Jeremiah 15:1
Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.
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(1) Then said the Lord unto me.—With a bold and terrible anthropomorphism, the prophet again speaks as if he heard the voice of Jehovah rejecting all intercession for the apostate people. The passage reminds us of the mention of Noah, Daniel, and Job, in Ezekiel 14:14, as “able to deliver their own souls only by their righteousness.” Here Moses (Exodus 32:11; Numbers 14:13-20) and Samuel (1Samuel 7:9; 1Samuel 12:23) are named as having been conspicuous examples of the power of the prayer of intercession.

Cast them out of my sight.i.e., from my presence, from the courts of the Temple which they profane. That would be the answer of Jehovah, even if Moses and Samuel “stood before Him” (the phrase, as in Jeremiah 35:19, has a distinctly liturgical meaning), ministering in the Courts of the Temple.

Jeremiah 15:1. Then said the Lord unto me, &c. — This is the Lord’s answer to the fervent prayers of Jeremiah, contained in the last four verses of the preceding chapter. Though Moses and Samuel stood before me — By prayer or sacrifice to reconcile me to them; yet my mind could not be toward this people — Yet I could not be prevailed with to admit them into favour. “As God had forbidden Jeremiah before to intercede for them, because it would be to no purpose; so here he declares, that he would not admit the prayers of any others, though eminent favourites, in their behalf. Moses obtained pardon for the people after their sin in making the golden calf, Exodus 32:34; and again, after their despising the promised land, Numbers 14:20. Samuel’s intercession prevailed for their deliverance out of the hands of the Philistines, 1 Samuel 7:9. And these two persons are mentioned together, as remarkably prevalent by their prayers, Psalm 99:6; Psalm 99:8. But here God says, that if these very persons were alive, and in that near attendance to him which they formerly enjoyed, (for that is the import of the phrase, To stand before him,) yet even their prayers should not avert his judgments from this people.” — Lowth. Cast them out of my sight — Declare that they shall be cast out, as that which is in the highest degree odious and offensive; or tell them to come no more to me with their supplications, but to go out of my sanctuary. A strong declaration of determined displeasure. Thus the Lord dismisses them with a severity whereof we have few examples in Scripture. See Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:16.

15:1-9 The Lord declares that even Moses and Samuel must have pleaded in vain. The putting of this as a case, though they should stand before him, shows that they do not, and that saints in heaven do not pray for saints on earth. The Jews were condemned to different kinds of misery by the righteous judgment of God, and the remnant would be driven away, like the chaff, into captivity. Then was the populous city made desolate. Bad examples and misused authority often produce fatal effects, even after men are dead, or have repented of their crimes: this should make all greatly dread being the occasion of sin in others.Cast them out of my sight - Rather, "send them out of My presence, and let them go away." The prophet is to dismiss them, because their mediators, Moses and Samuel, whose intercession had been accepted in old times (marginal references), would intercede now in vain. CHAPTER 15

Jer 15:1-21. God's Reply to Jeremiah's Intercessory Prayer.

1. Moses … Samuel—eminent in intercessions (Ex 32:11, 12; 1Sa 7:9; Ps 99:6).

be toward—could not be favorably inclined toward them.

out of my sight—God speaks as if the people were present before Him, along with Jeremiah.The Jews’ rejection, and judgments, especially of four kinds; the sins which procured them, Jeremiah 15:1-9. The prophet complaineth that the people curse and persecute him for these prophecies; they are threatened, and he instructed and comforted, Jeremiah 15:10-21.

We are (though in another chapter) yet in the same prophecy, or discourse betwixt God and this prophet. Jeremiah having been once denied, solicited God again, as we had it in the four last verses of the former chapter. God here replieth to that prayer; and the sum of what he saith is, that he was inexorable in their case. Though Moses, who could obtain so much of God upon their sinning, in the case of the golden calf, Exodus 32:11,14, and in the case of the people’s murmuring, Numbers 14:19,20; and Samuel, who was so prevalent with God, 1 Samuel 7:9; though these two, formerly so potent and prevalent mediators for a people with me, stood before me, waited (that is) upon me, and solicited me on the behalf of this people, yet I could not favour this people. Cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth: q.d. I am not able to abide the sight of them, and therefore let them go forth.

Then said the Lord unto me,.... In answer to his expostulations and entreaties, Jeremiah 14:19,

though Moses and Samuel stood before me; to pray before me, as the Targum; to make intercession for the people. Standing is a prayer gesture. The Jews say there is no standing but prayer, or that is meant when it is mentioned; See Gill on Matthew 6:5. Moses and Samuel were named, because they were eminent for prayer, and had success in it, for the people of Israel. Of Moses, see Exodus 32:11 and of Samuel, see 1 Samuel 7:9 and of both, Psalm 99:6. The Arabic version reads "Moses and Aaron", but wrongly. The Palmists make use of this text to prove the intercession of saints in heaven for those on earth; but the words are only a supposition, and not a fact. The meaning is, that supposing that Moses and Samuel were alive, and made intercession for the people, their prayers would not be regarded; and such a supposition, as it suggests that they were not alive, so that they did not stand before him, and make intercession for Judah; wherefore this is against, and not for, the intercession of saints in heaven:

yet my mind could not be towards this people; God could have no good will to them, no delight in them; could not be reconciled to them, or agree to it, that the favours asked for should be granted them, or that they should be continued in their own land; and therefore it was in vain for the prophet to solicit on their account; but, on the other hand, it is ordered as follows:

cast them out of my sight; or presence; as persons loathsome and abominable, not to be borne; I cannot look upon them, or have anything to say to them, in a favourable way:

and let them go forth; from my presence, from the temple, the city, and out of their own land; that is, declare that so it shall be.

Then said the LORD to me, {a} Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.

(a) Meaning that if there were any man living moved with so great zeal toward the people as were these two, yet he would not grant this request, as he had determined the contrary, Eze 14:14.

Jeremiah 15:1. Though Moses and Samuel stood before me] No advocate, however powerful his intercession, could now prevail with Me. For Moses see Exodus 33:11-14; Numbers 14:13-20; Deuteronomy 9:18-20; Deuteronomy 9:25-29, and for Samuel 1 Samuel 7:9; 1 Samuel 12:23; cp. these two united in a similar connexion of thought in Psalm 99:6.

stood before] For the phrase in this sense of intercession cp. Jeremiah 18:20, Genesis 18:22; Genesis 19:27. For a different sense see on Jeremiah 15:19.

my mind could not be toward] I could not incline with favour towards.

Verses 1-9. - Second rejection of Jeremiah's intercession; awfulness of the impending judgment. Verse 1. - Though Moses and Samuel, etc. It is a mere supposition which is here made; there is no allusion to any popular view of the intercession of saints (see my note on Isaiah 63:16). If even a Moses or a Samuel would intercede in vain, the case of the Judahites must indeed be desperate. For these were the nearest of all the prophets to Jehovah, and repeatedly prayed their people out of grievous calamity (comp. Psalm 99:6). Jeremiah had already sought to intercede for his people (see on Jeremiah 7:16). Cast them out of my sight; rather, Dismiss them from my presence. The people are represented as praying or sacrificing in the fore courts of the temple. Jeremiah 15:1Decisive refusal of the petition. - Jeremiah 15:1. Even Moses and Samuel, who stood so far in God's favour that by their supplications they repeatedly rescued their people from overwhelming ruin (cf. Exodus 17:11; Exodus 32:11., Numbers 14:13., and 1 Samuel 7:9., Jeremiah 12:17., Psalm 99:6), if they were to come now before the Lord, would not incline His love towards this people. אל indicates the direction of the soul towards any one; in this connection: the inclination of it towards the people. He has cast off this people and will no longer let them come before His face. In Jeremiah 15:2-9 this is set forth with terrible earnestness. We must supply the object, "this people," to "drive" from the preceding clause. "From my face" implies the people's standing before the Lord in the temple, where they had appeared bringing sacrifices, and by prayer invoking His help (Jeremiah 14:12). To go forth from the temple equals to go forth from God's face. Jeremiah 15:2. But in case they ask where they are to go to, Jeremiah is to give them the sarcastic direction: Each to the destruction allotted to him. He that is appointed to death, shall go forth to death, etc. The clauses: such as are for death, etc., are to be filled up after the analogy of 2 Samuel 15:20; 2 Kings 8:1, so that before the second "death," "sword," etc., we supply the verb "shall go." There are mentioned four kinds of punishments that are to befall the people. The "death" mentioned over and above the sword is death by disease, for which we have in Jeremiah 14:12 דּבר, pestilence, disease; cf. Jeremiah 43:11, where death, captivity, and sword are mentioned together, with Ezekiel 14:21, sword, famine, wild beasts, and disease (דּבר), and Ezekiel 33:27, sword, wild beasts, and disease. This doom is made more terrible in Jeremiah 15:3. The Lord will appoint over them (פּקד as in Jeremiah 13:21) four kinds, i.e., four different destructive powers which shall prepare a miserable end for them. One is the sword already mentioned in Jeremiah 15:2, which slays them; the three others are to execute judgment on the dead: the dogs which shall tear, mutilate, and partly devour the dead bodies (cf. 2 Kings 9:35, 2 Kings 9:37), and birds and beasts of prey, vultures, jackals, and others, which shall make an end of such portions as are left by the dogs. In Jeremiah 15:4 the whole is summed up in the threatening of Deuteronomy 28:25, that the people shall be delivered over to be abused to all the kingdoms of the earth, and the cause of this terrible judgment is mentioned. The Chet. זועה is not to be read זועה, but זועה, and is the contracted form from זעוה, see on Deuteronomy 28:25, from the rad. זוּע, lit., tossing hither and thither, hence for maltreatment. For the sake of King Manasseh, who by his godless courses had filled up the measure of the people's sins, so that the Lord must cast Judah away from His face, and give it up to the heathen to be chastised; cf. 2 Kings 23:26; 2 Kings 24:3, with the exposition of these passages; and as to what Manasseh did, see 2 Kings 21:1-16.
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