Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Declare—publish.—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.
(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.Jeremiah 4:5. By
Jacob we are to understand the two tribes only, as Jeremiah 5:11, which 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:Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.Isaiah 1:31; Isaiah 10:17. Jeremiah 5:15. explain this, and announce the inroad of a dreadful enemy that is to lay waste the land and consume the people. "A people from far," as in Jeremiah 4:16. Judah is called "house of Israel," not so much because it is what remains of Israel, but because, after the captivity of the ten tribes, Judah regarded itself as the only true Israel or people of God. Further description of the hostile people is intended to show its formidable power, and to inspire dread. איתן, enduring, firm, strong; cf. Genesis 49:24; Micah 6:2. מעולם, dating from eternity, i.e., very ancient, not of recent origin, but become mighty in immemorial antiquity. A people speaking a language unfamiliar to the Jews, to comprehend whom is impossible, i.e., barbarous; cf. Deuteronomy 28:49. Further (Jeremiah 5:16), it is a race of very heroes, fully furnished with deadly weapons. J. D. Mich. took objection to the figure, "its quiver is as an open grave;" but his conjecture שׂפתו put nothing better in place of it. The link of comparison is this: as an open grave is filled with dead men, so the quiver of this enemy is filled with deadly missiles.
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