Jeremiah 11:1-8

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."

Jeremiah 11:1-8 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 11

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 11:1-8 In-Context

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 "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: Cursed 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, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God,
5 that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, to 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, "Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear 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, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice.
8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not."
9 Again the LORD said to me, "A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The 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. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.
12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble.

Cross References 14

  • 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]