And when this people, or a prophet, or a priest, shall ask
Any of the people, who were grown very profane; or any of the false prophets, who encouraged them in their irreligion and impiety; or any of the priests, who were in combination with them against the true prophets of the Lord; when any of these, in a scoffing jeering manner, should ask the Prophet Jeremiah, saying, what [is] the burden of the Lord?
or prophesy in the name of the Lord, as the Targum; and because some of the prophecies are called "burdens", see ( Isaiah 13:1 ) ; hence, by way of derision, they called every one so; and because many of these, though not all, were predictions of judgments and calamities that were to come on men; therefore they accounted all that the true prophets brought from the Lord as such, and sneering asked, what bad news do you bring now? what calamities are now to befall us? as if he was always a bringer of evil tidings; thou shalt then say unto [them], what burden?
making as if he was ignorant of what they meant; or rather as expressing indignation and resentment at the question; do you ask me such a question? I will tell you what it is, as follows: though the words may be rendered without an interrogation, "thou shalt then say unto [them], that which is a burden" F20; which will fall heavy upon them, and be a burden unto them, and sink them down into ruin and destruction; I will even forsake you, saith the Lord;
so that they should have no more of his presence among them, or of prophecy with them, or of his protection of them.
F20 (avm hm ta Mhyla trmaw) "dicito ad eos quodnam onus sit", Schmidt. So the Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.