Jeremiah 8:9
The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: see, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?
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(9) They have rejected the word of the Lord.—The “wise men” are apparently distinguished from the scribes, probably as students of the ethical or sapiential books of Israel, such as the Proverbs of Solomon, as distinct from the Law. The reign of Hezekiah, it will be remembered, had been memorable for such studies (Proverbs 25:1). They, too, kept within the range of traditional maxims and precepts, perhaps with stress on ceremonial rather than moral obligations; and when the word of Jehovah came to them straight from the lips of the prophets, they refused to listen to it, and with that refusal, what wisdom could they claim?

Jeremiah 8:9. The wise men are ashamed — That is, they have reason to be so, who have not made a better use of their wisdom, and reduced their knowledge to practice. They are confounded and taken — All their wisdom has not served to keep them from those courses that will issue in their ruin. They shall be taken in the same snares that others of their neighbours, who have not pretended to so much wisdom, are taken in, and filled with the same confusion. Those that have more knowledge than others, and yet provide no better than others for their own souls, have reason to be ashamed. They have rejected the word of the Lord — They would not be governed or guided in their conduct by it, would not act as it directed them, nor comply with their duty as there set forth; and what wisdom is in them? — None to any purpose: none that will yield them comfort in life, support in death, or boldness at the day of final accounts: none that will be found to their praise when God shall bring every work into judgment, how much soever it may exalt them in their own opinion in the present world.8:4-13 What brought this ruin? 1. The people would not attend to reason; they would not act in the affairs of their souls with common prudence. Sin is backsliding; it is going back from the way that leads to life, to that which leads to destruction. 2. They would not attend to the warning of conscience. They did not take the first step towards repentance: true repentance begins in serious inquiry as to what we have done, from conviction that we have done amiss. 3. They would not attend to the ways of providence, nor understand the voice of God in them, ver. 7. They know not how to improve the seasons of grace, which God affords. Many boast of their religious knowledge, yet, unless taught by the Spirit of God, the instinct of brutes is a more sure guide than their supposed wisdom. 4. They would not attend to the written word. Many enjoy abundance of the means of grace, have Bibles and ministers, but they have them in vain. They will soon be ashamed of their devices. The pretenders to wisdom were the priests and the false prophets. They flattered people in sin, and so flattered them into destruction, silencing their fears and complaints with, All is well. Selfish teachers may promise peace when there is no peace; and thus men encourage each other in committing evil; but in the day of visitation they will have no refuge to flee unto.They have rejected the word of the Lord - It became in the hands of the Soferim or scribes a mere code of ceremonial observance. Compare Mark 7:13. 9. dismayed—confounded.

what wisdom—literally, "the wisdom of what?" that is, "wisdom in what respect?" the Word of the Lord being the only true source of wisdom (Ps 119:98-100; Pr 1:7; 9:10).

The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; they trusted to their refuge of lies, but when God shall bring the judgment threatened, the wisest among them will find that they shall be confounded among themselves, not knowing what to do for all their wisdom, but shall be taken with the rest, Jeremiah 4:9: by wise men he means the scribes in the former verse. The same said of Babylon, Isaiah 47:10.

What wisdom is in them? or, What is wisdom to them? How can they say they are wise, when they have no fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, Proverbs 1:7; when they have no respect at all to the word of God, as to any holy practice, which is the fountain of all wisdom? Deu 4:6 Psalm 19:7 2 Timothy 3:15. The wise men are ashamed,.... Of the wisdom of which they boasted, when it would appear to be folly, and unprofitable to them:

they are dismayed and taken; frightened at the calamities coming upon them, and taken as in a snare, as the wise sometimes are in their own craftiness, Job 5:13.

Lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; sent by the prophets, which urged obedience to the law, and is the best explanation of it; but this they despised, and refused it:

and what wisdom is in them? to contemn that, which, if attended to, would have been profitable to them, and the means of making them wise unto salvation; let them therefore boast of their wisdom ever so much, it is certain there can be none in persons of such a spirit and conduct.

The {g} wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

(g) They who seem wise may be ashamed of their ignorance for all wisdom consists in God's word.

Verse 9. - The wise men are ashamed. It is the perfect of prophetic certitude, equivalent to "the wise men shall certainly be ashamed." And why? Evidently because they have not foreseen the calamities impending ever their nation. They have preached, "Peace, peace; when there was no peace" (Ver. 11); and hence they find themselves "taken" in the grip of a relentless power from which there is no escape. What wisdom; literally, wisdom of what? i.e. in respect of what? Not 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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