Jeremiah 32:30
For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, said the LORD.
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(30) The children of Israel have only provoked me to anger . . .—The words “the children of Israel” are apparently taken with a different range of extension in the two clauses—(1) for the northern kingdom, as contrasted with Judah; and (2) for the collective unity of Israel before, and perhaps also after, the division of the monarchy. The latter words of the verse reproduce Deuteronomy 31:29.

32:26-44 God's answer discovers the purposes of his wrath against that generation of the Jews, and the purposes of his grace concerning future generations. It is sin, and nothing else, that ruins them. The restoration of Judah and Jerusalem is promised. This people were now at length brought to despair. But God gives hope of mercy which he had in store for them hereafter. Doubtless the promises are sure to all believers. God will own them for his, and he will prove himself theirs. He will give them a heart to fear him. All true Christians shall have a disposition to mutual love. Though they may have different views about lesser things, they shall all be one in the great things of God; in their views of the evil of sin, and the low estate of fallen man, the way of salvation through the Saviour, the nature of true holiness, the vanity of the world, and the importance of eternal things. Whom God loves, he loves to the end. We have no reason to distrust God's faithfulness and constancy, but only our own hearts. He will settle them again in Canaan. These promises shall surely be performed. Jeremiah's purchase was the pledge of many a purchase that should be made after the captivity; and those inheritances are but faint resemblances of the possessions in the heavenly Canaan, which are kept for all who have God's fear in their hearts, and do not depart from him. Let us then bear up under our trials, assured we shall obtain all the good he has promised us.From their youth - God's mighty deeds for Israel began in Egypt Jeremiah 32:20, and so did Israel's sin.30. have … done—literally, "have been doing"; implying continuous action.

only … evil … only provoked me—They have been doing nothing else but evil; their sole aim seems to have been to provoke Me.

their youth—the time when they were in the wilderness, having just before come into national existence.

If they had offended me only by some particular single acts, or by some few omissions, or but for a small time, I might have been judged too severe upon them; but from the time they first began to be a nation they have made it their business, course, and trade, passing from one idolatry to another, &c. For the children of Israel and the children of Judah,.... The former are mentioned, as well as the latter, though they had been carried captive some years ago, to justify the dealings of God with them; and besides, there were some of the ten tribes that remained, and were mingled with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin: of all which it is said, that they

have only done evil before me from their youth; from their infancy, being conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; and so being destitute of the grace of God, did nothing else but sin all their days, as is said of the men of the old world, Genesis 6:5. Some understand this, from the time of their becoming a people, a body politic; or from the time of their coming out of Egypt, and being in the wilderness, when their idolatry began, they brought out of Egypt; or from the time of the judges:

for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the Lord; with their idols, made by their own hands; these they worshipped instead of their Creator and Benefactor; which must be very provoking indeed!

For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done evil only before me from their {n} youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.

(n) From the time that I brought them out of Egypt and made them my people and called them my firstborn.

30. from their youth] from their earliest times; cp. Hosea 11:1. In Jeremiah 2:2 the Exodus time is spoken of as the youth of Israel.

for the children … the Lord] omitted in LXX and probably a gloss, for otherwise why should its reference, in spite of the preceding clause, be confined to the Northern tribes? “Israel” can hardly be used in the wide and restricted senses in the same v.Verse 30. - From their youth (see on Jeremiah 3:24, 25; 22:21). The children of Israel, in the first half of the verse, must have a narrower sense than in the second half. The fall of Jerusalem is the climax of the series of punishments which the two separated and yet (in God's sight) united portions of the people of Israel have had to undergo. These wonders of grace which the Lord wrought for His people, Israel requited with base unthankfulness. When they had got into possession of the land, they did not listen to the voice of their God, and did the reverse of what He had commanded. (The Kethib בתרותך might be read as a plural. But since תּורה in the plural is always written elsewhere תּורת (cf. 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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