Chapter 16

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1 The word of the Lord came also vnto me, saying;

2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou haue sonnes nor daughters in this place.

3 For thus sayth the Lord concerning the sonnes and concerning the daughters that are borne in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begate them in this land:

4 They shal die of grieuous deaths, they shall not bee lamented, neither shall they be buried: but they shall be as doung vpon the face of the earth, and they shalbe consumed by the sword, and by famine, and their carkeises shall be meate for the foules of heauen, and for the beasts of the earth.

5 For thus sayth the Lord, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither goe to lament nor bemoane them: for I haue taken away my peace from this people, sayth the Lord, euen louing kindnesse and mercies.

6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselues, nor make themselues balde for them.

7 Neither shall men teare themselues for them in mourning to comfort them for the dead, neither shall men giue them the cuppe of consolation to drinke for their father, or for their mother.

8 Thou shalt not also goe into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drinke.

9 For thus sayth the Lord of hostes, the God of Israel: Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your dayes, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladnesse, the voice of the bridegroome, and the voice of the bride.

10 And it shal come to passe when thou shalt shewe this people all these wordes, and they shall say vnto thee; Wherefore hath the Lord pronounced all this great euill against vs? or what is our iniquitie? or what is our sinne, that we haue committed against the Lord our God?

11 Then shalt thou say vnto them; Because your fathers haue forsaken me, saith the Lord, and haue walked after other Gods, and haue serued them, and haue worshipped them, and haue forsaken mee, and haue not kept my law:

12 And yee haue done worse then your fathers, (for behold, yee walke euerie one after the imagination of his euill heart, that they may not hearken vnto me.)

13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that yee knowe not, neither yee, nor your fathers, and there shall yee serue other Gods day and night, where I will not shewe you fauour.

14 Therefore behold, the dayes come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said; The Lord liueth that brought vp the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

15 But, The Lord liueth, that brought vp the children of Israel from the land of the North, and from all the lands whither hee had driuen them: and I will bring them againe into their land, that I gaue vnto their fathers.

16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shal fish them, and after will I send for manie hunters, and they shall hunt them from euery mountaine, and from euery hill, and out of the holes of the rockes.

17 For mine eyes are vpon all their waies: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquitie hid from mine eies.

18 And first I will recompense their iniquitie, and their sinne double, because they haue defiled my land, they haue filled mine inheritance with the carkeises of their detestable and abominable things.

19 O Lord, my strength and my fortresse, and my refuge in the day of affliction; the Gentiles shall come vnto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say; Surely our fathers haue inherited lyes, vanitie, and things wherein there is no profit.

20 Shall a man make Gods vnto himselfe, and they are no Gods?

21 Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know: I will cause them to knowe mine hand and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Jeremiah 16

Prohibitions given to the prophet. (1-9) The justice of God in these judgments. (10-13) Future restoration of the Jews, and the conversion of the Gentiles. (14-21)

1-9 The prophet must conduct himself as one who expected to see his country ruined very shortly. In the prospect of sad times, he is to abstain from marriage, mourning for the dead, and pleasure. Those who would convince others of the truths of God, must make it appear by their self-denial, that they believe it themselves. Peace, inward and outward, family and public, is wholly the work of God, and from his loving-kindness and mercy. When He takes his peace from any people, distress must follow. There may be times when it is proper to avoid things otherwise our duty; and we should always sit loose to the pleasures and concerns of this life.

10-13 Here seems to be the language of those who quarrel at the word of God, and instead of humbling and condemning themselves, justify themselves, as though God did them wrong. A plain and full answer is given. They were more obstinate in sin than their fathers, walking every one after the devices of his heart. Since they will not hearken, they shall be hurried away into a far country, a land they know not. If they had God's favour, that would make even the land of their captivity pleasant.

14-21 The restoration from the Babylonish captivity would be remembered in place of the deliverance from Egypt; it also typified spiritual redemption, and the future deliverance of the church from antichristian oppression. But none of the sins of sinners can be hidden from God, or shall be overlooked by him. He will find out and raise up instruments of his wrath, that shall destroy the Jews, by fraud like fishers, by force like hunters. The prophet, rejoicing at the hope of mercy to come, addressed the Lord as his strength and refuge. The deliverance out of captivity shall be a figure of the great salvation to be wrought by the Messiah. The nations have often known the power of Jehovah in his wrath; but they shall know him as the strength of his people, and their refuge in time of trouble.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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