1 The wordes of Ieremiah the sonne of Hilkiah, of the Priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Beniamin:
2 To whom the word of the Lord came in the dayes of Iosiah the sonne of Amon king of Iudah, in the thirteenth yeere of his reigne.
3 It came also in the dayes of Iehoiakim the sonne of Iosiah king of Iudah, vnto the ende of the eleuenth yeere of Zedekiah the sonne of Iosiah king of Iudah, vnto the carrying away of Ierusalem captiue in the fift moneth.
4 Then the word of the Lord came vnto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the bellie, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the wombe, I sanctified thee, and I ordeined thee a Prophet vnto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah Lord God, behold, I cannot speake, for I am a childe.
7 ¶ But the Lord sayd vnto me, Say not, I am a childe: for thou shalt goe to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoeuer I command thee, thou shalt speake.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliuer thee, sayth the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put foorth his hand, and touched my mouth, and the Lord said vnto me, Behold, I haue put my words in thy mouth.
10 See, I haue this day set thee ouer the nations, and ouer the kingdomes, to roote out, and to pull downe, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant.
11 ¶ Moreouer, the word of the Lord came vnto me, saying; Ieremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rodde of an almond tree.
12 Then said the Lord vnto me, Thou hast well seene: for I will hasten my word to performe it.
13 And the worde of the Lord came vnto mee the second time, saying; What seest thou? And I said; I see a seething pot, and the face thereof was towards the North.
14 Then the Lord said vnto me; Out of the North an euill shal breake foorth vpon all the inhabitants of the land.
15 For loe, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the North, saith the Lord, and they shall come, and they shall set euery one his throne at the entring of the gates of Ierusalem, and against all the walles thereof round about, & against all the cities of Iudah.
16 And I will vtter my iudgements against them touching all their wickednesse, who haue forsaken me, and haue burnt incense vnto other gods, and worshipped the workes of their owne hands.
17 ¶ Thou therefore gird vp thy loynes, and arise and speake vnto them all that I commaund thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
18 For behold, I haue made thee this day a defenced citie, and an yron pillar, and brasen walles against the whole land, against the kings of Iudah, against the princes thereof, against the Priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
19 And they shall fight against thee, but they shall not preuaile against thee: for I am with thee, sayth the Lord, to deliuer thee.
Jeremiah was a priest, a native of Anathoth, in the tribe of Benjamin. He was called to the prophetic office when very young, about seventy years after the death of Isaiah, and exercised it for about forty years with great faithfulness, till the sins of the Jewish nation came to their full measure and destruction followed. The prophecies of Jeremiah do not stand as they were delivered. Blayney has endeavoured to arrange them in more regular order, namely, ch. 1-20; 22; 23; 25; 26; 35; 36; 45; 24; 29; 30; 31; 27; 28; 21; 34; 37; 32; 33; 38; 39; (ver. 15-18, 1-14.) 40-44; 46-52. The general subject of his prophecies is the idolatry and other sins of the Jews; the judgments by which they were threatened, with references to their future restoration and deliverance, and promises of the Messiah. They are remarkable for plain and faithful reproofs, affectionate expostulations, and awful warnings.Jeremiah's call to the prophetic office. (1-10) A vision of an almond-tree and of a seething-pot, Divine protection is promised. (11-19)1-10 Jeremiah's early call to the work and office of a prophet is stated. He was to be a prophet, not to the Jews only, but to the neighbouring nations. He is still a prophet to the whole world, and it would be well if they would attend to these warnings. The Lord who formed us, knows for what particular services and purposes he intended us. But unless he sanctify us by his new-creating Spirit, we shall neither be fit for his holy service on earth, nor his holy happiness in heaven. It becomes us to have low thoughts of ourselves. Those who are young, should consider that they are so, and not venture beyond their powers. But though a sense of our own weakness and insufficiency should make us go humbly about our work, it should not make us draw back when God calls us. Those who have messages to deliver from God, must not fear the face of man. The Lord, by a sign, gave Jeremiah such a gift as was necessary. God's message should be delivered in his own words. Whatever wordly wise men or politicians may think, the safety of kingdoms is decided according to the purpose and word of God.
11-19 God gave Jeremiah a view of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The almond-tree, which is more forward in the spring than any other, represented the speedy approach of judgments. God also showed whence the intended ruin should arise. Jeremiah saw a seething-pot boiling, representing Jerusalem and Judah in great commotion. The mouth or face of the furnace or hearth, was toward the north; from whence the fire and fuel were to come. The northern powers shall unite. The cause of these judgments was the sin of Judah. The whole counsel of God must be declared. The fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. Better to have all men our enemies than God our enemy; those who are sure they have God with them, need not, ought not to fear, whoever is against them. Let us pray that we may be willing to give up personal interests, and that nothing may move us from our duty.
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.