Jeremiah 2:27
Saying to a stock, You are my father; and to a stone, You have brought me forth: for they have turned their back to me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.
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(27) Saying to a stock . . .—The “stock” and the “stone” represent respectively the images of wood and marble. In Hebrew the latter word is feminine, and thus determines the parts assigned to them in the figurative parentage.

To a stock, Thou art my father.—Literally, to a tree. The words seem as if they were an actual quotation from the hymns of the idolatrous ritual.

In the time of their trouble.—So in Hosea (Hosea 2, 3) it is the discipline of suffering that leads the adulterous wife to repentance. In times of trouble and dismay those who had before turned their backs on Jehovah shall seek Him with outstretched hands, and the cry for help. The prophet half implies that then it maybe too late till chastisement has done its perfect work.

2:20-28 Notwithstanding all their advantages, Israel had become like the wild vine that bears poisonous fruit. Men are often as much under the power of their unbridled desires and their sinful lusts, as the brute beasts. But the Lord here warns them not to weary themselves in pursuits which could only bring distress and misery. As we must not despair of the mercy of God, but believe that to be sufficient for the pardon of our sins, so neither must we despair of the grace of God, but believe that it is able to subdue our corruptions, though ever so strong."Stone" being feminine in Hebrew is here represented as the mother.

Arise, and save us - Whether it be idolatry or infidelity, it satisfies only in tranquil and prosperous times. No sooner does trouble come, than the deep conviction of the existence of a God, which is the witness for Him in our heart, resumes its authority, and man prays.

27. Thou art my father—(Contrast Jer 3:4; Isa 64:8).

in … trouble they will say—namely, to God (Ps 78:34; Isa 26:16). Trouble often brings men to their senses (Lu 15:16-18).

A stone; idol; a metonymy of the matter, because idols are made of these materials, Daniel 5:4.

Brought me forth; or, begotten me; so is the word used, Genesis 4:18. This notes the sottish stupidity of this people, to take a lifeless stock or stone to be their maker, and to give the honour of God unto them, Isaiah 44:17. They that make them are like unto them, as senseless as they, Psalm 115:8.

They have turned their back unto me, and not their face; they turn their faces wholly towards their idols: it notes the openness of their apostacy, Jeremiah 7:24.

Arise, and save us; the usual language of God’s children in distress, Psalm 3:7, and often elsewhere; then they found the vanity of their idols, and their own folly in relying on them, that cannot help or save, and rejecting me, Jeremiah 2:31, then they will come to me, Judges 10:10 Hosea 5:15; the same thing with finding her in her month, Jeremiah 2:24; herein abusing God’s gentleness, making him their necessity, not their choice. Saying to a stock,.... "To a tree" (f); to a piece of wood; that is, to an image made of it; so the Targum,

"they say to an image of wood;''

what follows:

thou art my father; ascribing that to the idol which belongs to God, who was their Father that made them, and upheld them, was the author of their beings, and the God of their mercies:

and to a stone; an image of stone:

thou hast brought me forth: into being; affirming it to be his former and maker; so the Targum,

"to that which is made of stone, thou hast created me:''

for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face; they turned their faces to images of wood and stone, and worshipped them; and they turned their backs upon the Lord, his worship and ordinances, and apostatized from him; which the Targum thus expresses,

"for they turned their backs on my worship, and did not put my fear before their faces:''

but in the time of their trouble; when any calamity befalls them, as famine, pestilence, sword, captivity, and the like:

they will say, arise, and save us; not that they will say so to their idols, but they will say so to the true God; for notwithstanding they worshipped idols in time of prosperity, forgetting God their Saviour; yet in adversity they are brought to their senses, and find that none but God can save them, and therefore apply to him; to which agrees the Targum,

"and in the time that evil comes upon them, they deny their idols, and confess before me, and say, have mercy on us, and save us.''

(f) "ligno", V. L. Pagnanius, Montanus, Schmidt.

Saying to a tree, Thou art my {o} father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back to me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.

(o) Meaning, that idolaters rob God of his honour: and where as he has taught to call him the father of all flesh, they attribute this title to their idols.

27. The “stock” and “stone” symbolize the god worshipped, and doubtless include the wooden poles (Asherahs) and stone obelisks or pillars by which they were represented. The words addressed to them by the worshippers do not imply that the latter considered the spirits of their ancestors to be there embodied. Such worship was not a Hebrew practice. It was only as patrons or guardians of house or land that such titles as father or mother were given them.

which say] In this consists their disgrace. They attribute to their idols the honour due to the Creator alone.

in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us] Their idols are but fair-weather friends. When a crisis comes, they will recognise this, and appeal for help to Him Whom they have rejected.Verse 27. - And to a stone, etc. Stone ('ebhen) is feminine in Hebrew, and therefore addressed as the mother. In this whoring with the false gods, Israel shows its utter corruption. I have planted thee a noble vine; not, with noble vines, as we translate in Isaiah 5:2, where Israel is compared to a vineyard. Here Israel is compared to the vine itself, a vine which Jahveh has planted; cf. Psalm 80:9; Hosea 10:1. This vine was all (כּלּה, in its entirety, referred to שׂורק, as collect.) genuine seed; a proper shoot which could bear good grapes (cf. Ezekiel 17:5); children of Abraham, as they are described in Genesis 18:19. But how has this Israel changed itself to me (לי, dativ. incommodi) into bastards! סוּרי is accus., dependent on נהפכתּ; for this constr. cf. Leviticus 13:25; Psalm 114:8. סוּרים sig. not shoots or twigs, but degenerate sprouts or suckers. The article in הגּפן is generic: wild shoots of the species of the wild vine; but this is not the first determining word; cf. for this exposition of the article Jeremiah 13:4; 2 Samuel 12:30, etc., Ew. 290, a3); and for the omission of the article with נכריּה, cf. Ew. 293, a. Thus are removed the grammatical difficulties that led Hitz. to take ' סוּרי וגוquite unnaturally as vocative, and Graf to alter the text. "A strange vine" is an interloping vine, not of the true, genuine stock planted by Jahveh (Jeremiah 2:10), and which bears poisonous berries of gall. Deuteronomy 32:32.
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