Jeremiah 4

Return O Israel to the Lord 1
Invasion is coming; take refuge 5
Dry wind will blow; desolation 11
Sorrow for doomed nation 19
Earth void; heavens dark; wilderness 23
Desolation but not complete 27
.1 ¶ If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.
.2  And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
 3 ¶ For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
 4  Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
  1 - Abominations Mainly idols de2715, de2917, 1ki1105, 2ch1508, ez2007.
  1 - Remove From nud, "to be aimless" or "to be homeless." Or "to be a vagabond" as translated in ge0412,14.
  2 - Thou shalt sware Should be "If thou shall sware" continuing the conditions of v1. See de1020, je1216.
  3 - Sow not among thorns Compare Jesus' parable mt1307,22.
.5 ¶ Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities.
6  Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.
.7  The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
 8  For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.
.9  And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
.10  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.
   5 - A new discourse begins.
   7 - Lion Babylon was the nation about to overthrow Jerusalem and Judah. It is a fitting symbol because archaeologists have found lions on the bricks of Babylon and in the zoo (judging from the sentence given Daniel in chapter da06). A lion carved out of stone was also found. Daniel saw a lion as the first nation of the series in da0704. Also je4919, je5017.
  10 - Deceived Jeremiah expresses his disappointment in the message of the vision just ended. It is not a prayer of faith. Did God lie? No tt0102. Compare je2007, is6317, jon0403. He may have been thinking of the promise of restoration je0314 not realizing that the fulfillment would not be soon and would eventually be realized in the New Earth.
.11  At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse,
 12  Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them.
 13  Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.
 14  O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
  11 - Dry wind ... high places The east wind from the desert was common and dreaded je2222, jb1502. In v16 we can see that the wind is a metaphor for the devastating army that would come to conquer the land.
  11 - Not to fan Wind from the east was hot and dry, unlike wind that would help separate grain from the husks (chaff).
  12 - Full wind Rather, "a wind fuller (that is, more impetuous) than those winds" (which fan the corn [grain]) (Jer 4:11)." (FJB).
  12 - Sentence The harmful wind was like the judgment of punishment coming to Judah.
  14 - Wash thine heart They needed cleansing from evil. Compare re0714. Only pure springs can bring the needed change.
  14 - Vain Rather "wicked."
 15  For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.
.16  Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.
 17  As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.
.18  Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.
  15 - From Dan This was a city in the tribal area of Dan. The Chaldeans traveled NW and turned south  to enter Palestine. by way of Dan to avoid the desert. News from there was generally not good news.
  16 - Watchers To see that none escaped Jerusalem is0108.
  17 - As keepers of a field The tents of invading forces of Nebuchadnezzar were like the watchers who protected cultivated fields. These areas were not fenced.
  18 - Wickedness ... heart The evil was more than superficial.
.19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
 20  Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
 21  How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
 22  For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
  19 - Bowels From may-aw' here describing deep feelings. "The prophet suddenly assumes the language of the Jewish state personified, lamenting its affliction (Jer 10:19,20; 9:1,10; Isa 15:5; compare Lu 19:41)." (JFB).
  20 - Destruction upon ... Literally "breaking" This could describe breaches in the walls of Jerusalem. "In view of that great day the word of God, in the most solemn and impressive language, calls upon His people to arouse from their spiritual lethargy and to seek His face with repentance and humiliation: "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm ... "To prepare a people to stand in the day of God, a great work of reform was to be accomplished. God saw that many of His professed people were not building for eternity, and in His mercy He was about to send a message of warning to arouse them from their stupor and lead them to make ready for the coming of the Lord. (Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 311.)
.23  I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
.24  I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
 25  I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
 26  I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
  23 - Comparison is made to the earth when creation week began ge0102.
  25 - No man  Before God creates a new heaven and earth, this planet will again be desolate. See re2003c, zp0102.
.27  For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
 28  For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
 29  The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.
   27 - Land The land of Israel would be desolate just at the earth will be desolate. This will be after the work of destruction is done and before God creates a new earth re2101.
.30  And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
.31  For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.
  30 - What will you do? The city is like a woman. "And you, O desolate one, what will you do? Though you dress with crimson, though you put on ornaments of gold, though you make your eyes large with paint, you shall make yourself beautiful in vain. . . ." (MKJV).
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