Jeremiah 32:31
For this city has been to me as a provocation of my anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even to this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
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(31) From the day that they built it . . .—The words confirm the inference already drawn in the preceding note, that the thoughts of the prophet turn to the time when Israel was yet one people under David and Solomon. Even then, he seems to say, the city had fallen far short of the holiness which it ought to have attained. and which David sought for it (Psalms 15-24), and had only been for anger and for fury to the Lord. There is no Hebrew word answering to “provocation.” It is noticeable that the prophet, as if forgetting that Jerusalem had been a Jebusite city before David took possession (2Samuel 5:6-10), speaks as if it had been built by Israel. It is obvious, however, that it was so much enlarged and altered after this capture, that the words which so describe it may have been not only practically, but almost literally, true.

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.31. provocation of mine anger—literally, "for mine anger." Calvin, therefore, connects these words with those at the end of the verse, "this city has been to me an object for mine anger (namely, by reason of the provocations mentioned, Jer 32:30, &c.), that I should remove it," &c. Thus, there will not be the repetition of the sentiment, Jer 32:30, as in English Version; the Hebrew also favors this rendering. However, Jeremiah delights in repetitions. In English Version the words, "that I should remove it," &c., stand independently, as the result of what precedes. The time is ripe for taking vengeance on them (2Ki 23:27).

from the day that they built it—Solomon completed the building of the city; and it was he who, first of the Jewish kings, turned to idolatry. It was originally built by the idolatrous Canaanites.

Solomon finished the building of Jerusalem, and he at least suffered idolatry in it, 1 Kings 11:4,8. People have always been so fond of worshipping God according to their own fancies and inventions, that even in Judah (except in David’s time) the worship of God could hardly be preserved pure during the entire reign of one king. As if they had done it on purpose to provoke me to destroy the city, and cast the people of it out. Nothing more easy than for people to keep close to the Divine rule, as to external acts in worship; nothing is more provocative of God than their doing the contrary. Yet nothing hath been more rarely done in any nation, as if men had set themselves to dare a jealous God. For this city hath been tame as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury,.... Or, "upon mine anger, and upon my fury this city was to me" (h); that is, it was upon his heart, and in his mind and purpose, being provoked to anger and wrath by their sins, to have destroyed it long ago, though he had deferred it to this time; the inhabitants of this city had been always a provoking people to him; and he had thought to have poured out his wrath and fury upon them:

from the day they built it, even unto this day: when built and inhabited by the idolatrous Canaanites; possessed by the Jebusites; rebuilt by David; beautified with the temple and other stately buildings by Solomon, who was drawn it, to idolatry by his wives. It is a tradition of the Jews, mentioned both by Jarchi and Kimchi, that the same day that the foundation of the temple was laid, Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter; and which was the foundation of his idolatry; and which was more or less practised in every reign afterwards, to this time; and which so provoked the Lord, that he took up this resolution early, though he did not put it in execution; expressed as follows:

that I should remove it from before my face; as a man does that which is nauseous and abominable to him; meaning the removing the inhabitants of it into other lands, or causing them to go into captivity; so the Targum.

(h) "super naso meo, et super ira mea fuit mihi civitas haec", Montanus; "in furore meo, et in ira mea", Pagninus, Vatablus.

For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
31. from the day that they built it] a somewhat loose expression (as it existed in Canaanitish times; see 2 Samuel 5:6 ff.) for its earliest days as an Israelitish city.Verse 31. - From the day that they built it. It is useless to tell an impassioned orator that his words are not strictly consistent with primitive history. The Israelites may not have built Jerusalem, but Jeremiah was not to be debarred from the strongest form of expression open to him for such a reason. He means "from the earliest times." 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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