Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Jeremiah 16:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Nor cut themselves - A custom of the heathen forbidden to the Jews, Leviticus 19:28; Deuteronomy 14:1, and which appears now to have prevailed among them; because, having become idolaters, they conformed to all the customs of the heathen. They tore their hair, rent their garments, cut their hands, arms, and faces. These were not only signs of sorrow but were even supposed to give ease to the dead, and appease the angry deities. The Hindoos, on the death of a relation, express their grief by loud lamentations, and not unfrequently bruise themselves in an agony of grief with whatever they can lay hold on.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Cut themselves … make themselves bald - Both these practices were strictly forbidden in the Law (marginal references) probably as being pagan customs, but they seem to have remained in common use. By “making bald” is meant shaving a bare patch on the front of the head.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The prophet must conduct himself as one who expected to see his country ruined very shortly. In the prospect of sad times, he is to abstain from marriage, mourning for the dead, and pleasure. Those who would convince others of the truths of God, must make it appear by their self-denial, that they believe it themselves. Peace, inward and outward, family and public, is wholly the work of God, and from his loving-kindness and mercy. When He takes his peace from any people, distress must follow. There may be times when it is proper to avoid things otherwise our duty; and we should always sit loose to the pleasures and concerns of this life.