Jeremiah 13:27
I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Thine adulteries.—The words refer primarily to the spiritual adultery of the idolatries of Judah. The “neighings,” as in Jeremiah 2:24; Jeremiah 5:8, express the unbridled eagerness of animal passion transferred in this passage to the spiritual sin. The “abominations on the hills” are the orgiastic rites of the worship of the high places, which are further described as “in the field” to emphasise their publicity.

Wilt thou not be made clean?—Better, thou wilt not be cleansed; after how long yet? Sad as the last words are, they in some measure soften the idea of irretrievable finality, “Will the time ever come, and if so, when?” Like the cry addressed to God, “How long, O Lord . . .” (Revelation 6:10), it implies a hope, though only just short of despair.

13:18-27 Here is a message sent to king Jehoiakim, and his queen. Their sorrows would be great indeed. Do they ask, Wherefore come these things upon us? Let them know, it is for their obstinacy in sin. We cannot alter the natural colour of the skin; and so is it morally impossible to reclaim and reform these people. Sin is the blackness of the soul; it is the discolouring of it; we were shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by any power of our own. But Almighty grace is able to change the Ethiopian's skin. Neither natural depravity, nor strong habits of sin, form an obstacle to the working of God, the new-creating Spirit. The Lord asks of Jerusalem, whether she is determined not be made clean. If any poor slave of sin feels that he could as soon change his nature as master his headstrong lusts, let him not despair; for things impossible to men are possible with God. Let us then seek help from Him who is mighty to save.And thine abominations - "Even thy abominations." The prophet sums up the three charges against Judah, namely, spiritual adultery, inordinate eagerness after idolatry (see the note at Jeremiah 5:7 note), and shameless participation in pagan orgies.

In the fields - "in the field," the open, unenclosed country (see Jeremiah 6:25; Jeremiah 12:4).

Wilt thou not ... once be? - "Or, how long yet ere thou be made clean!" These words explain the teaching of Jeremiah 13:23. Repentance was not an actual, but a moral impossibility, and after a long time Judah was to be cleansed. It was to return from exile penitent and forgiven.

27. neighings—(Jer 5:8), image from the lust of horses; the lust after idols degrades to the level of the brute.

hills—where, as being nearer heaven, sacrifices were thought most acceptable to the gods.

wilt thou not … ? when—literally, "thou wilt not be made clean after how long a time yet." (So Jer 13:23). Jeremiah denies the moral possibility of one so long hardened in sin becoming soon cleansed. But see Jer 32:17; Lu 18:27.

Some think the prophet here reflects upon them for their corporal adulteries, and their madness upon them, which he compareth to the

neighings of horses; but those words

on the hills in the fields in the next clause seem to inform us that he means here only their idolatries, which are in holy writ often compared to adulteries, which are the greatest sins in their kind, the greatest violations of the marriage covenant, and provocations of persons in conjugal relation, and the only cause of lawful divorce. He concludes with pathetical interrogations, intimating that yet there was hope if they would reform; and though. giving over their case almost as desperate, and not knowing what would not be, yet he leaves no means untried, but asks them if it was not yet time, or when such a thing might be hoped for at their hands.

I have seen thine adulteries,.... Not literally such, though they were greatly guilty of that sin; but figuratively, their idolatries:

thy neighings; expressive of their strong desires after other gods, like that of adulterers and adulteresses after one another; and both which are like the neighing of horses. Kimchi thinks this designs their rejoicing in their evil works:

the lewdness of thy whoredom; their sinful thoughts, and wicked desires, which were continually after their idols and idolatrous practices:

and thine abominations on the hills in the fields; their idols, which were abominable to God, and ought to have been so to them; and which they placed on high hills, and there worshipped them; all which were seen and known by the Lord, nor could it be denied by them; and this was the reason of their being carried captive, and therefore could not complain they had been hardly dealt with; yea, notwithstanding all this, the Lord expresses a tender and compassionate concern for them:

woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! sad will be thy case, dreadful are the calamities coming upon thee, unless thou repentest:

wilt thou not be made clean? wilt thou show no concern, land make use of no means to be cleansed, nor seek for it, where it is to be had? neither repent of sin, nor reform from it, nor seek to God for his grace, signified by clean water; or to the blood of Christ, the fountain opened, which cleanses from it:

when shall it once be? some instances there were of it in the times of Christ and his apostles; but it will not be completely done until they seek the Lord, and his Christ, and fear him, and his goodness, in the latter day; when they shall turn unto him, and all Israel shall be saved; or, "thou wilt not be cleansed after a long time" (w); this the Lord foresaw, and therefore pronounces her case sad and miserable.

(w) "non mundaberis quousque adhuc, vel post quantum adhuc tempus", Schmidt; "non mundaberis posthac aliquamdiu"; so some in Vatablus.

I have seen thy adulteries, and thy {n} neighings, the lewdness of thy harlotry, and thy abominations on the hills in {o} the fields. Woe to thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?

(n) He compares idolaters to horses inflamed after mares.

(o) There is no place so high nor low, where the marks and signs of your idolatry do not appear.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. thou wilt not, etc.] rather, How long will it be, ere thou be made clean?

Verse 27. - I have seen, etc. The Hebrew is again more forcible than the English. It runs, "Thine adulteries and thy neighings," etc. l (this is an exclamation as it were; then more reflectively)," I have seen thine abominations." Neighings; i.e. passionate craving for illegitimate objects of worship (comp. Jeremiah 2:24, 25; Jeremiah 5:8). In the fields. The Hebrew has the singular. The "field," as usual, means the open country. Wilt thou not, etc.? rather, How long ere thou be made clean? In Ver. 23 the prophet had vehemently declared his people to be incorrigible. But, like the tender Hoses, he cannot continue to hold such gloomy thoughts; surely Israel, God's people, must eventually be "made clean!" But this can only be as the result of judicial affliction, and these afflictions will be no slight or transient ones.



Jeremiah 13:27In Jeremiah 13:25 the discourse draws to a conclusion in such a way that, after a repetition of the manner in which Jerusalem prepares for herself the doom announced, we have again, in brief and condensed shape, the disgrace that is to befall her. This shall be thy lot. Hitz. renders מנת מדּיך: portion of thy garment, that is allotted for the swelling folds of thy garment (cf. Ruth. Jer 3:15; 2 Kings 4:39), on the ground that מד never means mensura, but garment only. This is, however, no conclusive argument; since so many words admit of two plural forms, so that מדּים might be formed from מדּה; and since so many are found in the singular in the forms of both genders, so that, alongside of מדּה, מד might also be used in the sense of mensura; especially as both the signiff. measure and garment are derived from the same root meaning of מדד. We therefore adhere to the usual rendering, portio mensurae tuae, the share portioned out to thee. אשׁר, causal, because. Trusted in falsehood, i.e., both in delusive promises (Jeremiah 7:4, Jeremiah 7:8) and in the help of beingless gods (Jeremiah 16:19). - In the וגם־אני lies the force of reciprocation: because thou hast forgotten me, etc., I too have taken means to make retribution on your unthankfulness (Calv.). The threatening of this verse is word for word from Nahum 3:5. - For her lewd idolatry Jerusalem shall be carried off like a harlot amid mockery and disgrace. In Jeremiah 13:27 the language is cumulative, to lay as great stress as possible on Jerusalem's idolatrous ongoings. Thy lewd neighing, i.e., thy ardent longing for and running after strange gods; cf. Jeremiah 5:8; Jeremiah 2:24. זמּה, as in Ezekiel 16:27; Ezekiel 22:9, etc., of the crime of uncleanness, see on Leviticus 18:17. The three words are accusatives dependent on ראיתי, though separated from it by the specification of place, and therefore summed up again in "thine abominations." The addition: in the field, after "upon the hills," is meant to make more prominent the publicity of the idolatrous work. The concluding sentence: thou shalt not become clean for how long a time yet, is not to be regarded as contradictory of Jeremiah 13:23, which affirms that the people is beyond the reach of reformation; Jeremiah 13:23 is not a hyperbolical statement, reduced within its true limits here. What is said in Jeremiah 13:23 is true of the present generation, which cleaves immoveably to wickedness. It does not exclude the possibility of a future reform on the part of the people, a purification of it from idolatry. Only this cannot be attained for a long time, until after sore and long-lasting, purifying judgments. Cf. Jeremiah 12:14., Jeremiah 3:18.
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