|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:1-4 The sins which men commit make little impression on their minds, yet every sin is marked in the book of God; they are all so graven upon the table of the heart, that they will all be remembered by the conscience. That which is graven in the heart will become plain in the life; men's actions show the desires and purposes of their hearts. What need we have to humble ourselves before God, who are so vile in his sight! How should we depend on his mercy and grace, begging of God to search and prove us; not to suffer us to be deceived by our own hearts, but to create in us a clean and holy nature by his Spirit!
Verse 3. - O my mountain in the field; a still more obscure passage. The question is whether "my mountain in the field" is a vocative or an accusative dependent on "I will give." If the former, then the phrase will mean Jerusalem (comp. "rock of the plain," Jeremiah 21:13). This, however, does not suit with the second half of the verse ("thy high places," etch), and still less with ver. 4, which evidently refers to the people of Judah. Added to this, if Jerusalem were here addressed we should certainly expect feminine suffixes. It remains to take "my mountain," etc., as an accusative. It describes, not Jerusalem, but Mount Zion as the site of the temple, the mountain of the house of Jehovah (Isaiah 2:3; Zechariah 8:3; Psalm 24:3). Render, therefore, my mountain in the field will I give. The prophet magnifies Zion into a mountain with a widely extended prospect (comp. ver. 12 and Jeremiah 21:13). Thy substance and all thy treasures; i.e. these of the people. The part of the verse which begins here is almost the same as Jeremiah 15:13 (see note). And thy high places for sin. Keil explains, Jehovah declares that he will, on account of the sinful practices upon them, deliver up the high places throughout the land. Gesenius, "He will deliver up the high places with the sin attaching to them;" Hitzig, "as a sin offering." There is a question, however, whether there is not a corruption in the text, and whether we should not read, with Ewald, "without price for thy sins" (as in the parallel passage, Jeremiah 15:13).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O my mountain in the midst of the field,.... Meaning either the temple, called the mountain of the house, and of the Lord's house, Micah 3:12, or else Jerusalem, which stood on a hill in the midst of a plain, surrounded with fruitful fields and gardens; or in the midst of a land like a field. The Targum is,
"because thou worshippest idols upon the mountains in the field:''
I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil; all the riches of the city and temple to be the spoil and plunder of the enemy; See Gill on Jeremiah 15:13.
and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. The sense is, that all their substance and treasure throughout their borders, the riches of the whole land, as well as of the city and temple, Jeremiah 15:13 and all their high places throughout the land, which were used for sin, for idolatrous practices, on account thereof, should become the spoil of the enemy.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. mountain—Jerusalem, and especially Zion and the temple.
in the field—As Jerusalem was surrounded by mountains (Ps 125:2), the sense probably is, Ye rely on your mountainous position (Jer 3:23), but I will make "My mountain" to become as if it were in a plain (field), so as to give thy substance an easy prey to the enemy [Calvin]. "Field" may, however, mean all Judea; it and "My mountain" will thus express the country and its capital. (Gesenius translates, "together with," instead of "in"; as the Hebrew is translated in Jer 11:19; Ho 5:6; but this is not absolutely needed), "the substance" of both of which God "will give to the spoil."
thy high places—corresponding in parallelism to "My mountain" (compare Isa 11:9), as "all thy borders," to "the field" (which confirms the view that "field" means all Judea).
for sin—connected with high places" in English Version, namely, frequented for sin, that is, for idolatrous sacrifices. But Jer 15:13 makes the rendering probable, "I will give thy substance … to … spoil … on account of thy sin throughout all thy borders."
Jeremiah 17:3 Parallel Commentaries
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