Jeremiah 3:3
Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
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(3) Therefore the showers . . .—Outward calamities were looked upon as chastisements for these sins. There had apparently been a severe drought in the reign of Josiah (Jeremiah 9:12; Jeremiah 25:1-6). There had been no showers in spring, no “latter rain” in autumn. So like calamities are described in Amos 4:7; Haggai 1:11; Joel 1:18-20. The influence of the newly-discovered book of Deuteronomy (2Chronicles 34:14; 2Kings 22:8) had doubtless given a fresh emphasis to this view of natural disasters.

Jeremiah 3:3. Therefore the showers have been withholden — Namely, by me, according to my threatening, Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 28:23-24; that is, a drought was sent upon their land, either as a punishment of their wickedness, public sins bringing public judgments, or as an aggravation of it, in which case the clause ought to be read, Though the showers, &c.; that is, notwithstanding the great drought, whereby thou hast been chastised, thou hast not been brought to repentance; and there hath been no latter rain — Though the latter rain hath been withheld as well as the former: concerning which two seasons of rain, see notes on Deuteronomy 11:14, and Proverbs 16:15. Thou hadst a whore’s forehead — Notwithstanding all this, thou didst still remain impudent and obstinate, as one ashamed of nothing. “The general import of the passage is, that though God had begun, in some degree, to chastise his people, as he had threatened, with a view to their reformation, his chastisements had not produced the desired effect, for they continued as abandoned as before, without showing the least sign of shame or remorse.” — Blaney.

3:1-5 In repentance, it is good to think upon the sins of which we have been guilty, and the places and companies where they have been committed. How gently the Lord had corrected them! In receiving penitents, he is God, and not man. Whatever thou hast said or done hitherto, wilt thou not from this time apply to me? Will not this grace of God overcome thee? Now pardon is proclaimed, wilt thou not take the benefit? They will hope to find in him the tender compassions of a Father towards a returning prodigal. They will come to him as the Guide of their youth: youth needs a guide. Repenting sinners may encourage themselves that God will not keep his anger to the end. All God's mercies, in every age, suggest encouragement; and what can be so desirable for the young, as to have the Lord for their Father, and the Guide of their youth? Let parents daily direct their children earnestly to seek this blessing.These words are not the language of consolation to the conscience-stricken, but of vehement expostulation with hardened sinners. They prove, therefore, the truth of the interpretation put upon the preceding verse.

As the Arabian ... - The freebooting propensities of the Bedouin had passed in ancient times into a proverb. As eager as the desert-tribes were for plunder, so was Israel for idolatry.

3. no latter rain—essential to the crops in Palestine; withheld in judgment (Le 26:19; compare Joe 2:23).

whore's forehead—(Jer 8:12; Eze 3:8).

Therefore the showers have been withholden, viz. by me, according to my threatening, Leviticus 26:19 Deu 28:23,24, i.e. a drought sent upon thee, either as a punishment of thy wickedness; thus public sins bring public judgments; or as an aggravation of it; and then it must be read though, as it often is; q. d. notwithstanding the great drought; and this the last words of the verse seem to favour. There hath been no latter rain: this, added to showers before mentioned, seems to imply there had been no former nor latter rain, the former for the springing of the corn, the latter for the plumping and ripening it; this coming a little before harvest.

Thou hadst a whore’s forehead: for all this, thou didst still remain impudent and obstinate, as ashamed of nothing, Jeremiah 6:15; thus proverbially expressed, because shame doth first and mostly appear in the forehead. Thus antichrist’s impudence is expressed, Revelation 17:5. And some ancient heretics were called effrontes.

Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain,.... There were two seasons of the year when rain in common fell upon the land of Israel, called the former and the latter rain, and both are designed here. The former by "showers", so called from the multitude of drops in them: these showers, or the former rain, used to fall in the month Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October; it was in autumn, at the fall of the year, at seedtime, when great quantity of rain usually fell, to prepare the earth for sowing, and watering the seed sown; whence that month was sometimes called Bul, as Kimchi observes, from "mabbul", a flood. The latter rain fell in Nisan, which answers to our March; it was in the spring, a little before harvest, which swelled the grain, made the skin the thinner, and the flower the finer. This is called now, because of the idolatry of these people, those rains were withheld from them, as they were in the times of Ahab, 1 Kings 17:1, which brought a famine upon them; and was a manifest token of the divine displeasure, and what was threatened them in case they sinned against the Lord, Deuteronomy 28:23,

and thou hadst a whore's forehead; was impudent and unconcerned, repented not of sin, or blushed for it, though such judgments were upon them; hence the Rabbins (x) say rains are not withheld but for impudence, according, to this Scripture:

thou refusedst to be ashamed; to be made ashamed by the admonitions of the prophets, or by the judgments of God; see Jeremiah 5:3.

(x) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 7. 2.

Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there hath been no {f} latter rain; and thou hadst an {g} harlot's forehead, thou didst refuse to be ashamed.

(f) As God threatened by his law, De 28:24.

(g) You would never be ashamed of your acts and repent: and this impudency is common to idolaters, who will not cease, though they are openly convicted.

3. no latter rain] See ch. Jeremiah 5:24, and for the general thought cp. Amos 4:6 ff. The wholly different rendering of the clause by LXX, though doubtless wrong, suggests an original Hebrew with the sense, And thy many friends (lovers or idols) were a snare to thee.

Jeremiah 3:3But the idolatrous race was not to be brought to reflection or turned from its evil ways, even when judgment fell upon it. God chastised it by withholding the rain, by drought; cf. Jeremiah 14:1., Amos 4:7. רביבים, rain-showers (Deuteronomy 32:2), does not stand for the early rain (יורה), but denotes any fall of rain; and the late rain (shortly before harvest) is mentioned along with it, as in Hosea 6:3; Zechariah 10:1. But affliction made no impression. The people persisted in its sinful courses with unabashed effrontery; cf. Jeremiah 5:3; Ezekiel 3:7.
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