1:1 The a words of Jeremiah the son of b Hilkiah, of the
priests that [were] in c Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
The Argument - The prophet Jeremiah born in the city of
Anathoth in the country of Benjamin, was the son of Hilkiah,
whom some think to be he that found the book of the law and
gave it to Josiah. This prophet had excellent gifts from
God, and most evident revelations of prophecy, so that by
the commandment of the Lord he began very young to prophecy,
that is, in the thirteenth year of Josiah, and continued
eighteen years under the king, three months under Jehoahaz
and under Jehoiakim eleven years, three months under
Jehoiachin, and under Zedekiah eleven years to the time that
they were carried away into Babylon. So that this time
amounts to above forty years, besides the time that he
prophesied after the captivity. In this book he declares
with tears and lamentations, the destruction of Jerusalem
and the captivity of the people, for their idolatry,
covetousness, deceit, cruelty, excess, rebellion and
contempt of God's word, and for the consolation of the
Church reveals the just time of their deliverance. Here
chiefly are to be considered three things. First the
rebellion of the wicked, who wax more stubborn and
obstinate, when the prophets admonish them most plainly of
their destruction. Next how the prophets and ministers of
God should not be discouraged in their vocation, though they
are persecuted and rigorously handled by the wicked, for
God's cause. Thirdly though God shows his just judgment
against the wicked, yet will he ever show himself a
preserver of his Church, and when all means seem to men's
judgment to be abolished, then will he declare himself
victorious in preserving his.
(a) That is, the sermons and prophecies.
(b) Who is thought to be he that found the book of the law
under king Josiah, (2Ki 22:8).
(c) This was a city about three miles from Jerusalem and
belonged to the priests, the sons of Aaron,
1:2 To whom the d word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah
the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his
(d) This is spoken to confirm his calling and office, as he
did not presume of himself to preach and prophecy, but
was called to it by God.
1:3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king
of Judah, to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the
e son of Josiah king of Judah, to the carrying away of
Jerusalem captive in the fifth f month.
(e) Meaning the nephew of Josiah: for Jehoahaz was his
father, who reigned but three months, and therefore is
not mentioned, nor is Jehoiakim that reigned no longer.
(f) Of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, who was also called
Mattaniah, and at this time the Jews were carried away
into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
1:5 Before I g formed thee in the womb I knew thee; and before
thou wast born I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a
prophet to the h nations.
(g) The scripture uses this manner of speech to declare that
God has appointed his minsters to their offices before
they were born, as in (Isa 49:1, Ga 1:15).
(h) For Jeremiah did not only prophecy against the Jews, but
also against the Egyptians, Babylonians, Moabites and
1:6 Then said I, i Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I
[am] a child.
(i) Considering the great judgments of God which according
to his threatening would come on the world, he was moved
with a certain compassion on the one hand to pity them
that would thus perish, and on the other hand by the
infirmity of man's nature, knowing how hard a thing it
was to enterprise such a charge, as in
(Isa 6:11, Ex 3:21,4:1).
1:9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and k touched my mouth.
And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have put my words in thy
(k) Which declares that God makes them meet and assures
them, whom he calls to set forth his glory, giving them
all means necessary for the same,
(Ex 4:12, Isa 6:7).
1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the l nations and over
the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to
destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
(l) He shows what is the authority of God's true ministers,
who by his word have power to bear down whatever lifts
itself up against God: and to plant and assure the
humble and such as give themselves to the obedience of
God's word, (2Co 10:4,5, He 4:12), and these are the
keys which Christ has left to loose and bind,
1:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah,
what seest thou? And I said, I see a m rod of an almond
(m) He joins the sign with the word, for a more ample
confirmation: signifying by the rod of the almond tree,
which first buds, the hasty coming of the Babylonians
against the Jews.
1:13 And the word of the LORD came to me the second time,
saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a boiling n
pot; and its face [is] toward the north.
(n) Signifying that the Chaldeans and Assyrians would be as
a pot to seethe the Jews who boiled in their pleasures
1:14 Then the LORD said to me, Out of the o north an evil
shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
(o) Syria and Assyria were northward in respect to
Jerusalem, which was the Chaldeans dominion.
1:16 And I will utter my p judgments against them concerning
all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned
incense to other gods, and worshipped the works of their
(p) I will give them charge and power to execute my
vengeance against the idolaters who have forsaken me
for their idols.
1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to
them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their
faces, lest I q confound thee before them.
(q) Which declares that God's vengeance is prepared against
them who do not execute their duty faithfully, either
for fear of man, or for any other reason,
1:18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a fortified city,
and an r iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole
land, against the kings of Judah, against her princes,
against her priests, and against the people of the land.
(r) Signifying on the one hand that the more that Satan and
the world rage against God's ministers, the more
present will he be to help them, (Jos 1:5, He 13:5)
and on the other hand, that they are utterly unfit to
serve God in his Church, who are afraid and do not
resist wickedness, whatever danger depend on it,
(Isa 50:7, Eze 3:8).