Jeremiah 2:27
Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto 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. Jeremiah 2:27And yet idolatry brings to the people only disgrace, giving no help in the time of need. Jeremiah 2:26. "As a thief is shamed when he is taken, so is the house of Israel put to shame; they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets. Jeremiah 2:27. Because they say to the wood, Thou art my father; and to the stone, Thou hast borne me: for they have turned to me the back and not the face; but in the time of their trouble they say, Arise, and help us. Jeremiah 2:28. Where then are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can help thee in the time of thy trouble; for as many as are thy cities, so many are thy gods, Judah." The thought in Jeremiah 2:26 and Jeremiah 2:27 is this, Israel reaps from its idolatry but shame, as the thief from stealing when he is caught in the act. The comparison in Jeremiah 2:26 contains a universal truth of force at all times. The perf. הובישׁוּ is the timeless expression of certainty (Hitz.), and refers to the past as well as to the future. Just as already in past time, so also in the future, idolatry brings but shame and confusion by the frustration of the hopes placed in the false gods. The "house of Israel" is all Israel collectively, and not merely the kingdom of the ten tribes. To give the greater emphasis to the reproaches, the leading ranks are mentioned one by one. אמרים, not: who say, but because (since) they say to the wood, etc., i.e., because they hold images of wood and stone for the gods to whom they owe life and being; whereas Jahveh alone is their Creator or Father and Genitor, Deuteronomy 32:6, Deuteronomy 32:18; Isaiah 64:7; Malachi 2:10. אבן is fem., and thus is put for mother. The Keri ילדתּנוּ is suggested solely by the preceding אמרים, while the Chet. is correct, and is to be read ילדתּני, inasmuch as each one severally speaks thus. - With "for they have turned" follows the reason of the statement that Israel will reap only shame from its idolatry. To the living God who has power to help them they turn their back; but when distress comes upon them they cry to Him for help (קוּמה והושׁיענוּ as in Psalm 3:8). But then God will send the people to their gods (idols); then will it discover they will not help, for all so great as their number is. The last clause of Jeremiah 2:28 runs literally: the number of thy cities are thy gods become, i.e., so great is the number of thy gods; cf. Jeremiah 11:13. Judah is here directly addressed, so that the people of Judah may not take for granted that what has been said is of force for the ten tribes only. On the contrary, Judah will experience the same as Israel of the ten tribes did when disaster broke over it.
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