King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 15

The destruction of the wicked described. (1-9) The prophet laments such messages, and is reproved. (10-14) He supplicates pardon, and is promised protection. (15-21)

Jeremiah 15 Audio:

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The destruction of the wicked described

1 Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.

2 And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.

3 And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.

4 And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.

5 For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?

6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.

7 And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people since they return not from their ways.

8 Their widows are increased to me above the sand of the seas: I have brought upon them against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noonday: I have caused him to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city.

9 She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was yet day: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the LORD.

The prophet laments such messages, and is reproved

10 Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.

11 The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.

12 Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

13 Thy substance and thy treasures will I give to the spoil without price, and that for all thy sins, even in all thy borders.

14 And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a land which thou knowest not: for a fire is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn upon you.

He supplicates pardon, and is promised protection

15 O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.

16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

17 I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.

18 Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?

19 Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.

20 And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

21 And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. If. The Geneva Bible reads corruptly, “Though Moses…stood,” contrary to Heb. and Gr. W. — And Samuel. These two had shewn a particular love for the people. Ex. xxxii. and 2 K. xii. C. — Ezechiel (xiv. 4.) specifies Noe, Daniel, and Job, who were eminent for sanctity. Daniel was still alive. Yet God will not grant their request; and he forbids his prophet to pray for those who were resolved not to repent. C. xiv. 11. H. — Their punishment was fixed, and God will not remit it at the request either of the living or of the dead. Hence it is evident, that the dead could and did sometimes make intercession, otherwise they would not here be mentioned. To evade this argument, Prot. in the Geneva Bible, suppose God’s “meaning to be, that if there were any man living, moved with so great zeal towards the people as were these two, yet he would not grant their request, for so much as he had determined the contrary.” Yet surely Jeremias, Daniel, &c. had a similar zeal; and therefore the text speaks of Moses and Samuel in a state of happiness, where their charity is greater than in this life, as S. Jer. S. Chrys. (hom. 1. in 1 Thess.) and S. Greg. (Mor. ix. 12.) explain it. W. — Jeremias had been praying earnestly for the people in the temple. But God answers his request with a severity rarely witnessed in Scripture, ordering him to drive the people out, or to announce that they should be thus treated. C.

Ver. 2. Death. This Heb. phrase intimates that some should die by sickness, &c. W.

Ver. 3. Kinds of persecutors, the sword, &c. C.

Ver. 4. Rage. Heb. “agitation.” C. — Sept. “necessities.” Prot. “to be removed into all,” &c. H. This the event verified. Isai. xi. 11. — Manasses. Though he obtained pardon, the people would not imitate his repentance. A dreadful warning for princes! C. — “The people generally perish by the fault of their governors.” S. Jer.

Ver. 5. Peace. All will abhor thee. C. — “The creatures cannot be so clement as the Creator.” S. Jer.

Ver. 6. Intreating thee. Heb. “of being intreated;” (S. Jer.) or, “of repenting,” and suspending the effects of my wrath. C. — Sept. “I will no longer spare them.” H.

Ver. 7. Will, or “have scattered” the ten tribes, and many of Juda, before the last siege. C.

Ver. 8. Man, or “a spoiler of the young man,” (H.) so that the widow shall also be deprived of her children. Heb. “the young spoiler,” Nabuchodonosor. He shall not come like a night thief, to attack the metropolis.

Ver. 9. Seven: many. It is not common for a mother to lose so numerous a family; yet such shall be the misfortune of Jewish parents. The synagogues shall decrease. — Day. Her prosperity shall end on a sudden. C.

Ver. 10. Strife. Jeremias was under continual persecution, (M.) yet ceased not to reprimand the wicked. H. — Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit. Cic. — Usury. Such people are exposed to contention. M.

Ver. 11. Remnant; posterity, (C.) or rather possessions, as the prophet never married. C. xvi. 2. H. — God assures him that he shall be protected. M. — The Chaldees treated him with respect. C. xxxix. 2. and xl. 1. Sedecias and the people had often recourse to him. Chal. “They will come to intreat thee, when the enemy shall straiten them.” C.

Ver. 12. Iron. Shall the iron (that is, the strength of Juda) stand against the stronger iron of the north, (that is, of Babylon) or enter into an alliance upon equal footing with it? No, certainly; but it must be broken by it. Ch. — Iron is not easily united with brass, though Pliny (xxxiv. 4.) mentions a statue of this nature. Neither iron nor brass can stand against steel, which is meant by the iron from the north. The Jews shall not hurt Jeremias, v. 20. C. i. 17. C. — Prot. “shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?” The riches of Juda shall become a prey, v. 13. H. — Stronger kingdoms easily oppress their weak allies. W.

Ver. 14. Bring. Sept. “enslave thee to thy,” &c. Chal. “thou shalt serve.” H. — They have read (C.) hahabadti. Heb. has r instead of d, “I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a,” &c. Prot. H.

Ver. 15. Patience. That is, let not thy patience and long suffering, which thou usest towards sinners, keep thee from making haste to my assistance. Ch. — He is actuated by a zeal for God’s glory. C. — He is afraid of his own weakness, and begs to be delivered shortly. Ps. xii. 2. W.

Ver. 16. Eat them. I received them most cordially, (Ezec. iii. 1. H.) as one who is hungry. — Upon me. I was recognized as the prophet of the Lord.

Ver. 17. Jesters, who deride religion, (Ps. i. 1.) or sport away their time. C. — Hand, through vanity. Lit. and I boast of.” H. — I rejoiced in suffering, as this prophet. Many (C.) supply nor from the former part of the sentence. M. — Threats. I could not refrain from admonishing the people of their ways, (H.) which I would not countenance by my presence. C. — All indeed kept at a distance from me.

Ver. 18. Trusted. It is not cured as soon as might be expected. H. — It continually breaks out again, (M.) like a bog not properly drained. H. — Heb. “Thou art become,” &c. Chal. “break not thy promise, as,” &c. Do not reject me when I stand most in need of redress. C. — My hopes seem (H.) vain. W.

Ver. 19. Converted, and cease to fear the people; (C.) and confide in my precious words, (H.) despising the vile threats of the people. M. — Mouth; interpreter. Ex. iv. 16. Chal. “If thou wilt recall the wicked into the way of justice, though shalt fulfill my will.” See S. Jer. in Ps. cv. 32. — To thee. Thus Sedecias and the people acted, C. xxi. 1. and xlii. 2. C. — The prophet must not give way to sinners, but hey must be reclaimed. W.

Ver. 21. Mighty; Chaldees. Providence watched over Jeremias, amid all his enemies. C.