Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Helcias, the high priest who discovered the book of the law, (Clement of Alexandria, Strom. i., &c.) though this be uncertain. — Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them. (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Joakim. His immediate predecessor and successor, both called Jechonias, (Haydock) are passed over, as their reign was short, (Calmet) only lasting three months each. (Haydock) — Fifth. Jerusalem was taken on the 9th of the preceding month. But the temple was not burnt, nor the captives sent off till the fifth month, or the 10th of the civil year, chap. xxxix. 8., and lii. 13., and 4 Kings xxv. 2. (Calmet) — Jeremias also prophesied in Egypt, chap. xliv. (Worthington) — But this title alludes to his principal predictions. (Menochius)
Ver. 5. Knew, with affection, and designed thee for this office from eternity. Many think (Calmet) that Jeremias was purified from original sin before his birth. (St. Augustine) — He had this privilege, and was also a priest, prophet, virgin, and martyr. (Worthington) — Yet to sanctify, often means only to set aside, Exodus xiii. 2., and Ecclesiasticus xlix. 9. — Nations, whose overthrow he points out, chap. xxv. 27, 44, &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Ah. Hebrew ahah. Septuagint, “thou Being.” Protestants, “Then said I: Ah, Lord God.” (Haydock) — He does not imitate a child. He might be above 30 years old, though some say (Calmet) only 14, (Tirinus) or less; yet he finds himself devoid of eloquence, like Moses, Exodus xiv. 10. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Mouth; perhaps (Haydock) with a coal, by means of an angel, (Isaias vi. 5.) in a sort of dream. He found himself changed into a new man.
Ver. 10. Root up, to announce the fall and restoration of many nations, Ezechiel iv. 2. (Calmet) — Jeremias spoke of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews. (Worthington)
Ver. 11. Watching. Hebrew, “of an almond.” Septuagint, “nut-tree.” (Haydock) — The almond-tree flourishes in January, and bears fruit in March. (Theodoret) (Pliny, [Natural History?] xvi. 25.) — Thus God will speedily send his scourge from Babylon, to punish his people. (Calmet) —The sense is the same. (Menochius) — God’s law is outwardly bitter, but the kernel is sweet. (Theodoret) (Worthington)
Ver. 13. North, whence the wind blows, to make the fire burn more intensely. Assyria lay to the north, and Babylon to the east of Judea; but the troops always penetrated the northern frontier, as they could not pass through the Desert Arabia. The caldron represented Jerusalem, Ezechiel xi. 3., and xxiv. 3.
Ver. 14-15. North. The tributary kings were forced to attend, Judith ii. 7., and 3 Kings xx. 1. — About. The princes thus took Sedecias, and sent him to Reblatha, chap. xxxix. 3. (Calmet)
Ver. 17. Loins. Make haste, and take courage, Job xxxviii. 3. (Menochius)
Ver. 19. Prevail. God does not promise peace, but victory. (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The time and the calling of Jeremias: his prophetical visions. God encourages him.
1 The words of Jeremias, the son of Helcias, of the priests that were in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin.
2 The word of the Lord, which came to him in the days of Josias, the son of Amon, king of Juda, in the thirteenth year *of his reign.
3 And which came to him in the days of Joakim, the son of Josias, king of Juda, unto the end of the eleventh year of Sedecias, the son of Josias, king of Juda, even unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive, in the fifth month.
4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
5 Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.
6 And I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.
7 And the Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
9 And the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth: *and the Lord said to me: Behold, I have given my words in thy mouth:
10 Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, *to root up, and pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant.
11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: What seest thou, Jeremias? And I said: I see a rod watching.
12 And the Lord said to me: Thou hast seen well: for I will watch over my word to perform it.
13 And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying: What seest thou? And I said: *I see a boiling caldron, and the face thereof from the face of the north.
14 And the Lord said to me: *From the north shall an evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
15 For behold I will call together all the families of the kingdoms of the north: saith the Lord: and they shall come, and shall set every one his throne in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and upon all the walls thereof round about, and upon all the cities of Juda.
16 And I will pronounce my judgements against them, touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have sacrificed to strange gods, and have adored the work of their own hands.
17 Thou, therefore, gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee. Be not afraid at their presence: for I will make thee not to fear their countenance.
18 *For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Juda, to the princes thereof, and to the priests, and to the people of the land.
19 And they shall fight against thee, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.
2: Year of the World 3375, Year before Christ 629.
9: Isaias vi. 7.
10: Jeremias xviii.
13: Ezechiel xi. 7.
14: Jeremias iv. 6.
18: Jeremias vi. 27.