Jeremiah 5:21
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
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(21) Which have eyes, and see not.—An almost verbal reproduction from Isaiah 6:10.

Jeremiah 5:21. Hear this, O foolish people — Ignorant and imprudent, as blind to your interest as to your duty; and without understanding — Hebrew, ואין לב, and there is no heart, or without heart, stupid and regardless of all counsel, wisdom, and common sense. Which have eyes and see not, &c. — Wilfully blind, and obstinately deaf, who will neither see nor hear the word, will, or works of God; of which he gives two instances in the two following verses.

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.

21. eyes … ears, and—Translate, "and yet" (compare De 29:4; Isa 6:9). Having powers of perception, they did not use them: still they were responsible for the exercise of them. Without understanding, Heb. heart. They have no heart to return, or to any thing of instruction or reformation, but are stupid and sottish, regardless of all counsel, wisdom, and common prudence. The heart is said to be the symbol, and according to Galen the seat, of wisdom; so the poet placeth it, Cor sapit, et joulmo loquitur, fel commovet iram, &c.

Which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: see Jeremiah 6:10. They are wilfully blind, and obstinately deaf; will neither see nor hear the word, will, or works of God, of which he giveth two instances in two following verses, Jeremiah 5:22,24, viz. in governing the sea, and appointing the seasons of the year. It may be he alludes herein to their idols, to which they were so much addicted.

Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding,.... or, "heart" (a); See Gill on Jeremiah 4:22,

which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not; like the idols they served, Psalm 115:4. this is an upbraiding of them with their folly and stupidity, their want of common sense, their blindness and ignorance; notwithstanding they had the means of light and knowledge, the law, and the prophets.

(a) "et non cor", Pagninus, Montanus; "qui non habes cor", V. L. "excors", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "cui cor non est", Cocceius.

Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
21. understanding] mg. Heb. heart, which was considered as the seat of intelligence. See Jeremiah 24:7 (“an heart to know me”); Hosea 7:11 (mg.).

Verse 21. - Without understanding; literally, without heart. This seems at first sight inconsistent with ver. 23, where the people is described as having indeed a "heart," but one hostile to Jehovah. The explanation is that a course of deliberate sin perverts a man's moral perceptions. The prophet first of all states the result, and then the cause. So in Ezekiel 12:2, "Which have eyes and see not," etc.; "for they are a rebellions house." Jeremiah 5:21The 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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