|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:5-18 The fierce conqueror of the neighbouring nations was to make Judah desolate. The prophet was afflicted to see the people lulled into security by false prophets. The approach of the enemy is described. Some attention was paid in Jerusalem to outward reformation; but it was necessary that their hearts should be washed, in the exercise of true repentance and faith, from the love and pollution of sin. When lesser calamities do not rouse sinners and reform nations, sentence will be given against them. The Lord's voice declares that misery is approaching, especially against wicked professors of the gospel; when it overtakes them, it will be plainly seen that the fruit of wickedness is bitter, and the end is fatal.
Verse 15. - For a voice declareth, etc. There is no time to lose, for already news of the foe has arrived. He is now at Dan, the northern frontier-town, and is heard of almost as soon in the hill-country of Ephraim.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For a voice declareth from Dan,.... The coming of the enemy, as Kimchi explains it, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Chaldeans; a messenger was come from Dan, which was on the border of the land of Israel to the north, on which side Babylon lay, and from whence the evil was to come predicted; who declared the enemy was approaching, just entering the land; not that this was now the case in fact, but this is represented in a prophetic manner, as what would be, in order to arouse and awaken the Jews to a sense of their sin and danger; see Jeremiah 8:10.
and publisheth affliction from Mount Ephraim: which lay on the border of the tribe of Benjamin, and nearer to Jerusalem; and this publication represents the enemy as advancing nearer, and being just at hand. The word for "affliction" signifies "iniquity" (a); and it denotes, that the affliction spoken of, which is the destruction of the Jews, and their captivity in Babylon, were occasioned by their sins. Some think that Dan and Ephraim are mentioned, because of the calves that were worshipped in Dan, and in Bethel, which was in the tribe of Ephraim. The Targum favours this, which paraphrases the words thus,
"for the voice of the prophets that prophesied against them that go into captivity, because they worshipped the calf, which is at Dan; and they that bring evil tidings, shall come upon them, because they served the image which Micah set up in the mount of the house of Ephraim;''
and the Vulgate Latin version is,
"the voice of him that declares from Dan, and that makes known the idol from Mount Ephraim.''
(a) "iniquitatem", Vatablus, Pagninus, Montanus, Schimdt; "vanitatem", Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. For … from Dan—The connection is: There is danger in delay; for the voice of a messenger announces the approach of the Chaldean enemy from Dan, the northern frontier of Palestine (Jer 8:16; compare Jer 4:6; Jer 1:14).
Mount Ephraim—which borders closely on Judah; so that the foe is coming nearer and nearer. Dan and Beth-el in Ephraim were the two places where Jeroboam set up the idolatrous calves (1Ki 12:29); just retribution.
Jeremiah 4:15 Parallel Commentaries
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