Jeremiah 5:22 MEANING

Jeremiah 5:22
(22) Which have placed the sand . . .--The greatness of Jehovah is shown by the majesty of His work in nature. As in Job 38:8-11, so, probably, here also there is something of the wonder of one to whom, as dwelling in an inland village, the billows breaking on the shore was an unfamiliar sight. Here was the token that even the forces which seem wildest and least restrained are subject to an overruling law. Even the sand which seems so shifting keeps in the surging waters.

Verse 22. - Fear ye not me? The Hebrew places "me" emphatically at the beginning of the sentence. By a perpetual decree. This is one of the evidences, few but sufficient, of the recognition of natural laws by the Biblical writers; of laws, however, which are but the description of the Divine mode of working, "covenants" (Jeremiah 33:20; comp. Genesis 9:18) made for man's good, but capable of being annulled (Isaiah 54:10). Comp. Proverbs 8:29; Job 38:8-12.

5:19-31 Unhumbled hearts are ready to charge God with being unjust in their afflictions. But they may read their sin in their punishment. If men will inquire wherefore the Lord doeth hard things unto them, let them think of their sins. The restless waves obeyed the Divine decree, that they should not pass the sandy shores, which were as much a restraint as lofty mountains; but they burst all restraints of God's law, and were wholly gone into wickedness. Neither did they consider their interest. While the Lord, year after year, reserves to us the appointed weeks of harvest, men live on his bounty; yet they transgress against him. Sin deprives us of God's blessings; it makes the heaven as brass, and the earth as iron. Certainly the things of this world are not the best things; and we are not to think, that, because evil men prosper, God allows their practices. Though sentence against evil works is not executed speedily, it will be executed. Shall I not visit for these things? This speaks the certainty and the necessity of God's judgments. Let those who walk in bad ways consider that an end will come, and there will be bitterness in the latter end.Fear ye not me? saith the Lord,.... They did not fear the Lord, and this is a reproof to them for the want of it, which is a reproof of their ignorance and folly; for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, Proverbs 9:10, and where that is there is true wisdom; but, where it is not, there is nothing but ignorance and stupidity:

will ye not tremble at my presence? or "face"; his wrath and anger, justly resenting their carriage to him. The Targum is,

"from before my Word;''

the essential Word, his Son: or, "will ye not be in pain?" as a woman in travail; as Kimchi observes the word (b) signifies:

which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it. This is a very wonderful thing in nature, that the earth and sea, being spherical, and making one terraqueous globe, and the waters of the sea being higher than the earth, should be so bounded and restrained, by the power and providence of God, as not to overflow the earth, and that by means of the sand, which is penetrable, flexible, and movable; and yet this is set as a bound, and by the decree of God remains firm and stable, and that for ever, so that the sea cannot bear it down, go through it, or over it:

and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it; even when the sea is the most tumultuous and raging. This is an instance of the mighty power of God, and carries in it an argument and reason why he should be feared; and yet such was the stupidity of this people, that though they saw this with their eyes, the sea and the tossings of it, and the sand set as a bound to it, and an effectual one, and heard the roarings and ragings of the waves of it in vain; yet they feared not the Lord that did all this; and so showed themselves more stupid and disobedient than the sea and its waves, which obeyed their Maker, though destitute of sense and reason; see Job 26:10.

(b) "Significantissima impimis vox est" "quae significat ita angi ut parturiens", Schmidt.

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