Commentary on Jeremiah 16 (2023)

Enjoy this free digital commentary on Jeremiah 16!

In Jeremiah 16, the Lord promises the invasion, exile, and restoration of Judah.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | God speaks

To begin with, the Lord speaks to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 16:1-18.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | Introduction

Jeremiah gives an introduction to this section in Jeremiah 16:1.

1¶ The word of Jehovah also came to me, saying,

So we begin a new section in this book that combines the 16he17 yearshechapters of the book of Jeremiah. We will cover Jeremiah 16 today only.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | Three actions and their reasons

Well, after that brief introduction we will now see in Jeremiah 16:2-9 the Lord commanding Jeremiah to take three actions. He then also gives Jeremiah the motive behind the actions.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | no marriage

The first action the Lord commands Jeremiah is to avoid marrying and having children in Jeremiah 16:2.

2Thou shalt not take thyself a wife,
nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.

Now, for most people, God's plan involves marriage and children. So this command to Jeremiah is, of course, not for all of God's people.

By the way, let's not miss the impact this would have on Jeremiah. We have lately noted that the prophet experienced loneliness because of his purpose to avoid evil. And now he is forbidden to marry and start a family. He is really alone. And this is God's design. And he has God's approval.

So if it is normally God's will for a man to marry and have children, why does he tell Jeremiah to avoid these normal features of life?

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | Why celibacy?

Well, the Lord gives the reason why Jeremiah should not marry or have children in Jeremiah 16:3-4.

3For thus saith the Lord
about the children
and as for the daughters born in this place,
and about their mothers who gave birth to them,
and of their fathers who begat them in this land;

4They will die from [serious deaths/fatal illnesses];
they will not be pitied; nor shall they be buried;

butThey will be like dung on the face of the earth:
and they shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine;
and their carcasses will be food for the birds of the sky and the animals of the earth.

So God has a message behind this action that he wants Jeremiah to take. This would lead us to classify this action as symbolic. It's not that the action isn't real, it's very real. But the action has an underlying meaning which God himself intends to convey to the people. It's symbolic.

And the underlying meaning behind not having a wife and children is that husbands, wives and their children will face indiscriminate slaughter at the hands of the army coming from the north, which has been prophesied so many times in this book. And that massacre would be so massive and widespread that there wouldn't be enough people left to bury the dead. Animals would be the only means of disposing of corpses.

That's not a pretty picture, to say the least. And this is exactly why Jeremiah is commanded to avoid having a wife and a family. God wants to communicate that this will happen and will use the prophet's actions to make the communication.

The Lord has revealed this kind of thing before: certain destruction for all and mass death at the hands of the invading enemy if they don't repent. So why use Jeremiah's actions to communicate this message?

I think again that I see God working from every angle to let his people know that there will be real problems if they don't turn to him. It sends a verbal message. They don't listen. So he sends Jeremiah to do some physical action like wearing a belt or not getting married, and that's a message to the people. They still don't listen. Then the Lord sends them a confusing statement like the one we saw before, something like "every wine jar must be full of wine" and then explains the meaning of this statement. And all of this is God changing his method of communication, I think in hopes that people really understand one of the ways he's communicating and take the appropriate action of repenting.

(Video) Lessons from Jeremiah 16

It's as any of us parents know: sometimes you find yourself saying the exact same things in the same way to your kids, especially when you're trying to correct them. And how do they respond to it? Often they can respond by checking. There's something in us that can spot recognizable patterns and just tune them out. Our brains are wired to differentiate between noise and things it considers important. Therefore, as a parent, you must try not to let your instructions become mere noise to your child. And yet, the child is also responsible for recognizing that his instruction is not noise.

But I think here God is bowing to human frailty and giving the same message in different ways to try to shake his people out of their willful disobedience.

Alright, so Jeremiah is instructed not to marry or have children.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | No funeral attendance

The second action the Lord commands Jeremiah to take is to prevent any funerals for his people in Jeremiah 16:5.

5¶ For thus saith Jehovah:

Do not enter the house of mourning,
neither go to mourners nor to mourners:

And then the Lord explains why Jeremiah is forbidden to attend funerals in the rest of Jeremiah 16:5-7.

because I took my peace from this city,

saith the LORD,

untilgoodness and mercy.

6Both the great and the small will die in this land:
They will not be buriedmensorry for them
nor cut themselves, nor grow bald because of them:

7nonemen[tear/break]themselves[oh pot] to those who mourn, to comfort them for the dead;
nonemengive them to drink the cup of consolation for the father or for the mother.

Thus, Jeremiah will not attend the funeral because there will be a time when those who die will not have funerals. There will be so many deaths in the battle against the army coming from the north that there won't be enough lives to deal with the overwhelming death toll.

And this will happen because the Lord had taken away his peace, his mercy and his mercy from this people.

And we must always remember that all this happens because the people broke their covenant with the Lord.

If the people would obey the Lord and keep his covenant, they would be blessed. Deuteronomy 28:1 tells them "that the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth." Deuteronomy 28:7 promises, “The LORD will smite your enemies who rise up against you before you; They will go out against you one way and flee before you seven.

But if the people break God's covenant, then here is God's promise to them in Deuteronomy 28:25-26: “The Lord will cause you to be smitten before your enemies; Thou shalt go out against them one way, and flee from them seven ways. : and you will be transferred to all the kingdoms of the earth. And your body will be food for all the birds of the air and the animals of the earth, and no one will drive them away.”

And that's why what we're seeing promised in this chapter will come to pass. And that's why Jeremiah is commanded to take these actions to symbolize what's to come for this rebellious people.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | without celebrating

The third action the Lord commands Jeremiah to avoid performing with his people in Jeremiah 16:8. No wedding, no funerals and now no celebrations.

8nor shall you enter the house of the banquet, to sit down with them to eat and drink.

The Lord then gives the reason why Jeremiah should avoid celebrating with his people in Jeremiah 16:9.

(Video) Bearing the Burden of a Prophet, Part 1 - Jeremiah 15-16

9For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel;

Behold, I will remove this place from thine eyes, and in thy days,
the voice of gladness, and the voice of gladness,
the groom's voice and the bride's voice.

There will be a time in Jeremiah's life when there will be no celebration. You can imagine why: all people in general will be exiled or killed.

And so, Jeremiah was to avoid weddings and other celebrations to represent to the people the time to come when celebrations in Judah would cease.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | a cause

And now that the Lord has established for Jeremiah these three actions that he wants the prophet to do, having already given the explanation of what each of the actions means and the meaning behind each one, the Lord will now explain theto needby the actions and realities they symbolize in Jeremiah 16:10-12.

10¶ And it shall come to pass,
when you [show/tell] this city all these words,
and they will tell you:

Why did Jehovah say all this evil so great [i.e. not moral - disaster] against us?
whatesour iniquity?
whatesour sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?

God then foresees a time when the people, in response to Jeremiah's symbolic activities, will ask him why the Lord has prepared such destruction for them.

This is how Jeremiah should answer them.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | answers

First, the destruction occurs because the people's ancestors sinned against God and broke his covenant.

11Then you will say to them:

because your [parents/ancestors] they abandoned me,

saith the LORD,

and has [walked behind / followed / paid allegiance to] other gods,
and I served them
and i loved them

and has [abandoned/rejected] to me,
and not haveguarded/obeyed] my law;

But destruction does not come only because of the sins of the people's ancestors. Second, destruction was coming because the people themselves had sinned against God and broken his covenant, and had done even worse than their ancestors.

12And you did worse than your [parents/ancestors];

for behold, every one of you walks after [imagination/stubbornness] of his wicked heart,
[that they cannot/without] [listen/listen/obey] next to me:

Commentary on Jeremiah 16 | two results

So, with three actions ordered and explained, and then the single cause underlying those actions and the realities they symbolize, in Jeremiah 16:13-18 the Lord gives tworesults—two things that will happen because of what we have just considered.

Commentary on Jeremiah 16 | Exile

The first result is exile according to Jeremiah 16:13.

13Therefore, I will drive you out of this land into a land you do not know,
emneither you nor your parents;

(Video) Jeremiah 16-17 - The Heart is Deceitful

and there you will serve other gods day and night;
where I will show you no favors.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | Restoration

The second result is perhaps not what you would think from the general tenor of what we have heard so far in this chapter. The second result of all this isrestoration– a return of the Jews to the land of Israel after the exile, as per Jeremiah 16:14-15.

14¶ Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that no more shall be said:

[that is, as (an oath)] As the Lord lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;


As the Lord lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries where he had driven them;

and I will bring them back to the land I gave to their fathers.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | But first, exile

Well, then the Lord reconsiders the first result you already mentioned ofexilein Jeremiah 16:16-18.

sixteen¶ Me here [that is, speaking of the coming exile or the coming restoration] Send for many fishermen, says Jehovah,
and they will catch them;

and then I will send for many hunters,
and they will hunt them on every mountain,
and from every hill,
and rock cavities.

Now, it is easy to interpret that Jeremiah 16:16 speaks of the restoration of the Jews to the land after the exile. I myself have already stated that this is the case in a previous message that I gave of this text.

However, I have now come to believe that hunters and fishermen are not portrayed as bringing peoplebackto the land of Judah. I think the hunters and fishermen are actually Babylon's equivalent: the enemy coming from the north who would invade Judah and take them away.

And I think this change in interpretation is validated by Jeremiah 16:17-18.

In Jeremiah 16:17 God gives the reason why he is sending the hunters and fishermen. It is the people's sin.

17for my eyessonabove all your ways:
do not hide yourself from my face,
neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.

So if the hunters and fishermen were bringing the people back to the land, why would the Lord reason their activities as the people's sin? I see this more naturally addresses why he is sending people into exile rather than why he is going to restore them to the land.

Then, in Jeremiah 16:18, the Lord explains more reasons why He would need to exile the people through these hunters and fishers.

18and first [i.e. before restoring them] I will [reward / payment] their iniquity and their sin are doubled;

Then, before the restoration came, these hunters and fishermen would come to take the people from their land because of the people's sin. Why?

because they profaned my land,
they filled my inheritance with [lifeless corpses/statues] of your detestable and abominable things.

Again, this does not seem to be a justification for sending people back to their land. Sounds like a reason to send them away. So I guess that's what these hunters and fishermen are doing: sending the people of the land into exile.

(Video) Jeremiah 16:1-21 "Threatenings and Promises"

Commentary on Jeremiah 16 |: The Prophet Speaks

Then, in Jeremiah 16:19-20, the prophet anticipates the time when the whole world will reject its idolatry and will instead end up worshiping the Lord alone.

19O LORD, my strength and strength, and my refuge in the day of trouble,

If you remember Jeremiah 15, that's where the Lord promised the concerned prophet that he would be with Jeremiah and make the enemy plead for him in the time of trouble [lindo]. It seems that Jeremiah got the message. Because right here, in the next chapter, Jeremiah is confessing this fact: that God is his refuge in the day of trouble. God would be there for him as a place of protection when affliction came.

And with this confession, Jeremiah looks forward to the time when all nations, not just his restored people, but all nations would come to the Lord and forsake their idols.

he [gentiles/nations] will come to you from the ends of the earth and say to you:

Surely our parents inherited lies, vanity andthingswherecompleteno gain.

20Man will make gods [to/to] the same, [and still] theysonno gods?

Friends, do you believe this? Do you think the time will really come when everyone on this planet will get rid of their idols and worship the true God, the only one?uscome to know and worship? And one that is so ignored and looked down upon by most of the world today.

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | The Gentiles Will Know God

The scriptures speak of the nations that will come to know the Lord in the future.

Psalm 22:27 says: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to Jehovah, and all the families of the nations will worship before you.”

Psalm 86:9 – “All the nations you have made will come and bow down before you, O Lord; and I will glorify your name.”

Zechariah 14:16-19 speaks of the Millennium when Christ reigns in Jerusalem – “And it shall come to pass,thatall that are left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem [that is, at the battle of Armageddon] they will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.17and it will be,thatone who is not born ofallthe families of the earth to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, no rain will fall on them.18And if the family of Egypt does not go up and come,terNorain; the plague will come with which Jehovah will strike the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.19This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”

Isaiah 2:2-4 - "And it shall come to pass in the last days,thatthe mountain of the Lord's house shall be established [at the top / like the boss] from the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations will run to him.3And many peoples shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.4And he will judge between the nations, and will rebuke many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Micah 4:1-4 says something very similar.

Zechariah 8:20-23 says “Thus says the Lord of hosts;it will beyetwill happen, that the people will come, and the inhabitants of many cities:21And the inhabitants of acityhe will go to another, saying, Let us make haste to pray to the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts; I will go too.22Yes, many strong peoples and nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of hosts and pray before the Lord.23Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In these dayswill happen, that ten men shall take hold of all the languages ​​of the nations, and shall take hold of the Jew's robe, saying, We will go with you, for we have heardthatDeuseslike you."

And, last for now, in Revelation 15:4, those who came out of the Great Tribulation and vanquished the Beast sing the Song of Moses, which includes this declaration: “Who will not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? ? foryouonlyuntilholy: because all nations shall come and worship before you; because his judgments were manifested.

The point is, is this really going to happen and the Lord is preparing us for this in many of His books in the scriptures. The entire world during the literal physical millennial reign of Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, will worship him in Jerusalem. They will abandon their idols. They will worship the Lord alone.

It will happen. And you and I will go from being a minority to an overwhelming majority. You and I are outcasts for believing the truth now. Jeremiah too. But the time is coming when what is forbidden throughout our land will become law. Right now in our nation everyone is moving away from the Lord and you and I are staying and it's not easy for us. But the time is coming when everyone will turn to the Lord. And if they don'ttheybe the ones who get in trouble, not us!

Jeremiah 16 Commentary | God speaks

And because there is a future time when all nations will turn from their idolatry and worship the Lord alone, the Lord is determined to deliver His people from their idolatry and expresses that determination in Jeremiah 16:21.

21¶ Therefore, behold, I will this time make [they/these bad people] sabre,
I will make them know my hand and my power;
and they will know that my nameesThe Lord.

If the whole world is going to give up its idols and come to worship the Lord one day, can't the Lord expect that of His own people? Well, he expects that, and that's why he's going to have to exile them for their sins and teach them not to commit idolatry.

(Video) Overview: Jeremiah

This is Jeremiah 16. Invasion, Exile and Restoration.


1. A Change of Heart | Jeremiah 16-17 | Gary Hamrick
(Cornerstone Chapel - Leesburg, VA)
2. Jeremiah chapter 16 explained
(Jerusalem Syndrome)
3. A Prophetic Message to an Ungodly Nation (Jeremiah)
(Grace to You)
4. 8-Minute Bible Study: Jeremiah 6:16-17
(Declaration Church)
5. DeMatha JV Basketball vs St. Mary's Ryken
(DM Stags TV)
6. Jeremiah 16 Explained
(Brenda Howard)


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