Jeremiah 14:10
Thus said the LORD to this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD does 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). Description of the distress arising from the drought. - Jeremiah 14:2. Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish, like mourning on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goeth up. Jeremiah 14:3. Their nobles send their mean ones for water: they come to the wells, find no water, return with empty pitchers, are ashamed and confounded and cover their head. Jeremiah 14:4. For the ground, which is confounded, because no rain is fallen upon the earth, the husbandmen are ashamed, cover their head. Jeremiah 14:5. Yea, the hind also in the field, she beareth and forsaketh it, because there is no grass. Jeremiah 14:6. And the wild asses stand on the bare-topped heights, gasp for air like the jackals; their eyes fail because there is no herb."

The country and the city, the distinguished and the mean, the field and the husbandmen, are thrown into deep mourning, and the beasts of the field pine away because neither grass nor herb grows. This description gives a touching picture of the distress into which the land and its inhabitants have fallen for lack of rain. Judah is the kingdom or the country with its inhabitants; the gates as used poetically for the cities with the citizens. Not mankind only, but the land itself mourns and pines away, with all the creatures that live on it; cf. Jeremiah 14:4, where the ground is said to be dismayed along with the tillers of it. The gates of the cities are mentioned as being the places where the citizens congregate. אמלל, fade away, pine, is strengthened by: are black, i.e., mourn, down to the earth; pregnant for: set themselves mourning on the ground. As frequently, Jerusalem is mentioned alongside of Judah as being its capital. Their cry of anguish rises up to heaven. This universal mourning is specialized from Jeremiah 14:3 on. Their nobles, i.e., the distinguished men of Judah and Jerusalem, send their mean ones, i.e., their retainers or servants and maids, for water to the wells (גּבים, pits, 2 Kings 3:16, here cisterns). The Chet. צעור, here and in Jeremiah 48:4, is an unusual form for צעיר, Keri. Finding no water, they return, their vessels empty, i.e., with empty pitchers, ashamed of their disappointed hope. בּשׁוּ is strengthened by the synonym הכלמוּ. Covering the head is a token of deep grief turned inwards upon itself; cf. 2 Samuel 15:30; 2 Samuel 19:5. האדמה is the ground generally. חתּה is a relative clause: quae consternata est. "Because no rain," etc., literally as in 1 Kings 17:7. - Even the beasts droop and perish. כּי is intensive: yea, even. The hind brings forth and forsakes, sc. the new-born offspring, because for want of grass she cannot sustain herself and her young. עזוב, infin. abs. set with emphasis for the temp. fin., as Genesis 41:43; Exodus 8:11, and often; cf. Gesen. 131, 4, a, Ew. 351, c. The hind was regarded by the ancients as tenderly caring for her young, cf. Boch. Hieroz. i. lib. 3, c. 17 (ii. p. 254, ed. Ros.) The wild asses upon the bleak mountain-tops, where these animals choose to dwell, gasp for air, because, by reason of the dreadful drought, it is not possible to get a breath of air even on the hills. Like the תּנּים, jackals, cf. Jeremiah 9:10; Jeremiah 10:22, etc. Vulg. has dracones, with the Aram. versions; and Hitz. and Graf are of opinion that the mention of jackals is not here in point, and that, since תּנּים does not mean dracones, the word stands here, as in Exodus 29:3; Exodus 32:2, for תּנּין, the monster inhabiting the water, a crocodile or some kind of whale that stretches its head out of the water to draw breath with gaping jaws. On this Ng. has well remarked: he cannot see why the gaping, panting jaws of the jackal should not serve as a figure in such a case as the present. Their eyes fail away - from exhaustion due to want of wear. עשׂב, bushes and under-shrubs, as distinguished from דּשׁא, green grass.

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