In that you provoke me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt, where you be gone to dwell, that you might cut yourselves off, and that you might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt.—The words imply that the exiles were not only carrying on the old idolatrous practices with which they had been familiar in their own lands, but had adopted those of the Egyptians. This was the evil which the prophet had all along dreaded, and which had made him from the first, like his predecessor, Isaiah (Isaiah 30:2; Isaiah 31:1), hostile to every plan of an alliance with Egypt.Jeremiah 44:8-10. Ye provoke me unto wrath with the works of your hands — By making and setting up idols to worship. That ye might cut yourselves off, &c. — This is not to be so taken as if they did these things with a design to cut off themselves and their posterity: but only as signifying that their utter ruin would be the certain consequence of their continuing so to act. Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers? &c. — Have you forgotten what great wickedness your fathers committed, and what great punishments were in consequence thereof inflicted upon them? We may be truly said to have forgotten that the sight of which, or reflection thereon, makes no such impression upon us as produces a suitable practice. Which they have committed in the land of Judah, &c. — To have practised these things in any place would have been to contract great guilt; but to have done them in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, in the valley of vision, and in the holy city, where there were such means of information and such helps to piety, was still more aggravated and inexcusable wickedness. They are not humbled even unto this day — Neither they nor you are yet properly humbled, and prepared for receiving mercy. Neither have they feared, nor walked in my law — Hence we learn, that reformation and obedience are the proper fruit of true contrition and humiliation; God does not account those to be humbled, but hardened, who are not reformed and made obedient, let their pretended contrition or humiliation be, in outward appearance, what it may.Jeremiah 44:7) off from you.
ye be gone—not compelled by fear, but of your own accord, when I forbade you, and when it was free to you to stay in Judea.
that ye might cut yourselves off—They, as it were, purposely courted their own ruin.Jeremiah 44:17, that they paid this homage to the queen of heaven, which is not the work of men’s hands.
Solut. It was before images, which are but the works of men’s hands. And this certainly was the idolatry of the generality of the heathens, they worshipped an unknown Divine Being before a creature, either as representing it, or rather putting them in mind of it.
That ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth; the term that doth not denote the idolater’s end of intention, for none ever did any act intentionally to ruin themselves, it only signifies the end of their work, that their utter ruin would be the certain consequent of their work.
burning incense; which they did, not only to her, but
to other gods in the land of Egypt; where they were very numerous:
whither ye be gone to dwell; against the express will and command of God:
that ye might cut yourselves off; as from the worship of God, so from being his people, and from being under his care and protection, and from all privileges temporal and spiritual:
and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? not that this was their view, end, and design, but this was the event so it was, that they were looked upon as an accursed people of God and man, and their names were taken up for a proverb and a reproach everywhere.In that ye provoke me unto wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut yourselves off, and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. the works of your hands] your idols.Verse 8. - That ye might cut yourselves off; rather, that ye might cut (them) off from you. Who are meant is clear from ver. 7. Jeremiah 44:3. Because of their wickedness which they have done, by provoking me through going to burn incense, (and) to serve other gods whom they knew not, (neither) they (nor) ye, nor your fathers. Jeremiah 44:4. And I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending (them), to say, Do not this abominable thing which I hate. Jeremiah 44:5. But they did not hear, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, by not burning incense to other gods. Jeremiah 44:6. Therefore my wrath and mine anger poured itself out, and burned up the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem; so that they have become a desolation and a waste, as at this day. Jeremiah 44:7. Now therefore thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do ye great evil against your souls, by cutting off from yourselves man and women, child and suckling, out of the midst of Judah, so leaving no remnant for yourselves; Jeremiah 44:8. Through provoking me by the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye have gone to sojourn, that ye might bring destruction on yourselves, and that ye might become a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? Jeremiah 44:9. Have ye forgotten the evil deeds of your fathers, and the evil deeds of the kings of Judah, and the evil deeds of their wives, and your own evil deeds, and the evil deeds of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem? Jeremiah 44:10. They have not been contrite to this day, and are not afraid, nor do they walk in my law, and in my statutes, which I have set before you and before your fathers. Jeremiah 44:11. Therefore thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah. Jeremiah 44:12. And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go to the land of Egypt in order to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed; in the land of Egypt shall they fall, by sword and famine shall they be consumed; small and great, by sword and famine shall they die, and they shall become an execration and an astonishment, and a curse and a reproach. Jeremiah 44:13. And I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I punished Jerusalem, by sword, and famine, and pestilence. Jeremiah 44:14. There shall not be one escaped or left to the remnant of Judah that came to sojourn there in the land of Egypt, so as to return to the land of Judah, whither they long to return and dwell; for they shall not return except as escaped ones."
In order to make an impression on the people by his warning against idolatry, Jeremiah begins his address with a reference to the great calamity which the fathers have brought on the kingdom of Judah through their continued idolatry (Jeremiah 44:2-6). "Ye have seen all the evil," etc.; all the cities are laid waste and depopulated, because their inhabitants have roused the anger of the Lord, and have not let themselves be dissuaded by the admonitions of the prophets whom God has sent. "This day," i.e., now, at present. On Jeremiah 44:3, cf. Jeremiah 11:17; Jeremiah 19:4; Jeremiah 32:32, etc.; and as to the meaning of קטּר, see on Jeremiah 1:16. In Jeremiah 44:3 the address becomes more direct, through the change into the second person, "ye;" the audience then present only continue these sins of their fathers. On Jeremiah 44:4, cf. Jeremiah 7:25; Jeremiah 25:4, etc. דּבר התּעבה הזּאת, "the thing of this abomination," which is equivalent to "this abominable idolatry." דּבר serves to render the subject more prominent, as in Judges 19:24. On Jeremiah 44:6, cf. Jeremiah 42:18; Jeremiah 7:20. The wrath of God burned in the cities, for the fire of destruction was a manifestation of the divine wrath. As to כּיום הזּה, see on Jeremiah 11:5.
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