Giveth rain, both the former and the latter - See the note on Jeremiah 3:3.
The appointed weeks of the harvest - As the early rains fell in the northern parts of Judea about the end of September, in the civil year of the Hebrews, so the latter rains fell before harvest, in the months of March and April. The appointed weeks of the harvest were those which fell between the passover and pentecost. In the southern parts the harvest was earlier than in the northern. Dr. Blayney translates, "A sufficiency of the appointed things of harvest he secureth to us."
If the word שבעת weeks, be read with a ש sin instead of a ש shin, it will signify fullness or sufficiency; and thus the Septuagint and Vulgate have read it. I think the present reading is much to be preferred. God appoints a harvest time, and in his good providence he generally gives harvest weather.
Against the God
(1) of Creation Jeremiah 5:22, and
(2) of Providence Jeremiah 5:24,
They sin, not merely by apostasy, but by a general immorality extending to all classes Jeremiah 5:25-28. It is in this immorality that their idolatry has its root.
The sea is the symbol of restless and indomitable energy, chafing against all resistance, and dashing to pieces the works whereby man endeavors to restrain its fury. Yet God has imposed upon it laws which it must obey, and keeps it in its appointed place, not by barriers of iron but by a belt of sand. Modern science has shown that the resisting power of sand is enormous. A wave which would shatter rocks fails powerless upon sand.
Can they not prevail - The opposite of “thou couldest” Jeremiah 3:5. The sea, the mightiest of God‘s works, cannot prevail, cannot break God‘s laws, because He has not endowed it with free-will. Man, physically impotent, can prevail, because, being made in God‘s image, he is free.
The heart, or will of the Jews was first “revolting,” literally a will that “drew back” from God, because it disliked His service; and secondly it was “rebellious,” a will that actively resisted Him. Compare Deuteronomy 21:18, Deuteronomy 21:20.
As God‘s Providence addresses itself chiefly to the thoughtful, Jeremiah says in their heart. By the intelligent study of God‘s dealings men perceive that they are not merely acts of power but also of love.
The appointed weeks - literally, He guardeth, maintaineth, for us the weeks which are the statutes or settled laws “of the harvest.” These were the seven weeks from the Passover to Pentecost, and were as important for the ingathering of the crops as the rainy seasons for their nourishment.
It was not that the rains did not fall, or that the harvest weeks were less bright; the good was there, but the wickedness of the community blocked up the channels, through which it shou d have reached the people. The lawlessness and injustice of the times kept the mass of the people in poverty.
Rather, he spieth about like the crouching down of fowlers; they have set the fatal snare; “they catch men.”
Trap - literally, “The destroyer;” it was probably a gin, which strangled the birds caught in it.
Deceit - The wealth gained by deceit and fraud.
Fatness is admired in the East as a sign of wealth.
They shine - This word is used of the sleekness of the skin, soft and smooth as ivory.
They overpass the deeds of the wicked - literally, “They have overpassed words of wickedness,” i. e., they go to excess in wickedness.
Yet they prosper - Or, that they (the orphans) may prosper, enjoy their rights.
Rather, A terrible “and horrible thing” has happened “in the land.”
Bear rule by their means - Rather, “The priests” rule at their hands, i. e., govern according to their false prophecies, guidance, and directions.
My people love to have it so - False teaching lightens the yoke of God‘s Law, and removes His fear from the conscience: and with this, man is ready to be content.
God has not revealed to us the time when this message will close, or when probation will have an end. Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the Almighty. It is our duty to watch and work and wait, to labor every moment for the souls of men that are ready to perish. We are to keep walking continually in the footsteps of Jesus, working in His lines, dispensing His gifts as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Satan will be ready to give to anyone who is not learning every day of Jesus, a special message of his own creating, in order to make of no effect the wonderful truth for this time. 1SM 191.1
Letters have come to me asking me if I have any special light as to the time when probation will close; and I answer that I have only this message to bear, that it is now time to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Now, just now, it is time for us to be watching, working, and waiting. The Word of the Lord reveals the fact that the end of all things is at hand, and its testimony is most decided that it is necessary for every soul to have the truth planted in the heart so that it will control the life and sanctify the character. The Spirit of the Lord is working to take the truth of the inspired Word and stamp it upon the soul so that professed followers of Christ will have a holy, sacred joy that they will be able to impart to others. The opportune time for us to work is now, just now, while the day lasts. But there is no command for anyone to search the Scripture in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils.—The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894. 1SM 191.2Read in context »
The former and the latter rains are needed. “We are labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9). The Lord alone can give the precious former and latter rain. The clouds, the sunshine, the dews at night—these are heaven's most precious provisions. But all these favors graciously bestowed of Heaven will prove of little worth to those who do not appropriate them by diligent, painstaking effort on their part. Personal efforts must be put forth in agriculture. There is the plowing and replowing. Implements must be brought in and human skill must use them. The seed must be sown in its season. The laws which control seedtime and harvest must be observed, else there will be no harvest.... TDG 276.3Read in context »