Jeremiah 19:3
And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
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(3) O kings of Judah.—The plural seems used to include both the reigning king, Jehoiakim, and his heir-apparent or presumptive.

His ears shall tingle.—The phrase, occurring as it does in 1Samuel 3:11, in the prophecy of the doom of the earlier sanctuary, seems intentionally used to remind those who heard it of the fate that had fallen on Shiloh. The destruction of the first sanctuary of Israel was to be the type of that of the second (Psalm 78:60; Jeremiah 7:14). The phrase had, however, been used more recently (2Kings 21:12).

Jeremiah 19:3-5. Say, Hear, &c., O kings of Judah — See note on Jeremiah 17:20. Behold, I will bring evil upon this place — That is, upon Judah and Jerusalem, so surprising and so dreadful that whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle — The very report of it shall astonish the hearers. Because they have estranged this place — From me, should be supplied to make the sense clearer; the meaning, it seems, being that, by their worshipping other gods, and committing all sorts of crimes, they had caused God not to look any longer upon their city and country as his, but quite foreign from him. Or, as some interpret the expression, They had strangely abused, and alienated from their intended purposes both Jerusalem, the holy city, and the temple, God’s holy house, which were designed for his honour and the support of his kingdom among men. And have filled this place with the blood of innocents — Of the children sacrificed to Moloch: see note on Jeremiah 2:34; and Isaiah 30:33. They have built also, rather, they have even built the high places of Baal — For the same sin is here expressed which was mentioned in the latter part of the foregoing verse, and the copulative particle, vau, is sometimes used by way of explication; to burn their sons with fire unto Baal — From this, as well as from some other places, it is plain that they slew and burned human victims to Baal as well as to Moloch, if these two names were not promiscuously given, as some suppose they were, to one and the same idol. Which I commanded not, &c. — It seems from this that there were not wanting some who maintained that human sacrifices were pleasing to God.

19:1-9 The prophet must give notice of ruin coming upon Judah and Jerusalem. Both rulers and ruled must attend to it. That place which holiness made the joy of the whole earth, sin made the reproach and shame of the whole earth. There is no fleeing from God's justice, but by fleeing to his mercy.Kings - Plural because the message Jeremiah 19:3-9, related not especially to the reigning king, but to the whole royal house. 3. The scene of their guilt is chosen as the scene of the denunciation against them.

kings—the king and queen (Jer 13:18); or including the king's counsellors and governors under him.

tingle—as if struck by a thunder peal (1Sa 3:11; 2Ki 21:12).

That is, a very great evil; it is a Hebrew way of expression, which we also find 1 Samuel 3:11 2 Kings 21:12. As a very great glaring light affects our eyes, and blindeth them, so a very great sound affecteth the ear, and makes it tingle, and for some time deaf. This God commandeth the prophet to proclaim, as particularly directed to all, both high and low, as well the

kings of Judah as the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

And say, hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah,.... The king and his queen; or the king and his sons; or the king and his princes, and nobles; for there was but one king reigning at a time in Judah, and the present king was Zedekiah; see Jeremiah 21:1;

and inhabitants of Jerusalem; the elders of which, and of the priests, were now before him; to whom he said the following things, that they might tell them to the persons mentioned:

thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; who is able to do whatsoever he pleases in the armies of the heavens, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and will do so among his own people, notwithstanding his being the God of Israel:

behold, I will bring evil upon this place; the evil of punishment for the evil of sin; such as the sword, famine, and captivity; meaning not on that spot of ground where the prophet with the elders were, but upon the city of Jerusalem, and on all the land of Judea:

the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle; it shall be astonishing and surprising to him; it shall even stun him; he shall stand as one thunderstruck or be so affected with it as a man is at a violent clap of thunder, or at some exceeding vehement sound, which leaves such an impression upon him, and continues with him, that he cannot get rid of it; but seems to be continually sounding in his ears, and they even echo and ring with it; see 1 Samuel 3:11. The phrase denotes the greatness of the calamity, and the surprise which the bare report of it would bring with it.

And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O {a} kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, which whoever heareth, his ears shall {b} tingle.

(a) By kings here and in other places are meant counsellors and governors of the people; who he calls the ancients, Jer 19:1.

(b) Read of this phrase in 1Sa 3:11.

3. his ears shall tingle] Cp. 2 Kings 21:12.

3–9. These vv. are probably an editorial insertion, for (a) the message which God was to give the prophet in the valley of Ben-Hinnom (Jeremiah 19:2) is here given him (Jeremiah 19:3 ff.) before he goes there, (b) the subject-matter of the passage is drawn to a large extent from other portions of the Book, specially from the last part of ch. 7, (c) as Gi. has pointed out, the style of the LXX rendering differs from that employed elsewhere; so that the Greek was probably added by a later hand, the original translator not having the passage in his copy, (d) the use of the plural “kings” (Jeremiah 19:3 and also in Jeremiah 17:20) is strange.

Verse 3. - O kings of Judah; i.e. the numerous clan of royal princes, kings by courtesy (see on Jeremiah 17:20). His ears shall tingle (so 2 Kings 21:12; comp. 1 Samuel 3:11). Jeremiah 19:3In Jeremiah 19:3-5 the threatening is summarily set forth. Horrible evil will the Lord bring on this place, i.e., Jerusalem. The ears of every one that hears it will tingle, so utterly stunning will the news of it turn out to be; cf. 2 Kings 21:12 and 1 Samuel 3:11, where we find תּצלּינה; cf. Ew. 197, a. This they have brought on themselves by their dreadful sins. They have forsaken Jahveh, disowned this place; נכּר , prop. find strange, Deuteronomy 32:27, then treat as strange, deny, Job 21:29. In substance: they have not treated Jerusalem as the city of the sanctuary of their God, but, as it mentioned after, they have burnt incense in it to other (strange) gods. The words: they and their fathers, and the kings of Judah, are not the subject to "knew not," as is "they and their," etc., in Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 16:13, but to the preceding verb of the principal clause. "And have filled the city with the blood of innocents." This Grot. and others understand by the blood of the children slain for Moloch; and for this, appeal is made to Psalm 106:37., where the pouring out of innocent blood is explained to be that of sons and daughters offered to idols. But this passage cannot be the standard for the present one, neither can the statement that here we have to deal with idolatry alone. This latter is petitio principii. If shedding the blood of innocents had been said of offerings to Moloch, then Jeremiah 19:5 must be taken as epexegesis. But in opposition to this we have not only the parallelism of the clauses, but also and especially the circumstance, that not till Jeremiah 19:5 is mention made of altars on which to offer children of Moloch. We therefore understand the filling of Jerusalem with the blood of innocents, according to Jeremiah 7:6, cf. Jeremiah 2:34 and Jeremiah 22:3, Jeremiah 22:17, of judicial murder or of bloody persecution of the godly; and on two grounds: 1. because alongside of idolatry we always find mentioned as the chief sin the perversion of justice to the shedding of innocent blood (cf. the passages cited), so that this sin would not likely be omitted here, as one cause of the dreadful judgment about to pass on Jerusalem; 2. because our passage recalls the very wording of 2 Kings 21:16, where, after mentioning his idolatry, it is said of Manasseh: Also innocent blood hath he shed, until he made Jerusalem full (מלּא) to the brink.

The climax in the enumeration of sins in these verses is accordingly this: 1. The disowning of the holiness of Jerusalem as the abode of the Lord by the public practice of idolatry; 2. the shedding of innocent blood as extremity of injustice and godless judicial practices; 3. as worst of all abominations, the building of altars for burning their own children to Moloch. That the Moloch-sacrifices are mentioned last, as being worst of all, is shown by the three relative clauses: which I have not commanded, etc., which by an impassioned gradation of phrases mark God's abomination of these horrors. On this subject cf. Jeremiah 7:31 and Jeremiah 32:35.

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