Jeremiah 11

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 and say to them, the LORD, the God of Israel says: ‘Cursed is the man who doesn’t hear the words of this covenant, 4 which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace,’ saying, ‘Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so you shall be my people, and I will be your God; 5 that I may establish the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey,’ as it is today.” Then answered I, and said, “Amen, LORD.” 6 The LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant, and do them. 7 For I earnestly protested to your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, rising early and protesting, saying, “Obey my voice.” 8 Yet they didn’t obey, nor turn their ear, but walked everyone in the stubbornness of their evil heart: therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they didn’t do them.’” 9 The LORD said to me, “A conspiracy is found amongst the men of Judah, and amongst the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words; and they are gone after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore the LORD says, ‘Behold, I will bring evil on them, which they shall not be able to escape; and they shall cry to me, but I will not listen to them. 12 Then shall the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry to the gods to which they offer incense: but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of your cities are your gods, Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have you set up altars to the shameful thing, even altars to burn incense to Baal.’ 14 “Therefore don’t pray for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry to me because of their trouble. 15 What has my beloved to do in my house, since she has worked lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from you? When you do evil, then you rejoice.” 16 The LORD called your name, “A green olive tree, beautiful with goodly fruit.” With the noise of a great tumult he has kindled fire on it, and its branches are broken. 17 For the LORD of Armies, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have worked for themselves in provoking me to anger by offering incense to Baal. 18 The LORD gave me knowledge of it, and I knew it: then you showed me their doings. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb that is led to the slaughter; and I didn’t know that they had devised devices against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.” 20 But, the LORD of Armies, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, I shall see your vengeance on them; for to you have I revealed my cause. 21 “Therefore the LORD says concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, ‘You shall not prophesy in the LORD’s name, that you not die by our hand;’ 22 therefore the LORD of Armies says, ‘Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant to them: for I will bring evil on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.’”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-10

God never promised to bestow blessings on his rational creatures, while they persist in wilful disobedience. Pardon and acceptance are promised freely to all believers; but no man can be saved who does not obey the command of God to repent, to believe in Christ, to separate from sin and the world, to choose self-denial and newness of life. In general, men will hearken to those who speak of doctrines, promises, and privileges; but when duties are mentioned, they will not bend their ear.

Verses 11-17

Evil pursues sinners, and entangles them in snares, out of which they cannot free themselves. Now, in their distress, their many gods and many altars stand them in no stead. And those whose own prayers will not be heard, cannot expect benefit from the prayers of others. Their profession of religion shall prove of no use. When trouble came upon them, they made this their confidence, but God has rejected it. His altar shall yield them no satisfaction. The remembrance of God’s former favours to them shall be no comfort under troubles; and his remembrance of them shall be no argument for their relief. Every sin against the Lord is a sin against ourselves, and so it will be found sooner or later.

Verses 18-23

The prophet Jeremiah tells much concerning himself, the times he lived in being very troublesome. Those of his own city plotted how they might cause his death. They thought to end his days, but he outlived most of his enemies; they thought to blast his memory, but it lives to this day, and will be blessed while time lasts. God knows all the secret designs of his and his people’s enemies, and can, when he pleases, make them known. God’s justice is a terror to the wicked, but a comfort to the godly. When we are wronged, we have a God to commit our cause to, and it is our duty to commit it to him. We should also look well to our own spirits, that we are not overcome with evil, but that by patient continuance in praying for our enemies, and in kindness to them, we may overcome evil with good.

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