Jeremiah 14:5
Yes, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass.
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(5) Yea.—Better, For, as the Hebrew is usually translated. What follows gives the reason of the terror which has come upon the people. Each region has its representative instance of misery. The hind of the field (the female of the common stag—the Cervus elaphus of zoologists), noted for its tenderness to its young, abandons it, and turns away to seek pasture for itself, and fails to find any.

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.Is chapt - Rather, is dismayed. "The ground" is used metaphorically for the people who until the ground.

In the earth - i. e., "in the land."

5. The brute creation is reduced to the utmost extremity for the want of food. The "hind," famed for her affection to her young, abandons them. Hinds use not to get their food in fields, but upon the mountains and in wildernesses; but the drought was such, that these wild creatures came into the lower grounds, nearer the habitations of men than they were wont, and there brought forth their young. The hinds are loving creatures, and as all creatures by a natural instinct love their young, so the hinds especially; but their moisture being dried up, they could not suckle them, but were forced to leave them, running about here and there to seek grass to eat. Yea, the hind also calved in the field,.... Or brought forth her young in the field; of which see Job 39:1, and which they sometimes did through fear, particularly when frightened with thunder and lightning; and which are common in a time of heat and drought, which is the case here; see Psalm 29:9 of these sort of creatures there were great plenty in Judea and the parts adjacent. Aelianus (z) says, the harts in Syria are bred on the highest mountains, Amanus, Lebanon, and Carmel; which were mountains on the borders of the land of Canaan; and the flesh of these was much used for food by the Jews; see Deuteronomy 12:15,

and forsook it; which, as it is a loving creature to its mate, so very careful of its young, and provident for it, and nourishes it, as Pliny (a) observes. The reason of such uncommon usage follows:

because there was no grass; for the hind to feed upon, and so had no milk to suckle its young with; and therefore left it to seek for grass elsewhere, that it might have food for itself, and milk for its young.

(z) De Anima. l. 5. c. 56. (a) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 32.

Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook {d} it, because there was no grass.

(d) Meaning, that the brute beasts for drought were compelled to forsake their young, contrary to nature, and to go seek water which they could not find.

5. the hind] For her affection for her young cp. Proverbs 5:19, and for ancient writers’ testimony to it see Bochart, Hierozoicon, Bk. 3 ch. 17.Verse 5. - Even the animals starve. Yea, the hind also. The hind, contrary to that intense natural affection for which she was famous among the ancients, abandons her young. In 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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