Jeremiah 15

1 Then the LORD said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!
2 And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the LORD says: “ ‘Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.’
3 “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the LORD, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy.
4 I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.
5 “Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem? Who will mourn for you? Who will stop to ask how you are?
6 You have rejected me,” declares the LORD. “You keep on backsliding. So I will reach out and destroy you; I am tired of holding back.
7 I will winnow them with a winnowing fork at the city gates of the land. I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people, for they have not changed their ways.
8 I will make their widows more numerous than the sand of the sea. At midday I will bring a destroyer against the mothers of their young men; suddenly I will bring down on them anguish and terror.
9 The mother of seven will grow faint and breathe her last. Her sun will set while it is still day; she will be disgraced and humiliated. I will put the survivors to the sword before their enemies,” declares the LORD.
10 Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth, a man with whom the whole land strives and contends! I have neither lent nor borrowed, yet everyone curses me.
11 The LORD said, “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose; surely I will make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and times of distress.
12 “Can a man break iron— iron from the north—or bronze?
13 “Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without charge, because of all your sins throughout your country.
14 I will enslave you to your enemies in[a] a land you do not know, for my anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you.”
15 LORD, you understand; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away; think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.
16 When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.
17 I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me and you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails.
19 Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the LORD.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”

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 63

  • 1. S Exodus 32:11; Numbers 14:13-20
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 1:20; S 1 Samuel 7:8; 1 Samuel 7:9
  • 3. S 1 Samuel 2:25; S Jeremiah 7:16; Ezekiel 14:14,20
  • 4. S 2 Kings 17:20; Jeremiah 16:13
  • 5. Jeremiah 42:22; Jeremiah 43:11; Jeremiah 44:13
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 28:26; S Jeremiah 14:12; Lamentations 4:9
  • 7. Ezekiel 12:11; Revelation 13:10
  • 8. S Numbers 33:4; Leviticus 26:16
  • 9. S Leviticus 26:25
  • 10. S 1 Kings 21:19; S 2 Kings 9:36
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 28:26
  • 12. S Leviticus 26:22; Ezekiel 14:21; Ezekiel 33:27
  • 13. Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 34:17
  • 14. S Deuteronomy 28:25; S Job 17:6
  • 15. S 2 Kings 21:2; 2 Kings 23:26-27
  • 16. Isaiah 27:11; Isaiah 51:19; S Jeremiah 13:14; Jeremiah 16:13; Jeremiah 21:7; Nahum 3:7
  • 17. S Deuteronomy 32:15; Jeremiah 6:19; Jeremiah 7:24
  • 18. Isaiah 31:3; Zephaniah 1:4
  • 19. S Jeremiah 7:20; Amos 7:8
  • 20. S Isaiah 41:16
  • 21. Isaiah 3:26
  • 22. Jeremiah 18:21
  • 23. S 2 Chronicles 28:22
  • 24. S Isaiah 47:9
  • 25. S Jeremiah 4:7; S Jeremiah 6:4
  • 26. S Job 18:11
  • 27. 1 Samuel 2:5
  • 28. S Job 8:13
  • 29. Jeremiah 7:19
  • 30. Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 25:31
  • 31. 2 Kings 25:7; Jeremiah 19:7
  • 32. S Job 3:1; S Job 10:18-19
  • 33. Jeremiah 1:19
  • 34. S Leviticus 25:36; Nehemiah 5:1-12
  • 35. S Jeremiah 6:10
  • 36. ver 21; Jeremiah 40:4
  • 37. Jeremiah 21:1-2; Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 42:1-3
  • 38. S Deuteronomy 28:48; Jeremiah 28:14; Lamentations 1:14; Hosea 10:11
  • 39. S 2 Kings 25:15
  • 40. S 2 Kings 24:13; Ezekiel 38:12-13
  • 41. S Psalms 44:12
  • 42. Jeremiah 17:3
  • 43. S Deuteronomy 28:36; S Jeremiah 5:19; Jeremiah 16:13
  • 44. Deuteronomy 32:22; S Psalms 21:9
  • 45. Judges 16:28; S Psalms 119:84; Jeremiah 12:3
  • 46. S Exodus 34:6
  • 47. Psalms 44:22; Psalms 69:7-9; S Jeremiah 6:10
  • 48. Ezekiel 2:8; Ezekiel 3:3; Revelation 10:10
  • 49. S Job 15:11; Psalms 119:72,103
  • 50. S Isaiah 43:7; S Jeremiah 14:9
  • 51. Ruth 3:3; Psalms 1:1; Psalms 26:4-5; Jeremiah 16:8
  • 52. S 2 Kings 3:15
  • 53. S Job 6:4; S Jeremiah 10:19; Jeremiah 30:12; Jeremiah 30:15; Micah 1:9
  • 54. S Job 6:15; S Psalms 9:10
  • 55. Zechariah 3:7
  • 56. S Exodus 4:16
  • 57. S Isaiah 50:7
  • 58. S Psalms 129:2
  • 59. S Jeremiah 1:8; Jeremiah 20:11; Jeremiah 42:11; Ezekiel 3:8
  • 60. S Jeremiah 1:8
  • 61. S Psalms 97:10
  • 62. Jeremiah 50:34
  • 63. S Genesis 48:16

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac (see also 17:4); most Hebrew manuscripts "I will cause your enemies to bring you" / "into"

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

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