Jeremiah Chapter 15  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Jeremiah 15
Jer 15:1(top)
Jer 15:2(top)
Jer 15:3(top)
Jer 15:4(top)
Jer 15:5(top)
Jer 15:6(top)
Jer 15:7(top)
Jer 15:8(top)
Jer 15:9(top)
Jer 15:10

“Woe is me, my mother.” The speaker now shifts to Jeremiah. It had been God. The reader is expected to notice the shift from the content itself, the Bible does not point out the shift.

Jer 15:11

“I will set you free.” The meaning of this verse is not well understood, and translations vary greatly. In this translation, the “you” refers to Jerusalem, not Jeremiah, which fits with the context and next verses (cp. NET First Edition text note).

Jer 15:12(top)
Jer 15:13(top)
Jer 15:14(top)
Jer 15:15

“Yahweh, you know.” The brevity of this statement combined with the context gives us its meaning. Jeremiah was saying, “Yahweh, you know my situation.” Yahweh knew Jeremiah’s situation, his needs, and his enemies.

“Do not, because of your longsuffering, take me away from life.” This phrase in Jeremiah 15:15 is hard to understand without a scope of what Jeremiah knew about God. He knew God was longsuffering and slow—sometimes very slow—to punish evil (cp. Exod. 36:6; Ps. 86:15). But Jeremiah felt that if God did not move quickly in avenging him from persecutors, they would kill him and thus take him from life. The NET Bible more freely translates Jeremiah’s request so it is easier to understand: “[God], do not be so patient with them [the persecutors] that you allow them to kill me.”

One lesson we can learn from Jeremiah is the love of life. To say that Jeremiah’s life was difficult is to understate the fact. Jeremiah’s life was so difficult, and things were going so badly for the country of Judah, that God told him not to marry and have children (Jer. 16:2). In that context, we might think that Jeremiah would have been happy to have his life end because not only was his life very difficult, he had confidence that he would be resurrected to a wonderful life in Paradise. In fact, it looked at one point he would be executed because of the prophecies he was giving (Jer. 26:14-15). But here we see the great love of life that Jeremiah had, and as tough as his life was, he prayed to God not to let people take his life from him.

Life can be difficult, but if we focus on God and His love for us, and focus on others and what we can do for them even if our own life is painful, we can love our life and the opportunities that we have each day.

Jer 15:16

“Your words were found, and I ate them.” This statement in Jeremiah 15:16 is generally taken by scholars to be a general statement, meaning that as Jeremiah got the Word of God from various sources, including revelation, he digested them and got great joy from them. Although that is certainly true, the word “found” is matsa (#04672 מָצָא) in the niphal aspect, and it literally means “to be found; to be discovered.” Only a few years before Jeremiah started prophesying, Manasseh had reigned over Judah for 55 years, and the vast majority of that time he had been extremely evil. He repented, but the evil he had done was not reversed and set in motion disaster for Judah many years after his death in the reign of king Jehoiakim (2 Kings 24:3). After Manasseh, his son Amon ruled Judah, and he was very evil also.

During that long time of evil, the scrolls of the Old Testament were apparently lost. Jeremiah started his ministry in the 13th year of the godly king Josiah (Jeremiah 1:1). In the 18th year of Josiah, when the Temple was being refurbished after years of neglect, the scrolls of the Law were found in the Temple (2 Kings 22:8-10). It was the first time Josiah the king had seen the scrolls of the Law, as is apparent from his reaction and the reform that he then started (2 Kings 22:11-13). Since Jeremiah lived in Anathoth in Benjamin, only 5 miles or so from Jerusalem, it is almost certain that he had never seen the scrolls of the Law either. When Josiah read the scrolls, he started a kingdom-wide reform. When Jeremiah read the scrolls of the Lord, he “ate” them, and they were to him the joy and rejoicing of his heart.

Jer 15:17(top)
Jer 15:18

“like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?” This is a reference to a physical attribute of Israel that was well known, and thus it is similar to a custom or idiom because you have to know the land of Israel to understand it.

The majority of the streams in Israel only flow during the rainy season. Thus, at some point during the dry season they stop flowing, but the exact time that happens depends on the amount of rain that fell that year, how long the rainy season lasted, etc. That meant that if a person needed water, if the dry season had started they could never really be sure if the stream would still be flowing or if it had already dried up. The ironic thing about those streams was that often during the rainy season there was water in lots of places so the streams were not quite as necessary, but then late in the dry season when they were really needed, they did not have any water.

Jeremiah is asking God if He is like that; like a stream that only provides water during the “good” times and then stops providing when conditions get tough. It can seem like in the good times, when we do not need God’s comfort, it is there in abundance, but then in the tough times God’s comfort is not there. Thankfully, we can rely on God all the time. In Jeremiah 15:21, God assures Jeremiah that He will deliver him, and we can rely on God’s deliverance too. But, as we learn from Proverbs, that does not mean that He will support our foolishness. We have to walk righteously and with wisdom.

Jer 15:19(top)
Jer 15:20(top)
Jer 15:21(top)

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