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Jeremiah- The wild ass in heat (ch2)

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posted on Jan, 28 2022 @ 05:05 PM
The whole of the second chapter of Jeremiah looks like a major address to the people of the land, outlining the fundamental message of these prophecies.

I’ve already looked over the first half of the chapter, and got as far as the sequence of metaphors describing them as a rebellious ox, a harlot, and a wild vine. The next metaphor is borrowed from the first chapter of Isaiah, which would have been well-known.
V22 “Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me.”

There would be an indignant mental protest; “I am not defiled. I have not gone after the Baals.” They think they can say this because they have sought out other altars without abandoning the altar of the Lord. The great fault of the people at this time (Ezekiel ch14 also complains about it) was that they thought they could combine the worship of the Lord with the worship of other gods. That was their idea of loyalty.

V24 “A wild ass used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind!”
So Jeremiah goes back to the image of sexual infidelity. Their behaviour is compared with that of a female camel, or a wild ass during the month when she is “in heat”, as they go restlessly searching after mating partners. They sniff the wind to detect the right kind of scent. Any male at that time will find them easily enough.

V25 “Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst”.
I think this is a sarcastic injunction, like “Come to Bethel and transgress” (Amos ch4 v4), telling them to continue doing what they are doing wrong.
In this case, “Keep your shoes on and keep drinking”. In other words, they are avoiding coming into the presence of the Lord, which they would need to do unshod and not under the influence of wine.
“But you said- It is hopeless”. That is, in modern idiom- “It’s no good, I can’t help myself.” She loves strangers, and will go after them.

The people of Israel, especially their kings, princes, priests and [false] prophets, will be put to shame, like exposed thieves.(v26).
Because of their habit of treating local trees and stones as deities, saying “You are my father” and “you gave me birth”.
Yet they are quick to run back to the Lord when trouble comes! Why don’t you ask for help from the gods that you’ve been honouring?

V29 In short, they have rebelled against their God. But what complaint can they make about his treatment of them?

V30 He tried to teach them by punishing individuals, but they would not change their ways.
When he sent out true prophets, they were killed by the sword.

V31 Repeats the question of v29. His people have declared themselves free from their allegiance, unwilling to come to him. Yet he has not made himself unwelcoming. He has not made himself “a wilderness” or “a land of thick darkness” to them.

V32 “Can a maiden forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.”
We are coming back to the “adulterous wife” metaphor.
She seeks “lovers” so assiduously that she could even give lessons to real prostitutes.

V34 “Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the guiltless poor”
This is an additional grievance against the kingdom. It is probably corruption of justice that is killing the poor, taking away their livelihoods in wrong judgements about land, giving false verdicts in criminal matters. If you are stained with the blood of others, the Lord holds you guilty.
“You did not find them breaking in”. Another sarcasm, I think. Anyone who knew the law would know that a thief breaking into a house at night is the only man who can be killed without bloodguilt by a private individual (Exodus ch22 v2).

Nevertheless, Israel have convinced themselves that they are innocent in God’s eyes, that his anger has turned away from them. Presumably they think they have achieved this result by offering animal sacrifices. That is exactly why he will bring them to judgement.

Vv36-7 return to the point brought up in v18, that they are optimistic about getting help from Egypt and Assyria. They will be put to shame, because God has rejected those nations as well.

The address appears to continue into ch3.
In these circumstances, is it possible for the people to return to the Lord? The analogy of the law says not. V1 is based on Deuteronomy ch24 vv1-4, which is a law against reviving a dissolved marriage if the wife has been with another man during the interval. If that were allowed, the land would be polluted by formalised promiscuity. This is the law which the Pharisees misquote to Jesus as “Moses gave us permission to divorce”. If Israel’s adultery makes her “a divorced wife”, then by analogy the marriage could not be renewed.

Vv2-3 dwell on the harlotry theme, rubbing in the point. That is why the Lord has been holding back the rains.
V4. They have tried to return to him using words alone. “My father, thou art the friend of my youth. Will he be angry for ever?”
They speak in words of repentance, and yet their actions remain evil.

Is this the last word on the matter? I don’t think it can be. There is a recurring pattern in the Old Testament, that God threatens the ultimate rejection and draws back from the act at the last moment. He will give a final warning, in order to prompt repentance, but he can’t bring himself to do it. He did not destroy the human race at the Flood. In the time of Hosea, he regarded Israel as no longer his wife, but promised to lead her back into the wilderness in order to restore the relationship.

I propose that this address finds a continuation and a conclusion in ch4 vv1-4, which I will now pick up.
If you do intend to return to me, says the Lord, then do it properly. Not just words, as in ch3 v5. You can start by removing “your abominations from my presence” (that is, take the idols away from the temple precincts).
Next you can begin to swear “As the lord lives” and do so “in truth, in justice, and in uprightness”. If you do, then other nations will believe you, and will bless themselves n the Lord and glory in him. That’s what you’re supposed to be for- witnessing to the Lord towards the rest of the world.

V3 “For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem”.
This echoes the wording at the beginning of ch2, which helps to convince me that this passage really is the winding up of the address which began at that point.

“Break up your fallow ground and sow not among thorns.”
A farming metaphor. The “thorns” are the general sins of the people, perhaps especially the idols. Get rid of them.

“Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, remove the foreskin of your hearts”.
The circumcision of the heart is the only kind that matters, as we learn from Romans ch2 v29.
Otherwise they must expect the wrath of God burning like fire.

posted on Jan, 28 2022 @ 05:49 PM
Biden is a liar, so are most if not all politicians liars, Russians just said they do not want war, obviously their ally want their Olympics, there are no borders in war, it’s just masses of people about to experience modern warfare for the first time in their history because the arabs and the muslims have been experiencing it for decades.

If you feel a peace and a calm that is either drugs, God, the Holy Spirit, if you feel the wrath of God coming and are scared then repent, because this way of life is false and unattainable, for inside we are all the same, wanting the same things, love, belonging, respect, honor, these “leaders” have none of that except trump, Bidens choices are dwindling down to war or Trump.

edit on 28-1-2022 by Randomname2 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 28 2022 @ 05:56 PM
a reply to: Randomname2

Your comments don't seem to be related to the second chapter of Jeremiah, which is the topic of the thread.

posted on Jan, 28 2022 @ 06:10 PM
edit on 28-1-2022 by TheReaversChain because: Another one of these e..' sorry bit l
edit on 28-1-2022 by TheReaversChain because: (no reason given)
extra DIV

posted on Jan, 28 2022 @ 08:58 PM
I enjoy reading the threads you create, even though some of them are admittedly a little to in-depth for my understanding. I do usually get the main point, though- so thank you.

posted on Jan, 28 2022 @ 09:56 PM
So this would apply to those churches that feel they need to invoke idolatry with nature worship and other weird things we see going on these days.

I wonder how much it would apply to Catholics and their practice of honoring saints? In some ways, that verges on idolatry.

posted on Jan, 29 2022 @ 02:44 AM

originally posted by: ketsuko
So this would apply to those churches that feel they need to invoke idolatry with nature worship

I idn't know this was happening, but I'm not surprised. It's the kind of thing I've been predicting for the long term.

posted on Jan, 29 2022 @ 02:46 AM

originally posted by: nugget1
I enjoy reading the threads you create, even though some of them are admittedly a little to in-depth for my understanding. I do usually get the main point, though- so thank you.

Yes, I'm sorry about that. I hope at least that they're easier to understand than the original passages, because that's the objective.

posted on Jan, 29 2022 @ 10:25 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Some question about Francis, the Vatican, and Pachamama rites.

There have been churches and even the Catholic church dabbling in apologizing to Mother Earth with the whole climate change thing recently.

posted on Jan, 29 2022 @ 10:44 AM
a reply to: ketsuko
Interesting. The spculation I've put forward is that a personified Gaia woud be incorporated into the Catholic system as "Mary Gaia", the latest of the many versions of Mary.

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