Jeremiah 14:17 MEANING

Jeremiah 14:17
(17) Thou shalt say this word.--Though not in form a prediction, no words could express more emphatically the terrible nature of the judgments implied in the preceding verse. The language (in part a reproduction of Jeremiah 13:17) is all but identical with that which recurs again and again in the Lamentations (Jeremiah 1:16; Jeremiah 2:11; Jeremiah 2:18), and may be looked upon as the germ of which those elegies of woe were the development.

Verses 17-21. - The prophet's grief, and second intercession. Verse 17. - Therefore thou shalt say, etc. There is something strange and contrary to verisimilitude in the prefixing of this formula, not to a Divine revelation, but to a mere expression of the pained human feelings of the prophet. It is possible that the editor of Jeremiah's prophecies thought the paragraph which begins here needed something to link it with the preceding passage, and selected his formula rather unsuitably. Let mine eyes run down, etc. (comp. Jeremiah 13:27). Jeremiah's tender compassion shows itself in his choice of the expression, the virgin daughter of my people, just as we feel an added bitterness in the premature death of a cherished maiden.

14:17-22 Jeremiah acknowledged his own sins, and those of the people, but pleaded with the Lord to remember his covenant. In their distress none of the idols of the Gentiles could help them, nor could the heavens give rain of themselves. The Lord will always have a people to plead with him at his mercy-seat. He will heal every truly repenting sinner. Should he not see fit to hear our prayers on behalf of our guilty land, he will certainly bless with salvation all who confess their sins and seek his mercy.Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them,.... Instead of praying for the people, the prophet has a doleful lamentation put into his mouth, to pronounce in their hearing, in order to assure them of the calamities that were coming upon them, and to affect them with them.

Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: or "be silent" (p); signifying that there would be quickly just reason and occasion for incessant grief and sorrow in them; and if they were so hardened as not to be affected with their case, he could not refrain shedding tears night and day in great abundance; which would have a voice in them, to call upon them to weeping and lamentation also. Some take these words to be a direction and instruction to the people; so the Septuagint,

"bring down upon your eyes tears night and day, and let them not cease;''

and the Arabic version,

"pour out of your eyes tears night and day continually;''

and the Syriac version is,

"let our eyes drop tears night and day incessantly.''

For the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow; cities are sometimes called virgins, which were never taken; and so Jerusalem here, it having never been taken since it was in the hands of the people of Judah; nor were its inhabitants as yet carried captive, but now would be; which, together with the famine and the sword, by which many should perish, is the great breach and grievous blow spoken of; and which is given as a reason, and was a sufficient one, for sorrow and mourning.

(p) "sileant", Schmidt; "taceant", Pegninus, Montanus.

Courtesy of Open Bible