|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:11-17 Sinners call it liberty to live at large; whereas for a man to be a slave to his lusts, is the very worst slavery. They forsook God for idols. When men are parched with heat, and meet with cooling, refreshing streams, they use them. In these things men will not leave a certainty for an uncertainty; but Israel left the ancient paths appointed by the Divine law. They walked not in the highway, in which they might travel safely, but in a way in which they must stumble: such was the way of idolatry, and such is the way of iniquity. This made their land desolate, and themselves miserable. Calamities may be borne, if God smile upon us when under them; but if he is displeased, and refuses his help, we are undone. Multitudes forget the Lord and his Christ, and wander from the ancient paths, to walk in ways of their own devising. But what will they do in the day of judgment!
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon, which cometh from the rock of the field?.... Lebanon was a mountain on the borders of Judea, the top of which was covered in the summertime with snow, from the whiteness of which it had its name, Lebanon; as the Alps, for the same reason, which lie between France and Italy: now, the snow being dissolved by the heat, ran in flowing streams down the rocks into the field and plain, where they might be easily come at, and drank of; and would a thirsty traveller, on a summer's day, pass by such streams as these, and not drink of them? certainly he would not leave them, but stop and drink; he must be an unwise man that should do otherwise; and yet this was what the people of the Jews did; they forsook the Lord, "the fountain of living waters"; and who, because of the plenty of good things in him, and flowing from him to them, were as streams from Lebanon; and yet they left these crystal streams for the black and muddy waters of Sihor, or idols of Egypt, Sol 4:15; or the words may be rendered, "will a man leave what comes from the rock of the field for the snow of Lebanon" (x)? that is, will a man neglect to drink of the water that comes out of a rock in his field, pure and clear, and is near at hand, and choose to go to Mount Lebanon to drink of the snow water, which runs down the mountain, and can never be thought so clear as what comes out of the rock? surely he will not; he must act an unwise part if he does; and such a part, and worse, did the people of the Jews act, in forsaking God:
or shall the cold flowing waters which come from another place be forsaken? or, "strange waters" (y); which come from far, from some distant rock, being conveyed in pipes, in; which they come cool, and in flowing streams, for the service of a city and its inhabitants; and who, having such a privilege, would neglect them, and drink of standing water in a pond or puddle? or, the words, as the former, may be rendered, "shall for strange frozen waters, be left flowing ones?" see Grotius.
(x) "nunquid deserit aliquis aquam manatem de petra agri, ut biblat nivem Libani"; so some in Vatablus. (y) "aquae alienae", Schmidt, Montanus; "peregrinae", De Dieu.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
18:14 Of Lebanon - Lebanon had rocks, and also fruitful valleys; snow fell upon these rocks, and upon a thaw ran down into the lower places. Reason teaches men not to forsake a greater good for a less, tho' that greater good was but a poor creature comfort, not to be compared with God.
Jeremiah 18:14 Parallel Commentaries
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