Jeremiah Chapter 5  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Jeremiah 5
Jer 5:1

“her.” That is, Jerusalem.

Jer 5:2(top)
Jer 5:3(top)
Jer 5:4

“Surely these are the poor; they are foolish because.” Jeremiah looks at the ungodly state of Jerusalem and the people ignoring and defying the law of God and thinks it must be because the people he is seeing are the poor people who are uneducated and underprivileged, people who do not know God’s laws. But when he goes to the rich and powerful (Jer. 5:5) he finds the same thing. So in Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s time the people, from the least to the greatest, were ignoring the law of God.

It is extremely difficult to live a godly and thankful life when all around you people defy and reject God, and Jeremiah was one of the people who lived in that situation.

Jer 5:5

“broken the yoke and burst the bonds.” The yoke and bonds refer to the Law of God and the way it restrains people from evil and guides them in what is right. The people in Jeremiah’s time rejected the restrictions of morality that God places on people and defied God and followed their animal instincts, engaging in all kinds of immoral and ungodly behavior. Ignoring and disobeying God is not new, nor did it end after Jeremiah’s time. Today, more than 2,500 years after Jeremiah, ungodly behavior still goes on. But Jesus taught that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (Matt. 5:6), and there will be a day of Judgment and a day of vengeance, and the wicked will be no more and the righteous will live forever in peace and joy. Other verses speak of people casting off the bonds God would place on them for them to follow (cp. Jer. 2:20).

Jer 5:6

“and their apostasies are numerous.” The people had committed sin after sin. Although many versions translate the Hebrew using the word “backslidings,” that does not give a true picture. The Hebrew word refers to “turning away” or “apostasy,” and is making the point that the number of times and ways that the people were turning away from the Law, not obeying it, were many. The word “backslidings” implies that the people once followed the Law but now had gone backward and no longer did, but that does not seem to be the case; it is more accurate that Jeremiah’s generation had never followed the Law, and had disobeyed it in many ways.

Jer 5:7

“and sworn by those that are not gods.” The Hebrew is punchy and pointed; “sworn by no-gods.” The people abandoned the true God to follow no-gods, those who are not gods.

“they committed adultery.” This is both literal and figurative. Having thrown off the bonds of morality, adultery and prostitution were rampant, but the words also refer to the spiritual adultery and prostitution the people engaged in. They were in a covenant marriage to Yahweh, but they abandoned him to worship and serve pagan gods. The “prostitutes’ houses” were both literal and referred to the temples (“houses”) of idols.

Jer 5:8(top)
Jer 5:9

“punish.” The word is also translated “visit,” but here “punish” is the clearer translation. [For more on “visit,” see commentary on Exodus 20:5].

Jer 5:10

“Go up on her vineyard terraces and destroy.” In this verse, Yahweh describes His people as his vineyard, which has grown wild vines that are not Yahweh’s. The wild vine branches are to be pruned off and taken away.

Jer 5:11

“the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” Since the house of Israel had been carried away captive by the Assyrians well over 100 years before Jeremiah prophesied this (2 Kings 17:6), the house of Judah should have been more aware of the danger they were in of being destroyed for their disobedience, just as the house of Israel was. But the house of Judah did not repent or change their ways, and thus Judah was carried away captive to Babylon.

Jer 5:12

“He is nothing.” The Hebrew is simply, “Not he” (or, “Not it”). This could mean a number of things, including “He does not exist,” or, “He is nothing” (i.e., He will not do anything; that is, He will not do what the prophets are saying He will do), or, “It is nothing” (i.e., “it,” the vengeance of God, will not happen). Actually, it is likely that the Hebrew text is worded in an ambiguous way because all of those different and erroneous things were being said by the people in Jerusalem.

Jer 5:13

“The prophets.” That is, the false prophets who were saying that nothing bad would happen to Judah and Jerusalem. Although some versions translate the verse as if the prophets are the true prophets and it is the godless people who are speaking, that does not seem to be what the text is saying.

“the word is not in them.” The false prophets were not speaking the words of God.

“Thus will it be done to them.” The prophets do not have the Word of God in them and they and their prophecies will prove to be empty, only wind, gone. Just as their prophesies will be shown to be false and will be gone, so the prophets themselves will be shown to be false and will be gone; destroyed.

Jer 5:14(top)
Jer 5:15

“O house of Israel.” God calls Judah “the house of Israel” as antonomasia (name change), thus implying that the destruction of Israel will happen to Judah.

Jer 5:16(top)
Jer 5:17(top)
Jer 5:18(top)
Jer 5:19

“your people.” The Hebrew is simply the plural “you,” in this case referring to the people. It is important to identify the plural from the singular in this verse: “It will happen when you (plural) say, ‘Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us?’ Then you (singular: Jeremiah) will say to them, ‘Just like you (plural) have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you (plural) will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’” The REV translation has been nuanced to reflect the differences in the Hebrew text.

“so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.” This prophecy came to pass, and the people of Judah were taken captive to Babylon. ‚Äč

Jer 5:20(top)
Jer 5:21(top)
Jer 5:22

“Do you not fear me.” Although there are some versions that translated the Hebrew word “fear” as “respect” (cp. NIRV), that is not its meaning here. When it comes to willfully disobeying God, a wise person is afraid to do that, knowing that God expects certain things from people, who are, after all, His creation. Jesus taught us not to fear people but to fear God who can destroy us in the Lake of Fire (Matt. 10:28). Here in Jeremiah 5 the people were willfully disobeying and/or ignoring God, and should have been afraid of the consequences they would receive for doing that.

Jer 5:23(top)
Jer 5:24

“rain, both the former and the latter.” The latter rain is mentioned in Jeremiah 3:3. For information on the former and latter rain see commentary on James 5:7.

“who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.” God ensures that the seasons are regular and productive, so the time of harvest is predictable.

Jer 5:25(top)
Jer 5:26

“fowlers.” “Fowlers” are people who hunt birds. Birds are the fowl.

Jer 5:27(top)
Jer 5:28

“so that they may prosper.” It is debated if this refers to the rich men who will not plead the cause of the orphan so that they themselves get richer, or if it refers to not pleading the cause of the orphan so that the orphans have a chance to prosper. The latter seems to be the correct meaning. The rich will not plead the cause of the orphan because they just do not care about them, and for the same reason they will not defend the rights of the needy.

Jer 5:29

“punish.” The word is also translated “visit,” but here “punish” is the clearer translation. [For more on “visit,” see commentary on Exodus 20:5].

Jer 5:30(top)
Jer 5:31

“But what will you do at the end of it all?” Indeed, people who have lived like they wanted and did whatever they wanted, what will they do when the end comes? They cannot give themselves life, and they will suffer the consequences of their actions. As Jesus taught, at that time there will be sobbing and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12; 25:30).


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