Why came I forth out of the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Wherefore came I forth . . .?—Like the preceding verse, this is in its tone, almost in its words, an echo of Job 3:11-12; Job 3:20.
from the womb—that is, at that time while I was still in the womb. that my days should be consumed with shame? through the bad usage of him, the reproach that was cast upon him, and the contempt he was had in for prophesying in the name of the Lord. All this shows that there is sin in the best of men, and what they are when left to themselves; how weak, foolish, and sinful they appear. And Jeremiah recording these his sins and failings, is an argument of the uprightness and sincerity of the man, and of the truth of Scripture.
from the womb—that is, at that time while I was still in the womb.
that my days should be consumed with shame? through the bad usage of him, the reproach that was cast upon him, and the contempt he was had in for prophesying in the name of the Lord. All this shows that there is sin in the best of men, and what they are when left to themselves; how weak, foolish, and sinful they appear. And Jeremiah recording these his sins and failings, is an argument of the uprightness and sincerity of the man, and of the truth of Scripture.Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Jeremiah 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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