Jeremiah 2:10
For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send to Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.
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(10) Pass over the isles . . .—Chittim is named as being, from the prophet’s point of view, the furthest country in the west (Genesis 10:4; Numbers 24:24), Kedar (Genesis 25:13; Psalm 120:5) in the east. The whole earth might be searched without finding a parallel to the guilt of Israel.

Jeremiah 2:10-11. For pass over the isles of Chittim — The neighbouring isles and peninsulas, which lay west of Judea, meaning especially the countries of Greece and Macedonia, and the islands and continents of Europe in general; the countries that were more polite and learned. And send unto Kedar — To Arabia, and the countries to the east and south, as the others lay to the west and north: send to them that are more rude and barbarous. And consider diligently — As a matter well worth your attention; and see if there be such a thing — As if he had said, If you search from east to west, from south to north, you will find no instance of apostacy from the objects of their worship like this of yours. Hath a nation changed their gods? — The gods worshipped by their forefathers? or shown a disposition to change them? Which are yet no gods? — But mere imaginary beings, or images made by men’s hands, or the creatures of the living and true God. But my people have changed their glory, have relinquished the worship of the infinite and eternal Jehovah, their Creator, Preserver, Benefactor, Redeemer, Friend, and Father, to whom they owe their all, and whose worship and service, favour and protection, were their greatest glory. For that which doth not profit — For those idols which never did, nor can, do them any good; that have no essence or power; and of which they must necessarily be ashamed.2:9-13 Before God punishes sinners, he pleads with them, to bring them to repentance. He pleads with us, what we should plead with ourselves. Be afraid to think of the wrath and curse which will be the portion of those who throw themselves out of God's grace and favour. Grace in Christ is compared to water from a fountain, it being cooling and refreshing, cleansing and making fruitful: to living water, because it quickens dead sinners, revives drooping saints, supports and maintains spiritual life, and issues in eternal life, and is ever-flowing. To forsake this Fountain is the first evil; this is done when the people of God neglect his word and ordinances. They hewed them out broken cisterns, that could hold no water. Such are the world, and the things in it; such are the inventions of men when followed and depended on. Let us, with purpose of heart, cleave to the Lord only; whither else shall we go? How prone are we to forego the consolations of the Holy Spirit, for the worthless joys of the enthusiast and hypocrite!Kedar signifies the whole East, and the isles of Chittim (Isaiah 23:12 note) the West. If then you traverse all lands from west to east, it will be impossible to find any nation guilty of such apostasy as that committed by Israel. 10. pass over the isles—rather, "cross over to the isles."

Chittim … Kedar—that is, the heathen nations, west and east. Go where you will, you cannot find an instance of any heathen nation forsaking their own for other gods. Israel alone does this. Yet the heathen gods are false gods; whereas Israel, in forsaking Me for other gods, forsake their "glory" for unprofitable idols.

Chittim—Cyprus, colonized by Phœnicians, who built in it the city of Citium, the modern Chitti. Then the term came to be applied to all maritime coasts of the Mediterranean, especially Greece (Nu 24:24; Isa 23:1; Da 11:30).

Kedar—descended from Ishmael; the Bedouins and Arabs, east of Palestine.

The isles of Chittim; a synecdochical expression, extending to all isles in the Mediterranean Sea, or any other the neighbouring coasts; for the Hebrews call all people that are separated from them by the Mediterranean Sea islanders, because they come to them by shipping. See of Chittim, Isaiah 23:1.

Send unto Kedar; understand Arabia, that lay east-south-east of Judea, as Chittim did more north or north-west: q. d. Go from north to south, east to west, and make the experiment; look to Chittim, the most civilized, or Kedar, the most. barbarous, yet neither have changed their gods.

See if there be such a thing; not that they were to pass over locally, or send messengers thither actually; but, q.d. Cast your eyes thither, and make your observations; by what you have ever seen or heard, did you ever hear of such a prodigious thing? If you should either go or send, you will find it so. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see,.... Or, "to the isles of Chittim" (z); so called from Kittim the son of Javan, Genesis 10:4 who, as Josephus says (a), possessed the island of Chethima, now called Cyprus; and, from that, all islands, and most maritime places, are, by the Hebrews, called Chittim, he observes: it may regard all the islands in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas:

and send unto Kedar; which was in Arabia, and lay to the east, as Chittim to the west; and so the Targum paraphrases it,

"send to the provinces of the Arabians:''

and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing; as what is inquired about in the following verse, a change of deities. All this is to be understood of the contemplation of the mind, and not of any corporeal journey to be taken, to inquire into this matter.

(z) Sept. "transite ad insulas Cethim", V. L. "ad insulas Cypriorum"; so some in Vatablus; "in insulas", Schmidt. (a) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.

For pass over the isles of {o} Chittim, and see; and send to {p} Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there is such a thing.

(o) Meaning, the Grecians and Italians.

(p) To Arabia.

10. the isles of Kittim] The Kittim are mentioned as descendants of Javan in Genesis 10:4. Josephus (Ant. I. vi. 1) identifies the original seat of the tribe with the town of Citium (Larnaka) in Cyprus. Gradually the name seems to have been extended, so as to include not only the neighbouring islands, but the coastlands of Italy and Greece. In Daniel 11:30 the “ships of K.” refer to the Roman expedition to Egypt against Antiochus Epiphanes b.c. 168. The word in 1Ma 1:1; 1Ma 8:5 means Macedonia.

Kedar] As Kittim represented the parts of the world that lay to the westward of Palestine, so Kedar represented those which lay to the eastward. Kedar was the second son of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13) and seems from the many subsequent notices of his tribe in the Bible to have been destined to be in his posterity the most distinguished of the twelve brethren, princes, given in the genealogy. They were a pastoral tribe (Isaiah 42:11; Isaiah 60:7) and were bowmen (Isaiah 21:17) living on the north-west of Arabia, and extending to the borders of Palestine. In Psalm 120:5 they are spoken of as a barbarous tribe, to dwell amongst whom was to be utterly cut off from the worship of the true God. Even they, however, the Lord declares, do not furnish a parallel for the baseness which appertains to the Jews.Verse 10. - Justification of Jehovah's judicial action towards Judah. Consider the heinousness of the offence. Pass over - rather, pass over to - the isles of Chittim; i.e. the islands and maritime countries of the West, represented by Cyprus (see on Genesis 10:4). For the wide use of Chittim, comp. Numbers 24:24; Daniel 11:30). Kedar, in the narrower sense, is a large tribe of Arabian origin, whose haunts were between Arabia Petraea and Babylonia. Here, however, it is used in a wider sense for the Arab tribes in general (so Jeremiah Tiler 28; Isaiah 21:16, 17). But Israel did not remain true to its first love; it has forgotten the benefits and blessings of its God, and has fallen away from Him in rebellion.

Jeremiah 2:4-5

"Hear the word of Jahveh, house of Jacob, and all families of the house of Israel. Jeremiah 2:5. Thus saith Jahveh, What have your fathers found in me of wrongfulness, that they are gone far from me, and have gone after vanity, and are become vain? Jeremiah 2:6. And they said not, Where is Jahveh that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us in the wilderness, in the land of steppes and of pits, in the land of drought and of the shadow of death, in a land that no one passes through and where no man dwells? Jeremiah 2:7. And I brought you into a land of fruitful fields, to eat its fruit and its goodness: and ye came and defiled my land, and my heritage ye have made an abomination. Jeremiah 2:8. The priests said not, Where is Jahveh? and they that handled the law knew me not: the shepherds fell away from me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and after them that profit not are they gone." The rebuke for ungrateful, faithless apostasy is directed against the whole people. The "house of Jacob" is the people of the twelve tribes, and the parallel member, "all families of the house of Israel," is an elucidative apposition. The "fathers" in Jeremiah 2:5 are the ancestors of the now living race onwards from the days of the Judges, when the generation arising after the death of Joshua and his contemporaries forsook the Lord and served the Baals (Judges 2:10.). עול, perversity, wrongfulness, used also of a single wicked deed in Psalm 7:4, the opposite to acting in truth and good faith. Jahveh is a God of faithfulness (אמוּנה); in Him is no iniquity (אין עול), Deuteronomy 32:4. The question, what have they found...? is answered in the negative by Jeremiah 2:6. To remove far from me and follow after vanity, is tantamount to forsaking Jahveh and serving the false gods (Baals), Judges 2:11. הבל, lit., breath, thence emptiness, vanity, is applied so early as the song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:21, to the false gods, as being nonentities. Here, however, the word means not the gods, but the worship of them, as being groundless and vain; bringing no return to him who devotes himself to it, but making him foolish and useless in thought and deed. By the apostle in Romans 1:21 יהבּלוּ is expressed by ἐματαιώ́θησαν. Cf. 2 Kings 17:15, where the second hemistich of our verse is applied to the ten tribes.

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