Jeremiah Chapter 2  PDF  MSWord

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

“Where is Yahweh?” The priests quit being concerned that Yahweh was not making Himself known as He so often did in Israel’s history, and furthermore, they stopped asking Yahweh for guidance and direction.

“And those who handle the law.” That is, the priests. It is the priests who handle the Law. In this case, the priests do not know God and thus do not really know the Law or God’s will for the people.

“shepherds.” The Hebrew reads “shepherds,” and in this case it refers to the rulers, who were the shepherds over the people. The Old Testament often refers to kings and leaders as shepherds (cp. Jer. 2:8; 6:3; 10:21; 12:10; 23:1-4; 49:19; Ezek. 34:1-10, 23; 37:24; Zech. 10:2-3). Similarly, the verb, “to shepherd” was used for ruling (cp. 2 Sam. 5:2). In the New Testament, “shepherds” usually refers to the pastors over the people in the Church, but that is not its use here.

It is interesting that Micah 5:2, foretelling the birth of the Messiah, says he will “rule” his God’s people, but when Matthew quotes Micah 5:2, he uses the word “shepherds” (Matt. 2:6).

“the prophets prophesied by Baal.” The Hebrew text reads, “the Baal,” not just “Baal,” and therefore “the Baal” refers to the Canaanite storm and fertility god who was worshiped by the Judeans and therefore was the well-known Baal among them. That Baal was called “the Baal” shows that the worship of Baal among the prophets was not a passing knowledge but an entrenched relationship. The prophets who were supposed to follow Yahweh had turned to Baal as their source of information, thus they “prophesied by Baal.”

“walked after things that do not profit.” This refers to following (and thus worshiping) pagan idols, and is perhaps a second reference to Baal. The reason the verse ends with “things that do not profit” seems to be to make a word play in Hebrew that would catch people’s attention. The name for the god Baal is baal (בַּעַל) while the verb “do not profit” is spelled yaal (יַעַל). So the people prophesied by ba’al and walked after ya’al. People reading the Hebrew text would catch the nuance (and perhaps learn from the reproof as well), and the Hebrews were fond of puns and word plays.

Jer 2:9(top)
Jer 2:10(top)
Jer 2:11

“Glory.” Here used as a name for God. The people substituted “no profit” (i.e., idols) for their Glory, God.

Jer 2:12(top)
Jer 2:13

“living water.” “Living water” was water that was used for ritual cleansing from sin and impurity. Living water came from God, and thus included rain water, well water, and water from a flowing river or stream. Water that sat in a cistern was not living water. [For more on living water, see commentary on Num. 19:17].

Jer 2:14(top)
Jer 2:15(top)
Jer 2:16(top)
Jer 2:17(top)
Jer 2:18

“to drink the waters of the Nile?” The word “Nile” is literally “Shihor,” which likely refers to the Nile itself or a branch of the Nile (see commentary on 1 Chron. 13:5).

Jer 2:19

“Your own wickedness will correct you.” It is a consistent theme through Scripture that evil people bring evil upon themselves (see commentary on Prov. 1:18). But at every level, from ignorance to evil, people are supposed to learn from their mistakes and misdeeds.

Jer 2:20

“you have broken.” Although the Masoretic Hebrew text is pointed to read “I have broken,” the Septuagint and Vulgate read “you” which fits the context better, and Keil and Delitzsch refer to this as an Aramaism and give grammatical and contextual reasons why “you” is correct (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament). Here Israel is compared to an ox or donkey that has rebelled against its owner, broken its bonds, and ran off to do whatever it wanted.

“spread yourself.” The definition “spread” is given in some Hebrew and Aramaic lexicons (cp. HALOT and Holladay). The Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon was more opaque, only daring to use the Latin: in sensu obscoeno (in an obscene sense). God is being very graphic and not pulling any punches in letting the people of Judah know exactly how he felt about their idolatry. Judah was in a marriage covenant with God, but she was spreading herself spiritually by committing adultery with other gods, and physically because the people were involved in the ritual sex connected with the worship of those gods.

“prostituting yourself..” Ritual sex was often part of the worship of pagan gods. The people of Israel committed spiritual adultery and physical adultery right along with it.

Jer 2:21(top)
Jer 2:22(top)
Jer 2:23(top)
Jer 2:24(top)
Jer 2:25(top)
Jer 2:26(top)
Jer 2:27

“and a stone.” That is, an idol made of stone, but from God’s point of view, just a stone, a rock.

Jer 2:28(top)
Jer 2:29(top)
Jer 2:30(top)
Jer 2:31(top)
Jer 2:32(top)
Jer 2:33(top)
Jer 2:34(top)
Jer 2:35(top)
Jer 2:36(top)
Jer 2:37(top)

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