Jeremiah 15:15
O LORD, you know: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in your long-suffering: know that for your sake I have suffered rebuke.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) O Lord, thou knowest . . .—The prophet continues in the bitterness of his spirit the complaint that had begun in Jeremiah 15:10. The words remind us of the imprecations of the so-called vindictive psalms (such, e.g., as Psalms 69, 109), and may help us to understand the genesis of the emotions which they express. Not even the promise of Jeremiah 15:11 has given rest to his soul. He craves to see the righteous retribution for the sufferings which men have wrongfully inflicted on him.

Jeremiah 15:15-16. O Lord, thou knowest — Thou knowest my sincerity, how faithfully I have declared thy will: or, thou knowest my sufferings, how wickedly my enemies act toward me. It is matter of comfort to us, that, whatever befalls us, we have a God to go to, before whom we may spread our case, and to whose omniscience we may appeal, as the prophet here does. Remember me, and visit me — Think upon me for good, and visit me with thy love, while this people are visited with thy wrath. Revenge me — Or, rather, Vindicate me, from my persecutors, as the Hebrew, לי מרדפי הנקם, may be properly rendered: give judgment against them, and let that judgment be executed so far as is necessary for my vindication, and to compel them to acknowledge that they have done me wrong: see note on Jeremiah 11:20. Take me not away in thy longsuffering — While thou exercisest long-suffering toward my persecutors, and forbearest to vindicate my cause and defend me, let them not prevail to take away my life. Or, as some understand his words, Though I am a sinner, and deserve to be punished as such among the Jews, yet exercise toward me patience and long-suffering, and let me not be taken away into captivity. Know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke — Lord, remember that my reproach, and all that I suffer, is for thy sake, because I have faithfully declared thy truth, and defended thy honour and glory. Thy words were found, and I did eat them — The words which, from time to time, thou didst reveal to me, were by me readily received, meditated upon, and inwardly digested. And thy word was unto me the joy, &c., of my heart — That is, either, 1st, Though some of thy words were very dreadful, and foretold the ruin of my country, which is very dear to me, and in the ruin of which I cannot but have a deep share, yet, because they proceeded from thee, I was glad to hear them, and be thy instrument to communicate them to thy people, all my natural affections being swallowed up in zeal for thy glory. Or, 2d, Thy word of commission, by which I was made thy prophet, was at first very grateful and pleasing to me; and I was glad when thou didst, at any time, reveal thy will to me, and authorize and enjoin me to make it known to the people. For though the execution of this office was not attended with any secular advantages, but, on the contrary, exposed me to contempt and persecution, yet, because I was thereby serving and glorifying thee, and doing good, I was glad to be so employed, and it was my meat and drink to do thy will. For I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts — I became a prophet by thy authority, and am thy messenger, and thou, the Lord of hosts, art able to protect me.15:15-21 It is matter of comfort that we have a God, to whose knowledge of all things we may appeal. Jeremiah pleads with God for mercy and relief against his enemies, persecutors, and slanderers. It will be a comfort to God's ministers, when men despise them, if they have the testimony of their own consciences. But he complains, that he found little pleasure in his work. Some good people lose much of the pleasantness of religion by the fretfulness and uneasiness of their natural temper, which they indulge. The Lord called the prophet to cease from his distrust, and to return to his work. If he attended thereto, he might be assured the Lord would deliver him from his enemies. Those who are with God, and faithful to him, he will deliver from trouble or carry through it. Many things appear frightful, which do not at all hurt a real believer in Christ.This is the prayer of a man in bitter grief, whose human nature cannot at present submit to the divine will. God's long-suffering toward the wicked seemed to the prophet to be the abandonment of himself to death; justice itself required that one who was suffering contumely for God's sake should be delivered.

Rebuke - i. e., reproach, contumely.

15. thou knowest—namely, my case; what wrongs my adversaries have done me (Jer 12:3).

revenge me—(See on [911]Jer 11:20). The prophet in this had regard to, not his own personal feelings of revenge, but the cause of God; he speaks by inspiration God's will against the ungodly. Contrast in this the law with the gospel (Lu 23:34; Ac 7:60).

take me not away in thy long-suffering—By Thy long-suffering towards them, suffer them not meanwhile to take away my life.

for thy sake I have suffered rebuke—the very words of the antitype, Jesus Christ (Ps 69:7, 22-28), which last compare with Jeremiah's prayer in the beginning of this verse.

O Lord, thou knowest; either thou knowest my sincerity, how faithfully I have revealed thy will; so Psalm 139:1,23; or thou knowest my sufferings, how wickedly they deal with me; or thou knowest what thou hast to do, what is in thy purpose and resolution to dc; I will say no more unto thee; only for my. own sake I beg, remember me and visit me, that I may not be out of thy thoughts, nor without the visitations of thy love, while this people is under the visitations of thy wrath, Nehemiah 5:19 13:14 Jeremiah 18:20.

Revenge me of my persecutors: thou hast commanded me not to avenge myself, Lord, do thou avenge me upon my persecutors. (See the notes on Jeremiah 11:20 17:18, how the prophet could thus pray against his enemies.)

Take me not away in thy long-suffering; confirm thy word, let not me be taken away into captivity; though I be a sinner, yet exercise toward me patience and long-suffering.

Know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke; Lord, remember that my reproach, and all that I suffer, is for thy sake, because I have faithfully published thy truth, and maintained and defended thine honour and glory. O Lord, thou knowest,.... All persons and things; he knew the prophet and his heart, and all that was in it; his innocence and integrity; all his afflictions, and what he met with from his enemies; and he knew them, and all their malicious designs against him:

remember me; with the favour which he bore to his own people, his covenant with him, his promises to him, and the word on which he had caused him to hope; because of his trials and troubles, he might seem to be forgotten by him:

and visit me; in mercy for good; and so the Targum adds,

"that thou mayest do well unto me:''

and revenge me of my persecutors; not so much for his own sake; unless this is to be attributed to his frailty and infirmity, to the warmth of his spirit, being a man of like passions with others; for private revenge ought not to be sought by good men, but for the sake of God and his glory, in whose cause he was engaged, and on whose account he was persecuted:

take me not away in thy longsuffering; while thou art bearing with others, do not take me away by death; or suffer them, whom thou dost forbear, to take me away, or give them an opportunity thereby so to do; or when thy longsuffering is at an end, do not involve me in the same calamity with them. The Targum is,

"do not give delay to my injury;''

or,

"length to my affliction;''

that is, do not delay to take vengeance on my persecutors; and to this sense Jarchi interprets it,

"do not take my cause, and leave it to thy longsuffering, but hasten and avenge me;''

and De Dieu proposes such a rendering of the words, "to thy longsuffering do not bring me" (q); and which sense is favoured by the Septuagint version:

know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke; let it appear, and that even to mine enemies, that it is for thy sake that all this reproach is cast upon me; and all these afflictions are endured by me, by thy resentment of their carriage to me.

(q) "ne ad longanimitatem tuam adduc me", De Dieu; "nec me capias ad dilationem irae tua", Gussetius.

O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and avenge me of my {o} persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.

(o) He does not speak this out of a desire for revenge, but wishing that God would deliver his Church from them who he knew to be hardened and incorrigible.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. longsuffering] mercy towards my enemies.

15–18. See summary at commencement of section.Verse 15. - O Lord, thou knowest, etc. The prophet renews his complaints. God's omniscience is the thought which comforts him (comp. Jeremiah 17:6; Jeremiah 18:23; Psalm 69:19). But he desires some visible proof of God's continued care for his servant. Visit me, equivalent to "be attentive to my wants "-an anthropomorphic expression for the operation of Providence. Take me not away in thy long-suffering; i.e. "suffer not my persecutors to destroy me through the long-suffering which thou displayest towards them." "Take away," viz. my life (comp. Ezekiel 33:4, "If the sword come and take him away"). Rebuke; rather, reproach; cutup. Psalm 69:7 (Psalm 69. is in the style of Jeremiah, and, as Delitzsch remarks, suits his circumstances better than those of David). By the death of the sons, the women lose their husbands, and become widows. לי is the dative of sympathetic interest. "Sand of the sea" is the figure for a countless number. ימּים is poetic plural; cf. Psalm 78:27; Job 6:3. On these defenceless women come suddenly spoilers, and these mothers who had perhaps borne seven sons give up the ghost and perish without succour, because their sons have fallen in war. Thus proceeds the portrayal as Hitz. has well exhibited it. על אם בּחוּר is variously interpreted. We must reject the view taken by Chr. B. Mich. from the Syr. and Arab. versions: upon mother and young man; as also the view of Rashi, Cler., Eichh., Dahl., etc., that אם means the mother-city, i.e., Jerusalem. The true rendering is that of Jerome and Kimchi, who have been followed by J. D. Mich., Hitz., Ew., Graf, and Ng.: upon the mother of the youth or young warrior. This view is favoured by the correspondence of the woman mentioned in Job 6:9 who had borne seven sons. Both are individualized as women of full bodily vigour, to lend vividness to the thought that no age and no sex will escape destruction בּצּהרים, at clear noontide, when one least looks for an attack. Thus the word corresponds with the "suddenly" of the next clause. עיר, Aramaic form for ציר, Isaiah 13:8, pangs. The bearer of seven, i.e., the mother of many sons. Seven as the perfect number of children given in blessing by God, cf. 1 Samuel 2:5; Ruth 4:15. "She breathes to her life," cf. Job 31:39. Graf wrongly: she sighs. The sun of her life sets (בּאה) while it is still day, before the evening of her life has been reached, cf. Amos 8:9. "Is put to shame and confounded" is not to be referred to the son, but the mother, who, bereaved of her children, goes covered with shame to the grave. The Keri בּא for בּאה is an unnecessary change, since שׁמשׁ is also construed as fem., Genesis 15:17. The description closes with a glance cast on those left in life after the overthrow of Jerusalem. These are to be given to the sword when in flight before their enemies, cf. Micah 6:14.
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