But the LORD said to me, Say not, I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatever I command you you shall speak.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Lord said unto me.—The misgiving, which was not reluctance, is met by words of encouragement. God gave the work; He would also give the power.Jeremiah 1:7-8. But the Lord said unto me, &c. — God refuses to accept of his excuse, and renews his commission to him to execute the prophetic office. Thus God refused to accept the excuse of Moses, made on a like occasion. See Exodus 6:30; and Exodus 7:1-2. Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee — This is not so much a command as a promise: as much as to say, I will enable thee, notwithstanding thy youth, to go with proper boldness to those to whom I send thee, and to declare my commands with that dignity and precision wherewith they ought to be uttered. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee, &c. — The style of God’s commission to his prophets and messengers commonly runs in these words, I am with thee, (see the margin,) importing that God, who sent them, would enable them to discharge the office he had committed to them, and would give them strength proportionable to the work in which they engaged. To reprove the faults of all persons, of the high as well as the low, the rich as well as the poor, with that plainness and impartiality which the prophets used, required a more than ordinary degree of courage, as well as of prudence, for which cause the promise of God’s presence with them was particularly necessary, to encourage them in the discharge of their duty.Say not, I am a child; do not plead excuses.
Thou shalt go: this is God’s answer to Jeremiah, in respect of his sense of his own inability. This may be by way of command, and then it is a check to his timorousness; Thou shalt go, therefore draw not back. Or by way of promise, and then it is a satisfactory answer to his excuse, as both proceeded from a sense of his own insufficiency: q.d. Fear not, I will make thee eloquent and courageous.
To all: this relates either to persons or things.
To all, i.e. to all persons to whom I shall send thee; thou shalt balk none: see Revelation 10:11. Or,
upon all, so is the Hebrew; and then it is, Thou shalt go upon all errands and messages that I shall send thee. See Isaiah 55:11 Acts 26:16.
for thou shall go to all that I shall send thee; either to "every place", as the Targum paraphrases; or "to all persons to whom" he should be sent, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions render the words; or "to all things for which" he should send him, as the Syriac and Vulgate Latin versions. The sense is, that he should go everywhere, and to every person, and on every errand and message he should be sent unto and with:But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. Here again there is brought out the contrast between Moses and Jeremiah. The former had offered one objection after another (Exodus 3:11; Exodus 3:13; Exodus 4:1; Exodus 4:10; Exodus 4:13), and consequently (Jeremiah 4:14) “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses.” But in Jeremiah’s case encouragement alone was needed, and it is given at once in word and then in act.Verse 7. - Thou shalt go, etc. Thoughts of self are altogether out of place in one who has received a Divine commission. Jeremiah's duty is simple obedience. In put-suing this path he cannot but be safe (ver. 8). Jeremiah 1:1-3 contain the heading to the whole book of the prophecies of Jeremiah. The heading runs thus: "Sayings of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests at Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin, to whom befell the word of Jahveh in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month." The period mentioned in these verses includes the time of Jeremiah's principal labours, while no reference is here made to the work he at a later time wrought amidst the ruins of Judah and in Egypt; this being held to be of but subordinate importance for the theocracy. Similarly, when the names of the kings under whom he laboured are given, the brief reigns of Jehoahaz and of Jehoiachin are omitted, neither reign having lasted over three months. His prophecies are called דברים, words or speeches, as in Jeremiah 36:10; so with the prophecies of Amos, Amos 1:1. More complete information as to the person of the prophet is given by the mention made of his father and of his extraction. The name ירמיהוּ, "Jahveh throws," was in very common use, and is found as the name of many persons; cf. 1 Chronicles 5:24; 1 Chronicles 12:4, 1 Chronicles 12:10, 1 Chronicles 12:13; 2 Kings 23:31; Jeremiah 35:3; Nehemiah 10:3; Nehemiah 12:1. Hence we are hardly entitled to explain the name with Hengstb. by Exodus 15:1, to the effect that whoever bore it was consecrated to the God who with almighty hand dashes to the ground all His foes, so that in his name the nature of our prophet's mission would be held to be set forth. His father Hilkiah is taken by Clem. Alex., Jerome, and some Rabbins, for the high priest of that name who is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 22:4; but without sufficient grounds. For Hilkiah, too, is a name that often occurs; and the high priest is sure to have had his home not in Anathoth, but in Jerusalem. But Jeremiah and his father belonged to the priests who lived in Anathoth, now called Anta, a town of the priests, lying 1 1/4 hours north of Jerusalem (see on Joshua 21:18), in the land, i.e., the tribal territory, of Benjamin. In Jeremiah 1:2 אליו belongs to אשׁר: "to whom befell (to whom came) the word of Jahveh in the days of Josiah,...in the thirteenth year of his reign." This same year is named by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 25:3 as the beginning of his prophetic labours. ויהי in Jeremiah 1:3 is the continuation of היה in Jeremiah 1:2, and its subject is דבר יהוה: and then (further) it came (to him) in the days of Jehoiakim,...to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, etc. In the fifth month of the year named, the eleventh of the reign of Zedekiah, Jerusalem was reduced to ashes by Nebuzar-adan, and its inhabitants carried away to Babylon; cf. Jeremiah 52:12., 2 Kings 25:8. Shortly before, King Zedekiah, captured when in flight from the Chaldeans during the siege of Jerusalem, had been deprived of eyesight at Riblah and carried to Babylon in chains. And thus his kingship was at an end, thought the eleventh year of his reign might not be yet quite completed.
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