Wesley's Notes on the Bible
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
11:2 Of this covenant - The covenant here spoken of, was the covenant of the law of God, delivered by Moses, to which the people more than once promised obedience.
And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,
Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God:
That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD.
11:5 So be it - God having ended his speech, the prophet saith, Amen, either asserting the truth of which God had said, or wishing that the people would do according to their covenant.
Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.
For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.
Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.
11:8 Did them not - For this God threatens to bring upon them all his words of threatening, annexed to the covenant of the law.
And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
11:9 A conspiracy - All sorts of people have done alike, as if they had conspired together to break my law.
They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.
11:11 I will not hearken - God will not hear them crying to him in their adversity, who refuse to hear him speaking to them in their prosperity.
Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.
11:13 That shameful thing - Baal, called a shameful thing, because it was what they had reason to be ashamed of, and what would certainly bring them to shame and confusion. Baal - Signifies Lord, and was a common name given to more idols than one; the Phoenicians used the name Baal, the Chaldeans, Bell. Learned men say, that the Asians called the same idol Baal, whom those of Europe called Jupiter. It is not improbable, that the Heathens acknowledging one supreme being, worshipped him in several creatures; some mistaking the Sun, Moon, and Stars to be he, others, other things; these they called Baalim, Lords, as they called the principal god, Baal.
Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.
What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.
11:15 My beloved - My people, saith God, though I was formerly their husband, yet have wrought lewdness with many, that is, committed idolatry with many idols, and now what have they to do more in my house? The holy flesh - Flesh of their sacrifices, being set before idols, as well as before God, became polluted, and was abomination to the Lord. Thou rejoicest - They were not only evil but gloried in their wickedness.
The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.
11:16 Fair - The Lord fixed thee when he brought thee first into Canaan, in a flourishing condition, like a fair olive - tree, fit to bear goodly fruit. Broken - But thou hast so behaved thyself, that he who planted thee, is about to pluck thee up. God is about to kindle a fire which will burn thee up, and to break thy branches.
For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.
And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings.
11:18 Thou shewedst me - This may be understood with relation to that conspiracy which is mentioned in the following verse s.
But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.
11:19 Let us destroy - We have no other mention of this conspiracy, but it is plain both from this verse , and what follows, that the men of Anathoth (which was Jeremiah's own town) were offended at his prophesying, and had conspired to kill him. Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof - Let us not only put an end to his prophesying, but to his life.
But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.
Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand:
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:
And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.