The Argument - The prophet Jeremiah born in the city of Anathoth in the country of Benjamin, was the son of Hilkiah, whom some think to be he that found the book of the law and gave it to Josiah. This prophet had excellent gifts from God, and most evident revelations of prophecy, so that by the commandment of the Lord he began very young to prophecy, that is, in the thirteenth year of Josiah, and continued eighteen years under the king, three months under Jehoahaz and under Jehoiakim eleven years, three months under Jehoiachin, and under Zedekiah eleven years to the time that they were carried away into Babylon. So that this time amounts to above forty years, besides the time that he prophesied after the captivity. In this book he declares with tears and lamentations, the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the people, for their idolatry, covetousness, deceit, cruelty, excess, rebellion and contempt of God's word, and for the consolation of the Church reveals the just time of their deliverance. Here chiefly are to be considered three things. First the rebellion of the wicked, who wax more stubborn and obstinate, when the prophets admonish them most plainly of their destruction. Next how the prophets and ministers of God should not be discouraged in their vocation, though they are persecuted and rigorously handled by the wicked, for God's cause. Thirdly though God shows his just judgment against the wicked, yet will he ever show himself a preserver of his Church, and when all means seem to men's judgment to be abolished, then will he declare himself victorious in preserving his.
(a) That is, the sermons and prophecies.
(b) Who is thought to be he that found the book of the law under king Josiah, (2 Kings 22:8).
(c) This was a city about three miles from Jerusalem and belonged to the priests, the sons of Aaron, (Joshua 21:18).
(d) This is spoken to confirm his calling and office, as he did not presume of himself to preach and prophecy, but was called to it by God.
(e) Meaning the nephew of Josiah: for Jehoahaz was his father, who reigned but three months, and therefore is not mentioned, nor is Jehoiakim that reigned no longer.
(f) Of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, who was also called Mattaniah, and at this time the Jews were carried away into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
(g) The scripture uses this manner of speech to declare that God has appointed his minsters to their offices before they were born, as in (Isaiah 49:1) ; (Galatians 1:15).
(h) For Jeremiah did not only prophecy against the Jews, but also against the Egyptians, Babylonians, Moabites and other nations.
(i) Considering the great judgments of God which according to his threatening would come on the world, he was moved with a certain compassion on the one hand to pity them that would thus perish, and on the other hand by the infirmity of man's nature, knowing how hard a thing it was to enterprise such a charge, as in (Isaiah 6:11) ; (Exodus 3:21), (Exodus 4:1).
(k) Which declares that God makes them meet and assures them, whom he calls to set forth his glory, giving them all means necessary for the same, (Exodus 4:12) ; (Isaiah 6:7).
(l) He shows what is the authority of God's true ministers, who by his word have power to bear down whatever lifts itself up against God: and to plant and assure the humble and such as give themselves to the obedience of God's word, (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) ; (Hebrews 4:12), and these are the keys which Christ has left to loose and bind, (Matthew 18:18).
(m) He joins the sign with the word, for a more ample confirmation: signifying by the rod of the almond tree, which first buds, the hasty coming of the Babylonians against the Jews.
(n) Signifying that the Chaldeans and Assyrians would be as a pot to seethe the Jews who boiled in their pleasures and lust.
(o) Syria and Assyria were northward in respect to Jerusalem, which was the Chaldeans dominion.
(p) I will give them charge and power to execute my vengeance against the idolaters who have forsaken me for their idols.
(q) Which declares that God's vengeance is prepared against them who do not execute their duty faithfully, either for fear of man, or for any other reason, (1 Corinthians 9:16).
(r) Signifying on the one hand that the more that Satan and the world rage against God's ministers, the more present will he be to help them, (Joshua 1:5) ; (Hebrews 13:5) and on the other hand, that they are utterly unfit to serve God in his Church, who are afraid and do not resist wickedness, whatever danger depend on it, (Isaiah 50:7) ; (Ezekiel 3:8).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26