The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Jeremiah 10

Jer 10:1

Jer 10: The great controversy: Idols versus Yahweh.

"The 'portion' of Jacob (Jer 10:12,13,16) is the inheritance of the fathers. The word 'cheleq' signifies 'to apportion; separate' and comes from a root signifying 'to be smooth', which evidently relates to the stones of judgment. Yahweh has judged Jacob faithful, elevated his name to Israel, and has determined his future. The seed of Jacob rest in the divine protection, for Yahweh judges against the enemies of Israel for the fathers' sakes. The evidence of this is seen in 'the earth by His power' (v 12). The solid earth is itself a natural symbol of strength and stability, whilst the glorious heavens presents a panorama of glory, and the mighty deep shows the marvels of God's handiwork. The constant labour of nature testifies that His activity is never suspended, His presence never withdrawn. The conflict of the elements, the roar of thunder, the flash of lightning, the downpour of waters, the rush of storm-wind, are His work and assist in developing His purpose. All the elements testify to His majesty, greatness, reality, importance, and our utter dependence upon Him (Psa 73:26). Let Israel understand, and let the Ecclesia perceive that the way of man is not in himself, but that Yahweh corrects with judgment (Jer 10:24)" (GEM).

Jer 10:2

SIGNS IN THE SKY: Astrology, idolatry, star-gazing, monthly prognosticators: cp Isa 47; 48.

Jer 10:9

TARSHISH (Psa 48:7) was a son of Javan (Gen 10:4); it is a name which came to ref to the Phoenicians, a sea-faring and trading people (hence such refs as Jon 1:3; Eze 27:12; 1Ki 9:26; 10:22; 2Ch 9:21). That Tarshish represents a latter-day power is evident both here and in Eze 38:13 (where it appears as an ally of Sheba and Dedan). In Isa 23 -- a prophecy concerning Tyre, there is plainly a strong link with "the daughter of Tarshish" and "the ships of Tarshish" (vv 1,6,10,14) -- this leads to the reasonable conclusion that Tarshish is another name for Tyre. (The proposed identification of Tarshish with England merely on the basis that the latter is -- or rather was -- a significant sea power is extremely tenuous at best.) See Lesson, Tarshish.

Jer 10:15

WHEN THEIR JUDGMENT COMES: "In the time of their visitation" (AV): Jer 8:12.

Jer 10:16

TRIBE: Heb "shebet" = stick, or rod.

Jer 10:18

HURL: Violently, suddenly.

Jer 10:21

Rulers are condemned.

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