Jeremiah 44:25
Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; You and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her: you will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
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44:20-30 Whatever evil comes upon us, it is because we have sinned against the Lord; we should therefore stand in awe, and sin not. Since they were determined to persist in their idolatry, God would go on to punish them. What little remains of religion were among them, would be lost. The creature-comforts and confidences from which we promise ourselves most, may fail as soon as those from which we promise ourselves least; and all are what God makes them, not what we fancy them to be. Well-grounded hopes of our having a part in the Divine mercy, are always united with repentance and obedience.And fulfilled with your hand - Your hands. Jeremiah pointed to their hands, in which they were carrying the crescent-shaped cakes which they had vowed to the goddess. Their idolatry therefore was an accomplished deed, as the symbols held in their hands testified.

Ye will surely accomplish - Or, Accomplish then your vows. It is not a prediction, but is ironical, and means that as they will take no warning, they must needs have their way.

25. Ye … have both spoken with … mouths, and fulfilled with … hand—ironical praise. They had pleaded their obligation to fulfil their vows, in excuse for their idolatry. He answers, no one can accuse you of unsteadiness as to your idolatrous vows; but steadfastness towards God ought to have prevented you from making, or, when made, from keeping such vows.

ye will surely accomplish … vows—Jeremiah hereby gives them up to their own fatal obstinacy.

Those words

have spoken are in the Hebrew of the feminine gender, which giveth good reason to some interpreters to conclude the women were first and principal in this idolatry, and the men’s guilt lay in conniving at them, and suffering themselves to be seduced by them. Ye, saith the prophet, have spoken it, and ye have been as big as your words, and for a cover you pretend the religion of a yew, as if a vow could be a bond of iniquity, and it were possible by a vow to oblige yourselves to a forsaking of the true God, and a committing of idolatry. The latter words seem ironical, so as to have this sense, You are resolved upon it, and there is no moving you from your resolution; God hath resolved too. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,.... Which is an usual preface to prophecies coming from him:

saying; as follows:

ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand; they had said they would burn incense to the queen of heaven, and they had done it; they had been as good as their word, true to it, though in a bad thing: their words and works agreed, and so did the men and their wives: the women had before said they did not perform worship to the queen of heaven without their men; this is acknowledged by the Lord, and their confession is improved against them:

saying, we will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her; they thought, because they made a vow that they would do it, that it was therefore obligatory upon them, and this would be sufficient to justify them before God, and excuse it to him; whereas nothing that is sinful ought to be vowed or performed; and to vow and perform in such a case is doubly criminal: a vow cannot make that lawful which is unlawful; and the performance of it can never be a laudable action:

ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows; they were resolutely set upon it, and nothing would hinder their performance of it; this shows the obstinacy and firmness of their minds: though some think these words are spoken ironically.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your {m} hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.

(m) You have committed double evil in making wicked vows, and in performing the same.

25. Ye and your wives] better, with LXX, Ye women.

with your hands have fulfilled it] have carried out your determination. For the expression cp. 1 Kings 8:15; 1 Kings 8:24.

establish then, etc.] ironically spoken. If ye will persist in spite of all my warnings, then be it so.Verse 25. - With your hand; rather, with your hands. Ye will surely accomplish, etc.; rather, ye shall, etc., by all means perform your vows, and take the consequence. The irony of the passage is lost by the "will" of the Authorized Version. The answer of the people to this threatening address. - Jeremiah 44:15. "Then all the men who knew that their wives burned incense to other gods, and all the women standing [there], a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, Jeremiah 44:16. [As for] the word which thou hast spoken unto us in the name of Jahveh, we will not hearken unto thee: Jeremiah 44:17. But we will certainly perform every word that has proceeded out of our own mouth, by burning incense to the queen of heaven, and pouring out libations to her, just as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; and we were filled with bread, and became prosperous, and saw no evil. Jeremiah 44:18. But since we ceased to offer incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out libations to her, we have been in want of everything, and are consumed by sword and famine. Jeremiah 44:19. And when we [women] have been burning incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out libations to her, have we made cakes to her without our husbands, making an image of her, and offering libations to her?" To the word of the prophet the men and women oppose their pretended experience, that the adoration of the queen of heaven has brought them comfort and prosperity, while the neglect of this worship, on the other hand, has brought want and misfortune. No doubt they inferred this, by the argument post hoc, ergo propter hoc, from the fact that, after idolatry had been rooted out by Josiah, adversity had befallen the land of Judah; while, up till that time, the kingdom of Judah had been independent, and, for more than a century before, had been spared the suffering of misfortune. Thus, through their blindness, peculiar to the natural man, they had overlooked the minor transient evils with which the Lord visits His people when they sin. Not till near the end of Josiah's reign did misfortune fall on Judah: this was when the Egyptian army, under Pharaoh-Necho, marched through Palestine; Josiah was slain in the battle he had lost, the land was laid waste by the enemy, and its inhabitants perished by sword and famine. In Jeremiah 44:15, those who are represented speaking are all the men who knew of their wives' idolatry, i.e., who permitted it, and all the women, "a great company," i.e., gathered together in great numbers, and all the rest of the people who lived in Egypt. The specification "in Pathros" is not in apposition to the words "in the land of Egypt," but belongs to the verb ויּענוּ; it tells where the gathering took place, viz., in a district of Upper Egypt. From the presence of a large number of women, we may conclude that the assembly was a festival in honour of the queen of heaven. The former portion of Jeremiah 44:16 forms an absolute clause, from הדּבר to בּשׁם, "as regards the word which...we will not listen to thee," i.e., with regard to this word we obey thee not. The expression, "the word which has gone forth out of our mouth," points to the uttering of vows: cf. Numbers 30:13; Deuteronomy 23:24. 'כּל־הדּבר means "all that we have uttered as a vow," every vow to offer incense, etc., i.e., to present meat and drink offerings to the queen of heaven, - that shall we keep, fulfil, as we and our fathers have done in the land of Judah. On this mode of worship, cf. Jeremiah 7:17., and the remarks there made. "And we were satisfied with bread," i.e., in consequence of this worship we had amply sufficient food. Towbiym טובים, "good," well, comfortable; cf. Jeremiah 22:16. מן אז, "from that time" equals since. תּמנוּ is for תּמּנוּ, from תּמם, as in Numbers 17:1-13 :28; cf. Ewald, 197, a. To this statement on the part of the men, the women further add, Jeremiah 44:19, that they do not engage in this sacrificial worship or prepare the sacrificial cakes without their husbands, i.e., without their knowledge and approval. This is put forward by the women in the way of self-vindication; for, according to the law, Numbers 30:9., the husband could annul, i.e., declare not binding, any vow which had been made by his wife without his knowledge. Although it is women who are speaking, the masc. מקטּרים is used as being the gender which most commonly occurs; it also pretty often stands for the feminine. The inf. constr. וּלהסּך (with ל) is here employed, in conformity with later usage, instead of the inf. abs., for the finite verb, by way of continuation; cf. Ewald, 351, c, where, however, many passages have been set down as falling under this rule that demand a different explanation. The meaning of להעצבה is disputed; the final ה is a suffix, written with Raphe, though Mappik also occurs in some MSS. The Hiphil of this verb is found elsewhere only in Psalm 78:40, and there in the signification of vexing, grieving, like the Piel in Isaiah 63:10; Psalm 66:6. Ewald translates "in order to move her," i.e., make her well-disposed, - but quite arbitrarily, for to provoke is the very opposite of rendering propitious. The verb עצּב also signifies "to form, shape," Job 10:8; and in this sense the Hiphil is used here, "in order to put them into shape," i.e., to form the moon-goddess (queen of heaven) in or on the sacrificial cakes (Kimchi, Raschi, Dahler, Maurer, Graf, etc.). The sacrificial cakes (כּוּנים, see on Jeremiah 7:18) probably had the form of a crescent, or even of the full moon, like the σελῆναι of the Greeks, which used to be offered in Athens at the time of the full moon in the month of Munychion, to Artemis, as goddess of the moon; cf. Hermann, gottesdienstliche Alterthmer der Griechen, 2 Ausg. S. 146, Anm. 13, u. S. 414.
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