Jeremiah 1:16
(16) I will utter my judgments against them.--Here, again, we get a literal correspondence in the words of Jeremiah 39:5, "he gave [or uttered] judgment upon him," of Nebuchadnezzar's sentence on Zedekiah. And yet the invaders in their sentence are to be but the ministers of a higher judgment than their own. In the words "my judgments" He recognises their work.

Who have forsaken.--The remainder of the verse gives, as it were, the formal enumeration of the crimes for which Judah was condemned: (1) Apostacy from the true God; (2) the transfer of adoration to other Gods, such as Baal, Ashtaroth, and the Queen of Heaven; sins against the First Commandment; (3) the worship of graven images; a sin against the Second. The sins were of long standing, but the words point specially to the proportions they had assumed in the reign of Manasseh (2Chronicles 33:1-7).

Verse 16. - I will utter my judgments; or, I will hold a court of justice upon them; literally, I will speak judgments with them. The expression is peculiar to Jeremiah (comp. Jeremiah 4:12; Jeremiah 12:1; Jeremiah 39:6; Jeremiah 52:9), and includes both the examination of the accused, and the judicial sentence (see Jeremiah 39:5; Jeremiah 52:9). All their wickedness, etc. Their "wickedness," i.e. their infidelity to Jehovah, showed itself in burning incense to "other gods," and bowing down to their images. "Burned incense" is, however, too narrow a sense. The root-meaning of the verb is to be fragrant, and the causative conjugations will strictly mean only "to make a sweet odor," whether by the offering of incense or by burnt offerings (comp. Jeremiah 11:12; 2 Kings 23:8, where a causative conjugation is used in the same wide sense here postulated; also Psalm 66:15 and Isaiah 1:13, where the word usually rendered "incense" seems rather to mean "a sweet smoke"). The prophet says, "of other gods" (not "of false gods"), out of consideration for the ignorance of his hearers, to whom Baal and Moloch really were as gods; in fact, that expressive word (cf.) which Isaiah uses ten times to express the unreality of the other so-called gods, occurs only once, and then not in quite the same sense (see Jeremiah 14:14) in Jeremiah. But the prophet's own strict monotheism is proved by such passages as Jeremiah 2:27a; Jeremiah 8:19b; Jeremiah 16:20.

1:11-19 God gave Jeremiah a view of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The almond-tree, which is more forward in the spring than any other, represented the speedy approach of judgments. God also showed whence the intended ruin should arise. Jeremiah saw a seething-pot boiling, representing Jerusalem and Judah in great commotion. The mouth or face of the furnace or hearth, was toward the north; from whence the fire and fuel were to come. The northern powers shall unite. The cause of these judgments was the sin of Judah. The whole counsel of God must be declared. The fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. Better to have all men our enemies than God our enemy; those who are sure they have God with them, need not, ought not to fear, whoever is against them. Let us pray that we may be willing to give up personal interests, and that nothing may move us from our duty.And I will utter my judgments against them,.... Not against the kingdoms of the north, but against the people of the Jews. The sense is, that God would enter into judgment with this people, and pass sentence upon them, and execute it:

touching all their wickedness; or on account of all their sins and transgressions hereafter mentioned:

who have forsaken me. The Targum is, "who have forsaken my worship"; for to forsake the public worship of God, attendance on his word and ordinances, or to forsake the assembling of themselves together for such a purpose, is to forsake the Lord himself, the fountain of living waters; and this is to forsake their own mercies:

and have burnt incense to other gods; to the idols of the Gentile, as the Targum explains it; to Baal, to the queen of heaven, and to others:

and worshipped the works of their own hands: idols of gold, silver, brass, and wood, which their own hands formed and carved, and which argued great stupidity and ignorance.

Jeremiah 1:15
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