Jeremiah 8:19 MEANING

Jeremiah 8:19
(19) Because of them that dwell . . .--The verse should read thus: Behold, the voice of the cry for help of the daughter of my people from the land of those that are far off. The prophet, dramatising the future, as before, in Jeremiah 8:14, hears the cry of the exiles in a far-off land, and that which they ask is this--"Is not Jehovah in Zion? Is not her king in her?" That question is asked half in despair, and half in murmuring complaint. But Jehovah himself returns the answer, and it comes in the form of another question, "Why have they provoked me to anger . . .?" They had forsaken Him before. He forsook them now and left them, for a time, to their own ways.

Verse 19. - Because of them that dwell in, etc. The Hebrew simply has "from them," etc. The prophet is transported in imam-nation to the time of the fulfillment of his prophecies. He hears the lamentation of his countrymen, who are languishing in captivity. Is not the Lord in Zion, etc.? is the burden of their sad complaints; "king" is a familiar synonym for "God" (comp. Isaiah 8:21; Isaiah 33:22; but not Psalm 89:18, which is certainly mistranslated in Authorized Version). But why" in Zion?" "Zion" was properly the name of the eastward hill at Jerusalem, where lay the oldest part of the city (called "the city of David"), and the highest portion of which was crowned by the temple. Why have they provoked me to anger, etc.? is the reply of Jehovah, pointing out that their sufferings were but an exact retribution for their infidelity (comp. Jeremiah 5:19).

8:14-22 At length they begin to see the hand of God lifted up. And when God appears against us, every thing that is against us appears formidable. As salvation only can be found in the Lord, so the present moment should be seized. Is there no medicine proper for a sick and dying kingdom? Is there no skilful, faithful hand to apply the medicine? Yes, God is able to help and to heal them. If sinners die of their wounds, their blood is upon their own heads. The blood of Christ is balm in Gilead, his Spirit is the Physician there, all-sufficient; so that the people may be healed, but will not. Thus men die unpardoned and unchanged, for they will not come to Christ to be saved.Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people,.... This was what made his heart faint, such was his sympathy with his countrymen, his people in distress, whom he affectionately calls the daughter of his people, whose cry was loud, and whose voice he heard lamenting their case:

because of them that dwell in a far country; because of the Chaldeans, who came from a far country; see Jeremiah 5:15 who were come into their land, and devoured it; through fear of them, and because of the devastation they made; hence the voice of their cry: or this is to be understood of the Jews in a far country, carried captive into Babylon, and the voice of their cry there, because of their captivity and oppression. So Abarbinel and the Targum,

"lo, the voice of the cry of the congregation of my people from a far country;''

and so read the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions.

Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her King in her? these are the words of the people, complaining of the Lord, calling in question whether he was in Zion, and whether he was King there; and if he was, how came it to pass that he did not protect it; that he suffered the city to be taken, and the inhabitants to be carried captive?

Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with their strange vanities? that is, with their idols, and their idolatrous worship; this is the Lord's answer to them, giving a reason why he suffered the enemy to come in among them, and prevail over them, namely, their idolatry. It may be rendered, "with the vanities of a stranger" (n); of a strange people, or of a strange god.

(n) "in vanitatibus alienigenae", Montanus; "sub. populi", Vatablus; "dei alieni", Pagninus So Ben Melech.

Courtesy of Open Bible