The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Jeremiah 2

Jer 2:1

Jer 2: "The voice of the prophet Jeremiah commences a forty year ministry leading to the dissolution of the Kingdom of Judah. He gives a review of Israel's sins, showing that Yahweh still loves His people, but expects that the filial love be reflected to Him. Through the prophet, Yahweh expostulates on their ungrateful return for past goodness, and shows that their wickedness has resulted in calamity. The voice concludes with an appeal to them to return.

"This chapter may be outlined: [1] Israel's early promise: vv 1-4. [2] Yahweh kept His contract despite provocation: vv 5-8. [3] The enormity of Israel's conduct once more stressed: vv 9-13. [4] Israel suffers because it turned from Yahweh: vv 14-19. [5] The true character of the nation despite Josiah's reformation: vv 20-30. [6] Israel will suffer: vv 31-35. [7] Israel in heart turned to Egypt: vv 36,37.

"It must have been a sad experience for the young prophet, brought to witness for the righteousness of his God, and seeing about him the failure of the ecclesia. The nation rejoiced in its high and holy privilege, and boasted in its attendance at the temple in Jerusalem, but did little to manifest divine qualities in daily life. They were barren, thankless soil, returning nothing for Yahweh's glory. Instead they looked to their southern neighbour [Egypt] for support and help, putting confidence in the power of the flesh. Yet, in spite of the darkness of their spiritual condition, the voice of Jeremiah brought a measure of encouragement to the faithful remnant that were looking for a redeemer. So he continues to witness at the end of the age -- as must those of the Brotherhood today as we wait the advent of the Great Judge" (GEM).

Jer 2:2

I REMEMBER: But My people have forgotten Me: v 32.

Jer 2:5

WORTHLESS: Heb "hebel" = lit, a breath; vanity, nothing. Because they followed nothing, they became nothing!

Jer 2:13

THE SPRING OF LIVING WATER: "All my fountains are in you (ie Jerusalem)": Psa 87:7.

CISTERNS: Very poor sources of water... liable to crack, full of dirt, vermin (LB 287).

Jer 2:18

WHY GO TO EGYPT TO DRINK WATER FROM THE SHIHOR?: "By sundry miracles, by divers mercies, by strange deliverances Jehovah had proved Himself to be worthy of Israel's trust. Yet they broke down the hedges with which God had enclosed them as a sacred garden; they forsook their own true and living God, and followed after false gods. Constantly did the Lord reprove them for this infatuation, and our text contains one instance of God's expostulating with them, 'What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of the muddy river?' -- for so it may be translated. 'Why dost thou wander afar and leave thine own cool stream from Lebanon? Why dost thou forsake Jerusalem to turn aside to Noph and to Tahapanes? Why art thou so strangely set on mischief, that thou canst not be content with the good and healthful, but wouldst follow after that which is evil and deceitful?' Is there not here a word of expostulation and warning to the Christian? O true believer, called by grace and washed in the precious blood of Jesus, thou hast tasted of better drink than the muddy river of this world's pleasure can give thee; thou hast had fellowship with Christ; thou hast obtained the joy of seeing Jesus, and leaning thine head upon His bosom. Do the trifles, the songs, the honours, the merriment of this earth content thee after that? Hast thou eaten the bread of angels, and canst thou live on husks?... If thou art wandering after the waters of Egypt, O return quickly to the one living fountain: the waters of Sihor may be sweet to the Egyptians, but they will prove only bitterness to thee. What hast thou to do with them?" (CHS).

Jer 2:32

Ct v 2.

We must not forget those spiritual garments which will insure the approval of the Bridegroom: (1) Gown of wrought gold, sig faith by works (1Pe 1:7): Psa 45:13,14. (2) Gown of needlework, sig painstaking labor: Psa 45:13,14. (3) Girdle, or sash -- sig constant readiness and careful walk (Luke 12:35,36; 1Pe 1:13): Isa 61:10. (4) Ornaments and jewels, sig wisdom (Job 28:18,19; Pro 3:13,15) and modesty (1Pe 3:3,4): Isa 61:10. (5) Sandals, sig preparation (Exo 12:11; Eph 6:15), as for a march or military operation: Isa 5:27. (6) Headdress and veil -- sig humility, modesty and deference -- in the woman (1Co 11).

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