Jeremiah 45:5 WYC
And seekest thou great things to thee? do not thou seek, for lo! I shall bring evil on each man, saith the Lord, and I shall give to thee thy life into health, in all places, to which ever places thou shalt go. (And seekest thou great things for thyself? do not thou seek them, for lo! I shall bring in evil upon each person, saith the Lord, but at least I shall save thy life for thee, in every place, wherever thou shalt go. That I shall do for thee.)
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An encouragement sent to Baruch.
- Baruch was employed in writing Jeremiah's prophecies, and reading them, see ch. ( Jeremiah 36 ) , and was threatened for it by the king. Young beginners in religion are apt to be discouraged with little difficulties, which they commonly meet with at first in the service of God. These complaints and fears came from his corruptions. Baruch had raised his expectations too high in this world, and that made the distress and trouble he was in harder to be borne. The frowns of the world would not disquiet us, if we did not foolishly flatter ourselves with the hopes of its smiles, and court and covet them. What a folly is it then to seek great things for ourselves here, where every thing is little, and nothing certain! The Lord knows the real cause of our fretfulness and despondency better than we do, and we should beg of him to examine our hearts, and to repress every wrong desire in us.
Jeremiah 45:1-5 . JEREMIAH COMFORTS BARUCH.
After the completion of the prophecies and histories appertaining to the Jewish people and kings, Jeremiah subjoins one referring to an individual, Baruch; even as there are subjoined to the epistles of Paul addressed to churches, epistles to individuals, some of which were prior in date to the former. Afterwards follow the prophecies referring to other nations, closing the book [GROTIUS]. The date of the events here told is eighteen years before the taking of the city; this chapter in point of time follows the thirty-sixth chapter. Baruch seems to have been regularly employed by Jeremiah to commit his prophecies to writing ( Jeremiah 36:1 Jeremiah 36:4 Jeremiah 36:32 ).
1. these words--his prophecies from the thirteenth year of Josiah to the fourth of Jehoiakim.
3. Thou didst say, &c.--Jeremiah does not spare his disciple, but unveils his fault, namely, fear for his life by reason of the suspicions which he incurred in the eyes of his countrymen (compare Jeremiah 36:17 ), as if he was in sympathy with the Chaldeans ( Jeremiah 43:3 ), and instigator of Jeremiah; also ingratitude in speaking of his "grief," &c., whereas he ought to deem himself highly blessed in being employed by God to record Jeremiah's prophecies.
added--rescued from the peril of my first writing ( Jeremiah 36:26 ). I am again involved in a similar peril. He upbraids God as dealing harshly with him.
I fainted--rather, "I am weary."
no rest--no quiet resting-place.
4. that which I have built . . . planted I will pluck up--( Isaiah 5:5 ). This whole nation (the Jews) which I founded and planted with such extraordinary care and favor, I will overthrow.
5. seekest thou great things for thyself--Thou art over-fastidious and self-seeking. When My own peculiar people, a "whole" nation ( Jeremiah 45:4 ), and the temple, are being given to ruin, dost thou expect to be exempt from all hardship? Baruch had raised his expectations too high in this world, and this made his distresses harder to be borne. The frowns of the world would not disquiet us if we did not so eagerly covet its smiles. What folly to seek great things for ourselves here, where everything is little, and nothing certain!
all flesh--the whole Jewish nation and even foreign peoples ( Jeremiah 25:26 ).
but thy life . . . for a prey--Esteem it enough at such a general crisis that thy life shall be granted thee. Be content with this boon of life which I will rescue from imminent death, even as when all things are given up to plunder, if one escape with aught, he has a something saved as his "prey" ( Jeremiah 21:9 ). It is striking how Jeremiah, who once used such complaining language himself, is enabled now to minister the counsel requisite for Baruch when falling into the same sin ( Jeremiah 12:1-5 , 15:10-18 ). This is part of God's design in suffering His servants to be tempted, that their temptations may adapt them for ministering to their fellow servants when tempted.