Jeremiah 3:25
We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covers us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) We lie down.—Better, We will lie down—Our confusion shall cover us. The words are those of penitents accepting their punishment: “We chose the shameful thing, therefore let us bear our shame.”

3:21-25 Sin is turning aside to crooked ways. And forgetting the Lord our God is at the bottom of all sin. By sin we bring ourselves into trouble. The promise to those that return is, God will heal their backslidings, by his pardoning mercy, his quieting peace, and his renewing grace. They come devoting themselves to God. They come disclaiming all expectations of relief and succour from any but the Lord. Therefore they come depending upon him only. He is the Lord, and he only can save. It points out the great salvation from sin Jesus Christ wrought out for us. They come justifying God in their troubles, and judging themselves for their sins. True penitents learn to call sin shame, even the sin they have been most pleased with. True penitents learn to call sin death and ruin, and to charge upon it all they suffer. While men harden themselves in sin, contempt and misery are their portion: for he that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and forsaketh them, shall find mercy.We lie down ... - Or, We will lie down: we are ready to throw ourselves upon the ground in bitter humiliation.

Covereth - literally, shall cover us. We will hide our face from others.

25. (Ezr 9:7). We lie down in our shame; we are perplexed and confounded within ourselves; we are such a reproach, both to God and man, that we cannot but lift up our hands for shame, even we, that had once a whore’s forehead, Jeremiah 3:3, but must lie down in our shame; an expression to set forth tho greatness of their repentance and sorrow; as one in great perplexity, not knowing what to do, throws himself down upon his couch or bed, 1 Kings 21:4.

Our confusion covereth us; a metaphor from persons muffled up in the bed-clothes, as ashamed to be seen: the like expression Psalm 44:15.

We and our fathers this notes the universality of their sins, the whole generation of us, like fathers, like children. True confession wraps up our own and others’ sins, Ezra 9:7 Nehemiah 9:33,34 Psa 106:6,7 Jer 14:20, and keeps us from all excuse by others’ examples, 2 Kings 17:41, which gross guilt of theirs in this kind is described Jeremiah 44:17.

From our youth even unto this day: as the former sets forth the universality of their sins, so this the continuance of them, Deu 9:7 2 Kings 17:34,41. We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us,.... As persons overwhelmed with a sense of sin, and so pressed with the guilt of it on their consciences, that they can neither stand up, nor look up, but throw themselves on the ground, and cover their faces, being ashamed of what they have done:

for we have sinned against the Lord our God; as by breaking the law of God, so by despising the Gospel; rejecting the ordinances of it; disbelieving the Messiah, and speaking reproachfully of him and his people:

we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day; in a long series of years, from the time that Christ was upon earth, to the day of their conversion, in the latter times of the Gospel dispensation:

and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God; the voice of his forerunner, John the Baptist, of the Messiah himself, and of his apostles, and of his ministers, since; so the Targum,

"and have not obeyed the Word of the Lord our God.''

Christ the essential Word.

We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: {z} for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

(z) They justify not themselves, or say that they would follow their fathers, but condemn their wicked doings and desire forgiveness for the same, as in Ezr 9:7, Ps 106:6, Isa 64:6.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. Let us lie down] Cp. for such a custom as indicative of very painful feelings 2 Samuel 12:16; 2 Samuel 13:31; 1 Kings 21:4.

cover] Cp. Psalm 109:29.Verse 25. - We lie down; rather, Let us lie down; said in despair, just as Hezekiah says, "Let us enter the gates of Sheol" (Isaiah 38:10). A prostrate position is the natural expression of deep sorrow (2 Samuel 12:16; 2 Samuel 13:31; 1 Kings 21:4). Our confusion covereth us; rather, Let our confusion (or reproach) cover us (like a veil) (comp. Jeremiah 51:51; Psalm 69:7).



The return of Israel to its God. - Jeremiah 3:19. "I thought, O how I will put thee among the sons, and give thee a delightful land, a heritage of the chiefest splendour of the nations! and thought, 'My Father,' ye will cry to me, and not turn yourselves away from me. Jeremiah 3:20. truly as a wife faithlessly forsakes her mate, so are ye become faithless towards me, house of Israel, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 3:21. A voice upon the bare-topped hills is heard, suppliant weeping of the sons of Israel; for that they have made their way crooked, forsaken Jahveh their God. Jeremiah 3:22. 'Return, ye backsliding sons, I will heal your backsliding,' Behold, we come to thee; for Thou Jahveh art our God. Jeremiah 3:23. Truly the sound from the hills, from the mountains, is become falsehood: truly in Jahveh our God is the salvation of Israel. Jeremiah 3:24. And shame hath devoured the gains of our fathers from our youth on; their sheep and their oxen, their sons and their daughters. Jeremiah 3:25. Let us lie down in our shame, and let our disgrace cover us; for against Jahveh our God have we sinned, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not listened to the voice of our God." Hitz. takes Jeremiah 3:18 and Jeremiah 3:19 together, without giving an opinion on ואנכי אמרתּי. Ew. joins Jeremiah 3:19 to the preceding, and begins a new strophe with Jeremiah 3:21. Neither assumption can be justified. With Jeremiah 3:18 closes the promise which formed the burden of the preceding strophe, and in Jeremiah 3:19 there begins a new train of thought, the announcement as to how Israel comes to a consciousness of sin and returns penitent to the Lord its God (Jeremiah 3:21-25). The transition to this announcement is formed by Jeremiah 3:19 and Jeremiah 3:20, in which the contrast between God's fatherly designs and Israel's faithless bearing towards God is brought prominently forward; and by ואנכי אמרתּי it is attached to the last clause of the 18th verse. His having mentioned the land into which the Israelites would again return, carries the prophet's thoughts back again to the present and the past, to the bliss which Jahveh had designed for them, forfeited by their faithless apostasy, and to be regained only by repentant return (Graf). "I thought," refers to the time when God gave the land to their fathers for an inheritance. Then spake, i.e., thought, I; cf. Psalm 31:23. How I will set thee or place thee among the sons! i.e., how I will make thee glorious among the sons (שׁית c. accus. and ב, as in 2 Samuel 19:29). No valid objection against this is founded by Hitz.'s plea that in that case we must read אשׁיתך, and that by Jeremiah, the teacher of morals, no heathen nation, or any but Israel, can ever be regarded as a son of God (Jeremiah 31:9, Jeremiah 31:20). The fem. אשׁיתך is explained by the personification of Judah and Israel as two sisters, extending throughout the whole prophecy. The other objection is erroneous as to the fact. In Jeremiah 31:9 Jahveh calls Ephraim, equals Israel, his first-born son, as all Israel is called by God in Exodus 4:22. But the conception of first-born has, as necessary correlate, that of other "sons." Inasmuch as Jahveh the God of Israel is creator of the world and of all men, all the peoples of the earth are His בּנים; and from amongst all the peoples He has made choice of Israel as סגלּה, or chosen him for His first-born son. Hitz.'s translation: how will I endow thee with children, is contrary to the usage of the language. - The place which God willed to give Israel amongst His children is specified by the next clause: and I willed to give thee a delightful land (ארץ חמדּה as in Zechariah 7:14; Psalm 106:24). צבי צבאות, ornament of ornaments, i.e., the greatest, most splendid ornament. For there can be no doubt that צבאות does not come from צבא, but, with Kimchi after the Targum, is to be derived from צבי; for the plural צביים from צבי may pass into צבאים, cf. Gesen. 93. 6b, as Ew., too, in 186, c, admits, though he takes our צבאות from צבא, and strains the meaning into: an heirloom-adornment amidst the hosts of heathen. After such proofs of a father's love, God expected that Israel would by a true cleaving to Him show some return of filial affection. To cry, "My father," is a token of a child's love and adherence. The Chet. תּקראוּ and תּשׁוּבוּ are not to be impugned; the Keris are unnecessary alterations.
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