Jeremiah 10:20 MEANING

Jeremiah 10:20
(20) My tabernacle . . .--The tent which had been the home of Israel is destroyed, the cords that fastened it to the ground are broken, the children that used to help their mother in arranging the tent and its curtains "are not," i.e. (as in Genesis 42:36; Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:18), they are either dead or in exile. There is something significant in the fact that the destruction of the city is represented under the imagery of that of a tent. The daughter of Zion has, as it were, been brought back to her nomadic state.

Verse 20. - My tabernacle; rather, my tent. It is very striking how present to the minds of the Israelites was the consciousness of their pastoral origin. Hence the cry, "To your tents, O Israel" (1 Kings 12:16); comp. also, "And the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as aforetime" (2 Kings 13:5). My cords ... my curtains. The "cords ' are those which, by being fastened to poles and stakes, keep the tent steady; the "curtains," of course, are the covering of the tent (comp. Isaiah 54:2).

10:17-25 The Jews who continued in their own land, felt secure. But, sooner or later, sinners will find all things as the word of God has declared, and that its threatenings are not empty terrors. Submission will support the believer under every grief allotted to him; but what can render the load of Divine vengeance easy to be borne by those who fall under it in sullen despair? Those cannot expect to prosper, who do not, by faith and prayer, take God with them in all their ways. The report of the enemy's approach was very dreadful. Yet the designs which men lay deep, and think well formed, are dashed to pieces in a moment. Events are often overruled, so as to be quite contrary to what we intended and expected. If the Lord has directed our steps into the ways of peace and righteousness, let us entreat him to enable us to walk therein. Say not, Lord, do not correct me; but, Lord, do not correct me in anger. We may bear the smart of God's rod, but we cannot bear the weight of his wrath. Those who restrain prayer, prove that they know not God; for those who know him will seek him, and seek his favour. If even severe corrections lead sinners to be convinced of wholesome truths, they will have abundant cause for gratitude. And they will then humble themselves before the Lord.My tabernacle is spoiled,.... Not the temple at Jerusalem only, rather Jerusalem itself, as Kimchi; or the whole land, as the Targum,

"my land is wasted:''

the allusion is to the tents of shepherds, and denotes the unstable condition of the Jewish nation:

and all my cords are broken: all the rest of the cities of the land are destroyed, as Kimchi; and so the Targum,

"my cities are spoiled:''

as the cords are what the parts of the tabernacle or tent are fastened and kept together with, they may intend the strength of the nation, which lay in its wealth, its fortresses, and the numbers of its people, now weakened, loosed, and broke.

My children are gone forth of me; into captivity, as the Targum interprets it; the prophet, representing Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah. The Septuagint adds, "and my sheep"; keeping on the metaphor of a shepherd, his tent, and flock.

And they are not; either not in the world, being destroyed by one judgment or another; or rather not in their own land, being carried captive.

There is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains; which shows the great destruction and desolation of the land, and its inhabitants, that there would be none to set up a shepherd's tent; perhaps the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the rest of the cities, may be meant.

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