Jeremiah 10 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Jeremiah 10)

Verse 2

[2] Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

Learn not — The Jews being to live among the Chaldeans in their captivity, where many of them were already, the prophet admonishes them against the Chaldean idolatries, who were all much addicted to astrology.

The signs — This was so common among them, that Judicial astrologers, of what nation soever, were generally termed Chaldeans.

The Heathen — Leave this to Heathens; it doth not become God's people.

Verse 9

[9] Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

Tarshish — Is the proper name of a sea-town in Cilicia, and being a noted port, it is usually put for the ocean, and may signify any place beyond the sea.

Uphaz — Probably the best gold came from thence as the best silver from Tarshish.

Verse 10

[10] But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

But — All these are but false gods.

Living — These are all but dead stocks and stones, Jehovah is the only living God, having life in himself, and giving life to all things else.

An everlasting king — Time devours them all, but the true God is everlasting.

Verse 13

[13] When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

When — As in the former verse he relates God's unspeakable power and wisdom in his creating and fixing the stated order of things, so here he farther sets it forth in his providential ordering and disposing of them.

Verse 14

[14] Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

Every man — Every idolator.

Verse 15

[15] They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

Visitation — When God shall come to reckon with Babylon and her idols.

Verse 16

[16] The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.

Portion — God, who vouchsafes to be the portion of his people.

The former — Idols are things framed or formed, but God is the former of all things.

The rod of his inheritance — So called, because the inheritances of Israel were measured by a line, reed, or rod.

Verse 17

[17] Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.

Gather up — The prophet now enters upon another subject.

Thy wares — Every thing thou hast any advantage by, all thy merchandise, as men use to do in case of invasion by an enemy.

The fortress — The inhabitants of Jerusalem, the chief place of security in Judea.

Verse 18

[18] For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.

Sing out — It denotes with how much violence and ease the Chaldeans shall hurry away the people into Babylon. And therefore it is said at this once, I will make one thorough quick work of it.

May find it so — Though they would never believe it, yet they shall actually find the truth of my threatenings.

Verse 19

[19] Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.

Woe is me — Here the prophet personates the complaint of the people of the land.

Verse 20

[20] My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.

My tabernacle — He describes the overthrow of the land, or Jerusalem, by the breaking of the cords of a tabernacle, the use whereof is to fasten it on every side to stakes in the ground, which cords being broken the tabernacle falls.

Verse 21

[21] For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

The pastors — The rulers of church and state.

Verse 22

[22] Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.

Noise — Rumour, report.

Verse 23

[23] O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

It is not — Lord we know it is not in our power to divert these judgments that are coming upon us, but thou canst moderate, and limit them as thou pleasest.

Verse 24

[24] O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

Correct me — Seeing thou wilt punish us, let it be a correction only, not a destruction. Let it be in measure; in the midst of judgment remember mercy.

Anger — Lest if thou shouldst let out thy fury upon me, thou wouldst utterly consume me.

Verse 25

[25] Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

The Heathen — Such as do not acknowledge thee for their God.

Call not — One part of worship put for the whole. If thou wilt pour out thy fury, let the effects of it be to thine enemies, not unto thine own people.