Where the prophets of Israel witnessed against the spiritual
abuses among their contemporaries, they did so while still continuing full
fellowship with those whom they denounced. More than this, the examples of Moses
(Exo 32:30-33), Daniel (Dan 9:5-14), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6,7), Jeremiah (Jer 3:25;
9:1), and Ezra (Ezr 9:6,7,13) show these men intimately associated with the
people whom they reprimanded, even so far as confessing the sins of the nation
as though they were their own. Here is the spirit of true fellowship, or
sharing, by which those most exercised against error bear the burdens of their
brethren, and strive with them as partners -- not outsiders -- to defeat the
enervating effects of sin.
Here also is Christ weeping over the city of Jerusalem: "O
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how
often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her
chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to
you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed
is he who comes in the name of the Lord' " (Mat 23:37-39).
THEY MAKE READY THEIR TONGUE LIKE A BOW, TO SHOOT LIES:
Cp Psa 11:2; 64:2; 1Jo 3:12,15.
BEWARE OF YOUR FRIENDS; DO NOT TRUST YOUR BROTHERS:
Jacob (Hos 12:3).
THEY WEARY THEMSELVES WITH SINNING: They grow tired in
evildoing, yet still struggle to continue.
I WILL REFINE AND TEST THEM: Trials of fire -- to
purify from dross (Mal 3:3).
WITH HIS MOUTH EACH SPEAKS CORDIALLY... BUT IN HIS HEART HE
SETS A TRAP: Two-faced, hypocritical: Psa 55:21.
Vv 9,11: God speaks. V 10: Jeremiah breaks in.
AS THEIR FATHERS TAUGHT THEM: But ct Jer 16:19: "Our
fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no
I WILL SCATTER THEM: But God will also gather them
again (Jer 31:10-12).
CALL FOR THE WAILING WOMEN TO COME: Professional
mourners, common in ANE. They were employed to arouse relatives and others at
funerals to outward display of their grief. They used plaintive cries, baring
their breasts, flailing their arms, throwing dust on their heads, and
disheveling their hair (2Ch 35:25; Ecc 12:5; Amo 5:16; Mat 9:23). This practice
was not peculiar to the Jews; it prevailed among the Greeks and Romans and still
exists among certain peoples today.
OUR HOUSES ARE IN RUINS: "Our dwellings have cast us
out" (AV). Cp Lev 18:28.
Three main strengths: "wisdom" = political strength;
"strength" = military might; and "riches" = economic power.
"Whilst the heavenly hosts of stars and the earthly beauties
of nature may stir our emotions, they are silent about our deepest needs and are
heedless of our cries for help. When the Lord passed before Moses He proclaimed
not the great wonders of His power but: 'The Lord, the Lord... full of
compassion and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and truth.' From
thenceforward the purpose of the law and the prophets was to show this knowledge
of God so that His people might trust in Him with all their hearts and not lean
upon their own understanding. With the warning of Israel's decline before them
Judah was told, through Jeremiah: 'Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his
riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and
knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment and
righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.'
This is the transcendent glory of the Father, who created the angels through
immeasurable time; clothed Adam and Eve with skins; cared for His people Israel;
prepared for the coming of His Son, and called a people for His greater glory,
as many as the stars of heaven" (NL 53).
"Let him who boasts boast in the Lord" (1Co 1:29,31; cp 2Co
THAT HE UNDERSTANDS AND KNOWS: First theoretical, and
WHO LIVE IN THE DESERT IN DISTANT PLACES: Or (as NIV
mg) "who clip the hair by their foreheads". Cp Lev 19:27. Thus did the men of
Kedar as well: Jer 49:28-32.
UNCIRCUMCISED IN HEART: Cp Rom 2:28-32; Col 2:11; Deu
10:16; 30:6. If Judah has the rite of circumcision only in the flesh, she is no
different from the pagans who have only an external sign (ie style of cutting
hair, etc) and no inward faith. (But no doubt their guilt is greater because
their privilege was greater.)