Jeremiah 2:7
And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.
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(7) A plentiful country.—Literally, a land of Carmel, that word, as meaning a vine-clad hill, having become a type of plenty. So “the forest of his Carmel,” in Isaiah 37:24; elsewhere, as in Isaiah 10:18; Isaiah 32:15, “fruitful.” The LXX. treats the word as a proper name, “I brought you unto Carmel.”

When ye entered.—The words point to the rapid degeneracy of Israel after the settlement in Canaan, as seen in the false worship and foul crimes of Judges 17-21. So in Psalm 78:56-58. Instead of being the pattern nation, the firstfruits of mankind, they sank to the level, or below the level, of the heathen.

Jeremiah 2:7-8. And I brought you into a plentiful country — Hebrew, into the land of Carmel. Carmel was so fertile a part of Judea, that the word from thence came to be used to express a fruitful place in general. Canaan was as one great, fruitful field, Deuteronomy 8:7. When ye entered, ye defiled my land — By your sins, especially by your idolatries, Psalm 106:38; that sin being greatly aggravated by this circumstance, that the people thereby renounced God’s authority in that very land into which he had brought them, by a train of unparalleled wonders, and the propriety of which he had reserved to himself, though he had graciously bestowed upon them the use of it: see Leviticus 25:23. The priests said not, Where is the Lord? — That race of men, whom I exalted to the honourable office of ministering to me in holy things, neither inquired after me, nor cultivated any acquaintance or intercourse with me. And they that handle the law knew me not — They, whom I appointed to the important office of instructing others in the knowledge of me and their duty, (see Malachi 2:6-7,) were ignorant or regardless of it themselves. And this was the principal cause of that degeneracy of manners which prevailed among the people. The pastors also transgressed against me — By pastors here, distinguished from the priests and prophets, are meant the kings, princes, and chiefs of the nation; for the word pastor is used in the prophets for a magistrate, as well as for a teacher of the people, and ecclesiastical governor. And the prophets prophesied by Baal — Gave forth prophecies in the name of Baal, with a view to recommend him as a god. Or, they that should have taught the people the true worship of God, were themselves worshippers of, and advocates for, Baal, and drew others from God to the worship of that idol; and walked after things that do not profit — Namely, after idols; things that could not possibly do them any service, but were sure to bring ruin upon them. It appears from hence, that all orders and degrees of men in authority had contributed to that general corruption of manners, whereof Jeremiah complains.

2:1-8 Those who begin well, but do not persevere, will justly be upbraided with their hopeful and promising beginnings. Those who desert religion, commonly oppose it more than those who never knew it. For this they could have no excuse. God's spiritual Israel must own their obligations to him for safe conduct through the wilderness of this world, so dangerous to the soul. Alas, that many, who once appeared devoted to the Lord, so live that their professions aggravate their crimes! Let us be careful that we do not lose in zeal and fervency, as we gain knowledge.A plentiful country - literally, "a land of the Carmel," a Carmel land (see 1 Kings 18:19, note; Isaiah 29:17, note). 7. plentiful—literally, "a land of Carmel," or "well-cultivated land": a garden land, in contrast to the "land of deserts" (Jer 2:6).

defiled—by idolatries (Jud 2:10-17; Ps 78:58, 59; 106:38).

you … ye—change to the second person from the third, "they" (Jer 2:6), in order to bring home the guilt to the living generation.

Plentiful country, Heb.

land of Carmel, Isaiah 29:17; understand Canaan, Numbers 13:27: See Poole "Isaiah 35:2".

To eat the fruit thereof and the goodness; to enjoy all the blessing of it.

My land, i.e. consecrated to my name, Leviticus 25:23; and this you have defiled by going a whoring after your idols, Jeremiah 3:1, and many other abominations, Psalm 106:29,35,37-39.

Mine heritage; in the same sense that it is said in the foregoing clause my land, and which you received from me as your heritage, the place that I chose for my church’s present habitation, and earnest of their future heavenly one.

And I brought you into a plentiful country,.... "Into the land of Carmel", as in the Hebrew text; that is,

"into the land of Israel, which was planted as Carmel,''

as the Targum paraphrases it; with wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olives; a land flowing with milk and honey, Deuteronomy 8:8, so Ben Melech:

to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; of vineyards and oliveyards, which they had not planted, and for which they had never laboured, Joshua 24:13,

but when ye entered ye defiled my land; which the Lord had chosen above all lands, where he would have a temple built for his worship, and where he would cause his Shechinah or glorious Majesty to dwell; but this they defiled by their sins and transgressions, and particularly by their idolatry, as follows:

that made mine heritage an abomination; by devoting it to the worship of idols, as the Targum paraphrases it.

And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit of it and the goodness of it but when ye entered, ye defiled {h} my land, and made my heritage an abomination.

(h) By your idolatry and wicked manners, Ps 78:58,106:38.

7. a plentiful land] lit. a land of the Carmel. The word Carmel properly means a piece of ground fertile and well-cultivated (Jeremiah 4:26 R.V. mg.), but was commonly used as the actual name of one such spot of Palestine, the only promontory that the sea-board of the country possesses, jutting out into the Mediterranean, and bounding the great plain of Esdraelon.

defiled] with (i) idolatry, (ii) sacrifices of their children; so Ps. 104:37. The old inhabitants of Canaan were driven out for their sins (cp. Deuteronomy 9:4 ff; Deuteronomy 18:12, etc.). Israel has proved little better. See Jeremiah 3:2; Jeremiah 3:9.

mine heritage] Cp. Exodus 15:17; Psalm 79:1. Elsewhere it is generally Israel itself that goes by this name; e.g. Deuteronomy 32:9. Cp. Jeremiah 10:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Kings 8:51; Psalm 28:9; Psalm 78:71; Isaiah 19:25.

Verse 7. - A plentiful country. "A Carmel land," as it were (so Payne Smith). "Carmel" is strictly an appellative noun, meaning" garden-land," i.e., land planted with vines and other choice plants. So Jeremiah 4:26; Isaiah 29:17; Isaiah 37:24. Jeremiah 2:7And He has done yet more. He has brought them into a fruitful and well-cultivated land. כּרמל, fruitful fields, the opposite of wilderness, Jeremiah 4:26; Isaiah 29:17. To eat up its fruit and its good; cf. the enumeration of the fruits and useful products of the land of Canaan, Deuteronomy 8:7-9. And this rich and splendid land the ungrateful people have defiled by their sins and vices (cf. Leviticus 18:24), and idolatry (cf. Ezekiel 36:18); and the heritage of Jahveh they have thus made an abomination, an object of horror. The land of Canaan is called "my heritage," the especial domain of Jahveh, inasmuch as, being the Lord of the earth, He is the possessor of the land and has given it to the Israelites for a possession, yet dwells in the midst of it as its real lord, Numbers 25:34. - In Jeremiah 2:8 the complaint briefly given in Jeremiah 2:6 is expanded by an account of the conduct of the higher classes, those who gave its tone to the spirit of the people. The priests, whom God had chosen to be the ministers of His sanctuary, asked not after Him, i.e., sought neither Him nor His sanctuary. They who occupy themselves with the law, who administer the law: these too are the priests as teachers of the law (Micah 3:11), who should instruct the people as to the Lord's claims on them and commandments (Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 33:10). They knew not Jahveh, i.e., they took no note of Him, did not seek to discover what His will and just claims were, so as to instruct the people therein, and press them to keep the law. The shepherds are the civil authorities, princes and kings (cf. Jeremiah 23:1.): those who by their lives set the example to the people, fell away from the Lord; and the prophets, who should have preached God's word, prophesied בּבּעל, by Baal, i.e., inspired by Baal. Baal is here a generic name for all false gods; cf. Jeremiah 23:13. ,לא those who profit not, are the Baals as unreal gods; cf. Isaiah 44:9; 1 Samuel 12:21. The utterances as to the various ranks form a climax, as Hitz. rightly remarks. The ministers of public worship manifested no desire towards me; those learned in the law took no knowledge of me, of my will, of the contents of the book of the law; the civil powers went the length of rising up against my law; and the prophets fairly fell away to false gods, took inspiration from Baal, the incarnation of the lying spirit.
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