The judgments of God upon the Jews for their perverseness, 1-6; for their adultery, 7-9; for their impiety, 10-14; for their worship of idols, 15-18; for their contempt of God, 19-24; and for their great corruption in the civil state, 25-29; and ecclesiastical, 30, 31.
1 "Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem and now see, and know, and seek in its broad places, if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth. Then I will pardon it.
2 And though they say, 'The LORD lives,' surely they swear falsely."
3 O LORD, are your eyes not upon the truth? You have stricken them, but they have not grieved. You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock. They have refused to return.
4 Therefore, I said, "Surely these are poor. They are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.
5 I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they have known the way of the LORD and the judgment of their God." But these have altogether broken the yoke and torn off the bonds.
6 Therefore, a lion from the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities. Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces because their transgressions are many and their backslidings have increased.
7 "How shall I pardon you for this? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by those who are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.
8 They were as fed horses in the morning. Everyone neighed after his neighbor's wife.
9 Shall I not visit for these things?" says the LORD. "And shall my soul not be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 Go up upon her walls and destroy, but do not make a full end. Take away her branches, for they are not the LORD'S.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me," says the LORD.
12 They have belied the LORD, and said, "It is not he. Evil shall not come upon us, neither shall we see sword nor famine.
13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them. Thus it shall be done to them."
14 Therefore, thus says the LORD God of hosts: "Because you speak this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
15 Behold, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel," says the LORD. "It is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, neither understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is as an open sepulcher. They are all mighty men.
17 And they shall eat up your harvest and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds. They shall eat up your vines and your fig-trees. They shall impoverish with the sword your fortified cities, in which you have trusted.
18 "Nevertheless, in those days," says the LORD, "I will not make a full end with you. 19 And it shall come to pass, when you shall say, 'Why does the LORD our God do all these things to us?' Then you shall answer them, 'As you have forsaken me and served strange gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.'
20 "Declare this in the house of Jacob and publish it in Judah, saying,
21 'Now hear this, O foolish people and without understanding, who have eyes and do not see, who have ears and do not hear.
22 Do you not fear me?' says the LORD. 'Will you not tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree so that it cannot pass it? And though its waves toss themselves, yet they cannot prevail. Even though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people have a revolting and a rebellious heart. They have revolted and gone.
24 They do not say in their heart, "Let us now fear the LORD our God who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves to us the appointed weeks of harvest."
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good things from you.
26 For among my people are found wicked men. They lie in wait, as he who sets snares. They set a trap. They catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit. Therefore, they have become great and have grown rich.
28 They have become fat. They shine. They even surpass the deeds of the wicked. They do not judge the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper. And the right of the needy they do not judge.
29 Shall I not visit for these things?' says the LORD. 'Shall my soul not be avenged on such a nation as this?'
30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so. And what will you do in the end thereof?"
Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 5
[v.21] - Reference, Matthew 13:14; Luke 8:10.