Jeremiah 11 Commentary

The broken covenant (11:1-17)

God had made a covenant with Israel after the people came out of Egypt, assuring them of blessing if they obeyed his law and punishment if they disobeyed. God now tells Jeremiah to remind the people of these conditions of the covenant (11:1-5). Past lessons should be a warning to them that unless they change their ways, they are heading for disaster (6-8). However, the people prefer to ignore the warnings. Like their forefathers they rebel against God and follow false gods (9-10). The towns of Judah are full of false gods, but the people will now find that these gods are powerless to save them from God’s judgment (11-13).

It is too late to pray for Judah’s deliverance. All her rituals and ceremonies will not save her from the punishment due to her (14-15). God intended Judah to be like a beautiful green olive tree, but when the storm of his judgment breaks, that olive tree will, as it were, be struck by lightning and burnt up. By worshipping Baal, Judah has brought about its own destruction (16-17).

A plot against Jeremiah (11:18-23)

The people of Anathoth, Jeremiah’s home town, had become angry with Jeremiah. They did not like his uncompromising opposition to their false religious practices and his constant predictions of certain judgment. When God warned Jeremiah that they were plotting to kill him, Jeremiah cried to God for help (18-21). God now replies with a promise that he will protect Jeremiah and punish his would-be murderers (22-23).

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