Jeremiah 4:1-4

1 “If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the LORD. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray,
2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,’ then the nations will invoke blessings by him and in him they will boast.”
3 This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.

Jeremiah 4:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.
ESV
1 "If you return, O Israel, declares the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from my presence, and do not waver,
NLT
1 “O Israel,” says the LORD, “if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more.
MSG
1 "If you want to come back, O Israel, you must really come back to me. You must get rid of your stinking sin paraphernalia and not wander away from me anymore.
CSB
1 If you return, Israel- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- [if] you return to Me, if you remove your detestable idols from My presence and do not waver,

Jeremiah 4:1-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 4

This chapter begins with several exhortations to repentance; first to Israel, or the ten tribes, to return to the Lord with their whole hearts, and put away their abominations, and serve him in sincerity and uprightness of soul; with promises of rest and safety to themselves; and that it would have a happy influence on the Gentiles, and issue in their conversion; who would hereupon bless themselves in the Lord, and glory in him, Jer 4:1,2, and next to the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, to show a concern for renewing and sanctifying grace, signified by various metaphors, lest they should be consumed with the fire of divine wrath, Jer 4:3,4 and then the destruction of that land and city is foretold and described, partly by what was introductory to it, and the proclamation of it, signified by blowing the trumpet, and setting up the standard, Jer 4:5,6,15,19,20, by an account of the destroyers, their cruelty, swiftness, and diligence, Jer 4:7,13,16,17, and of the destruction itself, compared to a violent wind, Jer 4:11,12, by the effect it should have upon the inhabitants of all sorts, high and low, Jer 4:8,9, and had upon the prophet himself, Jer 4:10,19,21, and by the cause and ground of it, the sins of the people, which they are called upon to repent of, Jer 4:14,17,18,22 and by a vision the prophet had of the dreadful desolation of the land, Jer 4:23-29 and by the vain and false hopes the people would have of their recovery, and the great anxiety and distress they would be in, Jer 4:30,31.

Jeremiah 4:1-4 In-Context

1 “If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the LORD. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray,
2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,’ then the nations will invoke blessings by him and in him they will boast.”
3 This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.
5 “Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say: ‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’ Cry aloud and say: ‘Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!’
6 Raise the signal to go to Zion! Flee for safety without delay! For I am bringing disaster from the north, even terrible destruction.”
7 A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitant.
8 So put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORDhas not turned away from us.

Cross References 13

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 4:30; S 2 Kings 17:13; S Hosea 12:6; Jeremiah 3:1,22; Joel 2:12
  • 2. S 2 Kings 21:4; Jeremiah 16:18; Jeremiah 35:15; Ezekiel 8:5
  • 3. Deuteronomy 10:20; S Isaiah 19:18; Isaiah 65:16
  • 4. S Numbers 14:21; Jeremiah 5:2; Jeremiah 12:16; Jeremiah 44:26; Hosea 4:15
  • 5. S Genesis 12:2; Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:8
  • 6. Jeremiah 9:24
  • 7. Hosea 10:12
  • 8. Mark 4:18
  • 9. S Leviticus 26:41; Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 9:26; Romans 2:28-29
  • 10. Zephaniah 1:18; Zephaniah 2:2
  • 11. S Job 41:21
  • 12. S Exodus 32:22
  • 13. Isaiah 1:31; Amos 5:6
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