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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 10:16

 

 

The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD of hosts is His name.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The Portion of Jacob is not like them - Every nation had its tutelary god; this was its portion; in reference to this God says Deuteronomy 4:19, "He has divided the sun, moon, and stars, to all the nations under the heaven." And the Lord had taken the Israelites to be his portion; for "the Lord's portion is his people," Deuteronomy 32:9, and David says, "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance," Psalm 16:5; Psalm 119:67. And hence Isaiah terms the smooth stones of the brook, to which Divine honors were paid, the portion of those idolaters, Isaiah 57:6. But in the text he says, "The Portion, i.e., the God of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things," and they are formed by their foolish worshippers.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The portion, of Jacob - i. e., Yahweh. He is not like gods made by a carpenter and goldsmith.

Of all things - literally, of the all, the universe.

The rod of his inheritance - See Psalm 74:2; compare Isaiah 63:17. The rod is the scepter, and Israel the people over whom Yahweh especially rules.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-10.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The portion of Jacob is not like them,.... Like those idols, vain, and the work of errors, or shall perish; even the true God, who is the portion of his people, of Jacob, whom he has chosen and redeemed; who call themselves by the name of Jacob, and are Israelites indeed, and plain hearted ones; and who have seen the insufficiency of all other portions, and the excellency of this; for there is none like it, none so large, so rich, so satisfying, and so durable; for God is the portion of his, in all the perfections of his nature, which all, some way or other, are for their good and advantage; and in all his persons, and under every character; even all he has is theirs, now and hereafter:

for he is the former of all things: which idols are not, being the maker of creatures themselves; wherefore the Creator must be a better portion than they; and as he has all things at his dispose, he bestows them on his people, and they cannot want:

and Israel is the rod of his inheritance; chosen and possessed by him, and dear unto him; and wonderful this is, that on the one side he should be the portion of his people; and, on the other, that they should be his portion and his inheritance, when so few in number, and despised by and among men, and but sinful dust and ashes; and especially when what follows is considered:

the Lord of hosts is his name: his title is the Lord of armies, above and below; he rules both in heaven and in earth, and has the inhabitants of both worlds, angels and men, at his command; and yet he chooses a handful of people to be his possession and inheritance.


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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The i portion of Jacob [is] not like them: for he [is] the former of all [things]; and Israel [is] the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts [is] his name.

(i) By these words, portion and rod, he signifies their inheritance, meaning that God would be all sufficient for them: and that their happiness consisted in him alone, and therefore they ought to renounce all other help and comfort as of idols, etc. (Deuteronomy 32:9) ; (Psalm 16:5).

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-10.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

portion — from a Hebrew root, “to divide.” God is the all-sufficient Good of His people (Numbers 18:20; Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26; Lamentations 3:24).

not like them — not like the idols, a vain object of trust (Deuteronomy 32:31).

former of all things — the Fashioner (as a potter, Isaiah 64:8) of the universe.

rod of his inheritance — The portion marked off as His inheritance by the measuring rod (Ezekiel 48:21). As He is their portion, so are they His portion (Deuteronomy 32:9). A reciprocal tie (compare Jeremiah 51:19; Psalm 74:2, Margin). Others make “rod” refer to the tribal rod or scepter.


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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 10:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-10.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.

Portion — God, who vouchsafes to be the portion of his people.

The former — Idols are things framed or formed, but God is the former of all things.

The rod of his inheritance — So called, because the inheritances of Israel were measured by a line, reed, or rod.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-10.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

We have said before, that superstitions cannot be from the heart and boldly rejected, except the true God be known; for the heathens, even when they disapproved of the opinions of the vulgar, yet reasoned on both sides, and knew nothing certain, and had no sure faith. It is, therefore, necessary that we should have previously a knowledge of the true God. Hence the Prophets, whenever they spoke of idols, spoke also of the true God; for it would have been to little purpose to condemn these follies, except they represented God in his own real dignity. For this reason the Prophet says again, that God, who is the portion of Israel, is not like idols.

He calls God the portion of Israel, that he might preserve the people in the pure truth of the law which they had learnt, and with which they had been favored; and thus he draws away the attention of the Israelites from all the inventions of men or of the heathens. The portion then of Israel is not like idols — how so? For he is the former of all things, that is, the creator of heaven and earth. Then he says, Israel is the rod of his inheritance (16) Rod may be taken for a measuring rod; and I think it ought to be so taken, for he mentions inheritance: for he took the comparison from common practice; as men are wont to measure fields and possessions by a rod. He therefore says, Israel is the rod, that is, the measuring rod of his inheritance He concludes by saying, Jehovah of hosts is his name


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-10.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 10:16 The portion of Jacob [is] not like them: for he [is] the former of all [things]; and Israel [is] the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts [is] his name.

Ver. 16. The Portion of Jacob is not like them.] God is his people’s "portion"; they are his "possession." Oh their dignity and security! This the cock on the dunghill understands not.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 10:16. The Portion of Jacob Upon the principles of heathen theology, every nation was committed to the care and superintendency of its own tutelary god, which was styled its portion, on account of the peculiar relation which was supposed to subsist between them. The portion of Jacob, therefore, is the same as the God of Jacob, he who had taken upon himself the guardianship and protection of that family. But he was distinguished from all the rest, who were falsehood and vanity all of them, having no other existence than as lifeless images, the work of deluded men; whereas he was the creator of the universe, of all that exists; and that there might be no room to mistake the Being intended, he is farther characterized as he who had made choice of Israel for the special object of his concern, had marked him out for his own possession, as with a measuring rod; and to whom the name of JEHOVAH belonged. Oh, how little did they know or value their privileges!


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-10.html. 1801-1803.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jeremiah

POSSESSING AND POSSESSED

Jeremiah 10:16

Here we have set forth a reciprocal possession. We possess God, He possesses us. We are His inheritance, He is our portion. I am His; He is mine.

This mutual ownership is the very living centre of all religion. Without it there is no relation of any depth between God and us. How much profounder such a conception is than the shallow notions about religion which so many men have! It is not a round of observance; not a painful effort at obedience, not a dim reverence for some vague supernatural, not a far-off bowing before Omnipotence, not the mere acceptance of a creed, but a life in which God and the soul blend in the intimacies of mutual possession.

I. The mutual possession.

God is our portion.

That thought presupposes the possibility of our possessing God. It presupposes the fact that He has given Himself to us, and the answering fact that we have taken Him for ours.

We are God’s inheritance.

We give ourselves to Him-we do so where we apprehend that He has given Himself to us; it is His giving love that moves men to yield themselves to God. He takes us for His. What a wonderful thought that He delights in possessing us! The all-sufficiency of our portion is guaranteed because He is ‘the former of all things.’ The safety of His inheritance is secured because ‘the Lord of Hosts is His name.’ And that name accentuates the wonder that He to whom all the ordered armies of the universe submit and belong should still take us for His inheritance.

Mark the contrast of this true possession with the false and merely external possessions of the world. Those outward things which a man has stand in no real relation with him. They fade and fleet away, or have to be left, and, even while they last, are not his in any real sense. Only what has indissolubly entered into, and become one with, our very selves is truly ours.

Our possession of God suggests a view of our blessedness and our obligation. It secures blessedness-for we have in Him an all-sufficient object and a treasure for all our nature. It imposes the obligation to let our whole nature feed upon, and be filled by, Him, to see that the temple where He dwells is clean, and not to fling away our treasure.

His possession of us suggests a corresponding view of our blessedness and our obligation.

We are His-as slaves are their owners’ property. So we are bound to submission of will. To be owned by God is an honour. The slave’s goods and chattels belong to the master.

His possession of us binds us to consecrate ourselves, and so to glorify Him in ‘body and spirit which are His.’

It ensures our safety. How constantly this calming thought is dwelt on in Scripture-that they who belong to Him need fear nothing. ‘Fear not, I have called thee by thy name, them art Mine.’ God does not hold His possessions with so slack a grasp as to lose them or to suffer them to be wrenched away. A psalmist rose to the hope of immortality by meditating on what was involved in his being God’s possession here and now. He was sure that even Death’s bony fingers could not keep their hold on him, and so he sang, ‘Thou wilt not suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.’ The seal on the foundation of God which guarantees its standing sure is, ‘The Lord knoweth them that are His.’ ‘They shall be Mine in the day that I do make, even a peculiar treasure,’ is His own assurance, on which resting, a trembling soul may ‘have boldness in the day of judgment.’

II. The human response by which God becomes ours and we His.

That response is first the act of faith, which is an act of both reason and will, and then the act of love and self-surrender which follows faith, and then the continuous acts of communion and consecration.

All must commence with recognition of His free gift of Himself to us in Christ. We come empty-handed. That gift recognised and accepted moves us to give ourselves to Him. When we give ourselves to Him we find that we possess Him.

Further, there must be continuous communion. This mutual possession depends on our occupation of mind and heart with Him. We possess Him and are possessed by Him, when our wills are kept in harmony with, and submission to, Him, when our thoughts are occupied with Him and His truth, when our affections rest in Him, when our desires go out to Him, when our hopes are centred in Him, when our practical life is devoted to Him.

III. The blessedness of this mutual possession.

To possess God is to have an all-sufficient object for all our nature. He who has God for his very own has the fountain of life in himself, has the spring of living water, as it were, in his own courtyard, and needs not to go elsewhere to draw. He need fear no loss, for his wealth is so engrained in the very substance of his being that nothing can rob him of it but himself, and that whilst he lasts it will last with, because in, him.

How marvellous that into the narrow room of one poor soul He should come whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain! Solomon said, ‘How much less this house which I have built,’-well may we say the same of our little hearts. But He can compress Himself into that small compass and expand His abode by dwelling in it.

Nor is the blessedness of being possessed by Him less than the blessedness of possessing Him. For so long as we own ourselves we are burdens to ourselves, and we only own ourselves truly when we give ourselves away utterly. Earthly love, with its blessed mysteries of mutual possession, teaches us that. But all its depth and joy are as nothing when set beside the liberty, the glad peace, the assured possession of our enriched selves, which are ours when we give ourselves wholly to God, and so for the first time are truly lords of ourselves, and find ourselves by losing ourselves in Him.

Nor need we fear to say that God, too, delights in that mutual possession, for the very essence of love is the desire to impart itself, and He is love supreme and perfect. Therefore is He glad when we let Him give Himself to us, and moved by ‘the mercies of God, yield ourselves to Him a sacrifice of a sweet smell, acceptable to God.’


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Bibliography
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/jeremiah-10.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The portion of Jacob; a periphrasis for the true God, who vouchsafeth to be the portion of his people and to be so called, Deuteronomy 32:9 Psalms 16:5, and many other places, because he is in covenant with his people in the Messiah, whose co-heirs are as dear to him as a portion is that descends to a man by inheritance; and he tells you his name in the close of the verse, Isaiah 47:4, one who hath the whole host of heaven and earth at his disposal.

He is the former of all things; idols are things framed and formed, but God is the former of all things, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Israel is the rod of his inheritance; so called, because the portions and inheritances of Israel were measured by a line, reed, or rod, and therefore called the

rod of his inheritance, Deuteronomy 32:9 Psalms 74:2, and because they were his by a continual line of succession; beside Israel is jbv schebet, the rod or sceptre of his inheritance, because God did set up his kingdom in Israel.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". 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

Yahweh, the God who gave Himself in a special relationship to such an unworthy person as Jacob, is not like the idols because He is the Creator. He adopted Israel as His special treasure among the nations ( Exodus 19:5-6). He is Yahweh Almighty.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "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 10:16. The portion of Jacob is not like them — There is no comparison between senseless idols and the great Creator of all things, who has chosen the posterity of Jacob for his peculiar people, and has promised to be their God, and that they should always have an especial interest in his favour, if they continued steadfast in their worship of, and obedience to, him. The rod of his inheritance — Is an expression taken from the first division of the land of Canaan, when the inheritance of each tribe and family was meted out with a line or rod.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-10.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Portion. The Lord. (Haydock) (Psalm lxxii. 6.) --- Rod, to measure, (Psalm lxxiii. 2.) or the sceptre and ruler. (Menochius)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

The Portion of Jacob. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 18:20. Deuteronomy 32:9).

Jacob. Not Israel, because the natural seed is spoken of as in Deuteronomy 32:9. See notes on Genesis 32:28; Genesis 43:6.

Former = Framer.

The LORD of hosts. See note on Jeremiah 6:6.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "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

The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.

Portion - from a Hebrew root, 'to divide' [ cheeleq (Hebrew #2506), from chaalaq (Hebrew #2505)]. God is the all-sufficient Good of His people (Numbers 18:20, "The Lord spake unto, Aaron ... I am thy part and thine inheritance;" Psalms 16:5; Lamentations 3:24).

Not like them - not like the idols, a vain object of trust (Deuteronomy 32:31, "Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges").

Former of all things - `the Fashioner (as a potter, Isaiah 64:8) of the universe.'

Rod of his inheritance - the portion marked off as His inheritance by the measuring rod (Ezekiel 48:21). As He is their portion, so are they His portion (Deuteronomy 32:9, "The Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot (Hebrew, cord) of His inheritance"). A reciprocal tie (cf. Jeremiah 51:19). Others make "rod" refer to the tribal rod or sceptre, as in Psalms 74:2, "Thy congregation which Thou hast purchased of old: the rod (margin, tribes) of thine inheritance which Thou hast redeemed".


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "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

(16) The portion of Jacob.—As in Psalms 16:5; Psalms 119:57, God is described as the “portion,” i.e., as the treasure and inheritance of His people. He is no powerless idol, but the former, i.e., the creator, of all things, or more literally of the all, i.e., of the universe.

The rod of his inheritance.—The phrase was familiar in the poetry of Israel (Psalms 74:2; Isaiah 63:17—Heb.), but its exact meaning is not clear. The word may be “rod” in the sense of “sceptre,” as in Genesis 49:10; Micah 7:14. Israel is that over which, or by means of which, God rules. But the other meaning in which it stands for “stem,” “division,” “tribe” (as in Isaiah 19:13; Exodus 28:21), is equally tenable.

The Lord of hosts is his name.—The time-honoured and awful name is obviously brought in as in emphatic contrast to all the names of the gods of the heathen. Among them all there was no name like “Jehovah Sabaoth,” the Lord of the armies of heaven, of the stars in their courses, of the angels in their ordered ranks, and of the armies of Israel upon earth.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.
portion
51:19; Psalms 16:5,6; 73:26; 119:57; 142:5; Lamentations 3:24
former
12; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 45:7
Israel
Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalms 74:2; 135:4; Isaiah 47:6
The Lord
31:35; 32:18; 50:34; Isaiah 47:4; 51:15; 54:5

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-10.html.

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