Jeremiah 16

Distresses Foretold

1 The word of the LORD also came to me saying,
2 "You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place."
3 For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their 1mothers who bear them, and their 2fathers who beget them in this land:
4 "They will 3die of deadly diseases, they 4will not be lamented or buried; they will be as 5dung on the surface of the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their carcasses will become food for the 6birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth."
5 For thus says the LORD, "Do not enter a house of 7mourning, or go to lament or to console them; for I have 8withdrawn My peace from this people," declares the LORD, "My 9lovingkindness and compassion.
6 "Both 10great men and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, they will not be lamented, nor will anyone 11gash himself or 12shave his head for them.
7 "Men will not 13break bread in mourning for them, to comfort anyone for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone's father or mother.
8 "Moreover you shall 14not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink."
9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I am going to 15eliminate from this place, before your eyes and in your time, the voice of rejoicing and the voice of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.
10 "Now when you tell this people all these words, they will say to you, '16For what reason * has the LORD declared all this great calamity against us? And what is our iniquity, or what is our sin which we have committed against the LORD our God?'
11 "Then you are to say to them, 'It is 17because * your forefathers have forsaken Me,' declares the LORD, 'and have followed * 18other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but Me they have forsaken and have not kept My law.
12 'You too have done evil, even 19more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the 20stubbornness of his own 21evil heart, without listening to Me.
13 'So I will 22hurl you out of this land into the 23land which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers; and there you will 24serve other gods day and night, for I will grant you no favor.'

God Will Restore Them

14 "25Therefore behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when it will no longer be said, 'As the LORD lives, who 26brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,'
15 but, 'As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the 27land of the north and from all the countries where * He had banished them.' For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.
16 "Behold, I am going to send for many 28fishermen," declares the LORD, "and they will fish for them; and afterwards * I will send for many hunters, and they will 29hunt them 30from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks.
17 "31For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, 32nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.
18 "I will first 33doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have 34polluted My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their 35detestable idols and with their abominations."
19 O LORD, my 36strength and my stronghold, And my 37refuge in the day of distress, To You the 38nations will come From the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers have inherited nothing but 39falsehood, Futility and 40things of no profit."
20 Can man make gods for himself? Yet they are 41not gods!
21 "Therefore behold, I am going to make them know - This time I will 42make them know My power and My might; And they shall 43know that My name is the LORD."

Jeremiah 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

Prohibitions given to the prophet. (1-9) The justice of God in these judgments. (10-13) Future restoration of the Jews, and the conversion of the Gentiles. (14-21)

Verses 1-9 The prophet must conduct himself as one who expected to see his country ruined very shortly. In the prospect of sad times, he is to abstain from marriage, mourning for the dead, and pleasure. Those who would convince others of the truths of God, must make it appear by their self-denial, that they believe it themselves. Peace, inward and outward, family and public, is wholly the work of God, and from his loving-kindness and mercy. When He takes his peace from any people, distress must follow. There may be times when it is proper to avoid things otherwise our duty; and we should always sit loose to the pleasures and concerns of this life.

Verses 10-13 Here seems to be the language of those who quarrel at the word of God, and instead of humbling and condemning themselves, justify themselves, as though God did them wrong. A plain and full answer is given. They were more obstinate in sin than their fathers, walking every one after the devices of his heart. Since they will not hearken, they shall be hurried away into a far country, a land they know not. If they had God's favour, that would make even the land of their captivity pleasant.

Verses 14-21 The restoration from the Babylonish captivity would be remembered in place of the deliverance from Egypt; it also typified spiritual redemption, and the future deliverance of the church from antichristian oppression. But none of the sins of sinners can be hidden from God, or shall be overlooked by him. He will find out and raise up instruments of his wrath, that shall destroy the Jews, by fraud like fishers, by force like hunters. The prophet, rejoicing at the hope of mercy to come, addressed the Lord as his strength and refuge. The deliverance out of captivity shall be a figure of the great salvation to be wrought by the Messiah. The nations have often known the power of Jehovah in his wrath; but they shall know him as the strength of his people, and their refuge in time of trouble.

Cross References 43

  • 1. Jeremiah 15:8
  • 2. Jeremiah 6:21
  • 3. Jeremiah 15:2
  • 4. Jeremiah 25:33
  • 5. Psalms 83:10; Jeremiah 9:22; Jeremiah 25:33
  • 6. Psalms 79:2; Isaiah 18:6; Jeremiah 15:3; Jeremiah 34:20
  • 7. Ezekiel 24:16-23
  • 8. Jeremiah 12:12; Jeremiah 15:1-4
  • 9. Psalms 25:6; Isaiah 27:11; Jeremiah 13:14
  • 10. 2 Chronicles 36:17; Ezekiel 9:6
  • 11. Deuteronomy 14:1; Jeremiah 41:5; Jeremiah 47:5
  • 12. Isaiah 22:12
  • 13. Deuteronomy 26:14; Ezekiel 24:17; Hosea 9:4
  • 14. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4; Isaiah 22:12-14; Jeremiah 15:17; Amos 6:4-6
  • 15. Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 25:10; Ezekiel 26:13; Hosea 2:11; Revelation 18:23
  • 16. Deuteronomy 29:24; 1 Kings 9:8; Jeremiah 5:19; Jeremiah 13:22; Jeremiah 22:8
  • 17. Deuteronomy 29:25; 1 Kings 9:9; 2 Chronicles 7:22; Nehemiah 9:26-29; Jeremiah 22:9
  • 18. Deuteronomy 29:26; 1 Kings 9:9; Psalms 106:35-41; Jeremiah 5:7-9; Jeremiah 8:2; Ezekiel 11:21; 1 Peter 4:3
  • 19. Jeremiah 7:26
  • 20. 1 Samuel 15:23; Jeremiah 7:24; Jeremiah 9:14; Jeremiah 13:10
  • 21. Ecclesiastes 9:3; Mark 7:21
  • 22. Deuteronomy 4:26, 27; 2 Chronicles 7:20; Jeremiah 15:1
  • 23. Jeremiah 15:14; Jeremiah 17:4
  • 24. Deuteronomy 4:28; Deuteronomy 28:36; Jeremiah 5:19
  • 25. Isaiah 43:18; Jeremiah 23:7
  • 26. Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 15:15
  • 27. Psalms 106:47; Isaiah 11:11-16; Isaiah 14:1; Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 23:8; Jeremiah 24:6
  • 28. Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:14, 15
  • 29. 1 Samuel 26:20; Micah 7:2
  • 30. Isaiah 2:21; Amos 9:3
  • 31. 2 Chronicles 16:9; Job 34:21; Psalms 90:8; Proverbs 5:21; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24; Jeremiah 32:19; Zechariah 4:10; Luke 12:2; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:13
  • 32. Jeremiah 2:22
  • 33. Jeremiah 17:18; Revelation 18:6
  • 34. Numbers 35:33, 34; Jeremiah 2:7; Jeremiah 3:9
  • 35. Jeremiah 7:30; Ezekiel 11:18, 21
  • 36. Psalms 18:1, 2; Isaiah 25:4
  • 37. Nahum 1:7
  • 38. Psalms 22:27; Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 4:2
  • 39. Isaiah 44:20; Habakkuk 2:18
  • 40. Isaiah 44:10
  • 41. Psalms 115:4-8; Isaiah 37:19; Jeremiah 2:11; Jeremiah 5:7; Hosea 8:4-6; Galatians 4:8
  • 42. Psalms 9:16
  • 43. Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 43:3; Jeremiah 33:2; Amos 5:8

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the ruin and destruction of the Jews is set forth, and confirmed by the prophet's being forbid to be merry, or to go into the house of feasting or mourning, with the reasons thereof; also the sins of the people, the cause of it, are pointed at; and afterwards a promise of their restoration is made; and the chapter is concluded with a prayer of the prophet, pressing his faith in the divine protection, and in the calling of the Gentiles. After the preface or introduction, Jer 16:1, the prophet is forbid to take a wife, or have any children, with the reason of it; because that parents and children would die of grievous deaths unlamented, and not be buried, Jer 16:2-4 and he is also forbid to go into the house of mourning, because peace, lovingkindness, and mercy, were taken from the people, and both great and small would die, and no lamentation be made for them, nor have any burial also, Jer 16:5-7, nor might he go into the house of feasting, because the voice of joy and gladness would cease out of the land, Jer 16:8,9, and upon the people's inquiring the reason of all this, the prophet is bid to tell them, that it was for their forsaking the Lord and his worship, and for their idolatrous practices; of which they were more guilty than their forefathers, and therefore would be cast out of the land, and carried captive into a strange country, Jer 16:10-13 but, after all this, they should be restored again to their own land, and have a greater deliverance than that out of Egypt, as they themselves would own, Jer 16:14,15 but before this would be, fishers and hunters should be sent to distress them, and all because of their iniquities, which God's eye was upon, and would recompense, Jer 16:16-18, and the chapter is closed with the prophet's prayer, in which he expresses his faith in the Lord, and in the conversion of the Gentiles, who would be convinced of their idolatry, and made to know the power and name of the Lord, Jer 16:19,20.

Jeremiah 16 Commentaries

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