Jeremiah 24:4
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Again the word of the Lord came unto me.—The words seem to imply an interval, during which the prophet was left to ponder over the symbols that he had thus seen. At last “the word of the Lord came” and made their meaning clear.

24:1-10 Good and bad figs represent the Jews in captivity, and those who remain in their own land. - The prophet saw two baskets of figs set before the temple, as offerings of first-fruits. The figs in one basket were very good, those in the other basket very bad. What creature viler than a wicked man? and what more valuable than a godly man? This vision was to raise the spirits of those gone into captivity, by assuring them of a happy return; and to humble and awaken the proud and secure spirits of those yet in Jerusalem, by assuring them of a miserable captivity. The good figs represents the pious captives. We cannot determine as to God's love or hatred by what is before us. Early suffering sometimes proves for the best. The sooner the child is corrected, the better effect the correction is likely to have. Even this captivity was for their good; and God's intentions never are in vain. By afflictions they were convinced of sin, humbled under the hand of God, weaned from the world, taught to pray, and turned from sins, particularly from idolatry. God promises that he will own them in captivity. The Lord will own those who are his, in all conditions. God assures them of his protection in trouble, and a glorious deliverance in due time. When our troubles are sanctified to us, we may be sure that they will end well. They shall return to him with their whole heart. Thus they should have liberty to own him for their God, to pray to him, and expect blessings from him. The bad figs were Zedekiah and those of his party yet in the land. These should be removed for their hurt, and forsaken of all mankind. God has many judgments, and those that escape one, may expect another, till they are brought to repent. Doubtless, this prophecy had its fulfilment in that age; but the Spirit of prophecy may here look forward to the dispersion of the unbelieving Jews, in all the nations of the earth. Let those who desire blessings from the Lord, beg that he will give them a heart to know him.The complete fulfillment of this prophecy belongs to the Christian Church. There is a close analogy between Jeremiah at the first destruction of Jerusalem and our Lord at the second. There the good figs were those converts picked out by the preaching of Christ and the Apostles; the bad figs were the mass of the people left for Titus and the Romans to destroy.2. figs … first ripe—the "boccora," or early fig (see on [923]Isa 28:4). Baskets of figs used to be offered as first-fruits in the temple. The good figs represent Jeconiah and the exiles in Babylon; the bad, Zedekiah and the obstinate Jews in Judea. They are called good and bad respectively, not in an absolute, but a comparative sense, and in reference to the punishment of the latter. This prophecy was designed to encourage the despairing exiles, and to reprove the people at home, who prided themselves as superior to those in Babylon and abused the forbearance of God (compare Jer 52:31-34). No text from Poole on this verse.

Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying. As follows; where an explanation is given of the above vision, to which this is a transition. Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4–10. See introd. summary to section.

Jeremiah 24:4The interpretation of the symbol. Jeremiah 24:5. Like the good figs, the Lord will look on the captives in Chaldea for good ("for good" belongs to the verb "look on them"). The point of resemblance is: as one looks with pleasure on good figs, takes them and keeps them, so will I bestow my favour on Judah's captives. Looking on them for good is explained, Jeremiah 24:6 : the Lord will set His eye on them, bring them back into their land and build them up again. With "build them," etc., cf. Jeremiah 1:10. The building and planting of the captives is not to consist solely in the restoration of their former civil well-being, but will be a spiritual regeneration of the people. God will give them a heart to know Him as their God, so that they may be in truth His people, and He their God. "For they will return," not: when they return (Ew., Hitz.). The turning to the Lord cannot be regarded as the condition of their receiving favour, because God will give them a heart to know Him; it is the working of the knowledge of the Lord put in their hearts. And this is adduced to certify the idea that they will then be really the Lord's people.
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