King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Jeremiah > Old Testament > Home

Jeremiah 8

The remains of the dead exposed. (1-3) The stupidity of the people, compared with the instinct of the brute creation. (4-13) The alarm of the invasion, and lamentation. (14-22)

Jeremiah 8 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The remains of the dead exposed

1 At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:

2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.

The stupidity of the people, compared with the instinct of the brute creation

4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?

5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.

6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.

7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.

8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.

9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

13 I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

The alarm of the invasion, and lamentation

14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.

15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!

16 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein.

17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.

18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.

19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?

20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Graves. They might suppose that they would find treasures in them, as the tombs of Semiramis, Cyrus, &c. were thus enriched. This inhumanity seems to have taken place before the last siege. Bar. ii. 24. C.

Quæque carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini

Nefas videre dissipabit insoleas. Hor. epod. 16.

— Cruelty and avarice cause persecutors to act thus. W.

Ver. 4. Again. Why then do not the people strive to repent?

Ver. 7. Stork. These birds retire at the approach of winter to warmer climates. In Poland swallows plunge into marshes, like frogs. If instinct teach them to do so, for their preservation, is it not strange that men should be so inconsiderate?

Ver. 8. Falsehood. The impostors have deceived you, and they are themselves taken prisoners. C.

Ver. 9. Them. Those who understand, and do not observe the law, are not wise. W.

Ver. 10. Others. Idumeans, &c. Yet most part of the land remained uncultivated. C. — The rest, to v. 13. “they will collect their fruits, says,” &c. is supplied by Grabe. H.

Ver. 12. They are. Or, “are they?” &c. S. Jer. — No, they are too hardened. C. vi. 14.

Ver. 13. Gather into Jerusalem, to be butchered. C. — Away. They are now in the greatest distress. H. — This probably happened a little before the last siege. C. xiv.

Ver. 14. Silent, in utter destruction. 1 K. ii. 9. We cannot be in a worse condition.

Ver. 16. Dan, by which the Chaldees must pass. C. iv. 15. Many have hence inferred that antichrist will be the serpent (v. 17.) of the tribe of Dan. Gen. xlix. 17. C.

Ver. 17. Charm. The Chaldees will not be moved to pity (M.) by any words. W.

Ver. 18. Me. God, Jeremias, the people, or rather Jerusalem bewails her children. C.

Ver. 19. Sion. Thus the people complain, (M.) or God answers them that they had no reason to have recourse to idols for protection. C.

Ver. 20. Saved. Our hopes of redress are vanished. We must still pine away for want of food. H. — The siege continues, though we had been assured it would shortly be terminated. C. — It commenced January 30, A. 3414. Soon after Nabuchodonosor went to meet Pharao, and having defeated him, returned about June, A. 3415, and after 390 days took the city, 27th of July, A. 3416. Usher C. xxxix. 2. C. Ezec. iv. 5. H.

Ver. 21. I. Jeremias. M. — The prophet continues to speak in the next chap.

Ver. 22. Balm, (resina) “turpentine,” (C.) which was much used. Dioscor. i. 66. — Galaad was famous for the best. C. xlvi. 11. Gen. xxxvii. 25. — Closed? Have I not sent prophets? But they will not be healed. C.