Jeremiah 10:25
Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Pour out thy fury.—The words are identical with those of Psalm 79:6-7, but it is more probable that the Psalmist borrowed from the Prophet. By many critics the Psalm is referred to the time of the Maccabees, and it would seem, from the language of Jeremiah 10:1-3, that it must at any rate have been after the destruction of the Temple by the Chaldeans. On the last supposition the two writers may have been contemporaries.

Jeremiah 10:25. Pour out thine indignation upon the heathen, &c. — Let thy justice be made known, by bringing an exemplary punishment upon the Chaldeans and their allies, (see Jeremiah 1:15,) who do not acknowledge thy providence, but ascribe all their successes to their idols: for they have eaten up Jacob, &c. — See note on Jeremiah 6:3. This prayer, it must be observed, did not proceed from a spirit of malice or revenge in the prophet, nor was it intended to prescribe to God on whom he should execute his judgments, or in what order; but, 1st, It is an appeal to his justice; as if he had said, Lord, we are a provoking people, but are there not other nations that are more so? And shall we only be punished?

2d, It is a prediction of God’s judgments upon all the impenitent enemies of his church and kingdom. If judgment begin thus at the house of God: what shall be the end of those that obey not his gospel? 1 Peter 4:17.

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.With judgment - In Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 46:28, the word "judgment" (with a different preposition) is rendered "in measure." The contrast therefore is between punishment inflicted in anger, and that inflicted as a duty of justice, of which the object is the criminal's reformation. Jeremiah prays that God would punish Jacob so far only as would bring him to true repentance, but that he would pour forth his anger upon the pagan, as upon that which opposes itself to God Jeremiah 10:25. 24, 25. Since I (my nation) must be corrected (justice requiring it because of the deep guilt of the nation), I do not deprecate all chastisement, but pray only for moderation in it (Jer 30:11; Ps 6:1; 38:1); and that the full tide of Thy fury may be poured out on the heathen invaders for their cruelty towards Thy people. Ps 79:6, 7, a psalm to be referred to the time of the captivity, its composer probably repeated this from Jeremiah. The imperative, "Pour out," is used instead of the future, expressing vividly the certainty of the prediction, and that the word of God itself effects its own declarations. Accordingly, the Jews were restored after correction; the Babylonians were utterly extinguished.

know thee … call … on thy name—Knowledge of God is the beginning of piety; calling on Him the fruit.

heathen … Jacob—He reminds God of the distinction He has made between His people whom Jacob represents, and the heathen aliens. Correct us as Thy adopted sons, the seed of Jacob; destroy them as outcasts (Zec 1:14, 15, 21).

Pour out thy fury upon the heathen: this may imply both petition, that God would do so, and prediction, that God will certainly do so, which toward the close of the prophecy we find was fulfilled, God first sending the king of Babylon to overthrow divers of the heathen nations, and then Babylon itself destroyed with a great destruction. He will make a difference between us and the heathen, such as

know thee not, i.e. such as do not acknowledge and own thee for their God: the phrase is frequent; 1 Samuel 2:12 Job 18:21 2 Thessalonians 1:8: the sense is expressed here in the next words, that do not call on thy name. That call not on thy name; a synecdoche, one part of worship put for the whole: q.d. If thou wilt be pouring out thy fury, the effects of it be to thine enemies, not unto thine own people, who worship thee.

For they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate: here he gives a reason as a motive to God why he should do so; which words see explained on Psalm 79:5-7, whence they are taken, and possibly Jeremiah himself was the author of that Psalm after the city was destroyed, and he carried into Egypt; and for the phrase of devouring him, see Jeremiah 8:16.

Pour out thy fury upon the Heathen that know thee not,.... Make a difference between thy people that know thee, and make a profession of thy name, and worship thee, and the Heathen, the nations of the world who are ignorant of God, and worship stocks and stones; while thou correctest thine own people in measure, in love, and not in wrath, pour out without measure all thy fury upon the Gentiles that know not God, and are guilty of the grossest idolatry:

and upon the families that call not on thy name; this does not signify single families, commonly so called; but kingdoms, as the Targum interprets it; Heathen kingdoms and nations, that call not upon or worship the God of Israel, but their own idols; such as the family of Egypt, Zechariah 14:17 and so it is expressed in a parallel place, Psalm 79:6, which is either taken from hence, or this from thence:

for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate; a heap of words to express the great destruction and desolation of the land of Israel, of Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah; and of their houses and dwelling places, private and public; and of their spoiling them of all their goods, substance, wealth, and riches; which is given as a reason of the above imprecation.

Pour out {r} thy fury upon the nations that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

(r) As God cannot only be known and glorified by his mercy that he uses toward his Church, but also by his justice in punishing his enemies, he prays that this glory may fully appear both in the one and the other, Ps 79:6.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. yea, they have devoured him] Plainly by an error of repetition in MT. In the Ps. (see above) the words are not found.

Verse 25. - This verse is repeated, with slight differences, in Psalm 79:6, 7. The fault of the heathen is that they exceeded their commission (Isaiah 10:6, 7; Isaiah 47:6; Zechariah 1:15), and aimed at destroying, instead of merely punishing, Jehovah's erring people. His habitation; rather, his pasture (comp. Jeremiah 12:10)



Jeremiah 10:25The cause of this calamity is that the shepherds, i.e., the princes and leaders of the people (see on Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 3:15), are become brutish, have not sought Jahveh, i.e., have not sought wisdom and guidance from the Lord. And so they could not deal wisely, i.e., rule the people with wisdom. השׂכּיל is here not merely: have prosperity, but: show wisdom, deal wisely, securing thus the blessed results of wisdom. This is shown both by the contrasted "become brutish" and by the parallel passage, Jeremiah 3:15. מרעיתם, their pasturing, equivalent to "flock of their pasturing," their flock, Jeremiah 23:1.

The calamity over which the people mourns is drawing near, Jeremiah 10:22. Already is heard the tremendous din of a mighty host which approaches from the north to make the cities of Judah a wilderness. קול שׁמוּעה is an exclamation: listen to the rumour, it is coming near. From a grammatical point of view the subject to "comes" is "rumour," but in point of sense it is that of which the rumour gives notice. Graf weakens the sense by gathering the words into one assertory clause: "They hear a rumour come." The "great commotion" is that of an army on the march, the clattering of the weapons, the stamping and neighing of the war-horses; cf. Jeremiah 6:23; Jeremiah 8:16. From the land of midnight, the north, cf. Jeremiah 1:14; Jeremiah 4:6, etc. "To make the cities," etc., cf. Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 9:10. - The rumour of the enemy's approach drives the people to prayer, Jeremiah 10:23-25. The prayer of these verses is uttered in the name of the congregation. It begins with the confession: Not with man is his way, i.e., it is not within man's power to arrange the course of his life, nor in the power of the man who walks to fix his step (וbefore הכין merely marking the connection of the thought: cf. Ew. 348, a). The antithesis to לאדם and לאישׁ is ליהוה, with God; cf. Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 16:9 : Man's heart deviseth his way, but Jahveh establisheth the steps. The thought is not: it is not in man's option to walk in straight or crooked, good or evil ways, but: the directing of man, the way by which he must go, lies not in his own but in God's power. Hitz. justly finds here the wisdom that admits: "Mit unserer Macht ist nichts getan," - man's destiny is ordained not by himself, but by God. Upon this acquiescence in God's dispensation of events follows the petition: Chasten me, for I have deserved punishment, but chasten בּמשׁפּט, acc. to right, not in Thine anger; cf. Psalm 6:2; Psalm 38:2. A chastening in anger is the judgment of wrath that shall fall on obstinate sinners and destroy them. A chastening acc. to right is one such as is demanded by right (judgment), as the issue of God's justice, in order to the reclamation and conversion of the repentant sinner. "Lest Thou make me little," insignificant, puny; not merely, diminish me, make me smaller than I now am. For such a decrease of the people would result even from a gentle chastisement. There is no comparative force in the words. To make small, in other words, reduce to a small, insignificant people. This would be at variance with "right," with God's ordained plan in regard to His people. The expression is not equivalent to: not to make an utter end, Jeremiah 30:11, etc. The people had no call to pray that they might escape being made an utter end of; thus much had been promised by God, Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:10. - God is asked to pour forth His fury upon the heathen who know not the Lord nor call upon His name, because they seek to extirpate Jacob (the people of Israel) as the people of God, at this time found in Judah alone. The several words in Jeremiah 10:25 suggest the fury with which the heathen proceed to the destruction of Israel. The present verse is reproduced in Psalm 79:6-7, a psalm written during the exile, or at least after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; but in the reproduction the energetic expansion of the "devoured" is omitted.

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