A glorious high throne - As he is cursed who trusts in man, so he is blessed who trusts in God. He is here represented as on a throne in his temple; to him in the means of grace all should resort. He is the support, and a glorious support, of all them that trust in him.
In the rest of the prophecy Jeremiah dwells upon the moral faults which had led to Judah‘s ruin.
Like the heath - Or, “like a destitute man” Psalm 102:17. The verbs “he shall see” (or fear) and “shall inhabit” plainly show that a man is here meant and not a plant.
The river - Or, “water-course” Isaiah 30:25, made for purposes of irrigation.
Shall not see - Or, “shall not fear Jeremiah 17:6.” God‘s people feel trouble as much as other people, but they do not fear it because they know
(1) that it is for their good, and
(2) that God will give them strength to bear it.
The train of thought is apparently this: If the man is so blessed Jeremiah 17:7-8 who trusts in Yahweh, what is the reason why men so generally “make flesh their arm”? And the answer is: Because man‘s heart is incapable of seeing things in a straightforward manner, but is full of shrewd guile, and ever seeking to overreach others.
Desperately wicked - Rather, mortally sick.
The answer to the question, “who can know it?” To himself a man‘s heart is an inscrutable mystery: God alone can fathom it.
Ways - Rather, way, his course of life. The “and” must be omitted, for the last clause explains what is meant “by man‘s way,” when he comes before God for judgment. It is “the fruit,” the final result “of his doings, i. e., his real character as formed by the acts and habits of his life.
Rather, “As the partridge hath gathered eggs which it laid not, so ” The general sense is: the covetous man is as sure to reap finally disappointment only as is the partridge which piles up eggs not of her own laying, and is unable to hatch them.
A fool - A Nabal. See 1 Samuel 25:25.
Jeremiah 17:12, Jeremiah 17:13
Or, “Thou throne thou place thou hope Yahweh! All that forsake Thee etc.” The prophet concludes his prediction with the expression of his own trust in Yahweh, and confidence that the divine justice will finally be vindicated by the punishment of the wicked. The “throne of glory” is equivalent to Him who is enthroned in glory.
Shall be written in the earth - i. e., their names shall quickly disappear, unlike those graven in the rock forever Job 19:24. A board covered with sand is used in the East to this day in schools for giving lessons in writing: but writing inscribed on such materials is intended to be immediately obliterated. Equally fleeting is the existence of those who forsake God. “All men are written somewhere, the saints in heaven, but sinners upon earth” (Origen).
This taunt shows that this prophecy was written before any very signal fulfillment of Jeremiah‘s words had taken place, and prior therefore to the capture of Jerusalem at the close of Jehoiakim‘s life. “Now” means “I pray,” and is ironical.
I have not hastened from - i. e., I have not sought to escape from.
A pastor to follow thee - Rather, “a shepherd after Thee.” “Shepherd” means “ruler, magistrate” (Jeremiah 2:8 note), and belongs to the prophet not as a teacher, but as one invested with authority by God to guide and direct the political course of the nation. So Yahweh guides His people Psalm 23:1-2, and the prophet does so “after Him,” following obediently His instructions.
The woeful day - literally, “the day of mortal sickness:” the day on which Jerusalem was to be destroyed, and the temple burned.
Right - Omit the word. What Jeremiah asserts is that he spake as in God‘s presence. They were no words of his own, but had the authority of Him before whom he stood. Compare Jeremiah 15:19.
A terror - Rather, “a cause of dismay,” or consternation Jeremiah 1:17. By not fulfilling Jeremiah‘s prediction God Himself seemed to put him to shame.
Confounded - Put to shame.
Destroy them - Rather, break them with a double breaking: a twofold punishment, the first their general share in the miseries attendant upon their country‘s fall; the second, a special punishment for their sin in persecuting and mocking God‘s prophet.
The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.... When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30. PP 34.1
The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Colossians 1:16. Angels are God's ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the “express image of His person,” “the brightness of His glory,” “upholding all things by the word of His power,” holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3. “A glorious high throne from the beginning,” was the place of His sanctuary (Jeremiah 17:12); “a scepter of righteousness,” the scepter of His kingdom. Hebrews 1:8. “Honor and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.” Psalm 96:6. Mercy and truth go before His face. Psalm 89:14. PP 34.2
The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service. PP 34.3Read in context »
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.... O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake Thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise.” FE 172.1
Let believers in the truth for this time, turn away from authors that teach infidelity. Let not the works of skeptics appear on your library shelves, where your children can have access to them. Let those who have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, no longer deem it an essential feature of a good education to have a knowledge of the writings of those who deny the existence of God, and pour contempt upon His holy word. Give no place to the agents of Satan, since there is nothing by which to vindicate their doings; a clean thing cannot come out of an unclean.—The Review and Herald, November 10, 1891. FE 172.2Read in context »