Jeremiah 17:16

Jeremiah 17:16

As for me, I have not hastened from [being] a pastor to
follow thee
Though he had met with so much ill usage, and was hated by the people for bringing such messages to them, and was jeered and scoffed at because his prophecies were not accomplished; yet he had not been hasty, and solicitous, and importunate with the Lord to dismiss him from his service; but was willing to continue in his office as a pastor or prophet, and to follow the Lord fully, and faithfully perform the work he had called him to, whatever difficulties and discouragements attended him, or reproaches were cast upon him. Some render the words, "I hastened not", or "I have not urged", or "pressed to be a pastor after thee" F26; to which the sense of Kimchi agrees,

``I did not press myself, or was anxious about the matter, that I should be a shepherd after thee, or a prophet;''

he did not run before he was sent; he did not thrust himself into this office; he was not forward, but backward to it, as appears from ( Jeremiah 1:6 ) ; a pastor of the Lord is an under shepherd; one that has his mission and commission from the Lord; who obeys him in all things; follows his directions; goes where and with what he sends him; and such an one was Jeremiah; though it was not what he sought after, and was pressing for; and this he says to take off the edge of the people's resentment against him; to which agree the following words:

neither have I desired the woeful day, thou knowest;
he foresaw that reproaches and calumnies would be cast upon him, and that bonds and afflictions would abide him wherever he went with his messages and prophecies; he knew it would be a woeful and miserable day to him, whenever he was sent as a prophet to this people; and that he should meet with nothing but sorrow, and trouble, and vexation of spirit; and therefore it could not be desirable to him, as a man, to be in such an office, or to be sent on such an errand; to be a messenger of such terrible things, and to denounce such woeful judgments; and much less did he desire the execution of them, even though he had prophesied of them; having not so much regard to his own honour and credit, as an affection to the people, and a compassionate concern for their welfare; and for all this he could appeal to the heart searching and rein trying God. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac and Arabic versions, render it, "man's day"; see ( 1 Corinthians 4:3 ) ; but the Targum paraphrases it agreeably to the sense given,

``and the evil day which thou shall bring upon them, I have not desired:''

that which came out of my lips was [right] before thee;
as he could appeal to the omniscient God for the truth of the above, so for this, that he delivered nothing by way of prophecy but what he had from the Lord; and that he delivered out truly and faithfully whatever he had from him; and it was all done openly and publicly, and in his sight, with all sincerity and truth; see ( 2 Corinthians 2:17 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F26 (Kyrxa herm ytua al ynaw) "ego autem non festinavi ut essem pastor post te", Calvin; "et me (quod attinet) non ursi [esse] pastor post te", Noldius, p. 567.

Read Jeremiah 17:16