Jeremiah 1:14
Then the LORD said to me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land.
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(14) Out of the north an evil.—Literally, the evil, long foretold, as in Micah 3:12, and elsewhere, and long expected.

1:11-19 God gave Jeremiah a view of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The almond-tree, which is more forward in the spring than any other, represented the speedy approach of judgments. God also showed whence the intended ruin should arise. Jeremiah saw a seething-pot boiling, representing Jerusalem and Judah in great commotion. The mouth or face of the furnace or hearth, was toward the north; from whence the fire and fuel were to come. The northern powers shall unite. The cause of these judgments was the sin of Judah. The whole counsel of God must be declared. The fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. Better to have all men our enemies than God our enemy; those who are sure they have God with them, need not, ought not to fear, whoever is against them. Let us pray that we may be willing to give up personal interests, and that nothing may move us from our duty.Out of the north ... - The caldron represents the great military empires upon the Euphrates. In Hezekiah's time, Nineveh was at their head; but stormed by the armies of Cyaxares and Nabopalassar it is itself now the victim whose limbs are seething in the caldron, and the seat of empire has been transferred to Babylon. But whoever may for the time prevail, the tide of passion and carnage is sure finally to pour itself upon Judaea.

An evil shall break forth - "The evil shall be opened," shall show itself, be disclosed from the north: that special evil, which from the days of Micah M1 Corinthians 3:12 all the prophets had denounced upon the Jews if they lapsed into idolatry. At present the caldron is fiercely boiling upon the Euphrates. As soon as either of the parties struggling there gains the victory it will pour the whole seething mass over other countries in the shape of an invading army (see Jeremiah 25:17-26).

14. break forth—"shall disclose itself."

Out of the north—(Jer 4:6; 6:1, 22; 10:22; 25:9; Eze 26:7). The Chaldeans did not cast off the yoke of Assyria till several years after, under Nabopolassar, 625 B.C.; but long previously they had so increased as to threaten Assyria, which was now grown weak, and other neighboring peoples.

The Lord said; explained this vision.

Out of the north, i.e. from Babylon, a metonymy of the subject; for though it lie eastward, yet it is north from Jerusalem, as lying four degrees more from the equinoctial. See Jeremiah 1:13.

Shall break forth; it shall be withheld or restrained no longer in my treasure; I will let it out, viz. that evil of punishment represented by the fire.

Of the land: though God gave almost all the then known world to the king of Babylon, yet here he understands the land of Judea, Jeremiah 25:9. Then the Lord said unto me,.... Explaining the above vision:

out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land; that is, out of Babylon, which lay north, as Jarchi says, and so the Talmud (t); or north east, as Kimchi and Ben Melech, to the land of Israel; from hence came Nebuchadnezzar and his army, which are meant by "the evil" that should break forth, or "be opened" (u) and loosed, which before were bound and hindered by the providence of God; see Revelation 9:14 and come upon all the inhabitants of the land of Israel; and who are signified by the boiling pot to the north; or, however, by the fire under it, which came from thence; for rather by the pot is meant Jerusalem; and, by the boiling of it, its destruction by the Chaldeans; see Ezekiel 11:3.

(t) T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 6. 1. and Bava Bathra, fol. 25. 2.((u) "aperietur", Munster, Tigurine version, Cocceius; "pandetur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.

Then the LORD said to me, Out of the {o} north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

(o) Syria and Assyria were northward in respect to Jerusalem, which was the Chaldeans dominion.

14. evil] the evil—the evil which was to be expected, foretold by all the prophets as the result of national sin.

shall break forth] shall be opened, shall disclose itself. But it is best by a slight change in the Hebrew to render shall be blown (as in Jeremiah 1:13), i.e. kindled.Verse 14. - Out of the north. Previously to the battle of Carchemish, the Babylonians are only mentioned vaguely as a northern people (see Jeremiah 4:6; Jeremiah 6:1, 22; Jeremiah 10:22). Strictly speaking, they were an eastern people from the point of view of Palestine; but the caravan-road which the Chaldaean armies had to take entered Palestine at Dan (comp. Jeremiah 4:15; Jeremiah 8:16), and then proceeded southward. (On the question whether a Scythian invasion is referred to, at least conjointly with the Babylonian, see Introduction.) An evil; rather, the evil; viz. the calamity which in deepening gloom forms the burden of the prophet's discourses. Shall break forth; literally, shall open; i.e. let loose by opening (comp. the use of the same verb in Isaiah 14:17, literally, "looseth not his prisoners homewards;" and Amos 8:5, literally, "that we may open," i.e. "bring forth wheat"). There is, however, some difficulty in explaining the choice of this expression. We might indeed suppose that the caldron had a lid, and that the removal or falling off of this lid is the "opening" referred to by the phrase. Just as little needs youthful bashfulness or shy unwillingness to speak before high and mighty personages stand as a hindrance in the way of his accepting God's call. The Lord will be with him, so that he needs have no fear for any man. The suffix in מפניהם refers to all to whom God sends him (Jeremiah 1:7). These, enraged by the threatenings of punishment which he must proclaim to them, will seek to persecute him and put him to death (cf. Jeremiah 1:19); but God promises to rescue him from every distress and danger which the fulfilment of his duties can bring upon him. Yet God does not let the matter cease with this pledge; but, further, He consecrates him to his calling.
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