|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:15-21 It is matter of comfort that we have a God, to whose knowledge of all things we may appeal. Jeremiah pleads with God for mercy and relief against his enemies, persecutors, and slanderers. It will be a comfort to God's ministers, when men despise them, if they have the testimony of their own consciences. But he complains, that he found little pleasure in his work. Some good people lose much of the pleasantness of religion by the fretfulness and uneasiness of their natural temper, which they indulge. The Lord called the prophet to cease from his distrust, and to return to his work. If he attended thereto, he might be assured the Lord would deliver him from his enemies. Those who are with God, and faithful to him, he will deliver from trouble or carry through it. Many things appear frightful, which do not at all hurt a real believer in Christ.
Verse 17. - In the assembly of the mockers; rather, of the laughers. The serious thoughts arising out of his sacred office restrained him from taking part in the festive meetings to which his youth would naturally incline him (comp. on Jeremiah 16:2). Because of thy hand. The Hand of Jehovah is a figurative expression for the self-revealing and irresistible power of Jehovah; it is, therefore, equivalent to the Arm of Jehovah (Isaiah 53:1), but is used in preference with regard to the divinely ordained actions and words of the prophets. Thus we are told, in the accounts of Elijah and Elisha, that "the hand of the Lord came upon" them (1 Kings 18:46; 2 Kings 3:15). Such a phrase was probably at first descriptive of a completely passive ecstatic state, and was retained when ecstasies had become rare, with a somewhat laxer meaning. Isaiah uses a similar expression but once (Isaiah 8:11); Ezekiel, however, who appears to have been unusually rifled with the overpowering thought of the supernatural world, is constantly mentioning "the hand of Jehovah" (see Ezekiel 1:3; Ezekiel 3:22; Ezekiel 37:1; and especially Ezekiel 3:14; 8:3). We may infer from this variation in the practice of inspired writers that, though symbolical, anthropomorphic language is not always equally necessary in speaking of Divine things, yet it cannot be entirely dispensed with, even by the most gifted and spiritual teachers. Thou hast filled me with indignation; rather, thou hadst filled me. Jeremiah was too full of his Divine message to indulge in impracticable sentimentalities. There was no thought of self when Jeremiah received his mission, nor any bitterness towards those who up-posed him. His "indignation" was that of Jehovah, whose simple instrument he was (comp. Jeremiah 6:11, "I am full of the fury of the Lord").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced,.... With them, the mockers; or, "those that make merry" (r); as the word is rendered in Jeremiah 30:19, and so the Targum,
"those that sing;''
and dance and live jovially; with these the prophet did not associate himself; such levity being unsuitable to his character as a prophet, and to those grievous messages he was charged with; and though he had joy, it was of another kind; it was not carnal, but spiritual; not outward, but inward; and what arose from the word of the Lord, being found and eaten by him. Moreover, there were some things which he was obliged by his office to deliver, that were very distressing to him, and made him very melancholy; so that he shunned all company and diversion, which might have been lawfully enjoyed: for this is not to be understood of the assembly or council of the wicked governors of the nation, and much less of the refuse of the people, that mocked at the word of God, and scoffed at the prophets and people of God; but of Jeremiah's friends and acquaintance, that met and made merry together; with whom he could not join, because of the sorrowful case in which he was, on account of the people he was sent unto:
I sat alone, because of thine hand; not because he was obliged to it, being deserted by men, but of choice; he withdrew from company, kept himself retired at home in his own house, there meditating upon the word of God, and mourning over the case of his people; and this he did, because the afflicting hand of God was upon him, or because the hand and spirit of prophecy was upon him, and he was charged to denounce very grievous things against the people; and because the hand of divine power and authority was over him, to which he ought to be subject, and was ready to obey:
for thou hast filled me with indignation; either with the indignation of the people against him, because of his prophecies; or with indignation against them, because of their sins; or with denunciations of wrath he was to deliver to them; and so the Targum,
"for thou hast filled me with a prophecy of cursing.''
(r) "ludentium", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius; "jocantium", Vatablus; "hilaria agentium", Gataker.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. My "rejoicing" (Jer 15:16) was not that of the profane mockers (Ps 1:1; 26:4, 5) at feasts. So far from having fellowship with these, he was expelled from society, and made to sit "alone," because of his faithful prophecies.
because of thy hand—that is, Thine inspiration (Isa 8:11; Eze 1:3; 3:14).
filled me with indignation—So Jer 6:11, "full of the fury of the Lord"; so full was he of the subject (God's "indignation" against the ungodly) with which God had inspired him, as not to be able to contain himself from expressing it. The same comparison by contrast between the effect of inspiration, and that of wine, both taking a man out of himself, occurs (Ac 2:13, 15, 18).
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