Jeremiah 16

1 the LORD’s word came also to me, saying, 2 “You shall not take a wife, neither shall you have sons or daughters, in this place.” 3 For the LORD says concerning the sons and concerning the daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them, and concerning their fathers who became their father in this land: 4 “They shall die grievous deaths: they shall not be lamented, neither shall they be buried; they shall be as dung on the surface of the ground; and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the sky, and for the animals of the earth.” 5 For the LORD says, “Don’t enter into the house of mourning, neither go to lament, neither bemoan them; for I have taken away my peace from this people,” says the LORD, “even loving kindness and tender mercies. 6 Both great and small shall die in this land; they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them; 7 neither shall men break bread for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother. 8 “You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and to drink.” 9 For the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. 10 It shall happen, when you shall show this people all these words, and they ask you, ‘Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us?’ or ‘What is our iniquity? or ‘What is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?’ 11 Then you shall tell them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me,’ says the LORD, ‘and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshiped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; 12 and you have done evil more than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the stubbornness of his evil heart, so that you don’t listen to me. 13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into the land that you have not known, neither you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other gods day and night; for I will show you no favor.’ 14 “Therefore behold, the days come,” says the LORD, “that it shall no more be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;’ 15 but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries where he had driven them.’ I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers. 16 “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the LORD, “and they shall fish them up; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my face, neither is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 First I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable things, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.” 19 LORD, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, vanity and things in which there is no profit. 20 Shall a man make to himself gods, which yet are no gods?” 21 “Therefore behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know my hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is the LORD.”

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

Verses 1-9

The prophet must conduct himself as one who expected to see his country ruined very shortly. In the prospect of sad times, he is to abstain from marriage, mourning for the dead, and pleasure. Those who would convince others of the truths of God, must make it appear by their self-denial, that they believe it themselves. Peace, inward and outward, family and public, is wholly the work of God, and from his loving-kindness and mercy. When He takes his peace from any people, distress must follow. There may be times when it is proper to avoid things otherwise our duty; and we should always sit loose to the pleasures and concerns of this life.

Verses 10-13

Here seems to be the language of those who quarrel at the word of God, and instead of humbling and condemning themselves, justify themselves, as though God did them wrong. A plain and full answer is given. They were more obstinate in sin than their fathers, walking every one after the devices of his heart. Since they will not hearken, they shall be hurried away into a far country, a land they know not. If they had God’s favour, that would make even the land of their captivity pleasant.

Verses 14-21

The restoration from the Babylonish captivity would be remembered in place of the deliverance from Egypt; it also typified spiritual redemption, and the future deliverance of the church from antichristian oppression. But none of the sins of sinners can be hidden from God, or shall be overlooked by him. He will find out and raise up instruments of his wrath, that shall destroy the Jews, by fraud like fishers, by force like hunters. The prophet, rejoicing at the hope of mercy to come, addressed the Lord as his strength and refuge. The deliverance out of captivity shall be a figure of the great salvation to be wrought by the Messiah. The nations have often known the power of Jehovah in his wrath; but they shall know him as the strength of his people, and their refuge in time of trouble.

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