Jeremiah 16:5
For thus said the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, said the LORD, even loving kindness and mercies.
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(5) The house of mourning.—Better, mourning-feast. The word is found only here and in Amos 6:7, where it is translated “banquet.” So the Vulg. gives here domus convivii, and the LXX. the Greek word for a “drinking party.” The word literally means a “shout,” and is so far applicable to either joy or sorrow. The context seems decisive in favour of the latter meaning, but the idea of the “feast” or “social gathering” should be, at least, recognised. Not to go into the house of mirth would be a light matter as compared with abstaining even from visits of sympathy and condolence. In Ecclesiastes 7:4 the Hebrew gives a different word.

My peace.—The word is used in its highest power, as including all other blessings. It is Jehovah’s peace: that which He once had given, but which He now withholds (comp. John 14:27). Men were to accept that withdrawal in silent awe, not with the conventional routine of customary sorrow.

Jeremiah 16:5-6. Enter not into the house of mourning — Or, of a mourning feast, according to the reading in the margin, the word מרזח, occurring also Amos 6:7, and being there rendered a banquet. The sense seems to be, Do not go to comfort such as mourn for any friends or relations dead; their feastings on those occasions being upon a consolatory account: those that die are most happy. For I have taken away my peace from this people — That is, I have put a full period to their prosperity, and deprived them of every thing wherewith they might comfort themselves and one another; even loving-kindness and mercies — These shall be shut up and restrained, which are the springs from whence all the streams of comfort flow to mankind. Both the great and the small shall die in this land — The land of Canaan that used to be called the land of the living. They shall not be buried, &c. — So many of all ranks and ages shall die that men shall have no time to bury them, or there shall not be a sufficient number left alive to bury the dead. Neither shall men lament for them — Nor shall men have leisure, through their own miseries, to lament for the miseries of others. Or their own calamities shall be so great that they will render them insensible to the calamities of others. Nor cut themselves, &c. — The law expressly forbade the Israelites to make any cuttings in their flesh at funeral obsequies, Leviticus 19:28; Deuteronomy 14:1. Notwithstanding which prohibition, this practice seems to have been adopted by the Jews, among other heathenish customs. Shaving of the head also was a usual expression of mourning, chap. Jeremiah 7:29.16:1-9 The prophet must conduct himself as one who expected to see his country ruined very shortly. In the prospect of sad times, he is to abstain from marriage, mourning for the dead, and pleasure. Those who would convince others of the truths of God, must make it appear by their self-denial, that they believe it themselves. Peace, inward and outward, family and public, is wholly the work of God, and from his loving-kindness and mercy. When He takes his peace from any people, distress must follow. There may be times when it is proper to avoid things otherwise our duty; and we should always sit loose to the pleasures and concerns of this life.The times were such that for "the present distress" it was wise for all to abstain from marriage 1 Corinthians 7:26; Matthew 24:19. 5. (Eze 24:17, 22, 23).

house of mourning—(Mr 5:38). Margin, "mourning-feast"; such feasts were usual at funerals. The Hebrew means, in Am 6:7, the cry of joy at a banquet; here, and La 2:19, the cry of sorrow.

Mourning, xzdj There is so great a difference in the translation of this word, that, Amos 6:7, the very same word signifieth a banquet, and is so translated; yet is there no contradiction, for banquets are now (and probably anciently were) in the houses of mourning, as well as in the houses of those that rejoiced. It appeareth plainly by the words that follow, that the apostle was here forbidden to go to funeral feasts, or to lament and bemoan any.

For (saith God)

I have, that is, I will take away peace from this people. Possibly the meaning of God might be this, Do not go to comfort such as mourn for any relations dead, (for their feastings upon those occasions were upon a consolatory account; thence, Jeremiah 16:7, you read of a cup of consolation,) for, saith God, they have no need of it; those that die are most happy; for I will take away the peace of this people, and deprive them of all my mercy and loving-kindness which I have hitherto showed them. For thus saith the Lord, enter not into the house of mourning,.... On account of his dead relations or neighbours; since they were taken away from the evil to come, and therefore no occasion to mourn for them: moreover, this was to show the certainty of what is before and after said; that, at the time of the general calamity predicted, there would be no lamentation made for the dead. R. Joseph Kimchi says the word here used signifies, in the Arabic (w) language, a lifting of the voice, either for weeping, or for joy (x); and Jarchi, out of the ancient book Siphri, interprets it a "feast"; and it is rendered a "banquet" in Amos 6:7, and so may here design a mourning feast, such as were used at funerals, called by the Greeks and by the Latins "parentalia", as Jerom observes. Neither go to lament nor bemoan them; neither go to the house of mourning, or the mourning feast; to the houses of the deceased, to condole the surviving relations, and to express sorrow for the dead, by shedding tears, and shaking the head, or by any other gesture or ceremony after mentioned,

For I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the Lord; all peace or prosperity is of God, and therefore called his, and which he can take away from a people when he pleases; and having determined to take it away from this people because of their sins, he is said to have done it, it being as certain as if it was done:

even lovingkindness and mercies; all benefits, which flowed from his favour, love, and mercy, as the whole of their prosperity did.

(w) "magna et vehementi voce praeditus", Golius ex Giggeio, col. 979. (x) So the word is used in the Chaldee language: as Schindler observes in Lex. col. 1722.

For thus saith the LORD, {b} Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.

(b) Signifying that the affliction would be so great that one would not have leisure to comfort another.

5. Enter not …] The prophet’s abstinence from the accustomed marks of respect to the dead and sympathy with the relatives is to be a forecast of the time when such abstinence shall become general on account of the universal prevalence of suffering and death.

mourning] lit. a cry, found elsewhere only Amos 6:7 “revelry,” in which sense Du. and Co. (who strike out Jeremiah 16:8) understand it here. If so, the v. will mean, Neither rejoice with them that rejoice, nor weep with them that weep.Verse 5. - Compare this prohibition with that given to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 24:15-27), The house of mourning; literally, cf. screaming (an uncommon word, only occurring again - of banqueters - in Amos 6:7). It is, no doubt, the wail of mourning relatives which is meant. By reprimanding his impatience, and by again assuring him of His protection and of rescue from the power of his oppressors. - Jeremiah 15:19. "Therefore thus saith Jahveh: If thou return, then will I bring thee again to serve me; and if thou separate the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth. They will return to thee, but thou shalt not return unto them. Jeremiah 15:20. And I make thee unto this people a strong wall of brass, so that they fight against thee, but prevail not against thee; for I am with thee, to help thee and to save thee, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 15:21. And I save thee out of the hand of the wicked, and deliver thee out of the clutch of the violent."

In the words: if thou return, lies the reproach that in his complaint, in which his indignation had hurried him on to doubt God's faithfulness, Jeremiah had sinned and must repent. אשׁיבך is by many commentators taken adverbially and joined with the following words: then will I again cause thee to stand before me. But this adverbial use has been proved only for the Kal of שׁוּב, not for the Hiphil, which must here be taken by itself: then will I bring thee again, sc. into proper relations with me - namely, to stand before me, i.e., to be my servant. עמד , of the standing of the servant before his lord, to receive his commands, and so also of prophets, cf. 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:15; 2 Kings 3:14, etc. In the words: if thou make to go forth, i.e., separate the precious from the vile, we have the figure of metal-refining, in course of which the pure metal is by fusion parted from the earthy and other ingredients mixed with it. The meaning of the figure is, however, variously understood. Some think here, unfittingly, of good and bad men; so Chald. and Rashi: if thou cause the good to come forth of the bad, turn the good into bad; or, if out of the evil mass thou cause to come forth at least a few as good, i.e., if thou convert them (Chr. B. Mich., Ros., etc.). For we cannot here have to do with the issue of his labours, as Graf well remarks, since this did not lie in his own power. Just as little is the case one of contrast between God's word and man's word, the view adopted by Ven., Eichh., Dahl., Hitz., Ew. The idea that Jeremiah presented man's word for God's word, or God's word mixed with spurious, human additions, is utterly foreign to the context; nay, rather it was just because he declared only what God imposed on him that he was so hard bested. Further, that idea is wholly inconsistent with the nature of true prophecy. Maurer has hit upon the truth: si quae pretiosa in te sunt, admixtis liberaveris sordibus, si virtutes quas habes maculis liberaveris impatientiae et iracundiae; with whom Graf agrees. כּפי (with the so-called כ verit.), as my mouth shalt thou be, i.e., as the instrument by which I speak, cf. Exodus 4:16. Then shall his labours be crowned with success. They (the adversaries) will turn themselves to thee, in the manner shown in Jeremiah 15:11, but thou shalt not turn thyself to them, i.e., not yield to their wishes or permit thyself to be moved by them from the right way. Jeremiah 15:20. After this reprimand, the Lord renews to him the promise of His most active support, such as He had promised him at his call, Jeremiah 1:18.; "to save thee" being amplified in Jeremiah 15:21.

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