Jeremiah 23:12
Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
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(12) Slippery ways . . . darkness . . . driven on.—The words and the thoughts flow in upon the prophet’s mind from Isaiah 8:22; Psalm 35:5-6.

The year of their visitation.—The prophet returns to his characteristic word for the time appointed by the Divine Judge for chastisement. (Comp. Jeremiah 8:12; Jeremiah 10:15; Jeremiah 11:23.)

23:9-22 The false prophets of Samaria had deluded the Israelites into idolatries; yet the Lord considered the false prophets of Jerusalem as guilty of more horrible wickedness, by which the people were made bold in sin. These false teachers would be compelled to suffer the most bitter part of the Lord's indignation. They made themselves believe that there was no harm in sin, and practised accordingly; then they made others believe so. Those who are resolved to go on in evil ways, will justly be given up to believe strong delusions. But which of them had received any revelation of God, or understood any thing of his word? There was a time coming when they would reflect on their folly and unbelief with remorse. The teaching and example of the true prophets led men to repentance, faith, and righteousness. The false prophets led men to rest in forms and notions, and to be quiet in their sins. Let us take heed that we do not follow unrighteousness.Every word denotes the certainty of their fall. "Their path is like slippery places in darkness:" and on this path "they are pushed with violence." External circumstances assist in urging on to ruin those who choose the path of vice. 12. slippery ways in … darkness—Their "way" is their false doctrine which proves fatal to them (Jer 13:16; Ps 35:6; Pr 4:19).

I will bring evil … visitation—still more calamities than those already inflicted. See on [921]Jer 11:23; "visitation," namely, in wrath.

As their ordinary course is wicked and sinful, so they shall find that it will in the event be to them pernicious, perilous, and full of danger, as a slippery path is to them that walk in a dark night,

they shall be driven on till they fall therein. Courses of sin may look smooth, but they always prove slippery.

For I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation; for I am resolved to punish their wicked courses, and to visit them with my judgments.

Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness,.... Their course of life may fitly be compared, and in the issue will prove to be like to a man's walking in a dark night without any lamp or lantern to light him, and in a slippery way, scarce able to stand upon his legs, and cannot see to pick his way, nor where to step next, which is very uncomfortable and dangerous; such are blind leaders of the blind, and both in danger of slipping and falling into a ditch, Matthew 15:14;

they shall be driven on, and fall therein; hurried on by Satan, and their own lusts, in their sinful ways to their ruin; or forced on into captivity and destruction; their enemies and the just judgments of God pursuing them, like a man pursued by others in a dark and slippery way; who cannot stand to feel his way, but is obliged to go on, though he can scarce keep upon his legs, and knows not where to set his foot next; see Psalm 35:6;

for I will bring evil upon them: the evil of punishment, which is from the Lord; as sword, famine, pestilence, or captivity:

even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord: the precise and exact time appointed by the Lord to visit them in a way of judgment for their iniquities; which was a set time that would certainly come, and they could not escape; and which may not only respect the time of the Babylonish captivity, but the destruction of the Jews by the Romans, which was the time of their visitation, Luke 19:44.

Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
12. The figure is of men forced onwards by a pursuing foe, while they can neither see their way nor keep their footing. Cp. Psalm 35:6.

driven on] lit. thrust. Cp. for the expression Proverbs 14:32.

Verse 12. - Their way shall be unto them as slippery ways, etc.; rather, slippery places. The passage has a manifest affinity with Psalm 35:6 (in one of the Jeremiahizing psalms; see on Jeremiah 18:19, 20). They shall be driven on; or, as Ewald, taking over the last word of the preceding clause, they shall be thrust into the darkness. This involves a reminiscence, probable enough, of Isaiah 8:22 b. It is against the accentual tradition, but improves the rhythmical derision of the verse. If we ask who "thrusts" them, Psalm 35:5 supplies the answer - it is not merely external circumstances, but "the Angel of Jehovah," i.e. Jehovah himself. As Bishop Hall says, "God wounds us by many instruments, but with one hand." I will bring evil upon them, etc. Favorite expressions of Jeremiah (comp. Jeremiah 11:23). Jeremiah 23:12For this the Lord will punish them. Their way shall be to them as slippery places in darkness. This threatening is after the manner of Psalm 35:6, where חשׁך are joined, changed by Jeremiah to the words in the text. The passage cited shows that we may not separate בּאפלה from חלקלקּות, as Ew. does, to join it to the following ידּחוּ. Their way shall resemble slippery places in the dark, when one may readily slip and fall. Besides, they are to be thrust, pushed, so that they must fall on the slippery path (ידּחוּ from דּחח equals דּחה, Psalm 35:5; "therein" to be referred to "their way"). The clause: "for I bring evil," etc., is formed after Jeremiah 11:23.
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