Jeremiah 31:30
But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
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31:27-34 The people of God shall become numerous and prosperous. In Heb 8:8,9, this place is quoted as the sum of the covenant of grace made with believers in Jesus Christ. Not, I will give them a new law; for Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it; but the law shall be written in their hearts by the finger of the Spirit, as formerly written in the tables of stone. The Lord will, by his grace, make his people willing people in the day of his power. All shall know the Lord; all shall be welcome to the knowledge of God, and shall have the means of that knowledge. There shall be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, at the time the gospel is published. No man shall finally perish, but for his own sins; none, who is willing to accept of Christ's salvation.A sour grape - Better, sour grapes. The idea that Jeremiah and Ezekiel (marginal reference) modified the terms of the second Commandment arises from a mistaken exegesis of their words. Compare Jeremiah 32:18; Deuteronomy 24:16. The obdurate Jews made it a reproach to the divine justice that the nation was to be sorely visited for Manasseh's sin. But this was only because generation after generation had, instead of repenting, repeated the sins of that evil time, and even in a worse form. justice must at length have its course. The acknowledgment that each man died for his own iniquity was a sign of their return to a more just and right state of feeling.30. (Ga 6:5, 7). But yet (saith God) you must not think that sinners shall escape my vengeance; but if men commit iniquity, they shall die; no man’s teeth shall be set on edge but his only who hath eaten the sour grape.

But everyone shall die for his own iniquity,.... His own personal iniquity; and not a corporeal death only, but an eternal one, which is the just wages of sin. It seems to intimate, that, after the Babylonish captivity, no public calamity should come upon them for the sins of their fathers and their own jointly, but for their own iniquities singly; so their last destruction by the Romans was for their personal disbelief and rejection of the Messiah; see John 8:24; and the calamities upon them ever since have been for the same reason. Indeed, they imprecated his blood upon them, and upon their children, and so it is; but then, their children are under the power of the same sin of unbelief, and will remain so, until the veil is taken away, and they turn to the Lord; after which it will still be a more clear case that everyone shall die for his own iniquity;

every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge; sin, though it may be esteemed a sweet morsel, is a sour grape, and will prove so in the issue; and will give a man as much trouble and disquietude, when he is convinced of the evil of it, or suffers the punishment of it, as when a man's "teeth are set on edge"; and indeed the consequence of it will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
Jeremiah 31:30The proverb, which Ezekiel also (Ezekiel 18:2.) mentions and contends against, cannot mean, "The fathers have begun to eat sour grapes, but not till the teeth of their sons have become blunted by them" (Ngelsbach); the change of tense is against this, for, by the perfect אכלוּ and the imperfect תּקהינה, the blunting of the children's teeth is set down as a result of the fathers' eating. The proverb means, "Children atone for the misdeeds of their fathers," or "The sins of the fathers are visited on their innocent children." On this point, cf. the explanations given in Ezekiel 18:2. "Then shall they no more say" is rightly explained by Hitzig to mean, "They shall have no more occasion to say." But the meaning of the words is not yet made plain by this; in particular, the question how we must understand Jeremiah 31:30 is not settled. Graf, referring to Jeremiah 23:7-8, supplies יאמרוּ after כּי־אם, and thus obtains the meaning, Then will they no more accuse God of unrighteousness, as in that wicked proverb, but they will perceive that every one has to suffer for his own guilt. Hitzig and Ngelsbach have declared against this insertion - the former with the remark that, in Jeremiah 23:7-8, because both members of the sentence begin with protestations, the whole is clear, while here it is not so - the latter resting on the fact that the dropping of the proverb from current use certainly implies a correct knowledge of the righteousness of God, but one which is very elementary and merely negative; while, on the other hand, the whole connection of the passage now before us shows that it is intended to describe a period when the theocratic life is in a most flourishing condition. Then expositors take Jeremiah 31:30 as the utterance of the prophet, and as embodying the notion that the average level of morality shall be so high at this future period, that only some sins will continue to be committed, and these as isolated exceptions to the rule. Taken all in all, Israel will be a holy people, in which the general spirit pervading them will repress the evil in some individuals, that would otherwise manifest itself. But we cannot imagine how these ideas can be supposed to be contained in the words, "Every man shall die for his own sins," etc. Jeremiah 31:30 unquestionably contains the opposite of Jeremiah 31:29. The proverb mentioned in Jeremiah 31:29 involves the complaint against God, that in punishing sin He deals unjustly. According to this view, Jeremiah 31:30 must contain the declaration that, in the future, the righteousness of God is to be revealed in the punishment of sins. As we have already remarked on Ezekiel 18:3., the verse in question rather means, that after the re-establishment of Israel, the Lord will make known to His people His grace in so glorious a manner that the favoured ones will fully perceive the righteousness of His judgments. The experience of the unmerited love and compassion of the Lord softens the heart so much, that the favoured one no longer doubts the righteousness of the divine punishment. Such knowledge of true blessedness cannot be called elementary; rather, it implies a deep experience of divine grace and a great advance in the life of faith. Nor does the verse contain a judgment expressed by the prophet in opposition to that of his contemporaries, but it simply declares that the opinion contained in that current proverb shall no longer be accepted then, but the favoured people will recognise in the death of the sinner the punishment due to them for their own sin. Viewed in this manner, these verses prepare the way for the following announcement concerning the nature of the new covenant.
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