And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal . . .—On the mode of worship to which the words refer, see Note on Jeremiah 19:13. Here the leading thought is that of the righteous judgment which is to fall on the very spots that had thus been turned from the worship of Jehovah to that of the false gods whom men had worshipped in His stead. The incense-smoke of their false worship had, as its end, the smoke of burning roof and timbers.
to provoke me—indicating the design, not merely the event. They seemed to court God's "anger," and purposely to "provoke" Him.
and set fire on this city; as they did, Jeremiah 39:8;
and burn it, with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal; or "especially the houses" (g), or "even the houses"; the houses particularly mentioned in the history of the destruction as burnt; and which, very probably, are here intended; besides the Lord's house, and all the houses in Jerusalem, were the king's house, and the houses of the great men or princes; and which, Kimchi thinks, were higher than others; on which therefore they burnt incense to Baal; wherefore it was a just retaliation, upon them that they should be burnt with fire:
and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger; to other gods besides the true God; to strange gods, and to other gods besides Baal; which was done as if they really designed to provoke the Lord; as if they had it in view to affront him; and, if they had, they could not have taken a more effectual method; though this is to be understood, not intentionally, but eventually; not what was their design, though it looked like it, but what was the effect of their idolatry.And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 29. - And burn it. A still more significant prediction to Jewish hearers than to us, for it implies that Jerusalem had become utterly rebellious, and deserved the punishment of the old Canaanitish cities. It was to be made a cherem (Deuteronomy 3:6). Genesis 26:5; Exodus 16:28; Exodus 18:20; Leviticus 26:46, etc.), and the omission of the י in plural suffixes is unusual (cf. Jeremiah 38:22), the word rather seems to have been incorrectly written for בּתורתך (cf. Jeremiah 26:4; Jeremiah 44:10, Jeremiah 44:23), i.e., the w seems to have been misplaced. Therefore the Lord brought on them this great calamity, the Chaldean invasion (תּקרא for תּקרה); cf. Jeremiah 13:22, Deuteronomy 31:29. With this thought, the prophet makes transition to the questions addressed to the Lord, into which the prayer glides. In Jeremiah 32:24, the great calamity is more fully described. The ramparts of the besieging enemy have come to the city (בּוא with acc.), to take it, and the city is given (נתּנה, prophetic perfect) into the hands of the Chaldeans. "Because of the sword;" i.e., the sword, famine, and pestilence (cf. Jeremiah 14:16; Jeremiah 25:16, etc.) bring them into the power of the enemy. "What Thou spakest," i.e., didst threaten through the prophets, "is come to pass; and, behold, Thou seest it (viz., what has happened), and yet (ואתּה adversative) Thou sayest to me, 'Buy the field,' " etc. The last clause, 'והעיר נ, is a "circumstantial" one, and is not a part of God's address, but is added by Jeremiah in order to give greater prominence to the contrast between the actual state of matters and the divine command regarding the purchase. The prayer concludes with this, which is for men an inexplicable riddle, not (as Ngelsbach thinks) for the purpose of leaving to the reader the solution of the problem, after all aids have been offered him - for Jeremiah would not need to direct his question to God for that purpose - but in order to ask from God an explanation regarding the future. This explanation immediately follows in the word of the Lord, which, from Jeremiah 32:26 onwards, is addressed to the prophet.
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