Jeremiah 4:24
I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
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(24) The mountains, and, lo, they trembled.—The great earthquake in the days of Uzziah (Amos 1:1), of which we find traces in Isaiah (Isaiah 24:19-20), had probably made imagery of this kind familiar.

4:19-31 The prophet had no pleasure in delivering messages of wrath. He is shown in a vision the whole land in confusion. Compared with what it was, every thing is out of order; but the ruin of the Jewish nation would not be final. Every end of our comforts is not a full end. Though the Lord may correct his people very severely, yet he will not cast them off. Ornaments and false colouring would be of no avail. No outward privileges or profession, no contrivances would prevent destruction. How wretched the state of those who are like foolish children in the concerns of their souls! Whatever we are ignorant of, may the Lord make of good understanding in the ways of godliness. As sin will find out the sinner, so sorrow will, sooner or later, find out the secure.Moved lightly - "Reeled to and fro," from the violence of the earthquake.24. mountains—(Isa 5:25).

moved lightly—shook vehemently.

He proceeds in his figurative elegancies: q.d. Behold how the mountains of Judea tremble! a like expression Psalm 18:7,8 Isa 5:25; as if the very senseless creatures were astonished at the greatness of God’s anger; and he mentions these as being the most stable part of the earth, yet shake before him.

All the hills moved lightly; as easily as if they were some very light matter, or as dust or feathers in a whirlwind. See Psalm 114:4,6. Or these may be said hyperbolically to tremble and move by reason of the multitudes of trampling and prancing horses and chariots furiously passing over them.

I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled,.... At the presence of God, at the tokens of his displeasure, and at his awful vengeance in the destruction of the Jews, as they are sometimes said to do, Psalm 68:8,

and all the hills moved lightly; so Kimchi's father says the word used has the signification of lightness; though Jarchi, from Menachem, explains it, they were plucked up, and thrown out of their place; and some render it, were pulled down and destroyed, so the Targum. Mountains and hills are most stable, and not easily moved, wherefore this is said, to aggravate the desolation and destruction.

I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
24. moved to and fro] mg. moved lightly.

Verse 24. - Moved lightly; rather, moved to and fro. Jeremiah 4:24One destruction after another is heralded (on שׁבר, see Jeremiah 4:6). Ew. translates loosely: wound upon wound meet one another. For the word does not mean wound, but the fracture of a limb; and it seems inadmissible to follow the Chald. and Syr. in taking נקרא here in the sense of נקרה , since the sig. "meet" does not suit שׁבר. The thought is this: tidings are brought of one catastrophe after another, for the devastation extends itself over the whole land and comes suddenly upon the tents, i.e., dwellings of those who are lamenting. Covers, curtains of the tent, is used as synonymous with tents; cf. Jeremiah 10:20; Isaiah 54:2. How long shall I see the standard, etc.! is the cry of despair, seeing no prospect of the end to the horrors of the war. The standard and the sound of the trumpet are, as in Jeremiah 4:5, the alarm-signals on the approach of the enemy.

There is no prospect of an end to the horrors, for (Jeremiah 4:22) the people is so foolish that it understands only how to do the evil, but not the good; cf. for this Jeremiah 5:21; Isaiah 1:3; Micah 7:3. Jeremiah 4:21 gives God's answer to the woful query, how long the ravaging of the land by war is to last. The answer is: as long as the people persists in the folly of its rebellion against God, so long will chastising judgments continue. To bring this answer of God home to the people's heart, the prophet, in Jeremiah 4:23-26, tells what he has seen in the spirit. He has seen (ראיתי, perf. proph.) bursting over Judah a visitation which convulses the whole world. The earth seemed waste and void as at the beginning of creation, Genesis 1:2, before the separation of the elements and before the creation of organic and living beings. In heaven no light was to be seen, earth and heaven seemed to have been thrown back into a condition of chaos. The mountains and hills, these firm foundations of the earth, quivered and swayed (התקלקל, be put into a light motion, cf. Nahum 1:5); men had fled and hidden themselves from the wrath of God (cf. Isaiah 2:19, Isaiah 2:21), and all the birds had flown out of sight in terror at the dreadful tokens of the beginning catastrophe (Genesis 9:9). The fruitful field was the wilderness - not a wilderness, but "changed into the wilderness with all its attributes" (Hitz.). הכּרמל is not appell. as in Jeremiah 2:7, but nom. prop. of the lower slopes of Carmel, famed for their fruitfulness; these being taken as representatives of all the fruitful districts of the land. The cities of the Carmel, or of the fruitful-field, are manifestly not to be identified with the store cities of 1 Kings 9:19, as Hitz. supposes, but the cities in the most fertile districts of the country, which, by reason of their situation, were in a prosperous condition, but now are destroyed. "Before the heat of His anger," which is kindled against the foolish and godless race; cf. Nahum 1:6; Isaiah 13:13.

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