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1 At that time, sayeth the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Iudah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the Priests, and the bones of the Prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Ierusalem out of their graues.

2 And they shall spread them before the Sunne, and the Moone, and all the hoste of heauen whom they haue loued, and whom they haue serued, and after whom they haue walked, and whom they haue sought, and whom they haue worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried, they shall be for doung, vpon the face of the earth.

3 And death shall bee chosen rather then life, by all the residue of them that remaine of this euill family, which remaine in all the places whither I haue driuen them, saith the Lord of hosts.

4 Moreouer thou shalt say vnto them, Thus saith the Lord, Shall they fall, and not arise? shall hee turne away, and not returne?

5 Why then is this people of Ierusalem slidden backe, by a perpetual backesliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to returne.

6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickednesse, saying, What haue I done? euery one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battell.

7 Yea the Storke in the heauen knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow obserue the time of their coming; but my people know not the iudgement of the Lord.

8 How doe ye say, We are wise, and the Law of the Lord is with vs? Loe, certainly, in vaine made he it, the pen of the scribes is in vaine.

9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; loe, they haue reiected the word of the Lord, and what wisedome is in them?

10 Therfore will I giue their wiues vnto others, & their fields to them that shall inherite them: for euery one from the least euen vnto the greatest is giuen to couetousnes, from the Prophet euen vnto the priest, euery one dealeth falsly.

11 For they haue healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fal, in the time of their visitation they shall be cast downe, saith the Lord.

13 I will surely consume them, saith the Lord; there shalbe no grapes on the vine, nor figges on the figtree, and the leafe shall fade, and the things that I haue giuen them, shall passe away from them.

14 Why doe wee sit still? assemble your selues, and let vs enter into the defenced cities, and let vs be silent there: for the Lord our God hath put vs to silence, and giuen vs waters of gall to drink, because we haue sinned against the Lord.

15 We looked for peace, but no good came: and for a time of health, and behold trouble.

16 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones, for they are come and haue deuoured the land, and all that is in it, the citie, and those that dwell therein.

17 For behold, I wil send serpents, cockatrices among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you; saith the Lord.

18 When I would comfort my selfe against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.

19 Behold the voice of the crie of the daughter of my people because of them that dwel in a farre countrey: Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her king in her? why haue they prouoked me to anger with their grauen images, and with strange vanities?

20 The haruest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saued.

21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt, I am blacke: astonishment hath taken hold on me.

22 Is there no balme in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recouered?

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Jeremiah 8

The remains of the dead exposed. (1-3) The stupidity of the people, compared with the instinct of the brute creation. (4-13) The alarm of the invasion, and lamentation. (14-22)1-3 Though no real hurt can be done to a dead body, yet disgrace to the remains of wicked persons may alarm those yet alive; and this reminds us that the Divine justice and punishments extend beyond the grave. Whatever befalls us here, let us humble ourselves before God, and seek his mercy.

4-13 What brought this ruin? 1. The people would not attend to reason; they would not act in the affairs of their souls with common prudence. Sin is backsliding; it is going back from the way that leads to life, to that which leads to destruction. 2. They would not attend to the warning of conscience. They did not take the first step towards repentance: true repentance begins in serious inquiry as to what we have done, from conviction that we have done amiss. 3. They would not attend to the ways of providence, nor understand the voice of God in them, ver. #7|. They know not how to improve the seasons of grace, which God affords. Many boast of their religious knowledge, yet, unless taught by the Spirit of God, the instinct of brutes is a more sure guide than their supposed wisdom. 4. They would not attend to the written word. Many enjoy abundance of the means of grace, have Bibles and ministers, but they have them in vain. They will soon be ashamed of their devices. The pretenders to wisdom were the priests and the false prophets. They flattered people in sin, and so flattered them into destruction, silencing their fears and complaints with, All is well. Selfish teachers may promise peace when there is no peace; and thus men encourage each other in committing evil; but in the day of visitation they will have no refuge to flee unto.

14-22 At length they begin to see the hand of God lifted up. And when God appears against us, every thing that is against us appears formidable. As salvation only can be found in the Lord, so the present moment should be seized. Is there no medicine proper for a sick and dying kingdom? Is there no skilful, faithful hand to apply the medicine? Yes, God is able to help and to heal them. If sinners die of their wounds, their blood is upon their own heads. The blood of Christ is balm in Gilead, his Spirit is the Physician there, all-sufficient; so that the people may be healed, but will not. Thus men die unpardoned and unchanged, for they will not come to Christ to be saved.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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