Jeremiah 5:20
Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
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(20) Declarepublish.—The words indicate, as in Jeremiah 4:5; Jeremiah 4:16, the beginning of a fresh section of the prophecy, though no definitely new topic is introduced. The command is given by Jehovah, not to the prophet only, but to his disciples.

5:19-31 Unhumbled hearts are ready to charge God with being unjust in their afflictions. But they may read their sin in their punishment. If men will inquire wherefore the Lord doeth hard things unto them, let them think of their sins. The restless waves obeyed the Divine decree, that they should not pass the sandy shores, which were as much a restraint as lofty mountains; but they burst all restraints of God's law, and were wholly gone into wickedness. Neither did they consider their interest. While the Lord, year after year, reserves to us the appointed weeks of harvest, men live on his bounty; yet they transgress against him. Sin deprives us of God's blessings; it makes the heaven as brass, and the earth as iron. Certainly the things of this world are not the best things; and we are not to think, that, because evil men prosper, God allows their practices. Though sentence against evil works is not executed speedily, it will be executed. Shall I not visit for these things? This speaks the certainty and the necessity of God's judgments. Let those who walk in bad ways consider that an end will come, and there will be bitterness in the latter end.Against the God

(1) of Creation Jeremiah 5:22, and

(2) of Providence Jeremiah 5:24,

They sin, not merely by apostasy, but by a general immorality extending to all classes Jeremiah 5:25-28. It is in this immorality that their idolatry has its root.

19. Retribution in kind. As ye have forsaken Me (Jer 2:13), so shall ye be forsaken by Me. As ye have served strange (foreign) gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers (foreigners) in a land not yours. Compare the similar retribution in De 28:47, 48. See of this Jeremiah 4:5. By

Judah and

Jacob we are to understand the two tribes only, as Jeremiah 5:11, which see.

Declare this in the house of Jacob,.... That a mighty nation should come and destroy them, and they should be servants in a strange land; or rather the words seem to be an order to declare war against the Jews, and even in their own land; and do not seem to be addressed to the prophet, but to others, seeing the words are in the plural number; see Jeremiah 4:5,

and publish it in Judah: the house of Jacob and Judah are the same, namely, the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah; for, as for the ten tribes, as observed on Jeremiah 5:15, they had been carried captive before this time:

saying: as follows:

Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
20–22. These vv. are in whole or in part rejected as a later addition by Stade, Du., Co., Gi., because (i) “declare” and “publish” are in the plural, which is unusual (but see Jeremiah 4:16); (ii) the illustration of Jehovah’s greatness by the phenomena of nature belongs to the later period, cp. Job 38:8-11 (but see Amos 4:13; Amos 5:8; Amos 9:6); (iii) they resemble the suspicious passages Jeremiah 31:35 ff., Jeremiah 32:17 ff.; (iv) there is a needless embellishment of style. These reasons, however, seem insufficient to warrant the rejection of the whole. Moreover (unless we accept Du.’s view, see note on Jeremiah 5:18), to omit them, and thus join Jeremiah 5:23 immediately to Jeremiah 5:19, involves injury to the sequence of thought. This is obviated by the retention of the first part of Jeremiah 5:21, and of Jeremiah 5:22 to “my presence.” So Co. Jeremiah 5:20 is in any case probably an addition, as there is no parallel in Jeremiah for this kind of introduction to an utterance.

20–29. See summary at beginning of section.

Jeremiah 5:20The reproof of sins is introduced by an apostrophe to the hardened race. The exhortation, "Publish this," is addressed to all the prophet's hearers who have the welfare of the people at heart. "This," in Jeremiah 5:20 and Jeremiah 5:21, refers to the chiding statement from Jeremiah 5:23 onwards, that the people fears not God. The form of address, people foolish and without understanding (cf. Jeremiah 4:22; Hosea 7:11), is made cutting, in order, if possible, to bring the people yet to their senses. The following clauses, "they have eyes," etc., depict spiritual blindness and deafness, as in Ezekiel 12:22; cf. Deuteronomy 29:3. Blindness is shown in that they see not the government of God's almighty power in nature; deafness, in that they hear not the voice of God in His word. They have no fear even of the God whose power has in the sand set an impassable barrier for the mighty waves of the sea. "Me" is put first for emphasis. The waves beat against their appointed barrier, but are not able, sc. to pass it.
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