Jeremiah 5

Not One Is Upright

1 “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.
2 Although they say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,’ still they are swearing falsely.”
3 LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.
4 I thought, “These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.
5 So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.
6 Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them, a wolf from the desert will ravage them, a leopard will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many.
7 “Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.
8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man’s wife.
9 Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?
10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them, but do not destroy them completely. Strip off her branches, for these people do not belong to the LORD.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me,” declares the LORD.
12 They have lied about the LORD; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.
13 The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them.”
14 Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: “Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes.
15 People of Israel,” declares the LORD, “I am bringing a distant nation against you— an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers are like an open grave; all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust.
18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the LORD, “I will not destroy you completely.
19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’
20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear:
22 Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.
26 “Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people.
27 Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful
28 and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor.
29 Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?
30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?

Jeremiah 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The Jews' profession of religion was hypocritical. (1-9) The cruel proceedings of their enemies. (10-18) Their apostacy and idolatry. (19-31)

Verses 1-9 None could be found who behaved as upright and godly men. But the Lord saw the true character of the people through all their disguises. The poor were ignorant, and therefore they were wicked. What can be expected but works of darkness, from people that know nothing of God and religion? There are God's poor, who, notwithstanding poverty, know the way of the Lord, walk in it, and do their duty; but these were willingly ignorant, and their ignorance would not be their excuse. The rich were insolent and haughty, and the abuse of God's favours made their sin worse.

Verses 10-18 Multitudes are ruined by believing that God will not be so strict as his word says he will; by this artifice Satan undid mankind. Sinners are not willing to own any thing to be God's word, that tends to part them from, or to disquiet them in, their sins. Mocking and misusing the Lord's messengers, filled the measure of their iniquity. God can bring trouble upon us from places and causes very remote. He has mercy in store for his people, therefore will set bounds to this desolating judgment. Let us not overlook the "nevertheless," ver. ( 18 ) . This is the Lord's covenant with Israel. He thereby proclaims his holiness, and his utter displeasure against sin while sparing the sinner, ( Psalms 89:30-35 ) .

Verses 19-31 Unhumbled hearts are ready to charge God with being unjust in their afflictions. But they may read their sin in their punishment. If men will inquire wherefore the Lord doeth hard things unto them, let them think of their sins. The restless waves obeyed the Divine decree, that they should not pass the sandy shores, which were as much a restraint as lofty mountains; but they burst all restraints of God's law, and were wholly gone into wickedness. Neither did they consider their interest. While the Lord, year after year, reserves to us the appointed weeks of harvest, men live on his bounty; yet they transgress against him. Sin deprives us of God's blessings; it makes the heaven as brass, and the earth as iron. Certainly the things of this world are not the best things; and we are not to think, that, because evil men prosper, God allows their practices. Though sentence against evil works is not executed speedily, it will be executed. Shall I not visit for these things? This speaks the certainty and the necessity of God's judgments. Let those who walk in bad ways consider that an end will come, and there will be bitterness in the latter end.

Cross References 80

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 16:9; Ezekiel 22:30
  • 2. Psalms 45:10
  • 3. Genesis 18:32; S Jeremiah 2:29
  • 4. ver 31; Jeremiah 14:14; Ezekiel 13:6
  • 5. S Genesis 18:24
  • 6. S Jeremiah 4:2
  • 7. S Leviticus 19:12
  • 8. 2 Chronicles 16:9
  • 9. S Isaiah 9:13
  • 10. S Leviticus 26:23; Jeremiah 2:30; Zephaniah 3:2
  • 11. Jeremiah 7:26; Jeremiah 19:15; Ezekiel 3:8-9; Ezekiel 36:26; Zechariah 7:12
  • 12. S 2 Chronicles 28:22; S Isaiah 1:5; Ezekiel 2:4-5; Amos 4:6; Zechariah 7:11
  • 13. S ver 21; S Jeremiah 4:22
  • 14. S Proverbs 10:21; S Isaiah 1:3; Jeremiah 8:7
  • 15. Micah 3:1,9
  • 16. Psalms 2:3; S Jeremiah 2:20
  • 17. S Psalms 17:12
  • 18. S Leviticus 26:22
  • 19. Hosea 13:7
  • 20. Jeremiah 14:7; Jeremiah 30:14
  • 21. S Joshua 23:7; Zephaniah 1:5
  • 22. Deuteronomy 32:21; Jeremiah 2:11; Jeremiah 16:20; Galatians 4:8
  • 23. S Numbers 25:1
  • 24. Jeremiah 13:27
  • 25. Jeremiah 29:23; Ezekiel 22:11; Ezekiel 33:26
  • 26. ver 29; Jeremiah 9:9
  • 27. S Isaiah 57:6
  • 28. S Jeremiah 4:27; Amos 9:8
  • 29. S 1 Kings 19:10; S Psalms 73:27; S Isaiah 24:16; Jeremiah 3:20
  • 30. Isaiah 28:15
  • 31. Jeremiah 23:17
  • 32. 2 Chronicles 36:16; Jeremiah 14:13; Jeremiah 27:8
  • 33. Jeremiah 14:15
  • 34. S 2 Chronicles 36:16; S Job 6:26
  • 35. Jeremiah 1:9; Hosea 6:5
  • 36. S Psalms 39:3; Jeremiah 23:29
  • 37. S Isaiah 1:31
  • 38. S Deuteronomy 28:49; S 2 Kings 24:2; Isaiah 5:26; Jeremiah 4:16
  • 39. S Genesis 11:7; S Isaiah 28:11
  • 40. S Job 39:23
  • 41. S Isaiah 1:7; Jeremiah 8:16; Jeremiah 30:16
  • 42. Leviticus 26:16
  • 43. Jeremiah 50:7,17
  • 44. Deuteronomy 28:32
  • 45. Deuteronomy 28:31
  • 46. S Numbers 16:14; Jeremiah 8:13; Hosea 2:12
  • 47. S Leviticus 26:25
  • 48. S Joshua 10:20
  • 49. Deuteronomy 28:33
  • 50. S Jeremiah 4:27
  • 51. S Deuteronomy 4:28; Deuteronomy 29:24-26; S 1 Kings 9:9
  • 52. S Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 15:14; Jeremiah 16:13; Jeremiah 17:4
  • 53. Deuteronomy 28:48
  • 54. S Jeremiah 4:5
  • 55. ver 4; S Deuteronomy 32:6; S Jeremiah 4:22; Habakkuk 2:18
  • 56. Isaiah 6:10; Ezekiel 12:2
  • 57. S Deuteronomy 29:4; S Isaiah 42:20; S Matthew 13:15; Mark 8:18
  • 58. S Deuteronomy 28:58
  • 59. S Job 4:14; S Isaiah 64:2
  • 60. S Genesis 1:9
  • 61. S Psalms 46:3
  • 62. S Deuteronomy 21:18
  • 63. Psalms 14:3
  • 64. Deuteronomy 6:24
  • 65. S Leviticus 26:4; S 2 Samuel 1:21; James 5:7; Psalms 147:8; Joel 2:23
  • 66. S Genesis 8:22; Acts 14:17
  • 67. Psalms 84:11
  • 68. S Matthew 7:15
  • 69. S Psalms 10:8; Proverbs 1:11
  • 70. Ecclesiastes 9:12; Jeremiah 9:8; Hosea 5:1; Micah 7:2
  • 71. Jeremiah 8:5; Jeremiah 9:6
  • 72. Jeremiah 12:1
  • 73. S Deuteronomy 32:15
  • 74. Zechariah 7:10
  • 75. Exodus 22:21-24; S Psalms 82:3; S Isaiah 1:23; Jeremiah 7:6; Ezekiel 16:49; Amos 5:12
  • 76. S Isaiah 57:6
  • 77. ver 30-31; Jeremiah 18:13; Jeremiah 23:14; Hosea 6:10
  • 78. S ver 1; Ezekiel 13:6; Micah 2:11
  • 79. Lamentations 4:13
  • 80. Hosea 9:5

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a further account of the destruction of the Jews by the Chaldeans, and the causes of it, the sins of the people, as want of justice and truth; being so corrupt, that a just and faithful man was not to be found among them; could there, the city would have been pardoned for his sake, Jer 5:1, their swearing falsely by the name of the Lord, Jer 5:2, their incorrigibleness by chastisements, which was the case not only of the lower, but higher rank of people, Jer 5:3-5, wherefore the enemy, who for his cruelty is compared to a lion, a wolf, and a leopard, is threatened to be let in among them, Jer 5:6, then other sins are mentioned as the cause of it, as idolatry and adultery, Jer 5:7-9 hence the enemy has a commission to scale their walls, take away their battlements, though not to make a full end, the Lord disowning them for his, Jer 5:10, because of their perfidy against him, their belying of him, contradicting what he had said, and despising the word sent by his prophets, Jer 5:11-13, wherefore it is threatened, that his word like fire should devour them; and that a distant, mighty, and ancient nation, of a foreign speech, should invade them; who, like an open sepulchre, would devour them, and eat up the increase of their fields, vineyards, flocks, and herds, and impoverish their cities, yet not make a full end of them, Jer 5:14-18, and in just retaliation should they serve strangers in a foreign country, who had served strange gods in their own, Jer 5:19 then a declaration is published, and an expostulation is made with them, who are represented as foolish, ignorant, and blind, that they would fear the Lord; which is pressed by arguments taken from the power of God, in restraining the sea, which had no effect upon them; and from the goodness of God, in giving the former and latter rain, and the appointed weeks of the harvest, which their sins turned away and withheld from them, Jer 5:20-25, and then other sins are mentioned as the cause of God's visiting them in a way of vengeance, as the defrauding of men in trade, and the oppression of the fatherless and the poor in judgment; and false prophesying, to the advantage of the priests, and the king of the people, Jer 5:26-31.

Jeremiah 5 Commentaries