Jeremiah 15:10-21

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 15:10 in Other Translations

KJV
10 Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.
ESV
10 Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me.
NLT
10 Then I said, “What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay— yet they all curse me.”
MSG
10 Unlucky mother - that you had me as a son, given the unhappy job of indicting the whole country! I've never hurt or harmed a soul, and yet everyone is out to get me.
CSB
10 Woe is me, my mother, that you gave birth to me, a man who incites dispute and conflict in all the land. I did not lend or borrow, yet everyone curses me.

Jeremiah 15:10-21 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 15

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 15:10-21 In-Context

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 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.”

Cross References 32

  • 1. S Job 3:1; S Job 10:18-19
  • 2. Jeremiah 1:19
  • 3. S Leviticus 25:36; Nehemiah 5:1-12
  • 4. S Jeremiah 6:10
  • 5. ver 21; Jeremiah 40:4
  • 6. Jeremiah 21:1-2; Jeremiah 37:3; Jeremiah 42:1-3
  • 7. S Deuteronomy 28:48; Jeremiah 28:14; Lamentations 1:14; Hosea 10:11
  • 8. S 2 Kings 25:15
  • 9. S 2 Kings 24:13; Ezekiel 38:12-13
  • 10. S Psalms 44:12
  • 11. Jeremiah 17:3
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 28:36; S Jeremiah 5:19; Jeremiah 16:13
  • 13. Deuteronomy 32:22; S Psalms 21:9
  • 14. Judges 16:28; S Psalms 119:84; Jeremiah 12:3
  • 15. S Exodus 34:6
  • 16. Psalms 44:22; Psalms 69:7-9; S Jeremiah 6:10
  • 17. Ezekiel 2:8; Ezekiel 3:3; Revelation 10:10
  • 18. S Job 15:11; Psalms 119:72,103
  • 19. S Isaiah 43:7; S Jeremiah 14:9
  • 20. Ruth 3:3; Psalms 1:1; Psalms 26:4-5; Jeremiah 16:8
  • 21. S 2 Kings 3:15
  • 22. S Job 6:4; S Jeremiah 10:19; Jeremiah 30:12; Jeremiah 30:15; Micah 1:9
  • 23. S Job 6:15; S Psalms 9:10
  • 24. Zechariah 3:7
  • 25. S Exodus 4:16
  • 26. S Isaiah 50:7
  • 27. S Psalms 129:2
  • 28. S Jeremiah 1:8; Jeremiah 20:11; Jeremiah 42:11; Ezekiel 3:8
  • 29. S Jeremiah 1:8
  • 30. S Psalms 97:10
  • 31. Jeremiah 50:34
  • 32. 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"
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