1:1 The a words of Jeremiah the son of b Hilkiah, of the priests that [were] in c Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
The Argument - The prophet Jeremiah born in the city of Anathoth in the
country of Benjamin, was the son of Hilkiah, whom some think to be he that
found the book of the law and gave it to Josiah. This prophet had excellent
gifts from God, and most evident revelations of prophecy, so that by the
commandment of the Lord he began very young to prophecy, that is, in the
thirteenth year of Josiah, and continued eighteen years under the king, three
months under Jehoahaz and under Jehoiakim eleven years, three months under
Jehoiachin, and under Zedekiah eleven years to the time that they were carried
away into Babylon. So that this time amounts to above forty years, besides the
time that he prophesied after the captivity. In this book he declares with
tears and lamentations, the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the
people, for their idolatry, covetousness, deceit, cruelty, excess, rebellion
and contempt of God's word, and for the consolation of the Church reveals
the just time of their deliverance. Here chiefly are to be considered three
things. First the rebellion of the wicked, who wax more stubborn and
obstinate, when the prophets admonish them most plainly of their destruction.
Next how the prophets and ministers of God should not be discouraged in their
vocation, though they are persecuted and rigorously handled by the wicked, for
God's cause. Thirdly though God shows his just judgment against the wicked,
yet will he ever show himself a preserver of his Church, and when all means
seem to men's judgment to be abolished, then will he declare himself
victorious in preserving his.
(a) That is, the sermons and prophecies.
(b) Who is thought to be he that found the book
of the law under king Josiah, (2 Kings
(c) This was a city about three miles from
Jerusalem and belonged to the priests, the sons of Aaron, (Joshua
1:2 To whom the d
word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in
the thirteenth year of his reign.
(d) This is spoken to confirm his calling and
office, as he did not presume of himself to preach and prophecy, but was
called to it by God.
1:3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of
Josiah king of Judah, to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the e
son of Josiah king of Judah, to the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the
fifth f month.
(e) Meaning the nephew of Josiah: for Jehoahaz
was his father, who reigned but three months, and therefore is not mentioned,
nor is Jehoiakim that reigned no longer.
(f) Of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, who was
also called Mattaniah, and at this time the Jews were carried away into
Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
1:5 Before I g
formed thee in the womb I knew thee; and before thou wast born I sanctified
thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet to the h
(g) The scripture uses this manner of speech to
declare that God has appointed his minsters to their offices before they were
born, as in (Isaiah
(h) For Jeremiah did not only prophecy against
the Jews, but also against the Egyptians, Babylonians, Moabites and other
1:6 Then said I, i
Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I [am] a child.
(i) Considering the great judgments of God which
according to his threatening would come on the world, he was moved with a
certain compassion on the one hand to pity them that would thus perish, and on
the other hand by the infirmity of man's nature, knowing how hard a thing it
was to enterprise such a charge, as in (Isaiah
the LORD put forth his hand, and k
touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have put my words in thy
(k) Which declares that God makes them meet and
assures them, whom he calls to set forth his glory, giving them all means
necessary for the same, (Exodus
1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the l
nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy,
and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
(l) He shows what is the authority of God's
true ministers, who by his word have power to bear down whatever lifts itself
up against God: and to plant and assure the humble and such as give themselves
to the obedience of God's word, (2 Corinthians
4:12), and these are the keys which Christ has left to loose and bind, (Matthew
1:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me,
saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a m
rod of an almond tree.
(m) He joins the sign with the word, for a more
ample confirmation: signifying by the rod of the almond tree, which first
buds, the hasty coming of the Babylonians against the Jews.
1:13 And the word of the LORD
came to me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a boiling
n pot; and its face [is] toward the
(n) Signifying that the Chaldeans and Assyrians
would be as a pot to seethe the Jews who boiled in their pleasures and lust.
1:14 Then the LORD said to me, Out of the o
north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
(o) Syria and Assyria were northward in respect
to Jerusalem, which was the Chaldeans dominion.
1:16 And I will utter my p
judgments against them concerning all their wickedness, who have forsaken me,
and have burned incense to other gods, and worshipped the works of their own
(p) I will give them charge and power to execute
my vengeance against the idolaters who have forsaken me for their idols.
1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise,
and speak to them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest
I q confound thee before them.
(q) Which declares that God's vengeance is
prepared against them who do not execute their duty faithfully, either for
fear of man, or for any other reason, (1 Corinthians
1:18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a
fortified city, and an r iron pillar,
and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against her
princes, against her priests, and against the people of the land.
(r) Signifying on the one hand that the more that
Satan and the world rage against God's ministers, the more present will he
be to help them, (Joshua
13:5) and on the other hand, that they are utterly unfit to serve God in
his Church, who are afraid and do not resist wickedness, whatever danger
depend on it, (Isaiah