Jeremiah 1:18
For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
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(18) I have made thee . . . a defenced city . . .—Images of strength are heaped one upon another. The prophet is represented as attacked by kings, princes, priests, and people, as the cities of Judah are by the invading armies. But the issue is different. They fall: he will hold out. The iron pillar is that which, rising in the centre of an Eastern house or temple (as, e.g., in Judges 16:25; 1Kings 7:21), supports the flat roof, and enables it to be used as a terrace or platform on which men may meet. The “brasen walls” probably refer to the practice of fastening plates of copper over the brick or stonework of a fortification.

Jeremiah 1:18-19. For I have made thee this day a defenced city — That is, from this day I will so defend thee that they shall be no more able to hurt thee than they would be if thou wast in a strongly-fortified and impregnable city. And brazen walls — Which cannot be broken or battered down with any force. Against the whole land, against the kings, &c. — All its inhabitants in general; intimating that, though men of all degrees should set themselves against him, yet God would support him against them all, and would carry him through his work, although his troubles would not only be great, but long, extended through several kings’ reigns. And they shall fight against thee — Shall oppose thee, and manifest much hostile hatred against thee; but they shall not prevail — They shall not be able, by all their devices, to shorten thy days, or to prevent thy executing the charge given thee. For I am with thee, to deliver thee — I will show my power in protecting and delivering thee out of all thy troubles, when thy adversaries shall become a prey to their enemies.

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.Metaphorically the walls and fortifications of the city represent the prophet's power of patiently enduring the attacks of his enemies; while the iron pillar, supporting the whole weight of the roof Judges 16:29; 1 Kings 7:21), signifies that no trials or sufferings would crush his steadfast will. 18. defenced city, &c.—that is, I will give thee strength which no power of thine enemies shall overcome (Jer 6:27; 15:20; Isa 50:7; 54:17; Lu 21:15; Ac 6:10).

walls—plural, to express the abundant strength to be given him. De Rossi's'S manuscripts read singular, "wall."

people of the land—the general masses, as distinguished from the princes and priests.

For, behold; Heb. For I, lo: q.d. For my part, I will not fail to do what I have promised, to stand by thee.

A defenced city, Heb. city of defence, impregnable, which the two following expressions do import; it should be supported with pillars, not of wood, but of iron, and encompassed with walls, not of stone, but of brass, noting hereby both great uprightness and also strength.

Against the whole land, i.e. all its inhabitants in general, none to be spared, as he doth particularly rank them in their several degrees in the following words, intimating hereby, that though men of all degrees should set themselves against him, yet God would support him against them all, and that he would carry him through his work, though his troubles and trials would be not only great, but long, viz. passing through several kings’ reigns, therefore possibly said kings here, in the plural.

For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city,.... Or, "as" one; so read the Targum, Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions; which is inexpungible, and cannot be taken:

and an iron pillar; which cannot be removed out of its place:

and brasen walls; which cannot be broken down. All these metaphors show the safety and security of the prophet, being surrounded by the power of God; his constancy, immovableness, and invincibleness in the work of the Lord, having such a spirit of power, fortitude, and of a sound mind, that nothing was able to move and shake him, or to deter him from the execution of his office; and that he should stand inflexible

against the whole land; of Judea, and all the inhabitants of it:

against the kings of Judah; in successive reigns, as Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, or Jechonias, and Zedekiah:

against the princes thereof; who desired he might be put to death, Jeremiah 38:4,

against the priests thereof; who all of them dealt falsely, and were given to covetousness, Jeremiah 8:10,

and against the people of the land; who were grievously addicted to idolatry, and all manner of wickedness.

For, behold, I have made thee this day a fortified city, and an {r} iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against her princes, against her priests, and against the people of the land.

(r) Signifying on the one hand that the more that Satan and the world rage against God's ministers, the more present will he be to help them, Jos 1:5, He 13:5 and on the other hand, that they are utterly unfit to serve God in his Church, who are afraid and do not resist wickedness, whatever danger depend on it, Isa 50:7, Eze 3:8.

18. a defenced city, and an iron pillar; and brasen walls] Jeremiah was to be fortified by divine strength against the attacks which he would have to confront throughout his prophetic life. The assaults would be severe, and hence the force of the figures under which he is described. Jeremiah would need a pre-eminent degree of strength. Cp. Ezekiel 3:9. The words “and an iron pillar” are probably to be omitted (with LXX), as inconsistent with the idea of a siege. If we retain them, we may explain the sentence as expressing in the strongest manner what is impregnable and cannot be overthrown.

against the kings of judah] Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah.

Verse 18. - Brasen walls. The plural is used instead of a collective term for the whole circle of fortifications. In the parallel passage (Jeremiah 15:20) the singular occurs; the same alternation of plural and singular as in 2 Kings 25:10; 1 Kings 3:1. The combination of figures strikingly expresses the invincibility of one whose strength is in his God. The kings of Judah. Why the plural? Most reply, Because Jeremiah would have to do with successive sovereigns. But this meaning would have been just as well conveyed by the singular: "the king of Judah," without any name being added - would moan the king who from time to time happened to be reigning. "Kings of Judah" in Jeremiah seems to have a special meaning, and to include all the members of the royal family, who formed a numerous and powerful class (see on Jeremiah 17:20).

Jeremiah 1:18The interpretation of the symbols is followed by a charge to Jeremiah to address himself stoutly to his duties, and to discharge them fearlessly, together with still further and fuller assurance of powerful divine assistance.

"But thou, gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee: be not dismayed before them, lest I dismay thee before them. Jeremiah 1:18. And I, behold I make thee this day a strong city, an iron pillar, a brazen wall against the whole land, the kings of Judah its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. Jeremiah 1:19. They shall strive against thee, but not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith Jahveh, to save thee." To gird up the loins, i.e., to fasten or tuck up with the girdle the long wide garment, in order to make oneself fit and ready for labour, for a journey, or a race (Exodus 12:11; 1 Kings 18:46; 2 Kings 4:29; 2 Kings 9:1), or for battle (Job 38:3; Job 40:7). Meaning: equip thyself and arise to preach my words to the inhabitants of the land. In 'אל־תּחת and ' אחתּך לthere is a play on words. The Niph. sig. broken in spirit by terror and anxiety; the Hiph. to throw into terror and anguish. If Jeremiah appears before his adversaries in terror, then he will have cause to be terrified for them; only if by unshaken confidence in the power of the word he preaches in the name of the Lord, will he be able to accomplish anything. Such confidence he has reason to cherish, for God will furnish him with the strength necessary for making a stand, will make him strong and not to be vanquished. This is the meaning of the pictorial statement in Jeremiah 1:18. A strong city resists the assaults of the foes; the storm cannot shatter an iron pillar; and walls of brass defy the enemy's missiles. Instead of the plural חמות, the parallel passage Jeremiah 15:20 has the sing. חומת, the plural being used as frequently as the singular to indicate the wall encircling the city; cf. 2 Kings 25:10 with 1 Kings 3:1; Nehemiah 2:13; Nehemiah 4:1 with Nehemiah 1:3, and Nehemiah 2:17; Nehemiah 4:10. With such invincible power will God equip His prophet "against the whole land," i.e., so that he will be able to hold his own against the whole land. The mention of the component parts of "all the land," i.e., the several classes of the population, is introduced by למלכי, so that "the kings," etc., is to be taken as an apposition to "against all the land." Kings in the plural are mentioned, because the prophet's labours are to extend over several reigns. שׂרים are the chiefs of the people, the heads of families and clans, and officers, civil and military. "The people of the land" is the rest of the population not included in these three classes, elsewhere called men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 17:25; Jeremiah 32:32, and frequently. אליך for עליך; so in Jeremiah 15:20, and often. With the promise in Jeremiah 15:19, cf. Jeremiah 1:8.

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