|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 8. - (Comp. Psalm 55:21.) As an arrow shot out; rather, as a sharpened arrow; but this is based on the marginal reading, and is itself a slightly forced rendering. The Hebrew text (i.e. the consonants), and also the Septuagint and Vulgate, have "as a murderous arrow."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Their tongue is as an arrow shot out,.... As an arrow out of a bow, which moves swiftly, and comes with great force; or, "drawn out" (u); as out of a quiver. The word is used of gold, and rendered "beaten gold", 1 Kings 10:16, gold drawn out into plates; and here of an arrow drawn out of a quiver; and so it is interpreted in the Talmud (w); or is "wounding", as the Septuagint, or "slaying" (x); denoting the mischief and injury done to the characters of men, by a deceitful, detracting, and calumniating tongue. The Targum is, "as a sharp arrow their tongue"; which pierces deep, and is deadly; See Gill on Jeremiah 9:3,
it speaketh deceit; deceitful words, by which men are imposed upon, and are led into wrong ways of thinking and acting:
one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth; salutes him in a friendly manner; wishes him all health, peace, and prosperity; professes a sincere and cordial friendship for him, and pretends a strong affection to him:
but in his heart he layeth wait; to draw him into snares, and circumvent, trick, and defraud him.
(u) "extensa, vel tracta", Vatablus (w) T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 30. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (x) Jugulans, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. tongue … arrow shot out—rather, "a murdering arrow" [Maurer] (Jer 9:3).
speaketh peaceably … in heart … layeth … wait—layeth his ambush [Henderson], (Ps 55:21).
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