Jeremiah 8:3
And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.
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(3) The residue of them that remain.—Once more the emphasis of re-iteration, “the remnant of a remnant.” The “evil family” is the whole house of Israel, but the words contemplate specially the exile of Judah and Benjamin, rather than that of the ten tribes.

Jeremiah 8:3. And death shall be chosen rather than life — Not through a lively and well-grounded hope of happiness in another life, but through an utter despair of any ease in this life. It denotes the extremity of misery, when men have no comfort left wherewith to alleviate their calamities, or render their lives tolerable. This appears by the next words to be spoken chiefly of the miseries which those should suffer who should survive the siege, and either flee or be carried captive into divers countries.

8:1-3 Though no real hurt can be done to a dead body, yet disgrace to the remains of wicked persons may alarm those yet alive; and this reminds us that the Divine justice and punishments extend beyond the grave. Whatever befalls us here, let us humble ourselves before God, and seek his mercy.This evil family - The whole Jewish race.

Which remain - The words are omitted by the Septuagint and Syriac versions.

3. The survivors shall be still worse off than the dead (Job 3:21, 22; Re 9:6).

which remain in all the places—"in all places of them that remain, whither I … that is, in all places whither I have driven them that remain [Maurer].

And death shall be chosen rather than life; a description of the unexpressibleness of their misery, that notwithstanding all the barbarism of the Babylonians exercised both upon the bring and the dead, yet a small matter in comparison of what the living would feel, of the greatness of which misery there was a double cause; not only their being led into captivity, but God’s displeasure following them, even in their banishment, being sorely oppressed; one of those threatenings Leviticus 26:36,39: see Job 3:20,21 Kings 9:6. Which remain in all the places whither I have driven them; some dispersed among the mountains and hiding-places of Judea, others in the desert of Moab and Idumea, whither they fled for fear of the Chaldeans, and all other places where God would scatter them; an hypallage.

The Lord of hosts, he that hath all the creatures as an army at his command, can do this against those with whom he is displeased.

And death shall be chosen rather than life,.... By them that should be alive in those times, who would be carried captive into other lands, and be used very hardly, and suffer greatly, by the nations among whom they should dwell; see Revelation 9:6. The Septuagint version, and those that follow it, make this to be a reason of the former, reading the words thus, "because they have chosen death rather than life"; see Deuteronomy 30:19, but the other sense is best, which is confirmed by what follows:

by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family; the nation of the Jews, become very corrupt and degenerate; so the people of Israel are called the whole family of Israel, Amos 3:1, now it is foretold, that those which remained of that people, who died not by famine, or were not slain by the sword, yet should be in such a miserable condition, as that death would be more eligible to them than life:

even which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts: for, though they were carried captive by men, yet the thing was of the Lord, and a just punishment upon them for their sins.

And death shall be chosen {b} rather than life by all the remnant of them that remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.

(b) Because of the afflictions that they will feel through God's judgments.

3. The thoughts correspond closely with Leviticus 26:36 ff.; Deuteronomy 28:65 ff.

family] See on Jeremiah 3:14.

which remain] repeated in MT. by the error of a copyist.

Verse 3. - Which remain. The words are certainly to be omitted in the second place where they occur. In the Hebrew they stand after in all the places, and the word for "places" is feminine, whereas the participle, "the remaining," is masculine. The Septuagint and Peshito have nothing corresponding. There is a clerical error in the Hebrew. Jeremiah 8:3Not less dreadful will be the fate of those who remain in life; so appalling that they will prefer death to life, since every kind of hardship in exile and imprisonment amongst the heathen is awaiting them: cf. Leviticus 26:36-39; Deuteronomy 28:65-67. המּקמות strikes us as peculiar, seeing that the latter word cannot be adjective to the former; for "in all the remaining places of Judah" (Umbr.) gives no suitable sense, and "in all remaining places outside of Judah" is contrary to usage. But הנּשׁארים may be taken as genitive, in spite of the article prefixed to the stat. constr. מקמות; and we may then translate, with Maur.: in all the places of those who remain whither I have driven them. The lxx have omitted the second word; and it is possible it may have found its way hither from the preceding line by an error of transcription. And so Hitz., Ew., and Graf have deleted it as a gloss; but the arguments adduced have little weight. The lxx have also omitted "and say to them," Jeremiah 8:4, have changed כּה into כּי, and generally have treated Jeremiah in a quite uncritical fashion: so that they may have omitted the word from the present verse because it seemed awkward to them, and was not found in the parallel passages, Jeremiah 29:14; Jeremiah 23:3, which are not, however, precisely similar to the present verse.
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