Jeremiah 3:11 MEANING

Jeremiah 3:11
(11) Hath justified herself.--Literally, hath justified her soul, has put in a better plea in her defence. The renegade was better than the traitress. Even open rebellion was better than hypocrisy, as the publicans and sinners in the Gospel story were better than the Pharisees (Matthew 21:31).

Verse 11. - It is very noteworthy that Jeremiah should have still so warm a feeling for the exiles of the northern kingdom (more than a hundred years after the great catastrophe). Hath justified herself. "To justify" can mean "to show one's self righteous," as well as "to make one's self righteous," just as "to sanctify" can mean, "to show one's self holy" (Isaiah 8:13), as well as "to make one's self holy." In spite of Israel's apostasy, she has shown herself less worthy of punishment than Judah, who has had before her the warning lesson of Israel's example, and who has been guilty of the most hateful of all sins, hypocrisy (comp. ver. 7).

3:6-11 If we mark the crimes of those who break off from a religious profession, and the consequences, we see abundant reason to shun evil ways. It is dreadful to be proved more criminal than those who have actually perished in their sins; yet it will be small comfort in everlasting punishment, for them to know that others were viler than they.And the Lord said unto me,.... To the Prophet Jeremiah, as in Jeremiah 3:6 and at or about the same time:

the backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah; that is, was comparatively more righteous; of the two she appeared the most righteous; though neither of them could vindicate their conduct, or justify themselves before God; see Luke 18:14. Judah was most to blame, because that after Israel committed idolatry, and was carried captive, she took no warning by it, but fell into the same sin; and in Manasseh's time committed greater idolatries, and more wickedness, than ever Israel did; and more than even the Amorites themselves, and other Heathen nations, had done, 2 Kings 21:6 and though a reformation was made in Josiah's time, it was only feignedly, it was not cordial and hearty; and therefore she is all along here charged with perfidy and treachery.

Courtesy of Open Bible