not cast off the yoke of Assyria till several years after, under Nabopolassar, 625 B.C.; but long previously they had so increased as to threaten Assyria, which was now grown weak, and other neighboring peoples.
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