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Title: Jeremiah : Being The Baird Lecture for 1922
Author: Smith, George Adam, Sir, 1856-1942
Language: English
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                     Being The Baird Lecture for 1922


                            George Adam Smith

                                 New York

                         George H. Doran Company



Lecture I. The Man And The Book.
Lecture II. The Poet.
Lecture III. The Prophet—His Youth And His Call.
Lecture IV. The Prophet In The Reign Of Josiah.
   1. His Earliest Oracles. (II. 2-IV. 4.)
   2. Oracles on the Scythians. (With some others: IV. 5-VI. 29.)
   3. Jeremiah and Deuteronomy. (Chs. VII, VIII. 8, XI.)
Lecture V. Under Jehoiakim.
   1. From Megiddo to Carchemish, 608-605.
   2. Parables. (XIII, XVIII-XX, XXXV.)
   3. Oracles on the Edge of Doom. (VII. 16-XVIII _passim_, XXII, XLV.)
Lecture VI. To The End And After.
   1. The Release of Hope. (XXIV, XXIX.)
   2. Prophets and Prophets. (XXIII. 9-32, XXVII-XXIX, etc.)
   4. And After. (XXX, XXXI, XXXIX-XLIV.)
Lecture VII. The Story Of His Soul.
   1. Protest and Agony. (I, IV. 10, 19, VI. 11, XI. 18-XII. 6, XV.
   10-XVI. 9, XVII. 14-18, XVIII. 18-23, XX. 7-18.)
   2. Predestination. (I, XVIII, etc.)
   3. Sacrifice.
Lecture VIII. God, Man And The New Covenant.
   1. God.
   2. Man and the New Covenant.
Appendix I. Medes And Scythians.
Appendix II. Necoh’s Campaign.
Index Of Texts.
Index Of Names And Subjects.




The purpose and the scope of this volume are set forth in the beginning of
Lecture I. Lecture II. explains the various metrical forms in which I
understand Jeremiah to have delivered the most of his prophecies, and
which I have endeavoured, however imperfectly, to reproduce in English.
Here it is necessary only to emphasise the variety of these forms, the
irregularities which are found in them, and the occasional passage of the
Prophet from verse to prose and from prose to verse, after the manner of
some other bards or rhapsodists of his race. The reader will keep in mind
that what appear as metrical irregularities on the printed page would not
be felt to be so when sung or chanted; just as is the case with the
folk-songs of Palestine to-day. I am well aware that metres so primitive
and by our canons so irregular have been more rhythmically rendered by the
stately prose of our English Versions; yet it is our duty reverently to
seek for the original forms and melodies of what we believe to be the
Oracles of God. The only other point connected with the metrical
translations offered, which need be mentioned here, is that I have
rendered the name of the God of Israel as it is by the Greek and our own
Versions—The Lord—which is more suitable to English verse than is either
Yahweh or Jehovah.

The text of the Lectures and the footnotes show how much I owe to those
who have already written on Jeremiah, as also in what details I differ
from one or another of them.

I have retained the form of Lectures for this volume, but I have very much
expanded and added to what were only six Lectures of an hour each when
delivered under the auspices of the Baird Trust in Glasgow in 1922.

George Adam Smith.

_18th October, 1923._


First of all, I thank the Baird Trustees for their graceful appointment to
this Lecture of a member of what is still, though please God not for long,
another Church than their own. I am very grateful for the privilege which
they grant me of returning to Glasgow with the accomplishment of a work
the materials for which were largely gathered during the years of my
professorship in the city. The value of the opportunity is enhanced by all
that has since befallen our nation and the world. The Great War invested
the experience of the Prophet, who is the subject of this Lecture, with a
fresh and poignant relevance to our own problems and duties. Like
ourselves, Jeremiah lived through the clash not only of empires but of
opposite ethical ideals, through the struggles and panics of small
peoples, through long and terrible fighting, famine, and slaughter of the
youth of the nations, with all the anxieties to faith and the problems of
Providence, which such things naturally raise. Passionate for peace, he
was called to proclaim the inevitableness of war, in opposition to the
popular prophets of a false peace; but later he had to counsel his people
to submit to their foes and to accept their captivity, thus facing the
hardest conflict a man can who loves his own—between patriotism and common
sense, between his people’s gallant efforts for freedom and the stern
facts of the world, between national traditions and pieties on the one
side and on the other what he believed to be the Will of God. These are
issues which the successive generations of our race are called almost
ceaselessly to face; and the teaching and example of the great Prophet,
who dealt with them through such strenuous debates both with his
fellow-men and with his God, and who brought out of these debates
spiritual results of such significance for the individual and for the
nation, cannot be without value for ourselves.

                                Lecture I.


In this and the following lectures I attempt an account and estimate of
the Prophet Jeremiah, of his life and teaching, and of the Book which
contains them—but especially of the man himself, his personality and his
tempers (there were more than one), his religious experience and its
achievements, with the various high styles of their expression; as well as
his influence on the subsequent religion of his people.

It has often been asserted that in Jeremiah’s ministry more than in any
other of the Old Covenant the personality of the Prophet was under God the
dominant factor, and one has even said that “his predecessors were the
originators of great truths, which he transmuted into spiritual life.”(1)
To avoid exaggeration here, we must keep in mind how large a part
personality played in their teaching also, and from how deep in their
lives their messages sprang. Even Amos was no mere _voice crying in the
wilderness_. The discipline of the desert, the clear eye for ordinary
facts and the sharp ear for sudden alarms which it breeds, along with the
desert shepherd’s horror of the extravagance and cruelties of
civilisation—all these reveal to us the Man behind the Book, who had lived
his truth before he uttered it. Hosea again, tells the story of his
outraged love as _the beginning of the Word of the Lord by him_. And it
was the strength of Isaiah’s character, which, unaided by other human
factors, carried Judah, with the faith she enshrined, through the first
great crisis of her history. Yet recognise, as we justly may, the
personalities of these prophets in the nerve, the colour, the accent, and
even the substance of their messages, we must feel the still greater
significance of Jeremiah’s temperament and other personal qualities both
for his own teaching and for the teaching of those who came after him.
Thanks to his loyal scribe, Baruch, we know more of the circumstances of
his career, and thanks to his own frankness, we know more of his
psychology than we do in the case of any of his predecessors. He has, too,
poured out his soul to us by the most personal of all channels; the charm,
passion and poignancy of his verse lifting him high among the poets of

So far as our materials enable us to judge no other prophet was more
introspective or concerned about himself; and though it might be said that
he carried this concern to a fault, yet fault or none, the fact is that no
prophet started so deeply from himself as Jeremiah did. His circumstances
flung him in upon his feelings and convictions; he was constantly
searching, doubting, confessing, and pleading for, himself. He asserted
more strenuously than any except Job his individuality as against God, and
he stood in more lonely opposition to his people.

Jeremiah was called to prophesy about the time that the religion of Israel
was re-codified in Deuteronomy—the finest system of national religion
which the world has seen, but only and exclusively national—and he was
still comparatively young when that system collapsed for the time and the
religion itself seemed about to perish with it. He lived to see the Law
fail, the Nation dispersed, and the National Altar shattered; but he
gathered their fire into his bosom and carried it not only unquenched but
with a purer flame towards its everlasting future. We may say without
exaggeration that what was henceforth finest in the religion of Israel
had, however ancient its sources, been recast in the furnace of his
spirit. With him the human unit in religion which had hitherto been mainly
the nation was on the way to become the individual. Personal piety in
later Israel largely grew out of his spiritual struggles.(2)

His forerunners, it is true, had insisted that religion was an affair not
of national institutions nor of outward observance, but of the people’s
heart—by which heart they and their hearers must have understood the
individual hearts composing it. But, in urging upon his generation
repentance, faith and conversion to God, Jeremiah’s language is more
thorough and personal than that used by any previous prophet. The
individual, as he leaves Jeremiah’s hands, is more clearly the direct
object of the Divine Interest and Grace, and the instrument of the Divine
Will. The single soul is searched, defined and charged as never before in

But this sculpture of the individual out of the mass of the nation, this
articulation of his immediate relation to God apart from Law, Temple and
Race, achieved as it was by Jeremiah only through intense mental and
physical agonies, opened to him the problem of the sufferings of the
righteous. In his experience the individual realised his Self only to find
that Self—its rights, the truths given it and its best service for
God—baffled by the stupidity and injustice of those for whom it laboured
and agonised. The mists of pain and failure bewildered the Prophet and to
the last his work seemed in vain. Whether or not he himself was conscious
of the solution of the problem, others reached it through him. There are
grounds for believing that the Figure of the Suffering Servant of the
Lord, raised by the Great Prophet of the Exile, and the idea of the
atoning and redemptive value of His sufferings were, in part at least, the
results of meditation upon the spiritual loneliness on the one side, and
upon the passionate identification of himself with the sorrows of his
sinful people on the other, of this the likest to Christ of all the

                                * * * * *

For our knowledge of this great life—there was none greater under the Old
Covenant—we are dependent on that Book of our Scriptures, the Hebrew text
of which bears the simple title “Jeremiah.”

The influence of the life and therefore the full stature of the man who
lived it, stretches, as I have hinted, to the latest bounds of Hebrew
history, and many writings and deeds were worshipfully assigned to him.
Thus the Greek Version of the Old Testament ascribes Lamentations to
Jeremiah, but the poems themselves do not claim to be, and obviously are
not, from himself. He is twice quoted in II. Chronicles and once in Ezra,
but these quotations may be reasonably interpreted as referring to
prophecies contained in our book, which were therefore extant before the
date of the Chronicler.(4) Ecclesiasticus XLIX. 6-7 reflects passages of
our Book, and of Lamentations, as though equally Jeremiah’s, and Daniel
IX. 2 refers to Jeremiah XXV. 12. A paragraph in the Second Book of
Maccabees, Ch. II. 1-8, contains, besides echoes of our Book of Jeremiah,
references to other activities of the Prophet of which the sources and the
value are unknown to us. But all these references, as well as the series
of apocryphal and apocalyptic works to which the name either of Jeremiah
himself or of Baruch, his scribe, has been attached,(5) only reveal the
length of the shadow which the Prophet’s figure cast down the ages, and
contribute no verifiable facts to our knowledge of his career or of his
spiritual experience.

For the actual life of Jeremiah, for the man as he was to himself and his
contemporaries, for his origin, character, temper, struggles, growth and
modes of expression, we have practically no materials beyond the Canonical
Book to which his name is prefixed.(6)

Roughly classified the contents of the Book (after the extended title in
Ch. I. 1-3) are as follows:—

1. A Prologue, Ch. I. 4-19, in which the Prophet tells the story of his
call and describes the range of his mission as including both his own
people and foreign nations. The year of his call was 627-6 B.C.

2. A large number of Oracles, dialogues between the Prophet and the Deity
and symbolic actions by the Prophet issuing in Oracles, mostly introduced
as by Jeremiah himself, but sometimes reported of him by another. Most of
the Oracles are in verse; the style of the rest is not distinguishable by
us from prose. They deal almost exclusively with the Prophet’s own people
though there are some references to neighbouring tribes. The bulk of this
class of the contents is found within Chs. II-XXV, which contain all the
earlier oracles, i.e. those uttered by Jeremiah before the death of King
Josiah in 608, but also several of his prophecies under Jehoiakim and even
Ṣedekiah. More of the latter are found within Chs. XXVII-XXXV: all these,
except XXVIII and part of XXXII, which are introduced by the Prophet
himself, are reported by another.

3. A separate group of Oracles on Foreign Nations, Chs. XLVI-LI, reported
to us as Jeremiah’s.

4. A number of narratives of episodes in the Prophet’s life from 608
onwards under Jehoiakim and Ṣedekiah to the end in Egypt, soon after 586;
apparently by a contemporary and eyewitness who on good grounds is
generally taken to be Baruch the Scribe: Chs. XXVI, XXXVI-XLV; but to the
same source may be due much of Chs. XXVII-XXXV (see under 2).

5. Obvious expansions and additions throughout all the foregoing; and a
historical appendix in Ch. LII, mainly an excerpt from II. Kings XXIV-XXV.

On the face of it, then, the Book is a compilation from several sources;
and perhaps we ought to translate the opening clause of its title not as
in our versions “The Words of Jeremiah,” but “The History of Jeremiah,” as
has been legitimately done by some scholars since Kimchi.

What were the nuclei of this compilation? How did they originate? What
proofs do they give of their value as historical documents? How did they
come together? And what changes, if any, did they suffer before the
compilation closed and the Book received its present form?

These questions must be answered, so far as possible, before we can give
an account of the Prophet’s life or an estimate of himself and his
teaching. The rest of this lecture is an attempt to answer them—but in the
opposite order to that in which I have just stated them. We shall work
backward from the two ultimate forms in which the Book has come down to
us. For these forms are two.

Besides the Hebrew text, from which the Authorised and Revised English
Versions have been made, we possess a form of the Book in Greek, which is
part of the Greek Version of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint.
This is virtually another edition of the same work. The Hebrew text
belongs to the Second or Prophetical Canon of the Jewish Scriptures, which
was not closed till about 200 B.C., or more than 350 years after
Jeremiah’s death. The Greek Version was completed about the same time, and
possibly earlier.

These two editions of the Book hold by far the greatest part of their
contents in common, yet they differ considerably in the amount and in the
arrangement of their contents, and somewhat less in the dates and personal
references which they apply to various passages. We have thus before us
two largely independent witnesses who agree in the bulk of their
testimony, and otherwise correct and supplement each other.

In size the Greek Book of Jeremiah is but seven-eighths of the Hebrew,(7)
but conversely it contains some hundred words that the Hebrew lacks. Part
of this small Greek surplus is due to the translators’ expansion or
paraphrase of briefer Hebrew originals, or consists of glosses that they
found in the Hebrew MSS. from which they translated, or added of
themselves; the rest is made up of what are probably original phrases but
omitted from the Hebrew by the carelessness of copyists; yet none of these
differences is of importance save where the Greek corrects an irregularity
in the Hebrew metre, or yields sense when the Hebrew fails to do so.(8)

More instructive is the greater number of phrases and passages found in
the Hebrew Book, and consequently in our English Versions, but absent from
the Greek. Some, it is true, are merely formal—additions to a personal
name of the title _king_ or _prophet_ or of the names of a father and
grandfather, or the more frequent use of the divine title _of Hosts_ with
the personal Name of the Deity or of the phrase _Rede of the Lord_.(9)
Also the Greek omits words which in the Hebrew are obviously mistakes of a
copyist.(10) Again, a number of what are transparent glosses or marginal
notes on the Hebrew text are lacking in the Greek, because the translator
of the latter did not find them on the Hebrew manuscript from which he
translated.(11) Some titles to sections of the Book, or portions of
titles, absent from the Greek but found in our Hebrew text, are also later
editorial additions.(12) Greater importance, however, attaches to those
phrases that cannot be mere glosses and to the longer passages, wanting in
the Greek but found in the Hebrew, many of which upon internal evidence
must be regarded as late intrusions into the latter.(13) And occasionally
a word or phrase in the Hebrew, which spoils the rhythm or is irrelevant
to the sense, is not found in the Greek.(14)

Finally, there is one great difference of arrangement. The group of
Oracles on Foreign Nations which appear in the Hebrew as Chs. XLVI-LI are
in the Greek placed between verses 13 and 15(15) of Ch. XXV, and are
ranged in a different order—an obvious proof that at one time different
editors felt free to deal with the arrangement of the compilation as well
as to add to its contents.(16)

Modern critics differ as to the comparative value of these two editions of
the Book of Jeremiah, and there are strong advocates on either side.(17)
But the prevailing opinion, and, to my view, the right one, is that no
general judgment is possible, and that each case of difference between the
two witnesses must be decided by itself.(18) With this, however, we have
nothing at present to do. What concerns us now is the fact that the Greek
is not the translation of the canonical Hebrew text, but that the two
Books, while sharing a common basis of wide extent, represent two
different lines of compilation and editorial development which continued
till at least 200 B.C. Between them they are the proof that, while our
Bible was still being compiled, some measure of historical criticism and
of editorial activity was at work on the material—and this not only along
one line. We need not stop to discuss how far the fact justifies the
exercise of criticism by the modern Church. For our present purpose it is
enough to keep in mind that our Book of Jeremiah is the result of a long
development through some centuries and on more than one line, though the
two divergent movements started with, and carried down, a large body of
material in common.

Moreover, this common material bears evidence of having already undergone
similar treatment, _before_ it passed out on those two lines of further
development which resulted in the canonical Hebrew text and the Greek
Version respectively. The signs of gradual compilation are everywhere upon
the material which they share in common. Now and then a chronological
order appears, and indeed there are traces of a purpose to pursue that
order throughout. But this has been disturbed by cross-arrangements
according to subject,(19) and by the intrusion of later oracles and
episodes among earlier ones(20) or _vice versa_(21) as if their materials
had come into the hands of the compilers or editors of the Book only
gradually. Another proof of the gradual growth of those contents, which
are common to the Hebrew and the Greek, is the fashion in which they tend
to run away from the titles prefixed to them. Take the title to the whole
Book,(22) Ch. I. 2, _Which was the Word of the Lord to Jeremiah in the
days of Josiah, son of Amon, King of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his
reign_. This covers only the narrative of the Prophet’s call in Ch. I, or
at most a few of the Oracles in the following chapters. The supplementary
title in verse 3—_It came also in the days of Jehoiakim, the son of
Josiah, King of Judah, up to [the end of]_(_23_)_ the eleventh year of
Ṣedekiah, the son of Josiah King of Judah, up to the exile of Jerusalem,
in the fifth month_—is probably a later addition, added when the later
Oracles of Jeremiah were attached to some collection of those which he had
delivered under Josiah; but even then the title fails to cover those words
in the Book which Jeremiah spake after Jerusalem had gone into exile, and
even after he had been hurried down into Egypt by a base remnant of his
people.(24) Moreover, the historical appendix to the Book carries the
history it contains on to 561 B.C. at least.(25) Again there are passages,
the subjects of which are irrelevant to their context, and which break the
clear connection of the parts of the context between which they have
intruded.(26) The shorter sentences, that also disturb the connection as
they stand, appear to have been written originally as marginal notes which
a later editor or copyist has incorporated in the text.(27) To this class,
too, may belong those brief passages which appear twice, once in their
natural connection in some later chapter and once out of their natural
connection in some earlier chapter.(28) And again in VII. 1-28 and XXVI.
1-9 we have two accounts, apparently from different hands, of what may or
may not be the same episode in Jeremiah’s ministry.

These data clearly prove that not only from the time when the Hebrew and
Greek editions of the Book started upon their separate lines of
development, but from the very beginnings of the Book’s history, the work
of accumulation, arrangement and re-arrangement, with other editorial
processes, had been busy upon it.

The next question is, have we any criteria by which to discriminate
between the elements in the Book that belong either to Jeremiah himself or
to his contemporaries and others that are due to editors or compilers
between his death soon after 586 and the close of the Prophetic Canon in
200 B.C.? The answer is that we have such criteria. All Oracles or
Narratives in the Book, which (apart from obvious intrusions) imply that
the Exile is well advanced or that the Return from Exile has already
happened, or which reflect the circumstances of the later Exile and
subsequent periods or the spirit of Israel and the teaching of her
prophets and scribes in those periods, we may rule out of the material on
which we can rely for our knowledge of Jeremiah’s life and his teaching.
Of such Exilic and post-Exilic contents there is a considerable, but not a
preponderant, amount. These various items break into their context, their
style and substance are not conformable to the style and substance of the
Oracles, which (as we shall see) are reasonably attributed to Jeremiah,
but they so closely resemble those of other writings from the eve of the
Return from Exile or from after the Return that they seem to be based on
the latter. In any case they reflect the situation and feelings of Israel
in Babylonia about 540 B.C. Some find place in our Book among the earlier
Oracles of Jeremiah,(29) others in his later,(30) but the most in the
group of Oracles on Foreign Nations.(31) And, finally, there are the long
extracts from the Second Book of Kings, bringing, as I have said, the
history down to at least 561.(32)

All these, then, we lay aside, so far as our search for Jeremiah himself
and his doctrine is concerned, and we do so the more easily that they are
largely devoid of the style and the spiritual value of his undoubted
Oracles and Discourses. They are more or less diffuse and vagrant, while
his are concise and to the point. They do not reveal, as his do, a man
fresh from agonising debates with God upon the poverty of his
qualifications for the mission to which God calls him, or upon the
contents of that mission, or upon his own sufferings and rights; nor do
they recount his adventures with his contemporaries. They are not the
outpourings of a single soul but rather the expression of the feelings of
a generation or of the doctrines of a school. We have in our Bible other
and better utterances of the truths, questions, threats and hopes which
they contain.

But once more—in what remains of the Book, what belongs to Jeremiah
himself or to his time, we have again proofs of compilation from more
sources than one. Some of this is in verse—among the finest in the Old
Testament—some in prose orations; some in simple narrative. Some Oracles
are introduced by the Prophet himself, and he utters them in the first
person, some are reported of him by others. And any chronological or
topical order lasts only through groups of prophecies or narratives.
Fortunately, however, included among these are more than one account of
how the writing of them and the collection of them came about.

In 604-603 B.C., twenty-one, or it may have been twenty-three, years after
Jeremiah had begun to prophesy, the history of Western Asia rose to a
crisis. Pharaoh Nĕcoh who had marched north to the Euphrates was defeated
in a battle for empire by Nebuchadrezzar, son of the King of Babylon. From
the turmoil of nations which filled the period Babylon emerged as that
executioner of the Divine judgments on the world, whom Jeremiah since 627
or 625 had been describing generally as _out of the North_. His
predictions were justified, and he was able to put a sharper edge on them.
Henceforth in place of the _enemy from the North_ Jeremiah could speak
definitely of the _King of Babylon_ and of his people _the Chaldeans_.

In Ch. XXV we read accordingly that in that year, 604-3, he delivered to
the people of Jerusalem a summary of his previous oracles. He told them
that the cup of the Lord’s wrath was given into his hand; Judah and other
nations, especially Egypt, must drink it and so stagger to their doom.

But a spoken and a summary discourse was not enough. Like Amos and Isaiah,
Jeremiah was moved to commit his previous Oracles to writing. In Ch. XXXVI
is a narrative presumably by an eyewitness of the transactions it
recounts, and this most probably the scribe who was associated with the
Prophet in these transactions. Jeremiah was commanded to _take a roll of a
book and write on __ it all the words which_ the Lord _had spoken to him
concerning Jerusalem_(_33_)_ and Judah and all the nations from the day_
the Lord first _spake to him, in the days of Josiah, even unto this day_.
For this purpose he employed Baruch, the son of Neriah, afterwards
designated the Scribe, and Baruch wrote on the Roll to his dictation.
Being unable himself to enter the Temple he charged Baruch to go there and
to read the Roll on a fast-day _in the ears of all the people of Judah who
have come in from their cities_. Baruch found his opportunity in the
following December, and read the Roll from the New Gate of the Temple to
the multitude. This was reported to some of the princes in the Palace
below, who sent for Baruch and had him read the Roll over to them. Divided
between alarm at its contents and their duty to the king, they sent
Jeremiah and Baruch into hiding while they made report to Jehoiakim. The
king had the Roll read out once more to himself as he sat in his room in
front of a lighted brasier, for it was winter. The reading incensed him,
and as the reader finished each three or four columns he cut them up and
threw them on the fire till the whole was consumed. But Jeremiah, in safe
hiding with Baruch, took another Roll and dictated again the contents of
the first; _and there were added besides unto them many like words_.

The story has been questioned, but by very few, and on no grounds that are
perceptible to common sense. One critic imagines that it ascribes
miraculous power to the Prophet in “its natural impression that the
Prophet reproduces from memory and dictates all the words which the Lord
has spoken to him.”(34) There is no trace of miracle in the story. It is a
straight tale of credible transactions, very natural (as we have seen) at
the crisis which the Prophet had reached. No improbability infects it, no
reflection of a later time, no idealising as by a writer at a distance
from the events he recounts. On the contrary it gives a number of details
which only a contemporary could have supplied. Nor can we forget the power
and accuracy of an Oriental’s memory, especially at periods when writing
was not a common practice.

There is, of course, more room for difference of opinion as to the
contents of each of the successive Rolls, and as to how much of these
contents is included in our Book of Jeremiah. But to such questions the
most probable answer is as follows.

There cannot have been many of the Prophet’s previous Oracles on the first
Roll. This was read three times over in the same day and was probably
limited to such Oracles as were sufficient for its practical purpose of
moving the people of Judah to repentance at a Fast, when their hearts
would be most inclined that way. But when the first Roll was destroyed,
the immediate occasion for which it was written was past, and the second
Roll would naturally have a wider aim. It repeated the first, but in view
of the additions to it seems to have been dictated with the purpose of
giving a permanent form to _all_ the fruits of Jeremiah’s previous
ministry. The battle of Carchemish had confirmed his predictions and put
edge upon them. The destruction of the Jewish people was imminent and the
Prophet’s own life in danger. His enforced retirement along with Baruch
lent him freedom to make a larger selection, if not the full tale, of his
previous prophecies. Hence the phrase _there were added many words like_
those on the first Roll.(35)

If such a Roll as the second existed in the care of Baruch then the use of
it in the compilation of our Book of Jeremiah is extremely probable, and
the probability is confirmed by some features of the Book. Among the
Oracles which can be assigned to Jeremiah’s activity before the fourth
year of Jehoiakim there is on the whole more fidelity to chronological
order than in those which were delivered later, and while the former are
nearly all given without narrative attached to them, and are reported as
from Jeremiah himself in the first person, the latter for the most part
are embedded in narratives, in which he appears in the third person.(36)

Further let us note that if some of the Oracles in the earlier part of the
Book—after the account of the Prophet’s call—are undated, while the dates
of others are stated vaguely; and again, if some, including the story of
the call, appear to be tinged with reflections from experiences of the
Prophet later than the early years of his career, then these two features
support the belief that the Oracles were first reduced to writing at a
distance from their composition and first delivery—a belief in harmony
with the theory of their inclusion and preservation in the Prophet’s
_second_ Roll.

Let us now turn to the biographical portions of the Book. We have proved
the trustworthiness of Ch. XXXVI as the narrative of an eyewitness, in all
probability Baruch the Scribe, who for the first time is introduced to us.
But if Baruch wrote Ch. XXXVI it is certain that a great deal more of the
biographical matter in the Book is from his hand. This is couched in the
same style; it contains likewise details which a later writer could hardly
have invented, and it is equally free from those efforts to idealise
events and personalities, by which later writers betray their distance
from the subjects of which they treat. It is true that, as an objector
remarks, “the Book does not contain a single line that claims to be
written by Baruch.”(37) But this is evidence rather for, than against,
Baruch’s authorship. Most of the biographical portions of the Old
Testament are anonymous. It was later ages that fixed names to Books as
they have fixed Baruch’s own to certain apocryphal works. Moreover, the
suppression of his name by this scribe is in harmony with the modest
manner in which he appears throughout, as though he had taken to heart
Jeremiah’s words to him: _Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them
not. Only thy life will I give thee for a prey in all places whither thou
goest._(38) But there is still more conclusive evidence. That Baruch had
not been associated with Jeremiah before 603-4 is a fair inference from
the fact that the Prophet had to dictate to him all his previous Oracles.
Now it is striking that up to that year and the introduction of Baruch as
Jeremiah’s scribe, we have few narratives of the Prophet’s experience and
activity—being left in ignorance as to the greater part of his life under
Josiah—and that these few narratives—of his call, of his share in the
propagation of Deuteronomy, of the plot of the men of Anathoth against
him, of his symbolic action with his waist-cloth, and of his visit to the
house of the Potter—are (except in the formal titles to some of them) told
in the first person by Jeremiah himself,(39) while from 604-3 onwards the
biographical narratives are much more numerous and, except in three of
them,(40) the Prophet appears only in the third person. This coincidence
of the first appearance of Baruch as the Prophet’s associate with the
start of a numerous series of narratives of the Prophet’s life in which he
appears in the third person can hardly be accidental.

                                * * * * *

Such, then, are the data which the Book of Jeremiah offers for the task of
determining the origins and authenticity of its very diverse contents.
After our survey of them, those of you who are ignorant of the course of
recent criticism will not be surprised to learn that virtual agreement now
exists on certain main lines, while great differences of opinion continue
as to details—differences perhaps irreconcilable. It is agreed that the
book is the result of a long and a slow growth, stretching far beyond
Jeremiah’s time, out of various sources; and that these sources are in the
main three:—

A. Collections of genuine Oracles and Discourses of Jeremiah—partly made
by himself.

B. Narratives of his life and times by a contemporary writer or writers,
the principal, if not the only, contributor to which is (in the opinion of
most) the Scribe Baruch.

C. Exilic and Post-Exilic additions in various forms: long prophecies and
narratives; shorter pieces included among the Prophet’s own Oracles; and
scattered titles, dates, notes and glosses.

Moreover, there is also general agreement as to which of these classes a
very considerable number of the sections of the Book belong to. There is
not, and cannot be, any doubt about the bulk of those which are apparently
exilic or post-exilic. It is equally certain that a large number of the
Oracles are Jeremiah’s own, and that the most of the Narratives are from
his time and trustworthy. But questions have been raised and are still
receiving opposite answers as to whether or not some of the Oracles and
Narratives have had their original matter coloured or expanded by later
hands; or have even in whole been foisted upon the Prophet or his
contemporary biographer from legendary sources.

Of these questions some, however they be answered, so little affect our
estimates of the Prophet and his teaching that we may leave them alone.
But there are at least four of them on the answers to which does depend
the accurate measure of the stature of Jeremiah as a man and a prophet, of
the extent and variety of his gifts and interests, of the simplicity or
complexity of his temperament, and of his growth, and of his teaching
through his long ministry of over forty years.

These four questions are

    (1) The authenticity of the account of his call in Ch. I.

    (2) The authenticity of the account of his support of the
    promulgation of Deuteronomy, the Old Covenant, in Ch. XI.

    (3) The authenticity of his Oracle on the New Covenant in Ch.

    (4) And an even larger question—Whether indeed any of the prose
    Oracles attributed to him in the Book are his, or whether we must
    confine ourselves to the passages in verse as alone his genuine

The first three of these questions we may leave for discussion to their
proper places in our survey of his ministry. The fourth is even more
fundamental to our judgment both of the Book and of the Man; and I shall
deal with it in the introduction to the next lecture on “The Poet

                               Lecture II.


From last lecture I left over to this the discussion of a literary
question, the answer to which is fundamental to our understanding both of
the Book and of the Man, but especially of the Man.

The Book of Jeremiah has come to us with all its contents laid down as
prose, with no metrical nor musical punctuation; not divided into
_stichoi_ or poetical lines nor marked off into stanzas or strophes. Yet
many passages read as metrically, and are as musical in sound, and in
spirit as poetic as the Psalms, the Canticles, or the Lamentations. Their
language bears the marks that usually distinguish verse from prose in
Hebrew as in other literatures. It beats out with a more or less regular
proportion of stresses or heavy accents. It diverts into an order of words
different from the order normal in prose. Sometimes it is elliptic,
sometimes it contains particles unnecessary to the meaning—both signs of
an attempt at metre. Though almost constantly unrhymed, it carries
alliteration and assonance to a degree beyond what is usual in prose, and
prefers forms of words more sonorous than the ordinary. But these many and
distinct passages of poetry issue from and run into contexts of prose
unmistakable. For two reasons we are not always able to trace the exact
border between the prose and the verse—_first_ because of the frequent
uncertainties of the text, and _second_ because the prose, like most of
that of the prophets, has often a rhythm approximating to metre. And thus
it happens that, while on the one hand much agreement has been reached as
to what Oracles in the Book are in verse, and what, however rhythmical,
are in prose, some passages remain, on the original literary form of which
a variety of opinion is possible. This is not all in dispute. Even the
admitted poems are variously scanned—that is either read in different
metres or, if in the same metre, either with or without irregularities.
Such differences of literary judgment are due partly to our still
imperfect knowledge of the laws of Hebrew metre and partly to the variety
of possible readings of the text. Nor is even that all. The claim has been
made not only to confine Jeremiah’s genuine Oracles to the metrical
portions of the Book, but, by drastic emendations of the text, to reduce
them to one single, exact, unvarying metre.

These questions and claims—all-important as they are for the definition of
the range and character of the prophet’s activity—we can decide only after
a preliminary consideration of the few clear and admitted principles of
Hebrew poetry, of their consequences, and of analogies to them in other

In Hebrew poetry there are some principles about which no doubt exists.
_First_, its dominant feature is Parallelism, Parallelism of meaning,
which, though found in all human song, is carried through this poetry with
a constancy unmatched in any other save the Babylonian. The lines of a
couplet or a triplet of Hebrew verse may be Synonymous, that is identical
in meaning, or Supplementary and Progressive, or Antithetic. But at least
their meanings respond or correspond to each other in a way, for which no
better name has been found than that given it by Bishop Lowth more than a
century and a half ago, “Parallelismus Membrorum.”(41) _Second_, this
rhythm of meaning is wedded to a rhythm of sound which is achieved by the
observance of a varying proportion between stressed or heavily accented
syllables and unstressed. That is clear even though we are unable to
discriminate the proportion in every case or even to tell whether there
were fixed rules for it; the vowel-system of our Hebrew text being
possibly different from what prevailed in ancient Hebrew. But on the whole
it is probable that as in other primitive poetries(42) there were no exact
or rigorous rules as to the proportion of beats or stresses in the single
lines. For the rhythm of sense is the main thing—the ruling factor—and
though the effort to express this in equal or regularly proportioned lines
is always perceptible, yet in the more primitive forms of the poetry just
as in some English folk-songs and ballads the effort did not constantly
succeed. The art of the poet was not always equal to the strength of his
passion or the length of his vision, or the urgency of his meaning. The
meaning was the main thing and had to be beat out, even though to effect
this was to make the lines irregular. As I have said in my Schweich
Lectures: “If the Hebrew poet be so constantly bent on a rhythm of sense
this must inevitably modify his rhythms of sound. If his first aim be to
produce lines each more or less complete in meaning, but so as to run
parallel to its fellow, it follows that these lines cannot be always
exactly regular in length or measure of time. If the governing principle
of the poetry requires each line to be a clause or sentence in itself, the
lines will frequently tend, of course within limits, to have more or fewer
stresses than are normal throughout the poem.”

But there are other explanations of the metrical irregularities in the
traditional text of Hebrew poems, which make it probable that these
irregularities are often original and not always (as they sometimes are)
the blunders of copyists. In all forms of Eastern art we trace the
influence of what we may call Symmetriphobia, an aversion to absolute
symmetry which expresses itself in more or less arbitrary disturbances of
the style or pattern of the work. The visitor to the East knows how this
influence operates in weaving and architecture. But its opportunities are
more frequent, and may be used more gracefully, in the art of poetry. For
instance, in many an Old Testament poem in which a single form of metre
prevails there is introduced at intervals, and especially at the end of a
strophe, a longer and heavier line, similar to what the Germans call the
“Schwellvers” in their primitive ballads. And this metrical irregularity
is generally to the profit both of the music and of the meaning.

Further, the fact that poems, such as we now deal with, were not composed
in writing, but were sung or chanted is another proof of the possibility
that the irregularities in their metre are original. In the songs of the
peasants of Palestine at the present day the lines vary as much as from
two to five accents, and within the same metrical form from three to four;
lines with three accents as written will, when sung to music, be stressed
with four, or with four as written will be stressed with five in order to
suit the melody.(43)

Nor are such irregularities confined to Eastern or primitive poetry. In
the later blank verse of Shakespeare, broken lines and redundant syllables
are numerous, but under his hand they become things of beauty, and “the
irregularity is the foundation of the larger and nobler rule.” To quote
the historian of English prosody—“These are quite deliberate indulgences
in excess or defect, over or under a regular norm, which is so pervading
and so thoroughly marked that it carries them off on its wings.”(44) Heine
in his unrhymed “Nordseebilder,” has many irregular lines—irregularities
suitable to the variety of the subjects of his verse.

Again, in relevance to the mixture of poetry with prose in the prophetic
parts of the Book of Jeremiah, it is just to note that the early
pre-Islamic rhapsodists of Arabia used prose narratives to illustrate the
subjects of their chants; that many later works in Arabic literature are
medleys of prose and verse; that in particular the prose of the “Arabian
Nights” frequently breaks into metre; while the singing women of Mecca
“often put metre aside and employ the easier form of rhymed prose”(45) the
“Saj” as it is called.

If I may offer a somewhat rough illustration, the works of some Eastern
poets are like canoe voyages in Canada, in which the canoe now glides down
a stream and is again carried overland by what are called portages to
other streams or other branches of the same stream. Similarly these works
have their clear streams of poetry, but every now and again their portages
of prose. I may say at once that we shall find this true also of the Book
of Jeremiah.

All these phenomena, both of Eastern and of Western poetry, justify us in
regarding with scepticism recent attempts whether to eliminate—by purely
arbitrary omissions and additions, not founded on the evidence of the
Manuscripts and Versions—the irregularities in the metrical portions of
the Book of Jeremiah, or to confine the Prophet’s genuine Oracles to these
metrical portions, and to deny that he ever passed from metre into
rhythmical prose. And our scepticism becomes stronger when we observe to
what different results these attempts have led, especially in the
particular form or forms of metre employed.

Professor Duhm, for instance, confines our prophet to one invariable form,
that of the Qînah or Hebrew Elegy, each stanza of which consists of four
lines of alternately _three_ and _two_ accents or beats; and by drastic
and often quite arbitrary emendation of the text he removes from this
every irregularity whether of defect or redundance in the separate
lines.(46) On the other hand Cornill concludes that “the metrical pieces
in the book are written throughout in _Oktastichs_,” or eight lines a
piece, but admits (and rightly) that “in the metrical structure of the
individual lines there prevails a certain freedom, due to the fact that
for the prophet verse-making (_Dichten_) was not an end in itself.” While
he allows, as all must, that Jeremiah frequently used the Qînah metre, he
emphasises the presence of the irregular line, almost as though it were
the real basis of the prophetic metre.(47) Other modern scholars by
starting from other presuppositions or by employing various degrees of the
textual evidence of the Versions, have reached results different from
those of Duhm and Cornill.(48) But at the same time it is remarkable how
much agreement prevails as to the frequent presence of the Qînah measure
or its near equivalent.

To sum up: in view of the argument adduced from the obvious principles of
Hebrew verse and of the primitive poetic practice of other nations—not to
speak of Shakespeare and some modern poets—I am persuaded after close
study of the text that, though Jeremiah takes most readily to the specific
Qînah metre, it is a gross and pedantic error to suppose that he confined
himself to this, or that when it appears in our Book it is always to be
read in the same exact form without irregularities. The conclusion is
reasonable that this rural prophet, brought up in a country village and
addressing a people of peasants, used the same license with his metres
that we have observed in other poetries of his own race. Nor is it
credible that whatever the purpose of his message was—reminiscence, or
dirge, or threat of doom or call to repent, or a didactic
purpose—Jeremiah, throughout the very various conditions of his long
ministry of forty years, employed but one metre and that only in its
strictest form allowing of no irregularities. This, I say, is not

The other question, whether in addition Jeremiah ever used prose in
addressing his people, may be still more confidently answered. Duhm
maintains that with the exception of the letter to the Jewish exiles in
Babylonia,(50) the Prophet never spoke or wrote to his people in prose,
and that the Book contains no Oracles from him, beyond some sixty short
poems in a uniform measure. These Duhm alleges—and this is all that he
finds in them—reveal Jeremiah as a man of modest, tender, shrinking
temper, “no ruler of spirits, a delicate observer, a sincere exhorter and
counsellor, a hero only in suffering and not in attack.”(51) Every passage
of the Book, which presents him in any character beyond this—as an
advocate for the Law or as a didactic prophet—is the dream of a later age,
definitely separable from his own Oracles not more by its inconsistence
with the temper displayed in these than by its prose form; for in prose,
according to Duhm, Jeremiah never prophesied. On the evidence we have
reviewed this also is not credible. That Jeremiah never passed from verse
to prose when addressing his people is a theory at variance with the
practice of other poets of his race; and the more unlikely in his case,
who was not only a poet but a prophet, charged with truths heavier than
could always be carried to the heart of his nation upon a single form of
folk-song. Not one of the older prophets, upon whom at first he leant, but
used both prose and verse; and besides there had burst upon his young ear
a new style of prophetic prose, rhythmical and catching beyond any
hitherto publicly heard in Israel. At least some portions of our Book of
Deuteronomy were discovered in the Temple a few years after his call, and
by order of King Josiah were being recited throughout Judah. Is it
probable that he, whose teaching proves him to have been in sympathy with
the temper and the practical purpose of that Book, should never have
yielded to the use of its distinctive and haunting style?

It is true that, while the lyrics which are undoubtedly the prophet’s own
are terse, concrete, poignant and graceful, the style of many—not of
all—of the prose discourses attributed to him is copious, diffuse, and
sometimes cold. But then it is verse which is most accurately gripped by
the memory and firmly preserved in tradition; it is verse, too, which best
guards the original fire. Prose discourses, whether in their first
reporting or in their subsequent tradition more readily tend to dilate and
to relax their style. Nor is any style of prose so open as the
Deuteronomic to additions, parentheses, qualifications, needless
recurrence of formulas and favourite phrases, and the like.

Therefore in the selection of materials available for estimating the range
and character of Jeremiah’s activities as a prophet, we must not reject
any prose Oracles offered by the Book as his, simply because they are in
prose. This reasonable caution will be of use when we come to consider the
question of the authenticity of such important passages as those which
recount his call, or represent him as assisting in the promulgation of
Deuteronomy, and uttering the Oracle on the New Covenant.(52)

But, while it has been necessary to reject as groundless the theory that
Jeremiah was exclusively a poet of a limited temper and a single form of
verse and was not the author of any of the prose attributed to him, we
must keep in mind that he did pour himself forth in verse; that it was
natural for a rural priest such as he, aiming at the heart of what was
mainly a nation of peasants, to use the form or forms of folk-song most
familiar to them(53)—in fact the only literary forms with which they were
familiar; and that in all probability more of the man himself comes out in
the poetry than in the prose which he has left to us. By his native gifts
and his earliest associations he was a poet to begin with; and therefore
the form and character of his poetry, especially as revealing himself,
demand our attention.

                                * * * * *

From what has been said it is clear that we must not seek too high for
Jeremiah’s rank as a poet. The temptation to this—which has overcome some
recent writers—is due partly to a recoil from older, unjust depreciations
of his prophetic style and partly to the sublimity of the truths which
that mixed style frequently conveys. But those truths apart, his verse was
just that of the folksongs of the peasants among whom he was
reared—sometimes of an exquisite exactness of tone and delicacy of
feeling, but sometimes full both of what are metrical irregularities
according to modern standards, and of coarse images and similes. To reduce
the metrical irregularities, by such arbitrary methods as Duhm’s, may
occasionally enhance the music and sharpen the edge of an Oracle yet
oftener dulls the melody and weakens the emphasis.(54) The figures again
are always simple and homely, but sometimes even ugly, as is not
infrequent in the rural poetries of all peoples. Even the dung on the
pastures and the tempers of breeding animals are as readily used as are
the cleaner details of domestic life and of farming—the house-candle, the
house-mill, the wine skins, the ornaments of women, the yoke, the plough,
and so forth. And there are abrupt changes of metaphor as in our early
ballads, due to the rush of a quick imagination and the crowd of concrete
figures it catches.

Some of Jeremiah’s verse indeed shows no irregularity. The following, for
instance, which recalls as Hosea loved to do the innocence and loyalty of
Israel’s desert days, is in the normal Qînah rhythm of lines with
alternately _three_ and _two_ accents each. The two first lines are
rhymed, the rest not.

II. 2f.:—

    The troth of thy youth I remember,
      Thy love as a bride,
    Thy follow of Me through the desert,
      The land unsown.
    Holy to the Lord was Israel,
      Of His income the firstling,
    All that would eat it stood guilty,
      Evil came on them.

Or II. 32:—

    Can a maiden forget her adorning,
      Or her girdle the bride?
    Yet Me have My people forgotten,
      Days without number.
    How fine hast thou fashioned thy ways,
      To seek after love!
    Thus ’t was thyself(55) to [those] evils
      Didst train(56) thy ways.
    Yea on thy skirts is found blood
      Of innocent(57) souls.
    Not only on felons(?) I find it,(58)
      But over all these.

Here again is a passage which, with slight emendations and these not
arbitrary, yields a fair constancy of metre (IV. 29-31):—

    From the noise of the horse and the bowmen
      All the land is in flight,
    They are into the caves, huddle in thickets,
      And are up on the crags.(59)
    Every town of its folk is forsaken,
      With none to inhabit.
    All is up! Thou destined to ruin,(?)(60)
      What doest thou now
    That thou deck’st thee in deckings of gold
      And clothest in scarlet,(61)
    And with stibium widenest thine eyes?
      In vain dost thou prink!
    Though satyrs, they utterly loathe thee,
      Thy life are they after.
    For voice as of travail I hear,
      Anguish as hers that beareth,
    The voice of the Daughter of Ṣion agasp,
      She spreadeth her hands:
    “Woe unto me, but it faints,
      My life to the butchers!”

On the other hand here is a metre,(62) for the irregularities of which no
remedy is offered by alternative readings in the Versions, but Duhm and
others reduce these only by padding the text with particles and other
terms. Yet these very irregularities have reason; they suit the meaning to
be expressed. Thus while some of the couplets are in the Qînah metre, it
is instructive that the first three lines are _all_ short, because they
are mere ejaculations—that is they belong to the same class of happy
irregularities as we recalled in Shakespeare’s blank verse.

      Israel a slave!
      Or house-born serf!
      Why he for a prey?
    Against him the young lions roar,
      Give forth their voice,
    And his land they lay waste
      Burning and tenantless.
    Is not this being done thee
      For thy leaving of Me?

Or take the broken line added to the regular verse on Rachel’s mourning,
the sob upon which the wail dies out:—

    A voice in Ramah is heard, lamentation
      And bitterest weeping,
    Rachel beweeping her children
      And will not be comforted—
      For they are not!(63)

Sometimes, too, a stanza of regular metre is preceded or followed by a
passionate line of appeal, either from Jeremiah himself or from another—I
love to think from himself, added when his Oracles were about to be
repeated to the people in 604-3. Thus in Ch. II. 31 we find the cry,

    O generation look at the Word of the Lord!

breaking in before the following regular verse,

    Have I been a desert to Israel,
      Or land of thick darkness?
    Why say my folk, “We are off,
      No more to meet Thee.”

There is another poem in which the Qînah measure prevails but with
occasional lines longer than is normal—Ch. V. 1-6_a_ (alternatively to end
of 5(64)).

    Run through Jerusalem’s streets,
      Look now and know,
    And search her broad places
      If a man ye can find,
    If there be that doth justice
      Aiming at honesty.
        [That I may forgive her.]
    Though they say, “As God liveth,”
      Falsely they swear.
    Lord, are thine eyes upon lies(65)
      And not on the truth?
    Thou hast smitten, they ail not,
      Consumed them, they take not correction;
    Their faces set harder than rock,
      They refuse to return.

Or take Ch. II. 5-8. A stanza of four lines in irregular Qînah measure
(verse 5) is followed by a couplet of four-two stresses and several lines
of three each (verses 6 and 7), and then (verse 8) by a couplet of
three-two, another of four-three, and another of three-three.(66) In Chs.
IX and X also we shall find irregular metres.

Let us now take a passage, IX. 22, 23, which, except for its last couplet,
is of another measure than the Qînah. The lines have three accents each,
like those of the Book of Job:—

    Boast not the wise in his wisdom,
    Boast not the strong in his strength,
    Boast not the rich in his riches,
    But in this let him boast who would boast—
    Instinct and knowledge of Me,
    Me, the Lord, Who work troth
    And(67) justice and right upon earth,
        For in these I delight.

Or this couplet, X. 23, in lines of four stresses each:—

    Lord, I know—not to man is his way,
    Not a man’s to walk or settle his steps!

Not being in the Qînah measure, both these passages are denied to Jeremiah
by Duhm. Is not this arbitrary?

The sections of the Book which pass from verse to prose and from prose to
verse are frequent.

One of the most striking is the narrative of the Prophet’s call, Ch. I.
4-19, which I leave to be rendered in the next lecture. In Chap. VII. 28
ff. we have, to begin with, two verses:—

    This is the folk that obeyed not
      The voice of the Lord,(68)
    That would not accept correction;
      Lost(69) is truth from their mouth.
    Shear and scatter thy locks,
    Raise a dirge on the heights,
    The Lord hath refused and forsaken
      The sons of His wrath.

Then these verses are followed by a prose tale of the people’s sins. Is
this necessarily from a later hand, as Duhm maintains, and not naturally
from Jeremiah himself?

Again Chs. VIII and IX are a medley of lyrics and prose passages. While
some of the prose is certainly not Jeremiah’s, being irrelevant to the
lyrics and showing the colour of a later age, the rest may well be from

Ch. XIV is also a medley of verse and prose. After the Dirge on the
Drought (which we take later), comes a passage in rhythmical prose (verses
11-16), broken only by the metrical utterance of the false prophets in
verse 13:—

    Sword or famine ye shall not see,
      They shall not be yours;
    But peace and staith shall I give you
      Within this Place.(70)

And verse comes in again in verses 17-18, an Oracle of Jeremiah’s own:—

    Let mine eyes with tears run down,
      By night and by day,
    Let them not cease from weeping(71)
      For great is the breach—
    Broken the Virgin, Daughter of my people,
      Most sore the wound!
    Fare I forth to the field,
      Lo, the slain of the sword;
    If I enter the city,
      Lo, anguish of famine.
    Priest and prophet alike are gone begging
      In a land they know not.
    Hast Thou utterly cast away Judah,
      Loathes Ṣion Thy soul?
    Why then hast Thou smitten us,
      Past our healing?
    Hoped we for peace—no good,
    For time to heal—and lo panic!
    Lord we acknowledge our evil,
      The guilt of our fathers—
      To Thee have we sinned.

And now the measure changes to one of longer irregular lines, hardly
distinguishable from rhythmical prose, which Duhm therefore takes,
precariously, as from a later hand:—

    For Thy Name’s sake do not despise,
    Demean not the Throne of Thy Glory,
    Remember and break not Thy Covenant with us!
    Can any of the gentile Bubbles bring rain,
    Or the Heavens give the showers?
    Art not Thou He(72) on whom we must wait?
      For all these Thou hast made.

Again in Ch. XV. 1-2, prose is followed by a couplet, this by more prose
(verses 3, 4) and this by verse again (verses 5-9). But these parts are
relevant to each other, and some of Duhm’s objections to the prose seem
inadequate and even trifling. For while the heavy judgment is suitably
detailed by the prose, the following dirge is as naturally in verse:—

    Jerusalem, who shall pity,
      Who shall bemoan thee?
    Who shall but turn him to ask
      After thy welfare?

And once more, in the Oracle Ch. III. 1-6 the first verse, a quotation
from the law on a divorced wife, is in prose, and no one doubts that
Jeremiah himself is the quoter, while the rest, recounting Israel’s
unfaithfulness to her Husband is in verse. See below, pages 98, 99.

                                * * * * *

So much for the varied and often irregular streams of the Prophet’s verse
and their interruptions and connections by “portages” of prose. Let us
turn now from the measures to the substance and tempers of the poetry.

As in all folk-song the language is simple, but its general
inevitableness—just the fit and ringing word—stamps the verse as a true
poet’s. Hence the difficulty of translating. So much depends on the music
of the Hebrew word chosen, so much on the angle at which it is aimed at
the ear, the exact note which it sings through the air. It is seldom
possible to echo these in another language; and therefore all versions,
metrical or in prose, must seem tame and dull beside the ring of the
original. Before taking some of the Prophet’s renderings of the more
concrete aspects of life I give, as even more difficult to render, one of
his moral reflections in verse—Ch. XVII. 5 f. Mark the scarceness of
abstract terms, the concreteness of the figures:—

    Curséd the wight that trusteth in man
    Making flesh his stay!
    [And his heart from the Lord is turned]
    Like some desert-scrub shall he be,
    Nor see any coming of good,
    But dwell in the aridest desert,
    A salt, uninhabited land.
    Blesséd the wight that trusts in the Lord,
    And the Lord is his trust!
    He like a tree shall be planted by waters,
    That stretches its roots to the stream,
    Unafraid(73) at the coming of heat,
    His leaf shall be green.
    Sans care in a year of drought,
    He fails not in yielding his fruit.

As here, so generally, the simplicity of the poet’s diction is matched by
that of his metaphors, similes, and parables. A girl and her ornaments, a
man and his waist-cloth—thus he figures what ought to be the clinging
relations between Israel and their God. The stunted desert-shrub in
contrast to the river-side oaks, the incomparable olive, the dropped sheaf
and even the dung upon the fields; the vulture, stork, crane and swift;
the lion, wolf and spotted leopard coming up from the desert or the
jungles of Jordan; the hinnying stallions and the heifer in her heat; the
black Ethiopian, already familiar in the streets of Jerusalem, the potter
and his wheel, the shepherd, plowman and vinedresser, the driver with his
ox’s yoke upon his shoulders; the harlot by the wayside; the light in the
home and sound of the hand-mill—all everyday objects of his people’s sight
and hearing as they herded, ploughed, sowed, reaped or went to market in
the city—he brings them in simply and with natural ease as figures of the
truths he is enforcing. They are never bald or uncouth, though in
translation they may sometimes sound so.

In the very bareness of his use of them there lurks an occasional irony as
in the following—a passage of prose broken by a single line of verse.(74)
The Deity is addressing the prophet:—

    And thou shalt say unto this people,
      “Every jar shall be filled with wine,”

    and it shall be if they say unto thee, “Don’t we know of
    course(75) that

    “Every jar shall be filled with wine,”

    then thou shalt say unto them: Thus saith the Lord, Lo, I am about
    to fill the inhabitants of this land, the kings and princes, the
    priests and prophets, even Judah and all the inhabitants of
    Jerusalem, with drunkenness [the drunkenness, that is, of horror
    at impending judgments] and I will dash them one against another,
    fathers and sons together. I will not pity, saith the Lord, nor
    spare nor have compassion that I should not destroy them.

How one catches the irritation of the crowd on being told what seems to
them such a commonplace—till it is interpreted!

Like his fellow-prophets, whose moral atmosphere was as burning as their
physical summer, who living on the edge of the desert under a downright
sun _drew breath_ (as Isaiah puts it) _in the fear of the Lord_ and saw
the world in the blaze of His justice, Jeremiah brings home to the hearts
of his people the truths and judgments, with which he was charged, in the
hard, hot realism of their austere world. Through his verse we see the
barer landscapes of Benjamin and Judah without shadow or other relief,
every ugly detail exposed by the ruthless noon, and beyond them the desert
hills shimmering through the heat. Drought, famine, pestilence and
especially war sweep over the land and the ghastly prostrate things, human
as well as animal, which their skirts leave behind are rendered with
vividness, poignancy and horror of detail.

Take, to begin with, the following, XIV. 1 ff.:—

    _The Word of the Lord to Jeremiah Concerning the Drought._

    Jerusalem’s cry is gone up,
    Judah is mourning,
    The gates thereof faint in
    Black grief to the ground.

    Her nobles sent their menials for water,
    They came to the pits;
    Water found none and returned,
    Empty their vessels.
    [Abashed and confounded
    They cover their heads.](76)

    The tillers(77) of the ground are dismayed,
    For no rain hath been(78);
    And abashed are the ploughmen,
    They cover their heads.

    The hind on the moor calves and abandons,
    For the grass has not come.
    On the bare heights stand the wild asses,
    Gasping for air
    With glazen eyes—
    Herb there is none!

    Though our sins do witness against us,
    Lord act for the sake of Thy Name!
    [For many have been our backslidings,
      ’Fore Thee have we sinned.]

    Hope of Israel, His Saviour
      In time of trouble,
    Why be like a traveller(79) through the land,
      Or wayfaring guest of a night?
    Why art Thou as one that is stunned,—
      Strong yet unable to save?

    Yet Lord, Thou art in our midst,
    [O’er us Thy Name hath been called]
      Do not forsake us!

      Thus saith the Lord of this people:—

    So fond to wander are they,
      Their feet they restrain not,
    The Lord hath no pleasure in them,
      He remembers their guilt.(80)

The following dirge is on either a war or a pestilence, or on both, for
they often came together. The text of the first lines is uncertain, the
Hebrew and Greek differing considerably:—

    Call ye the keening women to come,
      And send for the wise ones,
    That they hasten and sing us a dirge,
    Till with tears our eyes run down,
      Our eyelids with water.

    For death has come up by our windows,
      And into our palaces,
    Cutting off from the streets the children,
      The youths from the places.
    And fallen are the corpses of men
      Like dung on the field,
    Or sheaves left after the reaper,
      And nobody gathers.(81)

The minatory discourses are sombre and lurid. Sometimes the terror
foretold is nameless and mystic, yet even then the Prophet’s simplicity
does not fail but rather contributes to the vague, undefined horror. In
the following it is premature night which creeps over the hills—night
without shelter for the weary or refuge for the hunted.

    Hear and give ear, be not proud,
      For the Lord hath spoken!
    Give glory to the Lord your God
        Before it grows dark,
    And before your feet stumble—
      On the mountains of dusk.
    While ye look for light, He turns it to gloom
      And sets it thick darkness.(82)

There this poem leaves the Doom, but in others Jeremiah leaps in a moment
from the vague and far-looming to the near and exact. He follows a line
which songs of vengeance or deliverance often take among unsophisticated
peoples in touch with nature. They will paint you a coming judgment first
in the figure of a lowering cloud or bursting storm and then in the
twinkling of an eye they turn the clouds or the lightnings into the ranks
and flashing arms of invaders arrived. I remember an instance of this
within one verse of a negro song from the time of the American Civil War:—

    Don’t you see de lightning flashing in de cane-brakes?
      Don’t you think we’se gwine to have a storm?
    No you is mistaken—dem’s de darkies’ bayonets,
      And de buttons on de uniform!

Examples of this sudden turn from the vague to the real are found
throughout Jeremiah’s Oracles of Doom. Here are some of them:—

    Wind off the glow of the bare desert heights,
      Right on the Daughter of My people,
    It is neither to winnow nor to cleanse,
      In full blast it meets me...:
    Lo, like the clouds he is mounting,
      Like the whirlwind his chariots!
    Swifter than vultures his horses;
      Woe! We are undone!

    For hark a signal from Dan,
      Mount Ephraim echoes disaster,
    Warn the folk! “They are come!”(83)
      Make heard o’er Jerusalem.
    Lo, the beleaguerers (?) come
      From a land far-off,
    They let forth their voice on the townships of Judah,
      [Close] as the guards on her suburbs
    They are on and around her,
      For Me she defied.(84)

There is a similar leap from the vagueness of IV. 23-26, which here
follows, to the vivid detail of verses 29-31 already rendered on page 45.

    I looked to the earth, and lo, chaos,
      To the heavens, their light was gone,
    I looked to the mountains, they quivered,
      The hills were all shuddering.
    I looked and behold not a man,
      All the birds of the heavens had fled.
    I looked for the gardens, lo desert,
      All the townships were burning.

Or take a similar effect from the Oracle on the Philistines, Ch. XLVII. 2,

    Lo, the waters are up in the North,
      The torrents are plunging,
    O’erwhelming the land and her fulness,
      The city and her dwellers.
    Mankind is crying and howling,
      Every man in the land,
    At the noise of the stamp of the hoofs of his steeds
      At the rush of his cars,
      The rumble of his wheels.
    Fathers look not back for their children,
      So helpless their hands!(85)

Or take the Prophet’s second vision on his call, Ch. I. 13 ff., the
boiling cauldron with its face from the North, which is to boil out over
the land; then the concrete explanation, _I am calling to all the kingdoms
of the North, and they shall come and every one set his throne in the
gates of Jerusalem_. There you have it—that vague trouble brewing in the
far North and then in a moment the northern invaders settled in the gates
of the City.

But the poetry of Jeremiah had other strains. I conclude this lecture with
selections which deal with the same impending judgment, yet are wistful
and tender, the poet taking as his own the sin and sufferings of the
people with whose doom he was charged.

The first of these passages is as devoid of hope as any we have already
seen, but like Christ’s mourning over the City breathes the regret of a
great love—a profound and tender Alas!

    Jerusalem, who shall pity,
      Who shall bemoan thee?
    Or who will but turn him to ask
      After thy welfare?

Then follow lines of doom without reprieve and the close comes:—

    She that bore seven hath fainted,
      She breathes out her life.
    Set is her sun in the daytime,
      Baffled and shaméd;
    And their remnant I give to the sword
      In face of their foes.(86)

In the following also the poet’s heart is with his people even while he
despairs of them. The lines, VIII. 14-IX. 1, of which 17 and 19_b_ are
possibly later insertions, are addressed to the country-folk of Judah and

    For what sit we still?
      Sweep together,
    And into the fortified cities,
      That there we may perish!
    For our God(87) hath doomed us to perish,
    And given us poison to drink,
      For to Him(88) have we sinned.
    Hope for peace there was once—
      But no good—
    For a season of healing—
      Lo, panic.(89)
    From Dan the sound has been heard,(90)
      The hinnying of his horses;
    With the noise of the neighing of his stallions
      All the land is aquake.
    For that this grief hath no comfort,(91)
      Sickens my heart upon me.
    Hark to the cry of my people
      Wide o’er the land—
    “Is the Lord not in Ṣion,
      Is there no King there?”(92)

    Harvest is over, summer is ended
      And we are not saved!
    For the breach of the Daughter of my people
      I break, I darken,
    Horror hath seized upon me,
      Pangs as of her that beareth.(93)
    Is there no balm in Gilead,
      Is there no healer?
    Why will the wounds never stanch
      Of the daughter of my people?
    O that my head were waters,
      Mine eyes a fountain of tears,
    That day and night I might weep
      For the slain of my people!

Such in the simple melodies of his music and in the variety of his
moods—now sombre, stern and relentless, now tender and pleading, now in
despair of his people yet identifying himself with them—was this rural
poet, who was called to carry the burdens of prophecy through forty of the
most critical and disastrous years of Israel’s history. In next lecture we
shall follow the earlier stages which his great heart pursued beneath
those burdens.

                               Lecture III.


Jeremiah was born soon after 650 B.C. of a priestly house at Anathoth, a
village in the country of Benjamin near Jerusalem. Just before his birth
Egypt and the small states of Palestine broke from allegiance to Assyria.
War was imminent, and it may have been because of some hope in Israel of
Divine intervention that several children born about the time received the
name Yirmyahu—_Yahweh hurls_ or _shoots_.(94) The boy’s name and his
father’s, Hilḳiah, _Yahweh my portion_,(95) are tokens of the family’s
loyalty to the God of Israel, at a time when the outburst in Jewry of a
very different class of personal names betrays on the part of many a lapse
from the true faith, and when the loyal remnant of the people were being
persecuted by King Manasseh. Probably the family were descended from Eli.
For Abiathar, the last of that descent to hold office as Priest of the
Ark, had an ancestral estate at Anathoth, to which he retired upon his
dismissal by Solomon.(96) The child of such a home would be brought up
under godly influence and in high family traditions, with which much of
the national history was interwoven. It may have been from his father that
Jeremiah gained that knowledge of Israel’s past, of her ideal days in the
desert, of her subsequent declensions, and of the rallying prophecies of
the eighth century, which is manifest in his earlier Oracles. Some have
claimed a literary habit for the stock of Abiathar.(97) Yet the first
words of God to Jeremiah—_before I formed thee in the body I knew thee,
and before thou camest forth from the womb I hallowed thee_(98)—as well as
the singular originality he developed, rather turn us away from his family
traditions and influence.

What is more significant, for its effects appear over all his earlier
prophecies, is the country-side on which the boy was born and reared.

Anathoth, which still keeps its ancient name Anata, is a little village
not four miles north-north-east of Jerusalem, upon the first of the rocky
shelves by which the central range of Palestine declines through desert to
the valley of the Jordan. The village is hidden from the main road between
Jerusalem and the North, and lies on no cross-road to the East. One of its
influences on the spirit of its greatest son was its exposure to the East
and the Desert. The fields of Anathoth face the sunrise and quickly merge
into the falling wilderness of Benjamin. It is the same open, arid
landscape as that on which several prophets were bred: Amos a few miles
farther south at Tekoa, John Baptist, and during His Temptation our Lord
Himself. The tops of the broken desert hills to the east are lower than
the village. The floor of the Jordan valley is not visible, but across its
felt gulf the mountains of Gilead form a lofty horizon.

The descending foreground with no shelter against the hot desert winds,
the village herds straying into the wilderness, the waste and crumbling
hills shimmering in the heat, the open heavens and far line of the Gilead
highlands, the hungry wolves from the waste and lions from the jungles of
Jordan are all reflected in Jeremiah’s poems:—

    Light o’ heel young camel,
      Zig-zagging her tracks,
    Heifer gone to school to the desert—
      In the heat of her passion,
    Snapping the breeze in her lust,
      Who is to turn her?

    Wind off the glow of the bare desert heights,
      Direct on my people,
    Neither to winnow nor to sift,
      In full blast it meets me.

    A lion from the jungle shall smite,
      A wolf from the wastes undo them,
    The leopard shall prowl round their towns,
      All faring forth shall be torn.

    Even the stork in the heavens
      Knoweth her seasons,
    And dove, swift and swallow
      Keep time of their coming.

    Is there no balm in Gilead,
      No healer there?(99)

We need not search the botany of that province for the suggestion of this
last verse. Gilead was the highland margin of the young prophet’s view,
his threshold of hope. The sun rose across it.

The tribal territory in which Anathoth lay was Benjamin’s. Even where not
actually desert the bleak and stony soil accords with the character given
to the tribe and its few historical personages. _Benjamin shall ravin as a
wolf._(100) Of Benjamin were the mad King Saul, the cursing Shimei,
Jeremiah’s persecutors in Anathoth, and the other Saul who breathed
threatenings and slaughter against the Church—while Jeremiah himself, in
his moods of despair, seems to have caught the temper of the tribe among
whom his family dwelt. Whether in the land or in its sons it was hard,
thorny soil that needed deep ploughing.(101) It was, too, as Isaiah had
predicted, the main path of invasion from the North,(102) by Ai, Migron,
Michmash, the Pass, Geba, Ramah, Gibeah of Saul, Laish, and _poor_
Anathoth herself. It had been the scene of many massacres, and above all
of the death of the Mother of the people, who returns to bewail their new

    A voice in Ramah is heard, lamentation
      And bitterest weeping,
    Rachel beweeping her children,
      And will not be comforted,
        For they are not.(103)

The cold northern rains and the tears of a nation’s history alike swept
these bare uplands. The boy grew up with many ghosts about him—not
Rachel’s only but the Levite and his murdered wife, the slaughtered troops
at Gibeah and Rimmon, Saul’s sullen figure, Asahel stricken like a roe in
the wilderness of Gibeon, and the other nameless fugitives, whom through
more than one page of the earlier books we see cut down among the rocks of

The empty, shimmering desert and the stony land thronged with such
tragedies—Jeremiah was born and brought up on the edge between them.

It was a nursery not unfit for one, who might have been (as many think),
the greatest poet of his people, had not something deeper and wider been
opened to him, with which Anathoth was also in touch. The village is not
more than an hour’s walk from Jerusalem. Social conditions change little
in the East; then, as now, the traffic between village and city was daily
and close—country produce taken to the capital; pottery, salted fish,
spices, and the better cloths brought back in exchange. We see how the
history of Jerusalem may have influenced the boy. Solomon’s Temple was
nearly four hundred years’ old. There were the city walls, some of them
still older, the Palace and the Tombs of the Kings—perhaps also access to
the written rolls of chroniclers and prophets. Above all, Anathoth lay
within the swirl of rumour of which the capital was the centre. Jerusalem
has always been a tryst of the winds. It gathers echoes from the desert
far into Arabia, and news blown up and down the great roads between Egypt
and Damascus and beyond to the Euphrates; or when these roads are deserted
and men fear to leave their villages, news vibrating as it vibrates only
in the tremulous East, from hamlet to hamlet and camp to camp across
incredible spaces. As one has finely said of a rumour of invasion:—

    I saw the tents of Cushán in affliction,
    The curtains of Midian’s land were trembling.(104)

To the north lay the more fruitful Ephraim—more fruitful and more famous
in the past than her sister of Benjamin, but now in foreign hands, her own
people long gone into exile. It was natural that her fate should lie heavy
on the still free but threatened homes of Benjamin, whose northern windows
looked towards her; and that a heart like Jeremiah’s should exercise
itself upon God’s meaning by such a fate and the warning it carried for
the two surviving tribes.(105) Moreover, Shiloh lay there, Shiloh where
Eli and other priestly ancestors had served the Ark in a sanctuary now

It was, too, across Ephraim with its mixed population in touch with the
court and markets of Nineveh, that rumours of war usually reached Benjamin
and Judah:—

    Hark! They signal from Dan,
    Mount Ephraim echoes disaster.(107)

After a period of peace, and as Jeremiah was growing to manhood, such
rumours began to blow south again from the Euphrates. Some thirteen years
or so earlier, Asshurbanipal, the Sardanapalus of the Greeks, had
accomplished the last Assyrian conquest in Palestine, 641 B.C., and for an
interval the land was quiet. But towards 625 word came that the Medes were
threatening Nineveh, and, though they were repelled, in that year
Asshurbanipal died and Nabopolassar of Babylon threw off the Assyrian
yoke. Palestine felt the grasp of Nineveh relax. There was a stir in the
air and men began to dream. But quick upon hope fell fear. Hordes of a new
race whom—after the Greeks—we call Scythians, the Ashguzai of the Assyrian
monuments, had half a century before swarmed over or round the Caucasus,
and since then had been in touch, and even in some kind of alliance, with
the Assyrians. Soon after 624 they forced the Medes to relinquish the
siege of Nineveh. They were horsemen and archers, living in the saddle,
and carrying their supplies behind them in wagons. After (as it seems)
their effective appearance at Nineveh, they swept over the lands to the
south, as Herodotus tells us;(108) and riding by the Syrian coast were
only brought up by bribes on the border of Egypt.(109) This must have been
soon after the young prophet’s call in 627-6. In short, the world, and
especially the North, was (to use Jeremiah’s word) _boiling_ with events
and possibilities of which God alone knew the end. Prophets had been
produced in Israel from like conditions in the previous century, and now
after a silence of nigh seventy years, prophets were again to appear:
Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Jeremiah.

For these northern omens conspired with others, ethical and therefore more
articulate, within Judah herself. It was two generations since Isaiah and
Hezekiah had died, and with them the human possibilities of reform. For
nearly fifty years Manasseh had opposed the pure religion of the prophets
of the eighth century, by persecution, by the introduction of foreign and
sensual cults, and especially by reviving in the name of Israel’s God(110)
the ancient sacrifice of children, in order to propitiate His anger. Thus
it appears that the happier interests of religion—family feasts, pieties
of seed-time and harvest, gratitude for light, fountains and rain, and for
good fortune—were scattered among a host both of local and of foreign
deities; while for the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Moses and
Isaiah, the most horrible of superstitious rites were reserved, as if all
that His people could expect of Him was the abatement of a jealous and
hungry wrath.

A few voices crying through the night had indeed reminded Judah of what He
was and what He required. _He hath showed thee, O man, __ what is good;
and what doth the Lord require but to do justly, and love mercy, and walk
humbly with thy God._(111) At last with the overthrow of Manasseh’s
successor, Amon, signs of a dawn appeared. The child of eight years who
was heir to the throne was secured, perhaps through his mother’s
influence, by a party in Court and Temple that had kept loyal to the
higher faith; and the people, probably weary of the fanatic extravagance
of Manasseh, were content to have it so.

The young King Josiah, who to the end was to prove himself worthy of his
training, and the boy in the priest’s home at Anathoth were of an age: a
fact not to be omitted from any estimate of the influences which moulded
Jeremiah in his youth. But no trace of this appears in what he has left
us; as a boy he may never have seen the King, and to the close of Josiah’s
reign he seems to have remained too obscure to be noticed by his monarch;
yet at the last he has only good to say of Josiah:—

    Did he not eat and drink,
    And do judgment and justice?
    The cause of the poor and the needy he judged—
    Then was it well.(112)

Attempts at reform were made soon after Josiah’s accession,(113) but
little was achieved, and that little only in the capital and its Temple.
In the latter for four hundred years no deity of the land had been
worshipped save Yahweh, and He in no material form. It would be easy to
remove from the streets of Jerusalem any recently introduced Baals and
possibly, as Assyria’s sovereignty relaxed, the worship of the Host of
Heaven. But beyond Jerusalem the task was more difficult. Every village
had the shrine of a deity before the God of Israel came to the land. The
names of these local Baalîm, or Lords, had mostly vanished,(114) and
Israel claimed the rural sanctuaries for Yahweh. But the old rites, with
the old conceptions of deity attached to them, seem to have been
transferred to Him by the ignorant worshippers, till instead of one
Yahweh—one Lord—unique in character and in power, there were as many as
there had been Baalîm, and they bore the same inferior and sometimes
repulsive characters. We cannot exaggerate this division of the Godhead
into countless local forms:—

    As many as thy cities in number
    So many O Judah thy gods!(115)

Their high places lay all round the Prophet and each had its bad
influence, not religious only but ethical, not only idolatrous but
immoral, with impure rites and orgies.

    Lift to the bare heights thine eyes,
    Where not wast thou tumbled?
    The land thou hast fouled with thy whoredoms,(116)

—spiritual and physical both; the one led to the other.

This dissipation of the national mind upon many deities was reflected in
the nation’s politics. With no faith in One Supreme God the statesmen of
Judah, just as in Isaiah’s earlier days, fluttered between the great
powers which were bidding for the empire of the world. Egypt under
Psamtik’s vigorous direction pressed north, flying high promises for the
restless vassals of Assyria. But Assyria, though weakened, had not become
negligible. Between the two the anchorless policy of Judah helplessly
drifted. To use Jeremiah’s figure, suitable alike to her politics and her
religion, she was a faithless wife, off from her husband to one paramour
after another.

All this was chaos worse than the desert that crumbled before Anathoth, a
tragedy more bitter than the past which moaned through the land behind.
What had God to say? It was a singular mark of Israel, that the hope of a
great prophet never died from her heart. Where earnest souls were left
they prayed for his coming and looked for the Word of the Lord by him more
than they who wait for the morning. The same conditions prevailed out of
which a century before had come an Amos, a Hosea, a Micah and an Isaiah.
Israel needed judgment and the North again stirred with its possibilities.
Who would rise and spell into a clear Word of God the thunder which to all
ears was rumbling there?

The call came to Jeremiah and, as he tells the story, came sudden and
abrupt yet charged with the full range and weight of its ultimate meaning,
so far as he himself was concerned:—

    Before in the body I built thee, I knew thee,
    Before thou wast forth of the womb, I had hallowed thee,
    And a prophet to the nations had set thee.(117)

A thought of God, ere time had anything to do with him, or the things of
time, even father or mother, could make or could mar him; God’s alone, and
sent to the world; out of the eternities with the Divine will for these
days of confusion and panic and for the peoples, small and great, that
were struggling through them. It was a stupendous consciousness—this that
then broke in the village of Anathoth and in the breast of the young son
of one its priests; the spring of it deeper and the range of it wider than
even that similar assurance which centuries later filled another priest’s
home in the same hill country:—

    And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest,
    For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord,
        To prepare His ways.(118)

The questions of foreknowledge and predestination, with which Jeremiah
engaged himself not a little, I leave for a future lecture.(119) Here we
may consider the range of his mission.

This was very wide—not for Judah only, but _a prophet to the nations had I
set thee_. The objection has been taken, that it is too wide to be
original, and the alternative inferences drawn: either that it is the
impression of his earliest consciousness as a prophet but formed by
Jeremiah only after years of experience revealed all that had been
involved in his call; or that it is not Jeremiah’s own but the notion
formed of him by a later exaggerating generation. It is true that Jeremiah
did not dictate the first words of the Lord to him till some twenty-three
years after he heard them, when it was possible and natural for him to
expand them in terms of his intervening experience. And we must remember
the summary bent of the Hebrew mind—how natural it was to that mind to
describe processes as if they were acts of a day, done by a fiat as in the
story of the Creation; or to state a system of law and custom, which took
centuries to develop, as though it were the edict of a single lawgiver and
all spoken at once, when the development entered on a new and higher
stage, as we see in the case of Deuteronomy and its attribution to Moses.

Yet the forebodings at least of a task so vast as that of _prophet to the
nations_ were anything but impossible to the moment of Jeremiah’s call;
for the time surged, as we have seen, with the movements of the nations
and their omens for his own people. Indeed it would have been strange if
the soul of any prophet, conscious of a charge from the Almighty, had not
the instinct, that as the meaning of this charge was gradually unfolded to
him, it would reveal, and require from him the utterance of, Divine
purposes throughout a world so full even to the uninspired eye of the
possibilities both of the ruin of old states and of the rise of new ones—a
world so close about his own people, and so fraught with fate for them,
that in speaking of _them_ he could not fail to speak of the _whole of it_
also. If at that time a Jew had at all the conviction that he was called
to be a prophet, it must have been with a sense of the same
responsibilities, to which the older prophets had felt themselves bound:
men who knew themselves to be ministers of the Lord of Hosts, Lord of the
Powers of the Universe, who had dealt not with Israel only but with Moab
and Ammon and Aram, with Tyre and the Philistines and Egypt, and who had
spoken of Assyria herself as His staff and the rod of His judgment.
Jeremiah’s three contemporaries, Ṣephaniah, Nahum and Habakkuk, all deal
with the foreign powers of their day—why should he in such an age not have
been conscious from the first that his call from the Lord of Hosts
involved a mission as wide as theirs? I am sure that if we had lived with
this prophet through his pregnant times, as we have lived through these
last ten years and have been compelled to think constantly not of our own
nation alone—concentrated as we had to be on our duties to her—but of
_all_ the nations of the world as equally involved in the vast spiritual
interests at stake, we should have no difficulty in understanding how
possible and natural it was for Jeremiah to hear his mission _to the
nations_ clearly indicated in the very moment of his call.

And in fact Jeremiah’s acknowledged Oracles—some of them among his
earliest—travel far beyond Judah and show not merely a knowledge of, and
vivid interest in, the qualities and fortunes of other peoples, but a wise
judgment of their policies and therefore of what should be Judah’s prudent
attitude and duty towards them. For long before his call she had been
intriguing with Egypt and Assyria.(120) Just then or immediately later the
Scythians, after threatening the Medes, were sweeping over Western Asia as
far as the frontier of Egypt, and in his Scythian songs Jeremiah(121)
shows an intimate knowledge of their habits. In his Parable of the Potter
(for which unfortunately there is no date) he declares God’s power to
mould or re-mould _any_ nation.(122) And Baruch, writing of Jeremiah’s
earlier ministry, says that he spoke _concerning all nations_.(123)

No wonder that Jeremiah shrank from such a task: _Ah, Lord God, I know not
to speak, I am too young._(124) His excuse is interesting. Had he not
developed his gift for verse? Or, conscious of its rustic simplicity, did
he fear to take the prophet’s thunder on lips, that had hitherto moved
only to the music of his country-side? In the light of his later
experience the second alternative is not impossible. When much practice
must have made him confident of his art as a singer, he tells us how
burning he felt the Word of the Lord to be. But whatever was the motive of
his reluctance it was overcome. As he afterwards said:—

    Ah, Lord, Thou didst beguile me,
      And beguiled I let myself be;
    Thou wast too strong for me
      And hast prevailed.(125)

The following shows how this came about:—

    And the Lord said unto me, Say not I am too young, for to all to
    which I send thee thou shalt go, and all I command thee thou shalt

    Be not afraid before them
    For with thee am I to deliver,

    Rede of the Lord. And the Lord put forth His hand and caused it to
    touch my mouth, and the Lord said to me, Lo, I have set My Word in
    thy mouth,

    See I appoint thee this day
      Over the nations and kingdoms,
    To pull up and tear down and destroy,(126)
      To build and to plant.

To this also objection has been taken as still more incredible in the
spiritual experience of so youthful a rustic. It has been deemed the
exaggeration of a later age, and described as the “gigantic figure” of a
“plenipotentiary to the nations,” utterly inconsistent with the modest
singer of the genuine oracles of Jeremiah, “a hero only in suffering, not
in assault.”(127) Such an objection rather strains the meaning of the
passage. According to this Jeremiah is to be the carrier of the Word of
the Lord. That Word, rather than the man himself, is the power _to pull up
and tear down and destroy, to build and to plant_(128)—that Word which no
Hebrew prophet received without an instinct of its world-wide range and
its powers of both destruction and creation.

Two visions follow. To appreciate the first we must remember the natural
anxiety of the prophets when charged with pronouncements so weighty and
definite. The Word, the ethical purpose of God for Israel was clear, but
how was it to be fulfilled? No strength appeared in the nation itself. The
party, or parties, loyal to the Lord had been in power a dozen years and
effected little in Jerusalem and nothing beyond. The people were not
stirred and seemed hopeless. Living in a village where little changed
through the years, but men followed the habits of their fathers, Jeremiah
felt everything dead. Winter was on and the world asleep.

    Then the Word of the Lord came to me saying, What art thou seeing,
    Jeremiah; and I said, I am seeing the branch of an almond tree.
    And the Lord said to me, Well hast thou seen, for I am awake over
    My Word to perform it.

The Hebrew for almond tree is _shākēdh_, which also means _awakeness_ or
_watchfulness_,(129) and the Lord was _awake_ or was
_watchful_—_shōkēdh_—the difference only of a vowel. In that first token
of spring which a Palestine winter affords, the Prophet received the
sacrament of his call and of the assurance that God was awake! That the
sacrament took this form was natural. That of Isaiah of Jerusalem was the
vision of a Throne and an Altar. That of Ezekiel, the exile, shone in the
stormy skies of his captivity. This to the prophet of Anathoth burst with
the first blossom on his wintry fields. The sense of unity in which he and
his people conceived the natural and spiritual worlds came to his help;
neither in the one world nor in the other did God slumber. God was

The Second Vision needs no comment after our survey of the political
conditions of the time. The North held the forces for the fulfilling of
the Word. The Vision is followed by a charge to the Prophet himself.

    And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, What art thou
    seeing? And I said, A caldron boiling and its face is from (?) the
    North.(130) And the Lord said unto me:—

    Out of the North shall evil boil forth(131)
    On all that dwell in the land;
    For behold, I am calling
    All the realms(132) of the North.
    They shall come and each set his throne
    In the openings of the gates of Jerusalem,
    On all of her walls round about,
    And every township of Judah.
    And My judgments by them(133) shall I utter
    On the evil of those who have left Me,
    Who have burned to other gods
    And bowed to the works of their hands.

    But thou shalt gird up thy loins,
    Stand up and speak(134) all I charge thee.
    Be not dismayed before them,
    Lest to their face I dismay thee.
    See I have thee set this day
    A fenced city and walls of bronze
    To the kings and princes of Judah,
    Her priests and the folk of the land;
    They shall fight but master thee never,
    For with thee am I to deliver—
    Rede of the Lord.(135)

Jeremiah was silenced and went forth to his ministry—the Word upon his
lips and the Lord by his side.

Two further observations are natural.

_First_, note the contrast between the two Visions—the blossoming twig and
the boiling caldron brewing tempests from the North. Unrelated as these
seem, they symbolise together Jeremiah’s prophesying throughout. For in
fact this was all blossom and storm, beauty and terror, tender yearning
and thunders of doom—up to the very end. Or to state the same more deeply:
while the caldron of the North never ceased boiling out over his
world—consuming the peoples, his own among them, and finally sweeping him
into exile and night—he never, for himself or for Israel, lost the clear
note of his first Vision, that all was watched and controlled. There is
his value to ourselves. Jeremiah was no prophet of hope, but he was the
prophet of that without which hope is impossible—faith in Control—that be
the times dark and confused as they may, and the world’s movements
ruthless, ruinous and inevitable, God yet watches and rules all to the
fulfilment of His Will—though how we see not, nor can any prophet tell us.

_Second_, note how the story leaves the issue, not with one will only, but
with two—God’s and the Man’s, whom God has called. His family has been
discounted, his people and their authorities, political and religious, are
to be against him. _He_ is to stand up and speak, _He_ is not to let
himself be dismayed before them, lest God make him dismayed. Under God,
then, the Individual becomes everything. Here, at the start of his
ministry, Jeremiah has pressed upon him, the separateness, the awful
responsibility, the power, of the Single Soul. We shall see how the
significance of this developed not for himself only, but for the whole
religion of Israel.

                               Lecture IV.


This period of the Prophet’s career may be taken in three divisions:—

_First_, His Earliest Oracles, which reflect the lavish distribution of
the high-places in Judah and Benjamin, and may therefore be dated before
the suppression of these by King Josiah, in obedience to the Law-Book
discovered in the Temple in 621-20 B.C.

_Second_, His Oracles on the Scythians, whose invasions also preceded that
year; with additions.

_Third_, Oracles which imply that the enforcement of the Law-Book had
already begun, and reveal Jeremiah’s attitude to it and to the course of
the reforms which it inspired.

We must keep in mind that the Prophet did not dictate his early Oracles
till the year 604-03, and that he added to them on the Second Roll _many
like words_.(136) We shall thus be prepared for the appearance among them
of references to the changed conditions of this later date, when the
Scythians had long come and gone, the Assyrian Empire had collapsed, its
rival Egypt had been defeated at the Battle of Carchemish, and
Nebuchadrezzar and his Chaldeans were masters of Western Asia.

1. His Earliest Oracles. (II. 2-IV. 4.)

These bear few marks of the later date at which they were dictated by
Jeremiah—in fact only a probable reference to Egypt’s invasion of
Palestine in 608, Ch. II. 16, and part, if not all, of Ch. III. 6-18. The
general theme is a historical retrospect—Israel’s early loyalty to her
God, and her subsequent declension to the worship of other gods, figured
as adultery; along with a profession of penitence by the people, to which
God responds by a stern call to a deeper repentance and thorough reform;
failing this, her doom, though vaguely described as yet, is inevitable.
The nation is addressed as a whole at first in the second person singular
feminine, but soon also in the plural, and the plural prevails towards the
end. The nation answers as a whole, sometimes as _I_ but sometimes also as

Before expounding the truths conveyed by these early Oracles it is well to
translate them in full, for though not originally uttered at the same
time, they run now in a continuous stream of verse—save for one of those
“portages” of prose which I have described.(137) There is no reason for
denying the whole of this passage to Jeremiah, whether because it is in
prose or because it treats of Northern Israel as well as Judah.(138) But
on parts of it the colours are distinctly of a period later than that of
the Prophet. All the rest of the Oracles may be taken to be from himself.
Duhm after much hesitation has come to doubt the genuineness of Ch. II.
5-13, but his suspicions of deuteronomic influence seem groundless, and
even if they were sound they would be insufficient for denying the verses
to Jeremiah.(139)

    II. 1, 2, And he said, Thus sayeth the Lord:(140)

    I remember the troth of thy youth,
      Thy love as a bride,
    Thy following Me through the desert,
      The land unsown.
    Holy to the Lord was Israel,  3
      First-fruit of His income;
    All that would eat it stood guilty,
      Evil came on them.
    Rede of the Lord—
    Hear the Lord’s Word, House of Jacob,  4
      All clans of Israel’s race!
    [Thus sayeth the Lord]  5
    What wrong found your fathers in Me,
      That so far they broke from Me,
    And following after the Bubble(141)
      Bubbles became.
    Nor said they:  6
    Where is the Lord who carried us up
      From the land of Miṣraim?(142)
    Who led us through the desert,
    Land of waste and chasms,
    Land of drought and barren,(143)
    A land which nobody crosses,
    Nor mankind settles upon it.
    And I brought you into a garden,  7
      To feed on its fruit and its wealth.
    But coming ye fouled My land,
      My heritage turned to loathing.
    The priests never said,  8
      Where is the Lord?
    They who handle the Law knew Me not,
      The rulers(144) rebelled against Me;
    By Baal the prophets did prophesy,
      And followed the worthless.
    So still with you must I strive,(145)  9
      And strive with your sons.(146)
    For cross to the isles of Kittîm and look  10
    Send to Kedár, and think for yourselves,(147)
      And see, was ever like this?
    Have any nations(148) changed their gods,  11
      And these no gods at all?
    Yet My people exchanged their(149) Glory
      For that which is worthless.
    Be heavy,(150) O heavens, for this,  12
      Shudder and shudder again!
    Twain the wrongs My people have wrought—  13
      Me have they left,
      The Fount of live water,
      To hew themselves cisterns,
      Cisterns broken,
      That cannot hold water!

    Israel a slave!  14
    Or house-born serf!
    Why he for a prey?
    Against him the young lions roar,  15
      Give forth their voice,
    And his land they lay waste,
      Burned are his towns and tenantless.
    The sons, too, of Noph and Taḥpanḥes have forced,  16
      Have abused thee.(151)
    Is not all this being done thee  17
      For thy leaving of Me?(152)
    And now what to thee is the road to Miṣraim,(153)
      Nile’s waters to drink?
    Or what is to thee the road to Asshúr,  18
      To drink of the River?
    Be thy scourge thine own sin,  19
      Thy doublings convict thee!
    Know and see how sore for thyself,
      How bitter to leave Me!
    But never was awe of Me thine—
      Rede of the Lord thy God.(154)

    From of old thou hast broken thy yoke,  20
      Hast burst thy bonds,
    Saying, “I will not serve!”
    While upon every high hill,
    And under each rustling tree,
      Harlot thou sprawlest!
    Yet a noble vine did I plant thee,  21
      Wholly true seed;
    How could’st thou change to a corrupt,(155)
      A wildling grape?
    Yea, though thou scour thee with nitre,  22
      And heap to thee lye,
    Ingrained is thy guilt before Me,
      Rede of the Lord, thy God.(156)
    How sayest thou, “I’m not defiled,  23
      Nor gone after the Baals.”
    Look at thy ways in the Valley,
      And own thy deeds!
    A young camel, light o’ heel,(157)
      Zig-zagging her tracks,
    A heifer, schooled to the desert—  24
      In the heat of her lust,
    Snapping the wind in her passion,
      Who is to turn her?
    None that would seek her need strain them,
      In her month they shall find her.
    Save thou thy feet from the peeling,  25
      Thy throat from thirst!
    But thou sayest, “No use!(158)
    For with strangers I’m fallen in love,
      Them must I after!”
    Like the shame of the thief when he’s caught,  26
      Shall Israel’s sons(159) be shamed.
    [They and their kings and their princes,
      Their priests and their prophets](160)
    Who say to a stock “Thou my Father!”  27
      To a stone “Thou hast borne me!”
    Their(161) backs they have turned to Me
      Never their(162) faces.
    Yet in time of their trouble they say
      “Rise up and save us!”
    Where be thy gods thou hast made thee?  28
    Let them rise, if so they may save thee
      In time of thy trouble;
    For as thy townships in number,(163)
      So be, O Judah, thy gods!
    What quarrel have you against Me?  29
      All you are the sinners;(164)
    Against Me you all have rebelled—
      Rede of the Lord.
    In vain have I smitten your sons  30
      Ye(165) took not correction
    Your(166) sword has devoured your prophets,
      Like a ravaging lion.
    O generation—you!—look at the Word of the Lord!(167)  31
    Have I been a desert to Israel,
      Or land of thick darkness?
    Why say My folk “We are off,
      No more to meet Thee!”
    Can a maiden forget her adorning,  32
      Or her girdle a bride?
    Yet Me have My people forgotten,
      Days without number!
    Why trimmest thou still thy ways  33
      To seek after love?
    Therefore thou also to evil
      Thy ways hast trained:(168)
    Yea, on thy skirts is found blood  34
      Of innocent souls,
    Not only on felons(?) I find it
      But over all these.(169)
    Yet thou said’st, “I am assoiled,  35
      Sure His wrath turns from me!”
    Behold I am going to judge thee
      For saying, “I’m sinless!”
    How very light dost thou take it,  36
      To change thy ways!
    E’en of Miṣraim shalt thou be ashamed(170)
      As ashamed of Ashshúr.
    Out of this too shalt thou come  37
      With thy hands on thy head,
    For spurned hath the Lord the things of thy trust,
      Not by them shalt thou prosper!

    III. 1. [Saying]:—If a man dismiss his wife and she go from him
    and become another man’s, shall she return to him?(171) Is that
    woman(172) not too polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with
    many lovers and—wouldest return unto Me? Rede of the Lord.

    Lift to the clearings thine eyes,  2
      Where not wast thou tumbled?
    For them by the roads thou hast sate,
      Like an Arab in desert,
    Thou hast fouled the land with thy whoredoms
      And with thy vices;
    With thy lovers so many  3
      It has meant but thy snare.(173)
    The brow of a harlot was thine,
      Shame thou hadst done with.
    But now—thou callest me “Father,  4
      Friend of my youth!”
    “Bears _He_ a grudge for ever,  5
      Stands on His guard for aye?”(174)
    Lo, so thou hast spoken, yet done
      Ills to thine utmost.

    6. And the Lord said unto me in the days of Josiah, the king,(175)
    Hast thou seen what recreant Israel did to Me(176) going up every
    high hill and under each rustling tree, and there playing the
    harlot. 7. And I said, After she has done all these things can she
    return to Me?—and she did not return. 8. And her treacherous
    sister Judah saw, yes she saw,(177) that, all because recreant
    Israel committed adultery, I had dismissed her and given her the
    bill of her divorce; yet her sister treacherous Judah was not
    afraid, but also went and played the harlot. 9. And it came to
    pass that, through the wantonness of her harlotry, she polluted
    the land, committing adultery with stones and with stocks. 10. And
    yet, for all this, treacherous Judah(178) has not returned to Me
    with all her heart, but only in feigning.(179) 11. And the Lord
    said to me, Recreant Israel hath justified herself more than
    treacherous Judah. 12. Go and call out these words toward the
    North and say,

    Turn thee to Me,(180) recreant Israel,
      I frown(181) not upon thee;
    For gracious am I (Rede of the Lord),
      Nor for ever bear grudge.
    Only acknowledge thy guilt,  13
      That defying the Lord thy God,
    Thou hast scattered to strangers thy ways
      Under each rustling tree,
    And hast(182) not obeyed My voice—
      Rede of the Lord.

    14. [Return ye backsliding children, Rede of the Lord, for I am
    your Baal,(183) and I will take you, one from a city and two from
    a clan, and will bring you to Ṣion. 15. And I will give you
    Shepherds after My heart, and they shall shepherd you with
    knowledge and with skill. 16. And it shall be, when ye multiply
    and increase in the land in those days (Rede of the Lord), they
    shall not again say, “The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord!” It
    shall not come to mind, it shall be neither remembered nor
    missed,(184) nor shall it be made again. 17. At that time they
    shall call Jerusalem the Throne of the Lord and all nations shall
    gather to her,(185) nor walk any more after the stubbornness of
    their evil hearts. 18. In those days the House of Judah shall walk
    with the House of Israel, that together they may come from the
    land of the North to the land which I gave their(186) fathers for
    a heritage.]

    But I(187) had declared the How(?)  19
      I should set thee(188) among the sons,
    And should give thee a land of delight,
      Fairest domain of the nations.
    And said, Thou would’st call Me Father,
      Nor from after Me turn.
    As a woman plays false to her fere,(189)  20
      So to Me ye played false!
    [O House of Israel, Rede of the Lord.]

    Hark!  21
    From the clearings weeping is heard,
      Wailing of Israel’s sons,
    That they have perverted their way,
      Forgotten the Lord their God.
    Return ye oft-turning children,  22
      Let me heal your back-turnings!
    “Here are we! to Thee we are come,
      Thou Lord art our God.
    “Surely the heights are a fraud  23
      The hills and their hubbub!(190)
    “Alone in the Lord our God
      Is Israel’s safety.
    “The Baal hath devoured our toil  24
      And our sires’ from their youth,
    “Their flocks and their herds,
      Their sons and daughters—
    “Lie we low in our shame,  25
      Our dishonour enshroud us!
    “For to our God(191) have we sinned,
    “[We and our sires from our youth]
    Up to this day!
    “Nor have heeded the voice
    Of the Lord our God.”

    [Israel, if thou wilt return,  IV. 1
      Return to Me,
    And thy loathly things put from thy mouth
      Nor stray from My face.(192)
    If in truth thou swear by the life of the Lord,  2
      Honest and straight,
    Then the nations shall bless them by Him
      And in Him shall they glory.](193)

    3. Thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants
    of(194) Jerusalem:

    Fallow up your fallow-ground,(195)
      And sow not on thorns!
    To your God(196) circumcise ye,  4
      Off from your heart with the foreskin!
    [O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem]
    Lest My fury break out like fire,
      And burn with none to quench!
    [Because of the ill of your doings.]

From his call the Prophet went forth, as we saw, with a heavy sense of the
responsibility and the power of the single soul, so far as he himself was
concerned; and while we study his ministry we shall find him coming to
feel the same for each of his fellow-men. But in these his earliest
utterances he follows his predecessors, and especially Hosea, in
addressing his people as a whole, and treating Israel as a moral unit from
the beginning of her history to the moment of his charge to her. He
continues the figures which Hosea had used. Long ago in Egypt God chose
Israel for His child, for His bride, and led her through the desert to a
fair and fruitful land of her own. Then her love was true. The term used
for it, _ḥeṣedh_, is more than an affection; it is loyalty to a relation.
To translate it but _kindness_ or _mercy_, as is usually done, is
wrong—_troth_ is our nearest word.

    I remember the troth of thy youth,
      Thy love as a bride,
    Thy following Me through the desert,
      The land unsown.

Upon the unsown land there were no rival gods. But in fertile Canaan the
nation encountered innumerable local deities, the Baalîm, husbands of the
land, begetters of its fruits and lords of its waters. We conceive how
tempting these Baalîm were both to the superstitious prudence of tribes
strange to agriculture and anxious to conciliate the traditional powers
thereof; and to the people’s passions through the sensuous rites and
feasts of the rural shrines. Among such distractions Israel lost her
innocence, forgot what her own God was or had done for her, and ceased to
enquire of Him. Hence her present vices and misery in contrast with her
early troth and safety. Hence the twin evils of the time—on the one hand
the nation’s trust in heathen powers and silly oscillation between Egypt
and Assyria; on the other the gross immoralities to which the Baals had
seduced its sons. There was a double prostitution, to gods and to men, so
foul that the young prophet uses the rankest facts in the rural life which
he is addressing in order to describe it.

The cardinal sin of the people, the source of all their woes is religious,

    Is not this being done thee
      For thy leaving of Me?

This was so, not only because He was their ancestral God—though such an
apostasy was unheard of among the nations—but because He was such a God
and had done so much for them; because from the first He had wrought both
with grace and with might, while the gods they went after had neither
character nor efficiency—mere breaths, mere bubbles!

The nerve of the faith of the prophets was this memory—that their God was
love and in love had wrought for His people. The frequent expression of
this by the prophets and by Deuteronomy, the prophetic edition of the Law,
is the answer to those abstractions to which some academic moderns have
sought to reduce the Object of Israel’s religion—such as, “a tendency not
ourselves that makes for righteousness.” The God of Israel was Righteous
and demanded righteousness from men; but to begin with He was Love which
sought their love in return. First the Exodus then Sinai; first Redemption
then Law; first Love then Discipline. Through His Deeds and His Word by
the prophets He had made all this clear and very plain.

    What wrong found your fathers in Me,
      That so far they broke from Me?
    Have I been a desert to Israel,
      Or land of thick darkness?
    Why say My folk, “We are off,
      To meet Thee no more.”

Jeremiah has prefaced this Divine challenge with a passionate exclamation
in prose—_O Generation—you!—look at the Word of the Lord!_—which (as I
have said) I like to think was added to his earlier verses when he
dictated these to Baruch. Cannot you see, cannot you see? He is amazed by
the stupidity, the callousness, the abandonment with which his people from
their leaders down have treated a guidance so clear, a love so constant
and yearning. And again his soul sways upon the contrast between the early
innocence and the present corruption of Israel.

    A noble vine did I plant thee,
      Wholly true seed,
    How could’st thou change to a corrupt,
      A wildling grape?

The sense of their terrible guilt governs him, and of their indifference
to it, saying we are clean, to which he answers:—

    Yea though thou scour thee with nitre
      And heap to thee lye,
    Ingrained is thy guilt before Me—
      Rede of the Lord.

Yet the fervency with which he pleads the Divine Love reveals a heart of
hunger, if hardly of hope, for his nation’s repentance. Indeed apart from
his own love for them he could not have followed Hosea so closely as he
does at this stage of his career, without feeling some possibility of
their recovery from even this, their awful worst; and his ear strains for
a sign of it. Like Hosea he hears what sounds like the surge of a national
repentance(197)—was it when Judah listened to the pleadings and warnings
of the discovered Book of the Law and _all the people stood to the
Covenant_? But he does not say whether he found this sincere or whether it
was merely a shallow stir of the feelings. Probably he suspected the
latter, for in answer to it he gives not God’s gracious acceptance, but a
stern call to a deeper repentance and to a thorough trenching of their

    Fallow up the fallow-ground,
      Sow not on thorns!
    To your God(198) circumcise ye,
      Off from your heart with the foreskin!
    Lest My wrath break out like the fire,
      And burn with none to quench.(199)

Jeremiah has been called the blackest of pessimists, and among his
best-known sayings some seem to justify the charge:—

    Can the Ethiop change his skin,
      Or the leopard his spots?
    Then also may ye do good,
      Who are wont to do evil.(200)

And again,

    False above all is the heart,
      And sick to despair,
      Who is to know it?

But to his question came the answer:—

    I, the Lord, searching the heart,
      And trying the reins,
    To give to each man as his ways,
      As the fruit of his doings.(201)

In this answer there is awfulness but not final doom. The affirmation of a
man’s dread responsibility for his fate implies, too, the liberty to
change his ways. In the dim mystery of the heart freedom is clear.
Similarly, and even more plainly, is this expressed in the earlier call to
_break up the fallow-ground_. This implies that beneath those surfaces of
the national life, whether of callous indifference on the one hand or of
shallow feeling on the other, there is soil which, if thoroughly ploughed,
will be hospitable to the good seed and fit to bring forth fruits meet for
repentance. Human nature even at its worst has tracts other than those on
which there has been careless sowing among thorns, moral possibilities
below those of its abused or neglected surfaces. Let us mark this depth,
which the Prophet’s insight has already reached. Much will come out of it;
this is the matrix of all developments by himself and others of the
doctrine of man and his possibilities under God. And for all time the
truth is valid that many spoiled or wasted lives are spoiled or wasted
only on the surface; and that it is worth while ploughing deeper for their

In what form the deep ploughing required was _at first_ imagined by the
Prophet we see from the immediately following Oracles.

2. Oracles on the Scythians. (With some others: IV. 5-VI. 29.)

The invasion of Western Asia by the Scythians happened some time between
627 and 620 B.C.(203) The following series of brief poems unfold the panic
actually caused, or to the Prophet’s imagination likely to be caused, in
Judah by the advance of these marauding hordes, and clearly reflect their
appearance and manner of raiding. It is indeed doubtful that Judah was
visited by the Scythians, who appear to have swept only the maritime plain
of Palestine. And once more we must remember that when the Prophet
dictated his early Oracles to Baruch for the second time in 604, and
_added to them many more like words_,(204) the impending enemy from the
North was no longer the Scythians but Nebuchadrezzar and his Chaldeans;
for this will explain features of the poems that are not suited to the
Scythians and their peculiar warfare, which avoided the siege of fortified
towns but kept to the open country and the ruin of its villages and
fields. Jeremiah does not give the feared invaders a name. The Scythians
were utterly new to his world; yet their name may have occurred in the
poems as originally delivered and have been removed in 604, when the
Scythians were no longer a force to be reckoned with.(205)

1. As it has reached us, the First Scythian Song, Ch. IV. 5-8, opens with
the general formula—

    Proclaim in Judah and Jerusalem,
      Make heard and say!

which may be the addition of a later hand, but is as probably Jeremiah’s
own; for the capital, though not likely to be besieged by the Scythians,
was just as concerned with their threatened invasion as the country folk,
to whom, in the first place, the lines are addressed. The _trump_ or
_horn_ of the first line was the signal of alarm, kept ready by the
watchman of every village, as Amos and Joel indicate.(206)

    Strike up the trump through the land,  IV. 5_b_
      Call with full voice,
    And say, Sweep together and into
      The fortified towns.
    Hoist the signal towards Ṣion,  6
      Pack off and stay not!
    For evil I bring from the North
      And ruin immense.
    The Lion is up from his thicket,  7
      Mauler of nations;
    He is off and forth from his place,
      Thy land(207) to lay waste;
    That thy townships be burned
      With none to inhabit!
    Gird ye with sackcloth for this,  8
      Howl and lament,
    For the glow of the wrath of the Lord
      Turns not from us.

These lines are followed by a verse with an introduction to itself, and
therefore too separate from the context, and indeed too general to have
belonged to so vivid a song:—

    9. And it shall be in that day—Rede of the Lord—

    The heart of the king shall perish,
      And the heart of the princes,
    And the priests shall be aghast
      And the prophets dismayed!

And this is followed by one of the sudden protests to God, which are
characteristic of Jeremiah:—

    10. And I said, Ah Lord God, surely Thou hast wholly deceived this
    people and Jerusalem saying, “Peace shall be yours,” while the
    sword strikes through to the life!

2. The Second Scythian Song is like the first, prefaced by a double
address, which there is no reason to deny to Jeremiah. Jerusalem is named
twice in the song, and naturally, since the whole land is threatened with
waste and the raiders come up to the suburbs of the capital. The Prophet
speaks, but as so often the Voice of the Lord breaks through his own and
calls directly to the city and people (though the last line of verse 12
may be a later addition). On the other hand, the Prophet melts into his
people; their panic and pangs become his. This is one of the earliest
instances of Jeremiah’s bearing of the sins of his people and of their

    IV. 11.  At that time it was said to this people and to Jerusalem,

    A wind off the blaze of the bare desert heights,
      Straight on the Daughter of my people,
    Neither to winnow nor to sift,
      In full blast it meets me.  12
    [Now will I speak My judgments upon them]
    Lo, like the clouds he is mounting,  13
      Like the whirlwind his cars!
    Swifter than vultures his horses,
      Woe, we are undone!
    Jerusalem, cleanse thou thy heart,(208)  14
      That thou be saved!
    How long shalt thou harbour within thee
      Thy guilty devices.
    For hark! They signal from Dan,  15
      Mount Ephraim echoes disaster.
    Warn the folk, “They are come!”(209)  16
      Make heard o’er Jerusalem.
    Behold,(210) beleaguerers (?) coming
      From a land far away;
    They give out their voice on the townships of Judah;
      Like the guards on her fields  17
    They are round and upon her,
      For Me she defied!(211)
    Thy ways and thy deeds have done  18
      These things to thee.
    This evil of thine how bitter!
      It strikes to the heart.
    O my bowels! My bowels, I writhe!  19
      O walls of my heart!
    My heart is in storm upon me,
      I cannot keep silence.(212)
    For the sound of the trump thou hast heard,
      O my soul,
      The uproar of battle.
    Ruin upon ruin is summoned,  20
      The land is undone!
    Suddenly undone my tents,
      In a moment my curtains!
    How long must I look for the signal  21
      And hark for the sound of the trump!
    [Yea, fools are My people  22
      Nor Me do they fear.(213)
    Children besotted are they,
      Void of discretion.
    Clever they are to do evil,
      To do good they know not.

3. The Third of the Scythian Songs is without introduction. Whether the
waste, darkness, earthquake and emptiness described are imminent or have
happened is still left uncertain, as in the previous songs. The Prophet
speaks, but as before the Voice of God peals out at the end.

    I looked to the earth, and lo chaos,  23
      To the heavens, their light was gone.
    I looked to the hills and(214) they quivered,  24
      All the heights were a-shuddering.
    I looked—and behold not a man!  25
      All the birds of heaven were fled.
    I looked to the gardens, lo desert,  26
      All the townships destroyed,
    Before the face of the Lord,
      The glow of His wrath.
    [For thus hath the Lord said,  27
    All the land shall be waste
      Yet full end I make not](215)
    For this let the Earth lament,  28
      And black be Heaven above!
    I have spoken and will not relent,
      Purposed and turn not from it.(216)

4. The Fourth Scythian Song follows immediately, also without
introduction. The first four couplets vividly describe the flight of the
peasantry, actual or imagined, before the invaders. The rest seems
addressed to the City as though being threatened she sought to reduce her
foes with a woman’s wiles, only to find that it was not her love but her
life they were after, and so expired at their hands in despair. All this
is more suitable to the Chaldean than to the Scythian invasion, and may be
one of the Prophet’s additions in 604 to his earlier Oracles. However we
take it, the figure is of Jeremiah’s boldest and most vivid. The irony is

    From the noise of the horse and the bowmen,  IV. 29
      All the land(217) is in flight,
    They are into the caves, huddle in thickets,(218)
      Are up on the crags.
    Every town of its folk is forsaken
      No habitant in it.
    All is up! Thou destined to ruin(?)(219)  30
      What doest thou now?
    That thou dressest in scarlet,
      And deck’st thee in deckings of gold,
    With stibium widenest thine eyes.
      In vain dost thou prink!
    Though satyrs they utterly loathe thee,
      Thy life are they after!
    For voice as of travail I hear,  31
      Anguish as hers that beareth,
    The voice of the daughter of Ṣion agasp,
      he spreadeth her hands:
    “Woe unto me, but it faints,
      My life to the butchers!”

The next poem, Ch. V. 1-13, says little of the Scythians, possibly only in
verse 6, but details the moral reasons for the doom with which they
threatened the people. It describes the Prophet’s search through Jerusalem
for an honest, God-fearing man and his failure to find one. Hence the
fresh utterance of judgment. Perjury and whoredom are rife, with a
callousness to chastisement already inflicted. Some have relegated
Jeremiah’s visit to the capital to a year after 621-20 when the
deuteronomic reforms had begun and Josiah had removed the rural priests to
the Temple.(220) But, as we have seen, Anathoth lay so near to Jerusalem,
and intercourse between them was naturally so constant, that Jeremiah may
well have gained the following experience before he left his village for
residence in the city. The position of the poem among the Scythian Songs,
along with the possible allusion to the Scythians in verse 6, suggests a
date before 620. There is no introduction.

    Range ye the streets of Jerusalem,  V. 1
      Look now and know,
    And search her broad places,
      If a man ye can find—
    If there be that does justice,
      Aiming at honesty.
    [That I may forgive them(221)]
    Though they say, “As God liveth,”  2
      Falsely(222) they swear
    LORD, are Thine eyes upon lies(?)  3
      And not on the truth(223)?
    Thou hast smitten, they ail not,
      Consumed them, they take not correction.
    Their faces set harder than rock,
      They refuse to return.
    But I said, “Ah, they are the poor,  4
      And therefore(224) the foolish!
    “They know not the Way of the Lord,
      The Rule of their God.
    “To the great I will get me,  5
      With them let me speak.
    “For they know the Way of the Lord,
      And the Rule of their God.”
    Ah, together they have broken the yoke,
      They have burst the bonds!
    So a lion from the jungle shall smite them,  6
      A wolf of the waste destroy,
    The leopard shall prowl round their towns,
      All faring forth shall be torn.
    For many have been their rebellions,
      Profuse their backslidings.
    How shall I pardon thee this—  7
      Thy children have left Me,
      And swear by no-gods.
    I gave them their fill and they whored,
      And trooped to the house of the harlot.
    Rampant(225) stallions they be,  8
      Neighing each for the wife of his friend.
    Shall I not visit on such,  9
      Rede of the Lord,
    Nor on a people like this
      Myself take vengeance?

    Up to her vine-rows, destroy,  10
      And make(226) a full end,
    Away with her branches,
      They are not the Lord’s.
    For betraying they have betrayed Me  11
      Judah and Israel both [Rede of the Lord]
    The Lord they have belied,  12
      Saying “Not He!
    Evil shall never come on us,
      Nor famine nor sword shall we see.
    “The prophets! they are nothing but wind  13
      The Word is not with them!”(227)

    14. Therefore thus hath the Lord of Hosts said, because of their
    speaking this word—(228)

    Behold I am setting My Word
      In thy mouth for fire,
    And this people for wood,
      And it shall devour them.

5. The Fifth Song upon the Scythians, Ch. V. 15-17, besides still leaving
them nameless, emphasises their strangeness to Israel’s world. There was a
common language in Western Asia, Aramean, the _lingua franca_ of traders
from Nineveh to Memphis; and Jew, Assyrian and Egyptian conversed in it.
But the tongue of these raiders from over the Caucasus was unintelligible.
Yet how they would set their teeth into the land! Mixed with the verses
which thus describe them are others which suit not them but the Chaldeans
and must have been added by the Prophet in 604. A people so new to the
Jews might hardly have been called by Jeremiah _an ancient nation, from of
old a nation_, and in fact these phrases are wanting in the Greek version.

    Behold, I am bringing upon you  V. 15
      A nation from far,
    [O house of Israel, Rede of the Lord
    An ancient nation it is,
      From of old a nation.](229)
    A nation thou knowest not its tongue,  16
      Nor canst hear what it says,
    Its quiver an open grave,(230)
      All of it stalwarts.(231)
    It shall eat up thy harvest and bread,  17
      Eat thy sons and thy daughters,
    It shall eat up thy flocks and thy cattle,
      Eat thy vines and thy figs.
    It shall beat down thy fortified towns,
      Wherein thou dost trust, with the sword.

The last couplet is unsuitable to the Scythians, incapable as they were of
sieges and avoiding fortified towns—though once they rushed Askalon. It is
probably, therefore, another of the additions of 604 referring to the
Chaldeans. The prose which follows is certainly from the Chaldean period,
for it was not Scythians but Chaldeans who threatened with exile the
peoples whom they overran.

    V. 18. Yet even in those days—Rede of the Lord—I will not make a
    full end of you. 19. And it shall be when they say, For what hath
    the Lord our God done to us all these things?—that thou shalt say
    to them, Just as ye have left Me and have served foreign gods in
    your own land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land not yours.

There follows a poem, verses 20-31, that has nothing to do with the
Scythian series; and that with the preceding prose, with which also it has
no connection, shows us what a conglomeration of Oracles the Book of
Jeremiah is. It seems as though the compiler, searching for a place for
it, had seen the catch-word _harvest_ in the previous Scythian song and,
this one having the same word, he had copied it in here. The Book shows
signs elsewhere of the same mechanical method. But like all the Oracles
this has for its theme the foolish dulness of Israel to their God and His
Word, and the truth that it is their crimes which are the cause of all
their afflictions yet now not in history but in Nature. There is no reason
to doubt that the verses are Jeremiah’s, and nothing against our dating
them in the early years of his ministry.

    Declare ye this in the House of Jacob,  V. 20
      Through Judah let it be heard:(232)
    Hear ye now this, people most foolish,  21
      And void of sense.(233)
    [They have eyes but they do not see,
      Ears but they hear not.]
    Fear ye not Me, Rede of the Lord,  22
      Nor tremble before Me?—
    Who have set the sand a bound for the sea,
      An eternal decree it cannot transgress;
    Though (its waters)(234) toss, they shall not prevail,
    And its rollers boom, they cannot break over.
    Yet this people heart-hard and rebellious,  23
      Have swerved and gone off;
    For not with their hearts do they say,  24
      “Now fear we the Lord our God,
    “Who giveth the rain in its season,
      The early and latter;
    “And the weeks appointed for harvest
      Secureth for us.”
    These have your crimes deranged,  25
      Your sins withholden your luck.
    For scoundrels are found in My folk,  26
      Who prowl with the crouch of a fowler(?)(235)
    And set their traps to destroy,
      ’Tis men they would catch!
    Like a cage that is full of birds,  27
      Their houses are filled with deceit,(236)
    And so they wax wealthy and great—  28
      They are fat, they are sleek!—
    Overflowing with things of evil(?),
      They defend not the right,
    The right of the orphan to prosper,
      Nor justice judge for the needy.(237)
    Shall I not visit on these,  29
      Rede of the Lord,
    Nor on a people like this
      Myself be avenged?(238)
    Appalling and ghastly it is  30
      That has come to pass in the land:
    The prophets prophesy lies,  31
      The priests bear rule at their hand,
    And My people—they love so to have it;
      But what will ye do in the end?

6. In the Sixth Song on the Scythians, VI. 1-5, which also is given
without introduction, Jerusalem is threatened—even Jerusalem to which in
the previous songs the country-folk had been bidden to fly for shelter—and
the foes are described in the attempt to rush her, as they rushed Askalon
according to Herodotus. That they are represented as faltering and no
success is predicted for them, and also that they are called _shepherds_,
are signs that it is the Scythians, though still nameless, who are meant
in verses 3-5. The next three verses, separately introduced, point rather
to a Chaldean invasion by their picture of besiegers throwing up a mound
against the walls, and may therefore be one of the additions to his
earlier Oracles made by the Prophet, when in 604 the enemy from the North
was clearly seen to be Nebuchadrezzar, with the siege-trains familiar to
us from the Assyrian and Babylonian monuments; upon which are represented
just such a hewing of timber and heaping of mounds against a city’s walls.

    Pack off, O Benjamin’s sons,  VI. 1
      Out of Jerusalem!
    Strike up the trump in Tekoa,(239)
      O’er Beth-hakkérem lift up the signal!
    For evil glowers out of the North,
      And ruin immense.
    O the charming (?) the pampered height(240)  2
      Of the daughter of Ṣion!
    Unto her shepherds are coming,  3
      With their flocks around,(241)
    They pitch against her their tents,
      Each crops at his hand.
    “Hallow(242) the battle against her,
      Up, let us on by noon.”
    “Woe unto us! The day is turning,  4
      The shadows of evening stretch.”
    “Up then and on by night,  5
      That we ruin her palaces!”
    For thus said the Lord of Hosts:  6
    Hew down her(243) trees and heap
      Against Jerusalem a mound;
    Woe to the City of Falsehood,(244)
      Nought but oppression within her!
    As a well keeps its waters fresh  7
      She keeps fresh her evil;
    Violence and spoil are heard throughout her,
      Ever before Me sickness and wounds.
    Jerusalem, be thou corrected,  8
      Lest from thee My soul doth break,
    Lest I lay thee a desolate waste,
      Uninhabited land.

Here follows another and separately introduced Oracle:—

    Thus hath the Lord(245) said:  9
    Glean, let them glean as a vine
      Israel’s remnant;
    Like the grape-gleaner turn thy hand
      Again to its(246) tendrils.
    “To whom shall I utter myself,  10
      And witness that they may hear?
    “Lo, uncircumcised is their ear,
      They cannot give heed.
    “The Word of the Lord is their scorn,
      No pleasure have they therein.
    “I am full of the rage of the Lord,  11
      “Weary with holding it back!
    Pour(247) it out on the child in the street,
      On the youths where they gather;
    Both husband and wife shall be taken,
      The old with the full of days.
    Their homes shall be turned to others,  12
      Their fields and wives together,
    When I stretch forth My Hand
      On those that dwell in this(248) land.
      [Rede of the Lord.]
    Because from the least to the greatest  13
      All are greedy of gain,
    Right on from prophet to priest
      Every one worketh lies.
    They would heal the breach of My people,  14
      As though it were trifling,
    Saying, “It is well, it is well”—
      When—where(249) is it well?
    Were they shamed of their loathsome deeds?  15
      Nay, not at all ashamed!
    They know not even to blush!
      So they with the fallen shall fall,
    And shall reel in the time that I visit,
      Rede of the Lord.

Still another Oracle which gives no glimpse of the Scythians, but
threatens a vague disaster and once more states the moral reasons for
Judah’s doom. Its allusion to incense and sacrifices is no reason for
dating it after the discovery of Deuteronomy.(250)

    Thus hath the Lord said—  16
    Halt on the ways and look,
      And ask for the ancient paths:
    Where is(251) the way that is good?
      Go ye in that,
    And rest shall ye find to your soul,
      But they—“We go not!”
    I raised up sentinels for you—  17
      Heed the sound of the trump!(252)
      But they—“We heed not!”
    Therefore, O nations, hearken,  18
      And own My record against them (?)(253)
    Hear thou, O Earth,  19
    Lo, evil I bring to this people,
      The fruit of their own devices,(254)
    Since they have not heeded My Word,
      And My Law have despised.
    To Me what is incense that cometh from Sheba,  20
      Sweet-cane from a far-off land?
    Your holocausts are not acceptable,
      Nor your sacrifice pleasing.
    Therefore thus hath the Lord said:  21
    Behold I set for this people
      Blocks upon which to stumble;
    Fathers and children together,
      Neighbour and friend shall perish.

None of the foregoing brief and separate Oracles diverts from the moral
theme of all these earlier utterances of the Prophet, that Judah’s
afflictions, whether from Nature or from invaders, are due to her own
wickedness. And this record even the foreign peoples are called to
witness—another proof that from the first Jeremiah had a sense of a
mission to _the nations_ as well as to his own countrymen.

7. There follows the Seventh, the last of the Songs which may be referred
to the Scythian invasion, Ch. VI. 22-26. It repeats the distance from
which, in the fateful North, those hordes have been _stirred_ to their
work of judgment, their ruthlessness and terrific tumult, the panic they
produce, and bitter mourning. The usual formula introduces the verses.

    22. Thus hath the Lord said:

    Lo, a people comes out of the North,
      A nation(255) astir from the ends of the earth,
    The bow and the javelin they grasp,  23
      Cruel and ruthless,
    The noise of them booms like the sea,
      On horses they ride—
    Arrayed as one man for the battle
      On thee, O Daughter of Ṣion!
    We have heard their fame,  24
      Limp are our hands;
      Anguish hath gripped us,
      Pangs as of travail.
    Fare not forth to the field,  25
      Nor walk on the way,
      For the sword of a foe,
      Terror all round!
    Daughter of My people, gird on thee sackcloth  26
      And wallow in ashes!
    Mourn as for an only-begotten,
      Wail of the bitterest!
    For of a sudden there cometh
      The spoiler upon us.(256)

This is the last of Jeremiah’s Oracles on the Scythians. There is little
or no doubt of their date—before 621-20. What knowledge of this new people
and their warfare the Prophet displays! What conscience of the ethical
purpose of the Lord of Hosts in threatening Judah with them! Yet some
still refuse to credit the story of his Call, that from the first he heard
himself appointed as a prophet _to the nations_.(257)

This section of Jeremiah’s earlier Oracles concludes with one addressed to
himself, Ch. VI. 27-30. It describes the task assigned him during the most
of his time under Josiah, whether before the discovery and promulgation of
the Book of the Law in 621-20, or subsequently to this while he watched
the nation’s new endeavour to repent and reform. During the years from
621-20 till 608 when Josiah was defeated and slain at Megiddo, there can
have been but little for him to do except to follow, as his searching eyes
and detached mind alone in Israel could follow, the great venture of Judah
in obedience to the Book of the Law. For this interval the outside world
had ceased to threaten Israel. The Assyrian control of her was relaxed:
the people of God were free, and had their first opportunity for over a
century to work out their own salvation.

    Assayer among My people I set thee,(258)  27
      To know and assay their ways,
    All of them utterly recreant,  28
      Gadding about to slander.
    Brass and iron are all of them(?),
      Wasters they be!
    Fiercely blow the bellows,  29
      The lead is consumed of the fire(?)
    In vain does the smelter smelt,
      Their dross(259) is not drawn.
    “Refuse silver” men call them,
      For the Lord hath refused them.(260)

To take these lines as subsequent to the institution of Deuteronomy and
expressive of the judgment of the Prophet upon the failure of the
reformation under Josiah to reach the depth of a real repentance,(261) is
unnecessary. The young Jeremiah had already tested his people and in his
earliest Oracles reached conclusions as hopeless as that here. At least he
had already been called to test the people; and in next section we shall
see how he continued to fulfil his duty after the discovery of
Deuteronomy, and onwards through the attempts at reformation which it

3. Jeremiah and Deuteronomy. (Chs. VII, VIII. 8, XI.)

We are not told when or why Jeremiah left Anathoth for Jerusalem. His
early poem denouncing the citizens(262) reveals a close observation of
their morals but no trace of the reforms begun by Josiah soon after 621
B.C. Some therefore hold that he had settled in the City before that
year.(263) Anathoth, however, lay so near Jerusalem that even from his
boyhood Jeremiah must have been familiar with the life and trade of the
capital; and as his name is not mentioned in connection with the discovery
of the Law-Book on which the reforms were based, and neither he nor his
biographer speaks of that discovery, it is probable that as yet he had not
entered upon residence in the Temple-precincts. A natural occasion for the
migration of his family and himself would be upon Josiah’s
disestablishment of the rural sanctuaries and provision for their priests
beside the priests of the Temple.(264) In any case we find Jeremiah
henceforth in Jerusalem, delivering his Words in the gateways or courts of
the Temple to all classes of the citizens as well as to the country-folk,
who under the new laws of worship thronged more than ever the City and her
great Shrine.

There is general agreement that _the Book of the Law_ discovered by the
Temple-priests in 621-20 was our Book of Deuteronomy in whole or in
part—more probably in part, for Deuteronomy has been compiled from at
least two editions of the same original, and the compilation may not have
been made till some time later. Many of its laws, including some peculiar
to itself, have been woven out of more than one form, and there are two
Introductions to the Book, each hortatory and historical and each covering
to some extent the same ground as the other. We cannot tell how much of
this compilation was contained in the discovered Book of the Law. But this
Book included certainly _first_ the laws of worship peculiar to
Deuteronomy, because the reforms which it inspired carried out these laws,
and probably _second_ some of the denunciations which precede or follow
the laws, for such would explain the consternation of the King when the
Book was read to him.(265)

Deuteronomy is fairly described as a fresh codification of the ancient
laws of Israel in the spirit of the Prophets of the Eighth Century. The
Book is not only Law but Prophecy, in the proper sense of this word, and a
prophetic interpretation of Israel’s history. It not only restates old and
adds new laws but enforces the basal truths of the prophets, and in this
enforcement breathes the ethical fervour of Amos and Isaiah as well as
Hosea’s tenderness and his zeal for education.

Deuteronomy has three cardinal doctrines: The One God, The One Altar, and
The One People.

_First_, The One God. Though slightly tinged with popular conceptions of
the existence of other gods,(266) the monotheism of the Book is
strenuously moral and warmly spiritual. The God of Israel is to be served
and loved because He is Love—the One and Only God not more by His
Righteousness and His Power than by His Grace, manifest as all three have
been throughout His dealings with Israel. The worship of other gods is
forbidden and so is every attempt to represent Himself in a material form.
His ritual is purged of foolish, unclean and cruel elements. Witchcraft
and necromancy are utterly condemned.

_Second_—and this is original to Deuteronomy—The One Altar, at that time
an inevitable corollary both to the need for purity in the worship of God
and to the truth of His Unity. The long license of sacrifices at a
multitude of shrines had resulted not only in the debasement of His
worship, but in the popular confusion of Himself with a number of local
deities.(267) The removal of the high-places, the concentration of
sacrifice upon One Altar had, by the bitter experience of centuries,
become a religious and an ethical necessity.

_Third_, The One People. Save for possible proselytes from the
neighbouring heathen, Israel is alone legislated for—a free nation owning
no foreign king as it bows to no foreign deity, but governing itself in
obedience to the revealed Will of its own God. This Will is applied to
every detail of its life in as comprehensive a system of national religion
as the world has known. And thus next to devotion to the Deity comes pride
in the nation. Because of their possession of the Divine Law Israel are
_the_ righteous people and wise above all others. The patriotism of the
Book must have been one cause of its immediate acceptance by the people,
when Josiah brought it before them and upon it they made Covenant with
their God. Throughout the Book treats the nation as a moral unit. It
enforces indeed justice as between man and man. It gives woman a higher
position than is assumed for her by other Hebrew codes. It cares for the
individual poor, stranger, debtor and dependent priest with a humanity all
its own, and it exhorts to the education of children. Above all it forbids
base thoughts as well as base deeds. Yet, while thus enforcing the
elements of a searching personal morality, Deuteronomy deals with the
individual only through his relations to the nation and the national
worship. The Book has no promise for the individual beyond the grave. Nor
is there pity nor charity for other peoples nor any sense of a place for
them in the Divine Providence. There is no missionary spirit nor hope for
mankind outside of Israel.

Further it is due to the almost exclusively national outlook and interest
of the Book that it has no guidance or comfort to offer for another
element of personal experience—question and doubt. While it illustrates
from the nation’s history the purifying discipline of suffering because of
sin it says nothing of the sufferings of righteous individuals, but by the
absoluteness of its doctrines of morality and Providence suggests, if
indeed it does not inculcate, the dogma that right-doing will always meet
with prosperity and wrong-doing with pain and disaster—a dogma which
provoked the thoughtful to scepticism, as we shall see with Jeremiah

Again, the fact that the Book, while superbly insistent upon justice,
holiness and humanity, lays equal emphasis on a definite ritual, with One
Altar and an exclusive system of sacrifices, tempted the popular mind to a
superstitious confidence in these institutions. And while it was of
practical advantage to have the principles of the prophets reduced to a
written system, which could be enforced as public law and taught to the
young—two ends on which the authors of Deuteronomy are earnestly
bent—there was danger of the people coming thereby to trust rather in the
letter than in the spirit of the new revelation. Both these dangers were
soon realised. As Dr. A. B. Davidson has said, “Pharisæism and Deuteronomy
came into the world on the same day.”

                                * * * * *

Such was the Book discovered in the Temple in 621-20 and accepted as
Divine by King and Nation. Modern efforts to connect Jeremiah with its
discovery and introduction to the Monarch, and even with its composition,
may be ignored. Had there been a particle of evidence for this, it would
have been seized and magnified by the legalists in Israel, not to speak of
those apocryphal writers who foist so much else on Jeremiah and
Baruch.(268) That they have not even attempted this is proof—if proof were
needed—that Jeremiah, the youthful son of a rural family, and probably
still unknown to the authorities in the Capital, had nothing whatever to
do either with the origins, or with the discovery, of the Book of the Law
or with its presentation to the King by the priests of the Temple.

Yet so great a discovery, so full a volume of truth poured forth in a
style so original and compelling, cannot have left unmoved a young prophet
of the conscience and heart of Jeremiah.(269) That he was in sympathy with
the temper and the general truths of Deuteronomy we need not doubt. As for
its ethics, its authors were of the same school as himself and among their
teachers they had the same favourite, Hosea. In his earliest Oracles
Jeremiah had expressed the same view as theirs of God’s constant and clear
guidance of Israel and of the nation’s obstinacy in relapsing from this.
His heart, too, must have hailed the Book’s august enforcement of that
abolition of the high places and their pagan ritual, which he had ventured
to urge from his obscure position in Anathoth. Nor did he ever throughout
his ministry protest against the substitute which the Book prescribed for
those—the concentration of the national worship upon a single sanctuary.
On the contrary in a later Oracle he looks for the day when that shall be
observed by all Israel and the watchmen on Mount Ephraim shall cry,

    Rise, let us up to Ṣion,
      To the Lord our God!(270)

On the other hand, the emphasis which Deuteronomy equally lays upon ethics
and upon ritual, and its absolute doctrines of morality and Providence
were bound to provoke questions in a mind so restlessly questioning as
his. Then there was the movement of reform which followed upon the appeal
of the Book to the whole nation. Jeremiah himself had called for a
national repentance and here, in the people’s acceptance of the Covenant
and consent to the reforms it demanded, were the signs of such a
repentance. No opposition appears to have been offered to those reforms.
The King who led them was sincere; a better monarch Judah never knew, and
his reign was signalised by Jeremiah at its close as a reign of justice
when _all was well_. Yet can we doubt that the Prophet, who had already
preached so rigorous a repentance and had heard himself appointed by God
as the tester of His people, would use that detached position jealously to
watch the progress of the reforms which the nation had so hurriedly
acclaimed and to test their moral value?

In modern opinion of Jeremiah’s attitude to the discovered Law-Book there
are two extremes. One is of those who regard him as a legalist and
throughout his career the strenuous advocate of the Book and the system it
enforced. The other is of those who maintain that he had no sympathy with
legal systems or official reforms, and that the passages in the Book of
Jeremiah which allege his assent to, and his proclamation of, the
Deuteronomic Covenant, or represent him as using the language of
Deuteronomy, are not worthy of credit.(271) Of these extremes we may say
at once that if with both we neglect the twofold character of
Deuteronomy—its emphasis now on ethics and now on ritual—and again, if
with both we assume that Jeremiah’s attitude to the Law-Book and to the
reforms it inspired never changed, then the evidences for that attitude
offered by the Book of Jeremiah are inconsistent and we may despair of a
conclusion. But a more reasonable course is open to us. If we keep in mind
the two faces of Deuteronomy as well as the doubtful progress for many
years of the reforms started by it, and if we also remember that a prophet
like all the works of God was subject to growth; if we allow to Jeremiah
the same freedom to change his purpose in face of fresh developments of
his people’s character as in the Parable of the Potter he imputes to his
God; if we recall how in 604 the new events in the history of Western Asia
led him to adapt his earlier Oracles on the Scythians to the Chaldeans who
had succeeded the Scythians as the expected Doom from the North—then our
way through the evidence becomes tolerably clear, except for the
difficulty of dating a number of his undated Oracles. What we must not
forget is the double, divergent intention and influence of Deuteronomy,
and the fact that Josiah’s reformation, though divinely inspired, was in
its progress an experiment upon the people, whose mind and conduct beneath
it Jeremiah was appointed by God to watch and to test.

These considerations prepare us _first_ for the story in Ch. XI. 1-8 of
Jeremiah’s fervent assent to the ethical principles of Deuteronomy and of
the charge to him to proclaim these throughout Judah; and _then_ for his
later attitude to the written Law, to the Temple and to sacrifices.

    XI. 1. The Word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: 2.
    Hear thou(272) the words of this Covenant, and speak them to the
    men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 3. And thou
    shalt say to them, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: 4.
    Cursed be the man who hears not the words of this Covenant, which
    I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the
    land of Egypt, out of the iron-furnace, saying, Hearken to My
    Voice and do(273) according to all that I command you, and ye
    shall be to Me a people, and I will be God to you; [5] in order to
    establish the oath which I sware unto your fathers, to give them a
    land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. 6. And I
    answered and said, Amen, O Lord! 7. And the Lord said unto me,
    Proclaim(274) these words in the cities of Judah and in the
    streets of Jerusalem, saying, [8] Hear ye the words of this
    Covenant and do them, but they did them not.(275)

The story has its difficulties. It is undated; it is followed by verses
9-17, apparently from the reign of Jehoiakim; what the Prophet is called
to hear and gives his solemn assent to is generally described as _this
Covenant_; and in verses 7 and 8 there is what may be a mere editorial
addition since the Greek Version omits it, which has led some to assert
the editorial character of the whole. But for the reasons given above,
there is no cause to doubt the substantial truthfulness of the story,
unless with Duhm we were capable of believing that Jeremiah never spoke in
prose, nor can be conceived as, at any time in his life the advocate of
what was a legal as well as a prophetic book. Of the first of these
assertions we have already disposed;(276) the second is met by the fact
that what Jeremiah was called to assent to was not a legal programme but a
spiritual covenant, of which ethical obedience alone was stated as the
condition. In Josiah’s reign what else could _this Covenant_ mean than the
Covenant set forth in the recently discovered Book of the Law and solemnly
avouched by the whole people?(277) That its essence was spiritual and
ethical is expressed in the Deuteronomic phrases which follow, and the
quotation of these is most relevant to the occasion. Nor do the
recollections, the command and the promise which they convey go beyond
what Jeremiah had already enforced in his earlier Oracles.(278)

Therefore we may believe that, as recorded, Jeremiah heard in the heart of
Deuteronomy the call of God, that he uttered his Amen to it; and that,
from his experience of the evils of the high-places, he felt obliged, as
he also records, to proclaim _this Covenant_ throughout Judah.(279)

In the same chapter as the charge to the Prophet concerning _this
Covenant_ there is mention of a conspiracy against his life by the men of
Anathoth, XI. 21. Some suppose that these were enraged by his support of
reforms which abolished rural sanctuaries like their own. But his earlier
denunciations of such shrines, delivered independently of Deuteronomy, had
been enough to rouse his fellow-villagers against him as a traitor to
their local interests and pieties.

Another address, VII. 1-15, said to have been delivered to all Judah,
rebukes the people for their false confidence in the Temple and their
abuse of it, and threatens its destruction. Editorial additions may exist
in both the Hebrew and Greek texts of this address, but it contains
phrases non-deuteronomic and peculiar to Jeremiah, while its echoes of
Deuteronomy were natural to the occasion. Except for a formula or two, I
take the address to be his own. Nor am I persuaded by the majority of
modern critics that it is a mere variant of the Temple address reported in
Ch. XXVI as given _in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim_. Why may
Jeremiah not have spoken more than once on the same theme to the same, or
a similar effect? Moreover, the phrase _We are delivered!_ VII. 10, which
does not recur in XXVI, suits the conditions before, rather than those
after, the Battle of Megiddo. For parallel with the increased faith in the
Temple, due mainly to the people’s consciousness of their obedience to the
Law-Book, was their experience of deliverance from the Assyrian yoke. I am
inclined, therefore, to refer VII. 1-15 to the reign of Josiah, rather
than with XXVI to that of Jehoiakim.(280) But, whatever be its date, VII.
1-15 is relevant to our present discussion.

    VII. 2, 3. Hear ye the Word of the Lord, all Judah!(281) Thus
    saith the Lord, the God of Israel—Better your ways and your doings
    that I may leave you to dwell in this Place. 4. Put not your trust
    on lying words,(282) saying to yourselves,(283) “The Temple of the
    Lord, The Temple of the Lord, The Temple of the Lord—[5] are
    those!”(284) But if ye thoroughly  better your ways and your
    doings, if ye indeed do justice between a man and his fellow, [6]
    and oppress not the sojourner, the orphan, and the widow, and shed
    not innocent blood [in this Place], nor go after other gods to
    your hurt, [7] then I shall leave you to abide in this Place [in
    the land which I gave to your fathers from of old for ever]. 8.
    Behold, you put your trust on lying words that cannot profit. 9.
    What? Steal, murder, fornicate, swear falsely, and burn(285) to
    Baal, and go after other gods whom ye knew not, [10] yet come and
    stand before Me in this House upon which My Name has been called
    and say “We are delivered”—in order to work all these
    abominations! 11. Is it a robbers’ den that My(286) House [upon
    which My Name has been called] has become in your eyes? I also,
    behold I have seen it—Rede of the Lord. 12. For go now to My Place
    which was in Shiloh, where at first I caused My Name to dwell, and
    see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people
    Israel. 13. And now because of your doing of all these deeds [Rede
    of the Lord, though I spake unto you rising early and speaking,
    but ye hearkened not, and I called you, but ye did not
    answer],(287) [14] I shall do to the House [on which My Name has
    been called] in which you are trusting, and to the Place which I
    gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15. And I
    shall cast you out from before My Face as I cast out(288) your
    brethren, all the seed of Ephraim.

In this address there is nothing that contradicts Deuteronomy. The
sacredness with which the Book had invested the One Sanctuary is
acknowledged. But the people have no moral sense of that sacredness. Their
confidence in the Temple is material and superstitious, fostered, we may
believe, by the peace they were enjoying and their relief from a foreign
sovereignty, as well as by their formal observance of the institutions
which the Book prescribed. What had been founded to rally and to guide a
spiritual faith they turned into a fetish and even to an “indulgence” for
their wickedness. The House, in which Isaiah had bent beneath the seraphs’
adoration of the Divine Holiness, and, confessing his own and his people’s
sin, had received from its altar the sacrament of pardon and of cleansing,
was by this generation not only debased to a mere pledge of their
political security but debauched into a shelter for sins as gross as ever
polluted their worship upon the high places. So ready, as in all other
ages, were formality and vice to conspire with each other! Jeremiah scorns
the people’s _trust_ in the Temple as utterly as he had scorned their
_trust_ (it is the same word) in the Baals or in Egypt and Assyria. The
change in the pivot of their false confidence is to be marked. So much at
least had Deuteronomy effected—shifting their trust from foreign gods and
states to something founded by their own God, yet leaving it material, and
unable to restrain them from bringing along with it their old obdurate

Whether, then, this address was delivered in Josiah’s reign or early in
Jehoiakim’s it affords no reason for our denying it to Jeremiah. As God’s
tester of the people he has been watching their response to the Revelation
they had accepted, and has proved that their obedience was to the letter
of this and not to its spirit, that while they superstitiously revered its
institutions they shamelessly ignored its ethics. For just such vices as
they still practised God Himself must take vengeance. As those had
deranged the very seasons and were leading to the overthrow of the
state,(289) no one could hope that the Temple would escape their
consequences. And there was that precedent of the destruction of Israel’s
first sanctuary in Shiloh, the ruins of which, as we have seen, lay not
far from Jeremiah’s home at Anathoth.(290)

Another Oracle, XI. 15, 16, also undated, seems, like the last passage,
best explained as delivered by Jeremiah while he watched during the close
of Josiah’s reign the hardening of the people’s trust in their religious
institutions and felt its futility; or alternatively when that futility
was exposed by the defeat at Megiddo. It has, however, been woven by some
hand or other into a passage reflecting the revival of the Baal-worship
under Jehoiakim (verse 17; its connection with the prose sentence
preceding is also doubtful). Copyists have wrought havoc with the Hebrew
text, but as the marginal note of our Revisers indicates, the sense may be
restored from the Greek. _My Beloved_ is, of course, Israel.

    What has My Beloved to do in My house,  XI. 15
    Working out mischief?
    Vows, holy flesh! Can such things turn
    Calamity from thee;
    Or by these thou escape?(291)
    Flourishing olive, fair with fruit,  16
    God called thy name.
    To the noise of a mighty roaring
    He sets her on fire—
    Blasted her branches!

The first of these verses repeats the charge of VII. 2-11: the people use
the Temple for their sins. The word rendered _mischief_ is literally
_devices_, and the meaning may be intrigues hatched from their false ideas
of the Temple’s security. But the word is mostly used of _evil devices_
and here the Greek has _abomination_. As with their Temple so with their
vows and sacrifices. All are useless because of their wickedness. The
nation must be punished. The second verse may well have been uttered after
the defeat at Megiddo, or may be a prediction on the eve of that disaster
to _the branches_ of the nation, which the nation as a whole survived.

This leads to another and more difficult question. Jeremiah has spoken
doom on the Temple and the Nation; has he come to doubt the Law-Book
itself or any part of it? As to that there are two passages one of which
speaks of a falsification of the Law by its guardians, while the other
denies the Divine origin not only of the deuteronomic but of all
sacrifices and burnt offerings.

Even before the discovery of the Law-Book the young prophet had said of
_those who handle the Law_ that _they did not know the Lord_.(292) And now
in an Oracle, apparently of date after the discovery, he charges the
scribes with manipulating _the Law_, the _Torah_, so as to turn it to
falsehood. The Oracle is addressed to the people of whom he has just said
that they do not know _the Rule, the Mishpaṭ, of the Lord_.

    How say you, “We are the Wise,  VIII. 8
      The Law of the Lord is with us.”
    But lo, the falsing pen of the scribes
      Hath wrought it to falsehood.

_Torah_, literally _direction_ or _instruction_, is either a single law or
a body of law, revealed by God through priests or prophets, for the
religious and moral practice of men. Here it is some traditional or
official form of such law, for which the people have rejected the Word of
the Lord—His living Word by the prophets of the time (verse 9).

    Put to shame are the wise,  9
      Dismayed and taken.
    Lo, they have spurned the Word of the Lord—
      What wisdom is theirs?

Was this _Torah_ oral or written? And if written was it the discovered
Book of the _Torah_, which in part at least was our Deuteronomy?

So far as the text goes the original _Torah_ may have been either oral or
written, and the scribes have _falsified_ it, by amplification or
distortion,(293) either when reducing it for the first time to writing or
when copying and editing it from an already written form. This leaves open
these further questions. If written was the _Torah_ the very _Book of the
Torah_ discovered in the Temple in 621-20? And if so did the falsification
affect the whole or only part of the Book? To these questions some answer
No, on the ground of Jeremiah’s assent to _this Covenant_, and the command
to him to proclaim it.(294) Others answer Yes; in their view Jeremiah was
opposed to the deuteronomic system as a whole, or at least to the detailed
laws of ritual added to the prophetic and spiritual principles of the
Book.(295) Another possibility is that Jeremiah had in view those first
essays in writing of a purely priestly law-book, which resulted during the
Exile in the so-called Priests’ Code now incorporated in the Pentateuch.
In our ignorance both of the original form of Deuteronomy and of the
extent and character of the activity of the scribes during the reign of
Josiah we might hesitate to decide among these possibilities were it not
for the following address which there is no good reason for denying to

    VII. 21. Thus saith the Lord,(296) Your burnt offerings add to
    your sacrifices and eat flesh(297)! 22. For I spake not with your
    fathers nor charged them, in the day that I brought them forth
    from the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offering and sacrifice.
    23. But with this Word I charged them, saying, Hearken to My
    Voice, and I shall be to you God, and ye shall be to Me a people,
    and ye shall walk in every way that I charge you, that it may be
    well with you.

Whether from Jeremiah or not, this is one of the most critical texts of
the Old Testament because while repeating what the Prophet has already
fervently accepted,(298) that the terms of the deuteronomic Covenant were
simply obedience to the ethical demands of God, it contradicts Deuteronomy
and even more strongly Leviticus, in their repeated statements that in the
wilderness God also commanded sacrifices. The issue is so grave that there
have been attempts to evade it. None, however, can be regarded as
successful. That which would weaken the Hebrew phrase, rightly rendered
_concerning_ by our versions, into _for the sake of_ or _in the interest
of_ (as if all the speaker intended was that animal sacrifice was not the
chief end or main interest of the Divine legislation) is doubtful
philologically, nor meets the fact that all the Hebrew codes assign an
indispensable value to sacrifice. Inadmissible also is the suggestion that
the phrase means _concerning the details of_, for Deuteronomy and
especially Leviticus emphasise the details of burnt-offering and
sacrifice. Nor is the plausible argument convincing that the Prophet spoke
relatively, and meant only what Samuel meant by _Obedience is better than
sacrifice_, or Hosea by _The Knowledge of God is more than
burnt-offerings_.(299) Nor are there grounds for thinking that the Prophet
had in view only the Ten Commandments; while finally to claim that he
spoke in hyperbole is a forlorn hope of an argument. In answer to all
these evasions it is enough to point out that the question is not merely
that of the value of sacrifice, but whether during the Exodus the God of
Israel gave any charge concerning sacrifice; as well as the fact that
others than Jeremiah had either explicitly questioned this or implicitly
denied it. When Amos, in God’s Name repelled the burnt-offerings of his
generation he asked, _Did ye bring unto Me sacrifices and offerings in the
wilderness forty years, O House of Israel?_ and obviously expected a
negative answer. And the following passages only render more general the
truth that Israel’s God has no pleasure at any time in the sacrifices
offered to Him, with the institution of which—the natural inference is—He
can have had nothing to do. _Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of
rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil. Shall I give my first-born
for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath
declared to thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of
thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy
God._ And these two utterances in the Psalms: _Shall I eat the flesh of
bulls or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving and pay thy
vows to the Most High_; and _Thou desirest not sacrifice else would I give
it, Thou delightest not in burnt-offering, The sacrifices of God are a
broken spirit_.(300)

For the accuracy of these assertions or implications by a succession of
prophets and psalmists there is a remarkable body of historical evidence.
The sacrificial system of Israel is in its origins of far earlier date
than the days of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt. It has so much, both of
form and meaning, in common with the systems of kindred nations as to
prove it to be part of the heritage naturally derived by all of them from
their Semitic forefathers. And the new element brought into the
traditional religion of Israel at Sinai was just that on which Jeremiah
lays stress—the ethical, which in time purified the ritual of sacrifice
and burnt-offering but had nothing to do with the origins of this.

Therefore it is certain _first_ that Amos and Jeremiah meant literally
what they stated or implicitly led their hearers to infer—God gave no
commands at the Exodus concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices—and
_second_ that historically they were correct. But, of course, their
interest in so saying was not historical but spiritual. Their aim was
practical—to destroy their generation’s materialist belief that animal
sacrifice was the indispensable part of religion and worship. Still his
way of putting it involves on the part of Jeremiah a repudiation of the
statements of Deuteronomy on the subject. So far, then, Jeremiah opposed
the new Book of the Law.(301)

But with all this do not let us forget something more. While thus
anticipating by more than six centuries the abolition of animal
sacrifices, Jeremiah, by his example of service and suffering, was
illustrating the substitute for them—the _human_ sacrifice, the surrender
by man himself of will and temper, and if need be of life, for the cause
of righteousness and the salvation of his fellow-men. The recognition of
this in Jeremiah by a later generation in Israel led to the conception of
the suffering Servant of the Lord, and of the power of His innocent
sufferings to atone for sinners and to redeem them.

                                * * * * *

This starts a kindred point—and the last—upon which Jeremiah offers, if
not a contradiction, at least a contrast and a supplement to the teaching
of Deuteronomy. We have noted the absoluteness—or idealism—of that Book’s
doctrines of Morality and Providence; they leave no room for certain
problems, raised by the facts of life. But Jeremiah had bitter experience
of those facts, and it moved him to state the problems to God Himself. He
owns the perfect justice of God; but this only makes his questioning more

    Too righteous art Thou O Lord,  XII. 1
    That with Thee I should argue,
    Yet cases there are I must speak to Thee of:
    The way of the wicked—why doth it prosper,
    And the treacherous all be at ease?
    Thou hast planted them, yea they take root,  2
    They get on, yea they make fruit;
    Near in their mouths art Thou,
    But far from their hearts.

We shall have to deal with these questions and God’s answer to them, when
in a later lecture we analyse Jeremiah’s religious experience and
struggles. Here we only note the contrast which they present to
Deuteronomy—a contrast between the Man and the System, between Experience
and Dogma, between the Actual and the Ideal. And, as we now see, it was
the System and the Dogma that were defective and the Man and his
Experience of life that started, if not for himself yet for a later
generation, pondering his experience, the solution of those problems,
which against the deuteronomic teaching he raised in brave agony to God’s
own face.

Such serious differences between Jeremiah and Deuteronomy—upon the Law,
the Temple, the Sacrifices, and Doctrines of Providence and
Morality—suggest an important question with regard to the methods of
Divine Revelation under the Old Covenant. Do they not prove that among
those methods there were others than vision or intuition springing from
the direct action of the Spirit of God upon the spirits of individual men?
Are they not instances of the processes by which to this day in the
Providence of God truth is sifted and ultimately beaten out—namely debate
and controversy between different minds or different schools of thought,
between earnest supporters of various and often hostile opinions in
neither of which lies the whole of the truth? The evidence for Revelation
by Argument which the Book of Jeremiah affords is not the least of its
contributions to the history and philosophy of religion.

                                Lecture V.


1. From Megiddo to Carchemish, 608-605.

Josiah’s faithful reign, and with it all thorough efforts to fulfil the
National Covenant,(302) came to a tragic close on the field of Megiddo—the
Flodden of Judah.

The year was 608 B.C. Medes and Chaldeans together had either taken, or
were still besieging, Nineveh; and Pharaoh Nĕcoh,(303) eager to win for
Egypt a share of the crumbling Assyrian Empire, had started north with a
great army. Marching by the coast he first took Gaza, and crossing by one
of the usual passes from Sharon to Esdraelon,(304) found himself opposed
near Megiddo by a Jewish force led by its king in person. The Chronicler
tells us that Nĕcoh sought to turn Josiah from his desperate venture:
_What have I to do with thee? I am come not against thee but against the
House with which I am at war. God hath spoken to speed me; forbear from
God who is with me, lest He destroy thee._(305) But Josiah persisted. The
issue of so unequal a contest could not be doubtful. The Jewish army was
routed and Josiah himself immediately slain.(306)

At first sight, the courage of Josiah and his small people in facing the
full force of Egypt seems to deserve our admiration, as much as did the
courage of King Albert and his nation in opposing the faithless invasion
of Belgium by the Germans aiming at France. There was, however, a
difference. Nĕcoh was not invading Judah, but crossing Philistine
territory and a Galilee which had long ceased to be Israel’s. Some suppose
that since the Assyrian hold upon Palestine relaxed, Josiah had gradually
occupied all Samaria. If this be so, was he now stirred by a gallant sense
of duty to assert Israel’s ancient claim to Galilee as well? We cannot
tell.(307) But what we may confidently assume is that, having fulfilled by
thirteen years of honest reforms his own part of the terms of the
Covenant, Josiah believed that he could surely count on the Divine
fulfilment of the rest, and that some miracle would bring to a righteous
king and people victory over the heathen, however more powerful the
heathen might be. He was only thirty-nine years of age.

His servants carried his body from the field in a chariot to Jerusalem,
bringing him back, as we may realise, to a people stricken with
consternation. Their trust in the Temple was shaken—they were not
_delivered_!(308) In the circumstances they did their feeble best by
raising to the vacant throne Josiah’s son, Shallum, as Jehoahaz, _the Lord
hath taken hold_. But the new name proved no omen of good. In three months
Nĕcoh had the youth in bonds at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, _that he
might not reign in Jerusalem_, and afterwards took him to Egypt. Of this
fresh sorrow Jeremiah sang as if it had drowned out the sorrow of Megiddo—

    Weep not for the dead,  XXII. 10
      Nor bemoan him,
    But for him that goeth away weep sore,
      For he cometh no more,
    Nor seeth the land of his birth.

Jehoahaz died in Egypt.

The next King, Jehoiakim, another of Josiah’s sons, was set on the throne
by Nĕcoh, who also exacted a heavy tribute. What national disillusion! The
hopes falsely kindled upon the letter of Deuteronomy lay quenched on
Megiddo; and the faithful servant of the Covenant had, in spite of its
promises as men would argue, been defeated and slain in the flower of his
life. Judah had been released from the Assyrian yoke, only to fall into
the hands of another tyrant, her new king his creature, and her people
sorely burdened to pay him. The result was religious confusion. In at
least a formal obedience to the deuteronomic laws of worship, the people
of the land continued to resort to the Temple fasts and festivals.(309)
But resenting the failure of their God to grant victory numbers relapsed
into an idolatry as rank as that under Ahaz or Manasseh;(310) while
others, more thoughtful but not less bewildered, conceived doubts of the
worth of righteousness. And these tempers were embittered by the cruel
selfishness of the new monarch and his reckless injustice. To the taxes
required for the tribute to Egypt he added other exactions in order to
meet his extravagance in enlarging and adorning his palace. The crime,
with which Jeremiah charges him in the following lines, is one to which
small kings in the East have often been tempted by their contact with
civilisations richer than their own. On Judah Jehoiakim imposed the cruel
corvée, which in our day Ismail Pasha imposed upon Egypt.

    Woe to who builds his house by injustice,  XXII. 13
      His storeys by wrong,
    Who forces his fellows to serve for nothing,
      And pays not their wage.
    Who saith,(311)  14
    I will build me an ampler house
      And airier storeys,
    Widen my windows, panel with cedar,
      And paint with vermilion,
    Wilt thou thus play the king,  15
      Fussing with cedar?
    Thy sire, did not he eat and drink,
      And do justice and right,
    And judge for the poor and the needy?  16
      Then was it well!(312)
    Was not this how to know Me?—
      Rede of the Lord.
    But thine eyes and thy heart are on nought  17
      Save thine own spoil,
    And on shedding of innocent blood,
      Doing outrage and murder.

Josiah had enjoyed what was enough for him in sober, seemly parallel to
his faithful discharge of duty; his son was luxurious, unscrupulous,
bloody, and withal petty—_fussing with cedar_, and cutting up the
Prophet’s roll piece by piece with a pen-knife! Jeremiah and Baruch’s
sarcastic notes on Jehoiakim find parallels in Victor Hugo’s “Châtiments”
of Napoleon III.: “l’infiniment petit, monstreux et feroce;” “Voici de
l’or, viens pille et vole ... voici du sang, accours, viens boire, petit,

    XXII. 18. Therefore, thus saith the Lord of Jehoiakim, son of
    Josiah, King of Judah.

    Mourn him they shall not, “Woe brother!”
      “Woe sister!”
    Nor beweep him, “Woe Lord!”
      Or “Woe Highness!”
    With the burial of an ass shall they bury him,  19
      Dragged and flung out—
    Out from the gates of Jerusalem.

Such a prophet to such a king must have been intolerable, and through the
following years Jeremiah was pursued by the royal hatred. There were other
and more poisonous enemies. We have found him, from the first, steadily
seeing through, and stoutly denouncing the great religious orders—the
priests, natural believers in the Temple, with a belief, since Deuteronomy
came into their hands, more dogmatic and arrogant than ever; and the
professional prophets with their shallow optimism that all was well for
Judah, and that her God could never bring upon her the doom which Jeremiah
threatened in His Name. _Not He!_ was their answer to him. These two
classes were in conspiracy, deluding themselves and the people; in their
trust upon the letter of the Law, they had no sense, as he told them, of
_The Living God_.(313) Roused by his scorn they watched for an occasion to
convict and destroy him.(314)

This he bravely gave by making, in obedience to God’s call, public
prediction of the ruin of the Temple. It is uncertain whether Jeremiah did
so only once, as many think who read in Chs. VII and XXVI reports of the
same address, or whether, as I am inclined to believe, the former chapter
reports an address delivered under Josiah, and the latter the repetition
of its substance in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim.(315) However
this be, Ch. XXVI alone relates the consequences of his outspoken courage.
It represents the priests and the prophets as quoting his sentence upon
the Temple in absolute terms; though both reports, in the form in which
they have reached us, render his own delivery of it as conditional upon
the nation’s refusal to repent and to better their ways.(316) This, of
course, was ever their way; they were ready distorters.

    XXVI. 1. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of
    Josiah, came this word from the Lord. 2. Thus saith the Lord,
    Stand in the court of the Lord’s House and speak unto all Judah,
    all who come in to worship in the Lord’s House, all the words that
    I have charged thee to speak to them; keep back not a word. 3.
    Peradventure they will hearken and turn every man from his evil
    way, and I shall relent of the evil which I am purposing to do to
    them because of the evil of their doings. 4. And thou shalt say,
    Thus saith the Lord: If ye will not obey Me to walk in My Law,
    which I have set before you, [5] to hearken to the words of My
    servants, the prophets whom I am sending to you, rising early and
    sending—but ye have not hearkened—[6] then shall I render this
    House like Shiloh and this City a thing to be cursed of all
    nations of the earth. 7. And the priests and the prophets and all
    the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the House of the
    Lord. 8. And it was, when Jeremiah finished speaking all that the
    Lord had charged him to speak to all the people, that the priests
    and the prophets(317) laid hold on him saying, Thou shalt surely
    die! 9. Because thou hast prophesied in the Name of the Lord
    saying, As Shiloh this House shall be, and this City shall be laid
    waste without a dweller. And all the people were gathered to
    Jeremiah in the House of the Lord. 10. When the princes of Judah
    heard of these things they came up from the king’s house to the
    House of the Lord and took their seats in the opening of the New
    Gate of the Lord’s House.(318) 11. Then said the priests and the
    prophets to the princes and to all the people—Sentence of death
    for this man! For he hath prophesied against this City as ye have
    heard with your ears. 12. And Jeremiah said to the princes and to
    all the people, The Lord hath sent me to prophesy against this
    House and against this City all the words which ye have heard. 13.
    So now better your ways and your doings, and hearken to the Voice
    of the Lord, that the Lord may relent of the evil which He hath
    spoken against you. 14. But as for me, here am I in your hand! Do
    to me as is good and right in your eyes. 15. Only know for sure
    that if ye put me to death ye will be bringing innocent blood upon
    yourselves, and upon this City and upon her inhabitants; for in
    truth the Lord did send me unto you to speak in your ears all
    these words. 16. And the princes and all the people said to the
    priests and the prophets, Not for this man be sentence of death,
    because in the Name of the Lord our God hath he spoken to us. 17.
    Then arose some of the elders of the land and said to all the
    assembly of the people. 18. There was Micaiah the Morasthite in
    the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and he said to all the people
    of Judah, Thus saith the Lord: Ṣion like a field shall be
    ploughed, And Jerusalem be heaps, And the mount of the House a
    mound of the jungle. 19. Did Hezekiah and all Judah put him to
    death? Did they not fear the Lord and soothe the Lord’s face, and
    the Lord relented of the evil He had uttered against them. Yet we
    are about to do a great wrong upon our own lives.

Several of its features lift this story to a place among the most
impressive in the Old Testament. The priests and prophets on the one side
and the princes on the other both use the phrase, that Jeremiah _spoke in
the Name of the Lord_. But the former quote it ironically, or in
indignation at the Prophet’s claim, while the princes are obviously
impressed by his sincerity and apparently their impression is shared by
the people. There could be no firmer measure of the pitch of personal
power to which Jeremiah has at last braced himself.

The promise of his Call is fulfilled. Sceptical, fluid and shrinking as he
is by nature, he stands for this hour at least, _a strong wall and a
fortress_, by his clear conscience, his simple courage, and his full
surrender to whatever be in store for him. How bravely he refuses to
conciliate them!—_I am in your hand, do to me as is right in your eyes._

Again, there is proof of a popular tradition and conscience in Israel more
sound than those of the religious authorities of the nation. The people
remembered what their priests and prophets forgot or ignored, and through
their elders gave utterance to it on the side of justice. In agreement
with them were the princes, the lay leaders of the nation. To
ecclesiastics of every age and race this is a lesson, to give heed to “the
common sense” and to the public instinct for justice. And on that day in
Jerusalem these were called forth by the ability of the people, commoners
and nobles alike, to recognise a real Prophet, an authentic
Speaker-for-God at once when they heard him.

The danger that Jeremiah faced and the source from which it sprang are
revealed by the fate which befell another denouncer of the land in the
Name of the Lord. Of him, the narrator uses a form of the verb _to
prophesy_ different from that which he uses of Jeremiah, thus guarding
himself from expressing an opinion as to whether the man was a genuine
prophet. This is a further tribute to the moral effect of Jeremiah’s
person and word.

    XXVI. 20. There was also a man who took upon him to prophesy in
    the Name of the Lord, Urijahu, son of Shemajahu, from
    Kiriath-jearim, and he prophesied(319) against this land,
    according to all the words of Jeremiah. 21. And king
    Jehoiakim(320) and all the princes heard of his words and they
    sought(321) to put him to death; and Urijahu heard and fearing
    fled and went into Egypt. 22. And the king sent men to Egypt.(322)
    23. And they took forth Urijah thence and brought him to the king,
    and slew him with the sword, and cast his corpse into the graves
    of the sons of the people. 24. But the hand of Ahikam, the son of
    Shaphan, was with Jeremiah so as not to give him into the hand of
    the people to put him to death.

The one shall be taken and the other left! We are not told why, after the
verdict of the princes and the people, Ahikam’s intervention was needed.
Yet the people were always fickle, and the king who is not mentioned in
connection with Jeremiah’s case, but as we see from Urijah’s watched
cruelly from the background, was not the man to be turned by a popular
verdict from taking vengeance on the Prophet who had attacked him. Ahikam,
however, had influence at court, and proved friendly to Jeremiah on other

All this was _in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim_. Before we
follow Jeremiah himself through the rest of that malignant and disastrous
reign, during which the steadfastness that his personality had achieved
was again to be shaken, we must understand the progress of the great
events which directed his own conduct and gradually determined the fate of
his people.

In 625 B.C. the successor of Asshurbanipal upon the tottering throne of
Assyria had found himself compelled to acknowledge Nabopolassar the
Chaldean as nominally viceroy, but virtually king, of Babylon.(324) The
able chief of a vigorous race, Nabopolassar bided his time for a vaster
sovereignty, and steadily this came to him. The Medes, twice baffled in
their attempts on Nineveh,(325) made terms with him for a united assault
on the Assyrian capital and for the division of its empire. To that
assault Nineveh fell in 612 or 606,(326) and with her fall Assyria
disappeared from among the Northern Powers. Whatever part of the derelict
empire the Medes may have secured, Mesopotamia remained with the Chaldeans
who doubtless claimed as well all its provinces south of the Euphrates.
But, as we have seen, Nĕcoh of Egypt had already overrun these and battle
between him and the Chaldeans became imminent. Their armies met in 605-4
at Carchemish on The River. Nĕcoh was defeated by Nebuchadrezzar, son of
Nabopolassar, and driven south to his own land. Egypt had failed; and the
northern caldrons, as Jeremiah from the first predicted, again boiled with
the fate of Judah and her neighbours. _The Foe_, though no longer the
Scythian of his early expectations, was still _out of the North_.

By 602, if not before, Nebuchadrezzar, having succeeded his father as King
of Babylon, carried his power to the coasts of the Levant and the Egyptian
border. Judah was his vassal, and for three years Jehoiakim paid him
tribute, but then defaulted, probably because of promises from Egypt after
the fashion of that restless power. As if not yet ready to invade Judah in
force, Nebuchadrezzar let loose upon her, along with some of his own
Chaldeans, troops of Moabites, Ammonites and Arameans. Soon afterwards
Jehoiakim died and was succeeded by his son Jehoiachin, a youth of
eighteen, who appears to have maintained his father’s policy; for in 598,
if not 597, Nebuchadrezzar came up against Jerusalem, which forthwith
surrendered, and the king, his mother and wives, his courtiers and
statesmen were carried into exile, with the craftsmen and smiths and all
who were _apt for war; none remained save the poorest of the people of the

Throughout these convulsions of her world, this crisis in the history of
Judah herself, Jeremiah remains the one constant, rational, and far-seeing
power in the national life. But at what terrible cost to himself! His
experience is a throng of tragic paradoxes. Faithful to his mission, every
effort he makes to rouse his people to its meaning is baffled. His word is
signally vindicated by the great events of the time, yet each of these but
tears his heart the more as he feels it bringing nearer the ruin of his
people. His word is confirmed, but he is shaken by doubts of himself, his
utterance of which is in poignant contrast to his steadfast delivery of
his messages of judgment. No prophet was at once more sure of his word and
less sure of himself; none save Christ more sternly denounced his people
or upon the edge of their doom more closely knit himself to them.

It is a staggering world, and the one man who has its secret is shaken to
despair about himself. Yet the Word with which he is charged not only
fulfils itself in event after event but holds its distracted prophet fast
to the end of his abhorred task of proclaiming it.

The cardinal event was Nebuchadrezzar’s victory over Nĕcoh at Carchemish
in 605 or 604 with its assurance of Babylonian, not Egyptian, supremacy
throughout Western Asia. Such confirmation of the substance of Jeremiah’s
prophecies of the past twenty-three years was that Divine signal which
flashed on him to reduce those prophecies to writing and have them recited
to the people by Baruch. We have already followed the story in Ch. XXXVI
of how this was done(328) and of the consequences—the communication of the
Roll to the princes and by them to the king, the king’s burning of the
Roll piece by piece as he heard it read, his order for the arrest of
Jeremiah and Baruch, their escape into hiding, and their preparation of a
Second Roll containing all the words of the First with many others like
them. We may now, in addition, note the following.

First there is the Divine Peradventure at the beginning of the story.(329)
_It may be_, God says, that the people will hear and turn from their evil
ways that I may forgive their iniquity—a very significant _perhaps_ when
taken with the Parable of the Potter to which we are coming. Again, the
king at least understands the evil predicted by Jeremiah to be the
destruction of his land and people by the King of Babylon.(330) And again,
though some of the princes encourage the Prophet’s escape, and urge the
king not to burn the Roll, none are shocked by the burning.(331) Evidently
in 605-4 they were not so impressed with the divinity of Jeremiah’s word
as they had been in 608. Then they did not speak of telling the king; now
they say that they _must tell_(332) him. Jehoiakim’s malignant influence
has grown, and Jeremiah discovers the inconstancy of the princes, even of
some friendly to himself.

To the same decisive year, 605-4, _the fourth of Jehoiakim_, is referred
an address by Jeremiah reported in XXV. 1-11 (with perhaps 13_a_). This
repeats the Prophet’s charge that his people have refused—now for
three-and-twenty years—to listen to his call for repentance and reaffirms
the certainty, at last made clear by the Battle of Carchemish, that their
deserved doom lies in the hands of a Northern Power, which shall waste
their land and carry them into foreign servitude for seventy years. The
suggestion that this address formed the conclusion of the Second Roll
dictated by Jeremiah to Baruch is suitable to the contents of the address
and becomes more probable if we take as genuine the words in 13_a_, _Thus
will I bring upon that land all My words which I have spoken against her,
all that is written in this Book_. But a curious question rises from the
fact that we have two differing reports of the address.(333) Very
significantly the shorter Greek Version contains neither the addition to
the date, _that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon_,
nor the two statements that his was the Northern Power which would waste
Judah and which she should serve for seventy years (verses 1, 9, 11, as
also the similar reference in verse 12), all of which are inserted in the
Hebrew text but not without a sign of their being later intrusions upon
it.(334) And indeed it is inconceivable that the Greek translator could
have omitted the four references to Nebuchadrezzar (including that in
verse 12) had he found them in the Hebrew text from which he worked.
Probably, therefore, Jeremiah did not include them in the first version of
his address; and for this he had reason. His purpose in the address was to
declare the fulfilment of the substance of all his previous prophesying,
and this had been not that the Chaldeans, but that _a northern power_,
would prove to be the executioner of God’s judgment upon Judah. The
references to Nebuchadrezzar were added, possibly by Jeremiah himself or
by Baruch, as the Chaldean doom steadily drew nearer. The interesting
thing is that the earlier version of the address survived and was used by
the Greek translator.(335)

Verses 12-14, indicating the destruction of Babylon in her turn after
seventy years, are, in whole or in part, generally taken as a post-exilic
addition.(336) Omitting verse 14, the Greek inserts between 13 and 15 the
Oracles on Foreign Nations, which the Hebrew postpones to Chs. XLVI.
ff.(337) In the uncertain state of the text of 12-14 it is impossible to
decide whether this was or was not the original position of those Oracles.

The rest of the chapter, verses 15-38, is so full of expansions and
repetitions, which we may partly see from a comparison of it with the
Greek, as well as of inconsistencies with some earlier Oracles by
Jeremiah,(338) of traces of the later prophetic style and of echoes of
other prophets, that many deny any part of the miscellany to be Jeremiah’s
own. Yet we must remember that his commission was not to Judah alone(339)
but to _the nations_ as well, against many of which XXV. 15-38 is
directed; and the figure of the Lord handing to the Prophet the cup of the
wine of His wrath is not one which we have any reason to doubt to be
Jeremiah’s. Sifting, by help of the Greek, the Hebrew list of nations who
are to drink of the cup, we get Judah and Egypt; Askalon, Gaza, Ekron, and
the remnant of Ashdod; Dedan, Tema, Buz, and their _clipt_ neighbours in
Arabia; all of whom were shaken in Jeremiah’s day by the Chaldean terror.
Indeed the reference to Ashdod suits the condition of that Philistine city
in the Prophet’s time better than its restored prosperity in the
post-exilic age. The substance of verses 15-23 may therefore be reasonably
left to Jeremiah. Verses 24-38 are more doubtful.(340)

2. Parables. (XIII, XVIII-XX, XXXV.)

To the reign of Jehoiakim are usually referred a number of symbolic
actions by Jeremiah, the narratives of which carry no dates. So far as
they imply that the Prophet was still able to move openly about Jerusalem
and the country they might be regarded as earlier than 604, when he was
under restraint and had to hide himself.(341) But this is not certain. We
are left to take them in the order in which they occur in the Book.

The first is that of the waist-cloth, XIII. 1-11. Jeremiah was charged to
buy a linen waist-cloth(342) and after wearing it, but keeping it from
damp, to bury it in the cleft of a rock, and after many days to dig it up,
when he found it rotting. So had the Lord taken Israel to cleave to Him as
such a cloth _cleaves to the loins of a man_; but separated from Him they
had likewise rotted and were good for nothing. Separated by what—God’s
action or their own? As it stands the interpretation is complicated. God
spoils Israel because of their pride (verse 9) and Israel spoil themselves
by disobedience and idolatry (verse 10). The complication may be due to a
later addition to the text. But this question is not serious. Neither is
that of the place where Jeremiah is said to have buried the cloth.
_Pĕrath_, the spelling in the text, is the Hebrew name for the Euphrates
and so the Greek and our own versions render it. But the name has not its
usual addition of The River. If the Euphrates be intended the story is
hardly one of fact, but rather a vivid parable of the saturation of the
national life by heathen, corruptive influences from Mesopotamia.(343) Yet
within an hour from Anathoth lies the Wady Farah, a name which corresponds
to the Hebrew _Pĕrath_ or (by a slight change) _Parah_; and the Wady,
familiar as it must have been to Jeremiah, suits the picture, having a
lavish fountain, a broad pool and a stream, all of which soak into the
sand and fissured rock of the surrounding desert.(344) That the Wady Farah
was the scene of the parable is therefore possible, though not
certain.(345) But the ambiguity of these details does not interfere with
the moral of the whole.

This parable is immediately followed by the ironic metaphor of the Jars
Full of Wine, XIII. 12-14, which I have already quoted.(346)

Next comes the Parable of the Potter, Ch. XVIII, that might be from any
part of the Prophet’s ministry, during which he was free to move in
public. This parable is instructive first by disclosing one of the ways
along which Revelation reached, and spelt itself out in, the mind of the
Prophet. He felt a Divine impulse to go down to the house of the
Potter,(347) _and there I will cause thee to hear My Words_, obviously not
words spoken to the outward ear. For, as Jeremiah watched the potter at
work on _his two stones_,(348) and saw that when the vessel he first
attempted was marred he would remould the clay into another vessel as
seemed good to him, a fresh conception of the Divine Method with men broke
upon Jeremiah and became articulate. A word from the Lord flashed through
his eyes upon his mind, just as in his first visions of the almond-blossom
and the caldron.(349)

    XVIII. 5. Then the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, [6] O
    House of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter?(350) Behold,
    as the clay in the hand of the potter, so are ye in My hand.(351)

Thus by figure and by word the Divine Sovereignty was proclaimed as
absolutely as possible. But the Sovereignty is a real Sovereignty and
therefore includes Freedom. It is not fettered by its own previous
decrees, as some rigorous doctrines of predestination insist, but is free
to recall and alter these, should the human characters and wills with
which it works in history themselves change. There is a Divine as well as
a human Free-will. “God’s dealing with men is moral; He treats them as
their moral conduct permits Him to do.”(352)

The Predestination of men or nations, which the Prophet sees figured in
the work of the potter, is to Service. This is clear from the comparison
between Israel and a vessel designed for a definite use. It recalls
Jeremiah’s similar conception of his own predestination, which was not to
a certain state, of life or death, but to the office of speaker for God to
the nations. Yet because the acceptance or rejection by a nation or an
individual of the particular service, for which God has destined them,
naturally determines their ultimate fate, therefore this wider sense,
which predestination came to have in Christian doctrine, is so far also
involved in the parable.(353)

To the truths of the Divine Sovereignty and the Divine Freedom the parable
adds that of the Divine Patience. The potter of Hinnom does not
impatiently cast upon the rubbish which abounds there the lump of clay
that has proved refractory to his design for it. He gives the lump another
trial upon another design. If, as many think, the verses which follow the
parable, 7-10, are not by Jeremiah himself (though this is far from
proved, as we shall see) then he does not explicitly draw from the
potter’s patience with the clay the inference of the Divine patience with
men. But the inference is implicit in the parable. Did Jeremiah intend it?
If he did, this is proof that in spite of his people’s obstinacy under the
hand of God, he cherished, though he dared not yet utter, the hope that
God would have some fresh purpose for their service beyond the wreck they
were making of His former designs for them and the ruin they were thereby
bringing on themselves—that He would grant them still another chance of
rising to His will. But if Jeremiah did not intend this inference from his
parable then we may claim the parable as one more example of that of which
we have already had several, the power of this wonderful man’s experience
and doctrine to start in other minds ideas and beliefs of which he himself
was not conscious, or which at least he did not articulate—that power
which after all is his highest distinction as a prophet. I do not think,
however, that we can deny to Jeremiah all consciousness of what his
parable implies in regard to the Patience of the Divine Potter with the
perverse human clay in His hands. For we have already seen from another of
the Prophet’s metaphors that under the abused and rank surface of a
nation’s or an individual’s life he was sure of soil which by deeper
ploughing would yet yield fruits meet for repentance.(354)

In either case the parable is rich in Gospel for ourselves. If we have
failed our God upon His first designs for us and for our service do not
let us despair. He is patient and ready to give us another trial under His
hand. And this not only is the lesson of more than one of our Lord’s
parables, for instance that of the fig-tree found fruitless, but
nevertheless given the chance of another year,(355) and the motive of His
hopes for the publicans and harlots, but is implied by all the Gospel of
His life and death for sinners. In these He saw still possibilities worth
His dying for.

But as Christ Himself taught, there are, and ethically must be, limits to
the Divine Patience with men. Of these the men of Judah and Jerusalem are
warned in the verses which follow the parable. While it is true (verse 7
ff.) that if a nation, which God has said He will destroy, turn from its
evil, He will relent, the converse is equally true of a nation which He
has promised to plant and build, that if it do wrong and obey not He will
surely repent of the good He had planned for it. For this refractory
people of Judah He is already _framing_ or _moulding evil_—the verb used
is that of which the Hebrew name for _potter_ is the participle. Though
chosen of God and shaped by His hands for high service Israel’s destiny is
not irrevocable; nay, their doom is already being shaped. Yet He makes
still another appeal to them to repent and amend their ways. To this they
answer: _No use! we will walk after our own devices and carry out every
one the stubbornness __ of his evil heart._ At least that is how Jeremiah
interprets their temper; his people had hardened since Megiddo and the
accession of Jehoiakim.

Some moderns have denied these verses to Jeremiah and taken them as the
addition of a later hand and without relevance to the parable. With all
respect to the authority of those critics,(356) I find myself unable to
agree with them. They differ as to where the authentic words of the
Prophet cease, some concluding these with verse 4 others with verse 6. In
either case the parable is left in the air, without such practical
application of his truths as Jeremiah usually makes to Judah or other
nations. Nor can the relevance of the verses be denied, as Cornill, one of
their rejectors, admits. Nor does the language bear traces of a later
date. They seem to me to stand as Jeremiah’s own.

The Prophet’s threat of evil is still so vague, that, with due
acknowledgment of the uncertainty of such points, we may suppose it, along
with the Parable of the Potter, to have been uttered before the Battle of
Carchemish, when the Babylonian sovereignty over Western Asia became

The next in order of Jeremiah’s symbols, Ch. XIX, the breaking of a
potter’s jar past restoration, with his repetition of doom upon Judah, led
to his arrest, Ch. XX, and this at last to his definite statement that the
doom would be captivity to the King of Babylon. Some therefore date the
episode after Carchemish, but this is uncertain; Jeremiah is still not
under restraint nor in hiding.

He is charged to buy an earthen jar and take with him some of the elders
of the people and of the priests to the Potsherd Gate in the Valley of
Hinnom.(358) There, after predicting the evils which the Lord shall bring
on the city because of her idolatry and her sacrifice of children in that
Valley down which they were looking from this gate, he broke the jar and
flung it upon the heaps of shattered earthenware from which the gate
derived its name;(359) and returning to the Temple repeated the Lord’s
doom upon Judah and Jerusalem. He was heard by Pashḥur of the priestly
guild of Immer, who appears to have been chief of the Temple police, and
after being _smitten_ was put in the stocks, but the next day released,
probably rather because his friends among the princes had prevailed in his
favour than because the mind of Pashḥur had meantime changed. For Jeremiah
on his release immediately faced his captor with these words:—

    XX. 3. The Lord hath called thy name not Pashḥur but
    Magor-Missabib, Terror-all-round. 4. For thus saith the Lord, Lo,
    I will make thee a terror to thyself and all thy friends, and they
    shall fall by the sword of their foes, and thine own eyes shall be
    seeing it; and all Judah shall I give into the hand of the king of
    Babylon, and he shall carry them to exile and smite them with the
    sword ... 6. And thou Pashḥur and all that dwell in thy house
    shall go into captivity and in Babylon thou shalt die.(360)

At last Jeremiah definitely states what Judah’s doom from the North is to
be. We wish that we knew the date of this utterance.

Assigned by its title to _the days of Jehoiakim_ is another action of the
Prophet, which is the exhibition rather of an example than of a symbol,
Ch. XXXV. The story was probably dictated by Jeremiah to Baruch, for while
the Hebrew text opens it in the first person (2-5), the Greek version
carries the first person throughout and the later change by the Hebrew to
the third person (12 and 18) may easily have been due to a copyist
mistaking the first personal suffix for the initial letter of the name

The Rechabites, a tent-dwelling tribe sojourning within the borders, and
worshipping the God, of Israel, had taken refuge from the Chaldean
invasion within the walls of Jerusalem. Knowing their fidelity to their
ancestral habits Jeremiah invited some of them to one of the Temple
chambers and offered them wine. They refused, for they said that their
ancestor Jehonadab ben-Rechab(362) had charged them to drink no wine,
neither to build houses, nor sow seed nor plant vineyards. Whereupon
Jeremiah went forth and held them up as an example to the men of Judah,
not because of any of the particular forms of their abstinence, but
because of their constancy. Here were people who remembered, and through
centuries had remained loyal to, the precepts of an ancestor; while Israel
had fallen from their ancient faithfulness to their God and ignored His
commandments. The steadfast loyalty of these simple nomads to the
institutions of a far-away human father, how it put to shame Judah’s
delinquency from the commands of her Divine Father! This contrast is in
line with the others, which we have seen Jeremiah emphasising, between his
people’s fickleness towards God and the obdurate adherence of the Gentiles
to their national gods, or the constancy of the processes of nature: the
birds that know the seasons of their coming, the unfailing snows of
Lebanon and the streams of the hills. The whole story is characteristic of
Jeremiah’s teaching.(363)

3. Oracles on the Edge of Doom. (VII. 16-XVIII _passim_, XXII, XLV.)

From the seventh to the tenth chapters of the Book of Jeremiah there are a
number of undated passages in prose and in verse, which are generally held
to have been included in the collection of the Prophet’s Oracles written
out by Baruch in 604-3, and of which some may have been delivered during
the reign of Josiah, but the most of them more probably either upon its
tragic close at Megiddo in 608, or under Jehoiakim. We have already
considered the addresses reported in VII. 1-15, 21-27,(364) as well as the
metrical fragments VII. 28, 29, and VIII. 8, 9.(365) There are other prose
passages describing (1) VII. 16-20, the worship of the Queen, or the Host,
of Heaven, which had been imposed upon Jerusalem by the Assyrians, and
either survived the decay of their power from 625 onwards, or if
suppressed by Josiah in obedience to Deuteronomy,(366) had been revived
under Jehoiakim; (2) VII. 30-34, the high-places in Topheth, upon which
children were sacrificed, also condemned by Deuteronomy and recorded as
destroyed by Josiah;(367) (3) VIII. 1-3, the desecration of the graves of
Jerusalem. It is not necessary to reproduce these prose passages, whether
they be Jeremiah’s or not; our versions of them, Authorised and Revised,
are sufficiently clear.

But there follow, from VIII. 4 onwards, after the usual introduction, a
series of metrical Oracles of which the following translation is offered
in observance of the irregularity of the measures of the original. Note
how throughout the Prophet is, as before, testing his false
people—_heeding_ and _listening_ are his words—finding no proof of a
genuine repentance and bewailing the doom that therefore must fall upon
them. Some of his earlier verses are repeated, and there is the reference
to the Law, VIII. 8 f., which we have discussed.(368) There is also a hint
of exile—which, however, is still future.

In Ch. VIII, verses 4-12 (including the repetitions they contain) seem a
unity; verse 13 stands by itself (unless it goes with the preceding); 14,
15 echo one of the Scythian songs, but the fear they reflect may be that
either of an Egyptian invasion after Megiddo or of a Chaldean; 16 and 17
are certainly of a northern invasion, but whether the same as the
preceding is doubtful; and doubtful too is the connection of both with the
incomparable elegy which follows—VIII. 18-IX. 1. For IX. 1 undoubtedly
belongs to this, as the different division of the chapters in the Hebrew
text properly shows. In Ch. IX. 2-9 the Prophet is in another mood than
that of the preceding songs. There the miseries of his people had
oppressed him; here it is their sins. There his heart had been with them
and he had made their sufferings his own; here he would flee from them to
a lodge in the desert.(369) IX. 10-12, is another separate dirge on the
land, burned up but whether by invaders or by drought is not clear. Then
13-16 is a passage of prose. In 17-22 we have still another elegy with
some of the most haunting lines Jeremiah has given us, on war or
pestilence, or both. And there follow eight lines, verses 23-24, on a very
different, a spiritual, theme, and then 25-26 another prose passage, on
the futility of physical circumcision if the heart be not circumcised. If
these be Jeremiah’s, and there is no sign in them to the contrary, they
form further evidence of his originality as a prophet.

The two Chs. VIII and IX are thus a collection both of prose passages and
poems out of different circumstances and different moods, with little
order or visible connection. Are we to see in them a number of those _many
like words_ which Jeremiah, when he dictated his Second Roll to Baruch,
added to his Oracles on the First Roll?(370)

                                * * * * *

The first verses are in curious parallel to Tchekov’s remarkable plaint
about his own people and “the Russian disease” as he calls their failing:
“Why do we tire so soon? And when we fall how is it that we never try to
rise again?”

    And thou shalt say to them,(371) Thus saith the Lord:  VIII. 4
    “Does any one fall and not get up,
      Or turn and not return?”(372)
    Why then are this people turning  5
      Persistently turning(373)?
    They take fast hold of deceit,
      Refuse to return.
    I have been heeding, been listening—  6
      They speak but untruth!
    Not a man repents of his evil,
      Saying, “What have I done?”
    All of them swerve in their courses
      Like a plunging horse in the battle.
    Even the stork in the heavens  7
      Knoweth her seasons,
    And dove and swift and swallow
      Keep time of their coming—
    Only my people, they know not
      The Rule(374) of the Lord.
    How say ye, “We are the wise,  8
      With us is the Law(375) of the Lord.”
    But, lo, into falsehood hath wrought it(376)
      False pen of the scribes.
    Put to shame are the wise,  9
      Dismayed and taken,
    The Word of the Lord have they spurned—
      What wisdom is theirs?
    So to others I give their wives,  10
      Their fields to who may take them,
    For all from the least to the greatest
      On plunder are bent;
    From the prophet on to the priest
      Everyone worketh lies.
    They would heal the breach of my people  11
      As though it were trifling,
    Saying “It is well, it is well!”—
      And well it is not!
    Were they shamed of the foulness they wrought?  12
      Nay, shamed not at all,
    Nor knew their dishonour!
      So shall they fall with the falling,
    Reel in the time of their reckoning,
      Sayeth the Lord.(377)

    Would I harvest them?—Rede of the Lord—  13
      No grapes on the vine,
    And never a fig on the fig-tree,
      Withered the leaves.(378)

    For what sit we still?  14
      Sweep together
    And into the fortified cities,
      To perish.
    For the Lord our own God
      Hath doomed us to perish,
    Hath drugged us with waters of bale—
      To Him(379) have we sinned.

    Hoping for peace?  15
    ’Twas no good,
    For a season of healing?
    Lo, panic.(380)

    From Dan the bruit(381) has been heard,  16
      Hinnying of his horses,
    With the noise of the neighing of his steeds
      The land is aquake.
    He(382) comes,(383) he devours the land and her fulness
      The city and her dwellers.
    For behold, I am sending upon you  17
    Against whom availeth no charm,
      But they shall bite you.(384)

    Ah! That my grief is past comfort(385)  18
      Faints on me my heart,
    Lo, hark to the cry of my people
      Wide o’er the land.(386)
    “Is the Lord not in Ṣion,  19
      Is there no king?(387)
    [Why have they vexed Me with idols,
      Foreigners’ fancies?](388)
    “Harvest is past, summer is ended,  20
      And we are not saved!”
    For the breaking of the daughter of my people  21
      I break, I blacken!
    Horror hath fastened upon me
      Pangs as of her that beareth.(389)
    Is there no balm in Gilead,  22
      Is there no healer?
    Why do the wounds never close(390)
      Of the daughter of my people?
      Oh that my head were waters,  IX. 1
      Mine eyes a fountain of tears,
    That day and night I might weep
      For the slain of my people!

There follows an Oracle in a very different mood. In the previous one the
Prophet has taken his people to his heart, in spite of their sin and its
havoc; in this he repels and would be quit of them.

    O that I had in the desert  2
      A wayfarers’(391) lodge!
    Then would I leave my people,
      And get away from them,
    For adulterers all they be,
      A bundle(392) of traitors!
      Their tongue they stretch  3
      Like a treacherous bow,(?)
      And never for truth
      Use their power in the land,
    But from evil to evil go forth
      And Me they know not.(393)
    Be on guard with your friends,  4
      Trust not your(394) brothers,
    For brothers are all very Jacobs,
      And friends gad about to defame.
    Every one cheateth his neighbour,  5
      They cannot speak truth.
    Their tongues they have trained to falsehood,
      They strain to be naughty—
    Wrong upon wrong, deceit on deceit(?)  6
      Refusing to know Me.(395)
      Therefore thus saith the Lord:(396)  7
    Lo, I will smelt them, will test them.
      How else should I do
    In face of the evil ...(397)(?)
      Of the Daughter of My people?
    A deadly(398) shaft is their tongue  8
      The words of their mouth(399) deceit;
    If peace any speak to his friend
      In his heart he lays ambush.
    Shall I not visit for such—  9
      Rede of the Lord—
    Nor on a nation like this
      Myself take vengeance?

    Raise for the mountains a wail,(400)  10
      For the meads of the pasture a dirge!
    They are waste, with never a man(401)
      Nor hear the lowing of cattle.
    From the birds of heaven to the beasts
      They have fled, they are gone.
    I will make Jerusalem heaps,  11
      Of jackals the lair,
    And the townships of Judah lay waste,
      With never a dweller.
    Who is the man that is wise  12
      To lay this to mind,
    As the mouth of the Lord hath told him,
      So to declare—
    The wherefore the country is perished,
      And waste as the desert,
      With none to pass over!

    13. And the Lord said unto me,(402) Because they forsook My Law
    which I set before them, and hearkened not to My Voice,(403) [14]
    but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart, and after
    the Baals, as their fathers taught them. 15. Therefore thus saith
    the Lord(404) the God of Israel, Behold I will give them wormwood
    to eat and the waters of poison to drink. 16. And I will scatter
    them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers knew,
    and send after them the sword till I have consumed them.

      Thus saith the Lord:  17
    Call the keening women to come,
      And send for the wise ones,
    That they come and make haste(405)  18
      To lift us a dirge,
    Till with tears our eyes run down,
      Our eyelids with water.
    For hark! from Ṣion the voice of wailing,  19
      “How we are undone!
    “Sore abashed we, land who have left,
      Our homes overthrown!”(406)

    Hear, O women, the saying of the Lord,  20
      Your ears take in the word of His mouth,
    Teach the lament to your daughters
      Each to her comrade the dirge:
    “For Death has come up by our windows  21
      And into our palaces,
    Cutting off from the streets the children
      The youths from the places;(407)
    And the corpses of men are fallen  22
      As dung on the field,
    As sheaves left after the reaper
      And nobody gathers!”

    Thus saith the Lord:  23
    Boast not the wise in his wisdom,
    Boast not the strong in his strength,
    Boast not the rich in his riches,
    But he that would boast in this let him boast,  24
    Insight and knowledge of Me,
    That I am the Lord, who work troth,
    Judgment and justice on earth,
      For in these I delight.

    25. Behold, the days are coming—Rede of the Lord—that I shall
    visit on everyone circumcised as to the foreskin. 26. Egypt and
    Judah and Edom, the sons of Ammon and Moab, and all with the
    corner(408) clipt, who dwell in the desert; for all the nations
    are uncircumcised in their heart and all the house of Israel.

Which just means that Israel, circumcised in the flesh but not in the
spirit, are as bad as the heathen who share with them bodily circumcision.

Ch. X. 1-16 is a spirited, ironic poem on the follies of idolatry which
bears both in style and substance marks of the later exile.

On the other hand X. 17-23 is a small collection of short Oracles in
metre, which there is no reason to deny to Jeremiah. The text of the
first, verses 17-18, is uncertain. If with the help of the Greek we render
it as follows it implies not an actual, but an inevitable and possibly
imminent, siege of Jerusalem. The couplet in 17 may alone be original and
18, the text of which is reducible neither to metre nor wholly to sense, a
prose note upon it.

    Sweep in thy wares from beyond,(409)  X. 17
    In siege that shalt sit!

    18. For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will sling out them that
    dwell in this land,(410) and will distress them in order that they
    may find ...(?)

Such is the most to be made of the fragment of which there are many
interpretations. The next piece, 19-22, is generally acknowledged to be
Jeremiah’s. It has the ring of his earlier Oracles. The Hebrew and Greek
texts differ as to the speaker in 19_a_. Probably the Greek is correct—the
Prophet or the Deity addresses the city or nation and the Prophet replies
for the latter identifying himself with her sufferings. It is possible,
however, that the words _But I said_ are misplaced and should begin the
verse, in which case the Hebrew _my_ is to be preferred to the Greek _thy_
adopted below. If so the stoicism of 19 is remarkable.

    Woe is me for thy(411) ruin,  19
      Sore is thy(412) stroke!
    But I said,
    Well, this sickness is mine(413)
      And I must bear it!
    Undone is my tent and perished,(414)  20
      Snapped all my cords!
    My sons—they went out from me
      And they are not!
    None now to stretch me my tent
      Or hang up my curtains.
    For that the shepherds(415) are brutish  21
      Nor seek of the Lord,
    Therefore prosper they shall not,
      All scattered their flock.(416)
      Hark the bruit,  X. 22
      Behold it comes,
      And uproar great
      From land of the North,
    To lay the cities of Judah waste,
      A lair of jackals.

As we have seen, Jeremiah in the excitement of alarm falls on short lines,
ejaculations of two stresses each, sometimes as here with one longer

A quatrain follows of longer, equal lines as is usual with Jeremiah when
expressing spiritual truths:—

    Lord I know! Not to man is his way,  23
    Not man’s to walk or settle his steps.
    Chasten me, Lord, but with judgment,  24
    Not in wrath, lest Thou bring me to little!

The last verse of the chapter is of a temper unlike that of Jeremiah
elsewhere towards other nations, and so like the temper against them felt
by later generations in Israel, that most probably it is not his.

    [Pour out Thy rage on the nations,  25
      Who do not own Thee,
    And out on the kingdoms
      Who call not Thy Name!
    For Jacob they devoured and consumed,
      And wasted his homestead](418)

Another series of Oracles, as reasonably referred to the reign of
Jehoiakim as to any other stage of Jeremiah’s career, is scattered over
Chs. XI-XX. I reserve to a later lecture upon his spiritual conflict and
growth those which disclose his debates with his God, his people and
himself—XI. 18-XII. 6, XV. 10-XVI. 9, XVII. 14-18, XVIII. 18-23, XX. 7-18,
and I take now only such as deal with the character and the doom of the

Of these the first in the order in which they appear in the Book is XI.
15, 16, with which we have already dealt,(419) and the second is XII.
7-13, generally acknowledged to be Jeremiah’s own. It is undated, but of
the invasions of this time the one it most clearly reflects is that of the
mixed hordes let loose by Nebuchadrezzar on Judah in 602 or in 598.(420)
The invasion is more probably described as actual than imagined as
imminent. God Himself is the speaker: His _House_, as the parallel
_Heritage_ shows, is not the Temple but the Land, His _Domain_. The
sentence pronounced upon it is a final sentence, yet delivered by the
Divine Judge with pain and with astonishment that He has to deliver it
against His _Beloved_; and this pathos Jeremiah’s poetic rendering of the
sentence finely brings out by putting verse 9_a_ in the form of a
question. The Prophet feels the Heart of God as moved as his own by the
doom of the people.

    I have forsaken My House,  XII. 7
      I have left My Heritage,
    I have given the Beloved of My Soul
      To the hand of her foes.
    My Heritage to Me is become  8
      Like a lion in the jungle,
    She hath given against Me her voice,
      Therefore I hate her.
    Is My Heritage to Me a speckled wild-bird  9
      With wild-birds round and against her?
    Go, gather all beasts of the field,
      Bring them on to devour.
    Shepherds so many My Vineyard have spoiled  10
      Have trampled My Lot—
    My pleasant Lot they have turned
      To a desolate desert
    They make it a waste, it mourns,  11
      On Me is the waste!
    All the land is made desolate,
      None lays it to heart!
    Over the bare desert heights  12
      Come in the destroyers!
    [For the sword of the Lord is devouring
      From the end of the land,
    And on to the end of the land,
      No peace to all flesh.(421)
    Wheat have they sown and reaped thorns,  13
      Have travailed for nought,
    Ashamed of their crop shall they be
      In the heat of God’s wrath.]

The last eight lines are doubtfully original: the speaker is no longer God
Himself. There follows, in verses 14-17, a paragraph in prose, which is
hardly relevant—a later addition, whether from the Prophet or an editor.

The next metrical Oracles are appended to the Parables of the Waist-cloth
and of the Jars in Ch. XIII.(422) We have already quoted, in proof of
Jeremiah’s poetic power, the most solemn warning he gave to his people,
XIII. 15, 16.(423) At some time these lines were added to it:—

    But if ye will not hear it:  XIII. 17
    In secret my soul shall weep
      Because of your pride,
    And mine eyes run down with tears
      For the flock of the Lord led captive.(424)

The next Oracle in metre is an elegy, probably prospective, on the fate of
Jehoiachin and his mother Nehushta.(425)

    Say to the King and Her Highness,  18
      Low be ye seated!
    For from your heads is come down
      The crown of your splendour.
    The towns of the Southland are blocked  19
      With none to open.
    All Judah is gone into exile,
      Exile entire.(426)

_The flock of the Lord_, verse 17, comes again into the next poem,
addressed to Jerusalem as appears from the singular form of the verbs and
pronouns preserved throughout by the Greek (but only in 20_b_ by the
Hebrew) which to the disturbance of the metre adds the name of the
city—probably a marginal note that by the hand of some copyist has been
drawn into the text. In verse 21 the people, whom Judah has wooed to be
her ally but who are about to become her tyrant, are, of course, the

    Lift up thine eyes and look,  XIII. 20
      They come from the North!
    Where is the flock that was given thee,
      Thy beautiful flock?
    What wilt thou say when they set  21
      O’er thee as heads,(428)
    Those whom thyself wast training
      To be to thee friends?
    Shall pangs not fasten upon thee,
      Like a woman’s in travail?
    And if thou say in thine heart,  22
      Why fall on me these?
    For the mass of thy guilt stripped are thy skirts,
      Ravished thy limbs!
    Can the Ethiop change his skin,  23
      Or the leopard his spots?
    Then also may ye do good
      Who are wont to do evil.
    As the passing chaff I strew them  24
      To the wind of the desert.
    This is thy lot, the share I mete thee—  25
      Rede of the Lord—
    Because Me thou hast wholly forgotten
      And trusted in fraud.
    So thy skirts I draw over thy face,  26
      Thy shame is exposed.
    Thine adulteries, thy neighings,  27
      Thy whorish intrigues;
    On the heights, in the field have I seen
      Thy detestable deeds.
    Jerusalem! Woe unto thee!
      Thou wilt not be clean—
      After how long yet?(429)

Ch. XIV. 1-10 is the fine poem on the Drought which was rendered in a
previous lecture.(430) It is followed by a passage in prose, 11-16, that
implies a wilder “sea of troubles,” not drought only but war, famine and
pestilence. Forbidden to pray for the people Jeremiah pleads that they
have been misled by the prophets who promised that there would be neither
famine nor war; and the Lord condemns the prophets for uttering lies in
His Name. Through war and famine prophets and people alike shall perish.

    And thou shalt say this word to them:  XIV. 17
    Let your eyes run down with tears
      Day and night without ceasing,
    For broken, broken is the Daughter of my people,
      With the direst of strokes!
    Fare I forth to the field,  18
      Lo the slain of the sword!
    Or come into the city
      Lo anguish of famine!
    Yea, prophet and priest go a-begging
      In a land they know not.(431)

Some see reflected in these lines the situation after Megiddo, when
Egyptian troops may have worked such evils on Judah; but more probably it
is the still worse situation after the surrender of Jerusalem to
Nebuchadrezzar. There follows, 19-22, another prayer of the people (akin
to that following the drought, 7-9) which some take to be later than
Jeremiah. The metre is unusual, if indeed it be metre and not rhythmical

    [Hast Thou utterly cast off Judah,  19
      Loathes Ṣion Thy soul?
    Why hast Thou smitten us so
      That for us is no healing?
    Hoped we for peace—no good!
    For a season of healing—lo panic!
    We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness,  20
    The guilt of our fathers; to Thee have we sinned.
    For the sake of Thy Name, do not spurn us,  21
    Debase not the Throne of Thy Glory,
    Remember, break not Thy Covenant with us!
    ’Mongst the bubbles of the nations are makers of rain,  22
    Or do the heavens give the showers?
    Art Thou not He for whom we must wait?
    Yea, Thou hast created all these.]

As the Book now runs this prayer receives from God a repulse, XV. 1-4,
similar to that which was received by the people’s prayer after the
drought XIV. 10-12, and to that which Hosea heard to the prayer of his
generation.(432) Intercession for such a people is useless, were it made
even by Moses and Samuel; they are doomed to perish by the sword, famine
and exile. This passage is in prose and of doubtful origin. But the next
lines are in Jeremiah’s favourite metre and certainly his own. They either
describe or (less probably) anticipate the disaster of 598. God Himself
again is the speaker as in XII. 7-11. His Patience which the Parable of
the Potter illustrated has its limits,(433) and these have now been
reached. It is not God who is to blame, but Jerusalem and Judah who have
failed Him.

    Jerusalem, who shall pity,  XV. 5
      Who shall bemoan thee,
    Who will but turn him to ask
      After thy welfare?
    ’Tis thou that hast left Me—Rede of the Lord—  6
      Still going backward.
    So I stretched my hand(434) and destroyed thee
      Tired of relenting.
    With a winnowing fork I winnowed them  7
      In the gates of the land.
    I bereaved and destroyed my people
      Because of their evil.(435)
    I saw their widows outnumber  8
      The sand of the seas.
    I brought on the mother of youths(?)
      Destruction at noonday,
    And let fall sudden upon them
      Anguish and terrors.(436)
    She that bare seven hath fainted,  9
      Breathes out her life,
    Set is her sun in the daytime
      Shamed and abashed!
    And their remnant I give to the sword
      In face of their foes!(437)

Through the rest of Ch. XV and through XVI and XVII are a number of those
personal passages, which I have postponed to a subsequent lecture upon
Jeremiah’s spiritual struggles,(438) and also several passages which by
outlook and phrasing belong to a later age. The impression left by this
miscellany is that of a collection of sayings put together by an editor
out of some Oracles by our Prophet himself and deliverances by other
prophets on the same or similar themes. In pursuance of the plan I
proposed I take now only those passages in which Jeremiah deals with the
character of his people and their deserved doom.

    Thus saith the Lord—  XVI. 5
    Come not to the home of mourning,
    Nor go about to lament,(439)
    For my Peace I have swept away—
    Away from this people.(440)
    Nor enter the house of feasting,  8
    To sit with them eating and drinking
    For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel;  9
    Lo, I make to cease from this place,
    To your eyes, in your days,
    The voices of joy and rejoicing,
    The voices of bridegroom and bride.

There follows a passage in prose, 10-13, which in terms familiar to us,
recites the nation’s doom, their exile. Verses 14, 15 break the connection
with 16 ff., and find their proper place in XXIII. 7-8, where they recur.
Verses 16-18 predict, under the figures of fishers and hunters, the
arrival of bands of invaders, who shall sweep the country of its
inhabitants, because of the idolatries with which these have polluted it.
There is no reason to deny these verses to Jeremiah. In 19, 20 we come to
another metrical piece, singing of the conversion of the heathen from
their idols—the only piece of its kind from Jeremiah—which we may more
suitably consider later. Verse 21 seems more in place after 18.

    The sin of Judah is writ  XVII. 1
      With pen of iron,
    With the point of a diamond graven
      On the plate of their heart—
    And eke on the horns of their altars,(441)
      And each spreading tree,
    Upon all the lofty heights  2
      And hills of the wild
    Thy substance and all thy treasures  3
      For spoil I give,
    Because of sin thy high places
      Throughout thy borders.
    Thine heritage thou shalt surrender(442)  4
      Which I have given thee,
    And thy foes I shall make thee to serve
      In a land thou knowest not.
    Ye have kindled a fire in my wrath
      That for ever shall burn.(443)

These verses, characteristic of Jeremiah, are more so of his earliest
period than of his work in the reign of Jehoiakim, and may have been among
those which he added to his Second Roll. They are succeeded by the
beautiful reflections on the man who does not trust the Lord and on the
man who does, verses 5-8, quoted in a previous lecture.(444) The rest of
the chapter consists of passages personal to himself, to be considered
later, and of an exhortation to keep the Sabbath, verses 19-27, which is
probably post-exilic.(445)

In Ch. XVIII the Parable of the Potter is followed by a metrical Oracle
which has all the marks of Jeremiah’s style and repeats the finality of
the doom, to which the nation’s forgetfulness of God and idolatry have
brought it. Once more the poet contrasts the constancy of nature with his
people’s inconstancy. Neither the metre nor the sense of the text is so
mutilated as some have supposed.

    Therefore thus saith the Lord:  XVIII. 13
    Ask ye now of the nations,
      Who heard of the like?
    The horror she hath grossly wrought,
      Virgin of Israel.
    Fails from the mountain rock  14
      The snow of Lebánon?
    Or the streams from the hills dry up,
      The cold flowing streams?(446)
    Yet Me have My people forgotten,  15
      And burned(447) to vanity,
    Stumbling from off their ways,
      The tracks of yore,
    To straggle along the by-paths,
      An unwrought road;
    Turning their land to a waste,  16
      A perpetual hissing.
    All who pass by are appalled,
      And shake their heads.
    With(448) an east wind strew them I shall,  17
      In face of the foe.
    My back not my face shall I show them
      In their day of disaster.

Personal passages follow in verses 18-23, and in XIX-XX. 6, the Symbol of
the Earthen Jar and the episode of the Prophet’s arrest with its
consequences, which we have already considered,(449) and then other
personal passages in XX. 7-18. Ch. XXI. 1-10 is from the reign of
Ṣedekiah; 11, 12 are a warning to the royal house of unknown date, and 13,
14 a sentence upon a certain stronghold, which in this connection ought to
be Jerusalem, but cannot be because of the epithets _Inhabitress of the
Vale_ and _Rock of the Plain_, that are quite inappropriate to Jerusalem.
This is another proof of how the editors of the Book have swept into it a
number of separate Oracles, whether relevant to each other or not, and
whether Jeremiah’s own or from some one else.

From Chs. XXII-XXIII. 8, a series of Oracles on the kings of Judah, we
have had before us the elegy on Jehoahaz, XXII. 10 (with a prose note on
11, 12) and the denunciation of Jehoiakim, 13-19.(450) There remain the
warning (in prose) to do judgment and justice with the threat on the
king’s house, XXII. 1-5, and the following Oracles:—

    XXII. 6. For thus saith the Lord concerning the house of the king
    of Judah(451)—

    A Gilead art thou to Me,
      Or head of Lebánon,
    Yet shall I make thee a desert
      Of tenantless cities.
    I will hallow against thee destroyers,  7
      Each with his weapons,
    They shall cut down the choice of thy cedars
      And fell them for fuel.

    8. [And(452) nations shall pass by this city and shall say each to
    his mate, For what hath the Lord done thus to this great city? 9.
    And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Covenant of the
    Lord their God, and bowed themselves to other gods and served

Whether this piece of prose be from Jeremiah himself or from another is
uncertain and of no importance. It is a true statement of his own
interpretation of the cause of his people’s doom. The next Oracle
addressed to the nation is upon King Jeconiah, or Koniyahu. I follow
mainly the Greek.

    Up to Lebánon and cry,  XXII. 20
      Give forth thy voice in Bashán,
    And cry from Abarîm(453) that broken
      Be all thy lovers.
    I spake to thee in thy prosperity,  21
      Thou saidst, I hear not!
    This was thy way from thy youth,
      Not to hark to My Voice.
    All thy shepherds the wind shall shepherd,  22
      Thy lovers go captive.
    Then shamed shalt thou be and confounded
      For all thine ill-doing.
    Thou in Lebánon that dwellest,  23
      Nested on cedars,
    How shalt thou groan(454) when come on thee pangs,
      Anguish as hers that beareth.
    As I live—’t is the Rede of the Lord—  24
      Though Konyahu were
    Upon My right hand the signet,
      Thence would I tear him.(455)

    25. And I shall give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life
    and into the hand of them thou dreadest, even into the hand of
    Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and into the hand of the
    Chaldeans; [26] and I will hurl thee out, and thy mother who bare
    thee, upon another land, where ye were not born, and there shall
    ye die. 27. And to the land, towards which they shall be lifting
    their soul,(456) they shall not return.

    Is Konyahu then despised,  28
      Like a nauseous vessel?
    Why is he flung and cast out
      On a land he knows not?
    Land, Land, Land,  29
      Hear the Word of the Lord!
    Write this man down as childless,  30
      A fellow ...(?)
    For none of his seed shall flourish
      Seated on David’s throne,
      Or ruling still in Judah.(457)

We can reasonably deny to Jeremiah nothing of all this passage, not even
the prose by which the metre is interrupted. We have seen how natural it
was for the rhapsodists of his race to pass from verse to prose and again
from prose to verse. Nor are the repetitions superfluous, not even that
four-fold _into the hand of_ in the prose section, for at each recurrence
of the phrase we feel the grip of their captor closing more fast upon the
doomed king and people. Nor are we required to take the pathetic words,
_the land to which they shall be lifting up their soul_, as true only of
those who have been long banished. For the exiles to Babylon felt this
home-sickness from the very first, as Jeremiah well knew.

                                * * * * *

If we are to trust the date given by its title—and no sufficient reason
exists against our doing so—there is still an Oracle of Jeremiah, which,
though now standing far down in our Book, Ch. XLV, belongs to the reign of
Jehoiakim, and is properly a supplement to the story of the writing of the
Rolls by Baruch in 605.(458) The text has suffered, probably more than we
can now detect.

    XLV. 1. The Word, which Jeremiah the prophet spake to Baruch, the
    son of Neriah, while he was writing these words in a book at the
    mouth of Jeremiah,(459) in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of
    Josiah, king of Judah.(460) 2. Thus saith the Lord(461) concerning
    thee, O Baruch, [3] for thou didst say:—

      Woe is me! Woe is me!(462)
    How hath the Lord on my pain heaped sorrow!
      I am worn with my groaning,
      Rest I find none!
    [Thus shalt thou say to him(463)] thus sayeth the Lord:  4
      Lo, what I built I have to destroy,
    And what I planted I have to root up.(464)
    Thou, dost thou seek thee great things?  5
      Seek thou them not,
    For behold, on all flesh I bring evil—
      Rede of the Lord—
    But I give thee thy life as a prey,
      Wheresoever thou goest.

The younger man, with youth’s high hopes for his people and ambitions for
himself in their service—ambitions which he could honestly cherish by
right both of his station in life(465) and the firmness of his
character—felt his spirit spent beneath the long-drawn weight of all the
Oracles of Doom, which it was his fate to inscribe as final. Now to Baruch
in such a mood the older man, the Prophet, might have appealed from his
own example, for none in that day was more stripped than Jeremiah himself,
of family, friends, affections, or hopes of positive results from his
ministry; nor was there any whose life had been more often snatched from
the jaws of death. But instead of quoting his own case Jeremiah brought to
his despairing servant and friend a still higher example. The Lord Himself
had been forced to relinquish His designs and to destroy what He had built
and to uproot what He had planted. In face of such Divine surrender, both
of purpose and achievement, what was the resignation by a mere man, or
even by a whole nation, of their hopes or ambitions? Let Baruch be content
to expect nothing beyond bare life: _thy life shall I give thee for a
prey_. This stern phrase is found four times in the Oracles of
Jeremiah,(466) and nowhere else. It is not more due to the Prophet than to
the conditions of his generation. Jeremiah only put into words what must
have been felt by all the men of his time—those terrible years in which,
through the Oracles quoted in this lecture, he has shown us War, Drought,
Famine and Pestilence fatally passing over his land; when _Death came up
by the windows_, children were cut off from their playgrounds and youths
from the squares where they gathered, and the corpses of men were
scattered like dung on the fields. It was indeed a time when each survivor
must have felt that his life had been _given_ him _for a prey_.

To the hearts of us who have lived through the Great War, with its heavy
toll on the lives both of the young and of the old, this phrase of
Jeremiah brings the Prophet and his contemporaries very near.

Yet more awful than the physical calamities which the prophet unveils
throughout these terrible years are his bitter portraits of the character
of his people, whom no word of their God nor any of His heavy judgments
could move to repentance. He paints a hopeless picture of society in
Jerusalem and Judah under Jehoiakim, rotten with dishonesty and vice.
Members of the same family are unable to trust each other; all are bent on
their own gain by methods unjust and cruel—from top to bottom so
hopelessly false as even to be blind to the meaning of the disasters which
rapidly befal them and to the final doom that steadily draws near. Yet,
for all the wrath he pours upon his generation and the Divine vengeance of
which he is sure, how the man still loves and clings to them, and takes
their doom as his own! And, greatest of all, how he reads in the heart
that was in him the Heart of God Himself—the same astonishment that the
people are so callous, the same horror of their ruin, nay the same sense
of failure and of suffering under the burden of such a waste—_on Me is the
waste!_(467) _What I built I have to destroy!_

Except that he does not share these secrets of the Heart of God, it is of
Victor Hugo among moderns that I have been most reminded when working
through Jeremiah’s charges against the king, the priests, the prophets and
the whole people of Judah—Victor Hugo in his _Châtiments_ of the monarch,
the church, the journalists, the courtiers and other creatures of the
Third French Empire. There is the same mordant frankness and satiric rage
combined with the same desire to share the miseries of the critic’s people
in spite of their faults. I have already quoted Hugo’s lines on Napoleon
III as parallel to Jeremiah’s on Jehoiakim.(468)

Here are two other parallels.

To Jeremiah’s description of his people being persuaded that all was well,
when well it was not, and refusing to own their dishonour, VIII. 11, 12,
take Hugo’s “on est infâme et content” and

    Et tu chantais, en proie aux éclatants mensonges
              Du succès.

And to Jeremiah’s acceptance of the miseries of his people as his own and
refusal to the end to part from them take these lines to France:—

    Je te demanderai ma part de tes misères,
      Moi ton fils.
    France, tu verras bien qu’humble tête éclipsée
      J’avais foi,
    Et que je n’eus jamais dans l’âme une pensée
      Que pour toi.
    France, être sur ta claie à l’heure où l’on te traine
      Aux cheveux,
    O ma mère, et porter mon anneau de ta chaine
      Je le veux!

                               Lecture VI.


The few remaining years of the Jewish kingdom ran rapidly down and their
story is soon told.

When Nebuchadrezzar deported King Jehoiachin in 597, he set up in his
place his uncle Mattaniah, a son of Josiah by that Hamutal, who was also
the mother of the miserable Jehoahaz.(469) The name of the new king
Nebuchadrezzar changed to Ṣedekiah, _Righteousness_ or _Truth of
Jehovah_,(470) intending thus to bind the Jew by the name of his own God
to the oath of allegiance which he had exacted from him. When Ezekiel
afterwards denounced Ṣedekiah on his revolt it was for _despising the
Lord’s oath and breaking the Lord’s covenant_(471)—a signal instance of
the sanctity attached in the ancient world to an oath sworn by one nation
to another, even though it was to the humiliation of the swearer.(472) So
far as we see, Ṣedekiah was of a temper(473) to have been content with the
peace, which the observance of his oath would have secured to him. But he
was a weak man, master no more of himself than of his throne,(474)
distracted between a half-superstitious respect for the one high influence
left to him in Jeremiah and the opposite pressure, first from a set of
upstarts who had succeeded to the estates and the posts about court of
their banished betters, and second, from those prophets whose personal
insignificance can have been the only reason of their escape from
deportation. It is one of the notable ironies of history that, while
Nebuchadrezzar had planned to render Judah powerless to rebel again, by
withdrawing from her all the wisest and most skilful and soldierly of her
population, he should have left to her her fanatics!

There remained in Jerusalem the elements—sincerely patriotic but rash and
in politics inexperienced—of a “war-party,” restless to revolt from
Babylon and blindly confident of the strength of their walls and of their
men to resist the arms of the great Empire. Of their nation they and their
fellows alone had been spared the judgment of the Lord and prided
themselves on being the Remnant to which Isaiah had promised survival and
security on their own land: for they said to the Exiles, _Get ye far from
the Lord, for unto us is this land given in possession._(475) Through the
early uneventful years of Ṣedekiah, this stupid and self-righteous party
found time to gather strength, and in his fourth year must have been
stirred towards action by the arrival in Jerusalem of messengers from the
kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Ṣidon, all of them states within the
scope of Egyptian intrigues against Babylon.(476) For the time the
movement came to nothing largely because of Jeremiah’s influence, and
Ṣedekiah is said to have journeyed to Babylon to protest in person his
continued fidelity.(477) Either then or previously Nebuchadrezzar imposed
on Jerusalem the Babylonian idolatry which Ezekiel describes as invading
even the Temple.(478)

The intrigues of Egypt persisted, however, and, in 589 or 588, after the
accession of Pharaoh Hophra,(479) at last prevailed upon Judah. Ṣedekiah
yielded to the party of revolt and Nebuchadrezzar swiftly invested
Jerusalem. Roused to realities _the king and all the people of Jerusalem_
offered their repentance by a solemn covenant before God to enfranchise,
in obedience to the Law, those slaves who had reached a seventh year of
service. But when on the news of an Egyptian advance the Chaldeans raised
their siege, the Jewish slave-owners broke faith and pressed back their
liberated slaves into bondage.(480) This proved the last link in the long
chain of lies and frauds by which the hopelessly dishonest people fastened
upon them their doom. Egypt again failed her dupes. The Chaldeans, either
by the terror they inspired or by an actual victory on the field,
compelled her army to retire, and resumed the siege of Jerusalem. Though
Jeremiah counselled surrender and though the city was sapped by famine and
pestilence, the fanatics—to whom, however reluctantly, some admiration is
due—held out against the forces of Babylon for a year and a half. Then
came the end. The walls on the north were breached. Ṣedekiah fled by a
southern gate, upon an effort to reach the East of Jordan. He was
overtaken on the plains of Jericho, his escort scattered and himself
carried to Nebuchadrezzar’s head-quarters at Riblah on the Orontes.
Thence, after his sons were slain before his eyes, and his eyes put out,
he was taken in fetters to Babylon. Nebuṣaradan, a high Babylonian
officer, was dispatched to Jerusalem to burn the Temple, the Palace and
the greater houses, and to transport to Babylon a second multitude of
Jews, leaving only _the poorest of the land to be vine-dressers and
husbandmen_.(481) This was in 586.

1. The Release of Hope. (XXIV, XXIX.)

From these rapidly descending years a number of prophecies by Jeremiah
have come to us, as well as narratives of the trials which he endured
because of his faithfulness to the Word of the Lord, and his sane views of
the facts of the time. As we read these prophecies and narratives several
changes become clear in the position and circumstances of the Prophet, and
in his temper and outlook. Signally vindicated as his words have been, we
are not surprised that to his contemporaries he has grown to be a
personage of greater impressiveness and authority than before. He has
still his enemies but these are not found in exactly the same quarters as
under Jehoiakim. Instead of an implacable king, and princes more or less
respectful and friendly, in the king he has now a friend, though a timid
and ineffective one, while the new and inferior princes appear almost
wholly against him. Formerly both priests and prophets had been his foes,
but now only the prophets are mentioned as such, and at least one priest
is loyal to him.(482) Inwardly again, he has no more of those debates with
God and his own soul, which had rent him during the previous years; only
once does doubt escape from his lips in prayer.(483) Clearest of all, his
hope has been released, and in contrast with his prophesying up to the
surrender of Jerusalem in 597, but in full agreement with his enduring
faith in God’s Freedom and Patience,(484) he utters not a few predictions
of a future upon their own land for both Israel and Judah. This greatest
of the changes which appear is due partly to the fact that while the man’s
reluctant duty has been to pronounce the doom of exile upon his people,
that doom has been fulfilled, and his spirit, which never desired it,(485)
is free to range beyond its shadows. To the clearness into which he rises
he is helped, under belief in the Divine Grace, by the truth obvious to
all but fanatics that peace and order were possible for that shaken world
only through submission to Nebuchadrezzar’s firm government, including as
this did a policy comparatively lenient to the Jewish exiles. But there
was another and stronger reason why Jeremiah should at last turn himself
to a ministry of hope, however sternly he must continue to denounce the
Jews left in Jerusalem and Judah. The catastrophe of 597 largely separated
the better elements of the nation, which were swept into exile, from the
worse which remained in the land.

It is this drastic sifting, ethically one of the most momentous events in
the history of Israel, with which Jeremiah’s earliest Oracle under
Ṣedekiah is concerned, Ch. XXIV. Once more the Word of the Lord starts to
him from a vision, this time of two baskets, one of good the other of bad
figs, which the Lord, he says, _caused me to see_: a vision which I take
to be as physical and actual as those of the almond-rod and the caldron
upon his call, or of the potter at his wheel, though others interpret it
as imaginative like the visions of Amos.(486) Note how easily again the
Prophet passes from verse to prose. The verse is slightly irregular. The
stresses of the four couplets are these—3 + 3; 4 + 3; 4 + 3; 3 + 3—to
which the following version only approximates.

    XXIV. 3. And the Lord said to me, What art thou seeing, Jeremiah?
    And I said, Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad very bad,
    which for their(487) badness cannot be eaten. 4. And the Word of
    the Lord came unto me, [5] saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of

    Like unto these good figs
    I look on the exiles of Judah,
    Whom away from this place I have sent
    To the Chaldeans’ land for (their) good.
    For good will I fix Mine eye upon them,  6
    And bring them back to this land,
    And build them and not pull them down,
    And plant them and not pluck up.

    7. And I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord,
    and they shall be for a people unto Me, and I will be to them for
    God, when they turn to me with all their heart. 8. But like the
    bad figs which cannot be eaten for their(488) badness—thus saith
    the Lord—so I give up Ṣedekiah, king of Judah, and his princes and
    the remnant of Jerusalem, the left in this land,(489) with them
    that dwell in the land of Egypt.(490) 9. And I will set them for
    consternation(491) to all kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a
    proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I drive them.
    And I will send among them the sword, the famine and the
    pestilence, till they be consumed from off the ground which I gave
    to them.(492)

We cannot overestimate the effect upon Jeremiah himself, and through him
and Ezekiel upon the subsequent history of Israel’s religion, of this
drastic separation in 597 of the exiles of Judah from the remnant left in
the land. After suffering for years the hopelessness of converting his
people, the Prophet at last saw an Israel of whom hope might be dared. It
was not their distance which lent enchantment to his view for he gives
proof that he can descry the dross still among them, despite the furnace
through which they have passed.(493) But the banished were without doubt
the best of the nation, and now they had “dreed their weird,” gone through
the fire, been lifted out of the habits and passions of the past, and
chastened by banishment—pensive and wistful as exile alone can bring men
to be.

We also have come out of the Great War with the best of us gone, and feel
the contrast between their distant purity, _out of great tribulation_, and
the unworthiness of those who are left. But neither to Jeremiah nor to any
of his time was such inspiration possible as we draw from our brave,
self-sacrificing dead. No confidence then existed in a life beyond the
grave. Jeremiah himself can only _weep for the slain of his people_. His
last vision of them is of _corpses strewn on the field like sheaves left
after the reaper which nobody gathers_, barren of future harvests; and the
last word he has for them is, _they went forth and are not_.(494) But that
separated and distant Israel has for the Prophet something at least of
what the cloud of witnesses by which we are encompassed means for us.
There was quality in them, quality purified by suffering and sacrifice,
more than enough to rally the conscience of the nation from which they had
been torn. For the Prophet himself they released hope, they awoke the
sense of a future, they revived the faith that God had still a will for
His people, and that by His patient Grace a pure Israel might be re-born.

If the vision of the Figs reveals the ethical grounds of Jeremiah’s new
hope for Israel, his Letter to the Exiles, XXIX. 1-23, discloses still
another ground on which that hope was based—his clear and sane
appreciation of the politics of his time. And it adds a pronouncement of
profound significance for the future of Israel’s religion, that the sense
of the presence of God, faith in His Providence and Grace, and prayer to
Him were independent of Land and Temple.

From the subsequent fortunes of the exiles we know what liberal treatment
they must have received from Nebuchadrezzar. They were settled by
themselves; they were not, as in Egypt of old, hindered from multiplying;
they were granted freedom to cultivate and to trade, by which many of them
gradually rose to considerable influence among their captors. All this was
given to Jeremiah to foresee and to impress upon the first exiles. But it
meant that their exile would be long.

It is proof of the change in the Prophet’s position among his people(495)
that his Letter was carried to Babylon by two ambassadors from the King of
Judah to Nebuchadrezzar, and evidently with the consent of Ṣedekiah
himself. The text of the Letter and of its title, originally no doubt from
Baruch’s memoirs, has been considerably expanded, as is clear not only
from the brevity of the Greek version, but from the superfluous formulas
and premature insertions which the Hebrew and the Greek have in common.
Following others I have taken verses 5-7 as metre; and if this is right we
have a fresh instance of Jeremiah’s passing from metre to prose in the
same discourse. The metrical character of 5-7 is not certain. Its couplets
run on the following irregular scheme of stresses: 3 + 4, 2 + 3, 3 + 3, 3
+ 2 (?), 3 + 4, 3 + 4—the last line as so often in a strophe being a long

    XXIX. 1. These are the words of the Letter which Jeremiah sent
    from Jerusalem unto [the remnant of] the elders of the exiles, [3]
    by the hand of Eleasah, son of Shaphan, and Gemariah, son of
    Hilḳiah, whom Ṣedekiah, king of Judah, sent to Babylon unto the
    king of Babylon saying, [4] Thus saith the Lord, the God of
    Israel, unto the exiles whom I have exiled from Jerusalem:(497)

    Build houses and settle ye down,  5
    Plant gardens and eat of their fruit,
    Take ye wives,  6
    And beget sons and daughters.
    Take wives to your sons,
    Give your daughters to husbands,
    To beget sons and daughters,(498)
    And increase(499) and do not diminish.
    And seek ye the peace of the land,(500)  7
    To the which I have banished you,
    And pray for it unto the Lord,
    For in her peace your peace shall be.

    8. [For thus saith the Lord, Let not the prophets in your midst
    deceive you, nor your diviners, nor hearken to the dreams they (?)
    dream. 9. For falsehood are they prophesying unto you in My Name;
    I have not sent them.](501) 10. For thus saith the Lord, So soon
    as seventy years be fulfilled for Babylon, I will visit you and
    establish My Word toward you by bringing you(502) back to this

    For I am thinking about you—  11
      Rede of the Lord—
    Thoughts not of evil but peace
      To give you a Future and Hope.
    Ye shall pray Me, and I will hear you,  12
      Seek Me and find;  13
    If ye ask Me with all your heart
      I shall be found of you.  14

By omitting all of verses 12-14 that is not given by the Greek we get
these eight lines in approximately Jeremiah’s favourite Qinah-measure. The
Greek also lacks verses 16-20, which irrelevantly digress from the exiles
to the guilt and doom of the Jews in Jerusalem, and which it is difficult
to think that Jeremiah would have put into a letter to be carried by two
of these same Jews.(503) Verse 15 goes with 21-23,(504) a separate message
to the exiles which we shall treat in the following section.

2. Prophets and Prophets. (XXIII. 9-32, XXVII-XXIX, etc.)

Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles had its consequences. _First_, there was
their claim to have prophets of the Lord among themselves, which in our
text immediately follows the Letter as if part of it, XXIX. 15, 21-23, but
which is probably of a somewhat later date.

    XXIX. 15. Because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up
    prophets in Babylon, [21] thus saith the Lord concerning Ahab son
    of Kolaiah and concerning Ṣedekiah son of Maaseiah,(505) Behold I
    am to give them into the hand of the king of Babylon and to your
    eyes shall he slay them. 22. And of them shall a curse be taken up
    by all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon saying, “The Lord
    set thee like Ṣedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon
    roasted(506) in the fire!” 23. Because they have wrought folly in
    Israel and committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and in
    My Name have spoken words which I commanded them not. I am He who
    knoweth and am witness—Rede of the Lord.

And, _second_, another of the “prophets” among the exiles sent to
Jerusalem a protest against Jeremiah’s Letter, XXIX. 24-29.

This passage, especially in its concise Greek form, which as usual is
devoid of the repetitions of titles and other redundant phrases in the
Hebrew text, bears the stamp of genuineness.

    XXIX. 24. And unto Shemaiah the Nehemalite thou shalt say:(507)
    25_b_. Because thou hast sent in thine own name a letter to
    Ṣephaniah, son of Maaseiah, the priest,(508) saying, [26] The Lord
    hath appointed thee priest, instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be
    overseer in the House of the Lord for every man that is raving and
    takes on himself to be a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in
    the stocks and in the collar. 27. Now therefore why hast thou not
    curbed Jeremiah of Anathoth, who takes on himself to prophesy unto
    you? 28. Hath he not sent to us in Babylon saying, “It(509) is
    long! Build ye houses and settle down, and plant gardens and eat
    their fruit.” 29. And Ṣephaniah read this letter in the ears of
    Jeremiah; [30] and the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying,
    [31] Send to the exiles saying: Thus saith the Lord concerning
    Shemaiah the Nehemalite, Because Shemaiah hath prophesied unto
    you, although I did not send him, and hath led you to trust in a
    lie; [32] therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold I am about to
    visit upon Shemaiah and upon his seed; there shall not be a man to
    them in your midst to see the good which I am going to do

In one respect Jeremiah has not changed. His denunciation of individuals
who oppose the Word of the Lord by himself is as strong as ever, and still
more dramatically than in the case of Shemaiah it appears in his treatment
of the prophets within Jerusalem, who flouted his counsels of subjection
to Nebuchadrezzar, Chs. XXVII-XXVIII. In this narrative or narratives (for
the whole seems compounded of several, perhaps not all referring to the
same occasion) the differences between the Greek and Hebrew texts are even
more than usually great. The Greek again attracts our preference by its
freedom from superfluous titles, repetitions and redundances, and is
probably nearer than the Hebrew to the original of Baruch’s Memoirs of the
Prophet. But it is obviously not complete, missing out clauses, the
presence of which is implied by subsequent ones.(511) The following is the
substance of what Baruch reports.

It was the fourth year of Ṣedekiah, 593, when messengers from the
neighbouring nations came to Jerusalem to intrigue under Egyptian
influence for revolt against Babylon. Jeremiah was commanded to make a
yoke of bars and thongs, and having put it on his neck to charge the
messengers to tell their masters—

    XXVII. 4. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: [5] I
    have made the Earth by My great power and Mine outstretched arm,
    and I give it unto whom it seems right to Me. 6. So now I have
    given all these lands(512) into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, king
    of Babylon, to serve him,(513) and even the beasts of the field to
    serve him. 8. And it shall be that the nation and kingdom, which
    will not put their neck into the yoke of the king of Babylon, with
    the sword and with the famine(514) shall I visit them—Rede of the
    Lord—till they be consumed at his hand (?). 9. But ye, hearken ye
    not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your
    dreamers,(515) nor to your soothsayers, nor to your sorcerers, who
    say, “Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon”; [10] for they
    prophesy a lie unto you, to the result of removing you far from
    your own soil. 11. But the nation which brings its neck into the
    yoke of the king of Babylon and serves him, I will let it rest on
    its own soil and it shall till this and abide within it.

This is followed by a similar Oracle to Ṣedekiah himself, 12-15, and by
another, 16-22, to the priests concerning a matter of peculiar anxiety to

    16. Thus saith the Lord, Hearken ye not to the words of the(516)
    prophets, who prophesy to you saying, Behold, the vessels of the
    Lord’s House shall be brought back from Babylon; for a lie are
    they prophesying to you. I have not sent them.(517) 18. But if
    prophets they be, and if the Word of the Lord is with them, let
    them now plead with Me [that the vessels left in the House of the
    Lord come not to Babylon]. 19. Yet thus saith the Lord concerning
    the residue of the vessels, [20] which the king of Babylon did not
    take when he carried Jeconiah into exile from Jerusalem, [22] unto
    Babylon shall they be brought—Rede of the Lord.

The Hebrew text concludes with a prophecy of the restoration of the
vessels, which had it been in the original the Greek translators could
hardly have omitted, and which is therefore probably a _post factum_
insertion. Not only, then, were the sacred vessels taken away in 597 to
remain in Babylon, but such as were still left in Jerusalem would also be
carried thither. It is possible that this address is now out of place and
should follow the next chapter, XXVIII, which deals only with the vessels
carried off in 597. Like the Hebrew the Greek text gives XXVIII a separate
introduction which dates it in the fifth month of the fourth year of
Ṣedekiah, but omits the Hebrew statement that the year was the same as
that of the events and words recorded in XXVII. The extent of the
differences between the Hebrew and Greek continues to be at least as great
as before,(518) as a comparison will show between the Authorised Version
and the following rendering which adheres to the Greek.

Jeremiah was still wearing his symbolic yoke of wood and thongs in the
Temple, when his prediction that the sacred vessels would not be restored
was flatly contradicted and with as much assurance that the contradiction
was from the God of Israel, as Jeremiah’s assurance about his own words.
The speaker was like himself from the country of Benjamin, from Gibeon
near Anathoth, Hananiah son of Azzur, who said—

    XXVIII. 2. Thus saith the Lord, I have broken(519) the yoke of the
    king of Babylon! 3. Within two years I will bring back to this
    place the vessels of the House of the Lord, [4] and Jeconiah and
    all the exiles of Judah that went to Babylon; for I will break the
    yoke of the king of Babylon. 5. Then said Jeremiah to Hananiah,
    before the priests and all the people(520) standing in the House
    of the Lord—yes, [6] Jeremiah said,(521) Amen! The Lord do so! The
    Lord establish the words thou hast prophesied, by bringing back
    the vessels of the Lord’s House and all the exiles from Babylon to
    this place! 7. Only hear, I pray thee, the Word of the Lord which
    I am about to speak in thine ears and in the ears of all the
    people. 8. The prophets who have been before me and thee from of
    old, they prophesied against many lands and against great kingdoms
    of war [and of famine (?) and pestilence].(522) 9. The prophet who
    prophesies of peace (it is only) when the word(523) comes to pass
    that the prophet is known(524) whom in truth the Lord hath sent.
    10. Then Hananiah(525) took the bars off the neck of Jeremiah and
    brake them. 11. And Hananiah spake before all the people saying:
    Thus saith the Lord, Even so will I break the yoke of the king of
    Babylon [within two years](526) from off the necks of all the
    nations. And Jeremiah went his way. 12. Then came the Word of the
    Lord to Jeremiah, after Hananiah had broken the bars from off his
    neck, saying, [13] Go tell Hananiah, Thus saith the Lord: Thou
    hast broken the bars of wood but I will(527) make in their stead
    bars of iron. 14. For thus saith the Lord, An iron yoke have I put
    upon the necks of all [these] nations, that they may serve the
    king of Babylon. 15. And Jeremiah said to Hananiah,(528) The Lord
    hath not sent thee, but thou leadest this people to trust in a
    lie. 16. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I am about to
    dispatch thee from off the face of the ground—this year thou shalt
    die. 17. And he was dead(529) by the seventh month.

All praise to Baruch for his concise and vivid report, and to the Greek
translator who has reproduced it! The editors of the Hebrew text have
diluted its strength.

With this narrative we are bound to take the section of the Book entitled
_Of the Prophets_, XXIII. 9-32. The text is in parts uncertain, and
includes obvious expansions. These removed, we can fairly distinguish a
continuous metrical form up to 29, with the exception perhaps of 25-27.
The metre is sometimes irregular enough to raise the suggestion(530) that
the whole is rhetorical prose, between which and metre proper it is often
hard, as we have seen, to draw the line. But we have also learned how
often and how naturally irregular, when the subject requires it,
Jeremiah’s metres tend to become. So I have ventured, with the help of the
Greek, to render the whole as metre, in which form are parts beyond doubt.
Verses 18 and 30-32 are in prose, and both, but more probably the former,
may be later additions, as are 19, 20, and clauses in 9, 10.

There is no reason against taking the remainder as Oracles by Jeremiah
himself. No dates are given them; they probably come from various stages
of his ministry, for he early found out the false prophets, and his
experience of them and their errors lasted to the end. But probably this
collection of the Oracles was made under Ṣedekiah; that Baruch gathered it
still later is not so likely.

    Of the prophets:—  XXIII. 9
    Broken my heart within me,
      All pithless my bones.
    I’m become like a drunken man
      Like a wight overcome with wine.(531)
    Of adulterers the land is full  10
    Their course it is evil,(532)
      Their might not right.
    For prophet and priest alike  11
      Are utterly godless.(533)
    E’en in My House their evil I find—
      Rede of the Lord.
    Therefore their way shall they have  12
      In slippery places,
    Thrust shall they be into darkness(534)
      And fall therein,
    When I bring calamity on them,
      The year of their visitation.
    In Samaria’s prophets I saw the unseemly,  13
      By Baal they prophesied.(535)
    In Jerusalem’s prophets I see the horrible—  14
      Adultery, walking in lies.
    They strengthen the hands of ill-doers,
      That none from his wickedness turns.
    To Me they are all like Sodom,
      Like Gomorra her(536) dwellers!
    Therefore thus saith the Lord:(537)  15
    Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
      And drug them with poison.(538)
    For forth from Jerusalem’s prophets
      Godlessness starts o’er the land.
    Thus saith the Lord of Hosts  16
      Hearken not to the words of the prophets
      They make them bubbles,(539)
    A vision from their hearts they speak,
      Not from the mouth of the Lord.
    Saying to the scorners of His(540) Word  17
      “Peace shall be yours;”
    To all who follow their stubborn hearts
      “No evil shall reach you!”

    18. [For who hath stood in the council of the Lord and hath seen
    His Word? Who hath attended and heard?](541)

    I have not sent the prophets,  21
      Of themselves they run.
    I have not spoken to them,
      They do the prophesying.
    If they had stood in My Council,  22
      And heard My Words,
    My people they would have been turning(542)
      From(543) the wrong of their doings.
    I am a God who is near  23
      Not a God who is far.(544)
    Can any man hide him in secret  24
      And I not see him?
    Is it not heaven and earth that I fill?—
      Rede of the Lord.
    I have heard what the prophets say  25
      Who preach in My Name,
    Falsely saying, “I have dreamed,
      I have dreamed, I have dreamed.”(545)
    Will the heart of the prophets turn,(546)  26
      Who prophesy lies?
    And in their prophesying ... (?)(547)
      The deceit of their heart,
    Who plan that My people forget My Name(548)  27
      Through the dreams they tell,
    Just as their fathers forgot
      My Name through Baal.
    The prophet with whom is a dream  28
      Let him tell his(549) dream;
    But he with whom is My Word,
      My Word let him speak in truth.
    What has the straw with the wheat?(550)
      —Rede of the Lord—
    My Word, is it not(551) like fire  29
      And the hammer that shatters the rock?

    30. Therefore, Behold, I am against the prophets—Rede of the
    Lord—who steal My Words each from his mate. 31. Behold, I am
    against the prophets who fling out their tongues and rede a
    Rede.(552) 32. Behold, I am against the prophets of false dreams
    who tell them and lead My people astray by their falsehood and
    extravagance(553)—not I have sent them or charged them, nor of any
    profit whatsoever are they to this people.(554)

We have now all the material available for judgment upon Jeremiah’s
life-long controversy with the other prophets. His message and theirs were
diametrically opposite. But both he and they spoke in the name of the same
God, the God of their nation. Both were convinced that they had His Mind.
Both were sure that their respective predictions would be fulfilled. Each
repudiated the other’s claim to speak in the name of their nation’s God.
With each it was an affair of strong, personal convictions, which we may
grant, in the case of some at least of Jeremiah’s opponents, to have been
as honest as his. At first sight it may seem hopeless to analyse such
equal assurances, based apparently on identical grounds, with the view of
discovering psychological differences between them; and as if we must
leave the issue to the course of events to which both parties confidently
appealed. Even here the decision is not wholly in favour of the one as
against the others. For Jeremiah’s predictions in the Name of the Lord
were not always fulfilled as he had shaped them. The northern executioners
of the Divine Judgment upon Judah were not the Scythians as he at first
expected; and—a smaller matter—Jehoiakim was not _buried with the burial
of an ass, dragged and flung out from the gates of Jerusalem_, but _slept
with his fathers_.(555) Yet these are only exceptions. Jeremiah’s
prophesying was in substance vindicated by history, while the predictions
of the other prophets were utterly belied. This is part of Jeremiah’s
meaning when he says, _Of no profit whatsoever are they to this

What were the grounds of the undoubted difference? On penetrating the
similar surfaces of Jeremiah’s and the prophets’ assurances we find two
deep distinctions between them—one moral and one intellectual.

We take the moral first for it is the deeper. Both Jeremiah and the
prophets based their predictions on convictions of the character of their
God. But while the prophets thought of Him and of His relations to Israel
from the level of that tribal system of religion which prevailed
throughout their world, and upon that low level concluded that Yahweh of
Israel could not for any reason forsake His own people but must avert from
them every disaster however imminent; Jeremiah was compelled by his faith
in the holiness and absolute justice of God to proclaim that, however
close and dear His age-long relations to Israel had been and however high
His designs for them, He was by His Nature bound to break from a
generation which had spurned His Love and His Law and proved unworthy of
His designs, and to deliver them for the punishment of their sins into the
hands of their enemies.(557) _What else can I do?_ Jeremiah hears God say.
The opposing prophets reply, _Not He!_ This is the ground of his charge
against them, that they plan to make the _people forget the Name_, the
revealed Nature and Character, of God, just as _their fathers forgat Him
through Baal_,(558) confusing His Nature with that of the lower, local
god.(559) This ethical difference between Jeremiah and the prophets is
clear beyond doubt; it was profound and fundamental. There went with it of
course the difference between their respective attitudes to the society of
their time—on the one side his acute conscience of the vices that
corrupted the people, on the other their careless temper towards those
vices. They would _heal the hurt of the daughter of my people lightly_,
saying _it is well, it is well when well it is not_, and in their
prophesying there was no call to repentance.(560) Moreover, though this
may not have been true of all of them, some both in Jerusalem and among
the exiles were _partakers of other men’s sins_; for Jeremiah charges them
with the prevailing immoralities of the day—adultery and untruth. Instead
of turning Judah from her sins, they were the promoters of the godlessness
that spread through the land.(561) Though we have only Jeremiah’s—or
Baruch’s—word for this, we know how natural it has ever been for the
adherents, and for even some of the leaders, of a school devoid of the
fundamental pieties to slide into open vice. Jeremiah’s charges are
therefore not incredible.

But the grounds of the difference between Jeremiah and the other prophets
were also intellectual. Jeremiah had the right eye for events and
throughout he was true to it. Just as he tells us how the will of God was
sometimes suggested to him by the sight of certain physical objects—the
almond-blossom that broke the winter of Anathoth, the boiling caldron, or
the potter at his wheel—so the sight of that in which the physical and
spiritual mingled, the disposition and progress of the political forces of
his world, made clear to him the particular lines upon which the ethically
certain doom of Judah would arrive. He had the open eye for events and
allowed neither that horror of his people’s ruin, of which he tells us his
heart was full, nor any other motive of patriotism, nor temptations to the
easier life that had surely been his by flattery and the promise of peace
to his contemporaries, to blind him to the clear and just reading of his
times, to which God’s Word and his faith in the Divine character had
opened his vision. On the contrary the other prophets, to take them at
their best, were blinded by their patriotism, blinded by it even after
Carchemish and when the grasp of Babylon was sensibly closing upon
Judah—even after the first captivity and when the siege of Jerusalem could
only end in her downfall and destruction. Nothing proved sufficient to
open such eyes to the signs of the times.

Making allowance, then, for the fact that we depend for our knowledge of
the controversy upon the record of only one of the parties to it, and
imputing to the other prophets the best possible, we are left with these
results: that as proved by events the truth was with Jeremiah’s word and
not with that of his opponents, and that the causes of this were his
profoundly deeper ethical conceptions of God working in concert with his
unwarped understanding of the political and military movements of his

To this were allied other differences between Jeremiah and the prophets
who were against him.

Along with the priests they clung to tradition, to dogma, to things that
had been true and vital for past generations but were no longer so for
this one, which turned exhausted truths into fetishes. To all these he
opposed _the Word of the Living God_, Who spoke to the times and freely
acted according to the character and the needs of the present generation.

Again, the other prophets do not appear to have attached any conditions to
their predictions; these they delivered as absolute and final. In
contrast, not merely were Jeremiah’s prophecies conditional but the
conditions were in harmony with their fundamentally moral spirit. His
doctrine of Predestination was (as we have seen) subject to faith in the
Freedom of the Divine Sovereignty, and therefore up to the hopeless last
he repeated his calls to repentance, so that God might relent of the doom
He had decreed, and save His people and His land to each other.

Further, despite his natural outbursts of rage Jeremiah showed patience
with his opponents, the patience which is proof of the soundness of a
man’s own convictions. He believed in “the liberty of prophesying,”

    The prophet with whom is a dream
      Let him tell his dream,
    And he with whom is My Word,
      My Word let him speak in truth!

Jeremiah had no fear of the issue being threshed out between them. The
wheat would be surely cleared from the straw.(562) That is a confidence
which attracts our trust. In the strength of it Jeremiah was enabled to
pause and reflect on the apparently equal confidence which he encountered
in his opponents, and to give this every opportunity to prove itself to
him before he repeated his own convictions. I cannot think, as many do,
that his words to Hananiah were sarcastic; and when Hananiah broke the
yoke on Jeremiah’s shoulders, and it is said, _But Jeremiah went his way_,
this was not in contempt but to think out the issue between them.(563) Nor
do I feel sarcasm in his wish that his opponents’ predictions of the
return of the sacred vessels from Babylon might be fulfilled.(564) His
brave calm words to the prophets and priests who sought his life in the
Temple in 604(565) bear similar testimony. All these are the marks of an
honest, patient and reflective mind which weighs opinions opposite to its

Further still, Jeremiah had to his credit that of which his opponents
appear to have been devoid. As we have seen no prophet was less sure of
himself, or more reluctant to discharge the duties of a prophet.
Everywhere he gives evidence of being impelled by a force not his own and
against his will.(566) But the other prophets show no sign of this
accrediting reluctance. They eagerly launch forth on their mission; _fling
about their tongues, and rede a Rede_ of the Lord.(567) They give no
impression of a force behind them. Jeremiah says that _they run of
themselves_ and _prophesy of themselves_, they have not been sent.(568) We
still keep in mind that we owe the accounts of them to Jeremiah and
Baruch, their opponents. But our own experience of life enables us to
recognise the portraits presented to us, as of characters found in every
age: pushful men, who have no doubts of their omniscience, but, however
patriotic or religious or learned, leave upon their contemporaries no
impression of their being driven by another force than themselves, and
whose opinions either are belied by events, or melt into the air.

One point remains. In answering Hananiah Jeremiah adduced the example of
the acknowledged prophets of the past as being always prophets of doom, so
that the presumption was in favour of those who still preached doom; yet
he allowed that if any prophet promised peace, and peace came to pass, he
also might be known as genuine. That was sound history, and in the
circumstances of the day it was also sound sense.


History has no harder test for the character and doctrine of a great
teacher than the siege of his city. Instances beyond the Bible are those
of Archimedes in the siege of Syracuse, 212 B.C., Pope Innocent the First
in that of Rome by Alaric, 417 A.D., and John Knox in that of St. Andrews
by the French, 1547. A siege brings the prophet’s feet as low as the feet
of the crowd. He shares the dangers, the duties of defence, the last
crusts. His hunger, and, what is still keener, his pity for those who
suffer it with him, may break his faith into cowardice and superstition.
But if faith stands, and common-sense with it, his opportunities are high.
His powers of spiritual vision may prove to be also those of political and
even of military foresight, and either inspire the besieged to a
victorious resistance, or compel himself, alone in a cityful of fanatics,
to counsel surrender. A siege can turn a prophet or quiet thinker into a

The Old Testament gives us three instances—Elisha’s brave visions during
the Syrian blockade of Dothan and siege of Samaria; Isaiah, upon the
solitary strength of his faith, carrying Jerusalem inviolate through her
siege by the Assyrians; and now a century later Jeremiah, with a more
costly courage, counselling her surrender to the Babylonians.

The records of the Prophet’s activity and sufferings during the siege are
so curiously scattered through the Book and furnished with such headlines
as to leave it clear that they were added at different times and possibly
from different sources. Some of them raise the question whether or not
they are doublets.

Three, XXI. 1-10, XXXIV. 1-7, XXXVII. 3-10, bear pronouncements by
Jeremiah that the city must surrender or be stormed and burned. Of these
the first and third each gives as the occasion of the pronouncement it
quotes, Ṣedekiah’s mission of two men to the Prophet. Several critics
regard these missions as identical. But can we doubt that during that
crisis of two years the distracted king would send more than once for a
Divine word? And for this what moments were so natural as when the
Chaldeans were beginning the siege, XXI. 4, and when they raised it,
XXXVII. 5? That one of the two messengers is on each occasion the same
affords an inadequate reason—and no other exists—for arguing that both
passages are but differently telling the same story.(569) Nor have any
grounds been offered for identifying the occasion of either passage with
that of XXXIV. 1-7. Thus we have three separate deliverances from Jeremiah
to the king, each with its own vivid phrases and distinctive edge.

The first, XXI 1-10, was given as the Chaldeans closed upon Jerusalem but
the Jews were not yet driven within the walls.(570) Ṣedekiah sent Pashḥur
and Ṣephaniah to inquire if by a miracle the Lord would raise the siege.
The grim answer came that the Lord Himself would fight the besieged, till
they died of pestilence and the survivors were slaughtered by
Nebuchadrezzar—_I_(_571_)_ shall not spare nor pity them_—which is proof
that this Oracle was uttered before the end of the siege, when the
survivors were not slain but deported. The people are advised to desert to
the enemy—counsel which we shall consider later.

The second, XXXIV. 1-7, records a pronouncement unsought by the king but
evoked from Jeremiah by the progress of the Chaldean arms, which had
overrun all Judah save the fortresses of Jerusalem, Lachish and Azekah.
Its vivid genuineness is further certified by its unfulfilled promise of a
peaceful death for Ṣedekiah. The following is mainly after the Greek.

    XXXIV. 2_b_. Thus saith the Lord: This city shall certainly be
    given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it
    and burn it with fire. 3. And thou shalt not escape but surely be
    taken and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall look into
    his eyes, and his mouth speak with thy mouth,(572) and to Babylon
    shalt thou come. 4. Yet hear the Lord’s Word, O Ṣedekiah, king of
    Judah! 5. Thus saith the Lord,(573) In peace shalt thou die, and
    as the burnings(574) for thy fathers who reigned before thee so
    shall they burn for thee, and with “Ah lord!” lament thee. I have
    spoken the Word—Rede of the Lord.

The miserable king, how much worse was in store for him than even Jeremiah
was given to foresee! Duhm (to our surprise, as Cornill remarks) agrees
that the passage is from Baruch; but only in order to support the
precarious thesis that Baruch knew nothing of Ṣedekiah’s being afterwards
blinded and that the reports of this(575) sprang from unfounded rumour.

The third pronouncement to Ṣedekiah, XXXVII. 3-10,(576) was made when the
king sent Jehucal and Ṣephaniah to seek the Prophet’s prayers, after the
Chaldeans had raised the siege in order to meet the reported Egyptian
advance to the relief of Jerusalem.

    XXXVII. 7. Thus saith the Lord: Thus say ye to the king of Judah
    who sent you to inquire of Me,(577) Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which
    is coming forth to help you, shall return to the land of Egypt. 8.
    And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city and
    take it and burn it with fire. 9. For(578) thus saith the Lord:
    Deceive not yourselves saying, The Chaldeans shall surely go off
    from us; they shall not go. 10. Even though ye smote the whole
    host of the Chaldeans that are fighting with you, and but wounded
    men were left, yet should these rise, each in his tent,(579) and
    burn this city with fire.

It is very remarkable how the spiritual powers of the Prophet endowed him
with these sound views of the facts of his time, and of their
eventualities whether in the political or in the military sphere. For
nearly forty years he had foretold judgment on his people out of the
North: for eighteen at least he had been sure that its instrument would be
Nebuchadrezzar and he had foreseen the first deportation of the Jews to
Babylonia. Now step by step through the siege he is clear as to what must
happen—clear that the Chaldeans will invest the city, clear when they
raise the investment that they will beat off the Egyptian army of relief
and return, clear that resistance to them is hopeless, and will but add
thousands of deaths by famine and pestilence before the city is taken and
burned and its survivors carried into exile—all of which comes to pass.
But this political sagacity and military foresight have their source in
moral and spiritual convictions—the Prophet’s assurance of the character
and will of God, his faith in the Divine Government not of a single nation
but of all the powers of the world, and his belief that a people is saved
and will endure for the service of mankind, neither because of past
privileges nor by the traditions in which it trusts, nor by adherence to
dogmas however vital these have been to its fathers, nor even by its
passionate patriotism and its stubborn gallantry in defence of land and
homes, but only by its justice, its purity, and its obedience to God’s
will. These are the spiritual convictions which alone keep the Prophet’s
eyes open and his heart steadfast through the fluctuations of policy and
of military fortune that shake his world, and under the agony of appearing
to be a traitor to his country and of preaching the doom of a people whom
he loves with all his soul.

The case of John Knox affords a parallel to that of the Hebrew prophet. He
told the garrison and citizens of St. Andrews, when besieged by the
French, that “their corrupt life could not escape punishment of God and
that was his continued advertisement from the time he was called to
preach” among them. “When they triumphed of their victory (the first
twenty days they had many prosperous chances) he lamented and ever said
‘They saw not what he saw!’ When they bragged of the force and thickness
of their walls, he said, ‘They should be but egg-shells!’ When they
vaunted ‘England will rescue us!’ he said, ‘Ye shall not see them, but ye
shall be delivered into your enemies’ hands and shall be carried to a
strange country!’ ” that is France. All of which came to pass, as with
Jeremiah’s main predictions.(580)

The second of Jeremiah’s pronouncements given above is followed by the
story of the besieged’s despicable treatment of their slaves, XXXIV. 8-22;
based on a memoir by Baruch, but expanded. Both the Hebrew and the shorter
Greek offer in parts an uncertain text, and add this problem that their
story begins with a covenant to _proclaim a Liberty_(581) for the Hebrew
slaves in general, while the words which they attribute to Jeremiah limit
it to the emancipation, in terms of a particular law, of those slaves who
had completed six years of service (verse 14).(582) But neither this nor
the other and smaller uncertainties touch the substance of the story.(583)
As the siege began the king and other masters of slaves in Jerusalem
entered into solemn covenant to free their Hebrew slaves, obviously in
order to propitiate their God, and also some would assert (though
unsupported by the text) in order to increase their fighting ranks; but
when the siege was raised they forced their freedmen back to bondage: “a
deathbed repentance with the usual sequel on recovery.”(584) This is the
barest exposure among many we have of the character of the people with
whom Jeremiah had to deal, and justifies the hardest he has said of their

    XXXIV. 17. Therefore thus saith the Lord: Ye have not obeyed Me by
    proclaiming a Liberty each for his countryman. Behold I am about
    to proclaim for you a Liberty—to the sword, to the famine and to
    the pestilence, and I will set you a consternation to all kingdoms
    of the earth.... 21. And Ṣedekiah, king of Judah, and his princes
    will I give into the hands of their foes, the king of Babylon’s
    host that are gone up from you. 22. Behold, I am about to
    command—Rede of the Lord—and bring them back to this city and they
    shall storm and take it and burn it with fire, and the townships
    of Judah will I make desolate and tenantless.

Are we not in danger of the guilt of a similar perjury to the men who
fought for us in the Great War, and for whom we have not yet fulfilled all
the promises made to them by our governors?

About this time the ill-treatment of Jeremiah, which had ceased on
Ṣedekiah’s accession, was resumed. The narrative, or succession of
narratives, of this begins at XXXVII. 11, and continues to XXXIX. 14, with
interruptions in XXXIX. 1, 2, 4-13. Save for a few expansions, the whole
must have been taken from Baruch’s memoirs. Except for the omission of
XXXIX. 4-13, the differences of the Greek from the Hebrew are unimportant,
consisting in the usual absence of repetitions of titles, epithets and

The siege being raised, Jeremiah was going out by the North gate of the
city to Anathoth to claim or to manage(585) some property there, when he
was arrested by the captain of the watch, and charged with deserting. He
denied this, but was taken to the princes, who flogged him and flung him
into a vault in the house of Jonathan, the Secretary. After many days he
was sent for by the king who asked, _Is there Word from the Lord?_ _There
is_, he replied, and, as if drumming a lesson into a stupid child’s head,
repeated his message, _Thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the King
of Babylon_. He asked what he had done to be treated as he had been, and,
by contrast, where were the prophets who had said that the Babylonians
would not come to Judah—his irony was not yet starved out of him!—and
begged not to be sent back to the vault. The king committed him to the
Court of the Guard, where at least he was above ground, could receive
visitors, and was granted daily a loaf from the Bakers’ Bazaar while bread
lasted in the city.(586)

Yet through his bars he still defied his foes and they were at him again,
quoting to the king two Oracles which he had uttered before and apparently
was repeating to those who resorted to him in the Guard-Court.

    XXXVIII. 1. And Shephatiah, Mattan’s son, Gedaliah Pashḥur’s son,
    Jucal Shelamiah’s son, and Pashḥur Malchiah’s son,(587) heard the
    words Jeremiah was speaking about the people:(588) [2] “Thus saith
    the Lord, He that abides in this city shall die by the sword, the
    famine or the pestilence, but he that goes forth to the Chaldeans
    shall live—his life shall be to him for a prey but he shall
    live.”(589) 3. “Thus(590) saith the Lord: This city shall surely
    be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s host and they
    shall take it.”

Verse 2 is rejected by Duhm and Cornill partly on the insufficient ground
that verses 2 and 3 have separate introductions and therefore could have
had originally no connection. But in quoting two utterances of the Prophet
for their cumulative effect it was natural to prefix to each his usual
formula. Duhm’s and Cornill’s real motive, however, is their repugnance to
admitting that Jeremiah could have advised desertion from the city. So
Duhm equally rejects XXI. 9, of which XXXVIII. 2 is but an abbreviation;
while Cornill seeks to save XXI. 9 by reading it as a summons to the
_whole_ people to surrender and so distinguishes it from XXXVIII. 2,
advice _to individuals_ to desert. I fail to follow this distinction. The
terms used are as individual in the one verse as in the other; if the one
goes the other must also. But need either go? Duhm’s view is that both are
from a later period, when there was no longer a native government in
Judah, reverence for the monarchy was dead, and the common conscience of
Jewry was not civic but ecclesiastical! This is ingenious, but far from
convincing. There are no grounds either for denying these verses to
Jeremiah, or for reading his advice _to go forth to the Chaldeans_ as
meant otherwise than for the individual citizens.

Was such advice right or wrong? The question is much debated. The two
German scholars just quoted find it so wrong that they cannot think of it
as Jeremiah’s. But in that situation and under the convictions which held
him, the Prophet could not have spoken differently. He knew, and soundly
knew, not only that the city was doomed and that her rulers who persisted
in defending her were senseless, if gallant, fanatics, but also that they
had forfeited their technical legitimacy. To talk to-day of duty, civil or
military, to such a perjured Government does not even deserve to be called
constitutional pedantry, for it has not a splinter of constitutionalism to
support it. Ṣedekiah held his vassal throne only by his oath to his
suzerain of Babylon and when he broke that oath his legitimacy
crumbled.(591) Of right Divine or human there was none in a government so
forsworn and self-disentitled, besides being so insane, as that of the
feeble king and his frantic masters, the princes. For Jeremiah the only
Divine right was Nebuchadrezzar’s. But to the conviction that Ṣedekiah and
the princes were not the lawful lords of Judah, we must add the pity of
the Prophet as he foresaw the men, women and children of his people done
to useless death by the cruel illusions of their illegitimate governors.
Calvin is right, when, after a careful reservation of the duties of
private citizens to their government at war, he pronounces that “Jeremiah
could not have brought better counsel” to the civilians and soldiers of
Jerusalem.(592) And it is no paradox to say that the Prophet’s sincerity
in giving such advice is sealed by his heroic refusal to accept it for
himself and resolution to share to the end what sufferings the obstinacy
of her lords was to bring on the city. Nor, be it observed, did he bribe
his fellow citizens to desert to the enemy by any rich promise. He plainly
told them that this would leave a man nothing but bare life—_his life for
a prey_.

It would, however, be most irrelevant to deduce from so peculiar a
situation, and from the Divine counsels applicable to this alone, any
sanction for “pacificism” in general, or to set up Jeremiah as an example
of the duty of deserting one’s government when at war, in all
circumstances and whatever were the issues at stake. We might as well
affirm that the example of the man, who rouses his family to flee when he
finds their home hopelessly on fire, is valid for him whose house is
threatened by burglars. Isaiah inspired resistance to the Assyrian
besiegers of Jerusalem in his day with as Divine authority as Jeremiah
denounced resistance to the Chaldean besiegers in his. Nor can we doubt
that our Prophet would have appreciated the just, the inevitable revolt of
the Maccabees against their pagan tyrants, which is divinely praised in
the Epistle to the Hebrews as a high example of faith. It is one thing to
deny allegiance, as Jeremiah did, to a government that had broken the oath
on which alone its rights were founded, and the keeping of which was the
sole security for “the stability of the times.” It is another and very
different thing to refuse, on alleged grounds of conscience, to follow
one’s government when it lifts the sword against a people who have broken
_their_ oath, and mobilises its subjects in defence of justice and of the
freedom of weaker nations, imperilled by that perjury.

But the princes seem to have honestly believed that Jeremiah was guilty of
treason, and said to the king—

    XXXVIII. 4. Let this man, we pray, be put to death forasmuch as he
    weakens the hands of the men of war left to the city and the hands
    of all the people by speaking such words to them, for this man is
    seeking not the welfare of this people but the hurt. 5. And the
    king said, Behold he is in your hand; for the king was not able to
    do anything against them.(593) 6. So they took Jeremiah and cast
    him into the cistern of Malchiah the king’s son, in the Court of
    the Guard; and they let down Jeremiah with cords. In the cistern
    there was no water, only mire, and Jeremiah sank in the mire.

The story which follows is one of the fairest in the Old Testament,
XXXVIII. 7-13.(594) When no others seem to have stirred to rescue the
Prophet—unless Baruch had a hand in what he tells and is
characteristically silent about it—Ebed-melech, a negro eunuch of the
palace, sought the king where he then was(595) and charged the princes
with starving Jeremiah to death.(596) The king at once ordered him to take
three(597) men and rescue the Prophet. The thoughtful negro, perhaps
prompted by the women of the palace, procured some rags and old clouts
from a lumber room, told Jeremiah to put them under his arm-pits to soften
the roughness of the ropes, and so drew him gently from the mire and he
was restored to the Guard-Court. Ebed-melech had his reward in the Lord’s
promise to save him from the men whom he had made his foes by his brave
rescue of their prey.(598)

Once more, as we might expect, the restless king sent for Jeremiah.(599)
Shaken by his terrible experiences the Prophet, before he would answer,
asked if the king would put him to death for his answer or act on his
advice. The king swore not to hand him over to the princes; so Jeremiah
promised that if Ṣedekiah would give himself up to the Chaldeans he and
his house would be spared and the city saved. The king—it is another
credible trait in this weak character—feared that the Chaldeans would
deliver him to the mockery of those Jews who had already deserted to them.
Jeremiah sought to reassure him, again urged him to surrender, and then
burst out with the vision—an extraordinarily interesting phase of
prophetic ecstasy—of another mockery which the king would suffer from his
own women if he did not yield but waited to be taken captive.

    XXXVIII. 21. But if thou refuse to go forth this is the thing the
    Lord has given me to see: 22. Behold all the women, that are left
    in the king of Judah’s house,(600) brought forth to the princes of
    the king of Babylon and saying,

    They set thee on and compelled thee,
      The men of thy peace;
    Now they have plunged thy feet in the swam
      They turn back from thee!(601)

The verse is in Jeremiah’s favourite measure, and its figures spring
immediately from his experience. The mire can hardly have dried on him,
into which he had been dropped, but at least his friends had pulled him
out of it; the king had been forced into far deeper mire by his own
counsellors, and they were leaving him in it!

The nervous king jibbed from the vision without remark and begged Jeremiah
not to tell what had passed between them, but, if asked, to say that he
had been supplicating Ṣedekiah not to send him back to the house of
Jonathan; which answer the Prophet obediently gave to the inquisitive
princes and so quieted them: _the matter was not perceived_. He has been
blamed for prevaricating. On this point Calvin is as usual candid and
sane. “It was indeed not a falsehood, but this evasion cannot wholly be
excused. The Prophet had an honest fear; he was perplexed and anxious—it
would be better to die at once than be thus buried alive in the earth....
Yet it was a kind of falsehood. He confesses that he did as the king
charged him and there is no doubt that he had before him the king’s
timidity.... He cannot be wholly exempted from blame. In short, we see how
even the servants of God have spoken evasively when under extreme fear.”
The prophets were _men of like passions with ourselves_. By now Jeremiah
had aged, and was strained by the flogging, the darkness, the filth and
the hunger he had suffered. Can we wonder at or blame him? But with what
authenticity does its frankness stamp the whole story!

With most commentators I have treated Ch. XXXVIII as the account of a
fresh arrest of Jeremiah and a fresh interview between him and Ṣedekiah. I
see, however, that Dr. Skinner takes the whole chapter to be “a
duplication.”(602) He considers it a general improbability that two such
interviews, as XXXVII. 17-21 and XXXVIII. 14-27 relate, “should have taken
place in similar circumstances within so short a time.” Yet the king was
just the man to appeal to the Prophet time after time during the siege.
The similarities in the two stories are natural because circumstances were
more or less similar at the various stages of such a siege; but the
differences are more significant. The vivid details of XXXVIII attest it
as the account of an event and of sayings subsequent to those related in
XXXVII. The Prophet’s precaution, before he would answer, in getting a
pledge that he would not be put to death nor handed over to the princes,
as he had already been, and his consent for Ṣedekiah’s sake, as well as
for his own, to prevaricate to the princes are features not found in the
other reports of such interviews, but intelligible and natural after the
terrible treatment he had suffered. Dr. Skinner, too, admits that the two
accounts may be read as of different experiences of the Prophet, “if we
can suppose that the offence with which he is charged in XXXVIII. 1 ff.
could have been committed while he was a prisoner in the court of the
guard;” but this appears to Dr. Skinner as “hardly credible.” Yet the
incidents related in XXXII. 6-15 show not only that it is credible but
that it actually happened. In the East such imprisonment does not prevent
a prisoner, though shackled, from communicating with his friends and even
with the gaping crowd outside his bars, as I have seen more than once.

In the Court of the Guard Jeremiah remained till the city was taken.(603)
He regained communication with his friends; and it is not surprising to
have as from this time several sayings by him, or to discover from them
that his heart, no longer confined to reiterating the certain doom of the
city, was once more released to the hope of a future for his people, hope
across which the shadow of doubt appears to have fallen but once. His
guard-court prophecies form part of that separate collection, Chs.
XXX-XXXIII, to which the name The Book of Hope has been fitly given. Of
these chapters XXX and XXXI, without date, imply that the city has already
fallen and the exile of her people is complete. But XXXII and XXXIII are
assigned to the last year of the siege and to the Prophet’s confinement to
the guard-court. There is now general agreement that XXXII. 1-5 (or at
least 3-5) are from a later hand, which correctly dates the story it
introduces but attributes Jeremiah’s imprisonment to Ṣedekiah instead of
to the princes, and even seems to confound Ṣedekiah with Jehoiachin; and
_second_ that the story itself, of a transaction between Jeremiah and his
cousin regarding some family property, is genuine, dictated by the Prophet
to Baruch before or after the end of the siege. Some reject as later all
the rest of the chapter: a long prayer by Jeremiah and the Lord’s answer
to it, both of which are full of deuteronomic phrases. Yet that an editor
should have made so large an addition to the book without genuine material
to work from is hardly credible; while it is characteristic of Jeremiah to
have fallen into the doubt his prayer reveals, and this doubt would
naturally be followed by a Divine answer. But such original elements it is
not possible to discriminate exactly from the expansions by which they
have been overlaid.(604)

    XXXII. 6. And Jeremiah said, The Word of the Lord came to me
    saying, [7] Behold, Hanamel son of Shallum thine uncle is coming
    to thee to say, Buy thee my field in Anathoth, for thine is the
    right of redemption to buy it. 8. And Hanamel son of my uncle came
    to me in the guard-court and said, Buy my field that is Anathoth,
    for the right of inheritance is thine and thine the redemption;
    buy it for thyself. Then I knew that it was the Lord’s Word. 9. So
    I bought the field from Hanamel mine uncle’s son and weighed to
    him seventeen silver shekels. 10. And I subscribed the deed and
    sealed it and took witnesses, weighing the money in the balances.
    11. And I took the deed of sale, both that which was sealed and
    that which was open,(605) [12] and I gave it to Baruch son of
    Neriah, son of Maḥseiah, in the sight of Hanamel mine uncle’s son,
    and in sight of the Jews sitting in the guard-court. 13. And in
    their sight I charged Baruch, saying, [14] Thus saith the Lord of
    Hosts: Take this deed of sale which is sealed, and this deed which
    is open, and put them in an earthen vessel that they may last many
    days. 15. For thus saith the Lord, Houses and fields and vineyards
    shall yet again be bought in this land. 16. Now after I had given
    the deed of sale to Baruch, Neriah’s son, I prayed to the Lord
    saying, Ah Lord ... (?) [24] behold the mounts; they are come to
    the city to take it, and the city shall be given into the hands of
    the Chaldeans who are fighting against it, because of the sword
    and the famine and the pestilence; and what Thou hast spoken is
    come to pass, and, lo, Thou art seeing it. 25. Yet Thou saidst to
    me, Buy thee the field for money, so I wrote the deed and sealed
    it and took witnesses—whereas the city is to be given into the
    hands of the Chaldeans!

The tone of the expostulating Jeremiah is here unmistakable; and (as I
have said) a Divine answer to his expostulations must have been given him,
though now perhaps irrecoverable from among the expansions which it has
undergone, verses 26-44. Two things are of interest: the practical
carefulness of this great idealist, and the fact that the material basis
of his hope for his country’s freedom and prosperity was his own right to
a bit of property in land. Let those observe, who deny to such individual
rights any communal interest or advantage. Jeremiah at least proves how a
small property of his own may help a prophet in his hope for his country
and people.

All this is followed in Ch. XXXIII by a series of oracles under the
heading _The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time while he was
still shut up in the guard-court_. Because verses 14-26 are lacking in the
Greek and could not have been omitted by the translator had they been in
the original text, and because they are composed partly of mere echoes of
Jeremiah and partly of promises for the Monarchy and Priesthood not
consonant with his views of the institutions of Israel, they are very
generally rejected. So are 2 and 3 because of their doubtful relevance and
their style, that of the great prophet of the end of the Exile. The
originality of 1 and 4-13 has also been denied. The question is difficult.
But there is no reason to doubt that the editor had good material for the
data in 1, or that under the Hebrew text, which as it stands in 4, 5 is
impossible(606) and throughout 6-13 has been much expanded, there is
something of Jeremiah’s own. Verses 4 and 5 reflect the siege in progress,
though if the date in verse 1 be correct we must take _torn down_ as
future. In 6-13 are promises of the restoration of the ruined city, of
peace and stability, of the return of the exiles both of Judah and Israel
and of their forgiveness; Jerusalem shall again be a joy, and the voices
of joy, of the bridegroom and bride, and of worship in the Temple, shall
again be heard; shepherds and their flocks shall be restored throughout
Judah and the Negeb. It would be daring to deny to the Prophet the whole
of this prospect. The city was about to be ruined, its houses filled with
dead; the land had already been ravaged. His office of doom was
discharged; it is not unnatural to believe that his great soul broke out
with a vision of the hope beyond for which he had taken so practical a
pledge. That is all we can say; some of the details of the prospect can
hardly be his.(607)

Jerusalem fell at last in 586 and Jeremiah’s imprisonment in the
guard-court was over.(608)

4. And After. (XXX, XXXI, XXXIX-XLIV.)

There are two separated accounts of what befel Jeremiah when the city was
taken. Ch. XXXIX. 3, 14 tells us that he was fetched from the guard-court
by Babylonian officers,(609) and given to Gedaliah, the son of his old
befriender Ahikam, _to be taken home_.(610) At last!—but for only a brief
interval in the life of this homeless and harried man. When a few months
later Nebuṣaradan arrived on his mission to burn the city and deport the
inhabitants Jeremiah is said by Ch. XL to have been carried off in chains
with the rest of the captivity as far as Ramah, where, probably on
Gedaliah’s motion, Nebuṣaradan released him and he joined Gedaliah at

It is unfortunate that we take our impressions of Nebuchadrezzar from the
late Book of Daniel instead of from the contemporary accounts of his
policy by Jeremiah, Baruch and Ezekiel. A proof of his wisdom and clemency
is here. While deporting a second multitude to Babylonia in the interests
of peace and order, he placed Judah under a native governor and chose for
the post a Jew of high family traditions and personal character. All
honour to Gedaliah for accepting so difficult and dangerous a task! He
attracted those Jewish captains and their bands who during the siege had
maintained themselves in the country,(612) and advised them to acknowledge
the Chaldean power and to cultivate their lands, which that year
fortunately produced excellent crops. At last there was peace, and the
like-minded Governor and Prophet must together have looked forward to
organising in Judah the nucleus at least of a restored Israel.

To this quiet interval, brief as it tragically proved, we may reasonably
assign those Oracles of Hope which it is possible to recognise as
Jeremiah’s among the series attributed to him in Chs. XXX, XXXI. No
chapters of the book have been more keenly discussed or variously
estimated.(613) Yet at least there is agreement that their compilation is
due to a late editor who has arranged his materials progressively so that
the whole is a unity;(614) that many of these materials are obviously from
the end of the exile in the style then prevailing; but that among them are
genuine Oracles of Jeremiah recognisable by their style. These are
admitted as his by the most drastic of critics. It is indeed incredible
that after such a crisis as the destruction of the Holy City and the exile
of her people, and with the new situation and prospect of Israel before
him, the Prophet should have had nothing to say. And the most probable
date for such utterances of hope as we have now to consider is not that of
his imprisonment but the breathing-space given him after 586, when the
Jewish community left in Judah made such a promising start.(615)

From its measure and vivid vision the first piece might well be
Jeremiah’s; but it uses Jacob, the later literature’s favourite name for
Israel, which Jeremiah does not use, and (in the last two verses) some
phrases with an outlook reminiscent of the Second Isaiah. The verses
describe a day when the world shall again be shaken, but out of the
shaking Israel’s deliverance shall come.

    [The sound of trembling we hear,  XXX. 5
      Dread without peace.
    Enquire now and look ye,  6
      If men be bearing?
    Why then do I see every man(616)
      With his hands on his loins?
    All faces are changed, and
      Livid become.(617)
    For great is that day,  7
      None is there like it,
    With a time of trouble for Jacob.
      Yet out of it saved shall he be.
    It shall come to pass on that day—  8
      Rede of the Lord—
    I will break their(618) yoke from their(619) neck,
      Their(620) thongs I will burst;
    And strangers no more shall they serve,(621)
      But serve the Lord their God,  9
      And David their king,
    Whom I will raise up for them.]

The next piece is more probably Jeremiah’s, as even Duhm admits; verses 10
and 11 which precede it are not given in the Greek.

    Healless to me is thy ruin,  12
      Sick is thy wound,
    Not for thy sore is remede,  13
      No closing (of wounds) for thee!
    Forgot thee have all thy lovers,  14
      Thee they seek not.
    With the stroke of a foe I have struck thee,
      A cruel correction.
    Why criest thou over thy ruin,  15
      Thy healless pain?
    For the mass of thy guilt, thy sins profuse
      Have I done to thee these.

If these Qînah quatrains are not Jeremiah’s, some one else could match him
to the letter and the very breath. They would fall fitly from his lips
immediately upon the fulfilment of his people’s doom. Less probably his
are the verses which follow and abruptly add to his stern rehearsal of
judgment on Judah the promise of her deliverance, even introducing this
with a _therefore_ as if deliverance were the certain corollary of
judgment—a conclusion not to be grudged by us to the faith of a later
believer; for it is not untrue that the sinner’s extremest need is the
occasion for God’s salvation.(622) Yet the sudden transition feels
artificial, and lacks, be it observed, what we should expect from Jeremiah
himself, a call to the doomed people to repent. Note, too, the breakdown
of the metre under a certain redundancy, which is not characteristic of

    [Therefore thy devourers shall all be devoured,  16
      And all thine oppressors.
    All shall go off to captivity;
      Thy spoilers for spoil shall be
    And all that upon thee do prey, I give for prey.
    For new flesh I shall bring up upon thee,  17
      From thy wounds I shall heal thee;(623)
    Outcast they called thee, O Ṣion,
      Whom none seeketh after.]

The rest of the chapter is even less capable of being assigned to

More of Jeremiah’s own Oracles are readily recognised in Ch. XXXI. I leave
to a later lecture the question of the authenticity of that on The New
Covenant and of the immediately preceding verses;(624) while the verses
which close the chapter are certainly not the Prophet’s. But I take now
the rest of the chapter, verses 1-28. The first of these may be editorial,
the link by which the compiler has connected Chs. XXX and XXXI; yet there
is nothing to prevent us from hearing in it Jeremiah himself.

    XXXI. 1. At that time—Rede of the Lord—I shall be God to all the
    families(625) of Israel, and they shall be a people to Me.

A poem follows which metrically and in substance bears every mark of being
Jeremiah’s. The measure is his favourite Qînah, and the memory of the
Lord’s ancient love for Israel, which had stirred the youth of the
Prophet,(626) revives in his old age and is the motive of his assurance
that Israel will be restored. It is of Ephraim as well as of Judah that he
thinks, indeed of Ephraim especially. We have seen how the heart of this
son of Anathoth-in-Benjamin was early drawn to the exiles from that
province on which the northward windows of his village looked out.(627)
Now once more he was in Benjamin’s territory, at Ramah and at Miṣpah, with
the same northward prospect. Naturally his heart went out again to Ephraim
and its banished folk. Of the priestly tribe as Jeremiah’s family were,
their long residence in the land of Benjamin must have infected them with
Benjamin’s sense of a closer kinship to Ephraim, the son of Joseph, the
son of Rachel, than to Judah, the son of Leah. And there was, in addition,
the influence of neighbourhood. If blood be thicker than water it is
equally true that watered blood is warmed to affection by nearness of
locality and closeness of association.(628)

It is questionable whether the opening couplet quotes the deliverance of
Israel from Egypt as a precedent for the future return of the northern
tribes from captivity, described in the lines that follow; or whether this
return is at once predicted by the couplet, with the usual prophetic
assurance as though it had already happened. If we take _the desert_ as
this is taken in Hosea II. 14, we may decide for the latter alternative.

    Grace have they found in the desert,  XXXI. 2
      The people escaped from the sword;
    While Israel makes for his rest from afar
      The Lord appears to him(629):  3
    “With a love from of old I have loved thee,
      So in troth I (now) draw thee.(630)
    “I will rebuild thee, and built shalt thou be,  4
      Maiden of Israel!
    “Again thou shalt take(631) thee thy timbrels
      And forth to the merrymen’s dances.
    “Again shall vineyards be planted(632)  5
      On the hills of Samaria,
    “Planters shall surely plant them(?)
      And forthwith enjoy(633) (their fruit).
    “For comes the day when watchmen are calling  6
      On Ephraim’s mountains:
    “Rise, let us go up to Ṣion,
      To the Lord our God.”

The everyday happiness promised is striking. Here speaks again the man,
who, while ruin ran over the land, redeemed his ancestral acres in pledge
of the resettlement of all his people upon their own farms and fields. He
is back in the country, upon the landscapes of his youth, and in this
fresh prospect of the restoration of Israel he puts first the common joys
and fruitful labours of rural life, and only after these the national
worship centred in Jerusalem. Cornill denies this last verse to Jeremiah,
feeling it inconsistent with the Prophet’s condemnation of the Temple and
the Sacrifices.(634) But that condemnation had been uttered by Jeremiah
because of his contemporaries’ sinful use of the House of God, whereas now
he is looking into a new dispensation. How could he more signally clinch
the promise of that reunion of Israel and Judah, for which all his life he
had longed, than by this call to them to worship together?

The next verses are not so recognisable as Jeremiah’s, unless it be in
their last couplet. The rest rather reflect the Return from Exile as on
the point of coming to pass, which happened long after Jeremiah’s time;
and they call the nation _Jacob_, the name favoured by prophets of the end
of the Exile.

    [Ring out with joy for Jacob,  7
      Shout for (?) the head of the nations,(635)
    Publish ye, praise ye and say,
      The Lord hath saved His(636) people,
      The Remnant of Israel!
    Behold from the North I bring them,  8
      And gather from ends of the earth;
    Their blind and their lame together,
      The mother-to-be and her who hath borne.
      In concourse great back they come hither.
    With weeping forth did they go,(637)  9
      With consolations(638) I bring them,
    I lead them by(639) streams of water,
      On an even way,
      They stumble not on it](640)

    For a father I am become to Israel,
      And my first-born is Ephraim!

This couplet may well be Jeremiah’s; but whether it should immediately
follow verse 6 is doubtful. The next lines are hardly his, bearing the
same marks of the late exile as we have seen in verses 7-9_a_.

    [Hear, O nations, the Word of the Lord,  10
      And declare on the far-away isles(641):
    Who hath scattered Israel will gather,
      And guard as a shepherd his flock.
    For the Lord hath ransomed Jacob  11
      And redeemed from the hand of the stronger than he.
    They are come and ring out on Mount Ṣion,  12
      Radiant(642) all with the wealth of the Lord,
    With the corn, the new wine, the fresh oil,
      The young of the flock and the herd;
    Till their soul becomes as a garden well-watered,
      Nor again any more shall they pine.
    Then rejoice in the dance shall the maidens,  13
      The youths and the old make merry.(643)
    When their mourning I turn to mirth(644)
      And give them joy from their sorrow.
    When I richly water the soul of the priests,(645)  14
      And My folk with My bounty are filled—
      Rede of the Lord.]

The next poems no one denies to Jeremiah; they are among the finest we
have from him. And how natural that he should conceive and utter them in
those quiet days when he was at, or near, Ramah, the grave of the mother
of the people.(646) He hears her century-long travail of mourning for the
loss of the tribes that were sprung from her Joseph, aggravated now by the
banishment of her Benjamin; but hears too the promise that her travail
shall be rewarded by their return. The childless old man has the soul of
mother and father both—now weeping with the comfortless Rachel and now, in
human touches unmatched outside the Parable of the Prodigal, reading into
the heart of God the same instinctive affections, to which, in spite of
himself, every earthly father is stirred by the mere mention of the name
of a rebellious and wandered son. The most vivid details are these: _after
I had been brought to know_, which might also be translated _after I had
been made to know myself_ and so anticipate _when he came to himself_ of
our Lord’s Parable; _I smote on my thigh_, the gesture of despair; and in
20_a_ the very human attribution to the Deity of surprise that the mere
name of Ephraim should move Him to affection, which recalls both in form
and substance the similar question attributed to the Lord in XII. 9.

There is no reason to try, as some do, to correct in the poems their
broken measures, for these both suit and add to the poignancy and
tenderness which throb through the whole.(647)

    Hark, in Ramah is heard lamentation  15
      And bitterest weeping,
    Rachel beweeping her children,
      And will not be comforted,(648)
      For they are not.
    Thus saith the Lord:  16
    Refrain thy voice from weeping,
      And from tears thine eyes,
    For reward there is for thy travail—
      They are back from the land of the foe!
    [And hope there is for thy future,  17
      Thy sons come back to their border.](649)

    I have heard, I have heard  18
      Ephraim bemoaning,
    “Thou hast chastened me, chastened I am,
      Like a calf untrained.
    “Turn me Thyself, and return I will,
      For Thou art my God.
    “For after I had turned away (?)(650)  19
      I repented ... (?)
    “And after I was brought to know,(651)
      I smote on my thigh.
    “I am shaméd, yea and confounded,
      As I bear the reproach of my youth.”(652)

    Is Ephraim My dearest son,(653)  20
      A child of delights?
    That as oft as against him I speak
      I must think of him still.
    My bowels for him are yearning,
      Pity him I must!—Rede of the Lord.

    Set thee up way-marks,  21
      Plant thyself guide-posts!
    Put to the highway thy heart,
      The way that thou wentest.
    Come back, O maiden of Israel,  22
      Back to thy towns here.
    How long to drift hither and thither,
      Thou turn-about daughter!
    [For the Lord hath created a new thing on earth,
      A female shall compass a man.](654)

The next small poem, when we take from it certain marks of a later date is
possibly Jeremiah’s, though this is not certain; to the previous Oracles
on Ephraim it naturally adds one upon Judah.

      Thus saith the Lord:(655)  23
    Once more shall they speak this word.
      In Judah’s land and her towns,
    When I turn again their captivity:
    “The Lord thee bless, homestead of justice!”(656)
    In Judah and all her towns shall be dwelling  24
      Tillers and they that roam with flocks,
    For I have refreshed the(657) weary soul,  25
      And cheered every soul that was pining.
    [On this I awoke and beheld,  26
    And sweet unto me was my sleep.](658)

    Behold, are coming the days—  27
      Rede of the Lord—
    When Israel and Judah(659) I sow
      With the seed of man and of beast;
    And it shall be, as I was wakeful upon them  28
      To tear down and do evil,(660)
    So wakeful on them will I be,
      To build and to plant—
      Rede of the Lord.

These prophecies of the physical restoration of Israel and Judah are fitly
followed by two, in what is rather rhythmical prose than verse, which
define the moral and spiritual aspects of the new dispensation; both
laying stress on individual responsibility, the one in ethics, 29, 30, the
other in religion, 31 ff., the proclamation of The New Covenant. They are
no doubt Jeremiah’s: we shall take them up in the last lecture.

The time of relief and fair promise, out of which we have supposed that
the Prophet conceived and uttered the preceding Oracles, came to a sudden
and tragic close with the assassination of the good governor Gedaliah by
the fanatic Ishmael. Had this not happened we can see from those Oracles
on what favourable lines the restoration of Judah might have proceeded
under the co-operation of Gedaliah and Jeremiah, and how after so long and
heart-breaking a mission of doom to his people the Prophet might at last
have achieved before his eyes some positive part in their social and
political reconstruction; for certainly he had already proved his
practical ability as well his power of far vision. But even such sunset
success was denied him, and once more his people crumbled under his hand.
God provided some better thing for him in the spiritual future of Israel,
to which he must now pass through still deeper sacrifice and

Ishmael, against whom the noble Gedaliah would take no warning, was one of
those fanatics with whom the Jewish nation have been cursed at all crises
in their history.(662) The motive for his crime was the same as had
inspired the fatal defence of Jerusalem, a blind passion against the
Chaldean rule. Having slain Gedaliah he attempted to remove the little
remnant at Miṣpah to the other side of Jordan but was overtaken by a force
under Gedaliah’s lieutenant, Johanan-ben-Kareah, and his captives were
recovered. Fearing the wrath of the Chaldeans for the murder of their
deputy, the little flock did not return to Miṣpah but moved south to
Gidroth(663)-Chimham near Bethlehem, broken, trembling, and uncertain
whether to remain in their land or to flee from it.(664)

The Prophet was the one hope left to them, and like Ṣedekiah they turned
to him in their perplexity for a word of guidance from the Lord. With his
usual deliberation he took ten days to answer, laying the matter before
the Lord in prayer; studying, we may be sure, the actual facts of the
situation (including what he already knew to be the people’s hope of
finding security in Egypt) and carefully sifting out his own thoughts and
impulses from the convictions which his prayers brought him from God. The
result was clear: the people must abide in their land and not fear the
Chaldeans, who under God’s hand would let them be; but if they set their
faces for Egypt, the sword which they feared would overtake them. This was
God’s Word; if they broke their promise to obey it, they would surely

With shame we read the rest of the story. Jeremiah had well discerned(666)
that those of his countrymen, who had been deported in 597, were the good
figs of his vision and those who remained the bad. The latter were of the
breed that had turned Temple and Sacrifice into fetishes, for as such they
now treated the Prophet, the greatest whom God ever sent to Israel.
Covetous of having him with them they eagerly asked him for a Word of the
Lord, promising to obey it, in the expectation of their kind that it would
be according to their own ignorant wishes; but when it declared against
these, they scolded Jeremiah as disappointed barbarians do their idols,
and presuming on his age as a weakness, complained that he had been set
against them by Baruch, a philo-Chaldean who would have them all carried
off to Babylon! So Baruch also—all praise to him—held the same sane views
of the situation as his Prophet and as that wise governor Gedaliah. In
spite of their promise they refused to obey the Word of the Lord, fled for
Egypt carrying with them Jeremiah and Baruch, and reached the frontier
town of Tahpanhes. How it must have broken the Prophet’s heart!(667)

But not his honesty or his courage! At Tahpanhes he set before the
fugitives one of those symbols which had been characteristic of his
prophesying. He laid great stones in the entry of the house of the Pharaoh
and declared that Nebuchadrezzar would plant his throne and spread his
tapestries upon them, when he came to smite Egypt, assuming that land as
easily as a shepherd dons his garment; and after breaking the obelisks of
its gods and burning their temples he would safely depart from it.(668)

So far the narrative runs clearly, but in Ch. XLIV, the last that is
written of Jeremiah, the expander has been specially busy.(669) The
chapter opens, verses 1-14, with what purports to be an Oracle by Jeremiah
concerning, not the little band which had brought him down with them, but
_all the Jews which were dwelling in the land of Egypt, at Migdol and
Tahpanhes_,(670) on the northern frontier, _and in the land of Pathros_,
or Upper Egypt. It is not said that these came to Tahpanhes to receive the
Oracle. Yet the arrival of a company fresh from Judah and her recent awful
experiences must have stirred the Jewish communities already in Egypt and
drawn at least representatives of them to Tahpanhes to see and to hear the
newcomers. If so, it would be natural for Jeremiah to expound the
happenings in Judah, and the Divine reasons for them. No date is given for
the Prophet’s Oracle. This need not have been uttered for some time after
he reached Egypt, when he was able to acquaint himself with the conditions
and character of his countrymen in their pagan environment, and learn in
particular how they had fallen away like their fathers to the worship of
other gods. Such indeed is the double theme of the words attributed to
him. He is made to say that Jerusalem and Judah are now desolate because
of their people’s wickedness, and especially their idolatry, in stubborn
disobedience to the repeated Word of their God by His prophets; surely a
similar punishment must befall the Jews in Egypt, for they also have given
themselves to idols. But so awkwardly and diffusely is the Oracle reported
to us that we cannot doubt that, whatever its original form was, this has
been considerably expanded. At least we may be sure that Jeremiah uttered
some Oracle against the idolatry of the Jews in Egypt, for in what follows
they give their answer.

From verse 15 the story and the words it reports become—with the help of
the briefer Greek version and the elision of manifest additions in both
the Hebrew and the Greek texts(671)—more definite. Either _both_ the men
whom Jeremiah addressed _and_ their women, or, as is textually more
probable, the women alone answered him in the following remarkable terms.
These run in rhythmical prose, that almost throughout falls into metrical
lines, which the English reader may easily discriminate for himself.

    XLIV. 16. The word which thou hast spoken to us in the Name of the
    Lord!—we will not hearken to thee! 17. But we shall surely perform
    every word, which has gone forth from our mouth:(672) to burn to
    the Queen of Heaven and pour her libations, as we and our fathers
    did, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and streets
    of Jerusalem, and had fulness of bread, and were well and saw no
    evil. 18. But since we left off to burn to the Queen of Heaven,
    and to pour her libations, we have lacked everything and been by
    the sword and the famine consumed. 19. And(673) while we were
    burning to the Queen of Heaven and poured her libations, did we
    make her cakes(674) and pour her libations without our husbands?

This was a straight challenge to the prophet, returning to him the form of
his own argument. As he had traced the calamities of Judah to her
disobedience of Yahweh, they traced those which hit themselves hardest as
women to their having ceased to worship Ashtoreth. What could Jeremiah
answer to logic formally so identical with his own? The first of the
answers attributed to him, verses 20-23, asserts that among their other
sins it was their worship of the Queen of Heaven, and not, as they said,
their desisting from it, which had worked their doom. But this answer is
too full of deuteronomic phrasing for the whole of it to be the Prophet’s;
if any of it is genuine this can only be part of the obviously expanded
opening, 21, 22_a_.

The real, the characteristic answers of Jeremiah are the others: to the
women reported in verses 24, 25, and to all the Jews in Egypt 26-28; in
which respectively he treats the claim of the women ironically, and leaves
the issue between his word and that of his opponents to be decided by the
event. These answers also have been expanded, but we may reasonably take
the following to be original.(675) Note how they connect in verse 24 with
verse 19. I again follow the Greek.

    XLIV. 24. And Jeremiah said [to the people and] to the women, [25]
    Hear the Word of the Lord, Thus saith the Lord, Israel’s God:

    Ye women(676) have said with your mouths
      And fulfilled with your hands,
    “We must indeed perform our vows,
      Which we have vowed,
    “To burn to the Queen of Heaven,
      And to pour her libations!”
    Indeed then establish your words(677)
      And perform your vows!

Jeremiah “adds this by way of irony.”(678) Having thus finished with the
women, he adds an Oracle to the Jews in general.

    26. Therefore hear the Word of the Lord all Judah, who are settled
    in the land of Egypt:

    By My great Name I swear,
      Sayeth the Lord,
    That My Name shall no more be called
      By the mouth of a man of Judah—
    Saying, “As liveth the Lord!”—
      In all the land of Egypt.
    Lo, I am wakeful upon you  27
      For evil and not for good.(679)
    And the remnant of Judah shall know,  28_b_
      Whose is the word that shall stand.(680)

These are the last words we have from him, and up to these last he is
still himself—broken-hearted indeed and disappointed in the ultimate
remnant of his people—but still himself in his honesty, his steadfastness
to the truth and his courage; still himself in his irony, his
deliberateness and his confident appeal to the future for the vindication
of his word.

So he disappears from our sight. How pathetic that even after his death he
is not spared from spoiling but that the last clear streams of his
prophesying must run out, as we have seen, in the sands of those

                               Lecture VII.


In this Lecture I propose to gather up the story of the soul of the man,
whose service, and the fortunes it met with, we have followed over the
more than forty years of their range. The interest of many great lives
lies in their natural and fair development: the growth of gift towards
occasion, the beckoning of occasion when gift is ripe, the sympathy
between a man and his times, the coincidence of public need with personal
powers or ambition—the zest of the race and the thrill of the goal. With
Jeremiah it was altogether otherwise.

1. Protest and Agony. (I, IV. 10, 19, VI. 11, XI. 18-XII. 6, XV. 10-XVI.
9, XVII. 14-18, XVIII. 18-23, XX. 7-18.)

If, as is possible, the name Jeremiah means _Yahweh hurls_ or _shoots
forth_, it fitly describes the Prophet’s temper, struggles and fate. For
he was a projectile, fired upon a hostile world with a force not his own,
and on a mission from which, from the first, his gifts and affections
recoiled and against which he continued to protest. On his passage through
the turbulence of his time he reminds us of one of those fatal shells
which rend the air as they shoot, distinct even through the roar of battle
by their swift, shrill anguish and effecting their end by their explosion.

Jeremiah has been called The Weeping Prophet, but that is mainly because
of the attribution to him of The Book of Lamentations, which does not
profess to be his and is certainly later than his day. Not weeping, though
he had to weep, so much as groaning or even screaming is the particular
pitch of the tone of this Prophet. As he says himself,

    For as oft as I speak I must shriek,
      And cry “Violence and Spoil!”(681)

His first word is one of shrinking, _I cannot speak, I am too young_.(682)
The voice of pain and protest is in most of his Oracles. He curses the day
of his birth and cries woe to his mother that she bare him. He makes us
feel that he has been charged against his will and he hurtles on his
career like one slung at a target who knows that in fulfilling his
commission he shall be broken—as indeed he was.

    Lord, Thou beguiled’st me, and beguiled I let myself be,
    Thou wast too strong for me, Thou hast prevailed.(683)

Power was pain to him; he carried God’s Word as _a burning fire in his
heart_.(684) If the strength and the joy in which others rise on their
gifts ever came to him they quickly fled. Isaiah, the only other prophet
comparable, accepts his mission and springs to it with freedom. But
Jeremiah, always coerced, shrinks, protests, craves leave to retire. So
that while Isaiah’s answer to the call of God is _Here am I, send me_,
Jeremiah’s might have been “I would be anywhere else than here, let me
go.” He spent much of himself in complaint and in debate both with God and
with his fellow-men:

    Mother! Ah me!
      As whom hast thou borne me?
    A man of quarrel and of strife
      To the whole of the land—
      All of them curse me.(685)

Nor did he live to see any solid results from his work. His call was

    To root up, pull down and destroy,
      To build and to plant.(686)

If this represents the Prophet’s earliest impression of his charge, the
proportion between the destructive and constructive parts of it is
ominous; if it sums up his experience it is less than the truth. Though he
sowed the most fruitful seeds in the fields of Israel’s religion, none
sprang in his lifetime. For his own generation he built nothing.
Sympathetic with the aims and the start of the greatest reform in Israel’s
history, he grew sceptical of its progress and had to denounce the dogmas
into which the spirit of it hardened. A king sought his counsel and
refused to follow it; the professional prophets challenged him to speak in
the Name of the Lord and then denied His Word; the priests were ever
against him, and the overseer of the Temple put him in the stocks. Though
the people came to his side at one crisis, they rejected him at others and
fell back on their formalist teachers, and the prophets of a careless
optimism. Though he loved his people with passion, and pled with them all
his life, he failed to convince or move them to repentance—and more than
once was forbidden even to pray for them. He was charged not to marry nor
found a family nor share in either the griefs or the joys of society. His
brethren and his father’s house betrayed him, and he was stoned out of
Anathoth by his fellow-villagers. Though he could count on a friend or two
at court, he had to flee into hiding. King Ṣedekiah, who felt a slavish
reverence for his word, was unable to save him from imprisonment in a miry
pit, and he owed his deliverance, neither to friend nor countryman, but to
a negro eunuch of the palace. Even after the fall of Jerusalem, when his
prophecies were vindicated almost to the letter, he failed to keep a
remnant of the nation in Judah; and his word had no influence with the
little band which clung to him as a fetish and hurried him to Egypt.
There, with his back to the brief ministry of hope that had been allowed
him, he must take up again the task of denunciation which he abhorred; and
this is the last we hear of him.

It was the same with individuals as with the people as a whole. We may say
that with few exceptions, whomever he touched he singed, whomever he
struck he broke—_a man of quarrel and strife to the whole land, all of
them curse me_. And he cursed them back. When Pashhur put him in the
stocks Jeremiah called him _Magor Missabib_, Terror-all-round, _for lo, I
will make thee a terror to thyself and to all thy friends, they shall fall
by the sword and thou behold it_.(687) Nothing satisfied his contempt for
Jehoiakim, but that dying the king should be buried with the burial of an
ass.(688) Even for Ṣedekiah, to whom he showed some tenderness, his last
utterance was of a vision of the weak monarch being mocked by his own
women.(689) His irony, keen to the end, proves his detachment from all
around him. His scorn for the bulk of the other prophets is scorching, and
his words for some of them fatal. Of Shemaiah, who wrote of the captives
in Babylon letters of a tenor opposite to his own, he said _he shall not
have a man to dwell among this people_.(690) When the prophet Hananiah
contradicted him, he foretold, after carefully deliberating between his
rival’s words and his own, that Hananiah would die, and Hananiah was dead
within a few months.(691) He had no promise for those whom he counselled
to desert to the enemy save of bare life; nor anything better even for the
best of his friends: _Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them
not! Only thy life will I give thee for a prey in all places whither thou

The following are the full texts from which the foregoing summary has been
drawn and most of which I have reserved for this Lecture.

    IV. 10. Then said I, Ah Lord Yahweh, Verily Thou hast deceived
    this people and Jerusalem, saying There shall be peace!—whereas
    the sword striketh to the life!

    O my bowels! My bowels, I writhe!  19
      O the walls of my heart!
    My heart is in storm upon me,
      I cannot keep silence!

    I am filled with the rage of the Lord,  VI. 11
      Worn with holding it in!
    Pour it out on the child in the street,
      Where the youths draw together.

The following refers to the conspiracy of his fellow-villagers against

    The Lord let me know and I knew it,  XI. 18
      Then I saw through(693) their doings;
    But I like a tame lamb had been,  19
      Unwittingly(694) led to the slaughter.
    On me they had framed their devices
      “Let’s destroy the tree in its sap.(695)
    Cut him off from the land of the living,
      That his name be remembered no more.”
    O Lord, Thou Who righteously judgest,  20
      Who triest the reins and the heart,
    Let me see Thy vengeance upon them,
      For to Thee I have opened(696) my cause.

    21. Therefore thus saith the Lord of the men of Anathoth, who are
    seeking my(697) life, saying, Thou shalt not prophesy in the Name
    of the Lord, that thou die not by our hands:(698)

    Lo, I am to visit upon them!  22
      Their(699) youths shall die by the sword,
    Their sons and their daughters by famine,
      Till no remnant be left them.  23
    For evil I bring on the men of Anathoth,
      The year of their visitation.

    Mother! Ah me!  XV. 10
      As whom(700) hast thou borne me?
    A man of strife and of quarrel
      To the whole of the land.
    I have not lent upon usury, nor any to me,
      Yet all of them curse me.
    Amen,(701) O Lord! If I be to blame(?),  11
      If I never besought Thee,
    In the time of their trouble and straits,
      For the good of my foes.
    Is the arm on my shoulder iron  12
      Or brass my brow?(702)
    Thou hast known it,(703) O Lord.  15
      Think on and visit me!
    Avenge me on them that pursue me,
      Halt not Thy wrath.
    Know that for Thee I have borne reproach
      From them who despise(704) Thy words.  16
    [End them!(705) Thy word’s my delight
      And the joy of my heart
    For Thy Name has been calléd upon me,
      Lord of Hosts!]
    I have not sat in their company  17
      Jesting and merry.(706)
    Because of Thy hand alone I sit,
      For with rage Thou hast filled me.
    Why is my pain perpetual,  18
      My wound past healing?
    Art Thou to be a false stream to me,
      As waters that fail?

This to Him on Whom he had called as The Fountain of Living Water!

    Therefore thus saith the Lord:  19
    If thou wilt turn, then shall I turn thee,
      That before Me thou stand;
    And if thou bring forth the dear from the vile,
      As My Mouth thou shalt be.
    [Then may those turn to thee,
      But not thou to them.]
    For to this people I set thee  20
      An impassable wall.(707)
    When they fight thee they shall not prevail,
      With thee am I to deliver,(708)
    And deliver thee I shall from the power of the wicked,  21
      From the hand of the cruel redeem thee.

    Thou(709) shalt not take a wife—  XVI. 2
      Rede of the Lord—
    Nor shall sons nor daughters be thine
      Within this place.
    For thus hath the Lord said:  3
      As for the sons and the daughters
      Born in this place,
    [As for their mothers who bore them
    And their fathers who gat them
      Throughout this land.]
    Painfullest deaths shall they die  4
      Unmourned, unburied,
    [Be for dung on the face of the ground,
      Consumed by famine and sword.]
    And their corpses shall be for food
      To the birds of the heaven and beasts of the earth.(710)
    Thus saith the Lord:  5
    Come not to the house of mourning,
      Nor go about to lament,(711)
    Because My Peace I have swept
      Away from this people.(712)
    For them shall none lament,  6_b_
      Nor gash nor make themselves bald;
    Neither break bread(713) to the mourner,(714)  7
      For the dead to console him,
    Nor pour him(715) the cup of condolement
      For his father or mother.
    Come thou not to the house of feasting,  8
      To sit with them eating and drinking.
    For thus saith the Lord of Hosts,(716)  9
      The God of Israel:
    Lo, I shall stay from this place,
      In your days, to your eyes,
    The voices of joy and of gladness,
      The voices of bridegroom and bride.

Follows, in 10-13, the moral reason of all this—the people’s leaving of
their God—and the doom of exile.

    Heal me O Lord, and I shall be healed,  XVII. 14
      Save me and saved shall I be.(717)
    Lo, there be those, who keep saying to me.  15
      “Where is the Word of the Lord?
      Pray let it come!”
    But I have not pressed ... (?)  16
      Nor for evil(718) kept at Thee,
    Nor longed for the woeful day,
      Thyself dost know.
    Whatever came forth from my lips
      To Thy face it was.
    Be not a (cause of) dismay to me,  17
      My Refuge in evil days.
    Shamed be my hunters, but shamed not I,  18
      Dismayed, but dismayed not I.
    Bring Thou upon them the day of disaster
      And break them twice over!

    XVIII. 18. And they said, Come and let us devise against Jeremiah
    devices, for the Law(719) shall not perish from the priest, nor
    Counsel from the wise, nor the Word from the prophet. Come let us
    smite him with the tongue and pay no heed to any of his words.

    O Lord, unto me give Thou heed,  19
      And hark to the voice of my plea!(720)
    Shall evil be rendered for good,  20
      That they dig a pit for my life?(721)
    O remember my standing before Thee,
      To bespeak their good—
    To turn Thy fury from off them.
    Give therefore their sons to famine,  21
      And spill them out to the sword.
    Let their wives be widows and childless
      And their men be slain of death—
    And smitten their youths by the sword in battle.
    May crying be heard from their homes,  22
      As a troop comes sudden upon them!
    For a pit have they dug to catch me,
      And hidden snares for my feet.
    But Thou, O Lord, hast known  23
      Their counsels for death against me.
    Pardon Thou not their iniquities,(722)
      Nor blot from Thy Presence their sins;(723)
    But let them be tumbled before Thee
      Deal with them in time of Thy wrath.

Verses 21-23 are rejected by Duhm and Cornill, along with XI. 22_b_, 23,
XII. 3_b_, XVII. 18 for no textual or metrical reasons, but only because
these scholars shrink from attributing to Jeremiah such outbursts of
passion: just as we have seen them for similarly sheer reasons of
sentiment refuse to consider as his the advice to desert to the
enemy.(724) Yet they admit inconsistently the genuineness of VI. 11, XI.
20, XV. 15.(725)

    Lord, Thou beguiledst me, and beguiled I let myself be,  XX. 7
      Too strong for me, Thou hast conquered,
    A jest I have been all the day,
      Every one mocks me.
    As oft as I speak I must shriek,  8
      Crying “Violence and spoil.”
    Yea, the Word of the Lord is become my reproach
      All day a derision.
    If I said, I’ll not mind Him(726)  9
      Nor speak in His name,(727)
    Then in my heart ’tis a burning fire,
      Shut up in my bones.
    I am worn away with refraining,
      I cannot hold on.(728)
    For I hear the whispering of many,  10
      Terror all round!
    “Denounce, and let us denounce him,”
      —And these my familiars!—
    Keep ye watch for him tripping,
      Perchance he’ll be fooled,
    “And we be more than enough for him,
      And get our revenge.”
    Yet the Lord He is with me,  11
      Mighty and Terrible!
    So they that hunt me shall stumble
      And shall not prevail.
    Put to dire shame shall they be
      When they fail to succeed.
    Be their confusion eternal,
      Nor ever forgotten!
    O Lord,(729) Who triest the righteous,  12
      Who lookest to the reins and the heart,
    Let me see Thy vengeance upon them,
      For to Thee I have opened my cause.(730)

    Cursed be the day,  XX. 14
      Whereon I was born!
    The day that my mother did bare me,
      Be it unblessed!
    Cursed be the man who carried the news,  15
      Telling my father,
    “A man child is born to thee!”
      Making him glad.
    Be that man as the cities the Lord overthrew,  16
      And did not relent,
    Let him hear a shriek in the morning,
      And at noon-tide alarms;
    That he slew me not in(731) the womb,  17
      So my mother had been my grave,
      And great for ever her womb!
    For what came I forth from the womb?  18
      Labour and sorrow to see,
    That my days in shame should consume.

Considering the passion of these lines, it is not surprising that they are
so irregular.(732)

Some have attributed the aggravations, at least, of this rage to some
fault in the man himself. They are probably right. The prophets were
neither vegetables nor machines but men of like passions with ourselves.
Jeremiah may have been by temper raw and hasty, with a natural capacity
for provoking his fellows. That he felt this himself we may suspect from
his cry to his mother, that he had been born to quarrel. His impatience,
honest though it be, needs stern rebuke from the Lord.(733) Even with God
Himself he is hasty.(734) There are signs throughout, naïvely betrayed by
his own words, of a fluid and quick temper, both for love and for hate.
For so original a poet he was at first remarkably dependent on his
predecessors. The cast of his verse is lyric and subjective; and for all
its wistfulness and plaint is sometimes shrill with the shrillness of a
soul raw and too sensitive about herself. His strength as a poet may have
been his weakness as a man—may have made him, from a human point of view,
an unlikely instrument for the work he had to do and the force with which
he must drive—painfully swerving at times from his task, and at others
rushing in passion before the power he hated but could not withstand.

So probable an opinion becomes a certainty when we turn to God’s words to
him. _Be not dismayed lest I make thee dismayed_ and _I set thee this day
a fenced city and wall of bronze_.(735) For these last imply that in
himself Jeremiah was something different. God does not speak thus to a man
unless He sees that he needs it. It was to his most impetuous and unstable
disciple that Christ said, _Thou art Peter, and on this rock will I

Yet while his own temper thus aggravated his solitude and his pain we must
also keep in mind that neither among the priests, the prophets and the
princes of his time, nor in the kings after Josiah, did Jeremiah find any
of that firm material which under the hands of Isaiah rose into bulwarks
against Assyria. The nation crumbling from within was suffering from
without harder blows than even Assyria dealt it. These did not weld but
broke a people already decadent and with nothing to resist them save the
formalities of religion and a fanatic gallantry. The people lost heart and
care. He makes them use more than once a phrase about themselves in answer
to his call to repent: _No’ash, No use! All is up!_ Probably this reflects
his own feelings about them. He was a man perpetually baffled by what he
had to work with.

Poet as he was he had the poet’s heart for the beauties of nature and of
domestic life: for birds and trees and streams, for the home-candle and
the sound of the house-mill, for children and the happiness of the bride,
and the love of husband and wife; and he was forbidden to marry or have
children of his own or to take part in any social merriment—in this last
respect so different from our Lord. Was it unnatural that his heart broke
out now and then in wild gusts of passion against it all?

There is another thing which we must not forget in judging Jeremiah’s
excessive rage. We cannot find that he had any hope of another life.
Absolutely no breath of this breaks either from his own Oracles or from
those attributed to him. Here and now was his only chance of service, here
and now must the visions given him by God be fulfilled or not at all. In
the whole book of Jeremiah we see no hope of the resurrection, no glory to
come, no gleam even of the martyr’s crown. I have often thought that what
seem to us the excess of impatience, the rashness to argue with
Providence, the unholy wrath and indignation of prophets and psalmists
under the Old Covenant, are largely to be explained by this, that as yet
there had come to them no sense of another life or of judgment beyond this
earth. When we are tempted to wonder at Jeremiah’s passion and cursing,
let us try to realise how we would have felt had we, like him, found our
_one_ service baffled, and the _single_ possible fulfilment of our ideals
rendered vain. All of which shows the difference that Christ has made.

2. Predestination. (I, XVIII, etc.)

Yet though such a man in such an age Jeremiah is sped through it with a
force, which in spite of him never fails and which indeed carries his
influence to the end of his nation’s history.

What was the powder which launched this grim projectile through his times?
Part at least was his faith in his predestination, the bare sense that God
Almighty meant him from before his beginning for the work, and was
gripping him to it till the close. This alone prevailed over his reluctant
nature, his protesting affections, and his adverse circumstance.

    Before in the body I built thee, I knew thee,
    Before thou wast forth from the womb, I had put thee apart,
      I have set thee a prophet to the nations.

From the first and all through it was God’s choice of him, the knowledge
of himself as a thought of the Deity and a consecrated instrument of the
Divine Will, which grasped this unbraced and sensitive creature, this
alternately discouraged and impulsive man, and turned him, as we have
seen, into the opposite of himself.

The writers of the Old Testament give full expression to the idea of
predestination, but what they understand by it is not what much of Jewish
and Christian theology has understood. In the Old Testament predestination
is not to character or fate, to salvation or its opposite, to eternal life
or eternal punishment, but to service, or some particular form of service,
for God and man. The Great Evangelist of the Exile so defines it for
Israel as a whole: Israel an eternal purpose of God for the enlightenment
and blessing of mankind. And this faith is enforced on the nation, not for
their pride nor to foster the confidence that God will never break from
them, but to rouse their conscience, and give them courage when they are
feeble or indolent or hopeless of their service. So with Jeremiah in
regard both to his own predestination and that of his people. In his
Parable of the Potter (as we have seen) it is for service as vessels that
the clay is moulded; God is revealed not as predestining character or
quality, but as shaping characters for ends for which under His hand they
yield suitable qualities. The parable illustrates not arbitrariness of
election nor irresistible sovereignty but a double freedom—freedom in God
to change His decrees for moral reasons, freedom on man’s part to thwart
God’s designs for him. In further illustration of this remember again the
wonderful words, _Be thou not dismayed before them, lest I make thee
dismayed; if thou wilt turn, then shall I turn thee_. To work upon man God
needs man’s own will.

From imagining the Deity as sheer absolute will, to which the experience
of the resistless force behind his own soul must sometimes have tempted
him, Jeremiah was further guarded by his visions of the Divine working in
Nature. He is never more clear or musical than when singing of the
regularity, faithfulness and reasonableness of this. With such a Creator,
such a Providence, there could be neither arbitrariness nor caprice.

Having this experience of God’s ways with man it was not possible for
Jeremiah to succumb to those influences of a strong unqualified faith in
predestination which have often overwhelmed the personalities of its
devotees. Someone has talked of “the wine of predestination,” and history
both in the East and in the West furnishes cases of men so drugged by it
as to lose their powers of will, reason and heart, and become either
apathetic unquestioning slaves of fate, or violent and equally
unquestioning dogmatists and tyrants—the soul-less instruments of a
pitiless force. God overpowers them: He is all and they are nothing. It
was far otherwise with Jeremiah, who realised and preserved his
individuality not only as against the rest of his people but as against
God Himself. His earlier career appears from the glimpses we get of it to
have been, if not a constant, yet a frequent struggle with the Deity. He
argues against the Divine calls to him. And even when he yields he
expresses his submission in terms which almost proudly define his own will
as over against that of God:

    Lord thou beguiledst me, and I let myself be beguiled,
    Thou wast stronger than I and hast conquered.

The man would not be mastered, but if mastered is not crushed. He
questions each moment of his own sufferings, each moment of his people’s
oncoming doom. He debates with God on matters of justice. He wrestles
things out with God and emerges from each wrestle not halt and limping
like Jacob of old, but firm and calm, more clear in his mind and more sure
of himself—as we see him at last when the full will of God breaks upon his
soul with the Battle of Carchemish and he calmly surrenders to his own and
his people’s fate. That is how this prophet, by nature so fluid, and so
shrinking stands out henceforth _a fenced city and a wall of bronze over
against the whole people of the land_: the one unbreakable figure in the
breaking-up of the state and the nation. We perceive the method in God’s
discipline of such a soul. He sees his servant’s weakness and grants him
the needful athletic for it, by wrestling with him Himself.

We may here take in full the remarkable passage, part of which we have
already studied.(736)

    Too Righteous art Thou, O Lord,  XII. 1
    That with Thee I should argue.
    Yet cases there are I must speak with Thee of:—
    The way of the wicked—why doth it prosper,
    And the treacherous all be at ease?
    Thou did’st plant them, yea they take root,  2
    They get on, yea they make fruit;
    Near in their mouths art Thou,
    But far from their reins.
    But me, O Lord, Thou hast known,(737)  3
    And tested my heart with Thee;
    Drag them out like sheep for the shambles,
    To the day of slaughter devote them.

    Thou hast run with the foot and they wore thee—  5
    How wilt thou vie with the horse?
    If in peaceful country thou can’st not trust,
    How wilt thou do in the rankness of Jordan?
    For even thy brothers, the house of thy father,  6
    Even they have betrayed thee.
    Even they have called after thee loudly,
    Trust them not, though they speak thee fair.(738)

_The rankness_ or _luxuriance of Jordan_ is the jungle on both sides of
the river, in which the lions lie. This then is all the answer that the
wearied and perplexed servant gets from his Lord. The troubles of which he
complains are but the training for still sorer. The only meaning of the
checks and sorrows of life is to brace us for worse. It is the strain that
ever brings the strength. Life is explained as a graded and progressively
strenuous discipline, the result of it a stronger and more finely tempered
soul. But this surely suggests the questions: Is that the whole result? Is
the soul thus to be trained, braced and refined, only at last to be broken
and vanish? These are natural questions to the Lord’s answer, but Jeremiah
does not put them. Unlike Job he makes no start, even with this stimulus,
to break through to another life.

3. Sacrifice.

But in thus achieving his individuality over against both his nation and
his God, Jeremiah accomplished only half of the work he did for Israel and
mankind. It is proof of how great a prophet we have in him that he who was
the first in Israel to realise the independence of the single self in
religion should also become the supreme example under the Old Covenant of
the sacrifice of that self for others, that he should break from one type
of religious solidarity only to illustrate another and a nobler, that the
prophet of individuality should be also the symbol if not the conscious
preacher of vicariousness. This further stage in Jeremiah’s experience is
of equally dramatic interest, though we cannot always trace the order of
his utterances which bear witness to it.

There must often have come to him the temptation to break loose from a
people who deserved nothing of him, but cruelly entreated him, and who
themselves were so manifestly doomed. Once at least he confesses this.

    O that I had in the wilderness  IX. 2
      A wayfarers’ lodge!
    Then would I leave my people,
      And get away from them;
    For adulterers all of them be,
      A bundle of traitors.
      They stretch their tongues  3
      Like a falsing bow,
      And never for truth
      Use their power in the land.
    But from evil to evil go forth
      And Me they know not!(739)

Well might the Prophet wish to escape from such a people—worn out with
their falsehood, their impurity, and their senseless optimism. Yet it is
not solitude for which he prays but some inn or caravanserai where he
would have been less lonely than in his unshared house in Jerusalem,
_sitting alone because of the wrath of the Lord_. His desire is to be set
where a man may see all the interest of passing life without any
responsibility for it, where men are wayfarers only and come and go like a
river on whose bank you lie, and help you to muse and perhaps to sing but
never touch the heart or the conscience of you. It is the prayer of a poet
sick of being a prophet and a tester. Jeremiah was weary of having to look
below the surface of life, to know people long enough to judge them with a
keener conscience than their own and to love them with a hopeless and
breaking heart that never got an answer to its love or to its calls for
repentance—wearied with watching habit slowly grow from ill to ill, old
truths become lies or at the best mere formalities, prophets who only
flattered, priests to bless them, and the people loving to have it
so.(740) O to have no other task in life than to watch the street from the

But our prayers often outrun themselves in the utterance and Jeremiah’s
too carried with it its denial. _My people—that I might leave my
people_—this, it is clear from all that we have heard from him, his heart
would never suffer him to do. And so gradually we find him turning with
deeper devotion to the forlorn hope of his ministry, his fate to feel his
judgment of his people grow ever more despairing, but his love for them
deeper and more yearning.

From the year of Carchemish onward he appears not again to have tried or
prayed to escape. Through the rest of the reign of Jehoiakim they
persecuted him to the edge of death. Prophets and priests called for his
execution. He was stoned, beaten and thrust into the stocks. The king
scornfully cut up the roll of his prophecies; and the people following
their formalist leaders rejected his word. With the first captivity under
Jehoiakim all the better classes left Jerusalem, but he elected to remain
with the refuse. When in the reign of Ṣedekiah the Chaldeans came down on
the city and Jeremiah counselled its surrender he was again beaten and was
flung into a pit to starve to death. When he was freed and the besiegers
gave him the opportunity, he would not go over to them. Even when the city
had fallen and her captors hearing of his counsel offered him security and
a position in Babylonia, he chose instead to share the fortunes of the
little remnant left in their ruined land. When they broke up it was the
worst of them who took possession of his person and disregarding his
appeals hurried him down to Egypt. There, on alien soil and among
countrymen who had given themselves to an alien religion, the one great
personality of his time, who had served the highest interests of his
nation for forty years, reluctant but unfaltering, and whose scorned
words, every one, had been vindicated by events, is with the dregs of his
people swept from our sight. _He had given his back to the smiters and his
cheeks to them who plucked out the hair; he had not hidden his face from
the shame and the spitting. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with
grief. He was taken from prison and from judgment and cut off from the
land of the living; and they made his grave with the wicked, though he had
done no violence neither was deceit in his mouth._ It is the second
greatest sacrifice that Israel has offered for mankind.

If Jeremiah thus of his own will suffered _with_ his people, and to the
bitter end with the worst of them, was he also conscious of suffering
_for_ them? After his death, when the full tragedy of his life came home
to his people’s heart, the sense of the few suffering for the many, the
righteous for the sinners, began to be articulate in Israel—remarkably
enough, let us remember, in the very period when owing to the break-up of
the nation the single soul came to its own and belief in the
responsibility of every man for his own sins also emerged and prevailed.
Of the influence of the example of Jeremiah’s spiritual loneliness,
combined with his devotion to his sinful people, in developing these
doctrines of individualism and self-sacrifice for others there can be no
doubt. The stamp of his sufferings is on every passage in that exilic work
“Isaiah” XL-LXVI, which presents the Suffering Servant of the Lord and
declares the atoning virtues of His Agonies and Death.

But it is not clear that Jeremiah ever felt anything of this about
himself; if he did so he has refrained from uttering it. Yet he must have
been very near so high a consciousness. His love and his pity for his
sinful people were full. He can hardly have failed to descry that his own
spiritual agonies which brought him into so close a personal communion
with God would show to every other man the way for his approach also to
the Most High and Holy and his reconciliation with his God. Again he was
weighed down with his people’s sins; he bore on his heart the full burden
of them. He confessed them. The shame which the people did not feel for
them, he felt; and he painted the curse upon them in words which prove how
deeply the iron had entered his own soul. He had a profound sense of the
engrained quality of evil,(741) the deep saturation of sin, the enormity
of the guilt of those who sinned against the light and love of God.(742) A
fallacy of his day was that God could easily and would readily forgive
sin, that the standard ritual might at once atone for it and comfortable
preaching bring the assurance of its removal. He denied this, and affirmed
that such things do not change character; that no wash of words can
cleanse from sin, no sacraments, however ancient, can absolve from
guilt.(743) That way only strict and painful repentance can work;
repentance following the deep searching of the heart by the Word and the
Judgments of God and the agony of learning and doing His Will.(744) To its
last dregs he drank the cup of the Lord’s wrath upon His false and wilful
nation; he suffered with them every pang of the slow death their sins had
brought upon them. And yet he was most conscious of his own innocence when
most certain of his fate. The more he loyally gave himself to his mission
the more he suffered and the nearer was he brought to death. The tragedy
perplexed him,

    Why is my pain perpetual,
      My wound past healing?(745)

The only reply he heard from heaven was the order to stand fast, for God
was with him to deliver—but that more troubles awaited him. And beyond
this what is there to answer the staggering Prophet save that if a man
have the Divine gifts of a keener conscience and a more loving heart than
his fellows, there inevitably comes with such gifts the obligation of
suffering for them. Every degree in which love stands above her brethren
means pain and shame to love though as yet she bear no thorn or nail in
her flesh. This spiritual distress Jeremiah felt for the people long
before he shared with them the physical penalties of their sins. Just
there—in his keener conscience, in his hot shame for sins not his as if
they were his, in his agony for his people’s estrangement from God and in
his own constantly wounded love—lay his real substitution, his vicarious
offering for his people.

Did Jeremiah ever conceive the far-off fulness of the travail thus laid
upon his soul, the truth that this vicarious agony of a righteous man for
the sins of others is borne by God Himself? To that question we have only
fragments of an answer. In his discourses, both earlier and later, when he
talks directly in the Name of the Deity—when the Deity speaks in the first
person—the words breathe as much effort and passion as when Jeremiah
speaks in his own person. The Prophet is very sure that his God is Love,
and he hears that love utter itself in tones of yearning for the love of
men, and even of agony for their sin and misery. There is, too, a singular
prayer of his which is tense with the instinct, that God would surely be
to Israel what Jeremiah had resolved and striven to be—not a far-off God
who occasionally visited or passed through His people, but One in their
midst sharing their pain; not indifferent, as he fears in another
place,(746) to the shame that is upon them, but bearing even this. The
prayer which I mean is the one in XIV. 8, 9, which recalls not only the
terms but the essence of Jeremiah’s longing to escape from his people, and
lodge afar with wayfaring men, aloof and irresponsible.

    O Hope of Israel, His Saviour
      In time of trouble.
    Why be like a passenger through the land,
      Or the wayfaring guest of a night?
    Yet Lord Thou art in our midst,
      Do not forsake us.(747)

I may be going too far in interpreting the longing and faith that lie
behind these words. But they come out very fully in later prophets who
explicitly assert that the Divine Nature does dwell with men, shares their
ethical warfare and bears the shame of their sins. And the truth of it all
was manifested past doubt in the Incarnation, the Passion and the Cross of
the Son of God.

But whether Jeremiah had instinct of it, as I have ventured to think from
his prayer, or had not, he foreshadowed, as far as mere man can, the
sufferings of Jesus Christ for men—and this is his greatest glory as a

                              Lecture VIII.


We have followed the career of Jeremiah from his call onwards to the end,
and we have traced his religious experience with its doubts, struggles,
crises, and settlement at last upon the things that are sure: his debates
with God and strifes with men, which while they roused him to outbursts of
passion also braced his will, and stilled the wilder storms of his heart.
There remains the duty of gathering the results of this broken and gusty,
yet growing and fruitful experience: the truths which came forth of its
travail, about God and Man and their relations. And in particular we have
still to study the ideal form which Jeremiah, or (as some questionably
argue) one of his disciples, gave to these relations: the New Covenant,
new in contrast to God’s ancient Covenant with Israel as recorded and
enforced in the Book of Deuteronomy.

1. God.

Among the surprises which Jeremiah’s own Oracles have for the student is
the discovery of how little they dwell upon the transcendent and infinite
aspects of the Divine Nature. On these Jeremiah adds almost nothing to
what his predecessors or contemporaries revealed. Return to his original
visions and contrast them with those, for example, of Isaiah and Ezekiel.

Isaiah’s vision was of the Lord upon a Throne, high and lifted up,
surrounded by Seraphim crying to one another, _Holy, Holy, Holy is the
Lord of Hosts! the whole earth is full of His Glory!_ And their voices
rocked the Temple and filled it with smoke. Here are a Presence, Awful
Majesty, Infinite Holiness and Glory, blinding the seer and crushing his
heart contrite. Or take the inaugural vision of Ezekiel—the storm-wind out
of the North, the vast cloud, the fire infolding itself, the brightness
round about and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber; the rush
and whirl of life that followed, wheels and wings and rings full of eyes;
and over this the likeness of a firmament of the colour of the terrible
ice and the sound of wings like the noise of many waters, as the Voice of
the Almighty and above the firmament a Throne and on the Throne the
Appearance of a Man, the Appearance of the likeness of the Glory of the
Lord. _And I, when I saw it, fell upon my face._

In the inaugural visions of Jeremiah there is none of this Awfulness—only
_What art thou seeing Jeremiah? the branch of an almond tree ... a caldron
boiling._ That was characteristic of his encounters and intercourse with
the Deity throughout. They were constant and close, but in them all we are
aware only of a Voice and an Argument. There is no Throne, no Appearance,
no Majesty, no overwhelming sense of Holiness and Glory, no rush of wings
nor floods of colour or of song.(748) Jeremiah takes for granted what
other prophets have said of God. But the Deity whose Power and Glory they
revealed is his Familiar. The Lord talks with Jeremiah as a man with his

For this there were several reasons, and first the particular quality of
the Prophet’s imagination. His native powers of vision were not such as
soar, or at any rate easily soar, to the sublime. He was a lyric poet and
his revelations of God are subjective and given to us by glimpses in
scattered verses, which, however intimate and exquisite, have not the
adoring wonder of his prophetic peers.

Again there were the startled recoil of his nature from the terrible
office of a prophet in such times, and those born gifts of questioning and
searching which fitted him for his allotted duty as Tester of his
people,(749) but which he also turned upon the Providence and Judgments of
the Lord Himself.(750) His religious experience, as we have seen, was
largely a struggle with the Divine Will, and it left him not adoring but
amazed and perplexed. Such wrestling man’s spirit has to encounter like
Jacob of old in the dark, and if like the Patriarch it craves the Name,
which is the Nature, of That with which it struggles, all the answer it
may get is another question, _Wherefore askest thou after My Name?_
Morning may break, as it broke on Jacob by Jabbok with the assurance of
blessing or as on Jeremiah with a firmer impression of the Will not his
own; but no strength is left to glory in the Nature behind the Will. There
is a horrified breathlessness about his lines—

    Thou wast stronger than I and hast conquered,
    The Lord is with me as a Mighty and Terrible.(751)

From his struggles he indeed issues more sure of God and finally more
trustful in Him, as is testified by his fair song on the beauty and
fruitfulness of faith, beginning

    Blessed the wight that trusts in the Lord,
    And the Lord is his trust.(752)

But even here is none of the awe and high wonder which fall upon Israel
through other prophets. Lyrist as he is and subjective, Jeremiah dwells
not so much upon the attributes of God on which faith rests as upon the
effects of faith in man.

Again by the desperate character of the times he was starved of hope, the
hope by which the Apostle says _we are saved_, which not only braces the
will but clears the inner eyes of men and liberates the imagination. As
the years went on he was ever more closely bound to the prediction of his
people’s ruin, and, when this came, to the sober counsel to accept their
fate and settle down to a long exile in patience for the Lord’s time of
deliverance. As we have seen, his intervals of release from so grim a
ministry were brief, and his Oracles of a bright future but few. Even in
these he does not rise, like the Evangelist of the Exile whom he inspired,
to exultation in the Almighty Power of God or to visions of vast spaces of
the Divine Providence, or of Israel’s service wide as the world. His happy
peasant-heart is content to foresee his restored people tending their
vineyards again, enjoying their village dances and festivals, and sharing
with their long divided tribes the common national worship upon Ṣion.(753)

Like those of all the prophets Jeremiah’s most immediate convictions of
God are that He has done, and is always doing or about to do, things.(754)
From the first Yahweh of Israel had been to the faith of his people a God
of Deeds. He delivered them from Egypt, led them through the desert, ever
ready to avenge them on any who molested them, and He had brought them to
a land of delight.(755) By his creative and guiding Word, always clear and
potential,(756) He had planted them and built them up to be a nation.
These were the proofs of Him—ever operative, effective and victorious both
over their foes and over every natural obstacle which their life
encountered. And being _the Living God_ He still works and is ready to
work, would His people only seek where!(757) He is awake, watching over
His Word _to perform it_ and controlling the nations.(758) It is He who
has made the earth and gives it to whom He will,(759) who prepares the
destroyers of His people, who calls for the kingdoms of the North, even
for the far Scythians beyond the edge of the world, to execute His
purposes.(760) He brings the King of Babylon against Jerusalem, and
recalls the Chaldeans to their interrupted siege of the city, gives it
into their hands and Himself banishes its people.(761) He moulds the
nations for his own ends, and if they fail Him, decrees their
destruction.(762) His Word builds and plants but also pulls up and tears
down.(763) He is always near to guide or to argue with nations and
individuals, and to give directions and suggestions of practical detail to
His servants for the interpretation and fulfilment of His purposes.(764)

It was all this activity and effectiveness, with their sure results in
history, which distinguished Him from other gods, the gods of the nations,
who were ineffective, or as Jeremiah puts it _unprofitable—no-gods,
nothings_ and _do-nothings, the work of men’s hands, lies_ or _frauds_,
and mere _bubbles_.(765) On this line Jeremiah’s monotheism marks a
notable advance; for alongside of faith in the Divine Unity and
Sovereignty there had lingered even in Deuteronomy a belief in the
existence of other gods.(766) With Jeremiah every vestige of this
superstition is gone, and other gods consigned to limbo once and for all.

Yet Jeremiah’s monotheism, like that of all the Hebrew prophets, is even
more due to convictions of the character of the God of Israel. We have
seen how he dwells on the Divine Love, faithful and yearning for love in
return, pleading and patient even with its delinquent sons and
daughters;(767) but equal to this is his emphasis on the righteousness of
the Most High, by all His deeds _working troth, justice, and judgment on
the earth_, which are His delight and the knowledge of which is man’s only
glory.(768) He demands from His people not sacrifices, which He never
commanded to their fathers, nor vows but a better life, justice between
man and man, and care for the weak and the innocent.(769) To know Him is
to do justice and right.(770) Because the present generation have fallen
away from these, and practise and love falsehood, slander, impurity,
treacherous and greedy violence, therefore God, being justice and truth,
must judge and condemn them: _What else can I do?_(771) The ethical
necessity of the doom of the people is clear to the Prophet from a very
early stage of his ministry,(772) and throughout, though his heart
struggles against it. But, if possible, even more abhorrent to God than
these sins against domestic and civic piety in themselves, is the fact
that they are committed in the very face of His Love and despite all its
pleading. With Jeremiah as with Hosea the sin against love is the most
hopeless and unpardonable, and this people have sinned it to the utmost.

    As a woman is false to her fere,
      Have ye been false to me.(773)

Hence most deeply springs the Wrath of the Lord, a Wrath on which Jeremiah
broods and explodes more frequently and fiercely than any other prophet:
_I am full of the rage of the Lord; the glow of His wrath; take the cup of
the wine of this fury at My hand and give all nations to whom I send thee
to drink of it; the fierce anger of the Lord shall not turn until He have
executed it._(774) And He does execute it. God’s Wrath breaks out in His
_spurning_ of His nation, in the hot names He calls it, _adulteress_ and
_harlot_, and in _hating_ it.(775) He will not relent nor pardon it, nor
listen to prayer for it.(776) He says, _I must myself take vengeance upon
them. I shall not spare nor pity them._(777) They will reel in the day of
their visitation. He will feed them with wormwood and drug them with
poison; He will suddenly let fall on them anguish and terrors; He will
take His fan and winnow them out in the gates of the land and as the
passing chaff strew them on the wind of the desert; the garden-land
withers to wilderness and its cities break down at His presence and before
His fierce anger; He will make Jerusalem heaps and cast out the people
before His face. He will give them to be tossed among the nations for a
consternation, a reproach and a proverb, for a taunt and a curse, in all
places whither He drives them: and will send after them the sword, the
famine, and the pestilence till they be consumed.(778)

The modern mind deems arbitrary such immediate linking of physical and
political disasters with the Wrath of God against sin. But we have to
ponder the following. The Prophet was convinced of the ethical necessity
of that Wrath and of its judgments on Judah—he was convinced before they
came to pass and he predicted them accurately, from close observation of
the political conditions of his world and the character of his people.
Granted these and God’s essential and operative justice, the connection
was natural: _What else can I do?_ It was clear that Judah both deserved
and needed punishment and equally clear that the boiling North held the
potentialities of this, which were gradually shaping and irresistibly
approaching. Moreover, as Jeremiah insists, and as the history both of
nations and individuals has frequently illustrated, there is a natural
sequence of disaster upon wrong-doing. _Be thy scourge thine own sin! Thy
ways and thy deeds have done to thee __ these things. Is it Me they
provoke, saith the Lord, Is it not themselves to the confusion of their
faces? Wherefore have these things come upon thee?—for the mass of thy
wickedness._(779) As St. Paul says _the wages of sin_, not the judge’s
penalty on sin but the thing it naturally earns, _is death_. Now one of
Jeremiah’s most acute and convincing experiences as the _Tester_ of his
people,(780) is his observation of how all this worked out upon his own
generation. Not only were the war, the pestilence, and the captivity,
which were about to fall upon Jerusalem, directly and obviously due to the
perjury and stupid pride of her rulers; but, as he more subtly saw, the
immorality of the whole people had been disabling them, for years before,
from meeting these or any disasters except as sheer punishment without
place for repentance. Their previous troubles had failed to sober or
humble them or rouse them. _They would not accept correction_, he says of
them more than once.(781) To the Prophet’s warnings that God will judge
them, they answer carelessly or defiantly _Not He!_ Instead of yielding to
the power which lies in all adversity to cleanse the heart and brace the
will they became incapable of shame, indifferent to consequences, and so
past praying for.(782) And in this they were fortified by the specious
dreams and lies of their false prophets, continued to sin, and so fell to
their doom, abashed at last but unassoilable.(783) If at any time they
were startled by disaster, this found them too enfeebled even for
repentance by their habitual insincerity or self-indulgence; which made
them incapable of truth even under pain, and of a real conversion to
God.(784) All this is discovered to us by the eyes and the mouth of
Jeremiah. What in it is arbitrary? The record is awful, nothing like it in
literature. Yet every step is real. We follow a master of observation.

But perhaps the chief glory of our Prophet is that while thus delivering,
as no other prophet so fully or so ethically does, the just wrath of God
upon sin, he reveals at the same time that His people’s sin costs God more
pain than anger. This no doubt Jeremiah learned through his own heart. As
we have seen, with his whole heart he loved the people whom he was called
to test and expose, and that heart was wracked and torn by thoughts of the
Doom which he had to pronounce upon them. So also, he was given to feel,
was the heart of their God. In the following questions there is poignant
surprise; an insulted, a wounded love beats through them.

    What wrong found your fathers in Me,
      That so far they broke from Me?
    Have I been a desert to Israel,
      Or land of thick darkness?
    Why say my folk, “We are off,
      No more to meet Thee!”
    Can a maiden forget her adorning
      Or her girdle the bride?
    Yet Me have My people forgotten
      Days without number.(785)

So, too, when the deserved doom threatens, and in hate He has cast off His
heritage, His love still wonders how that can be—

    Is My heritage to Me a speckled wild-bird
      With the wild-birds round and against her?
    Is Israel a slave,
      Or house-born serf?
      Why he for a prey?(786)

All the desolation of Judah is on Him alone: _no man lays it to heart,
upon Me is the waste_.(787) And what we have seen to be the most human
touch of all, the surprise of an outraged father at feeling, beneath His
wrath against a prodigal son, the instincts of the ancient love which no
wrath can quench,

    Is Ephraim My dearest son,
      The child of delights?
    That as oft as against him I speak
      I must think of him still!(788)

That these instincts are so scattered rather increases their cumulative

Thus whether upon the Wrath or upon the Love of God Jeremiah speaks home
to the heart of his own, and of our own and of every generation which
loves lies and lets itself be lulled by them. Sin, he says, is no fiction
nor a thing to be lightly taken.(789) Time for repentance is short; doom
comes quickly. Habits of evil are not carelessly parted with, but have
their long and necessary consequences moral and physical. No wash of words
nor worship nor sacrament can cleanse the heart or redeem from guilt. It
is not the flagrant sinner whom he chiefly warns, but those who harden
themselves softly. And—very firmly this—forgiveness is not easily granted
by God nor cheaply gained by men; God has not only set our sins before His
face but carries them on His heart. And therefore, in view both of the
Just Wrath of the Most High and of His suffering Love, only repentance can
avail, the repentance which is not the facile mood offered by many in
atonement for their sins, but arduous, rigorous and deeply sincere in its
anguish. All of which carries our prophet, six centuries before Christ
came, very far _into the fellowship of His sufferings_.

I have already spoken sufficiently of Jeremiah’s other original
contributions to theology, on the Freedom and the Patience of the
Providence of God, and his hope that God would be to Israel what the
prophet had bravely tried to be—no transient guest but a dweller in their
midst.(790) The titles for God which we may assume to have first come from
himself are few, perhaps only three: _The Fountain of Living Waters, the
Hope of Israel and the Saviour thereof in time of trouble_, and _Hasidh,
or Loyal-in-Love_,(791) a term elsewhere applied only to men. Sometimes,
but not nearly so often as the copyists of our Hebrew text have made him
do, he uses the title _Yahweh of Hosts_, doubtless in the other prophets’
sense of _the forces of history and of the Universe_ (the original meaning
having been _the armies of Israel_), sometimes he borrows the deuteronomic
_Yahweh thy God_, or a similar form. But most often (as the Greek
faithfully shows us) it is simply the personal name _Yahweh_ (Jehovah) by
which he addresses or describes the Deity: significant of the long
struggle between them as individuals.

Passing now from the world of nations to the world of nature we observe
how little the genuine Oracles of Jeremiah have to tell us of the Divine
Power over this; yet the little is proclaimed with as firm assurance as of
God’s control of the history of mankind. Both worlds are His: the
happenings in the one are the sacraments, the signs and seals, of His
purposes and tempers towards the other: the winter blossom of the almond,
of His wakefulness in a world where all seems asleep; the sun by day and
the moon and stars by night, of His everlasting faithfulness to His
own.(792) All things in nature obey His rule though His own people do not;
it is He who rules the stormy sea and can alone bring rain.

    Even the stork in the heavens
      Knoweth her seasons,
    And dove, swift and swallow
      Keep time of their coming.
    But My people—they know not
      The Rule of the Lord.

    I have set the sand as a bound for the sea,
    An eternal decree that cannot be crossed.
    Are there makers of rain ’mong the bubbles of the heathen?
    Art Thou not He? ... all these Thou hast made.(793)

After all neither Nature nor the courses of the Nations but the single
human heart is the field which Jeremiah most originally explores for
visions of the Divine Working and from which he has brought his most
distinctive contributions to our knowledge of God. But that leads us up to
the second part of this lecture, his teaching about man. Before beginning
that, however, we must include under his teaching about God, two elements
of this to which his insight into the human heart directly led him.

First this great utterance of the Divine Omnipresence:

    I am a God who is near,
      Not a God who is far.
    Can any man hide him in secret,
      And I not see him?
    Do I not fill heaven and earth?—
      Rede of the Lord.(794)

These verses have been claimed as the earliest expression in Israel of the
Divine Omnipresence.(795) Amos, however, had given utterance to the same
truth though on a different plane of life.(796)

Second, and partly in logical sequence from the preceding, but also
stimulated by thoughts of the best of Judah(797) banished to a long exile,
Jeremiah was the first in Israel to assure his people that the sense of
God’s presence, faith in His Providence, His Grace, and Prayer to Him were
now free both of Temple and Land—as possible on distant and alien soil,
without Ark or Altar, as they had been with these in Jerusalem. See his
Letter to the Exiles, and recall all that lay behind it in his predictions
of the ruin of the Temple, and abolition of the Ark, and in his rejection
of sacrifices.(798) To Deuteronomy exile was the people’s punishment; to
Jeremiah it is a fresh opportunity of grace.

2. Man and the New Covenant.

In the earliest Oracles of Jeremiah nations are the human units in
religion, Israel as a whole the object of the Divine affection and
providence. To his age worship was the business of the nation: public
reverence for symbols and institutions, and rites in which the
individual’s share was largely performed for him by official
representatives. The prophets, and Jeremiah himself at first, dealt with
the people as a moral unity from the earliest times to their own. The Lord
had loved and sought, redeemed and tended them as a nation. As a nation
they fell away from Him and now they were wholly false to Him. When
Jeremiah first urges them to return, it is of a public and general
repentance that he speaks, as Deuteronomy had done; and when his urgency
fails it is their political disappearance which he pronounces for doom.

But when the rotten surface of the national life thus broke under the
Prophet he fell upon the deeper levels of the individual heart, and not
only found the native sinfulness of this to be the explanation of the
public and social corruption but discovered also soil for the seed-bed of
new truths and new hopes. Among these there is none more potent than that
of the immediate relation of the individual to God. Jeremiah never lost
hope of the ultimate restoration of Israel. Nevertheless the individual
aspects of religion increase in his prophesying, and though it is
impossible to trace their growth with any accuracy because of the want of
dates to many of his Oracles, we may be certain that as he watched under
Josiah the failure of the national movements for reform, inspired by
Deuteronomy, and under Jehoiakim and Ṣedekiah the gradual breaking up of
the nation, and still more as his own personal relations with the Deity
grew closer, Jeremiah thought and spoke less of the nation and more of the
individual as the object of the Divine call and purposes.

One has travelled by night through a wooded country, by night and on into
the dawn. How solid and indivisible the dark masses appear and how
difficult to realise as composed of innumerable single growths, each with
its own roots, each by itself soaring towards heaven. But as the dawn
comes up one begins to see all this. The mass breaks; first the larger,
more lonely trees stand out and soon every one of the common crowd is
apparent in its separate strength and beauty.

It seems to me as I travel through the Book of Jeremiah that here also is
a breaking of dawn—but they are men whom it reveals. There is a stir of
this even in the earliest Oracles; for the form of address to the nation
which has begun with the singular _Thou_ changes gradually to _You_, and
not _Israel_ but _ye men of Israel_ are called to turn to their God.(799)
As the Prophet’s indictments proceed his burden ceases to be the national
harlotry. He arraigns separate classes or groups,(800) and then, in
increasing numbers, individuals: brother deceiving brother and friend
friend; adulterers each after the wife of his neighbour; the official
bully Pashhur, Jehoiakim the atrocious and petty in contrast to his sire
the simple and just Josiah, the helpless and ridiculous Ṣedekiah, the
bustling and self-confident Hananiah(801)—with the fit word and in sharp
irony Jeremiah etches them separately, in the same vividness as the
typical figures of the harlot watching for her prey like the Arab robber
in the desert, the fowler crouching to fling his net, the shepherds
failing to keep their scattered flocks, the prophets who _fling about
their tongues and rede a rede of the Lord_.(802) Jeremiah has answered the
call to him to search for the _man_, the men beneath the nation.(803)

Then there are his readings of the heart of man into which he more deeply
thought than any other prophet of Israel: his revelation of the working of
God in the soul of man, its Searcher, its only Guide and Strength; his
stress upon individual responsibility and guilt, and on the one glory of
man being his knowledge of God and the duty of every man to know God for
himself and not through others; and his song of the beauty of the personal
life rooted in faith, evergreen and yielding its fruit even in seasons of
drought. Such passages increase in the Oracles of Jeremiah. Not ceasing to
be the patriot, the civic conscience of his people, he busies himself more
with the hearts, the habits, the sins and the duties towards God of its
individuals. Like Christ he takes the deaf apart from the multitude and
talks to him of himself.

    O Lord, Who triest the righteous,
      Who seest the reins and the heart.(804)

    False above all is the heart,
      Sick to despair,
      Who is to know it?
    I, the Lord, searching the heart
      And trying the reins,
    To give to each man as his ways,
      As the fruit of his doings.(805)

    Can any man hide him in secret
      And I not see him?(806)

    In those days they shall say no more: The fathers have eaten sour
    grapes and the teeth of the children are set on edge. But every
    one shall die for his own iniquity, every man that eateth sour
    grapes his teeth shall be set on edge.(807)

    Speak to all Judah all the words I have charged thee....
    Peradventure they will hearken and turn _every man from his evil

    He that would boast in this let him boast,
      Insight and knowledge of Me.(809)

    Lord, I know—not to man is his way,
    Not man’s to walk or settle his steps.(810)

    Blessed the man that trusts in the Lord
    And the Lord is his trust!
    He like a tree shall be planted by water,
    That stretches its roots to the stream;
    Unafraid at the coming of heat,
    His leaf shall be green;
    _Sans_ care in the season of drought
    He fails not in yielding his fruit.(811)

The individual soul rooted in faith and drawing life from the Fountain of
Living Water, independent of all disaster to the nation and famine on
earth—could not be more beautifully drawn.

Now all this advance by Jeremiah from the idea of the nation as the human
unit in religion—Deuteronomy’s ideal and at first his own—to the
individual as the direct object of the Divine Grace and Discipline was
promoted, we have seen, by the dire happenings of the time, the unworthy
conduct of the people, their abandonment by God, the ruin of the State and
of the national worship—which cut off individuals from all political and
religious associations, leaving to each (in Jeremiah’s repeated phrase)
only _his life_, or _his soul, for a prey_.(812) But all these could have
furthered the advance but little unless Jeremiah had felt by bitter
experience his own soul searched and re-searched by God—

    But Thou, Lord, hast known me,
      Thou seest and triest my heart towards Thee—(813)

unless through doubt and struggle he himself had won into the confidence
of an immediate and intimate knowledge of God. At his call he had learned
how a man could be God’s before he was his mother’s or his nation’s—God’s
own and to the end answerable only to Him. He had proved his solitary
conscience under persecution. He had known how personal convictions can
overbear the traditions of the past and the habits of one’s own
generation—how God can hold a single man alone to His Will against his
nation and all its powers, and vindicate him at last to their faces. In
all this lay much of the vicarious service which Jeremiah achieved for his
own generation; what he had won for himself was possible for each of them.
And sure it is that the personal piety which henceforth flourished in
Israel as it had never flourished before, weaving its delicate tendrils
about the ruins of the state, the city and the altar, and (as the Psalms
show) blooming behind the shelter of the Law like a garden of lilies
within a fence of thorns, sprang from seeds in Jeremiah’s heart, and was
watered by his tears and the sweat of his spiritual agonies.

                                * * * * *

We are now come to a confluence of the streams we have been tracing—the
prophecy of the New Covenant. This occupies no incongruous place,
following hard as it does upon that of the eating of sour
grapes—individual inspiration upon individual responsibility. But we
cannot off-hand accept it as Jeremiah’s own; the critical questions which
have been with us from the beginning embarrass us still.

The collection of Oracles to which that of the New Covenant belongs, Chs.
XXX, XXXI, was not made till long after Jeremiah’s time; it includes, as
we have seen, several of exilic or post-exilic origin.(814) But so do
other chapters of the Book, in which nevertheless genuine prophecies of
Jeremiah are recognised by virtually all modern critics. The context
therefore offers no prejudice against the authenticity of the prophecy of
the New Covenant, XXXI. 31-34. But the form and the substance of this have
raised doubts, so honest and reluctant as to deserve our consideration.
Duhm starts his usual objection that the passage is in prose and a style
characteristic of the late expanders of the Book. We may let that go, as
we have done before, as by itself inconclusive;(815) the prophecy may not
have come directly from Jeremiah’s mouth but through the memory of a
reporter of the Prophet, Baruch or another. More deserving of
consideration is the criticism which Duhm, with great unwillingness, makes
of the terms and substance of the prophecy. He objects to the term
_covenant_: a _covenant_ is a legal contract and could hardly have been
chosen for the frame of his ideal by so pronounced an anti-legalist as
Jeremiah. The passage “promises a new Covenant—not a new Torah but only a
more inward assimilation of the Torah by the people, and emphasises the
good results which this will have for them but betrays no demand for a
higher kind of religion. If one does not let himself be dazzled by the
phrases _new covenant_ and _write it on the heart_ then the passage tells
us of the relation of the individual no more than Deuteronomy has already
regarded as possible, XXX. 11 ff., and desirable, VI. 6-8: namely, that
every man should be at home in the Law and honestly follow it.” He
continues: “it is impossible for me to hold any longer to the Jeremian
origin of the passage. I find in it only the effusion of one learned in
the Scriptures who regards as the highest ideal, that every one of the
Jewish people should know the Law by heart.”

But in his resolve “not to let himself be dazzled” has not Duhm gone to
the opposite extreme and seriously under-read the whole spirit of the
passage—besides showing as usual undue apprehensiveness of the presence in
the text of a legalist at work?(816) The choice of the term _covenant_ for
the frame of his ideal was not unnatural to Jeremiah nor irrelevant to his
experience and teaching. Formally the term may mean a legal contract; but
it is open to a prophet or a poet to use any metaphor for his ideals and
transform its mere letter by the spirit he puts into it; and after all
_covenant_ is only a metaphor for a relation which was beyond the compass
of any figure to express. Yet it was a term classical in Israel and most
intelligible to the generation whom Jeremiah was addressing. Its
associations, especially as he had recalled them,(817) had been those not
of the Law but of Love. It was not a contract or bargain but an approach
by God to His people, an offer of His Grace, a statement of His Will and
accompanied by manifestations of His Power to redeem them. One might as
well charge Jesus with legalism in adopting a term sanctioned by God
Himself, and so historical, sacred and endeared to the national memory.
Nor need Torah, or Law, be taken as Duhm takes it in its sense of the
legal codes of Israel, but in its wider meaning of the Divine
_instruction_ or _revelation_. Further the epithet _New_ applied to
Covenant was most relevant to the Prophet’s and his people’s recent sense
of the failure of the ancient covenant, as restated and enforced in
Deuteronomy. In spite of the excitement caused by the discovery of the
Book in which it was written, and the recital of its words throughout the
land, the Old Covenant had failed to capture the heart of the people or to
secure from them more than the formal and superstitious observance of the
letter of its Torah. Was it not a natural antithesis to predict that His
Torah would be set by God _in their inward parts and written on their
hearts_? How else (will Duhm tell us?) than by such phrases could the
Prophet have described an inward and purely spiritual process? To say as
Duhm does that the phrases only mean that common men would learn the Law
of God “by heart” (auswendig), is, whoever their author may have been, to
travesty his meaning. Finally, all the phrasing of the New Covenant is in
harmony with the rest of the Prophet’s teaching. He had spoken of God’s
will to give His people a new heart to know Him;(818) he had taught
religion as the individual’s direct knowledge of God;(819) he had won this
himself from God directly without help from his parentage, his
fellow-prophets or priests or any others; he had most bitterly known also
how weak the word of one man is to teach his countrymen this knowledge and
that it can only come by the inward operation of God Himself upon their
spirits; and he had made as clear as ever prophet did that God’s pardon
for sin was the first, the necessary preliminary to His other gifts. Nor
is the fact that the New Covenant is to be a national one alien to his
teaching: Jeremiah never lost hope of his nation’s survival and

Thus the passage on the New Covenant brings together all the strands of
Jeremiah’s experience and doctrine and hopes, shaken free from the
political debris of the times, into one fair web under a pattern familiar
and dear to the people. The weaving, it is true, is none of the deftest,
but whether this is due to the aged Jeremiah’s failing fingers or to the
awkwardness of a disciple, the stuff and its dyes are all his own.

    Lo, days are coming—Rede of the Lord—when I will make with the
    House of Israel and with the House of Judah a New Covenant, not
    like the Covenant which I made with their fathers in the day that
    I took them by their hand to bring them forth from the land of
    Egypt, which My Covenant they brake and I rejected them(820)—Rede
    of the Lord. But this is My(821) Covenant which I will make with
    the sons(822) of Israel after those days—Rede of the Lord—I will
    set My Law in their inward part and on their heart will I write
    it, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people.
    And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour and every man
    his brother saying, Know thou(823) the Lord! For they shall all
    know Me from the least even to the greatest;(824) for I will
    forgive their guilt and their sin will I remember no more.

This is, as has been said, a prophecy of Christianity which has hardly its
equal in the Old Testament.(825) It is the Covenant which Jesus Christ the
Son of God accepted for Himself and all men and sealed with His own blood.

And yet not even in this prophecy of Jeremiah, in which the individual
soul is made to feel that God created it not for its family nor its state
nor its church but only for Himself, is there any breath of a promise for
it after death. The Prophet’s eyes are still sealed to that future. The
soul must be content that her strength and peace and hope are with God.

                               Appendix I.


It is very difficult, if not impossible, to give a correct account of the
national and racial movements which, along with the moral conditions in
Judah, called forth Jeremiah’s Oracles of judgment in the years
immediately following his call in 627-626 B.C. But the following facts are
well founded. In or about 625 the Medes were defeated in an attack upon
Assyria and their king Phraortes was killed, but at the same time
Asshurbanipal died, and his weaker successor was compelled to recognize
the virtual independence of Nabopolassar, the Chaldean in Babylon.
Cyaxares (624-585), the son of Phraortes, soon after his succession to his
father—say between 624 and 620—led a second Median assault upon Assyria
and besieged Nineveh, but had to retire because of the onset from the
north of the Scythians, the Ashguzai of the Assyrian monuments, probably
the Ashkenaz or Ashkunza (?) of the Old Testament. And then it was not for
some years that Cyaxares felt himself strong enough by his alliance with
Nabopolassar for a third Median invasion of Assyria which culminated in
the capture and destruction of Nineveh.

The Assyrians appear to have been in touch with the Ashguzai for over a
century and for a shorter time probably in alliance with them; which
alliance was the cause of the Scythian advance to the relief of Nineveh
from its siege by the Medes _circa_ 724-720 (see Winckler _Die
Keilinschriften v. das alte Testament_, 3rd ed., pp. 100 ff.). About the
same time must be dated the Scythian advance through Western Asia to the
borders of Egypt, which Herodotus (I. 103-104, IV. 1) reports. Professor
N. Schmidt (_Enc. Bibl._, art. “Scythians”) supposes that this advance was
due to the same Scythian-Assyrian alliance, in order to preserve the
Assyrian territories from the arms of Psamtik of Egypt, who had since 639
been besieging Ashdod; and he holds that this hypothesis explains the
absence of any record of violence by the Scythians on their southern
campaign, except at Ashkelon. This precarious hypothesis apart, we have
the facts that no Biblical chronicler records any invasion of Judah and
Benjamin by the Scythians, and yet that the early Oracles of Jeremiah,
generally attributed to the alarms which the advance of such barbarian
hordes would excite in Judah, do closely fit the Scythians (with a few
exceptions that may be due to the prophet’s adaptation in 604 of his
earlier Oracles to the new _enemy_ out of the north, the Chaldeans).

There, are, however, modern writers who claim that the Oracles in question
were originally composed not in view of the Scythian, but of the Chaldean
invasion of Palestine. So George Douglas (_The Book of Jeremiah_, London,
Hodder & Stoughton, 1903), who, while assigning Jeremiah’s call to 627,
relegates the two visions and all the Oracles in the first part of the
book to the years following Jehoiakim’s accession to the Jewish throne in
608; cp. Winckler, _Geschichte Israels_, I. pp. 112 f. and F. Wilke
(_Alttestamentliche studien R. Kittel zum 60 Geburtstag dargebracht_,
1913), quoted by John Skinner, _Prophecy and Religion_, pp. 42 f. n. 2.
This would be an easy solution but for the insuperable objections to it
that the Oracles in question far more closely fit the Scythian, than the
Chaldean, invasion; and that Jer. I. 2, as distinctly covers prophecies of
Jeremiah in the days of Josiah as v. 3 does his prophesying under


The date of Nineveh’s fall has hitherto been accepted as 607-606 B.C. But
in July of this year (1923) Mr. C. J. Gadd described to the British
Academy a Babylonian tablet, which dates the fall in the fourteenth year
of Nabopolassar’s reign in Babylon. This year was 612 B.C., if it be right
to reckon the reign from 626-25 B.C.; but as remarked above, p. 175,
Nabopolassar became in that year officially not king but only viceroy.
Dependent as I was on a newspaper summary of Mr. Gadd’s lecture I could
therefore do no more than offer for the fall of Nineveh the alternative
dates, 612 and 606; see above p. 175 and compare p. 162.

                               Appendix II.

NECOH’S CAMPAIGN (PP. 162, 163).

In addition to the accounts in the Books of Kings and Chronicles of
Pharaoh Nĕcoh’s advance into Asia in pursuance of his claim for a share of
the crumbling Assyrian Empire there are two independent records: (1)
Jeremiah XLVII. 1—_and Pharaoh smote Gaza_—a headline (with other
particulars) wrongly prefixed by the Hebrew text, but not by the Greek, to
an Oracle upon an invasion of Philistia not from the south but from the
north (see above, pp. 13, 61); (2) by Herodotus, II. 159, who says that
“Nĕcoh (Nekôs) making war by land on the Syrians defeated them at Magdolos
and after the battle took Kadŭtis, a great city of Syria.” Magdolos is
probably Megiddo, unless it stands for Megdel, which, as well as Rumman (=
Hadad-rimmon, the scene of the mourning for Josiah, Zech. XII. 11) lies
near Megiddo. If, as is usually held, Kadŭtis be Gaza, Herodotus has
reversed the proper order of Nĕcoh’s two actions; but Kadŭtis also
suggests _hak-Kôdēsh_, _the holy_, an epithet of Jerusalem (_Jerusalem_,
I. 270) which would suit Herodotus’ order, for it was after Megiddo that
Nĕcoh became master of Jerusalem and Judah. The suggestion, though worth
mentioning, is doubtful; the epithet is late, exilic and post-exilic; and
Herodotus’ phrase _took Kadŭtis_ is hardly equivalent to _became
paramount_ there as Nĕcoh became paramount in Jerusalem.


  xlix. 27; 69

  xxi. 1-6; 235

  vi. 5; 152
  xix. 27; 206
  xxvi. 34 f.; 8

  xxx. 2, 12; 313

  iv. 19; 136, 195
  xvii. 3; 195
  xviii. 6; 135
  xxxii. 13; 222

  i. 16; 193
  iv. 17; 194
  v. 4; 222
    24; 194
  xi. 36; 313

I. Samuel—
  x. 2; 302
  xv. 6; 193
    22; 156

I. Kings—
  ii. 26 f.; 67

II. Kings—
  x. 15, 23; 193
  xxii. 12 ff.; 174
    20; 259
  xxiii. 5, 13; 195
    8 ff.; 135
    10; 196
    28-30; 163
    31; 66, 232
  xxiv. 1-16; 176
    6; 259
    8, 15; 213
    17; 232
    18; 66
  xxv. 7; 270
    18; 246
    21; 236

I. Chronicles—
  ii. 55; 193

II. Chronicles—
  xxxv. 20; 162
  xxxvi. 21-23; 8

  i. 1 f.; 8

  xiii; 20
    15-22; 221

  v. 9; 122
  xv; 232
  xxiii; 9
  xxvi-xxviii; 9
  l. 13, 14; 158
  li. 16, 17; 158

  vi; 351
  x. 28-32; 70
  xv. f.; 20
  xl. ff.; 8, 20
  xliv. 28; 8
  lii, liii; 7
  lvi. 2-7; 221
  lviii; 20
    13 f.; 221
  lx. 5; 302

  i.; 9, 28, 30, 42, 50, *78-88*
    1-3; 9
    5; 67
    6; 82, 318
    9 f.; 355
    10; 14, 83, 319
    11 f.; 351, 365
    12 f.; 355
    13-15; 62
    17 f.; 14, 333
  ii, iii; 355, 357
  ii-xxv; 10
  ii. 1-37; *91-98*
    1-3; 44
    2; 104
    5; 106, 356, 362
    5-8; 49
    8; 355
    9; 356 f.
    11-13; 346, 356
    13; 364
    14 f.; 39, 40, 362
    14-17; 47
    17; 14, 105
    18; 81
    19; 12, 14, 360
    21 f.; 107, 346
    23 f.; 68
    25; 346, 360
    26; 18
    28; 76
    29; 12
    30; 360
    31; 47, 106, 346, 355, 362
    32 ff.; 45
    35; 346, 357, 363
    37; 358
  iii; 18
    1-25; *98-103*
    1-6; 52, 358
    2; 77, 370
    3; 358, 365
    5; 40
    6-18; 18
    6 ff.; 358
    20; 358
    21-25; 361
    22; 107
    25; 107
  iv. 1-4; *103*
    3 f.; 43, 70, *108*, 346, 361
    5-8; *112*
    6; 355
    8; 358
    9 f.; *113*, 332
    11-22; *114*, *115*
    11-14; 60, 68, 69
    15-18; 60, 72
    18; 360
    23-28; 61, *116*
    28; 358
    29-31; 45 f., *117*, *118*
  v. 1-9; *119*, *120*, 134
    1-6; 48, 357, 369
    1; 370
    3; 360
    4; 12
    6; 69
    7-9; 357, 358, 369
    10-14; *120*, *121*
    13; 18
    14; 84
    15-17; *122*, 355
    18 f.; *122*, *123*
    20-31; *123-125*, 357
    22; 365
    24; 365
    26; 370
    29; 358
    31; 343, 346, 360
  vi. 1-8; *125-127*
    9-15; *127-129*
    11; 319, 330, 358
    13-15; 200
    15; 359
    16-21; *129*, *130*
    22-26; *130*, *131*
    26; 359
    27-29; *132-134*, 352
    27-30; 360
  vii-x; 17
  vii. 1-15; *147-151*, 346
    1-28; 18
    3 ff.; 346, 357
    12-15; 72
    14; 367
    15; 359
    16-20; *195*
    16; 358
    19; 360
    21-23; *155-159*, 346, 367
    28 ff.; 50
    30 ff.; 165, *195*
  viii.; 50
    1-3; *196*
    4-12; 196, *198-200*
    5; 13
    7; 69
    8 f.; *153*, *154*, 155, 369
    10-12; 13, 261, 359, 360
    13; *200*
    14-ix. 1; 63 f., *200-202*
    16; 12
    19; 356
    21; 12
    22; 69
  ix.; 50
    1; *202*
    2-9; *202-204*
    2 f.; *341*, *342*
    3, 7; 230
    4 f.; 369
    9; 358
    10-12; 204
    11; 359
    13-16; 204, 208
    15; 359
    17 ff.; 58, 205
    20-22; 58, *205*, *206*, 241
    22 f.; 49
    23-26; 18, *206*, *207*
    24; 357, 371
  x. 1-16; 18, 20, 207, 352
    6-8; 13
    11; 18
    17 f.; *207*
    19-22; *207-209*, 241, 370
    23 f.; 49, *209*, 372
    25; *209*, *210*
  xi.; 30, 42
    1-5; 18
    1-8; 28, *143-145*, 155, 377
    6-8; 13, 17, 18
    13; 76
    14; 358, 360
    15, 16; *151-153*, 210, 346
    18 ff.; 28
    18-23; *323* f.
    20; 330, 371
    21; 146
    22 f.; 329
  xii. 1-6, 28; *339*, *340*, 351
    1-2; *160*, *161*, 356
    3; 14, 329, 373
    5; 332
    7-9; 362
    7-13; *210-212*
    8; 385
    9; 230
    11; 230, 362
  xiii. 1-17; 28
    1-11; *183-185*
    1; 356
    12-14; 55, 185, 358
    15, 16; *59*
    17; *212*
    18, 19; *213*
    20-27; *213-215*
    22; 360
    23; 108, 346
    24; 359
    25; 361
  xiv; 50
    1 ff.; *56** f.*
    8 f.; 57, *348*, 364
    11-16; *50** f.*, 360
    12; 346
    17-18; 51, *215*
    19-22; *216*, *217*
    21; 348
    22; 356, 365
  xv. 1-9; 52, 358
    1-4; *217*
    5-9; *217*, *218*
    7 f.; 359
    10; 319
    10-21; *324-326*
    13, 14; 13
    15; 330
    18 f.; 332, 347
  xvi. 2-9; *326*, *327*
    5-9; *219*
    10-13; 219, 327
    12; 346
    14, 15; 18, 219
    16-18; 219
    19, 20; 220, 356
  xvii. 1-4; 13, *220*, 346
    5 ff.; *53** f.*, 353
    7 f.; 372
    9, 10; *108*, *109*, 371
    13; 364
    14-18; *328*
    16; 237
    18; 329
    19-27; 20
  xviii; 82
  xviii. 1-12; 28, *185-190*, 355, 360
    1; 356
    7-10; 84
    13-17; *221*, *222*
    11 f.; 361
    15; 356
    17; 359
    18-23; *328** f.*
    20 f.; 332
  xix; *191*
  xix-xx. 6; 223
    1; 356
  xx. 1-6; *191*, *192*
    2; 321
    3 f.; 369
    7; 82, 318, 353
    7-18; 223
    7-12; *330*, *331*
    8; 318
    9; 319
    11; 353
    12; 371
    14-18; *331*, *332*
  xxi. 1-10; 223, 267, *268*
    7; 358
    9; 229, *277-280*
    11, 12; 223
    13, 14; 223
  xxii-xxiii. 8; 16
  xxii. 1-5; 223
    6 f.; *223*, *224*
    8 f.; 224
    10; *164*
    11 f.; 223
    13-17; *166*, *167*, 223, 369
    15 f.; 75, 357
    18 f.; *167*, *168*, 259, 321
    20-30; *224-226*
    25 f.; 355
    26; 213
  xxiii. 1-8; 20
    7, 8; 18, 219
    9-32; *253-258*
    9-40; 16
    14, 17, 22; 261
    14-17; 361
    15; 359
    19, 20; 18, 358
    21; 265
    23 f.; 366, 371
    27; 260
    28; 264
    31; 265, 370
    32; 259
  xxiv; 28
    1; 356
    1-9; *238-241*, 309
    7; 378
    8 ff.; 355
    9 f.; 359
  xxv; 22
    1-11, 13; *179-181*
    9; 355
    12-14; 20, 181
    13-15; 14, *181*, 358
    15-38; *182*
    26; 20
  xxvi; 10, 147, *168-174*
    1-9; 18
    2; 165, 371
    6; 72
    13; 357
    14, 15; 264
  xxvii-xxxv; 10
  xxvii, xxviii; 247
  xxvii; 234, *248-250*
    1; 13
    2; 356
    5, 6; 355
    7; 13
    9; 361
    12-14; 13
    17-22; 13
    18; 264
  xxviii; 10, 28
    2-17; *251-253*
    6; 264
  xxviii. 11; 264
    15; 361, 369
    17; 322
  xxix; 40
    1-23; *241-245*
    4-13; 367
    14; 13
    15; *245*
    16-20; 13
    21-23; *245*, 261
    24-32; *246-247*, 322
    29; 237
  xxx-xxxiii; 286
  xxx, xxxi; 293, 374 f.
  xxx. 2; 293
    5-9; *294**, **295*
    10, 11; 13, 295
    12-15; *295*
    15; 13
    16-17; *296*
    22; 13
    23, 24; 18, 358
  xxxi; 30, 42, 286
    1-6; *297-300*
    6; 141
    7-14; 20
    7-9; *300**, **301*
    10-14; *301**, **302*
    15; 47, 70
    15-17; *303**, **304*
    18-22; *304**, **305*
    20; 363
    23-28; *305**, **306*
    29, 30; 307, *371*
    31-34; 307, *375-380*
    35 f.; 365
  xxxii; 10, 28, 286
    1-5; *286*, 355
    6-15; 285, 356
    6-25; *287-289*
    12; 12
    16-25; 237
    26-44; *289*
    30; 356
  xxxiii; *289-291*
    1; 290
    4-13; 290
    14-26; 13, 289
  xxxiv. 1-7; 267, *268-270*
    2; 355
    8-22; 235, *273-275*
    22; 355
  xxxv; *193**, **194*
    2; 356
  xxxvi-xlv; 10
  xxxvi; 17, *22** ff.*, 26, *178**, **179*
    2; 82, 356
    9; 165
    28; 356
    32; 89, 110
  xxxvii. 3-10; 267, *270**, **271*
    5, 7; 234
    11; 234
    11-21; *275**, **276*
    17-21; *284*
  xxxviii. 1-3; *276-280*
    2; 229, 277
    4-6; *280**, **281*
    7-13; *281*
    14-28; *282-285*
    19 ff.; 321
    22; 369
    28; 285, 291
  xxxix. 3, 14; *291*, 292
    4-13; 13, 291
    7; 270
    14; 174
    15-18; *281**, **282*
    18; 229
  xl-xliv; 17, 18
  xl. 1-6; *291**, **292*
    5, 6; 174
  xli, xlii; *307-309*
  xliii. 1-7; *310*
    8-13; *310*
  xliv. 1-14; *311**, **312*
    15-28; *312-316*
    30; 234
  xlv; 17, *226-229*
    5; 27, 322
  xlvi-li; 10, 14, 20, 181
  xlvi. 26; 13
    27 f.; 13
  xlvii. 1; 13, 384
    2, 3; *61*
  xlviii. 40-47; 13, 20
  xlix. 7-22; 20
    34-39; 20
  l. 1-58; 20
  li. 59; 234
    60; 20
  lii; 10, 20
    28-30; 13

Lamentations; 31, 318

  i; 351
  viii; 234
  xi. 15; 234
  xvi. 59; 232
  xvii. 11-21; 232
  xix. 14; 233
  xxiii. 22; 213
  xxix. 3; 234

Daniel; 292

  vi. 1-4; 217

  ii. 1; 112

  iii. 2; 260
    6; 112
  v. 25; 158
  ix. 2 ff.; 366

Obadiah; 20

  vi. 6-8; 75, 158

  iii. 4; 258

  iii. 7; 72

  xviii. 23 f.; 189
  xxvii. 7; 185

  i. 76; 79
  vii. 39 ff.; 189
  xiii. 6 ff.; 189
  xix; 189

1 Corinthians—
  i. 17; 157


Ahikam, 157, 174, 291.

Amos, 3, 22, 112, 158, 260.

Anathoth, 66, 67, 287, etc.

Apocrypha, the, 8.

“Arabian Nights,” 36.

Ark, the, 101.

Assyria, 66, 77, 175.

Atonement, 7.

Baalîm, 76, etc.

Babylonian idolatry, 234.

Ball, C. J., his “The Prophecies of Jeremiah,” 9, 93, 184, 203, 210.

Baruch, 4, 8, 23, 26, 82, 178, 227.

Budde, Professor, 38.

Calvin, 278, 283, 315.

Carchemish, battle of, 175.

Chaldeans, the, 110, 121, 122, etc.

Cornill, 7, 38, 82, 166, 184, 190, 222, 268, 269, 276, 287, 298, 299, 301,
            312, 329, 375, etc.

Corvée, the, 166.

Covenant, the new, 374 ff.

Dalman: “Palästinischer Diwan,” 36.

Davidson, Dr. A. B., 3, 5, 15, 26, 139, 186, 268, 354.

Deuteronomy, Book of, 135;
  its cardinal doctrines, 136;
  alleged connection of Jeremiah with its composition, 139.

Dirge on the drought, 56.

Douglas, G., 15, 145, 382.

Driver: “The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah,” 111, 133, 147, 181, 239, 296,

Duhm, Professor, 8, 15, 37, 38, 40, 82, 83, 91, 98, 115, 166, 194, 222,
            227, 243, 244, 257, 268, 269, 276, 287, 295, 300, 312, 329,
            375, etc.

Ebed-Melech, 281.

Edghill, 159.

Egypt, 77, 105, 234, 310.

Ephraim, 72, 297, 299, 304.

Erbt, 38, 48, 133, 190, 227, 256, 268, 314.

Euphrates, 184.

Ewald, 184, 222, 268.

Farah, Wady, 184.

Freedom, the Divine, 186, 237.

Future Life, no hope of, 138, 240, 334, 340, 380.

Gedaliah, 276, 291, 292;
  assassination, 307.

Gidroth-Chimham, 308.

Giesebrecht, 38, 48, 147, 155, 181, 227, 257, 268, 287, 312, 380.

Gilead, 68, 69, 201, 224.

Gillies, Rev. J. R., 111, 146, 147, 181, 190, 222, 268, 287, 294, 312,
            324, 375.

God, man, and the new covenant, 350.

Grotius, 7.

Hananiah, 251.

Hebrew poetry, 33.

Heine, 36, 40.

Herder, 34.

Herodotus, 73, 206, 382.

Hilḳiah, 66.

Hinnom, 185, 191, 195 (Topheth).

Hosea, 4, 44, etc.

Hugo, Victor, 167, 230.

Isaiah, 4, 85, 266, 279, 319, 351.

Ishmael (the fanatic), 307.

Jeconiah (Konyahu), 224.

Jehoahaz, 164.

Jehoiachin, 176 (_see_ Jeconiah).

Jehoiakim, 144, 165, 195.

Jeremiah, personality, 4;
  biography, 26;
  as poet, 31;
  as prose writer, 40;
  his youth and his call, 66;
  range of his mission, 79;
  prophet to the nations, 79;
  carrier of the Word of the Lord, 83;
  charge in visions, 84;
  in the reign of Josiah, 89;
  his Oracles, 89;
  alleged pessimism, 108;
  Oracles on the Scythians, 110;
  settlement in Jerusalem, 134;
  alleged connection with the composition of Deuteronomy, 139;
  attitude to its ethics and to the written law, and to sacrifices, 143;
  difficulties as to “the Covenant,” 144;
  conspiracy against, 146;
  address rebuking the people, 147;
  contrasts to the teaching of Deuteronomy, 153;
  enmity of the priests, 168;
  prediction of the ruin of the Temple, 168;
  the Rolls, 178;
  address prophesying judgment upon Judah, 179;
  parables, 183;
  arrest, 191;
  Oracles on the Edge of Doom, 195;
  hopeful prophecies, 236;
  vision of the good and bad figs, 238;
  Letter to the Exiles, 241;
  treatment of the ’prophets’ in Jerusalem, 245;
  removal and restoration of the sacred vessels, 250;
  controversy with other prophets, 258;
  his prophesying vindicated by history, 259;
  arrested and flogged, 275;
  controversy as to suggested surrender, 276;
  charged with treason and cast into cistern, 280;
  rescue by Ebed-melech, 281;
  appeal by the King, 282;
  “The Book of Hope,” 286;
  what befel Jeremiah when the city was taken, 291;
  carried off in chains to Ramah and there released, 292;
  prophecies of the physical restoration of Israel and Judah, 302;
  carried off to Egypt, 310;
  Oracle concerning the Jews in Egypt, 311;
  the story of his soul, 317;
  “the Weeping Prophet,” 318;
  voice of pain and protest, 318;
  his irony and scorn, 321;
  fluid and quick temper, 332;
  poet’s heart for the beauties of nature and domestic life, 334;
  no hope of another life, 334;
  faith in his predestination, 335;
  sacrifice of self, 341;
  foreshadowing the sufferings of Christ for men, 349;
  revelations of God subjective, 352;
  a God of deeds, 354;
  Jeremiah’s monotheism, 356;
  brooding on the wrath of the Lord, 358;
  the love of God, 361;
  the Divine power in nature, 365;
  man and the new covenant, 367;
  readings of the heart of man, 370;
  the individual as the direct object of the Divine grace and discipline,
  the prophecy of the new covenant, 374.

Jeremiah (Book of), 9;
  questions of authorship, 19;
  the Rolls, 23;
  Exilic and Post-Exilic additions, 29;
  poetical passages, 31;
  critical text, 156;
  evidence for revelation by argument, 161.

Jerusalem, 113, 125;
  invested by Nebuchadrezzar, 234;
  Temple and Palace burned, 235;
  Jeremiah’s activity and sufferings during the siege, 267;
  his pronouncements of surrender, 267.

Job, Book of, 49.

Johanan-ben-Kareah, 308.

Josiah, 75, 162, etc.

Knox, John, 266, 272.

König, 145.

“Kurzer Hand-Commentar,” 38.

Lees, Dr. John: “The German Lyric,” 33, 42.

Love, the Divine, 106, 348, 356, etc.

Lowth, Bishop: “De Sacra Poesi Hebræorum,” 33.

Magor-Missabib, 192.

Man and the new covenant, 367.

Marti, 155, 184.

McCurdy, 111.

McFadyen, J. E., 184, 222.

Megiddo, battle of, 163.

Metrical Questions, vii, 32-53 and _passim_.

Mispah, 292, 308.

Misraim (Egypt), 94, etc.

Nabopolassar, 175.

Nebuchadrezzar, 110, 126, 175, 292, etc.

Nebusaradan, 235, 291, 292.

Nĕcoh, 163, 175, 384.

Nineveh, Fall of, 162, 163, 175, 383.

Nineveh, 175.

Noph (Memphis), 94, 311.

Omnipresence, the Divine, 256, 366.

Oracles on the Edge of Doom, 60, 195.

Parable of the Potter, 82, 185.

Parables, 183.

Pashhur, 191.

Pathros, 311.

Patience, the Divine, 187-189, 217, 237.

Peake, Prof., 146, 147, 184, 222, 268, 273, 274, 279, 287, 293, 312, 375.

Predestination, 78, 186, 335.

Prophets. Personality of the, 3; _see also_ 245-266.

Qînah (metre), 37, 39, 44, 244, 283, 295, 297, etc.

Queen, or Host, of Heaven, 195, 234, 313, 314.

Ramah, 70, 292, 297, 303.

Rechabites, the, 193.

Renan, 308.

Rothstein, 222, 294, 312.

Sacrifice, 130, 152, 155-159, 299, 341.

Saintsbury, George: “History of English Prosody,” 36.

Schmidt, Professor, 24, 25, 111, 382.

Schweich Lectures, 34.

Scythians, the, 73, 82, 110, 381.

Ṣedekiah, 232, and _passim_ to 282.

Shakespeare, 36, 47.

Shiloh, 72, 149, 170.

Skinner, Rev. John, D.D.: his “Prophecy and Religion, Studies in the Life
            of Jeremiah,” 7, 103, 111, 129, 133, 145, 146, 166, 169, 181,
            190, 222, 227, 237, 268, 279, 284, 292, 307, 375, 383.

Slavery, 235;
  proposed emancipation, 273.

Smith, H. P., 147.

Smith, W. Robertson, 15, 159.

Snouck Hurgronje: “Mekka,” 37.

Stade, B., 267.

Tahpanhes (Daphne), 94, 310, 311.

Tchekov, 198.

Thackeray, St. John: his “The Septuagint and Jewish Worship,” 14.

Thomson, Rev. W. R., 111, 140, 146, 268.

Torah, the, 153, etc.

Urijahu, 173.

Wady Farah, 184.

Wellhausen, 5, 146.

Winckler: “A.T. Untersuchungen,” 142, 176, 382, 383.


    1 A. B. Davidson.

    2 A. B. Davidson. “Without Jeremiah,” says Wellhausen, “the Psalms
      could not have been composed.”

    3 Cp. e.g. Jer. xi. 19, with Is. liii. 7; and see Grotius, “Annotata
      ad Vetus Testamentum,” on Is. lii-liii; Cornill, “Das Buch Jeremia
      erklärt,” pp. 11-12; John Skinner, “Prophecy and Religion,” p. 351.

    4 II. Chron. xxxvi. 21 (with a reference to Lev. xxvi. 34, 35) and 22,
      23, the latter repeated in Ezra i. 1-2. Duhm, indeed, but on
      insufficient grounds, thinks the former citation, because of its
      reference to Leviticus, cannot be from our Book of Jeremiah but is
      from a Midrash unknown to us; yet the chronicler’s was the very
      spirit to associate a Levitical provision with Jer. xxix. 10; cp.
      xxv. 9-12. The other quotation Duhm refers to some part of Is. xl.
      ff. (xliv. 28?) as though this had at one time been attributed to

    5 In the Apocrypha proper, (1) “Baruch” to which is attached (2) “The
      Epistle of Jeremy” warning the Jews of Babylon in general and
      conventional terms against idolatry. Apocalyptic writings, (3)
      “Apocalypse of Baruch,” (4) (5) and (6) three other “Apocalypses of
      Baruch,” (7) “The Rest of the Words of Baruch,” or “Paralipomena
      Jeremiæ,” (8) “Prophecy of Jeremiah.” For particulars of these see
      “Encyclopædia Biblica,” arts. “Apocalyptic Literature” (R. H.
      Charles), and “Apocrypha” (M. R. James).

    6 Following Hitzig, C. J. Ball (“The Prophecies of Jeremiah” in “The
      Expositor’s Bible,” 1890, pp. 10 ff.) refers Pss. xxiii, xxvi-xxviii
      to Jeremiah, and it is possible that in particular the personal
      experiences in Ps. xxvii are reflections of those of the prophet.
      But such experiences were so common in the history of the prophets
      and saints of Israel as to render the reference precarious.

    7 It has been calculated that the Greek has 2700 words fewer than the
      Hebrew, i.e. about 120 verses or from four to five average chapters.

    8 E.g. ii. 19, 29; iii. 1; v. 4_a_; viii. 16, 21; xxxii. 12, etc.

_    9 nĕ’um Yahweh: utterance_ or _oracle_ of _Jehovah_.

   10 E.g. the words _at his mouth_, xxxvi. 17; xxxviii. 16.

   11 E.g. _Jerusalem_ in viii. 5, and in xxxvi. 22 _the ninth month_.

   12 E.g. ii. 1-2; xxv. 1_b_; xxvii. 1; xlvii. 1; l. 1.

   13 E.g. viii. 10_ab_-12; x. 6-8; xi. 7, 8; xvii. 1-4 (perhaps omitted
      by the Greek, because partly given already in xv. 13, 14); xxv. 18
      _and a curse as at this day_; xxvii. 1, 7, 12_b_, 13, 14_a_, 17,
      18_b_, clauses in 19, 20, the whole of 21, and 22_b_; xxix. 14,
      16-20; xxx. 10, 11 (= xlvi. 27 f.), 15_a_, 22; xxxiii. 14-26; xxxix.
      4-13; xvi. 26; xlvii. 1 (except _to the Philistines_); xlviii.
      45-47; lii. 28-30.

   14 E.g. i. 10, 17, 18; ii. 17, 19; vii. 28_b_; xii. 3; xiv. 4, etc.

   15 Verse 14 is not found in the Greek.

   16 In his Schweich Lectures on “The Septuagint and Jewish Worship” (for
      the British Academy, 1921) Mr. St. John Thackeray presents clear
      evidence from the different vocabularies in the Greek Version that
      this Version was the work of two translators, the division between
      whom is at Ch. xxix. verse 7. The dividing line cuts across the
      Greek arrangement of the chapters, which sets the Oracles on Foreign
      Nations in the centre of the Book. This shows that it was not the
      translators who placed them there, but that the translators found
      the arrangement in the Hebrew MS. from which they translated.
      Further, he thinks that the division of the Book into two parts was
      not made by the translators, but already existed in their Hebrew
      exemplar. For this the Hebrew text gives two evidences: (1) the
      titles of the Oracles, (2) the colophons appended to two of them.
      The titles are some long, some short. In the Hebrew order the
      Oracles with long titles are mixed up with those with short, but in
      the Greek order the six with long titles come together first and are
      followed by the five with short. There are two colophons—one to the
      Moab Oracle, the other to the Babylon Oracle; but the Moab Oracle
      stands last in the Greek order and the Babylon Oracle last in the
      Hebrew order.

      From all this two conclusions are drawn: (1) when the titles were
      inserted the chapters were arranged as in the Greek, which,
      therefore, was the original arrangement; (2) they afford Hebrew
      evidence for a break or interruption in the middle of the
      Oracles—the longer titles cease about the end of Part I of the Greek
      Version, which therefore follows a division of the Book into two
      parts that already existed in the Hebrew original from which it was
      made. The Hebrew editor who amplified the titles had apparently only
      Part I before him.

   17 E.g. Graf (“Der Prophet J. erklärt,” 1862), George Douglas (“The
      Book of Jeremiah,” 1903) for the Hebrew; and Workman (“The Text of
      Jeremiah,” 1888) for the Greek. For a judicial comparison of the two
      editions, resulting much in favour of the Greek, see W. R. Smith,
      “The O.T. in the Jewish Church,” Lectures IV and V.

   18 “The Hebrew is qualitatively superior to the Greek, but
      quantitatively the Greek is nearer the original. This judgment is
      general, admitting many exceptions, and each passage has to be
      considered by itself.”—A. B. Davidson. Cp. Duhm, “Das Buch Jer.,” p.

   19 Oracles on the King, xxii. 1-xxiii. 8 and on the Prophets, xxiii.

   20 The Oracles under Jehoiakim, chs. vii-x, before those on the
      enforcement of Deuteronomy under Josiah xi. 6-8.

   21 The Oracle for Baruch, dated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, 604
      B.C., is not given till ch. xlv, a long way off from ch. xxxvi to
      which it belongs by date and subject, and only after chs. xl-xliv,
      the story of Jeremiah’s life after the fall of Jerusalem.

   22 So far as it is common to the Hebrew and the Greek.

_   23 The end of_ is wanting in the Greek.

   24 Chs. xl-xliv. And between them the title and its supplement ignore
      the Oracles which Jeremiah uttered under Josiah after the thirteenth
      year of the King, perhaps iii. 6-18, and certainly xi. 1-5, 6-8.

   25 Ch. lii.

   26 E.g. iii. 6-18; ix. 23-26 with x. 1-16; xxi. 11-12 with (probably)

   27 E.g. ii. 26; v. 13; x. 11, the last written in Aramaic.

   28 Cp. xxiii. 7, 8 with xvi. 14, 15, and xxx. 23, 24 with xxiii. 19,

   29 x. 1-16; xvii. 19-27 (on the Sabbath—unlike Jeremiah, who did not
      lay stress on single laws but very like post-exilic teaching, e.g.
      Neh. xiii and Is. lviii), possibly xxiii. 1-8; xxv. 12-14 (the
      obviously late _as at this day_ in verse 18 and verse 26_b_ are
      omitted by the Greek).

   30 Parts of xxx and xxxi, especially xxxi. 7-14, the spirit of which is
      so much that of the Eve of the Return from Exile and the style so
      akin to that of the Great Prophet of that Eve that some take it as
      dependent on his prophecies.

   31 xlvi-li, especially on Moab, xlviii. 40-47, which is based on the
      earlier prophecy, Is. xv-xvi; on Edom, xlix. 7-22, based on Obadiah;
      Elam, xlix. 34-39; and the long prophecy on Babylon, l. 1-58, which
      reflects like Is. xl. ff. the historical situation just before the
      Medes overthrew Babylon, and expresses an attitude towards the
      latter very different from Jeremiah’s own fifty years earlier. The
      compiler, or an editor of the Book, has (li. 60) erred in
      attributing this long prophecy to Jeremiah. In all these there may
      be genuine nuclei.

   32 Ch. lii.

   33 So Greek, Hebrew has _Israel_.

   34 N. Schmidt in the “Encyclopædia Biblica.”

   35 Professor Schmidt, in the article already quoted, takes this to mean
      only that Jeremiah “retouched under fresh provocation” the contents
      of the first Roll. This interpretation would imply that _words_
      means nouns, verbs, adjectives and so forth, whereas _words_ can
      only carry the same sense as it carries in the rest of the Book,
      viz. _whole_ Oracles or Discourses. Note the phrase _words like
      them_, viz. like _the words_ or Oracles on the first Roll.

   36 Cp. A. B. Davidson, “Jeremiah,” in Hastings, “B.D.,” ii. 522.

   37 Schmidt, _op. cit._

   38 xlv. 5.

   39 Chs. i., xi., 1-8, 18-xii. 6; xiii. 1-17; xviii. 1-12.

   40 Chs. xxiv, xxviii, xxxii (except for the introductory verses 1-5).

   41 “De Sacra Pœsi Hebræorum,” 1753.

   42 Writing of the early German lyric, Dr. John Lees says in his volume
      on “The German Lyric” (London, Dent & Sons, 1914): “In regard to the
      length of the lines, their number, and the arrangement of the
      rhymes, the poet has absolute freedom in all three classes;” and
      again of the Volkslied “there is no mechanical counting of
      syllables; the variation in the number of accented and unaccented
      syllables is the secret of the verse.” And he quotes from Herder on
      the Volkslieder: “songs of the people ... songs which often do not
      scan and are badly rhymed.”

   43 Dalman, “Palästinischer Diwan.”

   44 Saintsbury, “History of English Prosody,” vol. ii. 53, 54.

   45 Snouck Hurgronje, “Mekka,” vol. ii. 62.

   46 “Kurzer Hand-Commentar,” 1901; and “Das Buch Jeremia,” a
      translation, 1903.

   47 “Das Buch Jeremia,” 1905, p. xlvi.

   48 E.g. Sievers, “Metrische Studien,” in the “Transactions of Saxon
      Society of the Sciences,” vol. xxi (which relies too much on the
      Massoretic or Canonical text); Erbt, “Jeremia u. seine Zeit,” p.
      298; Giesebrecht, “Jeremia’s Metrik,” iii. ff.; Karl Budde’s
      relevant pages in his “Geschichte der althebräischen Litteratur,”
      1906 reached me after I had expressed the views I have given above.
      They agree in the main with these views.

   49 Certainly the evidence of both the Hebrew text and the Versions are
      against it, and the sense supports the text. More than once when
      sharp questions or challenges are thrown out, we have very
      appropriately two parallel lines of _two_ accents each instead of
      the usual Qînah couplet of _three_ and _two_: e.g. ii. 14 and iii.
      5. See below, pp. 46 ff. Compare the variety of metres, which
      Schiller employs to such good effect in his “Song of the Bell”—a
      variety in beautiful harmony with that of the different aspects of
      life on which he touches; and see above, p. 36, on the irregularity
      of metre in Heine’s _Nordseebilder_.

   50 Ch. xxix.

_   51 Op. cit._, p. xii.

   52 Chs. i, xi and xxxi.

   53 “It is an understatement of the case to say that the folk-song has
      been a source of inspiration. In the very greatest lyricists we
      simply find the folk-song in a new shape: it has become more
      polished and artistic, and it has been made the instrument of
      personal lyrical utterance.”—John Lees, M.A., D.Litt., “The German
      Lyric” (London, etc., Dent & Sons, 1914).

   54 And in particular sins against the fundamental principle of
      parallelism, e.g. in iv. 3, where even with the help of part of an
      obvious title to the Oracle he gets only three lines and supposes
      the fourth to be lost; and though the sense-parallelism is generally
      within a couplet he divides it between the last line of his first
      couplet and the first of his second. Again, if we keep in mind what
      is said above (p. 35) of the recurrence in Hebrew poems of longer,
      heavier lines at intervals—especially at the end of a strophe or a
      poem, we must feel a number of Duhm’s emendations to be not only
      unnecessary but harmful to the effectiveness of the verse.

   55 Pointing את with Patah-Sheva for Tsere.

   56 Pointing לםדתי with Chireq-Patah-Sheva-Sheva.

   57 Hebrew adds _poor_.

   58 So Duhm after the Greek; see p. 97, n. 3.

   59 After the Greek.

   60 By differently arranging the Hebrew consonants, see p. 117. Other
      arrangements are possible. Greek omits _destined to ruin_.

   61 Hebrew and Greek have this couplet in the reverse order.

   62 ii. 14-17.

   63 xxxi. 15.

   64 While Duhm and Giesebrecht reduce the text to the exact Qînah form,
      Erbt correctly reads it as varied by lines of four accents.

   65 After Duhm who reads לכן = לאכן (cp. viii. 6) and transfers it to
      the following line.

   66 See below, p. 92.

   67 So Greek.

   68 So Greek; Hebrew adds _their God_.

   69 Hebrew adds _and is cut off_.

   70 The Hebrew _makôm_ must here as elsewhere be given as equivalent to
      the Arabic _makâm_ (literally like the Hebrew _standing-place_ but)
      generally _sacred site_.

   71 After Duhm.

   72 Hebrew adds _the Lord our God_; not in the Greek.

   73 So Greek and Vulg.; Hebrew has _he shall not see_.

   74 xiii. 12-14. The above rendering follows the Greek version.

   75 A Hebrew idiom, literally _don’t, knowing, we know_?

   76 This couplet is wanting in the Greek.

   77 So rightly Duhm after the Greek.

   78 Hebrew uselessly adds _in the land_.

   79 So Duhm, reading _gār_ for _gēr_.

   80 Hebrew adds, _and will make visitation on their sins_, which the
      Greek omits.

   81 ix. 17 f., 21 f.; see also pp. 205, 206.

   82 xiii. 15-16.

   83 So the Greek.

   84 iv. 11-13, 15-17. The text and so the metre of 16, 17 are uncertain.
      For _besiegers_ Duhm proposes by the change of one letter to read
      _panthers_, to which in v. 6 Jeremiah likens the same foes. Skinner,
      _leopards_. See below, p. 114.

   85 Lit. _Because of the feebleness of their hands_.

   86 xv. 5-9.

   87 Greek; in both cases Hebrew adds _the Lord_.

   88 See previous note.

   89 This verse is uncertain; for Hebrew בעתה read with the Greek בהלה.
      For another arrangement see above, p. 51.

   90 So Greek; Hebrew omits _sound_.

   91 This line is uncertain.

   92 Greek.

   93 So Greek; Hebrew omits this line.

   94 (1) Jeremiah of Libnah, father of Hamutal, II. Kings xxiii. 31;
      xxiv. 18; (2) Jeremiah, father of Jaazaniah, the Rechabite, Jer.
      xxxv. 3; (3) Jeremiah the prophet, son of Hilḳiah.

   95 Not to be confounded with the temple-priest, Hilḳiah, who was
      concerned with the finding of the Law.

   96 I. Kings ii. 26 f.

   97 Duhm, p. 3.

   98 Jer. i. 5.

   99 ii. 23, 24; iv. 11; v. 6; viii. 7, 22.

  100 Gen. xlix. 27.

  101 iv. 3.

  102 Is. x. 28-32.

  103 xxxi. 15.

  104 Hab. iii. 7.

  105 See below on ch. iii.

  106 vii. 12-15; xxvi. 6.

  107 iv. 15.

  108 i. 103-107 (after Hecatæus).

  109 See Appendix I—Medes and Scythians.

  110 “Jerusalem,” ii. 263, 264.

  111 Micah vi. 8.

  112 xxii. 15, 16.

  113 “Jerusalem,” ii.

  114 Though not in every case, for Anathoth itself is but the plural of
      the Syrian goddess Anath, as Ashtaroth is the plural of Astart or

  115 ii. 28; xi. 13.

  116 iii. 2.

  117 i. 5.

  118 Luke i. 76.

  119 See Lecture vii.

  120 ii. 18.

  121 See his seven Scythian songs below, pp. 110 ff.

  122 xviii.

  123 xxxvi. 2, a clause which Duhm merely on the grounds of his theory is
      obliged to regard as a later intrusion, though it bears no marks of
      being such.

  124 So Cornill after the Greek.

  125 xx. 7.

  126 Hebrew adds the redundant _to pull down_; Greek omits.

  127 Duhm; see above, p. 40.

  128 This is clear from other passages, v. 14; xviii. 7-10, etc.

  129 Ball happily translates _wake-tree_.

  130 The text reads, _its face is from the face of northwards_, which
      some would emend to _its face is turned northwards_, i.e. the side
      on which it is blown upon and made to boil. _Boiling_ or _bubbling_,
      lit. _blown upon, fanned_.

  131 After the Greek; Hebrew has _be opened_.

  132 Hebrew has _races and kingdoms_ and adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  133 Read אתם with points Chireq and Qamets.

  134 Hebrew adds _to them_; Greek omits.

  135 The last three couplets are uncertain. In v. 18 Hebrew adds _a
      basalt pillar_ and, after _bronze, against all the land_.

  136 xxxvi. 32; see pp. 22 ff.

  137 P. 37.

  138 See pp. 40 f., 72.

  139 See p. 41.

  140 So simply the Greek; the Hebrew, _And the word of the Lord came unto
      me saying, Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem saying_, not
      only betrays an editorial redundancy, but what follows is addressed
      not to Jerusalem but to all Israel. Here if anywhere the Greek has
      the original. Jeremiah begins thus to dictate to Baruch.

  141 Hebrew _kebel_ = _breath_.

  142 Egypt.

  143 So Greek.

  144 Lit. _shepherds_.

  145 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  146 Some Hebrew MSS. and Vulgate.

  147 Cyprus = Kittim and Kedár, an Arab tribe, are the extremes of the
      world then known to the Jews.

  148 So Greek.

  149 Hebrew marg. _my_.

  150 Or _heave_ (Ball), lit. _be aghast_ but the Hebrew is alliterative,
      _shommû shamaîm_.

  151 This couplet is after the Greek, Hebrew has _browsed on thy skull_
      for _forced_. Noph = Memphis, Egypt’s capital; Taḥpanḥes = Daphne on
      the Egyptian road to Palestine. Either 14-19 or more probably 16
      alone is one of Jeremiah’s additions to his earlier Oracles after
      Egypt’s invasion of Palestine in 608.

  152 So Greek; Hebrew adds, _when he led thee by the way_.

  153 Miṣraim = Egypt.

  154 These last four lines follow the Greek.

  155 So Duhm by a better division of words.

  156 So the Greek.

  157 The Hebrew _ḳal_ seems to combine here its two meanings of _swift_
      and _trifling_.

  158 Hebrew _no’ ash_; with Greek delete the second _no_.

  159 So Greek.

  160 The insertion (by a copyist?) of this formula rather weakens the

  161 So some Versions.

  162 Greek adds _and as the number of streets in Jerusalem they burn to
      Baal_; cp. xi. 13.

  163 So Greek.

  164 Greek.

  165 Greek.

  166 Greek _the_.

  167 Prose, probably a later insertion when the prophet dictated his
      Oracles. See pp. 47 f.

  168 The text of this quatrain is corrupt, the rendering above makes use
      of the versions.

  169 The text of this verse too is uncertain. For _skirts_ Greek has
      _hands_; to _innocent_ Hebrew adds _needy_. Some read the second
      couplet [_though_] _thou did’st not catch them breaking in, but
      because of all these_, i.e. thy sins against Me, thou did’st murder

  170 Or _balked_.

  171 Greek.

  172 Greek; Hebrew _land_.

  173 So Duhm after the Greek. Hebrew is impossible.

  174 The two Hebrew verbs in this couplet, _naṭar_ and _shamar_ mean _to
      keep_ (or _maintain_) and _to watch_; they are usually transitive
      and (in the sense here intended) are followed by a noun, _anger_ or
      _wrath_, which English versions supply here. But its absence from
      _both_ the Hebrew and Greek texts leads us to take the verbs as
      intransitive, as is the case with _naṭar_ in New-Hebrew.

  175 Verses 6-18, in prose break the connection both of style and meaning
      between 5 and 19 and cannot in whole be Jeremiah’s or from his
      period. This is especially true of 16-18 which assume the
      destruction of the Ark and the Exile of Judah as well as of Israel
      as already actual. But the passage probably contains genuine
      fragments from Jeremiah.

  176 So Greek.

  177 So one Hebrew MS. and Syriac.

  178 Hebrew adds _her sister_.

  179 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  180 So Greek.

  181 Lit. _make not My face to fall_.

  182 Greek; Hebrew _ye have_.

  183 That is _Lord_ and _Husband_.

  184 So Greek.

  185 Hebrew adds _to the Name of the Lord to Jerusalem_.

  186 So Greek; Hebrew _your_; after _North_ Greek has _and from all

  187 In antithesis to verse 5 of which it is the immediate sequel both in
      sense and metre.

  188 Feminine, i.e. Judah was a daughter, and a son’s portion was
      designed for her.

  189 So finely Ball.

  190 The riotous festivals on the high-places.

  191 Hebrew adds _the Lord_.

  192 This couplet after the Greek.

  193 I agree with Cornill and Skinner that these two verses are a later
      addition. The answer to the people’s confession comes in verses 3
      and 4.

  194 So some Hebrew MSS. and versions.

  195 Hebrew _nirû lakeḿ nîr_; also in English the noun and verb are the
      same—_to fallow_ or _fallow up_ = _to break_ or _plough up_.

  196 So Greek and other versions.

  197 iii. 22_b_, 25; Hos. v. 15-vi. 3.

  198 So Greek.

  199 iv. 3, 4.

  200 xiii. 23.

  201 xvii. 9, 10.

  202 See further, Lecture viii.

  203 See above, p. 73.

  204 xxxvi. 32.

  205 On the subject of this paragraph see the appendix on “The Medes and
      Scythians.” The following may be consulted: N. Schmidt in “Enc.
      Bibl.” on “Jeremiah” and “Scythians;” Driver, “The Book of the
      Prophet Jeremiah,” p. 21; J. R. Gillies, “Jeremiah, the Man and His
      Message,” pp. 63 ff., who thinks that the Scythians did invade
      Judah, and W. R. Thomson, “The Burden of the Lord,” pp. 46 ff., who
      thinks they did not. A thorough study of the question will be found
      in Skinner’s “Prophecy and Religion, Studies in the Life of
      Jeremiah,” ch. iii. The case against the Scythians being the enemy
      from the North that Jeremiah describes is best presented by J. F.
      McCurdy in “History, Prophecy, and the Monuments,” vol. ii. pp. 395

  206 Amos iii. 6; Joel ii. 1.

  207 Greek _the earth_.

  208 The text adds _from evil_, one wonders if _Jerusalem_ was added in
      604; without it the line is regular.

  209 After the Greek.

  210 So Syr., transferred from previous couplet.

  211 Metre and meaning of 16 and 17 uncertain. For beleaguerers (?) Duhm
      reads _panthers_ or _leopards_; cp. v. 6.

  212 Duhm after Greek renders, My soul is in storm, my heart throbs.

  213 Greek; Hebrew _know_.

  214 Greek; Hebrew adds _lo!_

  215 Probably a later addition.

  216 The order of verbs in this couplet is that of the Greek.

  217 So Greek; Hebrew _city_, a change possibly made after the fall of

  218 So Greek.

  219 Text uncertain; this reading is derived by differently dividing the
      consonants—_bah no’ ash for bahen ’îsh_.

  220 P. 134.

  221 Greek; Hebrew _her_. The clause seems an addition.

  222 Hebrew adds _therefore_.

  223 So Duhm after the Greek; p. 48, n. 2.

  224 So Greek.

  225 The text is uncertain, the Hebrew margin and versions pointing to an
      untranslatable original.

  226 The text has _make not_, but this is inconsistent with the context,
      and _not_ seems a later addition.

  227 Hebrew adds, _thus be it done them_; Greek omits.

  228 Hebrew has _God_ after _Lord_ and _your_ for _their_.

  229 This couplet the Greek lacks.

  230 Eloquent of death: Ps. v. 9.

  231 For these four lines the Greek has only _A nation thou hearest not
      its tongue, all of them mighty_.

  232 Hebrew adds _saying_.

  233 Lit. _with no heart_, the seat not only of feeling, but of the
      practical intelligence.

  234 Something like this has obviously slipped from the text.

  235 Text uncertain.

  236 Either with the spoils or with the victims thereof.

  237 The text of the whole verse is uncertain. Greek omits _things of
      evil_ and _to prosper_.

  238 Or _take vengeance Myself_.

  239 Hebrew bitĕkô’a tiḳĕ’û; a play upon words.

  240 After the Greek; the Hebrew text is corrupt.

  241 Transferred from the next line to suit the metre.

  242 The Hebrew idiom for starting a campaign or a siege, which was
      formally sanctioned by a religious rite.

  243 So some MSS.

  244 So Greek: Hebrew, _She is a city to be visited_.

  245 Hebrew adds _of Hosts_.

  246 So Greek.

  247 It is difficult to discriminate in these lines between the Lord and
      the Prophet as speakers. If the Greek _I will pour_ is correct, the
      Prophet still speaks, otherwise the Lord who began in verse 9 and
      was followed by the Prophet in 10 and 11_a_, resumes in 11_b_.

  248 So Greek.

_  249 Ibid._

  250 Hans Schmidt, quoted by Dr. Skinner, does so, and takes it as the
      earliest evidence of Jeremiah’s opposition to Deuteronomy, and Dr.
      Skinner in his Chapter “In the Wake of the Reform,” says it is
      almost certainly post-deuteronomic. I am not convinced. See below,
      p. 133.

  251 Greek _mark ye_.

  252 See above, p. 112.

  253 Text both of Greek and Hebrew uncertain; the above is adapted from
      the Greek.

  254 Greek has _backslidings_.

  255 Hebrew adds _great_, which Greek omits.

  256 Greek _you_.

  257 See above, pp. 79 ff.

  258 Hebrew adds, _a fortress_, obviously borrowed by some scribe from
      other appointments by God of Jeremiah, e.g. i. 18. For _ways_ in
      next line Duhm by change of a letter reads _value_.

  259 Greek and Targ. read _their evil_ for _the evil ones_ of the Hebrew.

  260 The general meaning is clear, the details obscure for the text is
      uncertain. Driver’s note is the most instructive. In refining, the
      silver was mixed with lead and the mass, fused in the furnace, had a
      current of air turned upon it; the lead oxidising acted as a flux,
      carrying off the alloy or dross. But in Israel’s case the dross is
      too closely mixed with the silver, so that though the bellows blow
      and the lead is oxidised, the dross is not drawn and the silver
      remains impure.

  261 As Erbt (“Jeremia u. seine Zeit”) and Skinner (p. 160) do.

  262 v. 1-8, see p. 119.

  263 So Duhm.

  264 Deut. xviii. 6, II Kings xxiii. 8, 9.

  265 On this and the following paragraphs see the writer’s “Deuteronomy”
      in the Cambridge Bible for Schools.

  266 Deut. iv. 19.

  267 See above, pp. 76, 104 ff.

  268 See p. 8.

  269 Cp. Thomson, _op. cit._, p. 61.

  270 xxxi. 6.

  271 These two extremes are represented by Winckler and Duhm

  272 Sing. as partly in Greek and wholly in Syriac.

  273 With Greek omit _them_ of the Hebrew text.

  274 Hebrew adds _all_.

  275 As above, Greek omits all of the Hebrew verses 7, 8 except the last
      clause which follows naturally on verse 6.

  276 See above, pp. 40 ff.

  277 This consideration seems to dispose of König’s claim that Jeremiah
      here maintains the Sinai-Covenant (with the Decalogue) in opposition
      to the Moab-Covenant set forth in Deuteronomy. How could the former
      be defined in the time of Josiah as _this Covenant_ or described in
      Deuteronomic phrases? See also G. Douglas, “Book of Jeremiah,” p.

  278 Dr. Skinner (_op. cit._, p. 100) thinks that “the accumulation of
      distinctively Deuteronomic phrases and ideas in verses 4, 5 implies
      a dependence on that book which savours strongly of editorial
      workmanship.” But if _this Covenant_ be the Deuteronomic, as he
      admits, what more natural than to state it in Deuteronomic terms,
      expressive as these are only of its spiritual essence? I would also
      refer to what I have said on p. 41 as to the effect on the Prophet
      of the new and haunting style of Deuteronomy.

  279 Dr. Skinner’s authoritative support to the substance of the thesis
      maintained above is very welcome, strengthened as it is by the point
      which he makes in the first of the following sentences: “The
      deliberate invention of an incident, which had no point of contact
      in the authentic record of his life, is a procedure of which no
      assured parallel is found in the book. We must at least believe that
      a trustworthy tradition lies behind the passage in ch. xi; and the
      conclusion to which it naturally points is that Jeremiah was at
      first strongly in favour of the law of Deuteronomy, and lent his
      moral support to the reformation of Josiah” (pp. 102-3). Wellhausen,
      “Isr. u. Jüdische Gesch.” (1894, p. 97): “An der Einführung des
      Deuteronomiums hatte er mitgewirkt, zeitlebens eiferte er gegen die
      illegitimen Altäre in den Städten Judas.... Aber mit den Wirkungen
      der Reformation war er keineswegs zufrieden.” So too J. R. Gillies,
      “Jeremiah,” p. 113, and W. R. Thomson, “The Burden of the Lord,” p.
      66; and virtually so, Peake, i. 11-14.

  280 So, too, H. P. Smith, “O.T. History,” p. 278, n. 2; while Duhm,
      Giesebrecht, Davidson, Driver, Gillies, Peake and Skinner all take
      vii. 1-15 and xxvi. to refer to the same occasion early in
      Jehoiakim’s reign. Duhm and Skinner remark on an apparently
      incoherent association of Place ( = Holy Place) and Land in vii.
      3-7. The clause about the Land may be a later addition. Yet in
      verses 13-15 (the substance of which Skinner admits to be genuine)
      the destruction of the Holy Place and ejection of the people from
      the Land are _both_ threatened.

  281 So simply the Greek; the longer Hebrew title, verses 1, 2 may be an
      expansion by an editor, who took vii. 1-15 as reporting the same
      speech as xxvi. 1 ff. In verse 3 Hebrew reads _Lord of Hosts_.

  282 Greek adds _for they will be absolutely of no avail to you_.

  283 So Syriac.

  284 Or _there they are!_—plural because of the complex of buildings.

  285 It is doubtful whether this verb, meaning in earlier Hebrew _to make
      any burnt offering_ was already confined to its later meaning, _to
      burn incense_.

  286 So Greek.

  287 Much within these brackets is lacking in the Greek.

  288 Hebrew _all_.

  289 Verses 9, 25, 29, etc.

  290 See above, p. 72.

_  291 Vows_, so Greek, but Lucian _fat pieces_ (Lev. vi. 5); _by these
      thou escape_, so Greek, Hebrew _then mightest thou rejoice_.

  292 ii. 8, see above, p. 92.

  293 Cp. the similar charge of Christ against the scribes.

  294 xi. 1 ff.; so Giesebrecht on viii. 8.

  295 Marti, _Gesch. der Isr. Religion_, 154, 166; Duhm, and especially
      Cornill, _in loco_.

  296 Hebrew adds _of Hosts, the God of Israel_.

  297 The former were not, the latter were in part, eaten by the
      worshipper; but it does not matter if now he eats them all alike!

  298 xi. 1 ff.: above, pp. 143 ff.

  299 Sam. xv. 22, Hos. vi. 6. Those who take the passage relatively also
      quote Paul’s words that Christ sent him not to baptize but to preach
      the gospel, 1 Cor. i. 17.

  300 Amos v. 25; Micah vi. 6-8; Ps. l. 13, 14; li. 16, 17.

  301 See Robertson Smith, “The O.T. in the Jewish Church,” 2nd ed., 203,
      295 (1892), and Edghill, “The Evidential Value of Prophecy” (1904),
      274, one of the best works on the O.T. in our time.

  302 II. Chron. xxxv. 20, _when he had set the Temple again in order_.

  303 Or Nechoh or Neco as in our own versions: Heb. נכוה or נכו.

  304 “H. G. H. L.,” p. 151.

  305 II. Chron. xxxv. 21. This may be only the reflection of later Jewish
      piety on so perplexing a disaster; but it rings like fact.

  306 II. King xxiii. 29, _as soon as he saw him_. For other records of
      Nĕcoh’s northward march see Appendix II.

  307 The idea that Josiah fought Nĕcoh, as an Assyrian vassal (Benzinger
      on II. Kings xxiii. 28-30) is, of course, quite improbable, even if
      Nineveh did not fall till 606. But if the latest datum is correct
      that Nineveh fell in 612 (see Appendix I) it is utterly groundless.

  308 See above, p. 149.

  309 xxvi. 2, xxxvi. 9.

  310 Whether the sacrifices of children in Hinnom had been resumed, vii.
      31 ff., is uncertain; yet this passage may well belong to
      Jehoiakim’s reign.

  311 Greek omits and renders the following _I_ and _my_ by _thou_ and

  312 Using the Greek, Duhm, Cornill and Skinner render this quatrain

      Did not thy father eat and drink,
      And do himself well?
      Yet he practised justice and right,
      Judged the cause of the needy and poor.

  313 ii. 8, 31, v. 30, 31, vi. 13, 14, 19, etc.; see pp. 106, 154, etc.

  314 xx. 10.

  315 See above, pp. 147 ff.

  316 Many take the conditional clauses in vii and xxvi to be later
      insertions (e.g. Skinner, 169 f.). But it was natural to the malice
      of his foes to distort Jeremiah’s conditional, into an absolute,
      threat, and in xxvi. 13 he corrects them. My translation follows the
      Greek version, and omits the Hebrew additions which are found in our
      English versions.

  317 Both text and versions add here _and all the people_; but this may
      be the careless insertion of a copyist, for in what follows the
      people are with Jeremiah.

  318 So 34 MSS., and Syr. Vulg. and Targ.

  319 Hebrew adds _against this city and_.

  320 Hebrew adds _and all his mighty men_.

  321 So Greek; Hebrew _the king sought_.

  322 Hebrew adds a name (_El-nathan, son of Ackbor_) and repeats.

  323 II. Kings xxii. 12 ff.; Jer. xxxix. 14, xl. 5, 6.

  324 The designations of the title differ; what is stated above was
      probably the fact.

  325 See Appendix I.

  326 As vividly described, or predicted, by Nahum; see the writer’s
      “Twelve Prophets,” vol. ii.; on the date see Appendix I.

  327 II. Kings xxiv. 1-16. The chronology of the end of Jehoiakim’s reign
      is uncertain. Most have held that the three years of his tribute
      were his last years, 600-598. But Winckler (“A.T. Untersuchungen,”
      81 ff.) gives good reasons for preferring 605-3.

  328 See above, pp. 22 ff. Our versions render the Hebrew correctly, but
      the following emendations may be made from the Greek: Verse 1, for
      _this word ... from the Lord_ read _the word of the Lord came unto
      me_; 2, for _Israel_ read _Jerusalem_; 22, omit _in the ninth
      month_, unnecessary after 9; 31, omit _their iniquity_, for _upon
      them_ read _upon him_, and for _men_ read _land, of Judah_; 32, for
      _Jeremiah took_ read _Baruch took_ and omit _and gave it to Baruch
      the scribe the son of Neriah_, and also the words _king of Judah_
      and _in the fire_.

  329 xxxvi. 3.

  330 xxxvi. 29; cp. xxv. 9 f.

  331 xxxvi. 19, 24.

  332 Such is the force of the Hebrew idiom in the last clause of xxxvi.
      16; for the different attitude of the princes in 608 see pp. 170 ff.

  333 The Hebrew text is accurately rendered by our English Versions; the
      following are the principal points on which the Greek differs from
      it: Verse 1, both Greek and Latin lack _that was the first year of
      Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon_; in verse 2 Greek lacks _Jeremiah
      the prophet_ and _all_, and in verse 3 _the word of the Lord hath
      come to me_ and _but ye have not hearkened_. In verse 6 for  _I will
      do you no hurt_ Greek reads _to your hurt_. Again, Greek lacks in 7
      _saith the Lord_, in 8 _of Hosts_, in 9 _saith the Lord and to
      Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon My servant_, and for _all the
      families_ it reads _a family_; and in 11 lacks _this, a desolation,
      these_ and _the king of Babylon_, substituting for the last two
      _shall serve among the nations_.

  334 E.g. the preposition _to_ before _Nebuchadrezzar_ in verse 9 which
      does not construe.

  335 xxv. 1-14 has been denied to Jeremiah by Schwally (“Z.A.T.W.,” viii.
      177 ff.) and Duhm, but their arguments are answered by Giesebrecht
      and Cornill _in loco_; see, too, Gillies, 195-8, 202, and Skinner,
      240 f.

  336 See Davidson in Hastings’ “D.B.,” ii. 574, Driver and Gillies _in

  337 See above, p. 14.

  338 E.g. cp. 26 with 9 and both with i. 15.

  339 As Duhm asserts; see above, pp. 79 ff.

  340 The above paragraph on xxv. 15-38 is based on Giesebrecht’s careful
      analysis of the passage.

  341 xxxvi. 5, 19, 26.

  342 Worn next the skin; not _girdle_ which came over the other garments.
      See “Enc. Bibl.,” article “Girdle.”

  343 So virtually Cornill, who, indifferent as to whether the story is
      one of fact or of imagination, emphasises the choice of the
      Euphrates as its essential point, compares ii. 18, _to drink of the
      waters of the River_, and dates the story in the earliest years of
      Jeremiah’s ministry. On the other hand Erbt, who also reads
      _Euphrates_, interprets the story as one of actual journeys thither
      by Jeremiah.

  344 I visited it in 1901 and 1904, a most surprising oasis!

  345 Pĕrath or Parah = Farah was first suggested by Ewald (“Prophets of
      the O. T.,” Eng. trans, iii. 152), quoting Schick (“Ausland,” 1867,
      572-4), by Birch (“P.E.F.Q.,” 1880, 235), and by Marti (“Z.D.P.V.,”
      1880, 11), and has been accepted by many—Cheyne, Ball, McFadyen,
      Peake, etc.

  346 See above, p. 55.

  347 In the valley of Hinnom, where were potteries and above them a
      city-gate _Harsith_ = (probably) _Potsherds_; in the upper valley
      broken pottery is still crushed for cement; lower down traces of
      ancient potteries appear, and there is the traditional site of the
      Potter’s Field, Matt. xxvii. 7.

  348 So literally the term rendered _wheel_, A.V. It was of two discs,
      originally of stone, but later of wood, of which in earlier times
      the upper alone revolved and the lower and larger was stationary,
      but later both revolved by the potter’s foot. See “Enc. Bibl.,”
      article “Pottery.”

  349 See above, pp. 84 f.

  350 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  351 Hebrew adds _House of Israel_.

  352 A. B. Davidson.

  353 To this we return in dealing with Jeremiah’s religious experience.
      See below, Lecture vii.

  354 See above, p. 109 on iv. 3.

  355 Luke xiii. 6 ff. Other parables or actual incidents illustrating
      either the possibilities of characters commonly deemed hopeless or
      the fresh chances given them by God’s grace, are found in Matt.
      xviii. 23 f., Luke vii. 39 f. (the woman who was a sinner) and xix.

  356 Cornill _in loco_, Skinner, pp. 162 f., both of them in fine
      passages on the teaching of the parable, the former exposing the
      superficiality of Duhm’s impulsive judgment upon it. Cornill finds
      that the genuine words of Jeremiah close with verse 4; Skinner, Erbt
      and Gillies (p. 158) continue them to 6.

  357 But see next page.

  358 xix. 1 ff. The Greek connects this incident with the preceding by
      reading _then_ for the Hebrew _thus_, and with many Hebrew MSS. adds
      to _saith the Lord_ the phrase _to me_, making Jeremiah himself the
      narrator. In xix. 4 read with Greek _whom neither they nor their
      fathers knew, and the kings of Judah have filled_, etc. Throughout
      Greek lacks phrases which are probably later additions to Hebrew;
      but these are not important.

  359 See p. 185, n. 2.

  360 The above is mainly from the Greek. The following is a significant
      instance of how the knowledge of the Bible still holds among some at
      least of the Scottish peasantry. A woman in a rural parish calling
      on her minister to complain about the harshness of the factor of the
      landlord said that he was a very Magor-Missabib. And it is no less
      significant that the minister had to consult his concordance to the
      Bible to know what she meant!

  361 In xxxv the differences between Greek and Hebrew continue to be
      those generally found in the Book, i.e. Greek omits the expansive
      formulas, including the Divine titles, redundant words (like _all_)
      and phrases, and corrects the wrong preposition _to_ by the right
      _upon_ (17). Further, it spells differently some of the proper
      names, reads _house_ for _chamber_ (4 _bis_), _a bowl_ for _bowls_
      (5), _to me_ for _to Jeremiah_ (12), and in 18 does not address the
      promise to the Rechabites, but utters it of them in the third
      person, also omitting the name of Jeremiah, and in 19 for _for
      ever_, lit. _all the days_, reads _all the days of the land_.

  362 The ally of Jehu, II. Kings x. 15, 23. The tribe was Kenite, I.
      Chron. ii. 55. The Kenites, according to Jud. i. 16, I. Sam. xv. 6,
      settled in the South of Judah, but Jonadab is found in North Israel
      and apparently his descendants, as fugitives before an invasion from
      the North, came from the same quarter. Heber the Kenite also dwelt
      on Esdraelon, Jud. iv. 17, v. 24.

  363 Duhm’s criticisms of it, and rejection of some of its parts are,
      even for him, unusually arbitrary, especially his objection to the
      words in verse 13, _Go and say to the men of Judah and the
      inhabitants of Jerusalem_, for obviously these people were not
      gathered in, nor could be addressed from, the Temple chamber. It was
      the people as a whole, whose fickleness from age to age he was about
      to condemn; on this verse Duhm’s remarks are, besides being
      arbitrary, inconsistent.

  364 Above, pp. 147 ff.

  365 Above, pp. 50, 153 f.

  366 Deut. iv. 19, xvii. 3; II. Kings xxiii. 5, 13. See the present
      writer’s “Jerusalem,” ii., pp. 186 ff., 260, 263.

  367 Deut. xii. 31, II. Kings xxiii. 10. See “Jerusalem,” ii., pp. 263 f.

  368 Pp. 153 f.

  369 The only apparent reason for the compiler putting the two songs
      together is that the last verse of the one and the first verse of
      the other open in the same way, _O that I had_ (Hebrew _O who would
      give me_).

  370 xxxvi. 32.

  371 Greek omits this clause.

  372 Apparently a common proverb.

  373 Hebrew adds _Jerusalem_ with no sense and a disturbance to the

_  374 Mishpaṭ = rule, order, ordinance._

_  375 Torah = law_, see p. 154.

  376 Reading צשה with Dagesh in last letter.

  377 With 10-12, cp. vi. 13-15; 11, 12 are wanting in Greek.

  378 Hebrew adds a line of corrupt text.

  379 Hebrew, _the Lord_.

  380 So Greek. The verse is another instance of the
      two-stresses-to-a-line metre; see p. 46.

  381 So Greek.

  382 So Greek.

  383 So Greek.

  384 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  385 After the Greek, Hebrew is hopeless.

  386 Lit., _from a land of distances_, usually taken as meaning exile.
      But exile is not yet. Duhm as above.

  387 So Greek.

_  388 Bubbles_, ii. 5. The couplet seems an intrusion breaking between
      the two parts of the people’s cry.

  389 So Greek.

  390 Lit., _why cometh not up the fresh skin on_.

  391 Greek, _an uttermost_.

  392 The Hebrew word seems to me to be taken here rather in its primitive
      sense of _bundle_ than in the later, official meaning of _assembly_.

  393 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_ for till now the Prophet has spoken.
      Verse 3 is difficult. Duhm omits most, Cornill all, as breaking the
      metrical schemes which they think Jeremiah invariably used. But the
      form of the Hebrew text—short lines of two beats each, with one
      longer line—is one into which Jeremiah sometimes falls (see pp. 46
      f.). _Like a bow_ so Greek; Hebrew, _their bow_. Cp. our _draw a
      long bow_ (Ball).

  394 So Syriac.

  395 Again Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_. The text is uncertain. Hebrew,
      _thy dwelling is in the midst of deceit, they refuse to know Me_.

  396 Hebrew adds _of Hosts_.

  397 So Greek, Hebrew omits; more seems to have dropped out.

  398 So Hebrew text; Hebrew margin and Greek _polished_.

  399 So Greek.

  400 So Greek. Hebrew, _I will raise_ and adds _lamentation_.

  401 Hebrew adds _passing over_, probably a mistaken transference from
      verse 12. Greek and Latin omit.

  402 So Greek.

  403 Hebrew uselessly adds _nor walked therein_.

  404 Hebrew adds _of hosts_; and _this people_ for _them_.

  405 Hebrew adds _of Hosts_ and _consider ye_ which Greek omits as well
      as _hasten_ in 18; the text of the four lines is uncertain. For _us_
      and _our_ Greek has _you_ and _your_.

  406 So Vulgate.

  407 Hebrew has the obvious intrusion, _Speak thus, Rede of the Lord_,
      which Greek lacks.

  408 I.e. of their hair; see xxv. 23, xlix. 32. Herodotus says (iii. 8)
      that some Arabs shaved the hair above their temples; forbidden to
      Jews, Lev. xix. 27.

  409 So Greek; Hebrew, _the land_. The Hebrew part. _sitting_ may like
      that in v. 18 be future.

  410 So Greek; Hebrew, _in the land at this time_.

  411 So Greek, Hebrew _my_.

  412 So Greek, Hebrew _my_.

  413 So some Greek and Latin versions, Syriac and Targ.

  414 Greek; Hebrew omits.

  415 I.e. Rulers.

  416 Hebrew, _pastures_.

  417 See above, pp. 46 f., 93.

  418 So, following some Greek MSS., Targ., and the parallel Ps. lxxix. 6,

  419 Above, pp. 152 ff.

  420 P. 176. Practically all agree to this. Admitting its possibility,
      Duhm prefers to assign the lines to the Scythian invasion, against
      which see the reasons offered by Cornill _in loco_, who further
      suggests a connection between xi. 15, 16 and xii. 7-13. Ball, after
      Naegelsbach, argues for a date before Carchemish.

  421 The text of these four lines is hardly metrical.

  422 Above, pp. 183-185.

  423 p. 59.

  424 In this quatrain Greek reads _your soul_, and Hebrew _my eye_ and
      precedes this line by _shall weep indeed_ which Greek omits. The
      last line is one of those longer ones with which verses or strophes
      often conclude (see p. 35).

  425 II. Kings xxiv. 8, 15; Jer. xxii. 26.

  426 So Greek.

  427 See ii. 36, iv. 30; Ezek. xxiii. 22.

_  428 As heads_ obviously belongs to this second line of the quatrain,
      from which some copyist has removed it to the fourth.

  429 So Hebrew literally.

  430 Pp. 56 f. The date is quite uncertain.

  431 The text of the first four lines is uncertain. I have mainly
      followed the Greek. _Begging_, if we borrow the sense of the verb in
      Syriac, otherwise _huckstering_, _peddling_.

  432 Hos. vi. 1-4.

  433 P. 189.

  434 Hebrew and some Greek MSS. add _against thee_.

  435 Hebrew, _they turned not from their ways_.

  436 The text of verse 8 is uncertain. I have mainly followed the Greek.

  437 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  438 Lecture vii.

  439 Hebrew adds _nor bemoan them_, an expansion.

  440 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord, even kindness and compassion_; verses
      6 and 7 are expansion.

  441 Hebrew adds _when their children remember their altars and Asherim_
      rightly taken by Duhm and Cornill as a gloss.

  442 Hebrew adds _in thee_ for which some read _thy hand_.

  443 These four verses along with the phrase _Thus saith the Lord_ which
      follows them are lacking in Greek. This is clearly due to the
      oversight of a copyist, his eye passing inadvertently from _the
      Lord_ of xvi. 21 to _the Lord_ of xvii. 5.

  444 See pp. 53, 54.

  445 Cp. “Isaiah,” lvi. 2-7, lviii. 13, 14; Neh. xiii. 15-22.

  446 A much manipulated verse! _Mountain_, taking _sadai_ in its archaic
      sense as in Assyrian and some Hebrew poems, Jud. v. 4, Deut. xxxii.
      13 (see the writer’s “Deut.” in the “Camb. Bible for Schools”) where
      it is parallel to _highlands_, _rock_ and _flinty rock_. The
      following emendations of the text are therefore unnecessary, and are
      more or less forced. _Sirion_ (Duhm, Cornill, Peake, McFadyen,
      Skinner); _missurîm = from the rocks_ (Rothstein). The Greek takes
      _sadai_ as _breasts_ and nominative to the verb: _Do the breasts of
      the rock give out?_—not a bad figure. _Hill-streams_ reading _mêmê
      harîm_ (Rothstein) for the Hebrew _maîm zarîm = strange_ (? far off)
      _streams_. Ewald takes _zarîm_ from _zarar = to rush, press_. Duhm
      reads _mĕzarîm = Northstar_. Cornill turns the couplet to _Or do dry
      up from the western sea the flowing waters?_ Gillies, _the wet winds
      from the sea_, etc., for which there is a suggestion in the Greek α

  447 See p. 149, n. 1

  448 So some MSS.; the text has _like_.

  449 Pp. 191 ff.

  450 Pp. 164-167.

  451 Duhm’s objection to this title as a mistake by an editor is
      groundless; for though the following lines are addressed to the land
      or people as a whole, their climax is upon the fate of the royal
      house, _the choice of thy cedars_.

  452 Hebrew adds _many_.

  453 Greek _from over the sea_.

  454 Greek, Syriac, Vulgate.

  455 Hebrew _thee_.

  456 Hebrew adds _to return thither_; Greek lacks.

  457 In 28-30 the Greek, mainly followed above in accordance with the
      metre, is far shorter than the Hebrew text.

  458 The reasons given by Giesebrecht and Duhm _in loco_, by Skinner, p.
      346, and (more fancifully) by Erbt, p. 86, for impugning the date
      given in xlv. 1, and relegating the Oracle to the close of
      Jeremiah’s life in exile as his last words to Baruch, have been
      answered in great detail, and to my mind conclusively, by Cornill,
      who points out how much more suited the Oracle is to conditions in
      605 than to those of Baruch and Jeremiah after 586.

  459 Cornill: _the words of Jeremiah in a book_.

  460 Hebrew adds _saying_.

  461 Hebrew adds _the God of Israel_.

  462 So Greek.

  463 Superfluous after, not to say inconsistent with, verse 2; probably

_  464 I have to_ or _am about to_. The Hebrew addition to this couplet,
      _and that is the whole earth_, is probably a gloss; it is not found
      in all Greek versions.

  465 His brother Seraiah was a high officer of the king, ch. li. 59; see
      also Josephus X. “Antt.,” ix. 1.

  466 Here and xxi. 9, xxxviii. 2, xxxix. 18.

  467 ix. 3, 7 (_How else can I do?_), xii. 9, 11, see p. 211.

  468 See p. 167.

  469 2 Kings xxiii. 31, xxiv. 17; see above, p. 164.

  470 The exact transliteration of the Hebrew is _Ṣidḳiyahu_.

  471 Ezek. xvi. 59, xvii. 11-21; especially 15-19.

  472 Ps. xv., _who sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not_.

  473 Josephus imputes to him χρεστότης καὶ δικαιοσύνη, X. “Antt.” vii. 5.

_  474 No strong rod, no sceptre to rule_, Ezek. xix. 14.

  475 Or _ye are far_, etc., Ezek. xi. 15.

  476 Jer. xxvii.; in verse 1 for _Jehoiakim_ read _Ṣedekiah_.

  477 Jer. li. 59; though some doubt this.

  478 Ezek. viii; Jer. xliv. 17-19 and his other references to the worship
      of the _Queen_ or _Host of Heaven_ may also refer to this.

  479 Jer. xliv. 30, _Pharaoh_ of xxxvii. 5, 7, 11, Ezek. xxix. 3;
      _Apries_, Herodotus ii. 161.

  480 Jer. xxxiv. 8-22; cp. Exod. xxi. 1-6, Deut. xv. 12-18.

  481 2 Kings xxv. 21.

  482 xxix. 29; Skinner, p. 253, doubts this.

  483 xxxii. 16-25.

  484 See above, pp. 186-188.

  485 xvii. 16.

  486 So Driver; Amos vii. 1, 4, 7, viii. 1.

  487 So Greek.

  488 So Greek and other versions.

  489 Greek _city_.

  490 Jews who may have stirred up Egypt against Babylon.

  491 So Greek; Hebrew adds _for an evil_, “a corrupt repetition of the
      preceding word” (Driver).

  492 Hebrew adds _and to their fathers_.

  493 xxix. 20, 15, 21-32, see pp. 245-247.

  494 ix. 22; x. 20.

  495 See above, p. 236.

  496 See above, p. 35.

  497 This title has been much expanded, as the briefer Greek shows, and
      indeed much more than it shows. In 1 the addition of _priests and
      prophets_ is in view of 8 and 15 evidently wrong. The Hebrew
      _remnant of_ (before _the elders_) which Greek lacks is difficult.
      It seems a later addition to the text when many of the elders had
      died. Duhm’s suggestion of a revolt of the early exiles and the
      execution of many of the elders by Nebuchadrezzar is imaginary. In
      verse 2 we have such a needless gloss or expansion as later scribes
      were fond of making.

  498 Greek omits this line.

  499 Hebrew adds _there_.

  500 Greek; Hebrew _city_.

  501 8 and 9 strike one as a premature reference to the prophets.

  502 Greek perhaps better _your people_, for in seventy years the elders
      addressed must have died out.

  503 Duhm.

  504 As even Lucian’s version shows in spite of its retaining 16-20.

  505 Greek lacks the names of both the fathers, and also the last clause
      of Hebrew, 21, _which prophesy a lie to you in My Name_.

  506 This verb is a play on the name of Ahab’s father.

  507 In Hebrew follows in 25_a_ a useless editorial addition.

  508 Hebrew precedes this with _to all the people which are in Jerusalem
      and_, and follows it with _and to all the priests_, additions very
      doubtful in view of verse 29. In II. Kings xxv. 18 Ṣephaniah is
      _second priest_.

  509 The time of the captivity.

  510 Greek lacks the unnecessary remainder.

  511 The following are some details as to xxvii. The Hebrew verse 1 is
      not given by Greek; _Jehoiakim_ is of course a copyist’s error for
      _Ṣedekiah_, as 3, 12, 20 and xxviii. 1 show. Greek lacks the second
      clause of verse 5, all 7, several clauses of 8, one of 10, from
      _under_ onwards in 12, all 13, the first of 14, _now shortly_ in 16
      (but adds _I have not sent them_), all 17, the last half of 18, most
      of 19, much of 20, all 21, and two clauses of 22.

  512 Greek _the earth_.

  513 Hebrew _my servant_.

  514 Hebrew adds _pestilence_.

  515 Greek; Hebrew _dreams_.

  516 Greek; Hebrew _your_.

  517 So adds Greek.

  518 The general differences in xxviii are: after _the Lord_ Hebrew adds
      _of Hosts the God of Israel_ verses 2, 14; in 11 and 14 the name
      _Nebuchadnezzar_ as in xxvii; in 3, 4, 14, 16, 17 unnecessary
      explanatory clauses or expansions; and throughout the title _the
      prophet_ to the names _Jeremiah_ and _Hananiah_ respectively. Of all
      these the Greek is devoid; other differences are marked in the notes
      to the translation.

  519 The prophetic perfect = _I will break_, verse 4.

  520 As in xxvii. 16 Greek puts the priests after the people.

  521 Baruch is not well accustomed to long sentences, therefore repeats
      this clause (Duhm).

  522 Greek lacks the bracketed words; _famine_ by changing one letter of
      the Hebrew for _evil_.

  523 Hebrew adds _of the prophet_.

_  524 Recognised_ or _acknowledged_.

  525 Greek adds _In the sight of all the people_; also gives the plural

  526 Greek lacks these words.

  527 So Greek; Hebrew _thou shalt_.

  528 Hebrew adds _Hear now Hananiah_.

  529 Hebrew adds _that year_.

  530 By Giesebrecht.

  531 Hebrew adds _Before the Lord, yea before His holy words_ (Greek
      _before His glorious majesty_). Both break the connection and are

  532 The couplet here given by Hebrew and Greek is too long for the
      verse, breaks the connection, and is apparently a copyist’s
      dittography expanded by quotation from ix. 2 (Duhm). But a single
      line is needed. Helped by Greek, we might read _and because of these

  533 After Duhm.

  534 So Syriac, alone yielding a sound division of the lines.

  535 Hebrew and Greek add a line breaking metre and parallel.

  536 Jerusalem’s (?).

  537 Greek adds _of Hosts concerning the prophets_.

  538 Cornill rejects this couplet, I think needlessly.

  539 So Greek, cp. ii. 5, p. 92.

  540 Or _My_, Erbt and Cornill.

  541 So Greek. Hebrew _feared and heard His word_. These clauses are not
      metrical and may be a later intrusion; which 19, 20 certainly are,
      for they find their proper place in xxx. 23, 24.

  542 So Greek.

  543 Hebrew expands, _from their evil way and_.

  544 So Greek affirmatively. Hebrew, by putting the couplet as a
      question, confuses the meaning. To _near_ it adds _Rede of the

  545 So Duhm happily takes a third repetition (for other cases of this
      kind, see vii. 4; xxii. 29) instead of the senseless _how long_ at
      the beginning of the next verse.

  546 Giesebrecht’s happy emendation.

  547 So Greek.

  548 Greek _Law_.

  549 So Greek.

  550 Greek adds _so My words_.

  551 Hebrew adds _thus_.

  552 So lit. or _call it a Rede_; _fling out_ so two Greek versions,
      Hebrew _take_.

  553 Zeph. iii. 4.

  554 In 31 and 32 Hebrew repeats _Rede of the Lord_. The section which
      follows can hardly be Jeremiah’s.

  555 xxii. 19; II. Kings xxiv. 6; just as conversely Huldah’s prophecy
      that Josiah would _be gathered to his fathers in peace_, II. Kings
      xxii. 20, was belied at Megiddo.

  556 xxiii. 32, repeating what he has frequently said already.

  557 As Amos had more strongly put it, _You only have I known of all the
      families of the earth, therefore I will visit upon you all your
      iniquities_, iii. 2.

  558 xxiii. 27.

  559 As we have seen; above, pp. 76, 104 f., 137.

  560 viii. 11; xxiii. 14, 17, 22, etc., etc.

  561 xxix. 23, xxiii. 14.

  562 xxiii. 28, above, p. 257; cp. xxvii. 18.

  563 xxviii. 11, cp. xlii. 1-7.

  564 xxviii. 6; above, p. 251.

  565 xxvi. 14, 15.

  566 See further, Lecture vii.

  567 xxiii. 31, p. 258.

  568 xxiii. 21.

  569 Stade’s combination (_ZATW_ 1892, 277 ff.) of xxi. 1, 2; xxxvii.
      4-10; xxi. 3-10; xxxvii. 11 ff. yields a contradiction—a prayer for
      the raising of the siege (xxi. 1, 2) already raised (xxxvii. 5).
      Erbt avoids this by combining only xxi. 1, 2_a_; xxxvii. 6-10;
      similarly Gillies (p. 309). But, as Cornill says, one cannot explain
      how from this form the two accounts have risen. Older critics
      (except Ewald) and Davidson, Giesebrecht, Peake, Thomson, (196, 198)
      and Cornill refer the passages to different occasions. Skinner
      leaves the question in suspense (259 n.). Duhm disposes of xxxvii.
      3-10 as a Midrash legend and xxi. 1-10 as “a free composition” upon
      it by another hand!

  570 Probably the original tenor of verse 4, but the text is confused by

  571 Greek; Hebrew _he_.

  572 Greek omits this clause inadvertently. The proposed reversal to _thy
      mouth speak with his mouth_ (Giesebrecht, etc.) misses the point;
      surely the captor would speak first.

  573 Hebrew adds _concerning thee, thou shalt not die by the sword_.

  574 Of spices. Some Greek versions read _mournings_, and _so shall they
      mourn for thee_.

  575 xxxix. 7; II. Kings xxv. 7.

  576 Verses 1, 2 either belonged originally to this section, and mark it
      as from another source than, or different edition of, Baruch’s
      memoirs, or more probably were added by an editor as necessary after
      the preceding sections (xxxv, xxxvi) from Jehoiakim’s reign.

  577 Greek reads _say thou_ and _thee_ for _me_, and omits _you_.

  578 So Greek.

  579 Greek _place_.

  580 Knox’s “History of the Reformation in Scotland,” Bk. i.

  581 Cp. “declare a Liberty of Tender Consciences,” Declaration of Breda
      by Charles II.

  582 A possible solution is “that the emancipation was undertaken in
      obedience to the neglected law, and that to make their action even
      more effective ... they decided to emancipate all their slaves
      without waiting till the legal term had expired” (Peake). Yet it is
      also possible that the reference in verses 13, 14 to the law, Deut.
      xv. 12, is due to an editor.

  583 The chief differences between Hebrew and Greek are: 8, Greek lacks
      _all_ and the senseless _unto them_; 9, Greek reads _so that no Jew
      should be a slave_; 10, 11, for Hebrew _heard_ (R.V. _obeyed_),
      Greek reads _turned_, omits the last two clauses of 10, all of 11
      save the last and in 12, 13 _from the Lord_ and _God of Israel_; 14
      reads _six_ for Hebrew _seven_ and 15 _they_ for _ye_ (twice); 16
      omits _and brought them into subjection_, 17, _to his brother and
      every man_, 18 all reference to the calf and its parts, 20, 21 _and
      into the hand of them that seek their life_ (twice).

  584 Peake.

  585 xxxvii. 12; the phrase is obscure.

  586 xxxvii. 11-21.

  587 Greek omits this last named.

  588 So Greek: Hebrew _unto all the people_.

  589 Greek lacks _to him_ and Syriac the last clause.

  590 Greek _For thus_.

  591 See above, p. 232.

  592 Calvin’s discriminating remarks on xxxviii. 2, in No. cxlvii of his
      prelections on the Book of Jeremiah, are well worth reading. See,
      too, Peake (p. 24) and Skinner (261 ff.).

  593 So Greek. Hebrew takes this clause as part of Ṣedekiah’s reply: _the
      king is not able to do anything against you_.

  594 Greek again is devoid of the repetitions, etc., that overload the

  595 Hebrew adds _sitting_, an obvious intrusion (not in Greek), for in
      the siege the king would hardly hold council in the Benjamin-Gate.

  596 Greek reads that he charged not _the princes_ but _the king_. The
      text of 9 is uncertain. Duhm thinks the original meant that the
      princes wished Jeremiah’s death so as to save bread.

  597 Hebrew and versions _thirty_, differing little from the Hebrew for
      _three_, which is now generally read.

  598 xxxix. 15-18.

  599 xxxviii. 14-28; Greek agrees with Hebrew save for its usual
      omissions as well as _secretly_, 16. Both read _the third entry of
      the Lord’s House_, which some, by adding a letter, would change to
      _entry of the Shalishim_ or _guards_; unnecessarily, as Haupt shows.

  600 After the deportation of 597.

  601 So Greek; Hebrew reads _thy feet are plunged_, and omits _from
      thee_; 23 is a late expansion.

  602 Pp. 258-9 n., thus exceeding Steuernagel’s and Buttenwieser’s
      readings of parts of it as a variant of xxxvii.

  603 xxxviii. 28.

  604 Duhm and Cornill take as original only 6-15; Giesebrecht reasonably
      adds 16, _Ah Lord Yahweh_ in 17, 24, 25, and in the main 26-44, from
      which probably more deductions should be made than he makes. Gillies
      (270 ff.) takes 16-25 as later reflections on a prayer by Jeremiah,
      24-41 as editorial, 42-44 as bringing us back to the actual
      situation. This is safer than Peake’s distinction of 16, 24-26,
      36-44 as genuine (slightly qualified by his notes). Hebrew and Greek
      throughout are the same, save for the usual Greek omissions, and
      these are more in the narrative 1-15 (especially 5_b_, 11_b_, 14
      _these deeds_ with _it_ for _them_ and _they_, while in 8 for Hebrew
      _the redemption is thine_ it has _thou art the elder_) than in the
      prayer and the divine answer (30_b_, 36 _captivity_ for
      _pestilence_, 41 _visit_ for _rejoice over_). In 6 for Hebrew _me_
      Greek has _Jeremiah_, but confirms the 1st person in 8, 9-13, 16,
      25, and in 26 has _me_ for Hebrew _Jeremiah_. Greek, too, has some
      of its unusual surplus: 8 _Shallum_, 12 _son of_, 19 ὁ θεος ὁ μέγας
      ὁ παντοκράτωρ καὶ μεγαλώνυμος Κύριος, 25 _and I wrote the deed and
      sealed it_, 33_b_ _still_, 43 _again_.

  605 The custom was to have one copy open for reference, and one sealed
      for confirmation if the open one should be disputed. To _sealed_
      Hebrew adds _the injunction and conditions_.

  606 The numerous emendations are purely conjectural; the least
      unsatisfactory being Cornill’s: _The houses ... shall be torn down
      against which the Chaldeans are coming to fight with mounds and
      sword and to fill with the corpses of men whom I have smitten in my
      wrath_, etc.

  607 One may eliminate the few words not found in Greek, and naturally
      suspect the liturgical clause in 11. Some take 13 as a late
      expansion of 12.

  608 xxxviii. 28.

  609 Verse 14 follows directly on verse 3. The statement that Nebuṣaradan
      was one of them is in verse 13 which belongs to the very late
      section, 4-13, lacking in the Greek.

  610 Hebrew: lit. _to the house_; Greek omits.

  611 Either Neby Samwîl or Tell-en-Naṣb, both a few miles north of
      Jerusalem. The above exposition takes xxxix. 3, 14 and xl. 1-6 as
      supplementary. But some read them as variants of the same episode,
      debating which is the more reliable. For a full discussion see
      Skinner, pp. 272 ff.

  612 Hebrew, _the forces_ (Greek, _the force_) _in the field_.

  613 The oscillations of this controversy have been recently so fully
      recounted (by Cornill and Peake) that it is unnecessary to repeat
      them here.

  614 Whether the datum xxx. 2, that Jeremiah was commanded by the Lord to
      write the words spoken to him in a book, is historical, is
      uncertain. It is not impossible that as he had been moved to write
      down his Oracles of doom (xxxvi) he should now be similarly advised
      about these later Oracles of hope. The rejection of xxx. 2, by most
      critics, seems to me rash.

  615 This in answer to Rothstein (Kautzsch’s “Heilige Schrift des A. T.,”
      754), whose upper date for them _after_ 597 is too early, and to
      Gillies (p. 238) who refers them to the Prophet’s imprisonment.

  616 Hebrew adds the gloss _like a bearing woman_.

  617 So Greek, reading היו for הוי.

  618 So Greek, Hebrew _thy_.

  619 So Greek, Hebrew _thy_.

  620 So Greek, Hebrew _thy_.

  621 After the Greek.

  622 Driver.

  623 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  624 Lecture viii.

  625 Greek, _family_.

  626 iii. 6 f.

  627 See p. 72.

  628 Cornill dates the poem, “surely,” from the earliest stage of
      Jeremiah’s prophetic career; but both its late place in the Book and
      the reasons given above argue strongly for a date at Miṣpah under

  629 So Greek.

  630 Or _continue troth to thee_.

  631 So Greek; Hebrew _deck thee with_.

  632 So Greek.

  633 Lit _make common_, i.e. not be obliged to wait over the first four
      crops as required by the law, Lev. xix. 23-25, before having the
      fruit released for their own use. Greek reads the similar Hebrew
      verb _praise_.

  634 Above, pp. 149 f., 152, 155 ff.

  635 Duhm emends to _on the top of the hills_.

  636 So Greek and Targ.

  637 So Greek.

_  638 Ibid._

  639 So Greek.

  640 It is singular how each of these three verses contains not four but
      five lines. Cornill, by using the introduction _Thus saith the
      Lord_, omitting _the remnant of Israel_, combining two pairs of
      lines and including the following couplet, effects the arrangement
      of octastichs to which he has throughout the book arbitrarily
      committed himself. Duhm has another metrical arrangement.

  641 Or _coasts_.

  642 Lit. _they stream upon_, A.V. _flow together_; but the verb is to be
      taken in the same sense as in Ps. xxxiv. 5 _were lightened_ and in
      Is. lx. 5, R.V. It is the liquid rippling light, thrown up on the
      face from water.

  643 So Greek.

  644 Hebrew adds _and will comfort them_.

_  645 Richly_ lit. _with fat_, which Greek omits but to _priests_ adds
      _the sons of Levi_, an instance of how ready later hands have been
      to add prose glosses to the poetry.

  646 1 Sam. x. 2.

  647 See above pp. 46 f.

  648 Hebrew and some versions add _for her children_.

  649 Greek has not the first line of this couplet, and reads differently
      the second. The whole seems a needless variant or paraphrase of 16.

  650 Or _turned to_ (?). Greek reads _after my captivity_.

  651 Some would read _was chastised_.

  652 Still have that on my conscience; there is no need to doubt this
      line in whole or part as some do.

  653 After all that has passed!

_  654 Compass_ or _change to_ (?) This couplet has been the despair of
      commentators. Its exilic terms, _created_ and _female_, relieve us
      of it.

  655 Hebrew adds _of hosts, God of Israel_.

  656 Hebrew and Greek add _holy mount_, a late term and here irrelevant,
      for it is _all_ Judah that is described.

  657 Greek _each_.

  658 Doubtful. Jeremiah had nothing to do with dreams as means of

  659 Hebrew adds to each _the house of_.

  660 Hebrew adds from i. 10 (_q.v._), _pluck up, break down and destroy_.

  661 As Dr. Skinner says, “it was only by way of the eternal world that
      Jeremiah could enter on the fruition of his hopes.”

  662 “That atrocious brigand” (Renan).

_  663 The folds of_, as Aquila shows that we should read Hebrew _Geruth_.

  664 For the above see ch. xli, continuing from xl what is no doubt
      Baruch’s account.

  665 So ch. xlii. This and xli are substantially the same in Hebrew and
      Greek, the Greek as usual omitting the repetitions of the Divine
      Titles and of the names of the fathers of the actors, and a few
      other expansions; and suggesting, as Syriac and Vulg. also do, some
      minor corrections.

  666 xxiv. 1 ff.

  667 xliii. 1-7. Hebrew and Greek still agree in essentials, Greek as
      usual omitting Divine Titles (which the Hebrew copyists delight in
      repeating), the needless father-names and also the term _proud_ (or
      _presumptuous_) in 2, where it reads _the others_ for the senseless
      Hebrew participle _saying_. In 6 it reads _remainder_ for
      _children_, and _household_ for _daughters—of the king_.

  668 xliii. 8-13. In 9 for the obscure Hebrew phrase, R.V. _in mortar in
      the brickwork_, Greek reads ὲν προθύροις; in 10 lacks _My servant_,
      for _I_ and _I have_ reads _he_ and _thou hast_; and in 12 _he
      shall_ for _I will_. Also in 12 for _he shall array himself with the
      land of Egypt as a shepherd putteth on his garment_, Greek has _he
      shall clear out the land as a shepherd clears his garment from
      lice_. Suitable and vivid as this figure is and adopted by many
      moderns, one hesitates to use it for lack of confirmation from other
      sources. The other one is sufficient.

  669 Besides its usual _minus_ Greek omits in 1 _and at Noph_, in 3 _and
      to serve_ and _neither ... fathers_, in 9 _and your own wickedness_,
      in 10 _neither have they feared, in my law nor, before you and_, in
      11 _against you ... all Judah_, at least half of 12, in 15 _unto
      other gods_ and _that stood by_, in 18 _and to pour out ... unto
      her_, in 19 _to portray her_, in 22, _without inhabitant_, in 23 _as
      it is this day_, in 28 _mine or theirs_. Also Greek begins 19, _And
      all the women answered and said_, and in 25 for _ye and your wives_
      reads properly _ye women_.

  670 Hebrew adds _and at Noph_ (Memphis).

  671 Duhm, Rothstein, Cornill, Gillies, etc., eliminate from 15 as a
      later addition _all the men who knew that their wives burned to
      other gods_ on the ground that 19 shows the women alone to be the
      speakers; Duhm, precariously changing besides _a great assembly_ (by
      the alteration of one letter) to _with a great_ (loud) _voice_. And
      these critics and Driver, Giesebrecht and Peake rightly take _even
      all the people ... in Pathros_ as a late gloss founded on verse 1.

  672 That is _solemnly sworn_; Judg. xi. 36; Numb. xxx. 2, 12.

  673 Some Greek MSS. and Syriac have _and all the women answered_, an
      addition felt to be necessary after the mention of _both_ men and
      women in 15.

  674 Hebrew adds _to portray her_, that is on the cakes.

  675 Erbt first made clear the metrical form of these verses, though I
      think too grudgingly, and has ignored the fact that they are not one
      but two Oracles.

  676 So Greek.

  677 Generally accepted instead of Hebrew _vows_.

  678 Calvin.

  679 The rest of 27 and 28_a_, the destruction of all the Jews in Egypt,
      is a prose expansion.

  680 Hebrew adds, but Greek lacks, _from me or from them_.

  681 xx. 8.

  682 i. 6.

  683 xx. 7.

  684 vi. 11, xx. 9.

  685 xv. 10; cp. xii. 1.

  686 i. 10, p. 83.

  687 xx. 2 ff.; see p. 192.

  688 xxii. 18 f.; see p. 167.

  689 xxxviii. 19 ff.; pp. 282 f.

  690 xxix. 24-32.

  691 xxviii. 17.

  692 xlv. 5; p. 228.

  693 So Greek; Hebrew _thou lettest me see_.

  694 Greek; Hebrew takes this with the next line.

  695 So generally read since Hitzig; Hebrew has _bread_, i.e. _fruit_.

  696 Others: _on Thee I have rolled_; cp. xx. 12.

  697 Greek; Hebrew _thy_.

  698 Hebrew copyists senselessly repeat, _Thus saith the Lord of Hosts_;
      Greek omits.

  699 So Greek.

  700 Greek.

  701 Greek, meaning, Thy sanction to their curses.

  702 The text of the last six lines is corrupt; the above is Duhm’s
      reading after the Greek. See too J. R. Gillies. Verses 13, 14 are
      out of place here, see xvii. 3, 4.

  703 Greek omits.

  704 So Greek; Hebrew (with same consonants, but the first two
      transposed) _Found were Thy words_.

  705 So Greek; Hebrew _I did eat them_. But all this bracketed quatrain
      breaks the connection between what precedes and verse 17.

  706 Cornill after Greek.

  707 Omit _of bronze_ for the metre’s sake; it is a copyist’s echo of i.
      18. Cornill omits _impassable_ instead.

  708 Hebrew adds _Rede of the Lord_.

  709 Hebrew precedes this with And the Word of _the Lord came unto me_,
      which Greek is without, thus closely connecting xvi. 2 ff. with xv.

  710 In 3, 4 the bracketed lines are probably expansions of the original.

  711 Hebrew, etc., add _nor bemoan them_—expansion.

  712 5_b_, 6_a_ are not in Greek.

  713 So Greek.

  714 By a change of vowels.

  715 So Greek.

  716 Greek lacks _of Hosts_.

  717 Perhaps 14 connects with 9, 10. The line _For Thou art my praise_ is
      a late addition.

  718 So Aq. Symm. Syr., reading _ra’ah, evil_ for _ro’eh, shepherd_.

_  719 Torah_, see p. 154.

  720 So Greek; Hebrew _of mine accusers_.

  721 To this line Greek adds _have privily laid a stumbling block_. Most
      regard both lines as an expansion from 22.

  722 Pl.; So Greek.

  723 Pl.; So Greek.

  724 Above, pp. 276 ff.

  725 In contrast with its boldness in textual criticism a curious
      timidity of sentiment has set through recent O.T. scholarship in
      Germany from which the older German scholars were free.

  726 Greek _the name of the Lord_.

  727 Greek; Hebrew adds _any more_.

  728 So Greek.

  729 Hebrew adds _of Hosts_.

  730 Verse 13, a doxology, is probably a later addition.

  731 So Greek.

  732 Cp. xviii. 20 f. p. 329.

  733 xii. 5; cp. xv. 19.

  734 iv. 10; p. 322; xv. 18.

  735 i. 17 f.; cp. xv. 19.

  736 See above, p. 160.

  737 Hebrew adds, _Thou seest me_.

  738 See also p. 160. Verse 4 is clearly out of place here, referring to
      a hardly relevant subject. Verse 6 is less improbable an
      illustration of the harder troubles in store for the prophet. There
      is no reason to doubt the genuineness of the rest: _Thou can’st not
      trust_, so Greek; Hebrew _thou art trusting_. Hitzig, etc., by
      changing one consonant read _thou art fleeing_. _Rankness_ lit.
      _pride_ or _extravagance_. If verse 6 is original, the date of the
      whole is early.

  739 See above, p. 202.

  740 v. 31; p. 125.

  741 ii. 22 f.; xiii. 23; xvi. 12; xvii. 1; etc.

  742 ii. 11-13, 22, 25, 31 f.

  743 ii. 35; v. 31; vii. 4-11, 21 ff.; xi. 15; xiv. 12.

  744 iv. 3, 4; vii. 3 ff. etc.

  745 xv. 18.

_  746 Debase not the throne of Thy Glory_, xiv. 21.

  747 xiv. 8, 9; see p. 57.

  748 x. 1-16 is a later writer’s; see p. 207.

  749 vi. 27; see pp. 132, 133.

  750 xii. 1 ff., etc.

  751 xx. 7, 11.

  752 xvii. 7 f.; p. 54.

  753 See above, p. 299.

  754 Shortly before his death, Professor A. B. Davidson said to me,
      “These prophets were terribly one-idea’d men”—their one idea being
      that the Lord was about to do something.

  755 ii., iii. _passim_.

  756 ii. 31.

  757 ii. 8; _Where is the Lord?_

  758 i. 12 ff.

  759 xxvii. 5.

  760 xxii. 7; i. 15; iv. 6; v. 15, etc.

  761 xxii. 25 f.; xxiv. 8 ff.; xxv. 9; xxvii. 6; xxxii. 3; xxxiv. 2, 22.

  762 xviii. 1-11.

  763 i. 9 f.; etc.

  764 ii. 9; xii. 1 ff.; xiii. 1; xviii. 1; xix. 1, xxiv. 1 f.; xxvii. 2;
      xxxii. 6; xxxv. 2; xxxvi. 2, 28.

  765 ii. 5, 11; viii. 19 (?); xiv. 22; xvi. 19, 20; xviii. 15; xxxii. 30
      (?), etc. _Bubble_, Hebrew _hebel_, lit. _breath_, usually rendered
      _vanity_ by our versions.

  766 Deut. iv. 19 reconciles the two by saying that Yahweh had assigned
      the gods to their respective nations.

  767 Above, pp. 187 ff.; ii. 9, 31 f.; iii. 12, 19; etc.

  768 ix. 24; cp. v. 1 ff., etc.

  769 vii. 3 ff.; xxvi. 13. See above, pp. 155 ff.

  770 xxii. 15 f.

  771 ix. 7; cp. ii. 9, 35; v. 7-9, 25.

  772 Not from the very earliest; ii. and iii. utter pleadings rather than

  773 iii. 1 ff., 20.

  774 vi. 11; iv. 8, 26; xxv. 15; xxx. 24 (also, but out of place in
      xxiii. 20); cp. xiii. 12-14.

  775 ii. 20; iii. 3, 6 ff., 20; xii. 8.

  776 iv. 28; v. 7; vii. 16; xi. 14; xv. 1 ff.

  777 v. 9, 29; ix. 9; xxi. 7.

  778 vi. 15; viii. 12; ix. 15 (xxiii. 15); xv. 7, 8; xiii. 24; xviii. 17;
      vi. 26; ix. 11; vii. 15; xxiv. 9, 10.

  779 ii. 19; iv. 18; vii. 19; xiii. 22.

  780 vi. 27-30; pp. 132 ff.

  781 ii. 30, v. 3.

  782 ii. 25; xviii. 12; vi. 15; viii. 12; xi. 14; xiv. 11.

  783 v. 31; xiii. 25; xviii. 11 ff.; xxiii. 14-17; xxvii. 9; xxviii. 15.

  784 iii. 21-25, a vain confession of sin by the people which meets only
      with a sterner call from God (iv. 3-4; see pp. 102 f., 107 f.) and
      was, as the subsequent years proved, ineffective; cp. xviii. 15.

  785 ii. 5, 31, 32.

  786 xii. 7-9; ii. 14.

  787 xii. 11; cp. Gen. xlviii. 7.

  788 xxxi. 20.

  789 I shall judge thee for saying “I am guiltless”: ii. 35.

  790 Above, pp. 186 ff., 348.

  791 ii. 13; xiv. 8; xvii. 13; iii. 12.

  792 i. 11 f.; xxxi. 35 f.

  793 viii. 7; v. 22 (xxxi. 35); xiv. 22 (after the Greek); cp. iii. 3; v.

  794 xxiii. 23 f.; above, p. 256.

  795 By Smend.

  796 Amos ix. 2 ff.

  797 See above, pp. 238-241.

  798 xxix. 4-13; cp. vii. 14, 21 ff.; iii. 16; and see above, pp.

  799 See above, pp. 90 ff.

  800 v. 1-5; viii. 8, scribes and wise; and prophets and priests

  801 ix. 4 f.; v. 7 f.; xx. 3 f.; xxii. 13-18; xxxviii. 22; xxviii. 15 f.

  802 iii. 2; v. 26; x. 21; xxiii. 31.

  803 v. 1.

  804 xi. 20; xx. 12.

  805 xvii. 9 f.

  806 xxiii. 24.

  807 xxxi. 29 f.

  808 xxvi. 2 f.

  809 ix. 24.

  810 x. 23.

  811 xvii. 7 f.; above, p. 54.

  812 See above, pp. 227-229.

  813 xii. 3.

  814 Above, pp. 293 ff. This was rightly perceived by earlier critics of
      last century, Movers, De Wette, Hitzig, etc., who mostly assigned as
      a date the end of the exile and read the influence of the Second
      Isaiah upon any Jeremian material that the chapters may contain. In
      spite of objections by Graf their thesis was reaffirmed and expanded
      by Stade (_Gesch. Isr._ i. 643) and by Smend (_Lehrbuch der A.T.
      Religionsgeschichte_, 1893), who denied that any part of xxx, xxxi
      was from Jeremiah, on grounds both of alleged inconsistencies with
      Jeremiah’s teaching, and of the representations of Judah with her
      people restored and her cultivation resumed. But since Smend
      criticism has been more discriminating; admitting post-exilic
      elements and consequently a late age for the whole collection but
      reserving for our Prophet various passages: Giesebrecht, xxxi. 2-6,
      15-20, 27-34; Duhm, xxx. 12-15, xxxi. 2-6, 15-22_a_; Erbt, xxxi.
      2-6, 15-17, 18-20; Cornill, xxxi. 2-5, 9_b_, 15-22_b_, 31-34; J. R.
      Gillies, xxxi. 2-6, 15-20, 29 f., 31_b_, 33_b_, 34; Peake, xxxi.
      2-6, 15-22, 31-34; Skinner, xxxi. 2-6, 15 f., 18-20, 21 f., 29 f.,

  815 Above, pp. 36 f., 40-42, 49-52, 91.

  816 Above, pp. 40, 91, 142, 145.

  817 xi. 1 ff., etc.

  818 xxiv. 7.

  819 ix. 24; cp. viii. 7_b_, etc.

  820 So Greek, Latin and Syriac; Hebrew _though I was an husband to

  821 So one Greek version.

  822 So some MSS.

  823 So Greek and Latin.

  824 Hebrew adds, _Rede of the Lord_.

  825 Giesebrecht.

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