Jeremiah Chapter 11  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Jeremiah 11
Jer 11:1(top)
Jer 11:2(top)
Jer 11:3(top)
Jer 11:4(top)
Jer 11:5(top)
Jer 11:6(top)
Jer 11:7

“warned, yes, warned.” The Hebrew text repeats the verb warned, but in different verbal aspects (a hiphil infinitive and hiphil perfect). The meaning of that polyptoton is that Jeremiah strongly warned the people, he warned, yes, warned them. A quite literal translation of the phrase might be, “in warning I have warned you,” which does not translate well into English. This is the figure of speech polyptoton, and it is used for emphasis [For more on polyptoton and how it is translated in the REV, see commentary on Gen. 2:16].

“rising up early and warning them.” This is an idiom meaning to warn again and again. The idea is that God rose up early and warned His people, and warned them over and over as the day progressed. The REV has kept the idiom but inserted the meaning of the idiom by adding “again and again” in italics. [For more on this idiom and where it occurs, see commentary on Jeremiah 26:5].

Jer 11:8

“his evil heart.” The Masoretic Hebrew text reads the singular “his,” but some English versions use the plural “their.”

“Therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant.” Many of the curses of the covenant that Judah had already experienced and would experience even more in the future are in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 (see esp. Deut. 28:36; 63-64).

Jer 11:9(top)
Jer 11:10(top)
Jer 11:11(top)
Jer 11:12(top)
Jer 11:13(top)
Jer 11:14

“do not pray for this people.” God had said this to Jeremiah earlier, and He will say it again (Jer. 7:16; 14:11; see commentary on Jer. 7:16).

“I will not listen to them.” God tries and tries to get people to listen to Him and obey him. But those who consistently ignore and defy God will suffer for it, and when their suffering comes, very often they will call out to God and He will not hear them (cp. Prov. 1:22-28, esp. v. 28).

“trouble.” The Hebrew is more literally “evil,” that is, when evil times come; when trouble and disaster comes.

Jer 11:15

“What right has my beloved….” The vocabulary and syntax of Jeremiah 11:15 is broken and impossible to reconstruct with certainty, which explains the huge variation in the English versions. J. A. Thompson writes that the verse has “suffered severely in its textual transmission; any reconstruction is conjectural” (New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The Book of Jeremiah).

“my beloved.” A reference to God’s people, perhaps even a sarcastic reference given the circumstances.

“my house.” That is, the Temple in Jerusalem.

“Can holy meat take away your disaster?” That is, can your many sacrifices take away your disaster? No, they will not.

Jer 11:16

“worthless.” The NET text note explains the translation: “The verb here has most commonly been derived from a root meaning ‘to be broken’ ...which fits poorly with the metaphor of setting the plant on fire. Another common option is to emend it to a verb meaning ‘to be burned up’…However, it is better to follow the lead of the Greek version which translates ‘be good for nothing’...and derive the verb from (ra'a') meaning ‘be bad/evil.’”

Jeremiah 11:16 is a sobering prophecy showing that God will not continue to support and bless those who turn against Him, even if they were once beautiful in His eyes.

Jer 11:17(top)
Jer 11:18

“Yahweh made it known to me, and I knew it.” A new subject is suddenly introduced at this point, and we are surprised to learn that men in Anathoth, Jeremiah’s hometown, and even people in Jeremiah’s own family, were planning to kill him. (Jer. 11:21; 12:6). No doubt Jeremiah himself was very surprised and shocked to find that out. The Bible does not say exactly how Yahweh made the plot known to Jeremiah; it could have been by direct revelation, or it could have been that a person from Anathoth was moved to let him know about it. This plot is the subject of Jeremiah 11:18-12:6. The whole plot would be easier to see and understand if a chapter break had not been put into the text, that is, if Jeremiah 12:1-6 had been Jeremiah 11:24-29.

Jer 11:19(top)
Jer 11:20

“kidneys...heart.” The “kidneys” refers to a person’s emotional life. The Word of God points to the fact that our kidneys, bowels, and belly (or womb) are part of our mental/emotional life, not “just physical organs.” Our “gut,” including our intestines, bowels, kidneys and stomach contain as many nerve cells as our brain, and studies are now showing that our “gut” contributes significantly to our emotional life and health. In contrast, in the biblical world, the “heart” refers to the thoughts, not the emotions. When the Bible mentions “heart” and “kidneys” together, it refers to the thought life (“heart”) and emotional life (“kidneys”). [For more on the heart referring to the thought life, see commentary on Prov. 15:21. For more on kidneys referring to the emotional life, see commentary on Rev. 2:23, “kidneys”].

“cause.” The Hebrew word is riyb (#7378 רִיב), and it means to quarrel or contend, to lodge a complaint, to make a lawsuit against. Here Jeremiah commits his cause (his legal case) to God.

Jer 11:21

“the men of Anathoth who seek your life.” Anathoth was Jeremiah’s home town (Jer. 1:1; 32:7). The reason the men of Anathoth were seeking to kill Jeremiah is not stated, but it is most probably something Jeremiah did that some men and elders in the city thought brought shame to the village. Killing someone who brought shame upon the village was known to happen in olden times, and still goes on today, although sometimes the killing is localized to a family. It is known as “honor killing,” i.e., killing to preserve the honor of the family or village. It is likely that Jeremiah’s speaking out against the sins of Judah and Jerusalem embarrassed people in Anathoth, and it is also possible that Jeremiah supported king Josiah’s religious reforms which might have closed or destroyed local shrines and idols. In any case, the threat was serious enough that God told Jeremiah about it and promised vengeance on those who plotted against Jeremiah.

Jer 11:22(top)
Jer 11:23

“and there will be no remnant of them.” This is a dire prophecy; Anathoth would be completely empty of people. This almost certainly happened when Babylon conquered Judah. But Anathoth was eventually repopulated and rebuilt, at least to some degree. Ezra 2:23 says 128 men returned from the captivity, and they likely moved back to Anathoth.


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