on Jeremiah 1 :10
And Ezekiel says, "When I came to destroy the city," that is, as it is rendered in the margin of our version, "when I came to prophesy that the city should be destroyed;" Ezekiel 43:3. To hear, and not understand; to see, and not perceive; is a common saying in many languages. Demosthenes uses it, and expressly calls it a proverb: ὡστε το της παροιμιας ὁρωντας μη ὁρᾳν, και ακουοντας μη ακουειν; Conttra Aristogit. I., sub fin. The prophet, by the bold figure in the sentiment above mentioned, and the elegant form and construction of the sentence, has raised it from a common proverb into a beautiful mashal, and given it the sublime air of poetry.
Or the words may be understood thus, according to the Hebrew idiom: "Ye certainly hear, but do not understand; ye certainly see, but do not acknowledge." Seeing this is the case, make the heart of this people fat - declare it to be stupid and senseless; and remove from them the means of salvation, which they have so long abused.
There is a saying precisely like this in Aeschylus: -
- - - βλεποντες εβλεπον ματην,
Κλυοντες ουκ ηκουον.
Aesch. Prom. Vinct. 456.
"Seeing, they saw in vain; and hearing, they did not understand."
And shut "Close up" - השע hasha. This word Sal. ben Melec explains to this sense, in which it is hardly used elsewhere, on the authority of Onkelos. He says it means closing up the eyes, so that one cannot see; that the root is שוע shava, by which word the Targum has rendered the word טח tach, Leviticus 14:42, וטח את בית vetach eth beith, "and shall plaster the house." And the word טח tach is used in the same sense, Isaiah 44:18. So that it signifies to close up the eyes by some matter spread upon the lids. Mr. Harmer very ingeniously applies to this passage a practice of sealing up the eyes as a ceremony, or as a kind of punishment used in the East, from which the image may possibly be taken. Observ. 2:278.
With their heart "With their hearts" - ובלבבו ubilebabo, fifteen MSS. of Kennicott's and fourteen of De Rossi's, and two editions, with the Septuagint, Syriac, Chaldee, and Vulgate.
And be healed "And I should heal" - ואר פא veer pa, Septuagint, Vulgate. So likewise Matthew 13:14; John 12:40; Acts 28:27.
on Jeremiah 1 :10
I have ... set thee over - literally, I have made thee Pakeed, i. e., deputy. This title is given only to these invested with high authority (e. g. Genesis 41:34; 2 Chronicles 24:11; Jeremiah 20:1; Jeremiah 29:26). From God's side, the prophet is a mere messenger, speaking what he is told, doing what he is commanded. From man's side, he is God's vicegerent, with power "to root out, and to pull down."
Root out ... pull down - In the Hebrew, the verbs present an instance of the alliteration so common in the prophets, and agreeable to oriental taste. The former signifies the destruction of anything planted, the latter refers to buildings.
To throw down - More exactly, to tear in pieces. There are four words of destruction, and but two words of restoration, as if the message were chiefly of evil. And such was Jeremiah's message to his contemporaries. Yet are all God's dealings finally for the good of His people. The Babylonian exile was, for the moment, a time of chastisement; it also became a time of national repentance (see Jeremiah 24:5-7).
on Jeremiah 1 :10
1:10 The kingdoms - Having now received his commission, he is directed to whom he is to go; to the greatest, not only single persons, but whole nations, as the Babylonians, Persians, and Egyptians. To pull down - That is, to prophecy that I will pull down; which I will as certainly effect, as if thou hadst done it thyself: for, according to scripture - usage, the prophets are said to do that which they foretell shall come to pass. To plant - Metaphors taken from architects and gardeners: either the former words relate to the enemies of God, and the latter to his friends; or rather to both conditionally: if they repent, he will build them up, he will increase their families, and settle them in the land; if they do not, he will root them up, and pull them down.