Jeremiah 10:18
For thus said the LORD, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) I will sling out.—The same bold metaphor, though not the same word, for violent expulsion, is found in the prophecy of the fate of Shebna (Isaiah 22:18).

That they may find it so.—In the Hebrew, the verb, though transitive, stands by itself, without an object. The ellipsis has been filled up either by “it,” as in the English Version, i.e., may feel it in all its bitterness; or by “me,” as in the Syriac version, i.e., may be led through their misery to seek and find Jehovah. The parallelism of Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:13, makes the latter meaning probable (see also Acts 17:27); but it may be suggested that the very omission of an object was intended to be suggestive in its abruptness. “They would find . . .;”what they found would depend upon themselves. A possible construction is that they (the enemy) may find them (the people besieged), but this is hardly the natural sequel of the exile of which the previous words speak.

10:17-25 The Jews who continued in their own land, felt secure. But, sooner or later, sinners will find all things as the word of God has declared, and that its threatenings are not empty terrors. Submission will support the believer under every grief allotted to him; but what can render the load of Divine vengeance easy to be borne by those who fall under it in sullen despair? Those cannot expect to prosper, who do not, by faith and prayer, take God with them in all their ways. The report of the enemy's approach was very dreadful. Yet the designs which men lay deep, and think well formed, are dashed to pieces in a moment. Events are often overruled, so as to be quite contrary to what we intended and expected. If the Lord has directed our steps into the ways of peace and righteousness, let us entreat him to enable us to walk therein. Say not, Lord, do not correct me; but, Lord, do not correct me in anger. We may bear the smart of God's rod, but we cannot bear the weight of his wrath. Those who restrain prayer, prove that they know not God; for those who know him will seek him, and seek his favour. If even severe corrections lead sinners to be convinced of wholesome truths, they will have abundant cause for gratitude. And they will then humble themselves before the Lord.Sling out - A similar metaphor for violent ejection occurs in Isaiah 22:18 (see the note).

At this once - Or, "at this time." Previous invasions had ended either in deliverance, or at most in temporary misfortune. God's long-suffering is exhausted, and this time Judaea must cease to be an independent nation.

That they may find it so - Omit "so," and explain either

(1) "I will distress them" with the rigors of a siege "that they may feel it, i. e., the distress; or,

(2) "that they may find" Me, God, that which alone is worth finding.

18. sling out—expressing the violence and suddenness of the removal to Babylon. A similar image occurs in Jer 16:13; 1Sa 25:29; Isa 22:17, 18.

at this once—at this time, now.

find it so—find it by experience, that is, feel it (Eze 6:10). Michaelis translates, "I will bind them together (as in a sling) that they may reach the goal" (Babylon). English Version is best: "that they may find it so as I have said" (Nu 23:19; Eze 6:10).

I will sling out; it notes with how much violence, and speed, and with ease the Chaldeans shall hurry away the people into Babylon, as the stone doth swiftly and violently pass which is thrown out of a sling, with so much ease, and therefore it is said at at this once; I will not delay, but make one thorough quick work of it; noting not only the time, but implying the clear riddance the he would make of them, 2 Chronicles 36:17-19: they had been often assaulted by enemies, and sometimes they redeemed themselves, sometimes delivered by God, their enemies being sometimes divided; but it should not be so now, but all swept away. That they may find it so; that they may see I am in good earnest, that I have not only said it, but they shall find that I will execute it; and though they would never believe it, yet they shall actually find the truth of my threatenings. See Jeremiah 5:12,13 Eze 6:10. For thus saith the Lord,.... This is a reason enforcing the exhortation in the preceding verse, and shows that the same people that are spoken of here are addressed there.

Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once; meaning the inhabitants of the land of Judea; or otherwise the prophet would never have expressed such a concern for them as he does in the following verse. Their captivity is signified by the slinging of a stone out of a sling, and shows how sudden, swift, and certain, it would be: and that it would as easily and swiftly be done, and with equal force and rapidity, as a stone is slung out of a sling; and that it would be done by the Lord himself, whoever were the instruments:

and will distress them; or "straiten" (z) them, on every side; it seems to intend the siege; or bring them into great straits and difficulties, through the pestilence, famine, sword, and captivity:

that they may find it; so as he had spoken by his prophets, it coming to pass exactly as they had foretold. The Targum is,

"that they may receive the punishment of their sins;''

and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "that thy stroke may be found"; but the Syriac version is very different from either, "that they may seek me and find"; which is an end that is sometimes answered by afflictive dispensations.

(z) "oblidere faciana eos", some in Vatablus; "et angustabo, vel obsidebo eos", Schmidt; "faciam ut obsideant eos", Calvin; "arctum ipsis facium", Cocceius.

For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. sling out] Cp. 1 Samuel 25:29; also Isaiah 22:18.

feel] See the mg. The clause is suspicious in form, the verb having no expressed object. It is just possible, but hardly likely, that it may be corrected (by a change of vocalisation) to “that they may be found,” i.e. that disaster may overtake them. But this is a very forced sense for the expression to bear.Verse 18. - I will sling out; a forcible image, to express the violence of the expulsion; comp. Isaiah 22:17, 18 (Ver. 17 needs correcting). At this once; rather, at this time (comp. Jeremiah 16:21). Invasion was no novelty to the Jews, but had hitherto merely produced loss of goods rather than of personal liberty. That they may find it so; better, that they may feel it. Others supply as. the subject "Jehovah," comparing Psalm 32:6, "In a time of finding (Authorized Version, "When thou mayest be found"). Jeremiah himself says, "Ye shall seek me, and shall find, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13 - Deuteronomy 4:29). Still, these passages are hardly quite parallel, as the object of the verb can be easily supplied from the connection. The Vulgate apparently reads the text with different vowels, for it renders ut inveniantur; the Septuagint has "that thy stroke may be found." The third strophe. - In it the almighty power of the living God is shown from His providential government of nature, the overthrow of the false gods in the time of judgment is declared, and, finally, the Creator of the universe is set forth as the God of Israel. - Jeremiah 10:12. "That made the earth by His power, that founded the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding stretched out the heavens. Jeremiah 10:13. When He thundering makes the roar of waters in the heavens, He causes clouds to rise from the ends of the earth, makes lightnings for the rain, and brings the wind forth out of His treasuries. Jeremiah 10:14. Brutish becomes every man without knowledge; ashamed is every goldsmith by reason of the image, for falsehood is his molten image, and there is no spirit in them. Jeremiah 10:15. Vanity are they, a work of mockery; in the time of their visitation they perish. Jeremiah 10:16. Not like these is the portion of Jacob: the framer of (the) all is He, and Israel is the stock of His inheritance: Jahveh of hosts is His name."

In point of form, "that made the earth," etc., connects with "Jahveh God," Jeremiah 10:10; but in respect of its matter, the description of God as Creator of heaven and earth is led up to by the contrast: The gods which have not made the heaven and the earth shall perish. The subject to עשׂה and the following verbs is not expressed, but may be supplied from the contrasted statement of Jeremiah 10:11, or from the substance of the several statements in Jeremiah 10:12. The connection may be taken thus: The true God is the one making the earth by His power equals is He that made, etc. As the creation of the earth is a work of God's almighty power, so the establishing, the founding of it upon the waters (Psalm 24:2) is an act of divine wisdom, and the stretching out of the heavens over the earth like a tent (Isaiah 40:22; Psalm 104:2) is a work of intelligent design. On this cf. Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 45:18; Isaiah 51:13. Every thunder-storm bears witness to the wise and almighty government of God, Jeremiah 10:13. The words לקול are difficult. Acc. to Ew. ֗307, b, they stand for לתּתּו קול: when He gives His voice, i.e., when He thunders. In support of this it may be said, that the mention of lightnings, rain, and wind suggests such an interpretation. But the transposition of the words cannot be justified. Hitz. has justly remarked: The putting of the accusative first, taken by itself, might do; but not when it must at the same time be stat. constr., and when its genitive thus separated from it would assume the appearance of being an accusative to תּתּו. Besides, we would expect לתת קולו rather than לתּתּו קול. קול תּתּו cannot grammatically be rendered: the voice which He gives, as Ng. would have it, but: the voice of His giving; and "roar of waters" must be the accusative of the object, governed by תּתּו. Hence we must protest against the explanation of L. de Dieu: ad vocem dationis ejus multitudo aquarum est in caelo, at least if ad vocem dationis is tantamount to simul ac dat. Just as little can לקול taken by itself mean thunder, so that ad vocem should, with Schnur., be interpreted by tonitru est dare ejus multitudinem aquae. The only grammatically feasible explanation is the second of those proposed by L. de Dieu: ad vocem dandi ipsum, i.e., qua dat vel ponit multitudinem aquarum. So Hitz.: at the roar of His giving wealth of waters. Accordingly we expound: at the noise, when He gives the roar of waters in heaven, He raises up clouds from the ends of the earth; taking, as we do, the ויּעלה to be a ו consec. introducing the supplementary clause. The voice or noise with which God gives the roar or the fulness of waters in the heaven, is the sound of the thunder. With this the gathering of the dark thunder-clouds is put into causal connection, as it appears to be to the eye; for during the thunder we see the thunder-clouds gather thicker and darker on the horizon. נשׂיא, the ascended, poetic word for cloud. Lightnings for the rain; i.e., since the rain comes as a consequence of the lightning, for the lightning seems to rend the clouds and let them pour their water out on the earth. Thunder-storms are always accompanied by a strong wind. God causes the wind to go forth from His store-chambers, where He has it also under custody, and blow over the earth. See a like simile of the store-chambers of the snow and hail, Job 38:22. From ויּעלה onwards, this verse is repeated in Psalm 135:7.

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