The Word of the Lord to Jeremiah

Chapter 16

The prophet, under the types of abstaining from marriage, from houses of mourning, and feasting, foretells the utter ruin of the Jews, 1-9; because they were worse than their fathers, 10-13. Their return from captivity shall be stranger than their deliverance out of Egypt, 14, 15. God will doubly recompense their idolatry, 16-21.

1 The word of the LORD also came to me, saying, 2 "You shall not take a wife for yourself, neither shall you have sons nor daughters in this place." 3 For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and the daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in this land: 4 "They shall die by grievous deaths. They shall not be lamented, neither shall they be buried, but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth. And they shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their carcasses shall be food for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth."

5 For thus says the LORD: "Do not enter into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them, for I have taken away my peace from this people," says the LORD, "even loving-kindness and mercies. 6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them; 7 Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother. 8 Also you shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them to eat and to drink." 9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes and in your days the voice of mirth, the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

10 "And it shall come to pass, when you tell this people all these words, they shall say to you, 'Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?' 11 Then you shall say to them, 'Because your fathers have forsaken me,' says the LORD, 'and have walked after other gods, served them, and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 And you have done worse than your fathers, for, behold, you all walk after the imagination of your evil heart so that you may not listen to me. 13 Therefore, I will cast you out of this land into a land that you do not know, neither you nor your fathers, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.'

14 "Therefore, behold, the days come," says the LORD, "that it shall no longer be said, 'The LORD lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt,' 15 But, 'The LORD lives, who brought the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where he had driven them.' And I will bring them back into their land that I gave to their fathers.

16 "Behold, I will send for many fishermen," says the LORD, "and they shall fish them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are upon all their ways. They are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from my eyes. 18 And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double because they have defiled my land. They have filled my inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things."

19 O LORD, my strength and my fortress,/
and my refuge in the day of affliction,/
the Gentiles shall come to you/
from the ends of the earth, and shall say,/
"Surely our fathers have inherited lies,/
vanity, and things in which there is no profit."

20 Shall a man make gods for himself,/
and they are not gods?

21 "Therefore, behold, this time I will cause them to know, I will cause them to know my hand and my might. And they shall know that my name is YAHWEH."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 16[➚]