Jeremiah 3:13 MEANING

Jeremiah 3:13
(13) Only acknowledge . . .--This was the one sufficient, indispensable condition of pardon--the confession that kept nothing back, and made no vain excuses.

Hast scattered thy ways.--The phrase is a strong one, thou hast left traces of thy way everywhere, i.e., hast gone this way and that in search of new and alien forms of worship. The "green tree" as before (Jeremiah 2:20) was the familiar scene of the hateful worship.

Verse 13. - This condition of restoration to favor. Israel is to acknowledge, or perceive, notice, recognize, her guilt. And hast scattered thy ways; alluding to that "gadding about" in quest of foreign alliances, reproved in the preceding chapter (Jeremiah 2:36). Comp. "interlacing her ways," Jeremiah 2:23.

3:12-20 See God's readiness to pardon sin, and the blessings reserved for gospel times. These words were proclaimed toward the north; to Israel, the ten tribes, captive in Assyria. They are directed how to return. If we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and just to forgive them. These promises are fully to come to pass in the bringing back the Jews in after-ages. God will graciously receive those that return to him; and by his grace, he takes them out from among the rest. The ark of the covenant was not found after the captivity. The whole of that dispensation was to be done away, which took place after the multitude of believers had been greatly increased by the conversion of the Gentiles, and of the Israelites scattered among them. A happy state of the church is foretold. He can teach all to call him Father; but without thorough change of heart and life, no man can be a child of God, and we have no security for not departing from Him.Only acknowledge thine iniquity,.... Or, "know" (e) it; unless a man knows his sin, and is convicted of it, he will never repent of it, or turn from it; and when he is made sensible of it, and sorry for it, he ought to acknowledge and confess it before God, against whom he has sinned; this is what is insisted upon, and all that is insisted upon; and it is the least that can be done, and is what every sensible sinner will do, who upon it may expect the discovery of pardoning grace and mercy, Psalm 32:5,

that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God; against his law, his declared mind and will, and notwithstanding he is the Lord thy God; against a God of love, grace, and mercy, who had loaded them with his benefits, and followed them with his goodness; all which aggravates the sin they had been guilty of:

and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree; a phrase expressive of whoredom; it is an euphemism, the same with , as Jarchi observes, "the opening of the feet", to everyone that passes by, to be lain with, Ezekiel 16:25 and is to be understood of the multiplied idolatries of Israel; and that as harlots run about here and there, and prostitute themselves to whomsoever they meet with, so they worshipped the strange gods of the Heathens everywhere, in all their cities, upon every mountain and hill, and under every green tree; see Jeremiah 2:20 so the Targum,

"and thou hast corrupted thy way, thou hast joined thyself to the people that worship idols under every green tree:''

and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord: the voice of his command in the law, which forbids idolatry; and his voice by his prophets, which reproved them for it, and exhorted them to repentance; but they regarded neither.

(e) "scito", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.

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