King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 1

Jeremiah’s call to the prophetic office. (1-10) A vision of an almond-tree and of a seething-pot, Divine protection is promised. (11-19)

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Jeremiah’s call to the prophetic office

1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:

2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.

3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

A vision of an almond-tree and of a seething-pot, Divine protection is promised

11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.

12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

13 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.

14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.

16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.

17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.

18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.

19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Helcias, the high priest who discovered the book of the law, (Clem. Strom. i. &c.) though this be uncertain. — Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them. C.

Ver. 3. Joakim. His immediate predecessor and successor, both called Jechonias, (H.) are passed over, as their reign was short, (C.) only lasting three months each. H. — Fifth. Jerusalem was taken on the 9th of the preceding month. But the temple was not burnt, nor the captives sent off till the fifth month, or the 10th of the civil year. C. xxxix. 8. and lii. 13. and 4 K. xxv. 2. C. — Jeremias also prophesied in Egypt. C. xliv. W. — But this title alludes to his principal predictions. M.

Ver. 5. Knew, with affection, and designed thee for this office for eternity. Many think (C.) that Jeremias was purified from original sin before his birth. S. Aug. — He had this privilege, and was also a priest, prophet, virgin, and martyr. W. — Yet to sanctify, often means only to set aside. Ex. xiii. 2. Eccli. xlix. 9. — Nations, whose overthrow he points out. C. xxv. 27. 44. &c. C.

Ver. 6. Ah. Heb. ahah. Sept. “thou Being.” Prot. “Then said I: Ah, Lord God.” H. — He does not imitate a child. He might be above 30 years old, though some say (C.) only 14, (T.) or less; yet he finds himself devoid of eloquence, like Moses. Ex. xiv. 10. C.

Ver. 9. Mouth; perhaps H. with a coal, by means of an angel, (Is. vi. 5.) in a sort of dream. He found himself changed into a new man.

Ver. 10. Root up, to announce the fall and restoration of many nations. Ezec. iv. 2. C. — Jeremias spoke of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews. W.

Ver. 11. Watching. Heb. “of an almond.” Sept. “nut-tree.” H. — The almond-tree flourishes in January, and bears fruit in March. Theod. Pliny xvi. 25. — Thus God will speedily send his scourge from Babylon, to punish his people. C. —The sense is the same. M. — God’s law is outwardly bitter, but the kernel is sweet. Theod. W.

Ver. 13. North, whence the wind blows, to make the fire burn more intensely. Assyria lay to the north, and Babylon to the east of Judea; but the troops always penetrated the northern frontier, as they could not pass through the Desert Arabia. The caldron represented Jerusalem. Ezec. xi. 3. and xxiv. 3.

Ver. 14-15. North. The tributary kings were forced to attend. Judith ii. 7. and 3 K. xx. 1. — About. The princes thus took Sedecias, and sent him to Reblatha. C. xxxix. 3. C.

Ver. 17. Loins. Make haste, and take courage. Job xxxviii. 3. M.

Ver. 19. Prevail. God does not promise peace, but victory. W.