Jer 14:1-22. Prophecies on
the Occasion of a Drought Sent in Judgment on Judea.
1. Literally, "That which was the word of
Jehovah to Jeremiah concerning the dearth"
drought—literally, the "withholdings,"
namely, of rain (De 11:17; 2Ch 7:13). This word should be used especially of
the withholding of rain because rain is in those regions of all
things the one chiefly needed (Jer 17:8, Margin).
2. gates—The place of public
concourse in each city looks sad, as being no longer frequented
black—that is, they mourn (blackness
being indicative of sorrow), (Jer 8:21).
unto the ground—bowing towards it.
cry—of distress (1Sa 5:12; Isa
3. little ones—rather, "their
inferiors," that is, domestics.
pits—cisterns for collecting rain
water, often met with in the East where there are no
covered … heads—(2Sa 15:30). A sign of humiliation and
5. The brute creation is reduced to the utmost
extremity for the want of food. The "hind," famed for her affection to
her young, abandons them.
6. wild asses—They repair to "the high
places" most exposed to the winds, which they "snuff in" to relieve
eyes—which are usually most keen in
detecting grass or water from the "heights," so much so that the
traveller guesses from their presence that there must be herbage and
water near; but now "their eyes fail." Rather the reference is to the
great boas and python serpents which raise a large portion of their
body up in a vertical column ten or twelve feet high, to survey the
neighborhood above the surrounding bushes, while with open jaws they
drink in the air. These giant serpents originated the widely spread
notions which typified the deluge and all destructive agents under the
form of a dragon or monster serpent; hence, the dragon temples always
near water, in Asia, Africa, and Britain; for example, at Abury, in
Wiltshire; a symbol of the ark is often associated with the dragon as
the preserver from the waters [Kitto,
7. do thou it—what we beg of Thee;
interpose to remove the drought. Jeremiah pleads in the name of his
109:21). So "work for us,"
absolutely used (1Sa 14:6).
for thy name's sake—"for our
backslidings are so many" that we cannot urge Thee for the sake of
our doings, but for the glory of Thy name; lest, if Thou
give us not aid, it should be said it was owing to Thy want of power
(Jos 7:9; Ps 79:9; 106:8; Isa 48:9; Eze
20:44). The same appeal to
God's mercy, "for His name's sake," as our only hope, since
our sin precludes trust in ourselves, occurs in Ps 25:11.
8. The reference is, not to the faith of
Israel which had almost ceased, but to the promise and
everlasting covenant of God. None but the true Israel make God
their "hope." (Jer 17:13).
turneth aside to tarry—The
traveller cares little for the land he tarries but a night in;
but Thou hast promised to dwell always in the midst of Thy
people (2Ch 33:7, 8). Maurer
translates, "spreadeth," namely, his tent.
9. astonied—like a "mighty man," at
other times able to help (Isa 59:1),
but now stunned by a sudden calamity so as to disappoint the
hopes drawn from him.
art in the midst of us—(Ex
29:45, 46; Le 26:11, 12).
called by thy name—(Da 9:18, 19) as Thine own peculiar people
10. Jehovah's reply to the prayer (Jer
14:7-9; Jer 2:23-25).
not refrained … feet—They did
not obey God's command; "withhold thy foot" (Jer 2:25), namely, from following after
remember … iniquity—(Ho 8:13;
9:9). Their sin is so great,
God must punish them.
11. (Jer 7:16; Ex 32:10).
12. not hear—because their prayers are
hypocritical: their hearts are still idolatrous. God never refuses to
hear real prayer (Jer 7:21, 22; Pr 1:28; Isa
sword … famine …
pestilence—the three sorest judgments at once; any one of
which would be enough for their ruin (2Sa 24:12, 13).
13. Jeremiah urges that much of the guilt of
the people is due to the false prophets' influence.
assured peace—solid and lasting peace.
Literally, "peace of truth" (Isa 39:8).
14. (Jer 23:21).
15. (Jer 5:12, 13).
By sword and famine …
consumed—retribution in kind both to the false prophets and
to their hearers (Jer 14:16).
16. none to bury—(Ps 79:3).
pour their wickedness—that is, the
punishment incurred by their wickedness (Jer 2:19).
17. (Jer 9:1; La 1:16). Jeremiah is desired to weep
ceaselessly for the calamities coming on his nation (called a "virgin,"
as being heretofore never under foreign yoke), (Isa 23:4).
18. go about—that is, shall have to
migrate into a land of exile. Horsley
translates, "go trafficking about the land (see Jer 5:31, Margin; 2Co 4:2; 2Pe
2:3), and take no knowledge"
(that is, pay no regard to the miseries before their eyes) (Isa 1:3;
58:3). If the literal sense
of the Hebrew verb be retained, I would with English
Version understand the words as referring to the exile to Babylon;
thus, "the prophet and the priest shall have to go to a strange land to
practise their religious traffic (Isa 56:11; Eze 34:2,
3; Mic 3:11).
19. The people plead with God, Jeremiah being
forbidden to do so.
no healing—(Jer 15:18).
peace … no good—(Jer 8:15).
20. (Da 9:8).
21. us—"the throne of Thy glory" may be
the object of "abhor not" ("reject not"); or "Zion" (Jer 14:19).
throne of thy glory—Jerusalem, or,
the temple, called God's "footstool" and "habitation" (1Ch
28:2; Ps 132:5).
thy covenant—(Ps 106:45; Da
22. vanities—idols (De 32:21).
rain—(Zec 10:1, 2).
heavens—namely, of themselves without
God (Mt 5:45; Ac 14:17); they are not the First Cause, and
ought not to be deified, as they were by the heathen. The disjunctive
"or" favors Calvin's explanation: "Not
even the heavens themselves can give rain, much less can the idol
art not thou he—namely, who canst give