Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JEREMIAS - Chapter 16

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Jeremias xvi.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Place. It was going to be destroyed, and the cares of a family might interrupt the prophet. The Fathers believe that Jeremias never married, (see St. Jerome in chap. xxiii. Isidor.) which was then a rare example. (Calmet) --- He always lived a single life, and not only in time of tribulation. (St. Jerome, contra Jov. 1.) (Worthington) --- The Church enforces this law of God for her sacred ministers, in subdeacons and the higher orders. St. Paul shews the propriety of such a regulation, (1 Corinthians vii.) which innovators deem unnatural and tyrannical. How then could God enforce it once? With his grace we may observe celibacy like Jeremias. (Haydock)

Ver. 4. Illnesses, denoting God's wrath. (St. Jerome) --- Earth. The privation of sepulture was accounted one of the greatest evils.

Ver. 5. Feasting: usual at burials for all relations. (Calmet) --- This custom reduced many to poverty. (Josephus, Jewish Wars ii. 1.) ---

Sed cænam funerishæres

Negliget iratus quod rem curtaverit. (Pers. vi.)

--- Mourn, if thou shouldst meet a funeral, Luke vii. 32.

Ver. 6. Cut. Moses prohibited this being done in honour of Adonis, Leviticus xix. 27., Deuteronomy xiv. 1., and Ezechiel xxvii. 31. "The custom of cutting the arms and hair still subsists in Judea," says St. Jerome; and in other countries. (Plut.[Plutarch?] Herodotus iv. 71.)

Ver. 7. Cup. Most exquisite things were sent on such occasions. (Buxtorf, Syn. xxxv.) (Proverbs xxxi. 6., Tobias iv. 18., and John xi. 19.)

Ver. 8. Feasting. Hebrew, "of drinking," in times of joy.

Ver. 12. Fathers. Hence you are justly partakers of their punishment, Matthew xxiii. 32. (Calmet) --- A continuance in sin brings on severe punishments; after which, God again shews mercy. (Worthington)

Ver. 13. Gods. Elohim, "masters," &c., chap. xvii. 4. Chaldean, "idolatrous nations."

Ver. 15. Fathers. He joins consolation with distressing predictions, and alludes to the redemption of mankind, of which the return of the Jews was the most striking pledge.

Ver. 16. Rocks. They shall be found in all their lurking places, Ezechiel xii. 12., and Habacuc i. 4. (Calmet) --- The apostles shall save them. (Origen) --- The Medes and Persians shall grant them liberty; or rather Nabuchodonosor shall fish at first, and afterwards hunt or destroy more of the Jews. (Calmet) --- Apostolical men (Worthington) shall be like rocks, (St. Jerome) for the protection of their hearers.

Ver. 18. Double: enormous. (Haydock) (Chap. xvii. 18.) --- I will punish them doubly. --- Carcasses. So he styles the victims, or idols, the representations of dead men.

Ver. 19. Them. After the captivity many were converted, Esther viii., and 1 Esdras vi. 21. Edom was forced to receive circumcision. But this was nothing in comparison with the crowds which embraced the gospel.

Ver. 20. Make gods. This consideration alone suffices to shew their absurdity. (Calmet) --- "Man must now be merciful to god!" (Tertullian, Apol.) --- No one can make even a man, much less a god. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)

Ver. 21. Power, in taking vengeance on idolatry. --- Lord. "He who is;" (Calmet) Jehova. (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The prophet is forbid to marry. The Jews shall be utterly ruined for their idolatry: but shall at length be released from their captivity, and the Gentiles shall be converted.

1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have thee sons, and daughters, in this place.

3 For thus saith the Lord concerning the sons and daughters, that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bore them: and concerning their fathers, of whom they were born in this land:

4 They shall die by the death of grievous illnesses: they shall not be lamented, and they shall not be buried, they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed with the sword, and with famine: and their carcasses shall be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth.

5 For thus saith the Lord: Enter not into the house of feasting, neither go thou to mourn, nor to comfort them: because I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the Lord, my mercy and commiserations.

6 Both the great and the little shall die in this land: they shall not be buried nor lamented, and men shall not cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them.

7 And they shall not break bread among them to him that mourneth, to comfort him for the dead: neither shall they give them to drink of the cup, to comfort them for their father and mother.

8 And do not thou go into the house of feasting, to sit with them, and to eat and drink:

9 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will take away out of this place, in your sight, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

10 And when thou shalt tell this people all these words, and they shall say to thee: *Wherefore hath the Lord pronounced against us all this great evil? what is our iniquity? and what is our sin, that we have sinned against the Lord our God?

11 Thou shalt say to them: Because your fathers forsook me, saith the Lord: and went after strange gods, and served them, and adored them: and they forsook me, and kept not my law.

12 *And you also have done worse than your fathers: for behold every one of you walketh after the perverseness of his evil heart, so as not to hearken to me.

13 So I will cast you forth out of this land, into a land which you know not, nor your fathers: and there you shall serve strange gods day and night, which shall not give you any rest.

14 Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, when it shall be said no more: The Lord liveth, that brought for the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt:

15 But, The Lord liveth, that brought the children of Israel out of the land of the north, and out of all the lands to which I cast them out: and I will bring them again into their land, which I gave to their fathers.

16 Behold, I will send many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them: and after this I will send them many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

17 For my eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, and their iniquity hath not been hid from my eyes.

18 And I will repay first their double iniquities, and their sins: because they have defiled my land with the carcasses of their idols, and they have filled my inheritance with their abominations.

19 O Lord, my might, and my strength, and my refuge in the day of tribulation: to thee the Gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: Surely our fathers have possessed lies, a vanity which hath not profited them.

20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?

21 Therefore, behold I will this once cause them to know, I will shew them my hand and my power: and they shall know that my name is the Lord.



10: Jeremias v. 19.

12: Jeremias vii. 26.