Jeremiah 15:11
The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.
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(11) Verily it shall be well with thy remnant.—The passage is obscure, and the reading uncertain; (1) Thy freedom shall be for good, or (2) I afflict thee for thy good, or (3) I strengthen thee for thy good, have been proposed as better renderings. The second seems to give the meaning most in harmony with the context. Jehovah comforts the despairing prophet by the promise that in due time there shall be a deliverance from the discords of his life, and that “all things shall work together for his good.”

I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well.—The final adverb, which is not found in the Hebrew, obscures the sense, suggesting the English phrase of “treating well.” Better, I will cause the enemy to be a suppliant to thee in time of evil. Partial fulfilments of the promise are found in Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 42:2.

15:10-14 Jeremiah met with much contempt and reproach, when they ought to have blessed him, and God for him. It is a great and sufficient support to the people of God, that however troublesome their way may be, it shall be well with them in their latter end. God turns to the people. Shall the most hardy and vigorous of their efforts be able to contend with the counsel of God, or with the army of the Chaldeans? Let them hear their doom. The enemy will treat the prophet well. But the people who had great estates would be used hardly. All parts of the country had added to the national guilt; and let each take shame to itself.Shall be well with thy remnant - Or, thy loosing shall be for good; in the sense of being set free, deliverance.

To entreat thee well ... - Rather, "to supplicate thee in the time of evil etc.;" fulfilled in Jeremiah 21:1-2; Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 42:2.

11. Verily—literally, "Shall it not be?" that is, "Surely it shall be."

thy remnant—the final issue of thy life; thy life, which now seems to thee so sad, shall eventuate in prosperity [Calvin]. They who think that they shall be the surviving remnant, whereas thou shalt perish, shall themselves fall, whereas thou shalt remain and be favored by the conquerors [Junius], (Jer 40:4, 5; 39:11, 12). The Keri reads, "I will set thee free (or as Maurer, 'I will establish thee') for good" (Jer 14:11; Ezr 8:22; Ps 119:122).

to entreat thee well—literally, "to meet thee"; so "to be placable, nay, of their own accord to anticipate in meeting thee with kindness" [Calvin]. I prefer this translation as according with the event (Jer 39:11, 12; 40:4, 5). Gesenius, from Jer 7:16; 27:18; Job 21:15, translates (not only will I relieve thee from the enemy's vexations, but) "I will make thine enemy (that now vexeth thee) apply to thee with prayers" (Jer 38:14; 42:2-6).

The latter words of the verse expound the former; for by remnant is here meant the residue or remnant of days Jeremiah had yet to live, not the remnant of the people who should come out of Babylon.

I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction; I will, by my providence, so order it, that how cruelly and severely soever the enemy deals with thy country, yet he shall use thee kindly when he shall take the city. See the fulfilling of this prophecy Jeremiah 39:11:40:3,4.

The Lord said,.... In answer to the prophet's complaint:

verily it shall be well with thy remnant: not with the remnant of his people, or those that should escape the threatened calamities; but the sense is, that it should be well with him in his latter end; the remainder of his days should be comfortable or be spent in peace and prosperity; and so the Targum,

"if thine end shall not be for good.''

The words are in the form of an oath, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe; and the meaning is, that if it is not well with thee in thy last days, then say I am unfaithful, and not true to my word. According to Donesh, cited by Jarchi, the word translated "remnant" has the signification of loosing; and he renders it, "if I loose thee not for good" (m); which accordingly was done, Jeremiah 40:4, and this sense is confirmed by the note of the Masorites: "verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well"; or, "if I do not", &c. for it is also in the form of an oath, as before, as Jarchi notes; and so it was, Nebuchadnezzar gave charge to Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, to look well to him, and do him no harm; who, when he loosed him, gave him his choice to go with him to Babylon, or continue in the land, Jeremiah 39:11, or, "verily I will", or, "shall I not entreat the enemy for thee?" (n) and make him gentle and humane, so that he shall use thee kindly. Jarchi interprets this of Zedekiah and his courtiers seeking to Jeremiah, in the time of their distress, to pray for them, Jeremiah 37:2, and to which sense the Targum inclines,

"if they shall not come and help thee, &c.''

in the time of evil, and in the time of affliction; when the city is taken, and the people carrying captive.

(m) "si non absolvero te in bonum", Schmidt. Vid. De Dieu in loc. (n) "sed faciam hostem occurrere tibi", Calvin: "annon intervenirem pro te apud inimicum?" Junius & Tremellius; "nisi interveniam pro te apud inimicum", Piscator.

The LORD said, {m} Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.

(m) In this perplexity the Lord comforted me, and said that my last days would be quiet: and by the enemy he means here Nebuzaradan the captain of Nebuchadnezzar, who gave Jeremiah the choice either to remain in his country or to go where he would; or by the enemy he means the Jews, who would later know Jeremiah's faithfulness, and therefore favour him.

11. The v. is difficult without applying considerable conjectural emendation. The whole is best taken as Jeremiah’s utterance. “The Lord said “is not a formula which elsewhere in Jeremiah introduces a Divine utterance. The LXX’s rendering of the passage, however, suggests that their text had the usual formula. The verb translated “strengthen” is not pure Heb. but Aramaic. Jeremiah 15:10 seems to want rather an assertion that the prophet on his side had deserved the reverse of revilings from the people. Hence Co. with certain changes in MT. renders “Amen, Jehovah, to their curses, if I did not make intercession with Thee for the enemy’s welfare at the time of their misfortune and need.”

strengthen] mg. suggests release, which is perhaps the meaning of the reading in MT. R.V. text follows the mg. of MT.

I will cause, etc.] mg. I will intercede for thee with the enemy. But see above.

Verse 11. - The Lord said. The prophets are usually so tenacious of the same formulae that even their slight deviations are noteworthy. "The Lord said," for "Thus saith the Lord," occurs only here and in Jeremiah 46:25 (where, however, the phrase has possibly been detached by mistake from the preceding verse). It shall be well with thy remnant; rather, I have loosed thee for (thy) good, or, thy loosing (shall be) for (thy good), according as we adopt the reading of the Hebrew text or that of the margin, which differs in form as slightly as it is possible to do. If we accept the historical setting proposed by Gratz for this paragraph, the reference will be to the "loosing" of Jeremiah from his chains mentioned in Jeremiah 40:4. The rendering given here is, however, only a probable one; it is in conformity with the Aramaic usage of the verb (the Targum uses it in this sense in Jeremiah 40:4), and is supported by its suitability to the context and, philologically, by the fact of the growing influence of Aramaic upon Hebrew. Gesenius, in his anxiety to keep close to the native use of the root, produces a rendering (of the Hebrew marginal reading) which does not suit the context, viz. "I afflict thee for (thy) good." Jeremiah does not complain of being afflicted by God, but that all the world is against him; Ewald, comparing a different Aramaic verb to that appealed to above, renders, "I strengthen thee," etc., which is adopted by Keil, but does not accord with the second half of the verse so well as the rendering adopted. The Authorized Version follows the Targum, the Vulgate, Aquila, Symmachus, Rashi, and Kimchi, assuming that sherith is contracted from sh'erith (as in 1 Chronicles 12:38), and that "remnant" is equivalent to "remnant of life." But, though the sense is not unacceptable (comp. Vers. 20, 21), the form of expression is unnatural; we should have expected akharith'ka, "thy latter end" (comp. Job 8:7). I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well. This expression is as difficult as the preceding, and our rendering of it will depend entirely on our view of the context. If "the enemy" means the Chaldeans, the Authorized Version will be substantially correct. Rashi has already mentioned the view that the phrase alludes to Nebnzar-adan's respectful inquiry as to the wishes of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 40:2-5. In this case, the literal rendering is, I will cause the enemy to meet thee (as a friend); comp. Isaiah 47:3; Isaiah 64:4. But if "the enemy" means the Jews, then we must render, 1 grill cause the enemy to supplicate thee, and illustrate the phrase by the repeated applications of Zedekiah to the prophet (Jeremiah 21:1, 2; Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 38:14), and the similar appeal of the "captains of the forces," in Jeremiah 42:1-3. Jeremiah 15:11To this complaint the Lord makes answer in Jeremiah 15:11-14, first giving the prophet the prospect of complete vindication against those that oppose him (Jeremiah 15:11), and then (Jeremiah 15:12-14) pointing to the circumstances that shall compel the people to this result. The introduction of God's answer by אמר יהוה without כּה is found also in Jeremiah 46:25, where Graf erroneously seeks to join the formula with what precedes. In the present 11th verse the want of the כּה is the less felt, since the word from the Lord that follows bears in the first place upon the prophet himself, and is not addressed to the people. אם לא is a particle of asseveration, introducing the answer which follows with a solemn assurance. The vowel-points of שׁרותך fo require שׁריתיך, 1 pers. perf., from שׁרה equals the Aram. שׁרא, loose, solve (Daniel 5:12): I loose (free) thee to thy good. The Chet. is variously read and rendered. By reason of the preceding אם, the view is improbable that we have here an infinitive; either שׁרותך, inf. Pi. of שׁרר in the sig. inflict suffering: "thy affliction becomes welfare" (Hitz.); or שׁרותך, inf. Kal of שׁרה, set free: thy release falls out to thy good (Ros., etc.). The context suggests the 1 pers. perf. of שׁרר, against which the defective written form is no argument, since this occurs frequently elsewhere, e.g., ענּתך, Nahum 1:12. The question remains: whether we are to take שׁרר according to the Hebrew usage: I afflict thee to thy good, harass thee to thine advantage (Gesen. in the thes. p. 1482, and Ng.), or according to the Aramaic (_ra) in the sig. firmabo, stabiliam: I strengthen thee or support thee to thy good (Ew., Maur.). We prefer the latter rendering, because the saying: I afflict thee, is not true of God; since the prophet's troubles came not from God, nor is Jeremiah complaining of affliction at the hand of God, but only that he was treated as an enemy by all the world. לטוב, for good, as in Psalm 119:122, so that it shall fall out well for thee, lead to a happy issue, for which we have elsewhere לטובה, Jeremiah 14:11, Psalm 86:17; Nehemiah 5:19. - This happy issue is disclosed in the second clause: I bring it about that the enemy shall in time of trouble turn himself in supplication to thee, because he shall recognise in the prophet's prayers the only way of safety; cf. the fulfilment of this promise, Jeremiah 21:1., Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 38:14., Jeremiah 42:2. הפנּיע, here causative, elsewhere only with the sig. of the Kal, e.g., Jeremiah 36:25, Isaiah 53:12. "The enemy," in unlimited generality: each of thine adversaries.
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