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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 10:11

 

 

Thus you shall say to them, "The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens."

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thus shall ye say unto them - This is the message you shall deliver to the Chaldean idolaters.

The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish - Both they and their worshippers shall be destroyed; and idolatry shall finally be destroyed from the earth; and the heavens shall look no more on so great an abomination. It is suffered for a while: but in the end shall be destroyed. This verse is written in a sort of Hebraeo-Syriaco-Chaldee; such a dialect as I suppose was spoken at that time in Babylon, or during the captivity. As it is a message to the Babylonians therefore, it is given in their own language. The Chaldee makes it the beginning of the copy of the epistle which the Prophet Jeremiah sent to the rest of the elders of the captivity who were in Babylon. All the ancient Versions acknowledge this verse; and it is found in all MSS. hitherto collated, except one of Dr. Kennicott's numbered 526; and he has included it between lines, as doubting its authenticity. Dr. Blayney supposes that some public teacher during the captivity, deducing it by direct inference from the prophet's words, had it inserted in the margin, and perhaps usually read together with this section, in the assemblies of the people, in order that they might have their answer always ready, whenever they were molested on the point of religion, or importuned to join the idolatrous worship of the Chaldeans.

Dahler has left it entirely out of the text, and introduces it in a note thus: - "After Jeremiah 10:10; the Hebrew text is interrupted by a verse written in the Chaldean or Babylonish tongue. It is thus expressed: -

Ye shall say unto them, Let the gods perish!

Who have not made the heavens and the earth.

Let them be banished from above the earth,

and from under the heavens.

This verse can be considered only as a foreign insertion, not only on account of the difference of the language, but also because it interrupts the natural course of the ideas, and of the connection of the tenth and twelfth verses."

As a curiosity I shall insert it in Hebrew, which the reader may compare with the Chaldee text, which I also subjoin.

השמיםנ עשו לא אשר האלהים להם תאמרו כזאת והארץנ יאבדונ מןנ הארץנ ומןנ תחתנ השמיםנ אלה cazoth tomeru lahem ; haelohim asher lo asu hashshamayim vehaarets, yobedu min haarets, umin tachath hashshamayim elleh . כדנאנ תאמרוןנ להוןנ אלהיאנ דינ שמיאנ וארקאנ לאנ עבדונ יאבדונ אלה שמיא תחות ומן מארעא kidna temerun lehon ; elahaiya di shemaiya vearka la abadu, yebadu meara umin techoth shemaiya elleh .

The Hebrew is the translation of Leusden; the Chaldee is that of the common text. Had not all the ancient Versions acknowledged it, I also, principally on account of the strangeness of the language, as being neither Chaldee nor Syriac, should have doubted its authenticity.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

This verse is (in the original) in Chaldee. It was probably a proverbial saying, which Jeremiah inserts in its popular form.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-10.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens."

We have noted that Thompson mistakenly called this a gloss. It is no such thing. "It must not be regarded as a gloss, because it provides an immediate connection between Jeremiah 10:10,12."[17]

"Thus shall ye say unto them ..." (Jeremiah 10:11). This refers to a popular saying in those times in the Chaldee tongue (to which the Jews would soon travel); and, in effect, it gives God's people a ready-made answer in the tongue of their captors by which they would be able to resist the inducements to participate in Babylonian idolatry. This is one of the master-strokes of the whole prophecy.

"Because this verse is in Chaldee (Aramaic) some expositors reject it as a gloss; but all versions have it. It fits the context perfectly."[18] Furthermore, "No copyist would have interpolated a Chaldee verse into a Hebrew text!"[19]

In the attention we have paid to the authenticity of the chapter, we should not overlook the extremely important theological teachings of these important verses: "There is none like God (Jeremiah 10:6); He is the true and living God (Jeremiah 10:10); He is the Creator of heaven and earth (Jeremiah 10:12); He is the controller of the clouds and of the rain (Jeremiah 10:13); he alone is worthy of the respect and adoration of all men (Jeremiah 10:7); He is especially the God of Israel (Jeremiah 10:16).

Before leaving Jeremiah 10:11, we shall note that many recent commentators love to parrot the old critical shibboleth that "This verse, being in Chaldee (Aramaic) is out of place."[20] But such a remark is nothing but an eighteenth century error. As R. Payne Smith, Dean of Canterbury, stated in 1929, "The appearance of this verse, as is, in the Septuagint (LXX) version is decisive. That this verse is in Aramaic is accounted for by the supposition that the exiles (soon to be in Babylon) were to use these very words (in the Chaldean tongue) as a retort when asked by the Chaldeans to join in their idol-worship. It was probably a proverbial saying."[21] What an advantage for the exiles that they were thus armed with a popular proverb in the very language of their captors, enabling them to resist appeals to join in Babylonian idolatry!


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jeremiah-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thus shall ye say unto them,.... The godly Jews to the idolatrous Chaldeans; and therefore this verse alone is written in the Chaldee language. The Targum prefaces it thus,

"this is the copy of the letter, which Jeremiah the prophet sent to the rest of the elders of the captivity in Babylon; and if the people among whom you are should say unto you, serve idols, O house of Israel; then shall ye answer, and so shall ye say unto them, the idols whom ye serve are errors, in whom there is no profit; from heaven they cannot bring down rain, and out of the earth they cannot produce fruit:'

so Jarchi observes: it follows in the text,

the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens; which the Targum paraphrases thus,

"they and their worshippers shall perish from the earth, and shall be consumed from under these heavens.'

The words may be considered as a prediction that so it would be; or as an imprecation that so it might be, and be read, "let the gods", &c.; and considered either way, being put into the mouth of the godly Jews in Babylon, to be openly pronounced by them in the midst of idolaters, and in answer to them, when they should be enticed to idolatry, show how open and ingenuous men should be in the profession of the true God, and his religion and worship: and it may be observed, against the deniers of the true deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that if he is not that God that made the heavens and the earth, he lies under this imprecation or prediction.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Thus shall ye say to them, The gods g that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

(g) This declares that all that has been spoken of idols in this chapter, was to arm the Jews when they would be in Chaldea among the idolaters, and now with one sentence he instructs them both how to protest their own religion against the idolaters and how to answer them to their shame who would exhort them to idolatry, and therefore he writes this sentence in the Chaldean tongue for a memorial while all the rest of his writing is in Hebrew.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-10.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

This verse is in Chaldee, Jeremiah supplying his countrymen with a formula of reply to Chaldee idolaters in the tongue most intelligible to the latter. There may be also derision intended in imitating their barbarous dialect. Rosenmuller objects to this view, that not merely the words put in the mouths of the Israelites, but Jeremiah‘s own introductory words, “Thus shall ye say to them,” are in Chaldee, and thinks it to be a marginal gloss. But it is found in all the oldest versions. It was an old Greek saying: “Whoever thinks himself a god besides the one God, let him make another world” (Psalm 96:5).

shall perish — (Isaiah 2:18; Zechariah 13:2).

these heavens — the speaker pointing to them with his fingers.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-10.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Now, the reason why he bids the Israelites to speak in the Chaldee language is, because they had been led into exile, and were mingled with the Assyrians and Chaldeans. He then required from those despised exiles an open and a bold confession, as though he had said, “Even though ye are now in the most miserable bondage, and though the Chaldeans disdainfully oppress you, as if ye were slaves, yet proclaim the glory of God and shrink not from an open confession of your religion, and say to them, in contempt of all their idols, perish must your gods from the earth and from under heaven, for they have not made heaven nor the earth.” We now understand the meaning of the Prophet. But the rest I shall defer until tomorrow.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-10.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 10:11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

Ver. 11. Thus shall ye say unto them.] Confession with the mouth is necessary to salvation. This verse (written therefore in the Syriac tongue, which was spoken at Babylon) is a formulary given to God’s people, to be made use of by them in detestation of the idolatries of that city.

The gods that made not the heaven and the earth.] The vanity of idols and heathenish gods is set forth (1.) By their impotence; (2.) Frailty. Quid ad haec respondebunt Papistae? aut qualem contradictoriae reconciliationem afferent?


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 10:11. Thus shall ye say, &c.— This verse is in the Chaldee language, and it appears here as a kind of parenthesis. Houbigant thinks, that the most probable reason why it is here inserted in the Chaldee, and not in the Hebrew, is, that Jeremiah prescribes to the Jews what they shall answer, in living among idolaters, and using the Chaldee language; hereby presignifying that they should be the captives of the Chaldees.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-10.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Say unto them, viz. to your great lords, the Babylonians, when they shall solicit you to worship idols.

The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth: this seems to have some allusion to a saying common among those Greeks that held one supreme Deity, Let him that saith he is a god make another world. Here is noted both how frail they are,

they shall perish; and how weak they are, they could not make

the heavens or the earth. This verse is writ in the Chaldean tongue, and not in the Hebrew, that when they came among them that did worship their idols, they might openly and plainly profess the true God in that language, which the enemies understood better than they did the Hebrew, and that in such kind of bold language as this; Let all those gods perish from off the earth, and under the heavens, that were not able to make either. It is an imprecation upon their idols.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-10.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jeremiah instructed his audience to say that these idols would perish, because they were human creations rather than the divine Creator. This is the only Aramaic verse in Jeremiah.

"The Tg [Targum] prefaces Jeremiah 10:11 with these words: "This is the copy of the letter which the Prophet Jeremiah sent to the leaders of the exile in Babylon: "If the Chaldeans say to you, worship our idols, then answer them as follows."" This suggests that Jeremiah 10:11 was a shortened version of a letter sent by Jeremiah to Jehoiachin and the other exiles in Babylon [where Aramaic was spoken] between598,587 B.C. (compare Jeremiah 29:1-32)." [Note: Kelley, p160. The Targums were interpretive translations of portions of the Hebrew Scriptures into Aramaic, which increasingly replaced the Hebrew language following the Babylonian captivity.]

Another possibility is that this verse represents a well-known saying that someone, perhaps an Aramaic speaker, added to the text under divine inspiration. [Note: Thompson, p330.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-10.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Jeremiah 10:11. Thus shall ye say unto them — “This verse is in the Chaldee language, and it appears here as a kind of parenthesis. Houbigant thinks that the most probable reason why it is here inserted in the Chaldee, and not in the Hebrew, is, that Jeremiah prescribes to the Jews what they shall answer in living among idolaters, and using the Chaldee language; hereby prescribing that they should be the captives of the Chaldees.” — Dodd. The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth — And therefore they are no gods, but the usurpers of the honour due to him only who did make them; shall perish from the earth, &c. — Shall perish of course, because they are vanity, formed of perishing materials; and shall perish by his righteous sentence, because they are rivals with him who made all things. Here the prophet foretels that there shall be a final period put to idolatry. God hath already blotted out the names of many of the heathen idols, as an earnest of the utter destruction of the rest in his due time.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-10.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Heaven. This verse is in Chaldean, for the captives to use at Babylon, to defend themselves. It should be in a parenthesis, as it interrupts the discourse. Perhaps it was added during the captivity.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Thus shall ye say, &c. This verse is in Chaldee, to serve as a confession of their faith in their exile.

not made . . . shall perish. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia. Hebrew. "abadu ye"badu.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

Shall perish - (Isaiah 2:18, "The idols He shall utterly abolish," namely, "in the day of the Lord of hosts;" Jeremiah 10:12; Zechariah 13:2).

These heavens - the speaker pointing to them with his finger.

Jeremiah 10:12 is a continuation of Jeremiah 10:10, after the interruption of the thread of the discourse in Jeremiah 10:11 (Psalms 136:5-6).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Thus shall ye say unto them.—The verse presents an almost unique phenomenon. It is not, like the rest of the book, in Hebrew, but in Chaldee or Aramaic, the language of the enemies of Israel. Two explanations have been offered—(1) that a marginal note, added by one of the exiles in Babylon, found its way at a later period into the text; (2) a far more probable view, viz., that the prophet, whose intercourse with the Chaldeans had made him familiar with their language, put into the mouths of his own countrymen the answer they were to give when they were invited to join in the worship of their conquerors. Little as they might know of the strange language, they might learn enough to give this answer. The words have the ring of a kind of popular proverb, and in the original there is a play of sound which can only be faintly reproduced in English—The gods that have not made . . . they shall be made away with. The apocryphal Epistle of Jeremiah, already referred to, may, perhaps, be regarded as a rhetorical sermon on this text.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
Thus
"In the Chaldean language." The gods.
Psalms 96:5
they
15; 51:18; Isaiah 2:18; Zephaniah 2:11; Zechariah 13:2; Revelation 20:2
under
Lamentations 3:66

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-10.html.

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