Jeremiah 14:10
Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Thus have they loved to wander.—The prophet has to tell the people that Jehovah’s answer to his prayer is one of seeming refusal. The time of pardon has not yet come. The prophet is told that now (the adverb is emphasised) is the time for remembering iniquity and visiting sins. The latter half of the verse is a verbal quotation from Hosea 8:13. The opening word “thus” appears to point back to the “many backslidings” of Jeremiah 14:7.

Jeremiah 14:10-12. Thus saith the Lord, &c. — Here God returns an answer to the complaints and expostulations of the prophet, contained in the eight preceding verses. They have loved to wander — They have been fond of their idols; and despising the divine succour, have run after that of strangers, and they have persisted in their sinful courses, notwithstanding all counsels. Therefore the Lord doth not accept them — He will not accept their own prayers or humiliations, nor thine intercessions on their behalf, but will punish them according to their deserts. When they fast, I will not hear — It is likely a public fast had been appointed upon occasion of this drought, as there was in a like case in the Prophet Joel’s time. But I will consume them by the sword, famine, and pestilence — Thus God threatens to add to the drought three sore judgments, ordinarily accompanying one another, both in God’s threatenings and in the execution of them.

14:10-16 The Lord calls the Jews this people, not his people. They had forsaken his service, therefore he would punish them according to their sins. He forbade Jeremiah to plead for them. The false prophets were the most criminal. The Lord pronounces condemnation on them; but as the people loved to have it so, they were not to escape judgments. False teachers encourage men to expect peace and salvation, without repentance, faith, conversion, and holiness of life. But those who believe a lie must not plead if for an excuse. They shall feel what they say they will not fear.The answer is addressed to the people. Jeremiah had prayed as their representative, but he must not intercede: for to the same degree that God was determined to punish them, to the same degree (thus) they love to continue their offence." Compare Jeremiah 15:6 note.

Therefore the Lord ... - Translate:

"And Yahweh hath no pleasure in them:

Now will He remember their iniquity and visit their sins."

Interference in their behalf is out of the question.

10. Jehovah's reply to the prayer (Jer 14:7-9; Jer 2:23-25).

Thus—So greatly.

loved—(Jer 5:31).

not refrained … feet—They did not obey God's command; "withhold thy foot" (Jer 2:25), namely, from following after idols.

remember … iniquity—(Ho 8:13; 9:9). Their sin is so great, God must punish them.

Here beginneth that Divine revelation mentioned Jeremiah 14:1, as an answer to the prophet’s complaint and prayer in the nine first verses; the substance of which is, that for their manifold sins he was resolved to punish them, and therefore would not be any more solicited on their behalf.

Thus have they loved to wander; they have gone aside out of the way of my precepts, and that out of a principle of love and delight, they have been fond of their idols. They have not refrained their feet; and they have persisted in those deviations and sinful courses, notwithstanding all counsels and arguments used with them to the contrary, nothing could keep their feet to the way of my testimonies.

Therefore the Lord doth not accept them; therefore though they pray, and cry, and fast, God will not accept them.

He will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins; but by his punishment of them for their sins, he will let them know, that as he hath seen and taken notice of, so he hath not forgot what they have done.

Thus saith the Lord unto this people,.... Instead of answering the prophet directly and immediately, he first speaks to the people, and observes their sin is the cause of his conduct; and whom he does not vouchsafe to call his people; they having broken covenant with him, and so notoriously backslidden from him; but this people, this wicked and worthless people:

thus have they loved to wander; from the Lord, and out of the way of their duty, to Egypt and Assyria for help, and after strange gods, and the worship of them; and this they chose and delighted in; it arose from corrupt affections and a depraved heart:

they have not refrained their feet; from going into other lands, or into the temples of idols; wherefore, it ought not to be wondered at that the Lord was as a stranger in their land, and as a wayfaring man that tarried for a night; and hence it was that they should have enough of wandering to and fro, since they loved it; in seeking for water in their own land, and by their being carried captive into others; so the Targum,

"as they loved, so will I take vengeance on them, to cause them to be carried captive from the land of the house of my majesty; and as they have delighted themselves in the worship of idols, and from the house of my sanctuary have not refrained their feet, therefore before the Lord there is no delight in them:''

therefore the Lord doth not accept them; has no favour for them, no pleasure in them; does not accept either their persons or their services:

he will now remember their iniquity; their idolatry; their trust in others, and distrust of him; which might seem to be forgotten because he had taken no notice of them, in a providential way, to correct for them; but now he would let them know that they were had in remembrance, by causing his judgments to come upon them for them: this stands opposed to the forgiveness of sin; when God forgives sin he remembers it no more; but when he does not, but punishes for it, then he is said to remember it: and visit their; sins; or them for their sins; that is, punish them.

Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Even so] My withdrawal from them is merely the counterpart of their withdrawal from Me.

therefore, etc.] See introductory note to section.

10–12. The Lord’s answer.

Verses 10-16. - The answer of Jehovah. Verse 10. - Thus have they loved to wander, ... therefore the Lord doth not accept them; i.e. with such pertinacity have they been set upon "wandering" (roving lawlessly about), that the Lord hath no more pleasure in them. "Therefore," is, literally, and. "Thus," or "so," is used in the same sense as in 1 Kings 10:12, which runs literally, "... there came not so [abundantly] among timber." The particle of comparison has given much occupation to the commentators (see Payne Smith's note), but the above view is at once simple and suitable to the context; for Jeremiah has already admitted that "our backslidings are multiplied" (Ver. 7). The Lord doth not, etc. (to the end of the verse), is quoted verbatim from Hosea 8:13. Jeremiah puts conspicuous honor on the older inspired writers; he has no craving for originality. Nearly all has been said already; what he has to do is chiefly to adapt and to apply, He will now remember, etc. The emphasis is on "now" Nothing is more remarkable in the prophets than the stress laid on the unerring justness of the time chosen for Divine interpositions. When the iniquity is fully ripe, it as it were attracts the punishment, which till then is laid up in store (comp. Genesis 15:16; Isaiah 18:5; Isaiah 33:10). Jeremiah 14:10The Lord's answer. - Jeremiah 14:10. "Thus saith Jahveh unto this people: Thus they loved to wander, their feet they kept not back; and Jahveh hath no pleasure in them, now will He remember their iniquities and visit their sins. Jeremiah 14:11. And Jahveh hath said unto me: Pray not for this people for their good. Jeremiah 14:12. When they fast, I hear not their cry; and when they bring burnt-offering and meat-offering, I have no pleasure in them; but by sword, and famine, and pestilence will I consume them. Jeremiah 14:13. Then said I: Ah Lord Jahveh, behold, the prophets say to them, Ye shall see no sword, and famine shall not befall you, but assured peace give I in this place. Jeremiah 14:14. And Jahveh said unto me: Lies do the prophets prophesy in my name: I have not sent them, nor commanded them, nor spoken to them; lying vision, and divination, and a thing of nought, and deceit of their heart they prophesy to you. Jeremiah 14:15. Therefore thus saith Jahveh concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, when I have not sent them, who yet say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land: By sword and famine shall these prophets perish. Jeremiah 14:16. And the people to whom they prophesy shall lie cast out upon the streets of Jerusalem, by reason of the famine and of the sword, and none will bury them, them and their wives, their sons and their daughters; and I pour their wickedness upon them. Jeremiah 14:17. And thou shalt say to them this word: Let mine eyes run down with tears day and night and let them not cease; for with a great breach is broken the virgin-daughter of my people, with a very grievous blow. Jeremiah 14:18. If I go forth into the field, behold the slain with the sword; and if I come into the city, behold them that pine with famine; for prophet and priest pass into a land and know it not."

To the prophet's prayer the Lord answers in the first place, Jeremiah 14:10, by pointing to the backsliding of the people, for which He is now punishing them. In the "thus they love," etc., lies a backward reference to what precedes. The reference is certainly not to the vain going for water (Jeremiah 14:3), as Chr. B. Mich. and R. Salomo Haccohen thought it was; nor is it to the description of the animals afflicted by thirst, Jeremiah 14:5 and Jeremiah 14:6, in which Ng. finds a description of the passionate, unbridled lust after idolatry, the real and final cause of the ruin that has befallen Israel. Where could be the likeness between the wild ass's panting for breath and the wandering of the Jews? That to which the "thus" refers must be sought for in the body of the prayer to which Jahveh makes answer, as Ros. rightly saw. Not by any means in the fact that in Jeremiah 14:9 the Jews prided themselves on being the people of God and yet went after false gods, so that God answered: ita amant vacillare, as good as to say: ita instabiles illos esse, ut nunc ab ipso, nunc ab aliis auxilium quaerant (Ros.); for נוּע cannot here mean the waving and swaying of reeds, but only the wandering after other gods, cf. Jeremiah 2:23, Jeremiah 2:31. This is shown by the addition: they kept not back their feet, cf. with Jeremiah 2:25, where in the same reference the withholding of the feet is enjoined. Graf is right in referring huts to the preceding prayer: "Thus, in the same degree as Jahveh has estranged Himself from His people (cf. Jeremiah 14:8 and Jeremiah 14:9), have they estranged themselves from their God." They loved to wander after strange gods, and so have brought on themselves God's displeasure. Therefore punishment comes on them. The second clause of the verse is a reminiscence of Hosea 8:13. - After mentioning the reason why He punishes Judah, the Lord in Jeremiah 14:11. rejects the prayer of the prophet, because He will not hear the people's cry to Him. Neither by means of fasts nor sacrifice will they secure God's pleasure. The prophet's prayer implies that the people will humble themselves and turn to the Lord. Hence God explains His rejection of the prayer by saying that He will give no heed to the people's fasting and sacrifices. The reason of this appears from the context - namely, because they turn to Him only in their need, while their heart still cleaves to the idols, so that their prayers are but lip-service, and their sacrifices a soulless formality. The suffix in רצם refers not to the sacrifices, but, like that in רנּתם, to the Jews who, by bringing sacrifices, seek to win God's love. כּי, but, introducing the antithesis to "have no pleasure in them." The sword in battle, famine, and pestilence, at the siege of the cities, are the three means by which God designs to destroy the backsliding people; cf. Leviticus 26:25.

In spite of the rejection of his prayer, the prophet endeavours yet again to entreat God's favour for the people, laying stress, Jeremiah 14:13, on the fact that they had been deceived and confirmed in their infatuation by the delusive forecastings of the false prophets who promised peace. Peace of truth, i.e., peace that rests on God's faithfulness, and so: assured peace will I give you. Thus spoke these prophets in the name of Jahveh; cf. on this Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 5:12. Hitz. and Graf propose to change שׁלום אמת into שׁלום ואמת, acc. to Jeremiah 33:6 and Isaiah 39:8, because the lxx have ἀλήθειαν καὶ εἰρήνην. But none of the passages cited furnishes sufficient ground for this. In Jeremiah 33:6 the lxx have rendered εἰρήνην καὶ πίστιν, in Isaiah 39:8, εἰρήνη καὶ δικαιοσύνη; giving thereby a clear proof that we cannot draw from their rendering any certain inferences as to the precise words of the original text. Nor do the parallels prove anything, since in them the expression often varies in detail. But there can be no doubt that in the mouth of the pseudo-prophets "assured peace" is more natural than "peace and truth." But the Lord does not allow this excuse. He has not sent the prophets that so prophesy: they prophesy lying vision, divination, falsehood, and deceit, and shall themselves be destroyed by sword and famine. The cumulation of the words, "lying vision," etc., shows God's wrath and indignation at the wicked practices of these men. Graf wants to delete ו before אליל, and to couple אליל with קסם, so as to make one idea: prophecy of nought. For this he can allege none other than the erroneous reason that קסם, taken by itself, does not sufficiently correspond to "lying vision," inasmuch as, he says, it has not always a bad sense attached to it; whereas the fact is that it is nowhere used for genuine prophecy. The Chet. אלוּל and תּרמוּת are unusual formations, for which the usual forms are substituted in the Keri. Deceit of their heart is not self-deceit, but deceit which their heart has devised; cf. Jeremiah 23:26. But the people to whom these prophets prophesied are to perish by sword and famine, and to lie unburied in the streets of Jerusalem; cf. Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 16:4. They are not therefore held excused because false prophets told them lies, for they have given credit to these lies, lies that flattered their sinful passions, and have not been willing to hear or take to heart the word of the true prophets, who preached repentance and return to God.

(Note: The Berleburg Bible says: "They wish to have such teachers, and even to bring it about that there shall be so many deceiving workers, because they can hardly even endure or listen to the upright ones. That is the reason why it is to go no better with them than we see it is." Calvin too has suggested the doubt: posset tamen videri parum humaniter agere Deus, quod tam duras paenas infligit miseris hominibus, qui aliunde decepti sunt, and has then given the true solution: certum est, nisi ultro mundus appeteret mendacia, non tantam fore efficaciam diaboli ad fallendum. Quod igitur ita rapiuntur homines ad imposturas, hoc fit eorum culpa, quoniam magis propensi sunt ad vanitatem, quam ut se Deo et verbo ejus subjiciant.)

To Hitz. it seems surprising that, in describing the punishment which is to fall on seducers and seduced, there should not be severer judgment, in words at least, levelled against the seducers as being those involved in the deeper guilt; whereas the very contrary is the case in the Hebrew text. Hitz. further proposes to get rid of this discrepancy by conjectures founded on the lxx, yet without clearly informing us how we are to read. But the difficulty solves itself as soon as we pay attention to the connection. The portion of the discourse before us deals with the judgment which is to burst on the godless people, in the course of which those who had seduced the people are only casually mentioned. For the purpose in hand, it was sufficient to say briefly of the seducers that they too should perish by sword and famine who affirmed that these punishments should not befall the people, whereas it was necessary to set before the people the terrors of this judgment in all their horror, in order not to fail of effect. With the reckoning of the various classes of persons: they, their wives, etc., cf. the account of their participation in idolatry, Jeremiah 7:18. Hitz. rightly paraphrases ושׁפכתּי: and in this wise will I pour out. רעתם, not: the calamity destined for them, but: their wickedness which falls on them with its consequences, cf. Jeremiah 2:19, Hosea 9:15, for propheta videtur causam reddere, cur Deus horribile illud judicium exequi statuerit contra Judaeos, nempe quoniam digni erant tali mercede (Calv.).

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