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Jeremiah 6

Listen to Jeremiah 6

Impending Disaster for Jerusalem

1 Flee for safety, 1O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in 2Tekoa, and raise a signal on 3Beth-haccherem, for disaster looms 4out of the north, and great destruction.
2 The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy, 5the daughter of Zion.[a]
3 6Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her; 7they shall pitch their tents around her; they shall pasture, each in his place.
4 8"Prepare war against her; arise, and let us attack 9at noon! Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen!
5 Arise, and let us attack by night and destroy her palaces!"
6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: 10"Cut down her trees; 11cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be 12punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.
7 13As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her evil; 14violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, 15lest I turn from you in disgust, lest I make you 16a desolation, an uninhabited land."
9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: 17"They shall glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel; like a grape-gatherer pass your hand again over its branches."
10 18To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? 19Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, 20they cannot listen; behold, 21the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; 22I am weary of holding it in. 23"Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; 24both husband and wife 25shall be taken, the elderly and the very aged.
12 26Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together, for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land," declares the LORD.
13 27"For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone 28is greedy for unjust gain; and from 29prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 30'Peace, peace,' 31when there is no peace.
15 32Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; 33at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown," says the LORD.
16 Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for 34the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, 35and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
17 36I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Pay attention to 37the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 38'We will not pay attention.'
18 Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
19 Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, 39the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it.
20 40What use to me is 41frankincense that comes from 42Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? 43Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the LORD: 44'Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.'"
22 Thus says the LORD: 45"Behold, a people is coming 46from the north country, a great nation is stirring from 47the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They lay hold on bow and javelin; they are 48cruel and have no mercy; 49the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!"
24 We have heard the report of it; 50our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, 51pain as of a woman in labor.
25 Go not out into the field, nor walk on the road, for the enemy has a sword; 52terror is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, 53put on sackcloth, and 54roll in ashes; 55make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.
27 "I have made you 56a tester of metals among my people, that you may know and 57test their ways.
28 58They are all stubbornly rebellious, 59going about with slanders; they are 60bronze and iron; all of them act corruptly.
29 The 61bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; 62in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.
30 63Rejected silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them."

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Jeremiah 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The invasion of Judea. (1-8) The justice of God's proceedings. (9-17) All methods used to amend them had been without success. (18-30)

Verses 1-8 Whatever methods are used, it is vain to contend with God's judgments. The more we indulge in the pleasures of this life, the more we unfit ourselves for the troubles of this life. The Chaldean army shall break in upon the land of Judah, and in a little time devour all. The day is coming, when those careless and secure in sinful ways will be visited. It is folly to trifle when we have eternal salvation to work out, and the enemies of that salvation to fight against. But they were thus eager, not that they might fulfil God's counsels, but that they might fill their own treasures; yet God thereby served his own purposes. The corrupt heart of man, in its natural state, casts out evil thoughts, just as a fountain casts out her waters. It is always flowing, yet always full. The God of mercy is loth to depart even from a provoking people, and is earnest with them, that by repentance and reformation, they may prevent things from coming to extremity.

Verses 9-17 When the Lord arises to take vengeance, no sinners of any age or rank, or of either sex escape. They were set upon the world, and wholly carried away by the love of it. If we judge of this sin by God's word, we find multitudes in every station and rank given up to it. Those are to be reckoned our worst and most dangerous enemies, who flatter us in a sinful way. Oh that men would be wise for their souls! Ask for the old paths; the way of godliness and righteousness has always been the way God has owned and blessed. Ask for the old paths set forth by the written word of God. When you have found the good way, go on in it, you will find abundant recompence at your journey's end. But if men will not obey the voice of God and flee to his appointed Refuge, it will plainly appear at the day of judgment, that they are ruined because they reject God's word.

Verses 18-30 God rejects their outward services, as worthless to atone for their sins. Sacrifice and incense were to direct them to a Mediator; but when offered to purchase a license to go on in sin, they provoke God. The sins of God's professing people make them an easy prey to their enemies. They dare not show themselves. Saints may rejoice in hope of God's mercies, though they see them only in the promise: sinners must mourn for fear of God's judgments, though they see them only in the threatenings. They are the worst of revolters, and are all corrupters. Sinners soon become tempters. They are compared to ore supposed to have good metal in it, but which proves all dross. Nothing will prevail to part between them and their sins. Reprobate silver shall they be called, useless and worthless. When warnings, corrections, rebukes, and all means of grace, leave men unrenewed, they will be left, as rejected of God, to everlasting misery. Let us pray, then, that we may be refined by the Lord, as silver is refined.

Cross References 63

  • 1. [Judges 1:21]
  • 2. See 2 Samuel 14:2
  • 3. Nehemiah 3:14
  • 4. See Jeremiah 1:14
  • 5. See 2 Kings 19:21
  • 6. [Jeremiah 23:1]
  • 7. Jeremiah 4:17
  • 8. Jeremiah 22:7; Joel 3:9; [Jeremiah 51:27]
  • 9. Jeremiah 15:8
  • 10. [Deuteronomy 20:20]
  • 11. 2 Kings 19:32; Isaiah 37:33; Ezekiel 26:8; Luke 19:43
  • 12. Luke 19:44
  • 13. Isaiah 57:20
  • 14. Psalms 55:9; Ezekiel 7:11, 23
  • 15. Ezekiel 23:18; [Hosea 9:12]
  • 16. See Jeremiah 4:7
  • 17. [Deuteronomy 24:21]
  • 18. Isaiah 28:9; Isaiah 53:1
  • 19. [Exodus 6:12; Acts 7:51]
  • 20. Jeremiah 7:26
  • 21. Jeremiah 20:8
  • 22. Jeremiah 20:9
  • 23. Jeremiah 9:21
  • 24. [Lamentations 2:21]
  • 25. Jeremiah 8:9
  • 26. For ver. 12-15, see Jeremiah 8:10-12
  • 27. [Jeremiah 31:34; Jeremiah 44:12; Jonah 3:5]
  • 28. Isaiah 56:11
  • 29. Jeremiah 14:18; Jeremiah 23:11; Micah 3:11; See Jeremiah 5:31
  • 30. Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 14:13; Jeremiah 23:17; Ezekiel 13:10; Micah 3:5; [John 14:27]
  • 31. Isaiah 48:22; Isaiah 57:21; Ezekiel 7:25
  • 32. [Jeremiah 3:3; Jeremiah 8:12]
  • 33. [ver. 6]
  • 34. Jeremiah 18:15; [Isaiah 8:20; Malachi 4:4; Luke 16:29]
  • 35. Matthew 11:29; [Psalms 116:7]
  • 36. Isaiah 56:10; [Isaiah 21:11]
  • 37. Isaiah 58:1; [Jeremiah 4:19]
  • 38. Jeremiah 44:16
  • 39. Proverbs 1:31
  • 40. Isaiah 1:11
  • 41. Isaiah 43:23; Isaiah 60:6
  • 42. See 1 Kings 10:1
  • 43. Jeremiah 7:21, 22; Jeremiah 14:12; Psalms 40:6; Isaiah 1:11; Amos 5:21
  • 44. Ezekiel 3:20
  • 45. For ver. 22-24, see Jeremiah 50:41-43
  • 46. See Jeremiah 1:13
  • 47. Jeremiah 25:32; Jeremiah 31:8
  • 48. Isaiah 13:9, 18
  • 49. Isaiah 17:12
  • 50. Jeremiah 38:4; Jeremiah 49:24; Ezekiel 21:7; See 2 Samuel 4:1; Ezekiel 7:17
  • 51. See Isaiah 13:8
  • 52. Psalms 31:13; Lamentations 2:22; [Job 18:11]
  • 53. See Jeremiah 4:8; Esther 4:1
  • 54. Jeremiah 25:34; Ezekiel 27:30; [Lamentations 3:16; Micah 1:10]
  • 55. Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10
  • 56. [Jeremiah 1:18]
  • 57. Jeremiah 9:7
  • 58. Jeremiah 5:23
  • 59. Jeremiah 9:4; [Leviticus 19:16]
  • 60. Ezekiel 22:18, 20
  • 61. [See ver. 28 above]
  • 62. [Isaiah 1:25]
  • 63. Isaiah 1:22; Ezekiel 22:19, 20

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or I have likened the daughter of Zion to the loveliest pasture

Chapter Summary


This chapter is of the same argument with the former; and contains two things in it, the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and the causes of it, which are intermixedly handled in it; a lively description is made of the notice of the approach of the enemy by blowing of trumpets and firing of beacons, Jer 6:1, and of the siege of the city, by pitching tents around it, casting up a mount against it, and scaling its walls at noon and by night, Jer 6:2-6, and this destruction is illustrated by the simile of gleaning of grapes, Jer 6:9, and amplified by the universality of it, with respect to persons and things; it reaching to persons of every age, and in every state, as old men, young men, and children, husbands and wives, and to all sorts of possessions, houses and fields, Jer 6:11,12,21, a description is given of the instruments of it, the Chaldeans, Jer 6:22,23 and it is aggravated by the anxiety, distress, and sorrow, the Jews would be in on account of it, Jer 6:24-26, the causes of it are in general the great aboundings of sin and wickedness in the midst of them, illustrated by a fountain casting out its waters, Jer 6:6,7, in particular, their neglect and contempt of the word of the Lord, Jer 6:10, the sin of covetousness, which prevailed among all sorts of people, high and low, in civil or religious life, Jer 6:13, the unfaithfulness of the prophets to the people, declaring peace, when there was none, Jer 6:14, their impenitence and hardness, Jer 6:15, their disregard to all instructions and warnings, Jer 6:16,17, their rejection of the law, and the precepts of it, Jer 6:18,19, their hypocritical sacrifices, Jer 6:20, and the chapter is concluded with an address to the prophet, setting forth his character and office, and the end of it, Jer 6:27 and his testimony concerning the people, showing their obstinacy and stubbornness, illustrated by a simile of refining metal in a furnace without success, Jer 6:28-30.

Jeremiah 6 Commentaries