Jeremiah 13:12
Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
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(12) Every bottle shall be filled with wine.—Another parable follows on that of the girdle. The germ is found in the phrase “drunken, but not with wine” (Isaiah 29:9), and the thought rising out of that germ that the effect of the wrath of Jehovah is to cause an impotence and confusion like that of drunkenness (Psalm 60:3; Isaiah 51:17). The “bottle” in this case is not the “skin” commonly used for that purpose, but the earthen jar or flagon, the “potter’s vessel” of Isaiah 30:14, the “pitcher” of Lamentations 4:2. So taken we find an anticipation of the imagery of Jeremiah 19:1; Jeremiah 19:10; Jeremiah 25:15. The prophet is bidden to go and proclaim to the people a dark saying, which in its literal sense would seem to them the idlest of all truisms. They would not understand that the “wine” of which he spoke was the wrath of Jehovah, and therefore they would simply repeat his words half in astonishment, half in mockery, “Do we not know this? What need to hear it from a prophet’s lips?”

Jeremiah 13:12. Therefore — Because the end intended by my goodness has not been answered upon them; thou shall speak unto them this word — Thou shall show them the destruction coming upon them by another emblem. Thus saith the Lord, Every bottle shall be filled with wine — God’s judgments are often represented under the figure of a cup full of intoxicating liquor: see this metaphor pursued at large, Jeremiah 25:15, &c. To the same purpose God tells them here that as they have all sinned, so should every one have his share in the punishment. And they shall say unto thee, &c. — “God, who knew the profaneness of their hearts, foretels the reply they would make to this threatening, that, taking it in a literal sense, they would make a jest of it, as if the words were intended to encourage intemperance, for either they did not or would not understand the drift of them.” Thus Lowth. But Blaney thinks their answer, Do we not know, &c., implies that, by a wilful mistake, they construed his words as “meant to tell them of a plentiful vintage that was coming on, which would fill all their wine-vessels; and of this they claimed to be as good judges as he, from the promising appearance of the vineyards. As if they said, Do you tell us this as a piece of news, or a supernatural discovery? Is it not evident to us as well as to you? The prophet is therefore directed to deal more plainly with them, and to tell them that the wine he meant was not such as would exhilarate, but such as would intoxicate; being no other than what would be poured out of the wine-cup of God’s fury, to the subversion of all ranks and orders of men among them.”

13:12-17 As the bottle was fitted to hold the wine, so the sins of the people made them vessels of wrath, fitted for the judgments of God; with which they should be filled till they caused each other's destruction. The prophet exhorts them to give glory to God, by confessing their sins, humbling themselves in repentance, and returning to his service. Otherwise they would be carried into other countries in all the darkness of idolatry and wickedness. All misery, witnessed or foreseen, will affect a feeling mind, but the pious heart must mourn most over the afflictions of the Lord's flock.Bottle - jar, the "potter's vessel" of Isaiah 30:14 : a new symbol, but with the same meaning, the approaching destruction of Jerusalem Jeremiah 13:14. 12. A new image.

Do we not … know … wine—The "bottles" are those used in the East, made of skins; our word "hogshead," originally "oxhide," alludes to the same custom. As they were used to hold water, milk, and other liquids, what the prophet said (namely, that they should be all filled with wine) was not, as the Jews' taunting reply implied, a truism even literally. The figurative sense which is what Jeremiah chiefly meant, they affected not to understand. As wine intoxicates, so God's wrath and judgments shall reduce them to that state of helpless distraction that they shall rush on to their own ruin (Jer 25:15; 49:12; Isa 51:17, 21, 22; 63:6).

God by his prophet showeth them their ruin in another glass, he bids the prophet tell them that

every bottle should be filled with wine. Wine was what they delighted in; Hosea 3:1, they loved flagons of wine, and were for those prophets that would prophesy to them of wine and strong drink, Micah 2:11. God therefore sendeth them a prophesy about wine, bids the prophet tell them that

every bottle should be filled with wine. Glad news to the drunkard among them! but no very strange thing to them who often enough were wont both to fill and to empty bottles of wine: but they little understood the wine which God and his, prophet intended; God therefore openeth it to them.

Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word,.... The following parable:

thus saith the Lord God of Israel; what was to be said is prefaced with these words, to show that it was not a trifling matter, but of moment and importance, and not to be slighted and despised as it was:

every bottle shall be filled with wine; meaning every inhabitant of Judea and Jerusalem, comparable to bottles or earthen vessels, as the Jewish writers interpret it, for their being empty of all that is good, and for their frailty and brittleness being liable to be broke to pieces, and to utter ruin and destruction; these are threatened to be "filled with wine"; not literally taken, such as they loved; though there may be an allusion to their intemperance, and so this is a just retaliation for their sins; but figuratively, with the wine of divine wrath; and their being filled with it denotes the greatness of the calamities which should come upon them, and be around them on all sides:

and they shall say unto thee; upon hearing the above, and by way of reply to it:

do we not certainly know; or, "knowing do we not know" (u); can we be thought to be ignorant of this,

that every bottle shall be filled with wine? every child knows this; what else are bottles made for? is this the errand thou art sent on by the Lord? and is this all the knowledge and information that we are to have by thy prophesying? or what dost thou mean by telling us that which we and everybody know? what is designed by this? surely thou must have another meaning in it than what the words express.

(u) "an sciendo non scimus", Pagninus, Vatablus, Schmidt.

Therefore thou shalt speak to them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every {b} skin shall be filled with wine: and they shall say to thee, Do we not certainly know that every skin shall be filled with wine?

(b) Every one of you will be filled with spiritual drunkenness, and be without all knowledge to seek how to help yourselves.

12. bottle] rather, as mg. jar. As surely as bottles are used for wine, so surely will drunkenness in the above sense enter into the people.

Do we not know …] What need is there of telling us such a truism?

12–14. The spoken symbol of the bottles

12–14. A parable to indicate approaching overthrow. For intoxication as expressive of bewildered confusion and helplessness in the presence of calamity, cp. Jeremiah 25:15 f., Jeremiah 48:26; Psalm 60:3; Isaiah 51:17; Isaiah 51:21-23. Through Jehovah’s judicial action they are paralysed mentally, as with strong drink, and thus made to collide to their destruction. Cp. Psalm 2:9. The date is uncertain, but a connexion in point of time with Nebuchadnezzar’s victory at Carchemish (b.c. 605) is not improbable.

Verses 12-14. - Here another symbol is introduced - a symbolic phrase rather than a symbolic action. The first symbol referred to the people as a whole; the second represents the fate of the individual members of the people. The words, Thus saith the lord God of Israel, are omitted in the Septuagint, and certainly the form of the following phrase seems hardly worthy of so solemn an introduction. Every bottle. It is an earthenware bottle, or pitcher, which seems from Ver. 13 to be meant (comp. Isaiah 30:14), though the Septuagint renders here ἀσκός. The kings that sit upon David's throne; rather, that sit for David upon his throne; i.e. as David's heirs and successors. The plural "kings" is to include all the kings who reigned during the final period of impending ruin. With drunkenness. The effect of the "wine-cup of [the Divine] fury" (Jeremiah 25:15). Dash them one against another. This is merely the development of the figure of the pitchers; not a prediction of civil war. The pitchers, when cast down, must of course fall together into pieces. Jeremiah 13:12How the Lord will destroy His degenerate people, and how they may yet escape the impending ruin. - Jeremiah 13:12. "And speak unto them this word: Thus hath Jahveh the God of Israel said, Every jar is filled with wine. And when they say to thee, Know we not that every jar is filled with wine? Jeremiah 13:13. Then say to them: Thus hath Jahve said: Behold, I fill all inhabitants of this land - the kings that sit for David upon his throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all inhabitants of Jerusalem - with drunkenness, Jeremiah 13:14. And dash them one against another, the fathers and the sons together, saith Jahve; I will not spare, nor pity, nor have mercy, not to destroy them. - Jeremiah 13:15. Hear ye and give ear! Be not proud, for Jahveh speaketh. Jeremiah 13:16. Give to Jahveh, your God, honour, ere He bring darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the mountains of dusk, and ye look for light, but He turn it into the shadow of death and make it darkness. Jeremiah 13:17. But if ye hear it not, then in concealment shall my soul weep for the pride, and weep and run down shall mine eye with tears, because the flock of Jahve is carried away captive."

To give emphasis to the threatening conveyed in the symbolical action, the kind and manner of the destruction awaiting them is forcibly set before the various ranks in Judah and Jerusalem by the interpretation, in Jeremiah 13:12-14, of a proverbial saying and the application of it to them. The circumstantial way in which the figurative saying is brought in in Jeremiah 13:12, is designed to call attention to its import. נבל, an earthenware vessel, especially the wine jar (cf. Isaiah 30:24; Lamentations 4:2), is here the emblem of man; cf. Jeremiah 18:6; Isaiah 29:16. We must not, as Ng. does, suppose the similar to be used because such jars are an excellent emblem of that carnal aristocratic pride which lacked all substantial merit, by reason of their being of bulging shape, hollow within and without solidity, and of fragile material besides. No stress is laid on the bulging form and hollowness of the jars, but only on their fulness with wine and their brittleness. Nor can aristocratic haughtiness be predicated of all the inhabitants of the land. The saying: Every jar is filled with wine, seemed so plain and natural, that those addressed answer: Of that we are well aware. "The answer is that of the psychical man, who dreams of no deeper sense" (Hitz.). Just this very answer gives the prophet occasion to expound the deeper meaning of this word of God's. As one fills all wine jars, so must all inhabitants of the land be filled by God with wine of intoxication. Drunkenness is the effect of the intoxicating wine of God's wrath, Psalm 60:5. This wine Jahveh will give them (cf. Jeremiah 25:15; Isaiah 51:17, etc.), so that, filled with drunken frenzy, they shall helplessly destroy one another. This spirit will seize upon all ranks: upon the kings who sit upon the throne of David, not merely him who was reigning at the time; upon the priests and prophets as leaders of the people; and upon all inhabitants of Jerusalem, the metropolis, the spirit and temper of which exercises an unlimited influence upon the temper and destiny of the kingdom at large. I dash them one against the other, as jars are shivered when knocked together. Here Hitz. finds a foreshadowing of civil war, by which they should exterminate one another. Jeremiah was indeed thinking of the staggering against one another of drunken men, but in "dash them," etc., adhered simply to the figure of jars or pots. But what can be meant by the shivering of pots knocked together, other than mutual destruction? The kingdom of Judah did not indeed fall by civil war; but who can deny that the fury of the various factions in Judah and Jerusalem did really contribute to the fall of the realm? The shattering of the pots does not mean directly civil war; it is given as the result of the drunkenness of the inhabitants, under which they, no longer capable of self-control, dash against and so destroy one another. But besides, the breaking of jars reminds us of the stratagem of Gideon and his 300 warriors, who, by the sound of trumpets and the smashing of jars, threw the whole Midianite camp into such panic, that these foes turned their swords against one another and fled in wild confusion: Judges 7:19., cf. too 1 Samuel 14:20. Thus shall Judah be broken without mercy or pity. To increase the emphasis, there is a cumulation of expressions, as in Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 15:5, cf. Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 7:4, Ezekiel 7:9, etc.

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