Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Jeremiah 2:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They that handle the law - ותפשי vethophe shey, they that draw out the law; they whose office it is to explain it, draw out its spiritual meanings, and show to what its testimonies refer.

The pastors also - Kings, political and civil rulers.

Prophesied by Baal - Became his prophets, and were inspired with the words of lying spirits.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The guilt of this idolatry is ascribed to the four ruling classes:

(a) The accusation brought against the priests is indifference.

(b) “They that handle the law” belonged also to the priestly class Deuteronomy 33:10. Their offence was that “they knew not God.” Compare Micah 3:11.

(c) The third class are “the pastors” or shepherds, that is the temporal rulers. Their crime is disobedience.

(d) The fourth class are “the prophets.” It was their business to press the moral and spiritual truths of the law home to the hearts of the people: but they drew their inspiration from Baal, the Sun-god. Upon the corruption of the prophetic order at this time, see the Jeremiah 14:13 note.

Things that do not profit - Here idols, which are not merely unreal, but injurious. See 1 Samuel 12:21; Isaiah 44:9.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Those who begin well, but do not persevere, will justly be upbraided with their hopeful and promising beginnings. Those who desert religion, commonly oppose it more than those who never knew it. For this they could have no excuse. God's spiritual Israel must own their obligations to him for safe conduct through the wilderness of this world, so dangerous to the soul. Alas, that many, who once appeared devoted to the Lord, so live that their professions aggravate their crimes! Let us be careful that we do not lose in zeal and fervency, as we gain knowledge.