|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-16 The prophet shows the glory of Israel's God, and exposes the folly of idolaters. Charms and other attempts to obtain supernatural help, or to pry into futurity, are copied from the wicked customs of the heathen. Let us stand in awe, and not dare provoke God, by giving that glory to another which is due to him alone. He is ready to forgive, and save all who repent and believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Faith learns these blessed truths from the word of God; but all knowledge not from that source, leads to doctrines of vanity.
Verse 11. - Thus shall ye say, etc. This verse is, unlike the rest of the chapter, written in Chaldee, and greatly interrupts the connection. Whether it is a fragment of a Targum (or Chaldee paraphrase) representing a Hebrew verse really written by Jeremiah, or whether it is a marginal note by some scribe or reader which has found its way by accident into the text, cannot be positively determined. What is certain is that it is not in its right place, though it already stood here when the Septuagint Version of Jeremiah was made. To argue, with the 'Speaker's Commentary,' that the latter circumstance is decisive of the correctness of the passage in its present position, implies a view of the unchangeableness of the text in the early centuries which few leading scholars will admit.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus shall ye say unto them,.... The godly Jews to the idolatrous Chaldeans; and therefore this verse alone is written in the Chaldee language. The Targum prefaces it thus,
"this is the copy of the letter, which Jeremiah the prophet sent to the rest of the elders of the captivity in Babylon; and if the people among whom you are should say unto you, serve idols, O house of Israel; then shall ye answer, and so shall ye say unto them, the idols whom ye serve are errors, in whom there is no profit; from heaven they cannot bring down rain, and out of the earth they cannot produce fruit:''
so Jarchi observes: it follows in the text,
the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens; which the Targum paraphrases thus,
"they and their worshippers shall perish from the earth, and shall be consumed from under these heavens.''
The words may be considered as a prediction that so it would be; or as an imprecation that so it might be, and be read, "let the gods", &c.; and considered either way, being put into the mouth of the godly Jews in Babylon, to be openly pronounced by them in the midst of idolaters, and in answer to them, when they should be enticed to idolatry, show how open and ingenuous men should be in the profession of the true God, and his religion and worship: and it may be observed, against the deniers of the true deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that if he is not that God that made the heavens and the earth, he lies under this imprecation or prediction.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. This verse is in Chaldee, Jeremiah supplying his countrymen with a formula of reply to Chaldee idolaters in the tongue most intelligible to the latter. There may be also derision intended in imitating their barbarous dialect. Rosenmuller objects to this view, that not merely the words put in the mouths of the Israelites, but Jeremiah's own introductory words, "Thus shall ye say to them," are in Chaldee, and thinks it to be a marginal gloss. But it is found in all the oldest versions. It was an old Greek saying: "Whoever thinks himself a god besides the one God, let him make another world" (Ps 96:5).
shall perish—(Isa 2:18; Zec 13:2).
these heavens—the speaker pointing to them with his fingers.
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