|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:14-21 The restoration from the Babylonish captivity would be remembered in place of the deliverance from Egypt; it also typified spiritual redemption, and the future deliverance of the church from antichristian oppression. But none of the sins of sinners can be hidden from God, or shall be overlooked by him. He will find out and raise up instruments of his wrath, that shall destroy the Jews, by fraud like fishers, by force like hunters. The prophet, rejoicing at the hope of mercy to come, addressed the Lord as his strength and refuge. The deliverance out of captivity shall be a figure of the great salvation to be wrought by the Messiah. The nations have often known the power of Jehovah in his wrath; but they shall know him as the strength of his people, and their refuge in time of trouble.
Verse 18. - First - i.e. before "I bring them back again into their land" - I will recompense... double; i.e. amply, in full measure (comp. Jeremiah 17:18; Isaiah 40:2; Revelation 18:6). With the carcasses, etc. The idols, which "defile the consciences" of those who worship them, are compared to the most unclean and loathsome objects.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double,.... Or, "but first I will recompense", &c. (f); meaning, before he showed favour to them, and returned their captivity, Jeremiah 16:15, he would punish them according to their sins; not double to what they deserved, but to what: they were used to have, or he was used to inflict upon them, punishing them less than their sins deserved; but now he would reward them to the full, though not beyond the measure of justice, yet largely and abundantly, and with rigour and severity. Some understand this of God's gathering together all their sins and iniquities "from the beginning" (g), as they render the word; the sins of their fathers and their own, and punishing them for them all at once; or first their fathers' sins, and then their own, in which they imitated their fathers, and filled up the measure of their iniquity. So the Targum,
"and I will render to the second as to the first, for everyone of both, their iniquities and their sins.''
Because they have defiled my land; out of which he cast the Canaanites for the same reason; and which he chose for the place of his residence and worship, and settled the people of Israel for that purpose in it: that they might serve him in it, and not do as the Heathens before them had done, and which yet they did; and this was what was provoking to him.
They have filled mine inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things; with their idols, which were not only lifeless, but stinking, loathsome, and abominable; or unclean creatures, which were sacrificed unto them; and some think human sacrifices, the bodies of men, are meant: places of idolatrous worship were set up everywhere in the land, and therefore it is said to be filled therewith; and it was an aggravation of their wickedness, that this was done in a land which the Lord had chosen for his own possession, and had given to Israel as an inheritance.
(f) "sed reddum primum". (g) "ab initio" Calvin; "initio", Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. first … double—Horsley translates, "I will recompense … once and again"; literally, "the first time repeated": alluding to the two captivities—the Babylonian and the Roman. Maurer, "I will recompense their former iniquities (those long ago committed by their fathers) and their (own) repeated sins" (Jer 16:11, 12). English Version gives a good sense, "First (before 'I bring them again into their land'), I will doubly (that is, fully and amply, Jer 17:18; Isa 40:2) recompense."
carcasses—not sweet-smelling sacrifices acceptable to God, but "carcasses" offered to idols, an offensive odor to God: human victims (Jer 19:5; Eze 16:20), and unclean animals (Isa 65:4; 66:17). Maurer explains it, "the carcasses" of the idols: their images void of sense and life. Compare Jer 16:19, 20. Le 26:30 favors this.
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