|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:29-37 The nation had not been wrought upon by the judgements of God, but sought to justify themselves. The world is, to those who make it their home and their portion, a wilderness and a land of darkness; but those who dwell in God, have the lines fallen to them in pleasant places. Here is the language of presumptuous sinners. The Jews had long thrown off serious thoughts of God. How many days of our lives pass without suitable remembrance of him! The Lord was displeased with their confidences, and would not prosper them therein. Men employ all their ingenuity, but cannot find happiness in the way of sin, or excuse for it. They may shift from one sin to another, but none ever hardened himself against God, or turned from him, and prospered.
Verse 36. - Why gaddest thou about so much - many render, Why runnest thou so quickly; but the verb simply means to go, and it is enough to refer to foreign embassies, such as are alluded to in this very chapter (ver. 18) - to change thy way? The "way" or policy of Judah was "changed," according as the party in power favored an Egyptian or an Assyrian alliance. Thou also shalt be ashamed of; rather, thou shalt also be brought to shame through. As thou art ashamed of Assyria (correct rendering as before). This is certainly difficult, for in the reign of Josiah it would appear that the political connection with Assyria still continued, Is it possible that Jeremiah, in these words, has in view rather the circumstances of Jehoiakim than those of Josiah? Does he not appear to look back upon Judah's final "putting to shame through Assyria" as a thing of the past? And to what event can this expression refer but to the overthrow of Josiah at Megiddo (so Graf)?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way?.... Or, "by changing thy way" (t); sometimes going one way, and sometimes another; sometimes to Egypt, and then to Assyria; seeking sometimes to the one for help, and sometimes to the other; at one time serving the gods of the one, in order to curry favour with them, and then the gods of the other, like a lascivious woman that gads about from place to place to increase her lovers, and satisfy her lust. The Vulgate Latin version is, "how exceeding vile art thou become, changing thy ways"; and so Jarchi says, the word signifies "contempt", or "vileness": deriving it from or to be "vile" or "contemptible"; and to this sense are the Septuagint and Arabic versions; but Kimchi derives it from to go; to which our version and others agree:
thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt; as they were in the times of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, when Pharaohnecho king of Egypt took the former, and put him in bands, and carried him into Egypt; and set the latter upon the throne, and took tribute of him, for which the land was taxed, 2 Kings 23:33.
as thou wast ashamed of Assyria; in the times of Ahaz, who sent to the king of Assyria for help, when Judah was smitten by the Edomites, and invaded by the Philistines; but when he came to him, he distressed him, and strengthened and helped him not, 2 Chronicles 28:16.
(t) "mutando viam tuam", Vatablus, Piscator, Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
36. gaddest—runnest to and fro, now seeking help from Assyria (2Ch 28:16-21), now from Egypt (Jer 37:7, 8; Isa 30:3).
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