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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Jeremiah Chapter 23

Jeremiah 23:2

jer 23:2

That feed - They are said to have fed this people, because it was their duty so to do.

Jeremiah 23:5

jer 23:5

Behold - Even the Jewish doctors, as well as the Christian interpreters, understand this as a prophecy of the Messiah who is called the branch, Isa 4:2, Isa 53:2. And here, he is called the righteous branch, not only because himself was righteous, but because he maketh his people righteous. Shall execute - Protecting the innocent, and defending his people throughout the world, judging the prince of the world, and by his spirit governing his people.

Jeremiah 23:6

jer 23:6

Judah - During the reign and kingdom of the Messiah the people of God typified by Judah and Israel shall be saved with a spiritual salvation, and God will be a special protection to them. And this - The name wherewith this branch shall be called, shall be, The Lord our righteousness. This place is an eminent proof of the Godhead of Christ, he is here called Jehovah, and what is proper to God alone, namely to justify, is here applied to Christ. He who knew no sin, was made sin, (that is, a sacrifice for sin) for us, that we might be made, the righteousness of God in him.

Jeremiah 23:8

jer 23:8

They shall dwell - Possibly part of this prophecy remains yet to be accomplished for the Jews are not yet come to dwell in their own land.

Jeremiah 23:9

jer 23:9

Like a man - And he was even astonished and stupefied, and like a drunken man, at the apprehensions of the wrath of the Lord ready to be revealed against them, and considering also what words the holy God had put into his mouth, to speak against them.

Jeremiah 23:10

jer 23:10

Adulterers - Under this term all species of uncleanness are comprehended. Swearing - By false - swearing, or by idle and profane swearing. The pleasant places - The wrath of God was extended to all places whether more or less inhabited. Their courses - The prophets did not only err in single acts, but the whole course of their actions was evil, and particularly their power, rule and government, was not right.

Jeremiah 23:13

jer 23:13

They prophesied - Pretending they had their instructions from Baal, and so caused the ten tribes to err, which then were called Israel in contradistinction to Judah.

Jeremiah 23:16

jer 23:16

Hearken not - People are under no religious obligation to hear any thing but the revealed will of God, and are not to obey those that call to them for what that doth not call to them.

Jeremiah 23:18

jer 23:18

For who - Which of those prophets, that prophesy such terrible things against this city is a privy - counsellor to God? The words seem to be the words of the false prophets.

Jeremiah 23:20

jer 23:20

The anger - The prophet speaks of the judgment as of a messenger, which should not return till it had done its errand, and executed what God had resolved it should effect. Ye shall consider - And though you will not now believe it, yet hereafter when it shall be too late, you shall consider it perfectly.

Jeremiah 23:28

jer 23:28

What is the wheat - There is as much difference between my will and their dreams, as there is betwixt the chaff and the wheat.

Jeremiah 23:30

jer 23:30

That steal - That conspire together what to say to deceive the people, and so steal what they say one from another.

Jeremiah 23:31

jer 23:31

He - That is, the Lord saith.

Jeremiah 23:33

jer 23:33

What is - The false prophets, and corrupt priests, would ordinarily mock the true prophets; and ask them what was the burden of the Lord.

Jeremiah 23:34

jer 23:34

That shall say - That is, that shall in derision say thus, mocking at my threatenings. And his house - I will not only punish him, but his whole family.

Jeremiah 23:35

jer 23:35

Thus shall ye say - I will have you speak more reverently of me and my prophets.

Jeremiah 23:36

jer 23:36

Mention no more - Not in scorn and derision. For - These false and irreverent speeches which are in every man's mouth, shall be burdensome to them, shall bring down vengeance upon them. Perverted - Because you have derided, the words of God, the living God.

Jeremiah 23:37

jer 23:37

Thus shalt thou say - To my true prophet. You shall speak to them reverently.

Jeremiah 23:38

jer 23:38

Because - Because you go on in your scoffing.

Next: Jeremiah Chapter 24