Yirmeyah 5

1 Run ye to and fro through the chutzot Yerushalayim (streets of Jerusalem), and see now, and know, and seek in the rechovot thereof, if ye can find an ish, if there be any that dispenseth mishpat (justice), that seeketh the emunah (faith); and I will forgive her [Jerusalem].
2 And though they say, Chai Hashem; surely they swear lasheker (falsely).
3 Hashem, are not Thine eyes upon emunah? Thou hast struck them, but they felt no anguish; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to accept musar [cf Isa 53:5]; they have made their faces harder than stone; they have refused to make teshuvah.
4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they know not the Derech Hashem, nor the Mishpat Eloheihem.
5 I will get me unto the Gedolim, and will speak unto them; for they have known the Derech Hashem, and the Mishpat Eloheihem; but these have altogether broken off the ol (yoke), and burst the bonds.
6 Therefore an aryeh (lion) out of the forest shall slay them, and a ze’ev (wolf) of the deserts shall destroy them, a namer (leopard) shall prowl near their towns; every one that ventureth out from there shall be torn to pieces; because their peysha’im (rebellions) are many, and their meshuvot (backslidings) are increased.
7 How shall I forgive thee for this? Thy banim have forsaken Me, and sworn by them that are no elohim; when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and trooped to the bais zonah.
8 They were like well-fed, lusty susim: every one neighed after the isha of his neighbor.
9 Shall I not visit [to punish] for these things? saith Hashem; and shall not My Nefesh be avenged on such a Goy as this?
10 Go ye up through her rows of vines, and cut down; but make not a full end; take away her branches; for they are not Hashem’s.
11 For Bais Yisroel and Bais Yehudah have dealt very treacherously against Me, saith Hashem.
12 They have spoken lies about Hashem, and said, Lo hu (not He); neither shall ra’ah come upon us; neither shall we see cherev nor ra’av (famine);
13 And the nevi’im shall become ru’ach, and the Devar is not in them; thus shall it be done unto them.
14 Therefore thus saith Hashem Elohei Tzva’os, Because ye speak this devar, hinei, I will make My Devarim in thy mouth an eish, and HaAm HaZeh etzim (wood), and it shall consume them.
15 Hineni, I will bring a Goy (Nation) upon you from afar, O Bais Yisroel, saith Hashem; it is a powerful nation, a goy me’olam (an ancient nation), a nation whose leshon thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.
16 Their quiver is as an open kever (grave), they are all gibborim.
17 And they shall devour thine katzir (harvest), and thy lechem, which thy banim and thy banot should eat; they shall devour thy tzon and thine bakar; they shall eat up thy gefen and thy te’enah (fig tree); they shall impoverish thy fortified cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the cherev.
18 Nevertheless in those days, saith Hashem, I will not make a full end with you.
19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Why doeth Hashem Eloheinu all these things unto us? Then shalt thou answer them, As ye have forsaken Me, and served elohei nechar (foreign g-ds, strange g-ds) in your land, so shall ye serve zarim in an eretz not your own.
20 Declare this in Bais Ya’akov, and publish it in Yehudah, saying,
21 Hear now this, O Am Sakhal (foolish people) without understanding; which have eynayim (eyes), and see not; which have oznayim (ears), and hear not;
22 Fear ye not Me? saith Hashem; will ye not tremble at My Presence, Who hath placed the chol (sand) as the boundary of the yam by a chok olam, that it cannot transgress; and though the waves thereof toss, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
23 But HaAm Hazeh hath a lev sorer (stubborn heart) and moreh (rebellious); they have revolted and departed.
24 Neither say they in their lev, Let us now fear Hashem Eloheinu, that giveth geshem, both the yoreh (former rain, autumn rain) and the malkosh (latter rain, spring rain) in season; He secureth unto us shavu’ot chukkot katzir (the appointed weeks of the harvest).
25 Your avonot (iniquities) have turned away these things, and your chatta’ot (sins) have deprived hatov from you.
26 For among Ami are found resha’im; they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a mashkhit (trap), they catch anashim.
27 As a cage is full of oph, so are their batim (houses) full of mirmah; therefore they are become powerful and oshir (rich, wealthy).
28 They have grown fat and sleek; yea, their wicked deeds are without limit; the cause of the yatom they do not plead, yet they prosper; and the mishpat evyonim (right of the poor people) they do not defend.
29 Shall I not visit [to punish] for these things? saith Hashem; shall not My nefesh be avenged on such a Goy (Nation) as this?
30 An astonishing and horrible thing is committed in HaAretz;
31 The nevi’im prophesy falsely, and the kohanim rule at their direction; and My people love to have it this way; but what will ye do in the end?

Yirmeyah 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.

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.

Yirmeyah 5 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.