Then the LORD said to me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear you the words of this covenant, and do them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In the cities of Judah . . .—It is, at least, probable that the words are to be taken literally, and that the prophet went from city to city, doing his work as a preacher of repentance, and taking the new-found book of Deuteronomy as his text. The narrative of 2Kings 23:13-20 indicates an iconoclastic journey throughout the kingdom as made by Josiah; and the prophetic discourse now before us, enforcing the observance of the covenant just made, would have been a fit accompaniment for such a mission.Jeremiah 11:6-8. Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, &c. — That all may hear, for all are concerned; saying, Hear ye the words, &c., and do them — Let it be thy work to call upon this people, not only to hear, but to do the things which I have commanded them, and which they have engaged to do. For I earnestly protested — Hebrew, in protesting I protested; a way of speaking by which the Hebrews expressed the seriousness and earnestness wherewith any thing was done: by protesting, he means the same with charging and solemnly enjoining, with promises annexed to obedience, and threatenings denounced in case of disobedience. This, God says, he had done with a great deal of patience and diligence, even from the time that this people were brought by him out of the land of Egypt to the present period. Yet they obeyed not — And, because they were resolved not to be subject to God’s commandments, they would not so much as incline their ears to them, but walked every one in the imagination of his evil heart, following their own inventions; and each one acting as his fancy or humour led him, both in their devotions and in their conversations. Therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant — That is, all the threatenings contained in it. Observe, reader, the words of God’s covenant shall not fall to the ground. If we do not by our obedience qualify ourselves for the blessings of it, we shall, by our disobedience, bring ourselves under the curses of it.2 Kings 23:15-20, and everywhere read to the people the words of the newly-found book.
Hear … do—(Ro 2:13; Jas 1:22).
proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: with a loud voice, and openly, that all may hear:
saying, hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them; which their forefathers promised, when the covenant was made with them, Exodus 24:7, but did not perform; hearing without doing is of little avail; not the hearers, but the doers of the law are justified; wherefore men should not be content with hearing only, Romans 2:13.Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6–8. See summary at commencement of section. Gi. omits these three vv. But Jeremiah 11:6 is needed, in order to account for the hostility roused at Anathoth by Jeremiah’s mission. Jeremiah 11:7-8 on the other hand are omitted by LXX, and may well have been inserted here from the parallel passage, Jeremiah 7:23 f.Verse 6. - Proclaim all these words, etc. This command probably points to a missionary circuit of Jeremiah, as suggested above. Others render, "read aloud" (comp. 2 Kings 22:8, Hebrew); but Jeremiah receives the direction to "proclaim" or "cry" elsewhere (Jeremiah 2:2; Jeremiah 3:12, etc.). So Gabriel, in the Koran, directs Mohammed to "cry," i.e. to proclaim or preach (Sura 96:1). 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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