Jeremiah 50:7
All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.
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(7) Their adversaries said, We offend not . . .—The words are suggestive as indicating a special aspect of the thoughts of the prophet as to the idolatry of Judah. What was to him its extremest humiliation. was that it put a taunt into the mouths of the enemies of her people. They were able to say, “We are acting rightly: we are but instruments in the hands of God.” The words that follow can scarcely be thought of as those of the enemies of Israel, but as added by the prophet to emphasise the guilt of his own people.

50:1-7 The king of Babylon was kind to Jeremiah, yet the prophet must foretell the ruin of that kingdom. If our friends are God's enemies, we dare not speak peace to them. The destruction of Babylon is spoken of as done thoroughly. Here is a word for the comfort of the Jews. They shall return to their God first, then to their own land; the promise of their conversion and reformation makes way for the other promises. Their tears flow not from the sorrow of the world, as when they went into captivity, but from godly sorrow. They shall seek after the Lord as their God, and have no more to do with idols. They shall think of returning to their own country. This represents the return of poor souls to God. In true converts there are sincere desires to attain the end, and constant cares to keep in the way. Their present case is lamented as very sad. The sins of professing Christians never will excuse those who rejoice in destroying them.Offend not - i. e., "are not guilty." Israel having left the fold, has no owner, and may therefore be maltreated with impunity.

Habitation of justice - In Jeremiah 31:23 applied to Jerusalem: here, Yahweh alone is the true pasturage, in whom His people will find safety, rest, and plenty.

7. devoured—(Ps 79:7). "Found them" implies that they were exposed to the attacks of those whoever happened to meet them.

adversaries said—for instance, Nebuzara-dan (Jer 40:2, 3; compare Zec 11:5). The Gentiles acknowledged some supreme divinity. The Jews' guilt was so palpable that they were condemned even in the judgment of heathens. Some knowledge of God's peculiar relation to Judea reached its heathen invaders from the prophets (Jer 2:3; Da 9:16); hence the strong language they use of Jehovah here, not as worshippers of Him themselves, but as believing Him to be the tutelary God of Judah ("the hope of their fathers," Ps 22:4; they do not say our hope), as each country was thought to have its local god, whose power extended no farther.

habitation—(Ps 90:1; 91:1). Alluding to the tabernacle, or, as in Eze 34:14, "fold," which carries out the image in Jer 50:6, "resting-place" of the "sheep." But it can only mean "habitation" (Jer 31:23), which confirms English Version here.

hope of their fathers—This especially condemned the Jews that their apostasy was from that God whose faithfulness their fathers had experienced. At the same time these "adversaries" unconsciously use language which corrects their own notions. The covenant with the Jews' "fathers" is not utterly set aside by their sin, as their adversaries thought; there is still "a habitation" or refuge for them with the God of their fathers.

All that found them have devoured them: as they are in the condition of lost sheep, so they have been under the fate of lost sheep, which every dog, fox, wolf devours. And those that are their enemies have pretended that in destroying them they have done no ill, because they had sinned; so as the sins of the Jews did both expose them to the wrath of God, and also imboldened their enemies, and encouraged them to think that they did God service in destroying them.

The habitation of justice: some think this is a name here given to God, who indeed is the habitation of justice, but whether the Chaldeans would call him so may be a question. Others therefore think the preposition in is understood, making this the aggravation of the Jews’ sins, that they were committed in a land which ought to have been a habitation of justice; as, Isaiah 26:10, it is said that the wicked man in a land of uprightness will deal unjustly. Mr. Calvin hath another notion, viz. that the prophet here encourageth himself against what the adversaries had promised themselves because the people had offended God; viz. that notwithstanding this, God was a righteous God, in whom justice dwelt, and who would be faithful to his promises.

The hope of their fathers; and he was their hope, and had been he in whom their fathers before them had hoped, and that not in vain. All that found them have devoured them,.... As lost and wandering sheep are liable to be found, and to be devoured, by every beast of prey, lions, wolves, and bears; so the Jews were found by their neighbours, their enemies, and especially by the Chaldeans, having forsaken God, and being forsaken by him; and which is their case now, and are often found and seized upon by their enemies, and made a prey of under one pretence or another:

and their adversaries said, we offend not; we are not guilty of any evil, in taking away their lives, or stripping them of their substance:

because they have sinned against the Lord; and therefore are justly punished in this way; and it is no other than what the Lord threatened them with, and foretold by his prophets should come upon them: this they said, not that they feared the Lord, or had any regard to his honour and glory, but to excuse themselves, which would not do; for though they sinned against the Lord, they had not sinned against them, and they had no right to destroy them, and plunder them of their substance; and so it is now, many think it no crime to injure the Jews in their persons and property, because they have sinned against Christ, and rejected him as the Messiah, who is

the habitation of justice; the dwelling place of the saints, the city of refuge and strong tower, whither the righteous run and are safe:

even the Lord, the hope of their fathers; whom their fathers hoped for and expected, he being spoken and prophesied of by all the prophets that were from the beginning of the world, and therefore called the Hope of Israel, Jeremiah 14:8.

All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, {h} the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.

(h) For the Lord dwelt among them in his temple and would have maintained them by his justice against their enemies.

7. We offend not] We are not guilty. Cp. Jeremiah 2:3. The enemy’s plea is, Israel is no longer holy to the Lord, and thus it is no sacrilege, though we devour her.

the habitation of justice] apparently taken from Jeremiah 31:23, where, however, the expression is used of Jerusalem. See note there.Verse 7. - We offend not; rather, we incur no guilt. As long as Israel lived a life consecrated to Jehovah, "all that devoured him incurred guilt" (Jeremiah 2:3). But now that he had wandered from Jehovah, and so forfeited his protection, his adversaries denied that they could be brought to account. Habitation of justice; strictly, pasture of righteousness. The same title is applied in Jeremiah 31:23 to Jerusalem. But Jerusalem's spiritual efficacy is only derivative; rest and life flow from Jehovah alone, who is, therefore, the true Pasture of his people. In the Hebrew, "Jehovah" is placed emphatically at the end of the verse. The hope of their fathers (comp. Psalm 22:4). To forsake Jehovah was an act of treason to the former generations. The title, "The word which Jahveh spake concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet," follows Jeremiah 46:13 in choosing אשׁר דּ instead of the usual אשׁר היה, and deviates from that passage only in substituting "by the hand of Jeremiah" for "to Jeremiah," as in Jeremiah 37:2. The preference of the expression "spake by the hand of" for "spake to," is connected with the fact that the following prophecy does not contain a message of the Lord which came to Jeremiah, that he might utter it before the people, but a message which he was to write down and send to Babylon, Jeremiah 51:60. The apposition to "Babylon," viz., "the land of the Chaldeans," serves the purpose of more exactly declaring that "Babylon" is to be understood not merely of the capital, but also of the kingdom; cf. Jeremiah 50:8, Jeremiah 50:45, and 51, 54.
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