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FRAMEWORKS: Jeremiah 15: Condemnatory prophecy, then Jeremiah's pleas


Part 1: v.1-14: The Lord's Rejection of this People
Part 2: v.15-18: Jeremiah pleads with the Lord
Part 3: v.19-21: The Lord's Response


[Preliminary Comment: In the first Part [v.1-14] the prophecy clearly denounces the people and says there is no hope for them because of their intransigence. From verse 10 until the second Part (v.15-18] there is a transition where Jeremiah starts expressing concern for himself which is fully expressed in that second Part. In the final Part [v.19-21] the Lord chides him and counsels him to remain faithful to his ministry as He continues to strengthen him against the others.]



Part 1: v.1-14: The Lord's Rejection of this People


v.1 The Lord refuses to listen to this people

v.1   Then the Lord said to me: ‘Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!


v.2 Death will come to them in a variety of ways

v.2  And if they ask you, “Where shall we go?” tell them, “This is what the Lord says:

‘“Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.”


v.3 There will be various bringers of this death

v.‘I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,' declares the Lord , ‘the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy.


v.4 The land and people has never fully recovered after Manasseh

v.4  I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.


[Additional Comment: The records in respect of Manasseh [2 Chron 33:1-20 & 2 Kings 21] are quite remarkable [look up the Introduction to 2 Chron 33] in that Manasseh did every sort of spiritual evil possible, was taken into exile in Babylon where he repented and God restored him to the Land, where he carried our various restoration works but never fully bringing the people back to the Lord. Amon his son was bad, Josiah his son was mostly good, but all the remaining kings were bad and this prophecy must surely come in the reigns of Jehoiakim  or  Zedekiah (1:3) [or possibly Jehoahaz or Jehoiachin – the short reigns]. It is clear that even the good and the restorations under Josiah were not sufficient to wipe away the sin and its effects of Manasseh in the land.]


v.5 Jerusalem is a place to be pitied

v.5  ‘Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?
     Who will mourn for you?
     Who will stop to ask how you are?

v.6 But the fact is they have rejected God and so He rejects them.

v.6   You have rejected me,' declares the Lord.
     ‘ You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out and destroy you;
     I am tired of holding back.

v.7-9 Destruction will come again and again, taking more and more

v.I will winnow them with a winnowing fork
     at the city gates of the land.
I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people,
     for they have not changed their ways.
v.8  I will make their widows more numerous
     than the sand of the sea.
At midday I will bring a destroyer
     against the mothers of their young men;
suddenly I will bring down on them
     anguish and terror.
v.9  The mother of seven will grow faint
     and breathe her last.
Her sun will set while it is still day;
     she will be disgraced and humiliated.
I will put the survivors to the sword
     before their enemies,'
declares the Lord .


v.10 Jeremiah bewails he is rejected by all

v.10  Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,
     a man with whom the whole land strives and contends!
I have neither lent nor borrowed,
     yet everyone curses me.


v.11 Fear not Jeremiah, the Lord will uphold you

v.11  The Lord said,

‘Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose;
     surely I will make your enemies plead with you
     in times of disaster and times of distress.


v.12-14 None will withstand the iron man from the north who will enslave all

v.12  ‘Can a man break iron –
     iron from the north – or bronze?

v.13  ‘Your wealth and your treasures
     I will give as plunder, without charge,
because of all your sins
     throughout your country.
v.14  I will enslave you to your enemies
     in a land you do not know,
for my anger will kindle a fire
     that will burn against you.'



Part 2: v.15-18: Jeremiah pleads with the Lord


v.15 Lord, stand up for me against them

v.15   Lord , you understand;
     remember me and care for me.
     Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering – do not take me away;
     think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.

v.16 I completely took in you word when it came

v.16  When your words came, I ate them;
     they were my joy and my heart's delight,
for I bear your name,
     Lord God Almighty.

v.17 I stood apart from the unrighteous

v.17  I never sat in the company of revellers,
     never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand was on me
     and you had filled me with indignation.

v.18 So why am I having to endure this anguish

v.18  Why is my pain unending
     and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
     like a spring that fails.



Part 3: v.19-21: The Lord's Response


v.19 Have a right heart Jeremiah and I will save and continue to use you

v.19  Therefore this is what the Lord says:

‘If you repent, I will restore you
     that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
     you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you,
     but you must not turn to them.

v.20,21 I will strengthen you to stand against this people

v.20  I will make you a wall to this people,
     a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
     but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
     to rescue and save you,'
declares the Lord.
v.21  ‘I will save you from the hands of the wicked
     and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.'



Continue to Chapter 16