Jeremiah 2:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder?

New Living Translation
"Why has Israel become a slave? Why has he been carried away as plunder?

English Standard Version
“Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey?

New American Standard Bible
"Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant? Why has he become a prey?

King James Bible
Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Is Israel a slave? Was he born into slavery? Why else has he become a prey?

International Standard Version
"Is Israel a slave, or was he born a servant? Why then has he become plunder?

NET Bible
"Israel is not a slave, is he? He was not born into slavery, was he? If not, why then is he being carried off?

New Heart English Bible
Is Israel a servant? Is he a native-born slave? Why has he become a prey?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Are the people of Israel slaves? Were they born into slavery? Why, then, have they become someone's property?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Is Israel a servant? Is he a home-born slave? Why is he become a prey?

New American Standard 1977
“Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant?
            Why has he become a prey?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn slave? Why has he been given over as a prey?

King James 2000 Bible
Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he plundered?

American King James Version
Is Israel a servant? is he a home born slave? why is he spoiled?

American Standard Version
Is Israel a servant? is he a home-born'slave ? why is he become a prey?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Is Israel a bondman, or a homeborn slave? why then is he become prey?

Darby Bible Translation
Is Israel a bondman? Is he a home-born [slave]? Why is he become a spoil?

English Revised Version
Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he become a prey?

Webster's Bible Translation
Is Israel a servant? is he a home-born slave? why is he laid waste?

World English Bible
Is Israel a servant? Is he a native-born [slave]? Why has he become a prey?

Young's Literal Translation
A servant is Israel? Is he a child of the house? Wherefore hath he been for a prey?
Study Bible
The Results of Israel's Sin
13"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. 14"Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant? Why has he become a prey? 15"The young lions have roared at him, They have roared loudly. And they have made his land a waste; His cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant.…
Cross References
Exodus 12:49
"The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you."

Jeremiah 5:19
"It shall come about when they say, 'Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?' then you shall say to them, 'As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.'

Jeremiah 17:4
And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance That I gave you; And I will make you serve your enemies In the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger Which will burn forever.
Treasury of Scripture

Is Israel a servant? is he a home born slave? why is he spoiled?

Israel

Exodus 4:22 And you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus said the LORD, Israel is my son, …

Isaiah 50:1 Thus said the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorce, whom …

he a home-born

Genesis 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, see, one …

Ecclesiastes 2:7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house…

spoiled. Heb. become a spoil

(14) Is Israel a servant?--The word "servant," we must remember, had become, through its frequent use in Isaiah (Isaiah 20:3; Isaiah 41:8, et al.), a word not of shame, but honour; and of all servants, he who was born in the house--as in the case of Eleazar (Genesis 15:3)--occupied the most honourable place, nearest to a son. The point of the question is accordingly not "Is Israel become a slave," kidnapped, as it were, and spoiled, but rather this: "Is Israel the servant of Jehovah, as one born in His house? Why, then, is he treated as one with no master to protect him?"

Verses 14-19. - Israel's punishment and its cause. Verse 14. - Is Israel a servant? The speaker is evidently the prophet, who exclaims in surprise at the view which his prophetic insight opens to him: "quasi de re nova et absurda sciscitatur" (Calvin). For Israel is a member of Jehovah's family; he is not a servant (except in the same high sense as in Isaiah 40-53, where "servant" is virtually equivalent to "representative"), but rather in the highest degree a free man, for he is Jehovah's "firstborn son" (Exodus 4:22). How is it, then, that he is dragged away into captivity like a slave who has never known freedom? The view of some, that "servant" means "servant of Jehovah" (comp. Jeremiah 30:10), and that the question therefore is to be answered in the affirmative, is less natural. "Servant," by itself, never has this turning; and there is a precisely similar term in the discourse at ver. 31, where the negative answer of the question does not admit of a doubt. Is Israel a servant?.... That he does not abide in the house, in his own land, but is carried captive, becomes subject to others, and is used as a slave; so the Targum,

"as a servant;''

is he not the Lord's first born? are not the people of Israel called the children of the living God? how come they then to be treated not as children, as free men, but as servants? this cannot be owing to any breach of covenant or promise on God's part, or to the failure of the blessing of national adoption bestowed on them; but to some sin or sins of theirs, which have brought them into this miserable condition:

is he a home born slave? or born in the house, of the handmaid, and so in the power of the master of the family in whose house he was born, Exodus 21:4 or the sense is, either Israel is a servant,

or a son of the family (d), as some render the words; not the former, being not only the son of a free woman, but Jehovah's firstborn; if the latter,

why is he spoiled? why is he delivered up to the spoilers? as the Targum; why should he be given up into the hands of the Babylonians, and become their prey? is it usual for fathers to suffer their children, or those born in their house, to be so used? some reason must be given for it.

(d) "filius familias", Munster. 14. is he a homeborn slave—No. "Israel is Jehovah's son, even His first-born" (Ex 4:22). Jer 2:16, 18, 36, and the absence of any express contrast of the two parts of the nation are against Eichorn's view, that the prophet proposes to Judah, as yet spared, the case of Israel (the ten tribes) which had been carried away by Assyria as a warning of what they might expect if they should still put their trust in Egypt. "Were Israel's ten tribes of meaner birth than Judah? Certainly not. If, then, the former fell before Assyria, what can Judah hope from Egypt against Assyria? … Israel" is rather here the whole of the remnant still left in their own land, that is, Judah. "How comes it to pass that the nation which once was under God's special protection (Jer 2:3) is now left at the mercy of the foe as a worthless slave?" The prophet sees this event as if present, though it was still future to Judah (Jer 2:19).2:14-19 Is Israel a servant? No, they are the seed of Abraham. We may apply this spiritually: Is the soul of man a slave? No, it is not; but has sold its own liberty, and enslaved itself to divers lusts and passions. The Assyrian princes, like lions, prevailed against Israel. People from Egypt destroyed their glory and strength. They brought these calamities on themselves by departing from the Lord. The use and application of this is, Repent of thy sin, that thy correction may not be thy ruin. What has a Christian to do in the ways of forbidden pleasure or vain sinful mirth, or with the pursuits of covetousness and ambition?
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