Jeremiah 6:26 MEANING

Jeremiah 6:26
(26) Wallow thyself in ashes.--So in Jeremiah 25:34; Ezekiel 27:30. The ordinary sign of mourning was to sprinkle dust or ashes on the head (2 Samuel 1:2; 2 Samuel 13:19; Joshua 7:6). This, as in Jeremiah 25:34; Micah 1:10; Job 2:8, indicated more utter wretchedness and prostration. The English verb belongs to the class of those which were once used reflexively, and have now come to be intransitive. "Endeavour" supplies another example.

Verse 26. - Wallow thyself in ashes; rather, sprinkle thyself with ashes, a sign of mourning (2 Samuel 13:19; so Micah 1:10). Mourning, as for an only son. The Septuagint renders πένθος ἀγαπητοῦ (comp. Genesis 22:2, where in like manner the Septuagint renders, not "thine only son," but "thy beloved son"). Possibly this was to avoid a supposition which might have occurred to some readers (it has, in fact, occurred to several modern critics) that the "only son" was Adonis, who was certainly "mourned for" by some of the Israelites under the name of Thammuz (Ezekiel 8:14), and whose Phoenician name is given by Philo of Byblus as Ἰεούδ (i.e. probably Yakhidh, only begotten, the word used by Jeremiah; comp. Βηρούθ, equivalent to Berith). M. Renan found a vestige of the ancient festival of Adonis at Djebeil (the Phoenician Gebal) even at the present day. There would be nothing singular in the adoption of a common popular phrase by the prophet, in spite of its reference to a heathen custom (comp. Job 3:8), and the view in question gives additional force to the passage. But the ordinary explanation is perfectly tenable and more obvious. The phrase, "mourning [or, 'lamentation'] for an only begotten one," occurs again in Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10. In the last-mentioned passage it is parallel with "bitter weeping for a firstborn."

6:18-30 God rejects their outward services, as worthless to atone for their sins. Sacrifice and incense were to direct them to a Mediator; but when offered to purchase a license to go on in sin, they provoke God. The sins of God's professing people make them an easy prey to their enemies. They dare not show themselves. Saints may rejoice in hope of God's mercies, though they see them only in the promise: sinners must mourn for fear of God's judgments, though they see them only in the threatenings. They are the worst of revolters, and are all corrupters. Sinners soon become tempters. They are compared to ore supposed to have good metal in it, but which proves all dross. Nothing will prevail to part between them and their sins. Reprobate silver shall they be called, useless and worthless. When warnings, corrections, rebukes, and all means of grace, leave men unrenewed, they will be left, as rejected of God, to everlasting misery. Let us pray, then, that we may be refined by the Lord, as silver is refined.O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth,.... Either as a token of repentance for sin; so the king of Nineveh and his subjects did, to show their repentance, Jonah 3:6 or as a sign of mourning, for the calamities coming on them, Genesis 37:34.

and wallow thyself in ashes; or roll thyself in them, as a token of the same. The Targum is,

"cover your heads with ashes.''

Make thee mourning as for an only son; which of all is the most bitter: and therefore it is added,

most bitter lamentation; see Zechariah 12:10.

For the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us; namely, Nebuchadnezzar, that would spoil their cities, towns, villages, and houses, and them of all their wealth and substance, and carry it away.

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