Jeremiah 4:5
Declare you in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow you the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defended cities.
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(5) Declare.i.e., proclaim as a herald proclaims. The cry is that of an alarm of war. The prophet sees, as it were, the invading army, and calls the people to leave their villages and to take refuge in the fortified cities.

Jeremiah 4:5-6. Blow ye the trumpet — The Lord, being now about to bring enemies upon them, speaks in martial language, warning them of the nature of their approaching judgment. It is the beginning of a new discourse, in which the prophet describes the dreadful preparations of war, such as blowing a trumpet, and setting up a standard, for the assembling men together, in order to their leaving the open country, and retiring with their families and goods into the defenced cities, both for their own safety, and that they might maintain those garrisons against the power of the enemy. Retire, stay not — Make haste away. I will bring evil from the north — I am about to bring a great destruction upon you from Chaldea.4:5-18 The fierce conqueror of the neighbouring nations was to make Judah desolate. The prophet was afflicted to see the people lulled into security by false prophets. The approach of the enemy is described. Some attention was paid in Jerusalem to outward reformation; but it was necessary that their hearts should be washed, in the exercise of true repentance and faith, from the love and pollution of sin. When lesser calamities do not rouse sinners and reform nations, sentence will be given against them. The Lord's voice declares that misery is approaching, especially against wicked professors of the gospel; when it overtakes them, it will be plainly seen that the fruit of wickedness is bitter, and the end is fatal.Rather, Make proclamation "in Judah, and in Jerusalem" bid them hear, "and say, Blow the trumpet" throughout "the land:" cry aloud "and say etc." The prophecy begins with a loud alarm of war. The verse sets forth well, in its numerous commands, the excitement and confusion of such a time. 5. cry, gather together—rather, "cry fully" that is, loudly. The Jews are warned to take measures against the impending Chaldean invasion (compare Jer 8:14). The Lord being now about to bring enemies upon them, he bespeaks them in martial language, by stirring them to a speedy provision, and warning of them of the nature of their approaching judgment; not famine or plague within them, but a foreign enemy from without, Jeremiah 6 1, viz. the coming of Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans.

Cry, that your voice may be heard afar off, that all may hear.

Gather together; either to unite your forces, or to take counsel what to do, that you may be in safety; the same thing with

Assemble yourselves; implying that the calamity was general.

Let us go into the defenced cities, to secure from these invasions that are coming upon us. Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem, and say,.... Exhortations to repentance being without effect in general, though they might have an influence on some few particular persons, the Lord directs the prophet to lay before the people a view of their destruction as near at hand; who calls upon some persons as a sort of heralds, to publish and declare in the land of Judea, and in Jerusalem the metropolis of it, what follows:

blow ye the trumpet in the land; as an alarm of an approaching enemy, and of an invasion by him, and of danger from him; and this was to be done, not in order to gather together, and put themselves in a posture of defence, to meet the enemy, and give him battle; but to get together, that were in the fields, and in country villages, and hide themselves from him:

cry, gather together, and say; or cry with a full mouth, with a loud voice, that all might hear; which shows imminent danger:

assemble yourselves and let us go into the defenced cities; such as Jerusalem, and others, where they might think themselves safe and secure; see Matthew 24:16.

{d} Declare ye in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, confirm, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.

(d) He warns them of the great dangers that will come on them by the Chaldeans, unless they repent and turn to the Lord.

5. in Jerusalem] But a proclamation that people should take refuge within cities would not be needed there. It is probable that the words should be omitted. Moreover, by a very slight change in the Hebrew, the first “and say” may be read “saith Jehovah.” Thus we may with probability emend, Declare ye in Judah, and publish, saith Jehovah, Blow, etc.

trumpet] horn, as a signal of danger.

let us go, etc.] Cp. the crowding of the inhabitants of Attica within the walls of Athens on the occasion of a Spartan invasion (Thuc. II. 52).

5–10. Flee without delay, if so be that walls can save you. The foe from the north threatens ruin to town and country alike. Terror shall seize the greatest in the land, and dismay the priests and prophets.

Ch. Jeremiah 4:5-31. Impending judgements. National disaster

This section and the two that follow it (viz. chs. 5 and 6) are somewhat later than the preceding, as presenting a more definite description of the punishment there threatened. They picture the excitement and dismay caused throughout the defenceless portions of the land by the approach of the enemy, and the hasty retreat to walled towns on the part of the country people.

No doubt as originally uttered these sections referred to the threatened invasion of Palestine by the Scythian hordes. (See Introd. i. § 3 and on Jeremiah 1:13.) On being reproduced in the Roll of b.c. 604 (ch. 36), when the Chaldaeans had become the formidable enemy, the language may have been modified here and there to suit the new political aspect of affairs. Thus “lion” and “destroyer of nations” (Jeremiah 4:7) are epithets more appropriate to an individual leader such as Nebuchadnezzar than to a hostile multitude. Neither do we know that the Scythians had “chariots” (Jeremiah 4:13).

The present section may be summarized as follows.Verses 5-31. - A revelation of grievous purport has suddenly reached the prophet. See how the foe draws nearer and nearer, and how alarm drives the scattered population to seek for refuge in the fortified cities. Can such be the issue of the promises of peace with which Jehovah has encouraged his people? Such are the contents of the first paragraph (vers. 5-10). Next,-in short, detached figures the prophet sets forth the sin of the people and its punishment. Like a scorching simoom is the former; like swift clouds, and like a whirlwind, is the onward march of the instruments of the latter. Swift, indeed, must repentance be, if it is to outrun punishment. For the northern peoples are already here (vers. 11-18). The impression is so strong on the mind of the prophet that he vents himself in language such as the last man might employ on the morrow of the final judgment day (vers. 19-26). And now, "lest what precedes might seem only poetry" (Payne Smith), the Divine decree is solemnly announced. The judgment is irrevocable; but there is a gleam of hope: "I will not make a full end." On the question whether the Scythians or the Baby-Ionians are mainly alluded to, see Introduction.) Verse 5. - Cry, gather together; rather, cry aloud. In Jeremiah 3:24 we are told in what particulars idolatry became to them הבּשׁת .לשׁקר, the shame, opprobrious expression for הבּעל, equal to shame-god, cf. Jeremiah 11:13 and Hosea 9:10; since the worship of Baal, i.e., of the false gods, resulted in disgrace to the people. He devoured the wealth of our fathers, namely, their sheep and oxen, mentioned as a specimen of their wealth, and their sons and daughters. The idols devoured this wealth, to in respect that sheep and oxen, and, on Moloch's altar, children too, were sacrificed, for sheep and oxen were offered to Jahveh; but because idolatry drew down judgments on the people and brought about the devastation of the land by enemies who devoured the substance of the people, and slew sons and daughters, Deuteronomy 28:30, Deuteronomy 28:33. From our youth on; - the youth of the people is the period of the judges.
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