Jeremiah 42:10
If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Then will I build you, and not pull you down . . .—We note the characteristic recurrence of the formulæ with which Jeremiah’s work as a prophet had begun (Jeremiah 1:10). The word for “repent” does not imply regret for the past, as men repent of their sin, but, as in Jeremiah 18:8; Jeremiah 26:3, a change of purpose from what had been the mind of judgment to one of mercy. The prophet’s counsel is, as it had been all along, that the people should accept the punishment which God had inflicted on them, that they should stay where they were and as they were, and not in terror or suspicion seek safety in plans of their own devising.

42:7-22 If we would know the mind of the Lord in doubtful cases, we must wait as well as pray. God is ever ready to return in mercy to those he has afflicted; and he never rejects any who rely on his promises. He has declared enough to silence even the causeless fears of his people, which discourge them in the way of duty. Whatever loss or suffering we may fear from obedience, is provided against in God's word; and he will protect and deliver all who trust in him and serve him. It is folly to quit our place, especially to quit a holy land, because we meet with trouble in it. And the evils we think to escape by sin, we certainly bring upon ourselves. We may apply this to the common troubles of life; and those who think to avoid them by changing their place, will find that the grievances common to men will meet them wherever they go. Sinners who dissemble with God in solemn professions especially should be rebuked with sharpness; for their actions speak more plainly than words. We know not what is good for ourselves; and what we are most fond of, and have our hearts most set upon, often proves hurtful, and sometimes fatal.I repent me - As punishment had been inflicted, the divine justice was satisfied. 10. If ye … abide—namely, under the Babylonian authority, to which God hath appointed that all should be subject (Da 2:37, 38). To resist was to resist God.

build … plant—metaphor for, I will firmly establish you (Jer 24:6).

I repent … of the evil—(Jer 18:8; De 32:36). I am satisfied with the punishment I have inflicted on you, if only you add not a new offense [Grotius]. God is said to "repent," when He alters His outward ways of dealing.

That is, if you will not go into the land of Egypt, as you are thinking, but abide where you are, or in any part of Judah, under subjection to the king of Babylon, into whose power I have given you, then I will see to your security and prosperity, and make you a happy people. The happiness and prosperity of people is in Scripture often set out under the notion of building and planting, as on the contrary their misery or destruction is expressed under the metaphorical notions of pulling down and plucking up.

For I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you; for I am satisfied with the punishment your nation hath undergone; and as to the remainder, if they do not destroy themselves by new disobedience, I will change the course of my providence.

If ye will still abide in this land,.... In the land of Judea, their native country, where they had always lived, and where they continued when their brethren were carried captive; and yet they thought of going out of it, which the Lord knew; and therefore to encourage them to abide in it, and not think of departing into Egypt; that if they would take up their residence in it, and determine to continue there, he thus promises them:

then will I build you, and not pull you down: and I will plant you,

and not pluck you up; that is, they should be firm and stable, happy and prosperous; and abound with all kind of blessings, and increase in numbers, wealth, and riches. The metaphors are taken from building houses, and planting fields and vineyards:

for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you; not that he had done any unjust thing to them; or that he changed his mind concerning them; but that he had compassion on them, and would change his way and course of providence towards them, according to his unchangeable will.

If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I {d} repent of the evil that I have done to you.

(d) See Geneva Jer 18:8

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. then will I build you, etc.] Cp. Jeremiah 1:10, Jeremiah 24:6 for these figures.

I repent me] an anthropomorphic figure. I change my conduct towards you, which with men is commonly caused by change of purpose.

Verse 10. - Build you, and not pull you down, etc. Some of Jeremiah's favourite phrases (see on Jeremiah 24:6). I repent me. And yet in 1 Samuel 15:29 we read that "Israel's Trust... is not a man that he should repent." The key to the discrepancy may be found in Psalm 18:25, 26, "With the pious thou showest thyself pious... and with the froward thou showest thyself froward." There is no change in the nature or purpose of God, but only in his conduct towards man. The term "repent" is, therefore, only used analogically. Jeremiah 42:10The word of the Lord. - At the end of ten days, the reply that had been asked for came from the Lord. Hitzig and Graf think that Jeremiah had lingered ten days with the answer, in order to obtain strong and clear conviction, "matured through his own meditation, probably also in part confirmed by the arrival of further news." This opinion is characterized by Ngelsbach as "in harmony with modern science, but unhistorical;" it should rather be called unscriptural, as resting on a denial of divine inspiration. The reason why the Lord did not make known His will to the prophet for ten days was a disciplinary one. By waiting, those who asked would get time for bethinking themselves, and for quietly considering the situation of affairs, so that they might be able, calmly and collectedly, to receive and obey the answer of God, which was far from satisfying the fears and wishes of their heart. Jeremiah 42:8. Jeremiah called the captains and all the people together, and announced to them as follows: Jeremiah 42:9. "Thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel, to whom ye have sent me, that I might bring your supplication before Him: Jeremiah 42:10. If ye will indeed abide in this land, then will I build you up and not pull down; and I will plant you, but not root out; for I repent of the evil that I have done to you. Jeremiah 42:11. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, whom ye fear, be not afraid of him, saith Jahveh; for I am with you to save you and to deliver you out of his hand. Jeremiah 42:12. And I will get pity for you, so that he shall take pity on you, and bring you back to your land. Jeremiah 42:13. But if ye say, We will not remain in this land, so that ye will not obey the voice of Jahveh your God, Jeremiah 42:14. Saying, Nay, but we will go to the land of Egypt, that we may not see war nor hear the wound of a trumpet, and we shall not hunger after bread, and we will dwell there. - Jeremiah 42:15. Now therefore hear the word of Jahveh, ye remnant of Judah: Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, If ye do indeed set your face to go to Egypt, and go to sojourn there, Jeremiah 42:16. Then shall the sword, of which ye are afraid, overtake you there, in the land of Egypt, and hunger, which ye dread, shall there follow hard after you, in Egypt, and there shall ye die. Jeremiah 42:17. And all the men who have set their face to go to Egypt, to sojourn there, shall die by the sword, and through hunger, and from the plague; nor shall they have any one left or escaped from the evil which I will bring on them. Jeremiah 42:18. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: As mine anger and my wrath were poured out upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so shall my wrath be poured out upon you when ye go to Egypt, and ye shall become an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach, and ye shall not see this place again. - Jeremiah 42:19. Jahveh hath spoken to you, O remnant of Judah. Go not to Egypt: ye shall know for certain that I have warned you to-day. Jeremiah 42:20. For ye err at the risk of your souls when ye sent me to Jahveh your God, saying, Pray for us to Jahveh our God, and according to all that Jahveh our God shall say to us, so tell us, and we will do it. Jeremiah 42:21. Now I have told you to-day, and ye have not obeyed the voice of Jahveh your God, nor in anything for which He hath sent me unto you. Jeremiah 42:22. Now, therefore, ye must surely know that ye shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place whither ye have been pleased to go to sojourn."

The Lord's reply extends as far as Jeremiah 42:18; the last four verses (19-22) form an epilogue, a further address by the prophet, in which he once more specially impresses God's resolution on the minds of the people. The answer of God consists (1) in the promise that, if they will remain in the land, the Lord is willing to build them up, and protect them from the wrath of the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 42:9-12); and (2) the threat that, if they will go to Egypt against the advice and will of the Lord, they shall certainly perish there by the sword, famine, and pestilence (Jeremiah 42:13-18). On the expression הפּיל תּהנּה, see on Jeremiah 36:7. שׁוב (Jeremiah 42:10) can only be inf. abs. of ישׁב, for ישׁוב ; if we view it as coming from שׁוּב morf , we get no suitable meaning, for the thought si revertendo illuc manseritis in hc terr (C. B. Michaelis) could not be expressed by שׁוב תּשׁבוּ. Certainly there is no other instance of such a form as שׁוב being used for ישׁוב; in a verb like ישׁב, however, which drops the י in the inf. constr., a like omission in the inf. abs. is quite conceivable, while the supposition of some injury having been done to the text (Olshausen, Gram. 89) is less probable. On the expression, "I will build you," etc., cf. Jeremiah 24:6; Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 33:7. "I repent of the evil" is an anthropopathic expression for the cancelling of a penal sentence: cf. Joel 2:14, etc. - In Jeremiah 42:11, the repetition of the words "do not fear him" produces special emphasis.

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