Jeremiah 20:11
But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) But the Lord is with me.—As in Psalms 22 and other like utterances, the prophet, though perplexed. is yet not in despair (2Corinthians 4:8). He passes through the deep waters, but struggles out of them to the rock of refuge. The word “terrible” was used with a special significance. Jehovah had promised to deliver the prophet from the “terrible” ones (Jeremiah 15:21). He, the mighty God (Isaiah 9:6) would now show that He was more terrible than the prophet’s foes, that it was better to come under their wrath than His (Isaiah 8:12-13).

For they shall not prosper.—Better, because they have not dealt wisely. The word is the same as in Jeremiah 10:21, where see Note.

Their everlasting confusion.—Better, as carrying on the structure of the previous clause, with an everlasting confusion that shall never be forgotten.

20:7-13 The prophet complains of the insult and injury he experienced. But ver. 7 may be read, Thou hast persuaded me, and I was persuaded. Thou wast stronger than I; and didst overpower me by the influence of thy Spirit upon me. So long as we see ourselves in the way of God, and of duty, it is weakness and folly, when we meet with difficulties and discouragements, to wish we had never set out in it. The prophet found the grace of God mighty in him to keep him to his business, notwithstanding the temptation he was in to throw it up. Whatever injuries are done to us, we must leave them to that God to whom vengeance belongs, and who has said, I will repay. So full was he of the comfort of God's presence, the Divine protection he was under, and the Divine promise he had to depend upon, that he stirred up himself and others to give God the glory. Let the people of God open their cause before Him, and he will enable them to see deliverance.A mighty terrible one - Rather, "a terrible warrior." The mighty One Isaiah 9:6 who is on his side is a terror to them. This change of feeling was the effect of faith, enabling him to be content with calmly doing his duty, and leaving the result to God.

For ... - Rather, "because they have not acted wisely (Jeremiah 10:21 note), with an everlasting disgrace that shall never be forgotten."

11. not prevail—as they hoped to do (Jer 20:10; Jer 15:20).

prosper—in their plot.

The prophet recovering himself out of his fit of passion, encourageth himself in his God, whom he calls the

mighty and

terrible one, so declaring his faith in the power of God, as one able to save him, and in the promise and good-will of God toward him; therefore he saith,

The Lord is with me; such was the promise of God to this prophet, when he first undertook the prophetical office, Jeremiah 1:8, Be not afraid of their faces; for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. From hence he concludeth, that though he had many that pursued after his life, yet they should stumble in their ways of violence, and should not prevail; that they should either be ashamed of what they had done, or be brought to shame for what they had done; for

prosper they should not; or, they acted like fools, and did not deal prudently for themselves (so this word is translated, Isaiah 52:13).

Their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten; they should come to a reproach and ignominy, and their reproach should not be like his, for a time, but it should be a lasting, perpetual reproach that should not be forgotten. This was not only written for that generation, but for all generations that are yet to come, and hath been made good in the experience of all ages past. The persecutors of God’s ministers have found that God hath been with his ministers according to his promise, Matthew 28:20, and that they have stumbled in their way, and not at last prevailed; that they have not acted prudently for their own good, and the good of their families; that a perpetual ignominy clave to the memory of those who have been employed in this work. There stands to this day a blot upon the memory of them who persecuted Isaiah, Jeremiah, &c., the apostles, and such faithful ministers as have been since their time.

But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one,.... The Targum is,

"the Word of the Lord is for my help.''

"Mighty" to support, uphold, defend, and deliver him; and "terrible" to his enemies. The prophet looks back to the promise the Lord had made him, of his gracious and powerful presence, Jeremiah 1:18; which he now takes comfort from; and it would have been well if he had kept this always in view, and had continued in the same actings of faith and temper of mind: but this lasted not long, as some following verses show;

therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and shall not prevail; though they should very hotly and furiously pursue him, yet they should stumble and fall by the way, and not be able to overtake him, and execute their designs upon him; the Lord, who was with him, and on his side, would throw some things in their way, at which they should stumble, and which should hinder them from proceeding;

they shall be greatly ashamed, for they shall not prosper; when they see their schemes are disappointed, and they do not succeed, they shall be filled with shame and confusion: or, "because they do not deal prudently" (g), as the word is rendered, Isaiah 52:13; they do not act a wise, but a foolish part, and therefore shame will be the consequence of it;

their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten; neither by themselves nor others; the memory of it will always continue, to their everlasting grief and reproach. A very learned man connects these words with the former, thus, "they shall be greatly ashamed, for they shall not prosper, with an everlasting shame never to be forgotten" (h), very rightly; so another learned interpreter (i).

(g) "quia non prudenter egerunt", Montanus, Piscator; "prudenter agunt", Calvin. (h) "Erubescent valde, quia non prosperabuntur, ignominia aeterna non obliviscenda", De Dieu. (i) "Pudefient, quod non profecerint, ignominia perpetuitatis (quae) non tradetur oblivioni", Schmidt.

{g} But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

(g) Here he shows how his faith strove against temptation and sought the Lord for strength.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. dealt wisely] mg. prospered. The Hebrew word includes the notion of success as the result of wise action.

11–13. See summary at commencement of section. The prophet’s courage is renewed.

Verse 11. - As a mighty terrible one; rather, as a formidable warrior. They shall not prevail. This was in fact, the Divine promise to Jeremiah at the outset of his ministry (Jeremiah 1:19). For they shall not prosper; rather, because they have not pros-pored. Jeremiah 20:11Jeremiah 20:10 gives the reason for the resolution, adopted but not carried out, of speaking no more in the name of the Lord. This was found in the reports that reached his ears of schemes against his life. The first clause is a verbal quotation from Psalm 31:14, a lament of David in the time of Saul's persecutions. דּבּה, base, backbiting slander. The phrase: Fear round about, indicates, in the form of a brief popular saying, the dangerous case in which the prophet was,

(Note: Hupfeld on Psalm 31:14 holds מגור מסּביב to be a proverbial expression for a harassed condition, full of terrors, since the phrase is frequently used by Jeremiah (besides the present Jeremiah 20:3, Jeremiah 20:4, and Jeremiah 20:15, it is at Jeremiah 6:25; Jeremiah 46:5; Jeremiah 49:29; Lamentations 2:22). The use made of it in v. 3 would in that case be easily understood. For we cannot infer, as Ng. would do, that Jeremiah must have formed the phrase himself, from the fact that, except in Psalm 31:14, it is nowhere found but in Jeremiah.)

which his adversaries prepare for him by their repeating: Report him, we will report him.

Report: here, report to the authorities as a dangerous man. Even those who are on friendly terms with him lie in wait for his fall. This phrase too is formed of phrases from the Psalms. On "am of my peace," cf. Psalm 41:10; on צלעי, Psalm 35:15; Psalm 38:18; and on שׁמר, watch, lie in wait for, Psalm 56:7; Psalm 71:10. "Peradventure" - so they said - "he may let himself be enticed," sc. to say something on which a capital charge may be founded (Graf). With "that we may prevail against him," cf. Jeremiah 1:19; Jeremiah 15:20. - At Jeremiah 20:11 the lament rises into confidence in the Lord, springing from the promise given to him by God at his call. אותי (for אתּי) יהוה recalls Jeremiah 1:19; Jeremiah 15:20.The designation of God as גּבּור is formed after Jeremiah 15:21. Because the Lord has promised to deliver him out of the hand of the עריצים, violent, he now calls him a hero using violence, and on this founds his assurance that his persecutors will accomplish nothing, but will come to a downfall, to shame, and be covered with never-dying, never-to-be-forgotten disgrace. Because they have dealt not wisely, i.e., foolishly, see on Jeremiah 10:21; not: because they did not prosper, which would give a weak, superfluous idea, since their not prospering lies already in בּושׁ, spe frustrari. This disgrace will befall the persecutors, because the Lord of hosts will, as Searcher of hearts, take the part of the righteous, and will take vengeance on their foes. This is the force of Jeremiah 20:12, which, with a few changes, is repeated from Jeremiah 11:20. - In this trustfulness his soul rises to a firm hope of deliverance, so that in Jeremiah 20:13 he can call on himself and all the godly to praise God, the Saviour of the poor. Cf. Psalm 31:8; Psalm 35:9-10, Psalm 35:28, etc.

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