Jeremiah 4:2
And you shall swear, The LORD lives, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
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(2) And thou shalt swear.—The conditions are continued: If thou wilt swear by the living Jehovah [“the Lord liveth” being the received formula of adjuration], in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness.

And the nations shall bless themselves in him.—This forms the completion of the sentence. If the conditions of a true repentance are fulfilled by Israel, then the outlying heathen nations shall bless themselves in Jehovah—i.e., shall own Him and adore Him, be blessed by Him.

Jeremiah 4:2. And thou shalt swear, &c. — In taking a solemn oath, thou shalt appeal, not to dead and vain idols, but to Jehovah, the living and true God. This is put here for the whole worship of God, acknowledging and owning God as the only God, which is strongly expressed by this act: see Isaiah 48:1; Isaiah 65:16. In truth — In sincerity, knowing that the matter of the oath is strictly true; in judgment — Deliberately, advisedly, and reverently, the occasion being great and important; in righteousness — That none be injured by it, that the things we engage to do, or to see done, be both lawful and possible, and that we look to the performance of our oaths. And the nations shall bless themselves in him — This shall be a means of inducing the heathen nations to turn to the true God, and embrace the same way of worship. They shall think themselves happy to be incorporated with thee, that it may be with them according to the promise, Genesis 12:3. And in him, shall they glory — Whereas before they gloried in their idols, they shall now glory in Jehovah alone. This is evidently “a prediction of gospel times, when the heathen should join with the Israelites in paying all solemn acts of worship and devotion to the true God only, and in ascribing all honour and glory to him, and to his only Son, the Messiah, in whom all the nations were to be blessed.”4:1,2 The first two verses should be read with the last chapter. Sin must be put away out of the heart, else it is not put away out of God's sight, for the heart is open before him.Return - The repentance of Israel described in Jeremiah 3:21-25 was a hope, and not a reality. The return, literally, would be their restoration to their land; spiritually, their abandoning their sins.

Jeremiah 4:1-2 should be translated as follows:

If thou wouldst return, O Israel, saith Yahweh.

Unto Me thou shalt return:

And if thou wouldst remove thy abominations from before Me,

And not wander to and fro,

But wouldst swear truly, uprightly; and justly

By the living Yahweh;

Then shall the pagan bless themselves ... -

In him - In Yahweh. Two great truths are taught in this verse;

(1) that the Gentiles were to be members of the Church of the Messiah;

(2) that Israel's special office was to be God's mediator in this great work.

Thus, Jeremiah is in exact accord with the evangelical teaching of Isaiah.

2. And thou—rather, "And if (carried on from Jer 4:1) thou shalt swear, 'Jehovah liveth,' in truth, &c.", that is, if thou shalt worship Him (for we swear by the God whom we worship; compare De 6:13; 10:20; Isa 19:18; Am 8:14) in sincerity, &c.

and the nations—Rather, this is apodosis to the "if"; then shall the nations bless themselves in (by) Him" (Isa 65:16). The conversion of the nations will be the consequence of Israel's conversion (Ps 102:13, 15; Ro 11:12, 15).

And thou shalt swear: this is to be understood, partly by way of command, as Deu 10:20; and partly by way of direction, if thou swear, or when thou swearest: it is put here synecdochically for the whole worship of God, hereby acknowledging and owning God as the only God.

The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness: here he prescribes,

1. The form of the oath. viz.

The Lord liveth, or, By the life of God, which was that form which they did use in swearing, 1 Samuel 14:39,45, and many other places; so Joseph sware by the life of Pharaoh, Genesis 42:15,16; and Elisha very frequently useth this form, 2 Kings 2:2,4,6 3:14 5:16; which is also to be understood exclusively; q.d. not by any idol, as Baal, &c., or any creature, Jeremiah 5:7 Matthew 5:34-36 Jam 5:12, but by God alone, Isaiah 65:16; see Hosea 2:17; for by this indeed we declare the Godhead of him whom we worship, Isaiah 19:182. The qualification of it, in which indeed are comprised all the requisites to a religious oath and worship of God, both in our general and particular calling, with respect to God, ourselves, our neighbours,


In truth, that the matter and substance of it be really true in itself, Romans 9:1, that which agrees with the intent of the mind, Psalm 24:4, and with the intent of him that administers it; not doubtful, feigned, or deceitful, as they did, Isaiah 48:1 Jeremiah 5:2, but as true as the Lord lives.


In judgment, i.e. either in matter or places of judicature, for the decision of controversies, deliberately, advisedly, and reverently, well considering both of the form and matter of the oath, Leviticus 5:4, that God’s name be neither taken in vain customarily, or in matters trivial, Deu 5:11, nor abused by oaths the are rash and precipitant, such as Saul’s was, 1 Samuel 14:39, and as Herod’s, Matthew 14:7, and without necessity.


In righteousness, that none be injured by it, that the things we engage be,

1. Both lawful and possible; see 1 Samuel 25:21,22 28:10 1 Kings 19:2; and,

2. That we look to the performance, Psalm 15:4 Matthew 5:33; the want of either of which circumstances makes it a bond of iniquity, Ecclesiastes 5:4,5.

The nations shall bless themselves in him; this shall be a means to work upon the heathen nations, and prevail with them to come into the same way of worship, that now scorn both you and me, because I am forced to make them the rod of my anger against you, in regard of your provocations, Psalm 47:8,9 Jer 3:17. They shall think themselves happy to be incorporated with thee, that it may be with them according to that promise, Genesis 12:3 22:17,18. They shall, as it were, bless themselves in such like form; The Lord make me and mine as Israel; blessed be Israel, and the God of Israel. Or rather,

in him shall they glory; whereas before they gloried in their idols, now, being taken into the true church, among God’s Israel, they shall glory in God alone, Psalm 106:5, who indeed alone is the glory of his people, Psalm 89:17 148:14. And thou shalt swear, the Lord liveth,.... Or by the living Lord, by him and him only; not by the creatures, but by the God of truth. This is sometimes put for the whole worship and service of God, Deuteronomy 6:13 and for a confession of Christ, and profession of faith in him, Isaiah 45:23, compared with Romans 14:11 and which ought to be done,

in truth, in righteousness, and in judgment; in sincerity, integrity, and uprightness of soul; in spirit and in, truth; in righteousness and true holiness:

and the nations shall bless themselves in him, not in Israel, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret it; but in the Lord, even in the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed with all spiritual blessings; with which being blessed, they call and count themselves happy, being pardoned through the blood of Christ, justified by his righteousness, and having peace, life, and salvation by him, Genesis 22:18,

and in him shall they glory; not in themselves, nor in any creature, or creature enjoyment; but in the Lord, and in what he is to them, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; in whom all the seed of Israel, being justified, glory; see 1 Corinthians 1:30. The sense of the words seems to be, that upon the Gospel being preached by Christ and his apostles to the Israelites, and some of them being converted, and their abominations put away, and they cleaving to the Lord, and to his worship; the Gentiles should have the Gospel sent to them, and receive it, and place all their blessedness in Christ, and glory in him.

And thou shalt {b} swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.

(b) You will detest the name of idols, Ps 16:4 and will with reverence swear by the living God, when your oath may advance God's glory, and profit others: and here by swearing he means the true religion of God.

2. shall bless themselves in him] not in Israel, but in God, i.e. they will use Jehovah’s name in invoking blessings on themselves.But Israel did not meet the expectation. Like a faithless wife from her husband, Israel fell away from its God. The particle of comparison כּאשׁר is omitted before the verb, as in Isaiah 55:9, cf. Isaiah 55:10 and Isaiah 55:11. רע does not precisely mean husband, nor yet paramour, but friend and companion, and so here is equal to wedded husband. בּגד c. מן, withdraw faithlessly from one, faithlessly forsake - c. בּ, be faithless, deal faithlessly with one.

Yet Israel will come to a knowledge of its iniquity, and bitterly repent it, Jeremiah 3:21. From the heights where idolatry was practised, the prophet already hears in spirit the lamentations and supplications of the Israelites entreating for forgiveness. על שׁפיים points back to Jeremiah 3:2, when the naked heights were mentioned as the scenes of idolatry. From these places is heard the supplicating cry for pardon. כּי העווּ, because (for that) they had made their way crooked, i.e., had entered on a crooked path, had forgotten their God.

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