« ElőzőTovább »
13. after 18. after 18.
iii. 6.-iv. 4.
1 or 2. 1 or 2. 3 or 4. 4.
4 or 5.
Xxiv. 1-10. xxix. 1-32
The fourth collection, containing chapters xl.—xliv. inclu- synopsis, which accordingly consists of four parts, and sive, presents us with an account of Jeremiah himself, and thirty-one prophetic discourses :of the other Jews who were left in Judæa by the command The INTRODUCTION to the book contains its title (i. 1-3.), of Nebuchadnezzar. The fifty-second chapter was probably the call of Jeremiah to the prophetical office, and the com added by Ezral as a preface to the book of Lamentations. mission given him by God (4-10.); the purport of which is It is chiefly taken out of the latter part of the second book of explained by two symbolical images or visions, that of an Kings, with additions, which Ezra might supply out of the almond tree (11.) indicating the nearness, and the vision of inspired records, and forms a very useful appendage to the a seething-pot typifying the severity, of the divine judgments. prophecies of Jeremiah, as it illustrates their fulfilment in the The face of the pot being turned from the north denoted that destruction of the kingdom, city, and temple, which are the they were to be inflicted by the Babylonians and Chaldæans, subject of the Lamentations.
whose empire lay to the north of Judæa, and poured forth its III. From the preceding statements it is obvious that the multitudes like a thick vapour to overspread the land. prophecies of Jeremiah are not arranged in the chronological order in which they were originally delivered; the cause of Part. I. comprises such Prophecies as were delivered in the their transposition it is now impossible to ascertain.
Reign of Josiah. (ch. ii.-xii.) Professor Dahler of Strasbourg, in his French version of Discourse 1. God, by his prophet, professes to retain the same this prophet, divides the book into fifty-five sections, which kindness and favourable disposition for the Jews (ii. 1-3.), he disposes in the following manner ; viz.
with whom he expostulates on account of their ungrateful 1. Discourses published during the Reign of Josiah.
returns for his past goodness (4-13.), and shows that it was Chapter
their own extreme and unparalleled wickedness and disloyalty Year of Reign. Chapter Year of Reign.
which had already subjected, and would still expose them to
calamities and misery. (14—30.) This discourse concludes ii. 1.-iij. 5.
with a pathetic address, exhorting the Jews to return to God, 2. Discourses published during the Reign of Jehoiakim.
with an implied promise of acceptance, and lamenting the Chapter Year of Reign. Chapter. Year of Reign. necessity under which he was, through their continued ob
stinacy, of giving them further marks of his displeasure. (31 -37. iii. 1–5.) Dr. Blayney (to whom we are indebted for this analysis of Jeremiah's writings) thinks that this prophecy was delivered soon after the commencement of Jeremiah's
DISCOURSE 2. consists of two parts. The first part contains a 3. Discourses published during the Reign of Jeconiah. complaint against Judah for having exceeded the guilt of her Chap. xiii. 1-27.
sister Israel, whom God had already cast off for her idolatrous 4. Discourses published during the Reign of Zedekiah. apostasy. (iii. 6—12.) The charge of Judah with hypocrisy Chapter Year of Reign. Chapter Year of Reign.
in the tenth verse points out the date of this prophetic disxxii. 1.-xxiii. 8.
course to have been some time after the eighteenth year of
Josiah's reign, when the people, under the influence of their xi. 18.--xii. 13. .
good king, were professedly engaged in measures of reforma
tion, which, however, are here declared to have been insinxxvii. 1.-xxviii. 17. 4.
The prophet is then commissioned to announce to Israel the promise of pardon upon her repentance, and the
hope of a glorious restoration in after-times, which are plainly 5. History of Jeremiah, and Discourses addressed by him to indicated to be the times of the Gospel, when the Gentiles
the Jews who were left in Palestine after the Capture of themselves were to become a part of the church. (12—21.) Jerusalem.
The children of Israel, confessing and bewailing their sins, Chapter Year after Jer, taken. Chapter Year after Jer, taken. have the same comfortable assurances, as before, repeated to
them. (22–25. iv. 1, 2.) In the second part, which is pre
faced with an address to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, 6. Discourses addressed to the Jews in Egypt.
exhorting them to prevent the divine judgments by a timely Chapter.
repentance (iv. 3—5.), the Babylonian invasion is clearly and
fully predicted, with all its attendant miseries; and the uni xlvi. 13–28.
versal and incorrigible depravity of the people is represented 7. Discourses of uncertain Date concerning foreign Nations.
at large, and stated to be the justly provoking cause of the
national ruin. (iv. 6–31. v. vi.) xlvi. 1.- xlix. 1–6. concerning the
DISCOURSE 3. Although the date of this prophecy is not pre
cisely marked, Dr. Blayney thinks it probable that it was de
livered shortly after the preceding, and, it should seem, on the 11.-li. 58-64..
following occasion. Besides the prophets who were com8. An Historical Appendix, chap. lii. 1–34.
missioned to announce the approaching calamities of Judah A somewhat different arrangement, and more simple than and Jerusalem, there were others who took upon themselves the preceding, was proposed by the Rev. Dr. Blayney in his to flatter the people with opposite predictions. They taught version of the writings of Jeremiah ; who has endeavoured, them to regard such threats as groundless; since God (they with great judgment, to restore their proper order by trans- said) would have too much regard for his own honour to sufposing the chapters wherever it appeared to be necessary. fer his temple to be profaned, and the seat of his holiness to According to his arrangement, the predictions of Jeremiah
be given up into the hands of strangers. In the former part of are to be placed in the following order; viz.
this discourse, therefore, Jeremiah is commanded openly to re1. The Prophecies delivered in the Reign of Josiah, contain
prove the falsehood of those assertions, and to show, by an exing chapters 1.-xii. inclusive.
ample in point, that the sanctity of the place would afford no 2. The Prophecies delivered in the Reign of Jehoiakim, com
security to the guilty ; but that God would assuredly do by his prising chapters xiii.—xx. xxii. xxiii. xxxv. xxxvi. xlv.
house at Jerusalem, what he had done unto Shiloh, and would xlvüi.
and xlix. 1-33. 3. The Prophecies delivered in the Reign of Zedekiah, includ
cast the people of Judah out of his sight, as he had already
cast off the people of Israel for their wickedness. (vii. 1-16.) ing chapters xxi. xxiv. xxvii.-xxxiv. xxxvii.-xxxix. xlix.
God justifies the severity of his proceedings by a representa34–39. and 1. li. 4. The Prophecies delivered under the Government of Gedaliah,
tion of the people's impiety and idolatry. (17—20.) The profrom the taking of Jerusalem to the retreat of the people into
phet declares that their sacrifices would be unacceptable, while Egypt, and the prophecies of Jeremiah delivered to the
they continued deaf to the calls of God's messengers (21– Jews in that country; comprehending chapters xl.—xliv.
28.); he further specifies the gross idolatries with which they inclusive.
were defiled, and pronounces a heavy sentence of divine venAs this arrangement throws much light upon the predic
geance both on the dead and on the living. (29–34. viii. tions of Jeremiah, it has been adopted in the following
1-3.) In the latter part of this discourse, the prophet, at
first, in the name of Jehovah, reproves the Jews, who vainly 1 Carpzov ascribes it to Baruch, or some other inspired man. Introd. pars 1. p. 152
thought that He would save them because they had his law VOL. II.
10. 10. 10. 10. 10. 10. 10. 11. 11.
xlix. 3439 li. 59_64. xxi. 1-14.
XIXIX 11 xi.xli. 18.
among them, though they kept not that law. (viii. 4—17.) | DISCOURSE 6. Under the type of breaking a potter's vessel, is Next, in his own person, Jeremiah gives vent to his lamenta- foretold the similar ruin and desolation of the kingdom of Jutions at the foresight of the calamities which the Chaldæans dah and the city of Jerusalem for their sins (xix.); and a would inflict upon the Jews (18—22. ix.); and earnestly dis- severe judgment is denounced against Pashur for apprehending suades his countrymen from idolatry (x. 1-18.), setting forth and punishing Jeremiah (xx. 1–6.), who complains of the the vanity of idols in comparison with the true God. Jeru- persecutions he met with. (7—18.) salem is then introduced, as lamenting the completion of her Discourse 7. is supposed to have been delivered immediately ruin, and humbly supplicating the divine mercy. (19—25.) after the preceding, and in the precincts of the temple, whence In perusing this part of the prophet's discourse, the difference the prophet is commanded to “go down to the house of the of speakers must be attended to; the transition from one to king of Judah.” It commences with an address to the king, another being very quick and sudden, but full of animation his servants, and people, recommending an inviolable adheand energy
rence to right and justice as the only means of establishing the DiscoURSE 4. was probably delivered towards the close of Jo- throne, and preventing the ruin of both prince and people.
siah's reign;' when the people, having forgotten the solemn (xxii. 1-9.) The captivity of Shallum is declared to be irrecovenant-engagements which they had made in the 18th year versible. (10—12.) Jehoiakim is severely reproved for his of Josiah (2 Kings xxii. 3. xxiii. 3.) are supposed to have re- tyrannical expressions, and his miserable end is foretold. (13 lapsed into their former disregard and neglect of the divine -19.) His family is threatened with a continuance of similaw. The prophet was, therefore, sent to recall them to their lar calamities; the fall and captivity of his son Jeconiah are duty, by proclaiming anew the terms of the covenant, and explicitly set forth, together with the perpetual exclusion of rebuking them sharply for their hereditary disobedience. (xi. his posterity from the throne. (20—30.) The prophecy con148.) He denounces severe judgments against the people of cludes with consolatory promises of future blessings, of the Judah and Jerusalem for their idolatrous apostasy. (9—17.) return of the people from captivity, and of happier times under Being informed, by divine revelation, of the conspiracy of the better governors; of the glorious establishment of Messiah's men of Anathoth against his life, he prays against them, and kingdom; and of the subsequent final restoration of all the is authorized to foretell their utter destruction (18—23.); and, dispersed Israelites to their own land. (xxii1–8.) emboldened by the success of his prayers, he expostulates with Discou'RSE 8. denounces the divine judgments against false proGod concerning the prosperity of the wicked (xii. 1–6.), phets, and mockers of true prophets. (xxiii. 9—40.) who answers the prophet's expostulation (7—13.), and pro- Discourse 9. predicts their subjugation, together with that of mises the future restoration of his people, with a retaliation in the neighbouring nations, to the king of Babylon for seventy kind upon their heathen neighbours who had oppressed them: years (xxv, 1-11.), at the expiration of which Baby lon was to but with this reservation, that such of them as would embrace be destroyed (12—14.); and the destruction of Judah and the worship of the true God, would be received and incorpo- several other countries (including Babylon herself, here called rated into his church, while the unbelieving part would utterly Sheshach), is prefigured by the prophet's drinking a cup of perish. (14-17.)
wine. (15—38.) Part II. contains the Prophecies delivered in the reign of Jeho- Discourse 10. Jeremiah being directed to foretell the destruciakim,
tion of the temple and city of Jerusalem, without a speedy Discourse 1. comprises a single and distinct prophecy ; which,
repentance and reformation (xxvi. 1–6.), is apprehended and
accused before the council of a capital offence, but is acquitted, under two symbols, a linen girdle left to rot, and the breaking
his advocate urging the precedent of Micah in the reign of of bottles (that is, skins) filled with wine, foretells the utter
Hezekiah. (7-19.) The sacred writer then observes, in his destruction that was destined to fall on the whole Jewish na
own person, that notwithstanding the precedent of Micah, tion. (xiii. 1—14.) An exhortation to humiliation and repent
there had been a later precedent in the present reign, which ance is subjoined (v. 15—21.); and their incorrigible wickedness and profligacy are assigned as the cause of all the evils
might have operated very unfavourably to the cause of Jerethat imminently awaited them. (22—27.) The particular
miah, but for the powerful intiuence and authority exercised
in his behalf by Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. (20—24.). mention of the downfall of the king and queen in the 18th Discocese 11. The Jews' disobedience to God is condemned by verse, Dr. Blayney thinks, will justify the opinion which as
comparison with the obedience of the Rechabites to the comcribes this prophecy to the commencement of the reign of
mands of Jonadab their father, who had prescribed to them a Jehoiakim, whose fate, with that of his queen, is in like man
certain rule of life. A blessing is promised to the Rechabites ner noticed together in ch. xxii. 18. Discourse 2. was, in all probability, delivered shortly after the Discourse 12. By divine appointment Jeremiah causes Baruch
for their dutiful behaviour. (xxxv.) preceding. It predicts a severe famine, to punish the Jews for their sins, but which does not bring them to repentance (xiv.
to write all his former prophecies in a roll, and to read them 1-22.); and announces God's peremptory decree to destroy
to the people on a fast-day. (xxxvi. 1-10.) The princes
being informed of it, send for Baruch, who reads the roll be Judah, unless they should speedily repent. (xv. 1-9.) The prophet, complaining that he is become an object of hatred by
fore them. (11-15.) Filled with consternation at its conreason of his oflice, receives an assurance of divine protection,
tents, they advise Jeremiah and Baruch to hide themselves on condition of obedience and fidelity on his part. (10—21.)
(16—19.); they acquaint the king, who sends for the roll, Discourse 3. foretells the utter ruin of the Jews, in the type of
and having heard part of its contents, he cuts it to pieces, and the prophet being forbidden to marry and to feast (xvi. 1—13.);
burns it. (20—26.) Jeremiah is commanded to write it anew, and immediately afterwards announces their future restoration
and to denounce the judgments of God against Jehoiakim
(27—31.) Baruch accordingly writes a new copy with addi (14, 15.), as well as the conversion of the Gentiles (16—21.); accompanied with a severe reproof of the Jews for their attach
tions (32.); but being greatly alarmed at the threatenings ment to idolatry (the fatal consequences of which are announc
contained in those predictions, and being perhaps afraid of ed), and also for their too great reliance on human aid. (xvii.
sharing in the persecutions of the prophet, God commissions
Jeremiah to assure Baruch that his life should be preserved by 1—18.) Discourse 4. is taken up with a distinct prophecy relative to the
a special providence amidst all the calamities denounced against strict observance of the Sabbath-day (xvii. 19-27.), which DiscourSE 13. contains a series of prophecies against severa.
Judah. (xlv.) Jeremiah was commanded to proclaim aloud in all the gates of Jerusalem, as a matter that concerned the conduct of each
heathen nations (xlvi. 1.), which are supposed to have been individual, and the general happiness of the whole nation.
placed towards the close of the book of Jeremiah, as being in Discourse 5. shows, under the type of a potter, God's absolute
some measure unconnected with the others. As, however, in authority over nations and kingdoms, to alter and regulate
point of time, they were evidently delivered during the reign their condition at his own discretion. (xviii. 1-10.) The
of Jehoiakim, they may with great propriety be referred to the prophet is then directed to exhort the Jews to avert their im
present section. In this discourse are comprised, pending dangers by repentance and amendment, and, on their (1.) A prophecy of the defeat of the Egyptians that garrisoned Carche. refusal, to foretell their destruction. (11-17.) The Jews
mish, by the Chaldæans (xlvi. 2--12.), and of the entire conquest of
that conntry by Nebuchadnezzar. (13-2) conspiring against him, Jeremiah implores judgment against (2.) Predictions of the subjugation of the land of the Philistines, includ them. (18—23.)
ing Tyre (xlvii.), and also of the Moabites (xlviii.), by the forces of
(3.) Predictions of the conquest of the Ammonites (xlix. 1–6.) by the 1 Mr. Reeves and other commentators refer it to the commencement of Jehoiakim's reign, and consequently after the death of Josiah.
same inonarch, and likewise of the land of Edom (7--22), of Damascus (23--27.), and of Kedar. (28–33.)
Part III. contains the Prophecies delivered in the reign of had broken off the siege in order to encounter the Egyptian Zedekiah King of Judah.
army, severely reproves and threatens the Jews for their perDiscourse 1. A prediction of the conquest of Elam or Persia by fidious violation of the covenant they had newly made of obethe Chaldæans, delivered in the beginning of Zedekiah's reign.
dience to God. (8—22.) (xlix. 34—39.) On the final subversion of the Babylonish DiscourSE 9. Jeremiah foretells the retreat of the Egyptians, monarchy, Elam was restored (as promised in ver. 39.) to its and the return of the Chaldæans to the siege of Jerusalem, former possessors, who had fought under the banners of the which should be taken and burnt by the forces of NebuchadMedes and Persians.
nezzar. (xxxvii. 1-10.) For this he was put into a dungeon DISCOURSE 2. Under the type of good and bad figs, God repre- (11--15.), from which he was released, but still kept a pri
sents to Jeremiah the different manner in which he should soner, though the rigour of his confinement was abated. deal with the people that were already gone into captivity, and (16--21.) with Zedekiah and his subjects who were left behind ;-show- Discourse 10. confirms the promised return of the Jews from ing favour and kindness to the former in their restoration and captivity, by Jeremiah being commanded to buy a field. re-establishment, but pursuing the latter with unrelenting judg- (xxxii.) ments to utter destruction. (xxiv.)
Discourse 11. predicts the restoration of Israel and Judah DISCOURSE 3. The Jews at Babylon are warned not to believe (xxxiii. 1—9.), and that the land, whose desolation the Jews
such as pretended to foretell their speedy return into their own deplored, should again flourish with multitudes of men and catcountry (xxix. 1-23.); and judgment is denounced against tle (10—13.); whence the prophet takes occasion to confirm Shemaiah for writing against Jeremiah to the Jews at Baby- his former promise of establishing a perpetual kingdom of lon (24–32.) Dr. Blayney has remarked that, in the Sep- righteousness under the Messiah. (14—26.) This evangelituagint version, the fifteenth verse of this chapter is read im- cal prediction is, as yet, unfulfilled. “ The days, it is evident, mediately after verse 20., which seems to be its original and are not yet arrived, though they will certainly come, for the proper place.
performance of God's good promise concerning the restoration DISCOURSE 4. contains prophecies of the restoration of the Jews of the house of Israel and the house of Judah, under Christ
from Babylon, but chiefly from their dispersion by the Romans, THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS." on their general conversion to Christianity (xxx.); and pre- DiscounSE 12. contains the last transaction in which Jeremiah dicts their happy state after that glorious event shall be accom- was prophetically concerned before the taking of Jerusalem. plished (xxxi. 1—26.), concluding with a fuller prophecy It relates the imprisonment of Jeremiah in a deep and miry describing the Gospel state, as also the state of the Jews after dungeon, at the instance of the princes of Judah (xxxviii. their conversion. (27—38.) “ Both events," Dr. Blay ney re- 1–6.); his deliverance thence (7–13.); and the prophet's marks,“ are frequently thus connected together in the pro- advice to Zedekiah, who had consulted him privately, to subphetic writings, and perhaps with this design, that when that mit himself to the Chaldæans. (14—27.) The capture of the which was nearest at hand should be accomplished, it might city, the flight of Zedekiah, and the particulars of his punish. afford the strongest and most satisfactory kind of evidence, that ment after he had been taken and brought before the king of the latter, how remote soever its period, would in like manner Babylon, are then related (xxxix. 1-10.) together with the be brought about by the interposition of Providence in its due kind treatment of the prophet in consequence of a special season.
charge from Nebuchadnezzar. (11-13.) In conclusion, the Discor Rse 5. Zedekiah, in the fourth year of his reign, being piety of Ebedmelech is rewarded with a promise of personal
solicited by ambassadors from the kings of Edom, Moab, and safety amidst the ensuing public calamities. (15—18.) other neighbouring nations, to join them in a confederacy against the king of Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah is ordered, Part IV. contains a particular Account of what passed in the under the type of bonds and yokes, to admonish them, espe
Land of Judah, from the taking of Jerusalem to the Retreat cially Zedekiah, quietly to submit to the king of Babylon, and
of the Jewish People into Egypt, and the Prophecies of Jerewarns them not to listen to the suggestions of false prophets
miah concerning them while in that Country. (xxvii.); and the death of Hananiah, who was one of them, Discourse 1. Jeremiah has his choice either to go to Babylon, is foretold within the year (xxviii. 1–16.), who died accord
or to remain in Judæa (xl. 1–6.), whither the dispersed Jews ingly about two months after. (17.)
repaired to Gedaliah the governor (7—12.); who being treaDiscounse 6. contains a prophecy concerning the fall of Baby
cherously slain (13—16. xli, 1-10.), the Jews left in Judæa lon, intermixed and contrasted with predictions concerning the intend to go down to Egypt (11-18.), from which course the redemption of Israel and Judah, who were not, like their prede
prophet dissuades them. (xlii.) cessors, to be finally extirpated, but to survive, and, upon their Discourse 2. The Jews going into Egypt contrary to the divine repentance and conversion, they were to be pardoned and re
command (xliii. 1—7.), Jeremiah foretells to them the conquest stored. (1. li. 1–58.) This prophecy against Babylon was
of that kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar (8—13.); he predicts delivered in the fourth year of Zedekiah's reign, and sent to
destruction to all the Jews that willingly went into Egypt the Jews there, in order to be read to them: after which it was
(xliv. 1–13.), whose obstinate idolatry is related (14—19.), to be sunk in the Euphrates, as a type of the perpetual destruc
destruction is denounced against them, and the dethronement tion of Babylon.
of Pharaoh Hophrah king of Egypt (by profane authors called Discocese 7. was probably delivered in the ninth year of Zede
Apries) is foretold. (20—30.) kiah, previously to the siege of Jerusalem, which commenced
The Conclusion of Jeremiah's prophecy, containing the in the tenth month of that year. In this prophecy Jeremiah fifty-second chapter, was added after his time, subsequently (who had been requested to “ inquire of the Lord” for his to the return from captivity, of which it gives a short account, countrymen) foretells a severe siege and miserable captivity, and forms a proper argument or introduction to the Lamentaand advises the people to yield to the Chaldæans (xxi. 1-10.); tions of Jeremiah. and the members of the royal house are warned to prevent the IV. Although the greater part of Jeremiah's predictions effects of God's indignation by doing justice, and not to trust related to his countrymen the Jews, many of whom lived to to their stronghold, which would be of no avail whatever to behold their literal fúlfilment, and thus attested his prophetic
them when God was bent upon their destruction. (11—14.) mission, while several of his predictions concerned other Discourse 8. consists of two distinct prophecies. The first
, nations (as will be seen from the preceding analysis); yet probably delivered towards the close of the ninth year of Zede- two or three of his prophecies so clearly announce thé Meskiah's reign, announces to the Jewish monarch the capture and siah, that it would be a blamable omission were we to pass burning of Jerusalem, his own captivity, peaceful death, and them unnoticed. honourable interment. (xxxiv. 1-7.) The second prophecy, In ch. xxiii. 5, 6. is foretold the mediatorial kingdom of which was announced some time after, when the Chaldæans the Messiah, who is called the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
On this passage Dr. Hales has cited the following remark • The fifty first chapter of Jeremiah closes with the following sentence: from the ancient rabbinical book of Ikkarim, which (he " Thus far are the words of Jeremiah ;" which, Dr. Blayney thinks, was observes) well expresses the reason of the appellation : added by the person whoever it might hes that collected is prophecies - The Scripture calls the name of the Messiah,
JAOH, our This sentence does not occur in the Septuagint version, where | RIGHTEOUSNESS, to intimate that he will be A MEDIATORIAL indeed it could not be introduced at the end of this chapter, because the God, by whose hand we shall obtain justification from the chapters are arranged differently in that version; and chapter li. forms Name? wherefore it calls him by the name of the Name prophecies is, apparently, so arbitrary, that it is not likely that it was made under the prophet's direction.
9 See p. 273. supra of this volume.
(that is, the ineffable name JAOH, here put for GoD HIM | Elegy 1. The prophet begins with lamenting the sad reverse SELF).'
of fortune which his country had experienced, confessing at Again, in Jer. xxxi. 22. we have a distinct prediction of the same time that all her miseries were the just consequences the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ;? and in xxxi. 31 of the national wickedness and rebellion against God. In the -36. and xxxiii. 8. the efficacy of Christ's atonement, the midst of his discourse he withdraws himself from view, and spiritual character of the new covenant, and the inward introduces Jerusalem, to continue the complaint, and humbly efficacy of the Gospel, are most clearly and emphatically to solicit the divine compassion. Jahn is of opinion, that, in • described. Compare Saint Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, this elegy, Jeremiah deplores the deportation of king Jehoiach. viii. 8–13. and x. 16. et seq.
chin, and ten thousand of the principal Jews, Babylon. V. The Style of Jeremiah, though not deficient in elegance Compare 2 Kings xxiv, 8–17. and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 9, 10. or sublimity, is considered by Bishop Lowth as being inferior ELEGY 2. Jeremiah gives a melancholy detail of the dire effects in both respects to Isaiah. Jerome, after some Jewish
of the divine anger in the subversion of the civil and religious writers, has objected to the prophet a certain rusticity of constitution of the Jews, and in that extreme misery to which expression, which however it is very difficult to trace.
every class of individuals was reduced. He represents the Though the sentiments of Jeremiah are not always the most
wretchedness of his country as unparalleled ; and charges the elevated, nor his periods uniformly neat and compact;, yet
false prophets with having betrayed her into ruin by their his style is in a high degree beautiful and tender, especially
false and flattering suggestions. In this forlorn and desolate when he has occasion to excite the softer passions of grief
condition,—the astonishment and by-word of all who see and pity, which is frequently the case in the earlier parts of
her, -Jerusalem is directed earnestly to implore the removal his prophecies. These are chiefly poetical. The middle
of those heavy judgments which God, in the height of his of his book is almost entirely historical, and is written in a
displeasure, had intlicted upon her.-Jahn thinks that this plain prosaic style, suitable to historical narrative. On many
elegy was composed on the storming of Jerusalem by the occasions he is very elegant and sublime, especially in xlvi. Lli. 1–59. which are wholly poetical, and in which the ELEGY 3. The prophet, hy describing his own most severe and
Babylonian army: prophet approaches very near the sublimity of Isaiah.s
trying afflictions, and setting forth the inexhaustible mercies
of God, as the never-failing source of his consolation, exhorts § 2. ON THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH.
his countrymen to be patient and resigned under the divine 1. Author, date, and argument of the book.-II. Synopsis of
chastisements. He asserts the divine supremacy in the disits contents.—III. Observations on its style and structure.
pensations of good and evil, and argues that no man has a
right to complain, when he is punished according to his de1. THAT Jeremiah was the author of the Elegies or serts. He recommends it to his fellow-sufferers to examine Lamentations which bear his name is evident, not only from
themselves, and to turn to God with contrite hearts; and cona very ancient and almost uninterrupted tradition, but also
cludes by expressing his hope, that the same Providence that from the argument and style of the book, which correspond
had formerly delivered him, would frustrate the malice of his exactly with those of his prophecies.
present enemies, and would turn the scornful reproach, which Josephus, Jerome, Juníus, Archbishop Usher, Michaelis, Dathe, and other eminent writers, are of opinion, that the ELEGY 4. exhibits a striking contrast, in various affecting in
they had cast upon him, to their own confusion. Lamentations of Jeremiah were the same which are mentioned in 2 Chron. xxxv. 25. as being composed by the
stances, between the present deplorable and wretched condi
tion of the Jewish nation and their former flourishing affairs ; prophet on the death of the pious king Josiah, and which are there said to have been perpetuated by
and ascribes the unhappy change chiefly to the protligacy of
an ordinance in Israel.” But, whatever may have become of those Lament
its priests and prophets. The people proceed with lamenting ations, it is evident that these cannot possibly be the same;
their hopeless condition, especially the captivity of their sovefor their whole tenor plainly shows, that they were not com
reign Zedekiah. This elegy concludes with predicting the posed till after the subversion of the kingdom of Judah.
judgments that were impending over the Edomites, together The calamities which Jeremiah had foretold in his prophecies
with a final cessation of Sion's calamities. are here deplored as having actually taken place, viz. the ELXGI 5. is an epilogue or conclusion to the preceding chapters impositions of the false prophets who had seduced the people
or elegies. In the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulgate versions, this by their lying declarations, the destruction of the holy city
chapter is entitled The PRAYER OF JEREMIAH ; but no such and temple, the overthrow of the state, and the extermination
title appears in the Hebrew copies, or in the Septuagint verof the people.
But though it be allowed that the Lamenta- sion. It is rather, as Dr. Blayney has remarked, a memorial tions were primarily intended as a pathetic description of representing, in the name of the whole body of Jewish exiles, present calamities, yet it has with great probability been the numerous calamities under which they groaned; and conjectured that, while Jeremiah mourns the desolation of humbly supplicating God to commiserate their wretchedness, Judah and Jerusalem, he may be considered as prophetically and to restore them once more to his favour, and to their anpainting the still greater miseries they were to suffer at some cient prosperity. future time; and this seems plainly indicated by his referring III. The Lamentations are evidently written in metre, and to the time when the punishment of their iniquity shall be contain a number of plaintive effusions composed after the accomplished, and they shall no more be carried into captivity. manner of funeral dirges. Bishop Lowth is of opinion that (iv. 22.)? JI. This book, which in our Bible is divided into five his mind, in a long course of separate stanzas, and that they
they were originally written by the prophet, as they arose in chapters, consists of five distinct elegies; viz.
were subsequently collected into one poem. Each elegy
consists of twenty-two periods, according to the number of · Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii
. book i. p. 481. who cites letters in the Hebrew alphabet; although it is in the four Buxtorf's Lexicon, voce nin!. Dr. H. thinks that Paul derived the decla. first chapters only that the several periods begin (after the ration he has made concerning Jesus Christ, in 1 Cor. i. 30. and Pbil. ii. 9- manner of an acrostic) with the different letters following
Professor Dahler considers this simply as a proverbial expression; and each other in alphabetical order. By this contrivance, the Dr. Blayney in his translation of Jeremiah, have denied the application of in the third chapter, where each period contains three verses, the modern Jews, and a few Christian interpreters, particularly the late metre is more precisely marked and ascertained, particularly this prophecy to the Messiah : but the following reinarks will shutikat tbis all having the same initial letter. The two first chapters, in cerning the seed of the woman, followed this prediction of the prophet := like manner, consist of triplets, excepting only the seventh a man. (Jer. xxxi. 22.) That new creation of a man is therefore new, and which has a supernumerary line. The fourth chapter resemThe Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass period of the first and the nineteenth of the second, each of compassing a man. This interpretation is ancient, literal, and clear. The bles the three former in ‘metre, but the periods are only words import a miraculous conception: the ancient Jeurs acknowledged couplets; and in the fifth chapter the periods are couplets, illustrated by that of Isaiah vii. 14.-Bp. Pearson on the Creed, art. ii. po though of a considerably shorter measure. 171. edit. 1715, folio.
Although there is no artificial or methodical arrangement + See the whole of ch. ix. ch. xiv. 17. &c. and xx. 14—18.
of the subject in these incomparable elegies, yet they are s Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. pp. 88, 89.
totally free from wild incoherency or abrupt transition. • Prof. Pareau has ainply proved this point from a general collation of Never, perhaps, was there a greater variety of beautiful, the Prophecies of Jereiniah with select passages of this book, in the pre tender, and pathetic images, all expressive of the deepest liminary Dissertation to his Latin version of ihe Lamentations (Lug. Bat. distress and sorrow, more happily chosen and applied than 1790. 960.), illustrated with notes.
* Bishop Tomline's Elements of Christian Theology, vol. i. pp. 112, 113. ' in the lamentations of this prophet; nor can we too much
3 Prer. ad Coin. in Jerem.
admire the full and graceful flow of that pathetic eloquence, rature of the Chaldæans, which at that time was greatly in which the author pours forth the effusions of a patriot superior to the learning of the ancient Egyptians, he afterheart, and piously weeps over the ruin of his venerable wards held a very distinguished office in the Babylonian country.
empire. (Dan. i. 1—4.) He was contemporary with Ezekiel, who mentions his extraordinary piety and wisdom (Ezek.
xiv. 14. 20.), and the latter even at that time seems to have 3. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET HABAKKUK.
become proverbial. (Ezek. xxviii. 3.) Daniel lived in great 1. Author and date.--II. Analysis of his prophecy.—III. 06- credit with the Babylonian monarchs; and his uncommon servations on his style.
merit procured him the same regard from Darius and Cyrus,
the two first sovereigns of Persia. He lived throughout the BEFORE CHRIST, 612_598.
captivity, but it does not appear that he returned to his own I. We have no certain information concerning the tribe or country when Cyrus permitted the Jews to revisit their native birth-place of Habakkuk. The pseudo-Epiphanius affirms land. The pseudo-Epiphanius, who wrote the lives of the that he was of the tribe of Simeon, and was born at Beth- prophets, says that he died at Babylon; and this assertion cazar. Some commentators have supposed that he prophesied has been adopted by most succeeding writers: but as the last in Judæa in the reign of Manasseh, but Archbishop Usher of his visions, of which we have any account
, took place in places him, with greater probability, in the reign of Jehoia- the third year of Cyrus, about 534 years before the Christian kim. Compare Hah. i. 5, 6. Consequently this prophet was æra, when he was about ninety-four years of age and resided contemporary with Jeremiah. Several apocryphal predictions at Susa on the Tigris, it is not improbable that he died there. and other writings are ascribed to Habakkuk, but without Although the name of Daniel is not prefixed to his book, any foundation. His genuine writings are comprised in the the many passages in which he speaks in the first person three chapters which have been transmitted to us; and the sufficiently prove that he was the author. He is not reckoned subject of them is the same with that of Jeremiah, viz. the among the prophets by the Jews since the time of Jesus destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldæans, for Christ, who say that he lived the life of a courtier in the the heinous sins of the Jewish people, and the consolation court of the king of Babylon, rather than that of a prophet; of the faithful amid all their national calamities.
and they further assert, that, though he received divine reveII. The prophecy of Habakkuk consists of two parts; the lations, yet these were only by dreams and visions of the first is in the form of a dialogue between God and the prophet, night, which they consider as the most imperfect mode of and the second is a sublime ode or hymn, which was probably revelation. But Josephus, one of the most ancient profane intended to be used in the public service.
writers of that nation, accounts Daniel one of the greatest Part I. The Prophet complaining of the Growth of Iniquity God, and not only predicted future events (as other prophets
of the prophets; and says that he conversed familiarly with the Babylmish Captivity as a Punishment for their Wicked- did), but also determined the time of their accomplishment.
II. The book of Daniel may be divided into two parts. (5–11.)
The first is historical, and contains a relation of various The prophet then humbly expostulates with God for punishing circumstances that happened to himself and to the Jews,
the Jews by the instrumentality of the Chaldæans. (12—17. under several kings at Babylon; the second is strictly proii. l.) In answer to this complaint, God replies that he will, phetical, and comprises the visions and prophecies with in due time, perform his promises to his people, of deliverance | which he was favoured, and which enabled him to foretell hy the Messiah (implying also the nearer deliverance by numerous important events relative to the monarchies of the Cyrus). (ii. 2–4.) The destruction of the Babylonish em- world, the time of the advent and death of the Messiah, the pire is then foretold, together with the judgment that would restoration of the Jews, and the conversion of the Gentiles. be inflicted upon the Chaldeans for their covetousness, cruelty, Part I. contains the Historical Part of the Book of Daniel (ch. and idolatry. (5—20.)
i.-vi.), forming six Sections ; viz. ART II. contains the Prayer or Psalm of Habakkuk.
Sect. 1. A compendious history of the carrying away of In this prayer he implores God to hasten the deliverance of his Daniel and his three friends to Babylon, with other young people (m. 1, 2.), and takes occasion to recount the wonderful
sons of the principal Hebrews, and of their education and works of the Almighty in conducting his people through the employment. (ch. i.) wilderness, and giving them possession of the promised land “Between the first and second chapters there is a great (3—16.): whence he encourages himself and other pious per- chasm in the history. In ii. 1. the second year of Nebusons to rely upon God for making good his promises to their chadnezzar's reign is indeed mentioned, but this cannot be posterity in after-ages.
the second year of his government; for, at that time, Daniel III. Habakkuk holds a distinguished rank among the was a youth in the second year of his course of instruction ; sacred poets; whoever reads his prophecy must be struck whereas in this chapter he appears as a man.
We learn, with the grandeur of his imagery and the sublimity of its moreover, from ii. 29., that Nebuchadnezzar had been thinkstyle, especially of the hymn in the third chapter, which ing of what should transpire after his death, which supposes Bishop Lowth considers one of the most perfect specimens him to be of considerable age. Chap. ii. 28. also informs us of the Hebrew ode. Michaelis, after a close examination, that his conquests were ended; and as Ezekiel in xxix. 17. pronounces him to be a great imitator of former poets, but
announces the conquest of Egypt in the twenty-seventh with some new additions of his own, which are characterzied
year of his exile and the thirty-fourth of Nebuchadnezzar's by brevity, and by no common degree of sublimity. Com
government, the campaign opening about that time, the acpare Hab. ii. 12. with Mic. iii. 10., and Hab. ii. 14. with
count in Dan. ii. can hardly be placed before his fortieth Isa. xi. 9.2
year. The second year,' therefore, in ii, 1., must refer to Nebuchadnezzar's government over the conquered coun
tries; in other words, it was the second year of his universal 4. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET DANIEL.
monarchy, which perhaps gave rise to a new method of I. Author and date.-II. Analysis of its contents.—III. Obser- reckoning time.” 4 vations on its canonical authority and style.Objections
Sect. 2. Nebuchadnezzar's dream concerning an image comto its authenticity refuted.-IV. Account of the spurious posed of different metals (ii. 1–13.); the interpretation additions made to it.
thereof communicated to Daniel (14—23.), who reveals it to
the monarch (24–35.), and interprets it of the four great BEFORE CHRIST, 606-534.
monarchies. The head of gold represented the Babylonian 1. Daniel, the fourth of the greater prophets, if not of empire (32.); the breast and arms, which were of silver, royal birth (as the Jews affirm), was of noble descent, and represented the Medo-Persian empire (32. 39.); the brazen was carried captive to Babylon at an early age, in the fourth belly and thighs represented the Macedo-Grecian empire year of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year 606 before the (32. 39.) ; the legs and feet, which were partly of iron and Christian æra, and seven years before the deportation of partly of clay, represented the Roman empire (33. 40–43.), Ezekiel. Having been instructed in the language and lite- which would bruise and break to pieces every other king
dom, but in its last stage should be divided into ten smaller 1 Dr. Blayney's Jeremiah, p. 455. et seq. Bishop Lowth's Lectures on
kingdoms, denoted by the ten toes of the image. The Ilebrew Poetry, lect. xxii. in fine. Jahn, Introd. ad Vet. Fæd. pp. 415–417. Carpzov, Introd. ad Libros Biblicos, pars iij. cap. iv. pp. 177-197.
· Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. x. c. 11. $ 7. - Lowth's Lectures, vol. ji. p. 99.
Jahn's Introduction by Professor Turner, p. 406.