V¹ Y¹ 1-5. Incrimination. Z¹ 6. Threatening. Invasion. (Fig.) Y² 7,8. Incrimination. Z² 9. Threatening. Vengeance. Y³ 10-13. Incrimination. Z³ 14-19. Threatening. Invasion. (Fig.) Y4 20-28 Incrimination. Z4 29-31. Threatening. Vengeance.
1 Run you all to and fro through the outskirts of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the market (or, open places of concourse) thereof, if you all can find a man (see Gen. 18:26, &c. Points to reign of Jehoiakim rather than that of Josiah), if there be any that executes judgment, that seeks the truth; and I will pardon it. (see Gen. 18:24-32)
2 And though they say, ‘The Lord lives;’ surely they swear falsely.”
3 O Lord, are not Your eyes upon faithfulness? (the same word as in v.1) You have stricken them, but they have felt no pain; You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
4 Therefore I said, “Surely these are become poor (or, impoverished, reduced in means. See Prov.6:11); they are foolish: for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the justice of their God.
5 I will get me to the great men, and will speak to them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God: but these have together (or, with one accord) broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the deserts shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goes out from that place shall be torn in pieces: because their revolts are many, and their apostasies are strong.” (or many)
7 How shall I pardon you for this? your sons have forsaken Me (see Deut.32:15,21), and sworn by them (cp v.2) that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full (many codices read, "made them swear"), they then committed adultery (see Ex .20:14. Deut. 5:18. The usual formula for idolatry), and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.
8 They were as fed horses in the morning (i.e. roaming at large): every one neighed after his neighbor's wife.
9 Shall I not visit for these things? [is] the Lord's oracle: and shall not I Myself avenge herself on such a nation as this?
10 Go you all up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end (cp. v.18, and 4:27): take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord's.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah (see 2:4) have dealt very treacherously against Me, [is] the Lord.
12 They have acted deceitfully against the Lord (cp. Josh.24:27), and said, ‘It is not he; neither shall calamity come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:’
13 And the prophets (i.e. Jeremiah, and others with him. See on in 26:20) shall become wind (ruach), and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done to them.
14 Wherefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, Because you all speak this word, behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
15 Lo, I will bring (see Deut. 28:49) a nation upon you from far (i.e. the Chaldeans, but not yet named as such), O house of Israel, [is] the Lord oracle: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation (cp. Gen.10:10), a nation whose language you know not, neither hear what they say. (fig. put for what is understood. Cp. 1 Cor. 14:2)
16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.
17 And they shall eat up your harvest (see Lev. 26:16. Repeated 3 times for great emphasis. Note the similar enumeration in Hab. 3:17), and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat: they shall eat up your flocks and your herds: they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees: they shall beat down your fenced cities, wherein you confided, with the sword.
18 Nevertheless in those days, [is] the Lord's oracle, I will not make a full end with you.
19 And it shall come to pass, when you all shall say, ‘Why does the Lord our God all these things unto us?’ (see Deut.29:24,25) then shall you answer them, ‘Like as you all have forsaken Me, and served foreign gods in your land, so shall you all serve foreigners (or, aliens) in a land that is not yours.’
Y4 n 20-22-. Call to revere God. o -22. On account of His power. p 23. Rebellion in heart. n 24-. Call. Refused. o -24. Notwithstanding His bounty. P 25-28. Rebellion in acts.
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah (cp. 4:15), saying,
21 ‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding (Heb. "heart"); which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
22 Do you all not reverence (or. love) Me? [is] the Lord's oracle: will you all not tremble at My presence,
which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
23 But this People has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.
24 Neither say they in their heart, ‘Let us now love the Lord our God,
that gives rain (see Deut. 11:4), even the former and the latter, in his season: He reserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’ (see Gen. 8:22)
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld the good things from you.
26 For among My People are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that sets snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
28 They are waxen fat (see Deut. 32:15), they shine: yes, they overpass the deeds of a lawless one: they judge not the cause, the cause of an orphan, yet they prosper (or, that they [an orphan] should prosper. See Deut. 10:18; 2:17; 27:19); and the right of the needy ones do they not judge.
29 Shall I not visit for these things? [is] the Lord's oracle: shall not I Myself avenge herself on such a nation as this?
30 A astounding and horrible thing is committed in the land;
31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means (prophets were raised up when the priests failed in their duty. Now they had become in accord with them. Cp.23:25,26. Ezek.13:6, &c.); and My People love to have it so: and what will you all do in the end thereof?’ ’ ”