(a) According to that grace and favour which I showed you from the beginning, when I first chose you to be my people, and married you to myself, (Ezekiel 16:8).
(b) When I had delivered you out of Egypt.
(c) Chosen above all others to serve the Lord only and the first offered to the Lord of all other nations.
(d) Whoever challenged this people, or else annoyed them, was punished.
(e) That is, fallen to vile idolatry.
(f) Altogether given to vanity, and are become blind and insensible as the idols that they serve.
(g) Where for lack of all things needed for life, you could look for nothing every hour but present death.
(h) By your idolatry and wicked manners, (Psalm 78:58), (Psalm 106:38).
(i) They did not teach the people to seek after God.
(k) As the scribes, who would have expounded the law to the people.
(l) Meaning, the princes and ministers: signifying, that all estates were corrupt.
(m) That is, spoke vain things, and brought the people from the true worship of God to serve idols: for by Baal, which was the chief idol of the Moabites, are meant all idols.
(n) Signifying that he would not as he might, straightway condemn them, but shows them by evident examples their great ingratitude that they might be ashamed and repent.
(o) Meaning, the Grecians and Italians.
(p) To Arabia.
(q) That is, God who is their glory, and who makes them glorious above all other people, reproving the Jews that they were less diligent to serve the true God, than were the idolaters to honour their vanities.
(r) Meaning the idols who were their destruction, (Psalm 106:36).
(s) He shows that the insensible creatures abhor this vile ingratitude, and as it were tremble for fear of God's great judgments against the same.
(t) Signifying that when men forsake God's word, which is the fountain of life, they reject God himself, and so fall to their own inventions, and vain confidence, and procure to themselves destruction, (Jonah 2:8) ; (Zechariah 10:2).
(u) Have I ordered them like servants and not like dearly beloved children? (Exodus 4:22) therefore it is their fault only, if the enemy spoil them.
(x) The Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians.
(y) Not one will be left to dwell there.
(z) That is, the Egyptians, for these were two great cities in Egypt.
(a) Have grievously vexed you at various times.
(b) Showing that God would have still led them correctly, if they would have followed him.
(c) To seek help from man, as though God was not able enough to defend you, which is to drink from the puddles and to leave the fountain, (Isaiah 31:1).
(d) That is, Euphrates.
(e) Meaning, that the wicked are insensible, till the punishment for their sin waken them as in (Jeremiah 2:26) ; (Isaiah 3:9).
(f) When I delivered you out of Egypt, (Exodus 19:8) ; (Deuteronomy 5:27) ; (Joshua 24:16) ; (Ezra 10:12) ; (Hebrews 8:6).
(g) Though you use all the purifications and ceremonies of the law, you cannot escape punishment.
(h) Meaning that hypocrites deny that they worship the idols, but that they honour God in them, and therefore they call their doings God's service.
(i) He compares the idolaters to these beasts, because they never cease running to and fro: for both valleys and hills are full of their idolatry.
(k) He compares the idolaters to a wild ass: for she can never be tamed nor yet wearied: for as she runs she can take her wind at every opportunity.
(l) That is, when she is with foal, and therefore the hunters wait their time: so though you cannot be turned back now from your idolatry, yet when your iniquity will be at the fall, God will meet with you.
(m) By this he warns them that they should not go into strange countries to seek help: for they should but spend their labour, and hurt themselves, which is here meant by the bare foot and thirst, (Isaiah 57:10).
(n) As a thief will not acknowledge his fault, till he is taken with the deed, and ready to be punished, so they will not confess their idolatry, till the plagues due to the same light on them.
(o) Meaning, that idolaters rob God of his honour: and where as he has taught to call him the father of all flesh, they attribute this title to their idols.
(p) You thought that your gods of blocks and stones could have helped you, because they were many in number and present in every place: but now let us see whether either the multitude or their presence can deliver you from my plague, (Jeremiah 11:13).
(q) As though I did you injury in punishing you, seeing that your faults are so evident.
(r) That is, you have killed your prophets, that exhorted you to repentance, as Zechariah, Isaiah, etc.
(s) Have I not given them abundance of all things?
(t) But will trust in our own power and policy.
(u) With strangers.
(x) The prophets and the faithful are slain in every corner of your country.
(y) For the Assyrians had taken away the ten tribes out of Israel and destroyed Judah even to Jerusalem: and the Egyptians slew Josiah, and vexed the Jews in various ways.
(z) In sign of lamentation, as in (2 Samuel 13:19).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26