Jeremiah 36:3
It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) It may be that the house of Judah will hear . . .—Better, hearken to, as implying more than the physical act of listening. Here again, in the expression of the hope that Israel would “return every man from his evil way,” we have a distinct echo from Jeremiah 25:5.

Jeremiah 36:3. It may be that the house of Judah will hear, &c. — That is, will hearken, and lay to heart, all the evil, &c., that they may return, &c. — Blaney translates the verse, “Peradventure the house of Judah may hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them, so as to return every one from his evil way, and I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” See the like expression, Jeremiah 36:7; Jeremiah 26:3; Ezekiel 12:3; Amos 5:15; in which places God is introduced as speaking after the manner of men, and using such methods as, in human probability, might be most likely to prevail: compare Jeremiah 8:6. These, and expressions of the like kind, sufficiently indicate that God’s foreknowledge of future events lays no restraint on the will of man, nor takes away the liberty of human actions. That I may forgive their iniquity and their sin — Forgiveness of sin in Scripture sometimes signifies the acquitting of a sinner from the obligation sin had laid him under to eternal death; sometimes the remission of a temporal punishment: it may here be understood as comprehending both, though it is probable the latter is principally intended.

36:1-8 The writing of the Scriptures was by Divine appointment. The Divine wisdom directed to this as a proper means; if it failed, the house of Judah would be the more without excuse. The Lord declares to sinners the evil he purposes to do against them, that they may hear, and fear, and return from their evil ways; and whenever any one makes this use of God's warnings, in dependence on his promised mercy, he will find the Lord ready to forgive his sins. All others will be left without excuse; and the consideration that great is the anger God has pronounced against us for sin, should quicken both our prayers and our endeavours.Compare Jeremiah 26:3. In point of date Jeremiah 26:is immediately prior to the present. 3. hear—consider seriously.

return … from … evil way—(Jon 3:8).

What we translate it may be ylw others translate if perhaps, which better expresseth the sense. God knew what would be, but yet he would not be wanting in means by which they might be informed in his will, and so believe the thing, for believing and reforming are here meant by hearing, as the next words in part expound this term here. Forgiveness of sin in Scripture sometimes signifieth the acquitting of a sinner from the obligation sin layeth the sinner under to eternal death, sometimes the remission of a temporal punishment; it may here well be understood as comprehending both, though I think the latter to be what is here principally intended.

It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them,.... Not that there was any uncertainty in God as to the knowledge of future events, any more than a change in his purposes: he had purposed to bring evil upon them, which purpose would not be disannulled; and he knew that the Jews would not hearken to the prediction of it, or be concerned about it, and repent of their sins, and reform; but this method he was pleased to take, as being, humanly speaking, a probable one to awaken their attention, and which would leave them inexcusable:

that they may return every man from his evil way; repent of it, and reform:

that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin; by not inflicting on them the punishment and ruin threatened: where repentance is, remission of sin is likewise, and both are the gifts of divine grace, when spiritual and evangelical.

It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. It may be that the house of Judah, etc.] Cp. ch. Jeremiah 26:3.

Jeremiah 36:3The word of the Lord to Jeremiah was to this effect: "Take thee a book-roll, and write on it (אליה for עליה) all the words that I have spoken unto thee concerning Israel and Judah, and concerning all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah till this day. Jeremiah 36:3. Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I meditate doing to them, that they may return every one from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin." ישׁמעוּ here means, to hear correctly and lay to heart; cf. Jeremiah 26:3. Hitzig views the command as meaning, not that Jeremiah is now for the first time to write down his addresses (which would be an impossibility for the most faithful memory), but that he is merely to write them down together in one book, out of the several scattered leaves and scraps. Graf has already refuted this view, though more fully than was necessary. It is not a copying, word for word, of every separate address that is meant, but merely a writing down of the essential contents of all his oral discourses. This is quite clear, not merely from what is stated in Jeremiah 36:3 as the object of this command, but also from the character of these collected addresses, as they are preserved to us. That the expression "all the words" is not to be understood in the most rigid sense, follows from the very fact that, when Jeremiah anew wrote down his prophecies, Jeremiah 36:32, he further added "many similar words" to what had been contained in the first book-roll, which was burned by Jehoiakim. But Jeremiah might perhaps be able to retain in his memory the substance of all the addresses he had delivered during the twenty-three years, since all of them treated of the same subjects - reproof of prevailing sins, threat of punishment, and promises.
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