Jeremiah 15:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth, a man with whom the whole land strives and contends! I have neither lent nor borrowed, yet everyone curses me.

New Living Translation
Then I said, "What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay--yet they all curse me."

English Standard Version
Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me.

New American Standard Bible
Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have men lent money to me, Yet everyone curses me.

King James Bible
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Woe is me, my mother, that you gave birth to me, a man who incites dispute and conflict in all the land. I did not lend or borrow, yet everyone curses me.

International Standard Version
How terrible for me, my mother, that you gave birth to me, a man of strife and contention for the whole land! I've neither lent nor borrowed, yet everyone curses me.

NET Bible
I said, "Oh, mother, how I regret that you ever gave birth to me! I am always starting arguments and quarrels with the people of this land. I have not lent money to anyone and I have not borrowed from anyone. Yet all of these people are treating me with contempt."

New Heart English Bible
"Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth. I have not lent, neither have men lent to me; yet everyone of them curses me."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I'm so miserable! Why did my mother give birth to me? I am a man who argues and quarrels with the whole earth. I have never lent or borrowed anything. Yet, everyone curses me.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me A man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have not lent, neither have men lent to me; Yet every one of them doth curse me.

New American Standard 1977
Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me
            As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land!
            I have neither lent, nor have men lent money to me,
            Yet everyone curses me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them curses me.

King James 2000 Bible
Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent for interest, nor men have lent to me for interest; yet everyone of them does curse me.

American King James Version
Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them does curse me.

American Standard Version
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have not lent, neither have men lent to me; yet every one of them doth curse me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Woe is me, my mother: why hast thou borne me a man of strife, a man of contention to all the earth? I have not lent on usury, neither hath any man lent to me on usury: yet all curse me.

Darby Bible Translation
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole land! I have not lent on usury, nor have they lent to me on usury; [yet] every one of them doth curse me.

English Revised Version
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have not lent on usury, neither have men lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.

Webster's Bible Translation
Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor have men lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.

World English Bible
Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have not lent, neither have men lent to me; [yet] everyone of them does curse me.

Young's Literal Translation
Woe to me, my mother, For thou hast borne me a man of strife, And a man of contention to all the land, I have not lent on usury, Nor have they lent on usury to me -- All of them are reviling me.
Study Bible
Jeremiah's Complaint
9"She who bore seven sons pines away; Her breathing is labored. Her sun has set while it was yet day; She has been shamed and humiliated. So I will give over their survivors to the sword Before their enemies," declares the LORD. 10Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have men lent money to me, Yet everyone curses me. 11The LORD said, "Surely I will set you free for purposes of good; Surely I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you In a time of disaster and a time of distress.…
Cross References
Exodus 22:25
"If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest.

Leviticus 25:36
'Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you.

Leviticus 25:37
'You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain.

Deuteronomy 23:19
"You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest.

Job 3:1
Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.

Job 3:3
"Let the day perish on which I was to be born, And the night which said, 'A boy is conceived.'

Psalm 69:4
Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; Those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies; What I did not steal, I then have to restore.

Jeremiah 1:18
"Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land.

Jeremiah 1:19
"They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 15:20
"Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you," declares the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them does curse me.

my.

Jeremiah 20:14-18 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my …

Job 3:1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.

a man.

Jeremiah 15:20 And I will make you to this people a fenced brazen wall: and they …

Jeremiah 1:18,19 For, behold, I have made you this day a defended city, and an iron …

Jeremiah 20:7,8 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger …

1 Kings 18:17,18 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, …

1 Kings 21:20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Have you found me, O my enemy? And he answered, …

1 Kings 22:8 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, …

Psalm 120:5,6 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!…

Ezekiel 2:6,7 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of …

Ezekiel 3:7-9 But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they will not …

Matthew 10:21-23 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father …

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: …

Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this …

Acts 16:20-22 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, …

Acts 17:6-8 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brothers …

Acts 19:8,9,25-28 And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of …

Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear of you what you think: for as concerning this …

1 Corinthians 4:9-13 For I think that God has set forth us the apostles last, as it were …

I have.

Exodus 22:25 If you lend money to any of my people that is poor by you, you shall …

Deuteronomy 23:19,20 You shall not lend on usury to your brother; usury of money, usury …

Nehemiah 5:1-6 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against …

Psalm 15:5 He that puts not out his money to usury, nor takes reward against …

curse.

Psalm 109:28 Let them curse, but bless you: when they arise, let them be ashamed; …

Proverbs 26:2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse …

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do …

Luke 6:22 Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate …

(10) Woe is me . . .--The abruptness of the transition suggests the thought that we have a distinct fragment which has been merged in the artificial continuity of the chapter. Possibly, as some have thought, Jeremiah 15:10-11 have been misplaced in transcription, and should come after Jeremiah 15:14, where they fit in admirably with the context. The sequence of thought may, however, be that the picture of the sorrowing mother in the previous verses suggests the reflection that there may be other causes for a mother's sorrow than that of which he has spoken, and so he bursts out into the cry, "Woe is me, my mother!" The prophet feels more than ever the awfulness of his calling as a vessel of God's truth. He, too, found that he had come "not to send peace on earth, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34). His days were as full of strife as the life of the usurer, whose quarrels with his debtors had become the proverbial type of endless litigation. As examples of the working of the law of debt, see Exodus 22:25; 2Kings 4:1; Proverbs 6:1-5; Isaiah 24:2; Psalm 15:5; Psalm 109:11.

We note, as characteristic of the pathetic tenderness of the prophet's character, the address to his mother. We may think of her probably as still living, and the thought of her suffering embitters her son's grief. The sword was piercing through her soul also (Luke 2:35). There, too, there was a Mater dolorosa.

Verses 10-21. - These verses come in very unexpectedly, and are certainly not to be regarded as a continuation of the preceding discourse. They describe some deeply pathetic moment of the prophet's inner life, and in all probability belong to a later period of the history of Judah. At any rate, the appreciation of the next chapter will be facilitated by reading it in close connection with Ver. 9 of the present chapter. But the section before us is too impressive to be east adrift without an attempt to find a place for it in the life of the prophet. The attempt has been made with some plausibility by a Jewish scholar, Dr. Gratz, who considers the background of these verses to be the sojourn of Jeremiah at Ramah, referred to in Jeremiah 40:1, and groups them, therefore, with another prophecy (Jeremiah 31:15-17), in which Ramah is mentioned by name as the temporary abode of the Jewish captives. We are told in Jeremiah 40:4, 5, that Jeremiah had the choice given him of either going to Babylon with the exiles, or dwelling with the Jews who were allowed to remain under Gedaliah the governor. He chose, as the narrative in Jeremiah 40. tells us, to stay with Gedaliah; but the narrative could not, in accordance with the reserve which characterizes the inspired writers, reveal the state of mind in which this difficult choice was made. This omission is supplied in the paragraph before us. Jeremiah, with that lyric tendency peculiar to him among the prophets, gives a vent to his emotion in these impassioned verses. He tells his friends that the resolution to go to Gedaliah may cost him a severe struggle. He longs for rest, and in Babylon he would have more chance of a quiet life than among the turbulent Jews at home. But he has looked up to God for guidance, and, however painful to the flesh, God's will must be obeyed. He gives us the substance of the revelation which he received. The Divine counselor points out that he has already interposed in the most striking manner for Jeremiah, and declares that if he will devote himself to the Jews under Gedaliah, a new and fruitful field will be open to him, in which, moreover, by Divine appointment, no harm can happen to him. Whether this is really the background of the paragraph must remain uncertain. In a case of this kind, we are obliged to call in the help of the imagination, if the words of the prophet are to be realized with any degree of vividness. There are some great difficulties in the text, and apparently one interpolation (Vers. 13, 14 being in all probability an incorrect copy of Jeremiah 17:3, 4). Verse 10. - Woe is me, my mother! This is one of those passages (comp. Introduction) which illustrate the sensitive and shrinking character of our prophet.

"If his meek spirit erred, opprest
That God denied repose,
What sin is ours, to whom Heaven's rest
Is pledged to heal earth's woes?"


(Cardinal Newman, in 'Lyra Apostolica,' 88.). I have neither lent on usury, etc.; a speaking figure to men of the ancient world, to whom, as Dr. Payne Smith remarks, "the relations between the money-lender and the debtor were the most fruitful source of lawsuits and quarrellings." Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast born me a man of strife,.... Not that the prophet was a quarrelsome and contentious man, but others quarrelled and contended with him, and that for no other reason than for his faithful discharge of his office, under which he ought to have been easy; but being a man of like passions with others, wishes he had never been born, than to meet with so much trouble; and seems to blame his mother for bearing him; or however looked upon himself to be a miserable man through his birth, and that he was destined from thence to this sorrow:

and a man of contention to the whole earth; or "land"; the land of Judea, the inhabitants of it, as the Targum; for with no other had Jeremiah to do; and it were these only that contended with him, because he brought a disagreeable message to them, concerning their captivity:

I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; which was not lawful with the Jews to do; and therefore such were cursed that did it: but this is not to be restrained to this particular branch of business, which was not usual; but has respect to all trade and commerce; and the meaning is, that the prophet did not concern himself with secular affairs, but attended to the duties of his office; he carried on no negotiations with men; he was neither a creditor nor a debtor; had nothing to do with pecuniary affairs; which often occasions strifes and contentions, quarrels and lawsuits; and yet, notwithstanding, could not be free from strife and debate:

yet everyone of them do curse me; that is, everyone of the inhabitants of the land of Judea, so much known were Jeremiah and his prophecies; these slighted and set light by both him and his predictions; and wished the vilest imprecations upon him for his messages to them. The word here used is compounded of two words, or derived from two roots, as Kimchi observes; the one signifies to make light or vilify, in opposition to honour and glory; and the other to curse, in opposition to blessing; and this is often the case of the ministers of the word, not only to be slighted and despised, but to be defamed and cursed; see 1 Corinthians 4:12. 10. (Jer 20:14; Job 3:1, etc.). Jeremiah seems to have been of a peculiarly sensitive temperament; yet the Holy Spirit enabled him to deliver his message at the certain cost of having his sensitiveness wounded by the enmities of those whom his words offended.

man of strife—exposed to strifes on the part of "the whole earth" (Ps 80:6).

I have neither lent, etc.—proverbial for, "I have given no cause for strife against me."15:10-14 Jeremiah met with much contempt and reproach, when they ought to have blessed him, and God for him. It is a great and sufficient support to the people of God, that however troublesome their way may be, it shall be well with them in their latter end. God turns to the people. Shall the most hardy and vigorous of their efforts be able to contend with the counsel of God, or with the army of the Chaldeans? Let them hear their doom. The enemy will treat the prophet well. But the people who had great estates would be used hardly. All parts of the country had added to the national guilt; and let each take shame to itself.
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