Jeremiah 15:11-14

11 The Lord said: Surely I have intervened in your life for good, surely I have imposed enemies on you in a time of trouble and in a time of distress.
12 Can iron and bronze break iron from the north?
13 Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory.
14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.

Jeremiah 15:11-14 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 15:11-14 In-Context

9 She who bore seven has languished; she has swooned away; her sun went down while it was yet day; she has been shamed and disgraced. And the rest of them I will give to the sword before their enemies, says the Lord.
10 Woe is me, my mother, that you ever 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.
11 The Lord said: Surely I have intervened in your life for good, surely I have imposed enemies on you in a time of trouble and in a time of distress.
12 Can iron and bronze break iron from the north?
13 Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory.
14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.
15 O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance do not take me away; know that on your account I suffer insult.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Heb [intervened with you]
  • [b]. Meaning of Heb uncertain