Jeremiah 15

Listen to Jeremiah 15

The Lord Will Not Relent

1 Then the LORD said to me, 1"Though 2Moses 3and Samuel 4stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go!
2 And when they ask you, 'Where shall we go?' you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: 5"'Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity.'
3 6I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, declares the LORD: the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, and 7the birds of the air 8and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.
4 9And I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what 10Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.
5 11"Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem, 12or who will grieve for you? Who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?
6 13You have rejected me, declares the LORD; 14you keep going backward, so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you-- 15I am weary of relenting.
7 16I have winnowed them with 17a winnowing fork in the gates of the land; I have bereaved them; I have destroyed my people; 18they did not turn from their ways.
8 I have made their widows more in number than 19the sand of the seas; I have brought against the mothers of young men a destroyer at noonday; I have made anguish and terror fall upon them suddenly.
9 20She who bore seven has grown feeble; 21she has fainted away; 22her sun went down while it was yet day; she has been shamed and disgraced. And the rest of them I will give to the sword before their enemies, declares the LORD."

Jeremiah's Complaint

10 23Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! 24I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me.
11 The LORD said, "Have I not[a] set you free for their good? Have I not pleaded for you before the enemy in the time of trouble and in the time of distress?
12 Can one break iron, iron 25from the north, and bronze?
13 26"Your wealth and your treasures I will give as 27spoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory.
14 I will make you serve your enemies 28in a land that you do not know, 29for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever."
15 30O LORD, you know; 31remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; 32know that 33for your sake I bear reproach.
16 Your words were found, 34and I ate them, and 35your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, 36for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.
17 37I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; 38I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing, 39my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me 40like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?
19 Therefore thus says the LORD: 41"If you return, I will restore you, and you shall 42stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
20 43And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, 44but they shall not prevail over you, 45for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD.
21 46I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of 47the ruthless."

Jeremiah 15 Commentary

Chapter 15

The destruction of the wicked described. (1-9) The prophet laments such messages, and is reproved. (10-14) He supplicates pardon, and is promised protection. (15-21)

Verses 1-9 The Lord declares that even Moses and Samuel must have pleaded in vain. The putting of this as a case, though they should stand before him, shows that they do not, and that saints in heaven do not pray for saints on earth. The Jews were condemned to different kinds of misery by the righteous judgment of God, and the remnant would be driven away, like the chaff, into captivity. Then was the populous city made desolate. Bad examples and misused authority often produce fatal effects, even after men are dead, or have repented of their crimes: this should make all greatly dread being the occasion of sin in others.

Verses 10-14 Jeremiah met with much contempt and reproach, when they ought to have blessed him, and God for him. It is a great and sufficient support to the people of God, that however troublesome their way may be, it shall be well with them in their latter end. God turns to the people. Shall the most hardy and vigorous of their efforts be able to contend with the counsel of God, or with the army of the Chaldeans? Let them hear their doom. The enemy will treat the prophet well. But the people who had great estates would be used hardly. All parts of the country had added to the national guilt; and let each take shame to itself.

Verses 15-21 It is matter of comfort that we have a God, to whose knowledge of all things we may appeal. Jeremiah pleads with God for mercy and relief against his enemies, persecutors, and slanderers. It will be a comfort to God's ministers, when men despise them, if they have the testimony of their own consciences. But he complains, that he found little pleasure in his work. Some good people lose much of the pleasantness of religion by the fretfulness and uneasiness of their natural temper, which they indulge. The Lord called the prophet to cease from his distrust, and to return to his work. If he attended thereto, he might be assured the Lord would deliver him from his enemies. Those who are with God, and faithful to him, he will deliver from trouble or carry through it. Many things appear frightful, which do not at all hurt a real believer in Christ.

Cross References 47

  • 1. Psalms 99:6; [Ezekiel 14:14]
  • 2. [Psalms 106:23]; See Exodus 32:11-13
  • 3. [1 Samuel 7:9; 1 Samuel 8:6; 1 Samuel 12:23; 1 Samuel 15:11]
  • 4. Jeremiah 35:19; [ver. 19]
  • 5. Jeremiah 14:12; Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 21:9; Jeremiah 43:11; Ezekiel 5:12; Ezekiel 6:11, 12; Zechariah 11:9
  • 6. See Leviticus 26:16-22
  • 7. Deuteronomy 28:26
  • 8. Revelation 6:8
  • 9. Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 34:17; Deuteronomy 28:25
  • 10. [2 Kgs. 21:2, 11, 16, 17; 2 Kings 23:26; 2 Kings 24:3, 4]
  • 11. Isaiah 51:19; [Nahum 3:7]
  • 12. Isaiah 51:19; [Nahum 3:7]
  • 13. Deuteronomy 32:15
  • 14. See Jeremiah 7:24
  • 15. [Hosea 13:14]
  • 16. [Jeremiah 51:2; Isaiah 41:16; Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17]
  • 17. Isaiah 30:24
  • 18. Jeremiah 5:3; Isaiah 9:13; Amos 4:6, 8-11
  • 19. Genesis 22:17; Psalms 139:18
  • 20. 1 Samuel 2:5; [Lamentations 1:1]
  • 21. Job 11:20
  • 22. Amos 8:9
  • 23. Jeremiah 20:14
  • 24. Exodus 22:25; Psalms 15:5; Isaiah 24:2
  • 25. See Jeremiah 1:13
  • 26. Jeremiah 17:3
  • 27. Psalms 44:12
  • 28. Jeremiah 9:16; Jeremiah 16:13; Jeremiah 17:4; Jeremiah 22:28
  • 29. Deuteronomy 32:22
  • 30. Jeremiah 12:3
  • 31. [Judges 16:28]
  • 32. Jeremiah 17:16
  • 33. Psalms 69:7
  • 34. Ezekiel 3:1, 3; Revelation 10:9, 10
  • 35. Psalms 119:111, 162
  • 36. Jeremiah 14:9
  • 37. Psalms 26:4
  • 38. Psalms 102:7; Lamentations 3:28
  • 39. Jeremiah 30:15; Job 34:6
  • 40. Job 6:15; Isaiah 58:11
  • 41. Jeremiah 3:14
  • 42. [ver. 1]
  • 43. [Jeremiah 1:18; Jeremiah 6:27]
  • 44. Jeremiah 1:19; Jeremiah 20:11
  • 45. See Jeremiah 1:8
  • 46. [See ver. 20 above]
  • 47. Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 25:4, 5; Isaiah 29:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains the Lord's answer to the prophet's prayers, in which he declares himself inexorable, and had resolved on the ruin of the Jewish nation for their sins; the prophet's complaint of the hardships he endured, notwithstanding his sincerity and integrity; and the Lord's promise of protection and deliverance, in case of his continuance in the faithful discharge of his office. The Lord denies the request of the prophet, by observing, that if even Moses and Samuel had been the intercessors for the people, he would not have regarded them, being determined upon casting them out, and sending them away captive, Jer 15:1, their punishment is declared, which was resolved on; some for death, or the pestilence; others for the sword; others for famine; and others for captivity; and others to be devoured by dogs, and fowls, and wild beasts, Jer 15:2,3, the cause of which were their sins, particularly their idolatry in the times of Manasseh, Jer 15:4, wherefore they should have no pity from men, nor would the Lord any more repent of the evil threatened, of which he was weary, because of their many backslidings, Jer 15:5,6, which destruction, being determined, is illustrated by a description of the instrument of it; by the multitude of widows, and the distress of mothers bereaved of their children, Jer 15:7-9 on which the prophet takes up a complaint of his being born for strife and contention, and of his being cursed by the people, though no usurer, Jer 15:10, when he is comforted with a promise of being used well by the enemy, both he and his remnant, Jer 15:11, but as for the people of the Jews in general, they would never be able to withstand the northern forces, the army of the Chaldeans; their riches and substance would be delivered into their hands, and their persons also be carried captive into a strange land, and the prophet along with them, because of their sins, and the wrath of God for them, Jer 15:12-14, upon which the prophet prays to the Lord, who knew him, that he would remember and visit him, and avenge him of his persecutors, and not take him away in his longsuffering; he urges, that he had suffered rebuke and reproach for his sake; that he was called by him to his office, which he had cheerfully entered on; he had his mission, commission, and message, from him, which he received with the greatest pleasure, signified by eating his words with joy; and that he had not associated himself with mockers and scoffers at religion and the word of God; and therefore expostulates why he should be put to so much pain, and be used as he was, Jer 15:15-18, wherefore the Lord promises that, upon condition of doing his work faithfully, he should be preserved, protected, and delivered, Jer 15:19-21.

Jeremiah 15 Commentaries

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