Jeremiah 10:10
But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) The Lord is the true God.—Literally, Jehovah is the God that is Truth. The thought expressed is that for which St. John, as indeed the LXX. does here, uses the word alēthinos (John 17:3; 1John 5:20), Truth in its highest and most perfect form. So “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

An everlasting king.—Here, as in other like passages, the English Version is not wrong, but the Hebrew idiom “King of Eternity” is far grander.

Jeremiah 10:10. But the Lord — Hebrew, Jehovah, is the true God — A very different being from these idols. He is the living God — Images are dead and senseless things; but Jehovah is life itself, and the author and fountain of life and understanding; and all creatures that live, live in and by him. And an everlasting King — The absolute monarch over all creatures, their owner and ruler, having an incontestable right both to command and to dispose of them. And the counsels of his kingdom were from everlasting, and the continuance of it will be to everlasting. He is the king of eternity. The idols whom they call their kings are but of yesterday, and will soon be abolished; and the kings of the earth, that set them up to be worshipped, will themselves be in the dust shortly; but the Lord shall reign for ever, thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. At his wrath the earth shall tremble — Even the strongest and stoutest of the kings of the earth, nay, the earth itself, as firmly as it is fixed, when he pleases, is made to quake, and the rocks to tremble. And the nations, though they join together to contend with him, and unite their force against him, shall be found utterly unable, not only to resist, but even to abide his indignation.10:1-16 The prophet shows the glory of Israel's God, and exposes the folly of idolaters. Charms and other attempts to obtain supernatural help, or to pry into futurity, are copied from the wicked customs of the heathen. Let us stand in awe, and not dare provoke God, by giving that glory to another which is due to him alone. He is ready to forgive, and save all who repent and believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Faith learns these blessed truths from the word of God; but all knowledge not from that source, leads to doctrines of vanity.Or, "It is a piece of wood (Jeremiah 10:8 note); yea, beaten silver it is, which is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz: it is the work etc."

Tarshish ... Uphaz - See the marginal reference and Genesis 10:4. Possibly Uphaz was a place in the neighborhood of the River Hyphasis.

Blue and purple - Both colors were purple, from dyes obtained from shellfish: but the former had a violet, the latter a red tinge.

10. true God—literally, "God Jehovah is truth"; not merely true, that is, veracious, but truth in the reality of His essence, as opposed to the "vanity" or emptiness which all idols are (Jer 10:3, 8, 15; 2Ch 15:3; Ps 31:5; 1Jo 5:20).

living God—(Joh 5:26; 1Ti 6:17). He hath life in Himself which no creature has. All else "live in Him" (Ac 17:28). In contrast to dead idols.

everlasting—(Ps 10:16). In contrast to the temporary existence of all other objects of worship.

The Lord is the true God: q. d. All these are but false gods: Jehovah is the alone true God; they are but lies, and the teachers of lies. God is truth itself, and that both in regard of his essence, as it is ascribed to Christ, 1Jo 5:20; and also in regard of his faithfulness, Numbers 23:19 Psalm 31:5.

He is the living God; these are all but dead stocks and stones, Jehovah is the only living God, having life in himself, and giving life to all things else, John 5:21,26. Hence these idols are not only more base than any other creature, but even viler than the matter itself of which they are made.

An everlasting King: these, though accounted kings, and countenanced by kings, yet both they and their kings do all perish; time devours them all with worm or rust, or by injuries and violence offered to them, as in the next verse; but none of these or any thing else can affect the true God, he is

everlasting.

At his wrath the earth shall tremble; he can with his look or frown make the foundations of the heaven and the earth to shake, whereas these stocks can move them no more than they can themselves, which is not one hair’s breadth from their stations.

The nations shall not be able to abide his indignation; not able either to stop it or bear it, but must stoop and fall under it, Psalm 76:7; the wicked will not be able to stand in judgment, Psalm 1:5. But the Lord is the true God,.... In opposition to all nominal and fictitious deities, which are not by nature God, only by name, and in the foolish imagination of the people: or, "the Lord God is truth" (t); that cannot lie, is true to his covenant and promises, and will never deceive those that worship and serve him, and rely upon him:

he is the living God; that has life in himself, and is the author and giver of life to others; to all men natural life, to some men spiritual and eternal life; whereas the gods of the Gentiles have no life in themselves; are either dead men, or lifeless and inanimate things, stocks and stones, and can give no life to others. The words are in the plural number, "he is the living Gods"; not for the sake of honour and glory, as Kimchi observes; but as denoting a trinity of Persons in the unity of the divine essence: for though the words , "living Gods", that is, living divine Ones, or Persons, are in the plural number, yet "he", is in the singular; which is worthy of observation. The Syriac version renders it, "the God of the living"; and so an Oxford Arabic MS, see Matthew 22:32.

And an everlasting King; from everlasting to everlasting; he is King of old, even from eternity, and will ever be so; his kingdom is an everlasting one, and his throne for ever and ever, and he will always have subjects to reign over; nor will he have any successor, as mortal kings have, even such who have been deified by their idolatrous subjects.

At his wrath the earth shall tremble; that is, the inhabitants of it, when it is poured forth in judgments in the present life, and in the everlasting destruction of soul and body hereafter; and then shall they fear him, though now they do not.

And the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation; especially at the day of judgment; see Revelation 6:16.

(t) "Deus veritas", Pagninus, Montanus, Coceeius.

But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. LXX omit, but there is more to be said for MT. here than in the cases above. As Jeremiah 10:11 is clearly a gloss, Jeremiah 10:12 would be very abrupt without an introduction of this kind.

the true God] better (as mg.) God in truth.Verse 10. - The true God; literally, a God in truth, the accusative of apposition being chosen instead of the usual genitive construction, to emphasize the idea of "truth." The reason of the warning counsel: The ordinances of the peoples, i.e., the religious ideas and customs of the heathen, are vanity. הוּא refers to and is in agreement with the predicate; cf. Ew. 319, c. The vanity of the religious ordinances of the heathen is proved by the vanity of their gods. "For wood, which one has hewn out of the forest," sc. it is, viz., the god. The predicate is omitted, and must be supplied from הבל, a word which is in the plural used directly for the false gods; cf. Jeremiah 8:19; Deuteronomy 32:21, etc. With the axe, sc. wrought. מעצד Rashi explains as axe, and suitably; for here it means in any case a carpenter's tool, whereas this is doubtful in Isaiah 44:12. The images were made of wood, which was covered with silver plating and gold; cf. Isaiah 30:22; Isaiah 40:19. This Jeremiah calls adorning them, making them fair with silver and gold. When the images were finished, they were fastened in their places with hammer and nails, that they might not tumble over; cf. Isaiah 41:7; Isaiah 40:20. When thus complete, they are like a lathe-wrought pillar. In Judges 4:5, where alone this word elsewhere occurs. תּמר means palm-tree ( equals תּמר); here, by a later, derivative usage, equals pillar, in support of which we can appeal to the Talmudic תּמּר, columnam facere, and to the O.T. תּימרה, pillar of smoke. מקשׁה is the work of the turning-lathe, Exodus 25:18, Exodus 25:31, etc. Lifeless and motionless as a turned pillar.

(Note: Ew., Hitz., Graf, Ng. follow in the track of Movers, Phniz. i. S. 622, who takes מקשׁה se acc. to Isaiah 1:8 for a cucumber garden, and, acc. to Epist. Jerem. v. 70, understands by תּמר מקשׁה the figure of Priapus in a cucumber field, serving as a scare-crow. But even if we admit that there is an allusion to the verse before us in the mockery of the gods in the passage of Epist. Jerem. quoted, running literally as follows: ὧσπερ γὰρ ἐν οἰκυηράτῳ προβασκάνιον οὐδὲν φυλάσσον, οὕτως οἱ θεοὶ αὐτῶν εἰσὶ ξύλινοι καὶ περίχρυσοι καὶ περιάργυροι; and if we further admit that the author was led to make his comparison by his understanding מקשׁה in Isaiah 1:8 of a cucumber garden; - yet his comparison has so little in common with our verse in point of form, that it cannot at all be regarded as a translation of it, or serve as a rule for the interpretation of the phrase in question. And besides it has yet to be proved that the Israelites were in the habit of setting up images of Priapus as scare-crows.)

Not to be able to speak is to be without life; not to walk, to take not a single step, i.e., to be without all power of motion; cf. Isaiah 46:7. The Chald. paraphrases correctly: quia non est in iis spiritus vitalis ad ambulandum. The incorrect form ינּשׂוּא for ינּשׂאוּ is doubtless only a copyist's error, induced by the preceding נשׂוא. They can do neither good nor evil, neither hurt nor help; cf. Isaiah 41:23. אותם for אתּם, as frequently; see on Jeremiah 1:16.

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