Jeremiah 14 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Jeremiah 14)

Verse 5

[5] Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass.

The hind — Hinds use not to get their food in fields, but upon mountains and in wildernesses, but the drought was such, that these creatures came into the lower grounds, and there brought forth their young. The hinds are loving creatures and as all creatures love their young, so hinds especially; but their moisture being dried up, they could not suckle them, but were forced to leave them, running about to seek grass to eat.

Verse 6

[6] And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.

The wild asses — The wild asses wanting water, got upon high places, where was the coolest air, and sucked in the wind; and this it is said they did like dragons, of whom Aristotle and Pliny report, that they ordinarily stand upon high places sucking in the cool air.

Verse 7

[7] O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.

Testify — That thou art righteous in what thou hast done.

Do thou it — Do thou what we stand in need of; give us rain, though not for our sake, we deserve no such kindness from thee, yet for thy names sake: thy promise, or for thine honour and glory.

Verse 9

[9] Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.

Astonished — In such disorder through some great passion, that he is able to do nothing.

A mighty man — Like a man who in his own nature is strong, but through sickness so weakened, that he cannot put forth any strength for the succour of his friends.

Yet — Yet (saith the prophet) thou art in the midst of us; of the whole land, according to what God had declared, Numbers 5:3; 35:34. Defile not the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel.

Verse 10

[10] Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.

Thus — Here begins the answer to the prophet's complaint and prayer in the nine first verses. The substance is, that for their manifold sins, he was resolved to punish them.

They loved — They have been fond of their idols, and they have persisted in those sinful courses, notwithstanding all counsels.

Verse 21

[21] Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

The throne — The words are either to be understood of the throne of the house of David, called the Lord's throne, 1 Chronicles 29:23, or else the temple, and the ark in it, the more special symbol of God's presence.

Verse 22

[22] Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

Rain — The present judgment under which they groan, was a drought, which he had described in the six first verses; the prophet imploring God for the removal of it, argues, from the impossibility of help in this case from any other way, none of the idols of the Heathens, which he calls vain things, nothing in themselves, and of no use, or profit to those that ran after them.

Give showers — Without thy will? Art not - Lord, art not thou he alone who is able to do it? The scripture constantly gives God the honour of giving rain.