Jeremiah 14

Drought, Famine, Sword

1 This is the word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
2 “Judah mourns, her cities languish; they wail for the land, and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
3 The nobles send their servants for water; they go to the cisterns but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled; dismayed and despairing, they cover their heads.
4 The ground is cracked because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed and cover their heads.
5 Even the doe in the field deserts her newborn fawn because there is no grass.
6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights and pant like jackals; their eyes fail for lack of food.”
7 Although our sins testify against us, do something, LORD, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled; we have sinned against you.
8 You who are the hope of Israel, its Savior in times of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who stays only a night?
9 Why are you like a man taken by surprise, like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, LORD, and we bear your name; do not forsake us!
10 This is what the LORD says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.”
11 Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people.
12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”
13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’ ”
14 Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries[a] and the delusions of their own minds.
15 Therefore this is what the LORD says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.
16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.
17 “Speak this word to them: “ ‘Let my eyes overflow with tears night and day without ceasing; for the Virgin Daughter, my people, has suffered a grievous wound, a crushing blow.
18 If I go into the country, I see those slain by the sword; if I go into the city, I see the ravages of famine. Both prophet and priest have gone to a land they know not.’ ”
19 Have you rejected Judah completely? Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing but there is only terror.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, LORD, and the guilt of our ancestors; we have indeed sinned against you.
21 For the sake of your name do not despise us; do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us and do not break it.
22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.

Jeremiah 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

A drought upon the land of Judah. (1-7) A confession of sin in the name of the people. (8-9) The Divine purpose to punish is declared. (10-16) The people supplicate. (17-22)

Verses 1-9 The people were in tears. But it was rather the cry of their trouble, and of their sin, than of their prayer. Let us be thankful for the mercy of water, that we may not be taught to value it by feeling the want of it. See what dependence husbandmen have upon the Divine providence. They cannot plough nor sow in hope, unless God water their furrows. The case even of the wild beasts was very pitiable. The people are not forward to pray, but the prophet prays for them. Sin is humbly confessed. Our sins not only accuse us, but answer against us. Our best pleas in prayer are those fetched from the glory of God's own name. We should dread God's departure, more than the removal of our creature-comforts. He has given Israel his word to hope in. It becomes us in prayer to show ourselves more concerned for God's glory than for our own comfort. And if we now return to the Lord, he will save us to the glory of his grace.

Verses 10-16 The Lord calls the Jews "this people," not "his people." They had forsaken his service, therefore he would punish them according to their sins. He forbade Jeremiah to plead for them. The false prophets were the most criminal. The Lord pronounces condemnation on them; but as the people loved to have it so, they were not to escape judgments. False teachers encourage men to expect peace and salvation, without repentance, faith, conversion, and holiness of life. But those who believe a lie must not plead if for an excuse. They shall feel what they say they will not fear.

Verses 17-22 Jeremiah acknowledged his own sins, and those of the people, but pleaded with the Lord to remember his covenant. In their distress none of the idols of the Gentiles could help them, nor could the heavens give rain of themselves. The Lord will always have a people to plead with him at his mercy-seat. He will heal every truly repenting sinner. Should he not see fit to hear our prayers on behalf of our guilty land, he will certainly bless with salvation all who confess their sins and seek his mercy.

Cross References 60

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 28:22; S Isaiah 5:6
  • 2. S Isaiah 3:26; Jeremiah 8:21
  • 3. S Deuteronomy 28:48; S 2 Kings 18:31; Job 6:19-20
  • 4. 2 Samuel 15:30; S Esther 6:12
  • 5. S Jeremiah 3:3; S Jeremiah 12:11; Amos 4:8; Zechariah 14:17
  • 6. Isaiah 15:6
  • 7. S Job 39:5-6; S Psalms 104:11; S Jeremiah 2:24
  • 8. S Genesis 47:4
  • 9. S Isaiah 3:9; Hosea 5:5
  • 10. S 1 Samuel 12:22; S Psalms 79:9
  • 11. S Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 5:6
  • 12. S Jeremiah 8:14
  • 13. S Psalms 9:18; Jeremiah 17:13; Jeremiah 50:7
  • 14. Psalms 18:46; S Isaiah 25:9
  • 15. Psalms 46:1
  • 16. S Isaiah 50:2
  • 17. S Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 8:19
  • 18. Isaiah 63:19; Jeremiah 15:16
  • 19. S Psalms 27:9
  • 20. Psalms 119:101; Jeremiah 2:25
  • 21. Jeremiah 6:20; Amos 5:22
  • 22. Hosea 7:2; Hosea 9:9; Amos 8:7
  • 23. Jeremiah 44:21-23; Hosea 8:13; Amos 3:2
  • 24. S Exodus 32:10; S 1 Samuel 2:25
  • 25. S Deuteronomy 1:45; S 1 Samuel 8:18; Isaiah 1:15; S Jeremiah 11:11
  • 26. Leviticus 1:1-17; Jeremiah 7:21
  • 27. S Leviticus 2:1-16
  • 28. Amos 5:22; Jeremiah 6:20
  • 29. S Isaiah 51:19; S Jeremiah 9:16
  • 30. Jeremiah 15:2; Jeremiah 16:4
  • 31. Jeremiah 21:6; Jeremiah 27:8,13; Jeremiah 32:24; Jeremiah 34:17; Ezekiel 14:21
  • 32. Deuteronomy 18:22; Jeremiah 27:14; Jeremiah 37:19
  • 33. S Jeremiah 5:12
  • 34. S Isaiah 30:10; S Jeremiah 4:10
  • 35. S Jeremiah 5:1; Jeremiah 23:25; Jeremiah 27:14; Ezekiel 13:2
  • 36. Jeremiah 23:21,32; Jeremiah 29:31; Ezekiel 13:6
  • 37. Jeremiah 23:16; Lamentations 2:9
  • 38. Ezekiel 12:24
  • 39. Jeremiah 20:6; Ezekiel 14:9
  • 40. Jeremiah 5:12-13; Jeremiah 16:4; Lamentations 1:19
  • 41. Psalms 79:3
  • 42. S Jeremiah 7:33
  • 43. S Proverbs 1:31; S Jeremiah 17:10
  • 44. S Psalms 119:136; Jeremiah 9:1
  • 45. S 2 Kings 19:21; S Isaiah 23:12
  • 46. S Jeremiah 8:21
  • 47. Ezekiel 7:15
  • 48. S 2 Chronicles 36:10; S Jeremiah 13:17
  • 49. Jeremiah 7:29
  • 50. S Isaiah 1:6; Jeremiah 30:12-13
  • 51. S Job 19:8; S Jeremiah 8:15
  • 52. S Jeremiah 3:13
  • 53. S Leviticus 26:40; S 1 Kings 8:47; S Ezra 9:6
  • 54. S Judges 10:10; Daniel 9:7-8
  • 55. ver 7; S Joshua 7:9
  • 56. Isaiah 62:7; Jeremiah 3:17
  • 57. S Exodus 2:24
  • 58. S Isaiah 41:24; S Isaiah 44:10; Jeremiah 10:15; Jeremiah 16:19; Habakkuk 2:18
  • 59. S 1 Kings 8:36; S Psalms 135:7
  • 60. S Isaiah 43:10

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "visions, worthless divinations"

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains prophecy of a drought, which produced a famine, Jer 14:1, and is described by the dismal effects of it; and general distress in the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, Jer 14:2, even the nobles were affected with it, whose servants returned without water ashamed, when sent for it, Jer 14:3, the ploughmen could not use their plough, their ground was so hard, Jer 14:4 and the very beasts of the field suffered much, because there was no grass, Jer 14:5,6, upon this follows a prayer of the prophet to the Lord, that he would give rain for his name's sake; he confesses the sins of the people, that they were many, and against the Lord; and testified against them, that they deserved to be used as they were; and he addresses the Lord as the hope and Saviour of his people in time past, when it was a time of trouble with them; and expostulates with him, why he should be as a stranger and traveller, and like a mighty man astonished, that either had no regard to their land any more than a foreigner and a traveller; or no heart to help them, or exert his power, than a man at his wits' end, though he was among them, and they were called by his name; and therefore he begs he would not leave them, Jer 14:7-9, but he is told that it was for the sins of the people that all this was, which the Lord was determined to remember and visit; and therefore he is bid not to pray for them; if he did, it would not be regarded, nor the people's fasting and prayers also; for they should be consumed by the sword, famine, and pestilence, Jer 14:10-12, and though the prophet pleads, in excuse of the people, that the false prophets had deceived them; yet not only the vanity and falsehood of their prophecies are exposed, and they are threatened with destruction, but the people also, for hearkening unto them, Jer 14:13-16, wherefore the prophet, instead of putting up a prayer for them, has a lamentation dictated to him by the Lord, which he is ordered to express, Jer 14:17,18, and yet, notwithstanding this, he goes on to pray for them in a very pathetic manner; he expostulates with God, and pleads for help and healing; confesses the iniquities of the people; entreats the Lord, for the sake of his name, glory, and covenant, that he would not reject them and his petition; and observes, that the thing asked for (rain) was what none of the gods of the Heathens could give, or even the heavens themselves, only the Lord; and therefore determines to wait upon him for it, who made the heavens, the earth, and rain, Jer 14:19-22.

Jeremiah 14 Commentaries

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