Jeremiah 11

The Covenant Is Broken

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem.
3 Tell them that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant—
4 the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God.
5 Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.” I answered, “Amen, LORD.”
6 The LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them.
7 From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.”
8 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’ ”
9 Then the LORD said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem.
10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors.
11 Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.
12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes.
13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’
14 “Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
15 “What is my beloved doing in my temple as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes? Can consecrated meat avert your punishment? When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice.[a]
16 The LORD called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken.
17 The LORD Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal.

Plot Against Jeremiah

18 Because the LORD revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing.
19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.”
20 But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.
21 Therefore this is what the LORD says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD or you will die by our hands”—
22 therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine.
23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the 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 58

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 5:2
  • 2. Deuteronomy 11:26-28; Deuteronomy 27:26; Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:10
  • 3. ver 7
  • 4. Deuteronomy 4:20; S 1 Kings 8:51
  • 5. S Exodus 24:8; Jeremiah 7:23
  • 6. Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 11:20
  • 7. S Exodus 6:8; Exodus 13:5; Deuteronomy 7:12; Psalms 105:8-11
  • 8. S Exodus 3:8
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 27:26
  • 10. S Jeremiah 4:5
  • 11. S Exodus 15:26; S Deuteronomy 15:5; Romans 2:13; James 1:22
  • 12. S 2 Chronicles 36:15
  • 13. S Jeremiah 7:26
  • 14. S Ecclesiastes 9:3; S Jeremiah 3:17
  • 15. Leviticus 26:14-43; Deuteronomy 28:15-68; S Joshua 23:15
  • 16. S 2 Chronicles 7:19; Psalms 78:10; Jeremiah 26:4; Jeremiah 32:23; Jeremiah 44:10
  • 17. Ezekiel 22:25
  • 18. Deuteronomy 9:7; S 2 Chronicles 30:7
  • 19. Zechariah 7:11
  • 20. S Judges 2:12-13; S Judges 10:13
  • 21. Jeremiah 16:11; Ezekiel 20:8
  • 22. Isaiah 24:5; Jeremiah 34:18; Hosea 6:7; Hosea 8:1
  • 23. S 2 Kings 22:16; S Jeremiah 4:6
  • 24. S Job 11:20; Lamentations 2:22
  • 25. S Job 27:9; Jeremiah 14:12; Ezekiel 8:18; Malachi 2:13
  • 26. ver 14; S Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 1:28; S Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 59:2; Ezekiel 8:8; Zechariah 7:13
  • 27. S Deuteronomy 32:38; S Jeremiah 44:17
  • 28. S Deuteronomy 32:37; S Judges 10:14
  • 29. S Exodus 20:3; Jeremiah 19:4
  • 30. S 2 Kings 17:29
  • 31. S Jeremiah 7:9; Jeremiah 44:21
  • 32. S Jeremiah 3:24
  • 33. S Exodus 32:10
  • 34. S ver 11
  • 35. Haggai 2:12
  • 36. S Jeremiah 7:9-10
  • 37. S Psalms 1:3; Hosea 14:6
  • 38. S Jeremiah 7:20; Jeremiah 21:14
  • 39. S Isaiah 27:11; Romans 11:17-24
  • 40. S Exodus 15:17; Isaiah 5:2; Jeremiah 12:2; Jeremiah 45:4
  • 41. ver 11
  • 42. Jeremiah 7:18
  • 43. S Jeremiah 7:9
  • 44. S Psalms 44:22
  • 45. ver 21; S Psalms 44:16; Psalms 54:3; Psalms 71:10; Jeremiah 18:18; Jeremiah 20:10
  • 46. S Job 28:13; S Psalms 116:9; Isaiah 53:8
  • 47. Psalms 83:4
  • 48. Psalms 7:11
  • 49. S 1 Samuel 2:3; S 1 Chronicles 29:17
  • 50. S Psalms 26:2; Psalms 7:9
  • 51. S Psalms 58:10; Lamentations 3:60
  • 52. S Joshua 21:18
  • 53. S ver 19; Jeremiah 12:6; Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 34:20
  • 54. S Isaiah 30:10
  • 55. Jeremiah 2:30; Jeremiah 18:23; Jeremiah 26:8,11; Jeremiah 38:4
  • 56. S Isaiah 9:17; Jeremiah 18:21
  • 57. Jeremiah 6:9
  • 58. Jeremiah 23:12

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "Could consecrated meat avert your punishment?" / "Then you would rejoice"

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

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