Jeremiah 17:26 MEANING

Jeremiah 17:26
(26) They shall come . . .--The verse has a special interest (1) as a topographical description of the country about Jerusalem, and (2) as a summary of the chief forms of sacrifice under the Mosaic Law. (1) The "plain" (Shephelah) is the lowland country of Philistia, stretching to the Mediterranean; the "mountain" the hill-country of Judah; the "south" (Negeb) the region lying to the south of Hebron, and including Beersheba (comp. Joshua 15:21; Joshua 15:28). Each name, though descriptive in meaning, was used in almost as definite a sense as that in which we speak of the "Campagna" of Rome or the "Weald" of Kent. (2) The list includes the "burnt offerings," in which the flesh of the victim was consumed entirely on the altar; the "sacrifices," in which the flesh of the victim was eaten partly by the priest and partly by the worshipper; the "meat offerings," which were of meal and salt, not of flesh, and were always accompanied by incense (Leviticus 2:1); and, lastly, praise--the word "sacrifice" not being found in the Hebrew--the utterance of prayer and psalm, which the Psalmist had named as more acceptable than the flesh of bulls and goats (Psalm 50:14).

Verse 26. - Parallel passage for the catalogue of the districts of Judah, Jeremiah 32:44. Three divisions are mentioned.

(1) The neighborhood of Jerusalem (including the "cities of Judah");

(2) the land of Benjamin, i.e. the northern part of the kingdom; and

(3) the tribe of Judah, with its three subdivisions - the Shefela or lowland country by the Mediterranean Sea, the hill country, and the Negeb or "dry" south country (comp. Joshua 15:21-62). The sacrifices are described with equal explicitness; they fall into two classes, the bloody (burnt offerings and other sacrifices) and the unbloody (the vegetable offering or minkhah, and the incense which was strewed upon the min-khah, Leviticus 2:1). And bringing sacrifices of praise. This was, no doubt, the title of a particular variety of sacrifices (Leviticus 7:12; Leviticus 22:29); here, however, it seems as if all the preceding sacrifices were summed up under this designation. St. Paul says, "In everything give thanks;" and this seems to have been the prophet's ideal of the sacrifices of the future.

17:19-27 The prophet was to lay before the rulers and the people of Judah, the command to keep holy the sabbath day. Let them strictly observe the fourth command. If they obeyed this word, their prosperity should be restored. It is a day of rest, and must not be made a day of labour, unless in cases of necessity. Take heed, watch against the profanation of the sabbath. Let not the soul be burdened with the cares of this world on sabbath days. The streams of religion run deep or shallow, according as the banks of the sabbath are kept up or neglected. The degree of strictness with which this ordinance is observed, or the neglect shown towards it, is a good test to find the state of spiritual religion in any land. Let all; by their own example, by attention to their families, strive to check this evil, that national prosperity may be preserved, and, above all, that souls may be saved.And they shall come from the cities of Judah,.... That is, men shall come from all parts of the land of Judea to the city of Jerusalem, and to the temple; especially at the times of their solemn feasts, three times a year, as the law directed:

and from the places about Jerusalem; and from all the towns and villages adjacent to it, such as Bethany and Bethphage, and many others:

and from the land of Benjamin; which tribe continued with the tribe of Judah when the rest revolted, and was now with it, and still would continue with it, and join with it in religious worship, were they careful to observe what the Lord commanded them:

and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south; these respect the several parts of the land of Judah, which, the Jews (i) say, was divided into three parts, the mountain, plain or champaign country, and the valley: the "plain" was that part where Lydda and other cities were; the "mountain" is the same with the hill country of Judea, Luke 1:39; and the "south" the southern part of the land, that which is called the wilderness of Judea, of which see Joshua 15:20. The above Jewish writers say (k), that from Bethhoron to Emmaus was the mountain or hill country; from Emmaus to Lydda the plain; and from Lydda to the sea the valley; now, from all these places should persons come to the temple:

bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, and meat offerings and incense; sacrifices and offerings of all sorts, according to the law; hereby signifying, that if the sabbath was observed, as it would go well with the kings and princes of Judah, they would keep a splendid court, and have a numerous retinue, so it would be well with the priests that served at the altar; sacrifices would be brought to them; of which they would have their part, as well as God have glory by an obedience to his laws; and, besides these, other sacrifices would also be brought, as follows:

and bringing sacrifices of praise unto the house of the Lord; thank offerings for mercies received and deliverances wrought, as well as sacrifices for sins committed; and this was one sort of the peace offerings, Leviticus 7:11.

(i) Misna Sheviith, c 9. sect. 2.((k) Hieros. Sheviith, foI. 38. 4.

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