Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
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What should I learn from this chapter?
- The refusal of men to listen to the authority of God and the lack of repentance.
Jeremiah Mourns for His People
Jeremiah 8:1 “At that time,” says the Lord, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves.
Jeremiah 8:2 They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth.
Jeremiah 8:3 Then death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue(remnant) of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the Lord of hosts.
- These kings are the sons of Josiah who was deemed a “Good” king by God. Yet his family is called “evil”.
- Not everyone was evil. Daniel and his friends were of this royal household. They were taken as hostages and were in danger of being executed if the remaining king were to rebel. Each succeeding king did rebel but Daniel and his friends remained alive due to the provision of God.
The Peril of False Teaching
Jeremiah 8:4 “Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Will they fall and not rise?
Will one turn away and not return?
Jeremiah 8:5 Why has this people slidden back,
Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.
- They refuse to return to God just like the time of the seven year tribulation.
- Revelation 2:21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
- Revelation 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
- Revelation 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries (pharmaceuticals) or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
- Revelation 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
- Revelation 16:11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
Jeremiah 8:6 I listened and heard,
But they do not speak aright.
No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his own course,
As the horse rushes into the battle.
►Story with a moral:
- The Sunday school teacher asked her class, “What does it mean to repent?”
- One little girl said, “It means to be sorry when you do something wrong.”
- But another little girl was waving her arm wildly, so the teacher then called on her.
- “It means,” the second girl grinned, “to be sorry AND to do different.”
►Everyone turned to his own course: everyone turned to his own way. Just like Jacob and Esau. After Jacob’s and Esau’s meeting, Esau went to Mount Seir, the mountain of demons but Jacob went to Succoth, a place of dwelling. Succoth is the same word for the Jewish Festival “Sukkot”. It is a place of relying on God for one’s resources. It is also God dwelling with man.
Jeremiah 8:7 “Even the stork in the heavens
Knows her appointed times;
And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow
Observe the time of their coming.
But My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.
Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the Lord is with us’?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men are ashamed,
They are dismayed and taken.
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;
So what wisdom do they have?
Jeremiah 8:10 Therefore I will give their wives to others,
And their fields to those who will inherit them;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is given to covetousness;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
Jeremiah 8:11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly (Superficially), Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
Jeremiah 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
In the time of their punishment
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 8:13 “I will surely consume (Or take them away) them,” says the Lord.
“No grapes shall be on the vine,
Nor figs on the fig tree,
And the leaf shall fade;
And the things I have given them shall pass away from them.” ’ ”
- To “pass away” is the opposite of the Pass-over where one passes over from death to life.
- To “pass away” is an idiom for death.
Jeremiah 8:14 “Why do we sit still?
And let us enter the fortified cities,
And let us be silent there.
For the Lord our God has put us to silence
- During their time of captivity God commanded the Jews NOT to use his holy name:
- Many remaining Jews fled to Egypt, taking Jeremiah with them. They joined some of the other refugees of Judea there.
- “Therefore hear you the word of Yahweh (God), all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt. Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says Yahweh (God), that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of ANY MAN OF JUDAS in all the land of Egypt, saying ‘Yahweh Elohim lives’.” Jeremiah 44:26
However, the command was for the Jews in Egypt, those left in Judah, and those taken captive to Babylon.
- “The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground and keep silence.” Lamentations 2:10
- “Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fenced cities, and let us be silent there; FOR YAHWEH OUR ELOHIM (the LORD our God) HAS PUT US TO SILENCE, and has given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against Yahweh.” Jeremiah 8:14
- “Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed … And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die. And a man’s uncle shall take him up (the last of the ten, of the ten per cent to remain in the land). Amos 5:3
- and he that burns him to bring out the bones (to cleanse the land of plague) shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, ‘Is there yet any with thee?’ And he shall say ‘No.’ Then shall he (the man’s uncle) say, ‘Hold your tongue; FOR WE MAY NOT MAKE MENTION OF THE NAME OF YAHWEH, for behold, Yahweh commands [it], and he will smite the great house with breaches and the little house with clefts.” Amos 6:7-11
Since their “fathers” and “husbands” had been killed or taken captive, an uncle (the only elder or close relative left) would say to the remnant:
- “Hush, for we must not make mention of the name of Yahweh, for behold, Yahweh is commanding it.” Amos 6:10
The Hebrew of this verse is interesting. The part that records that “Yahweh is commanding it” is an imperative clause that represents the final portion of the uncle’s statement. In Hebrew, the word “for” (which is found in the King James Version) presents an intensive force which is intended to conclude (and emphasize) the subject of the previous clause. The word “for’ is not a conjunction which introduces the next sentence. See Brown, Driver, Briggs, Hebrew Lexicon, p.472 for an explanation of this usage.
The word should actually be rendered “because” since it finalizes the discussion of the preceding subject. Thus, when the full force of the Hebrew is utilized, the man’s uncle said:
- “Hush, for we must not make mention of the name of Yahweh, because, behold, Yahweh is commanding it”
- “There shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.” Amos 8:3 KJV
- “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.” Micah 3:4
Jeremiah 8:14 And given us water of gall (Bitter or poisonous water) to drink,
Because we have sinned against the Lord.
Note: This is the same gall offered to Jesus as He died for their sins on the cross.
Jeremiah 8:15 “We looked for peace, but no good came;
And for a time of health, and there was trouble!
Jeremiah 8:16 The snorting of His horses was heard from Dan.
The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones;
For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it,
The city and those who dwell in it.”
Jeremiah 8:17 “For behold, I will send serpents among you,
Vipers which cannot be charmed,
And they shall bite you,” says the Lord.
►The city had been charmed by a serpent: Satan.
Now, they will be bitten by the poison they played with.
►Due to Judah’s continual unrepentant heart God was compelled to take action. In the book of Hosea, God compared his people to an adulterous and unfaithful wife; a wife who chases after other men and acts the whore (pagan idols-any system that takes the place of God in our hearts). It broke God’s heart that, after promising so much to Abraham and his descendants, he could not release his blessings on them. They gave him no choice but to punish them with captivity. God withdrew his Light and left them to their darkness.
Take note believers. When God makes a promise he will keep it. He does not totally desert the Jews, but he will never compromise himself either. God will instead work with the Jewish nation over thousands and thousands of years, until a stiff-necked people become HIS people.
Babylon had been under the rule of the same Assyrian kings that had taken the Northern Kingdom hostage, until Nabopolassar (Nebuchadnezzar’s father), revolted and freed the Babylonians from the Syrian rule in 626 BC. God used Nebuchadnezzar as a hook to take the Southern Kingdom, Judah, into captivity.
The Prophet Mourns for the People
Jeremiah 8:18 I would comfort myself in sorrow;
My heart is faint in me.
Jeremiah 8:19 Listen! The voice,
The cry of the daughter of my people
From a far country:
“Is not the Lord in Zion?
Is not her King in her?”
“Why have they provoked Me to anger
With their carved images—
With foreign idols?”
Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past,
The summer is ended,
And we are not saved!”
How prophetic for all men!
The harvest is past…..
The harvest is symbolic of the coming resurrection of all believers.
The summer is the last season before the winter. It is the last hope for salvation.
And yet mankind, like Judah, will say
“And we are not saved!”
In that day, Isaiah’s prophecy will come to be:
- Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
Jeremiah 8:21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt.
I am mourning;
Astonishment has taken hold of me.
Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?
Captivity is the death sentence for Judah.