Jeremiah 14:1
The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.
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(1) Concerning the dearth.—Literally, on the word or tidings of the drought. This is clearly the opening of a new discourse, which continues to Jeremiah 17:18; but as no special calamity of this kind is mentioned in the historical account of Jeremiah’s life, its date cannot be fixed with certainty. As Jeremiah 15:15 -implies that he had already suffered scorn or persecution for his prophetic work, we may reasonably assume some period not earlier than the reign of Jehoiakim.

Jeremiah 14:1. The word of the Lord concerning the dearth — Hebrew, על דברי הבצרות, respecting the matters of the restraints, that is, the drought, when the showers were restrained, or, as Moses and Solomon express it, when the heaven was shut up, and there was no rain. See Deuteronomy 11:17; 1 Kings 7:35. Thus the LXX., περι της αβροχιας, concerning the want of rain. So also the Chaldee and Syriac versions: and thus our translators understand the word, Jeremiah 17:8, rendering it, not dearth, as here, but drought: a calamity which, however, produced a dearth or famine, similar, it seems, to that in the time of Elijah. At what precise time this great drought took place, we are not informed in the records of history: nor whether it be the same with that of which an intimation is given chap Jeremiah 3:3, where see the note. That it was a calamity very incident to the land of Israel, and applied as a punishment of sin, appears from many parts of the Old Testament. The effects of it are described in the next five verses in very elegant and moving language, and afterward earnestly deprecated.14:1-9 The people were in tears. But it was rather the cry of their trouble, and of their sin, than of their prayer. Let us be thankful for the mercy of water, that we may not be taught to value it by feeling the want of it. See what dependence husbandmen have upon the Divine providence. They cannot plough nor sow in hope, unless God water their furrows. The case even of the wild beasts was very pitiable. The people are not forward to pray, but the prophet prays for them. Sin is humbly confessed. Our sins not only accuse us, but answer against us. Our best pleas in prayer are those fetched from the glory of God's own name. We should dread God's departure, more than the removal of our creature-comforts. He has given Israel his word to hope in. It becomes us in prayer to show ourselves more concerned for God's glory than for our own comfort. And if we now return to the Lord, he will save us to the glory of his grace.The dearth - Really, the drought, CHAPTER 14

Jer 14:1-22. Prophecies on the Occasion of a Drought Sent in Judgment on Judea.

1. Literally, "That which was the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah concerning the dearth"

drought—literally, the "withholdings," namely, of rain (De 11:17; 2Ch 7:13). This word should be used especially of the withholding of rain because rain is in those regions of all things the one chiefly needed (Jer 17:8, Margin).A grievous famine prophesied; its miseries, Jeremiah 14:1-6. The prophet prayeth, but God will not be entreated for them, Jeremiah 14:7-12. Lying prophets no excuse for them, Jeremiah 14:13-16. The prophet’s complaint, Jeremiah 14:17-22.


dearth we are not told, nor when it happened; some think that it was in the time of the siege of Jerusalem; others, that it was in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah; but they judge most probably that think it was in the time of Jehoiakim, for we read, Jeremiah 36:9, of an extraordinary fast by him proclaimed, which many judge was upon this occasion. The Hebrew phrase which is here used signifying, the matter of the restraints, gives interpreters some liberty to abound in their senses of this text; but the following words make it evident, Jeremiah 14:4,5, that the restraints here mentioned were God’s restraining of water from them, so that the dearth was occasioned from a great drought, which is elegantly described in the five next verses, and deprecated Jeremiah 14:7-9, which make indeed but a preface to the revelation of the mind and will of God in this prophecy.

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth. Or, "concerning the words of straints" (x); that is, concerning the businesses of a drought, as the Targum; concerning the Lord's restraining rain from the earth, and forbidding the heavens dropping it down; the consequence of which is a drought, or dryness of the earth; and the effect of that a famine; when this was it is not anywhere said; it could not be the famine at the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, because that only affected the city; this all Judea. Some think it was in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, long before the siege; and others, that it was in the reign of Jehoiakim, since we read of a fast in his time, Jeremiah 36:9, which might be on this occasion; and it appears that there was one at this time, though not acceptable to God; see Jeremiah 14:12.

(x) "super verbis, cohibitionum", Junius & Tremellius; "retentionum"; Tigurine version; "prohibitionum", Pagninus, Montanus.

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the {a} dearth.

(a) Which came for lack of rain as in Jer 14:4.

Verse 1. - The dearth; rather, the drought, or, more literally, the droughts, the plural being used to indicate the length of time the drought lasted. This will befall the daughter of Zion for her sore transgressions. Therefore will she be covered with scorn and shame. The manner of her dishonour, discovery of the skirts (here and esp. in Jeremiah 13:26), recalls Nahum 3:5, cf. Isaiah 47:3; Hosea 2:5. Chr. B. Mich. and others understand the violent treatment of the heels to be the loading of the feet with chains; but the mention of heels is not in keeping with this. Still less can the exposure of the heels by the upturning of the skirts be called maltreatment of the heels; nor can it be that, as Hitz. holds, the affront is simply specialized by the mention of the heels instead of the person. The thing can only mean, that the person will be driven forth into exile barefoot and with violence, perhaps under the rod; cf. Psalm 89:52.
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