Jeremiah 11

Listen to Jeremiah 11

The Broken Covenant

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 1"Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
3 You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 2Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant
4 that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, 3from the iron furnace, saying, 4Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. 5So shall you be my people, and I will be your God,
5 6that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, 7to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day." Then I answered, "So be it, LORD."
6 And the LORD said to me, 8"Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: 9Hear the words of this covenant and do them.
7 For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, 10warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, 11Obey my voice.
8 12Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, 13but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all 14the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not."
9 Again the LORD said to me, 15"A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
10 They have turned back to 16the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. 17They have gone after other gods to serve them. 18The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers.
11 Therefore, thus says the LORD, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. 19Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.
12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem 20will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, 21but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble.
13 22For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, 23altars to make offerings to Baal.
14 "Therefore 24do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, 25for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.
15 26What right has my beloved in my house, 27when she has done many vile deeds? Can even sacrificial flesh avert your doom? 28Can you then exult?
16 The LORD once called you 29'a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.' But 30with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and 31its branches will be consumed.
17 The LORD of hosts, 32who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, 33provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal."
18 The LORD made it known to me and I knew; then you showed me their deeds.
19 But I was 34like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know 35it was against me they devised schemes, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, 36let us cut him off from 37the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more."
20 But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously, who 38tests 39the heart and the mind, 40let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.
21 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of 41Anathoth, 42who seek your life, and say, 43"Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, or you will die by our hand"--
22 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine,
23 and none of them shall be left. For I will bring disaster upon the men of 44Anathoth, 45the year of their punishment."

Jeremiah 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

The disobedient Jews reproved. (1-10) Their utter ruin. (11-17) The people would be destroyed who sought the prophet's life. (18-23)

Verses 1-10 God never promised to bestow blessings on his rational creatures, while they persist in wilful disobedience. Pardon and acceptance are promised freely to all believers; but no man can be saved who does not obey the command of God to repent, to believe in Christ, to separate from sin and the world, to choose self-denial and newness of life. In general, men will hearken to those who speak of doctrines, promises, and privileges; but when duties are mentioned, they will not bend their ear.

Verses 11-17 Evil pursues sinners, and entangles them in snares, out of which they cannot free themselves. Now, in their distress, their many gods and many altars stand them in no stead. And those whose own prayers will not be heard, cannot expect benefit from the prayers of others. Their profession of religion shall prove of no use. When trouble came upon them, they made this their confidence, but God has rejected it. His altar shall yield them no satisfaction. The remembrance of God's former favours to them shall be no comfort under troubles; and his remembrance of them shall be no argument for their relief. Every sin against the Lord is a sin against ourselves, and so it will be found sooner or later.

Verses 18-23 The prophet Jeremiah tells much concerning himself, the times he lived in being very troublesome. Those of his own city plotted how they might cause his death. They thought to end his days, but he outlived most of his enemies; they thought to blast his memory, but it lives to this day, and will be blessed while time lasts. God knows all the secret designs of his and his people's enemies, and can, when he pleases, make them known. God's justice is a terror to the wicked, but a comfort to the godly. When we are wronged, we have a God to commit our cause to, and it is our duty to commit it to him. We should also look well to our own spirits, that we are not overcome with evil, but that by patient continuance in praying for our enemies, and in kindness to them, we may overcome evil with good.

Cross References 45

  • 1. ver. 6, 8; [2 Kings 23:3]
  • 2. Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10
  • 3. Deuteronomy 4:20
  • 4. Jeremiah 7:22, 23; Leviticus 26:3, 12
  • 5. Jeremiah 7:22, 23; Leviticus 26:3, 12
  • 6. Deuteronomy 7:12, 13; Psalms 105:9, 10
  • 7. See Exodus 3:8
  • 8. [Jeremiah 19:2]
  • 9. ver. 2, 8; [2 Kings 23:3]
  • 10. Jeremiah 7:25; See 2 Chronicles 36:15
  • 11. [See ver. 4 above]
  • 12. Jeremiah 7:26; Jeremiah 32:23
  • 13. See Jeremiah 3:17
  • 14. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 15. Ezekiel 22:25; [Isaiah 8:12; Hosea 6:9]
  • 16. [Jeremiah 17:23; Psalms 78:8; Psalms 79:8; Ezekiel 20:18]
  • 17. [Jeremiah 17:23; Psalms 78:8; Psalms 79:8; Ezekiel 20:18]
  • 18. Deuteronomy 31:16, 20
  • 19. Proverbs 1:28; Isaiah 1:15; Ezekiel 8:18; Micah 3:4
  • 20. Jeremiah 2:28; [Acts 17:16]
  • 21. Jeremiah 2:28; [Acts 17:16]
  • 22. [See ver. 12 above]
  • 23. [Hosea 9:10]; See Judges 6:25-32
  • 24. Jeremiah 7:16; [Hebrews 10:26; 1 John 5:16]
  • 25. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 26. Isaiah 1:11, 12
  • 27. [Ezekiel 16:25]
  • 28. Proverbs 2:14
  • 29. Psalms 52:8; [Hosea 14:6]
  • 30. [Psalms 83:2]
  • 31. Romans 11:17, 20
  • 32. Jeremiah 2:21; Isaiah 5:2
  • 33. See Jeremiah 7:18
  • 34. Isaiah 53:7; [Revelation 5:6]
  • 35. Jeremiah 18:18; Lamentations 3:60, 61
  • 36. Psalms 83:4; Isaiah 53:8
  • 37. Psalms 27:13
  • 38. Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 20:12; Psalms 7:9; Revelation 2:23
  • 39. See 1 Samuel 16:7
  • 40. Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 17:18; Jeremiah 20:12; Lamentations 3:64
  • 41. Joshua 21:18
  • 42. [Jeremiah 12:6; Matthew 13:57]
  • 43. Isaiah 30:10
  • 44. Joshua 21:18
  • 45. Jeremiah 23:12

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the covenant God had made with the people of the Jews; their breach of it; and the evils threatened them on that account; and particularly against the men of Anathoth, for their ill treatment of the prophet. It begins with the order to Jeremiah to rehearse the words of the covenant in the ears of the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Jer 11:1-3, which covenant is described by the sanction of it; a curse in case of disobedience; and a promise of being their God, and bringing them into the good land, in case of obedience; and by the time when it was made, when the Israelites were brought out of Egypt, Jer 10:3-5, which order, the prophet agreeing to, is repeated, Jer 10:5,6 declaring the earnest protestation and exhortation of God to obey it, which they not observing, were threatened with the curses of it, Jer 11:7,8, the present Jews doing as their forefathers had done, breaking the covenant, particularly by their idolatry, are threatened also with punishment they should not escape, Jer 11:9-11 which is aggravated by a resolution to show no regard to their cries, Jer 11:11, by the impotence of their idols to save them, though so numerous, Jer 11:12,13, by forbidding the prophet to pray for them, Jer 11:14, by their having no longer a place and protection in the house of God, because of their wickedness, Jer 11:15, by comparing their former and present state together, having been as a beautiful and fruitful olive tree, but now burnt, and its branches broken, Jer 11:16, next follows an account of a design of the men of Anathoth against the prophet, to take away his life, which he was ignorant of, till the Lord gave him knowledge of it, Jer 11:17-19, when he imprecates vengeance on them, Jer 11:20, and, under a spirit of prophecy from the Lord, foretells their utter ruin and destruction, Jer 11:21,22.

Jeremiah 11 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.