For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The voice of mirth . . .—The words had been used once before (Jeremiah 7:34), and will meet us yet again (Jeremiah 25:10; Jeremiah 33:11), but they gain rather than lose in their solemnity by this verbal iteration.2 Samuel 12:17; food was also distributed at funerals to the mourners, and to the poor.
Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place, in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness: upon any account whatsoever, civil or religious; and that out of Jerusalem, where their religious feasts were kept, as well as where were often expressions of joy made on civil accounts; and this should be in their sight, it should be notorious and remarkable, that they could not but observe it; and it should be in a short time, in their days, though they were very desirous of putting these evil days far from them, and were not willing to believe they should be at all, or, however, not in their days:
the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride; the epithalamiums, or marriage songs, sung at the celebration of nuptials; these should cease, marrying and giving in marriage being over; the consequence of which must be ruin to the nation, a lawful succession of mankind being not otherwise to be kept up.For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. Cp. Jeremiah 7:34.
9–21. Du. rejects all these vv. Co. omits 9–13, suspects the genuineness of 14, 15 both here and in Jeremiah 23:7 f., and rejects 16, as well as portions of 17–21. Gi. retains of the whole series only Jeremiah 16:19, while admitting (Metrik) that 20, 21 may be genuine. Schmidt denies the genuineness of 14–21. There is thus a considerable consensus of authorities against the passage, but their arguments do not appear conclusive except as to 14, 15. See further in individual notes. According to Gi. (Metrik) metre is doubtful or non-existent, except in 7, 8, 19–21.Verse 9. - The voice of mirth, etc.; a striking deaf, on, repeated from Jeremiah 7:34. Jeremiah 16:1. "And the word of Jahveh cam to me, saying: Jeremiah 16:2. Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place. Jeremiah 16:3. For thus hath Jahveh said concerning the sons and the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bear them, and concerning their fathers that beget them in this land: Jeremiah 16:4. By deadly suffering shall they die, be neither lamented or buried; dung upon the field shall they become; and by sword and by famine shall they be consumed, and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of the heavens and the beasts of the field. Jeremiah 16:5. For thus hath Jahveh said: Come not into the house of mourning, and go not to lament, and bemoan them not; for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith Jahveh, grace and mercies. Jeremiah 16:6. And great and small shall die in this land, not be buried; they shall not lament them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them. Jeremiah 16:7. And they shall not break bread for them in their mourning, to comfort one for the dead; nor shall they give to any the cup of comfort for his father and his mother. Jeremiah 16:8. And into the house of feasting go not, to sit by them, to eat and to drink. Jeremiah 16:9. For thus hath spoken Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I cause to cease out of this place before your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride."
What the prophet is here bidden to do and to forbear is closely bound up with the proclamation enjoined on him of judgment to come on sinful Judah. This connection is brought prominently forward in the reasons given for these commands. He is neither to take a wife nor to beget children, because all the inhabitants of the land, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, are to perish by sickness, the sword, and famine (Jeremiah 16:3 and Jeremiah 16:4). He is both to abstain from the customary usages of mourning for the dead, and to keep away from mirthful feasts, in order to give the people to understand that, by reason of the multitude of the dead, customary mourning will have to be given up, and that all opportunity for merry-making will disappear (Jeremiah 16:5-9). Adapting thus his actions to help to convey his message, he will approve himself to be the mouth of the Lord, and then the promised divine protection will not fail. Thus closely is this passage connected with the preceding complaint and reproof of the prophet (Jeremiah 15:10-21), while it at the same time further continues the threatening of judgment in Jeremiah 15:1-9. - With the prohibition to take a wife, cf. the apostle's counsel, 1 Corinthians 7:26. "This place" alternates with "this land," and so must not be limited to Jerusalem, but bears on Judah at large. ילּדים, adject. verbale, as in Exodus 1:32. The form ממותי is found, besides here, only in Ezekiel 28:8, where it takes the place of מותי, Jeremiah 16:10. תחלאים ממותי, lit., deaths of sicknesses or sufferings, i.e., deaths by all kinds of sufferings, since תחלאים is not to be confined to disease, but in Jeremiah 14:18 is used of pining away by famine. With "they shall not be lamented," cf. Jeremiah 25:33; Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 14:16; Jeremiah 7:33.
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