|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-11 Jeremiah wept much, yet wished he could weep more, that he might rouse the people to a due sense of the hand of God. But even the desert, without communion with God, through Christ Jesus, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, must be a place for temptation and evil; while, with these blessings, we may live in holiness in crowded cities. The people accustomed their tongues to lies. So false were they, that a brother could not be trusted. In trading and bargaining they said any thing for their own advantage, though they knew it to be false. But God marked their sin. Where no knowledge of God is, what good can be expected? He has many ways of turning a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwell therein.
Verse 4. - Take ye heed every one of his neighbor. Such was the result of clinging to an unprogressive religion - one which refused to be spiritualized by the prophets. Certainly, if the established religion was so inefficacious, it was self-condemned. Hero we find the prophet depicting a state of society in which the elementary bonds are already dissolved, and suspicion becomes the natural attitude even of a good man. We find a very similar picture in the last chapter of Micah - a chapter, it is true, which stands apart from the rest of the book, as it implies a greater development of wickedness than the rest of Micah and the contemporary prophecies of Isaiah would lead us to expect. Are these prophetic descriptions just and accurate? We may allow something, no doubt, for the warmth of feeling natural to every human preacher, even under the influence of inspiration; but we must not allow ourselves to explain away the obvious meaning of the prophets. The latter and their disciples were "the salt" of their country; and in proportion as their influence declined, the natural effects of a non-moral, purely ritualistic religion showed themselves on a larger scale. Every brother; i.e. every fellow-tribesman or fellow-citizen. Will utterly supplant. There is nothing in the context to suggest an allusion to Genesis 27:36 (Jacob). The verb has its common sense of deceiving. The tense should be the present, not the future, both here and in the next verse. Will walk; rather, goeth about (see Jeremiah 6:28).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Take ye heed everyone of his neighbour,.... Take care of being imposed upon by them, since they are so given to lying and deceit; be not too credulous, or too easily believe what is said; or keep yourselves from them; have no company or conversation with them, since evil communications corrupt good manners:
and trust ye not in any brother; whether by blood or by marriage, or by religion, believe not his words; trust him not, neither with your money, nor with your mind; commit not your secrets to him, place no confidence in him; a people must be very corrupt indeed when this is the case: or, "trust ye not in every brother" (r); some may be trusted, but not all though the following clause seems to contradict this,
for every brother will utterly supplant; or, in supplanting supplant (s); play the Jacob, do as he did by his brother, who supplanted him twice; first got the birthright from him, and then the blessing; which was presignified by taking his brother by the heel in the womb, from whence he had his name; and the same word is here used, which signifies a secret, clandestine, and insidious way of circumventing another;
and every neighbour will walk with slanders; go about spreading lies and calumnies, as worshippers, backbiters, and tale bearers do. The word is used for a "merchant"; and because such persons went from place to place with their goods, and made use often times of fraudulent practices to deceive people, it is applied to one that is guilty of slander and calumny; Sol 3:8.
(r) "et omni fratri ne fidatis", Paganinus. (s) "supplantanto supplantat", Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. supplant—literally, "trip up by the heel" (Ho 12:3).
walk with slanders—(Jer 6:28).
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