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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 10:9

 

 

Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Violet and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skilled men.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Brought from Tarshish - Some suppose this to be Tartessus in Spain, from which the Phoenicians brought much silver. Uphaz, Calmet thinks to be the river Pison; some think Ophir is intended.

Blue and purple is their clothing - These were the most precious dyes; very rare, and of high price.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Or, “It is a piece of wood (Jeremiah 10:8 note); yea, beaten silver it is, which is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz: it is the work etc.”

Tarshish … Uphaz - See the marginal reference and Genesis 10:4. Possibly Uphaz was a place in the neighborhood of the River Hyphasis.

Blue and purple - Both colors were purple, from dyes obtained from shellfish: but the former had a violet, the latter a red tinge.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-10.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish,.... In Cilicia, where the Apostle Paul was born; according to Josephus, as Jerom says, it was a country in India. The Targum renders it, from Africa, and calls it silver "rolled up", or "covered"; so the Vulgate Latin; such was beaten with a hammer into plates, and might be rolled up for better convenience of shipment; and with which they covered and decked their idols, to make them look glittering and pompous, and command some awe and reverence from the common people. The Arabic version renders it, "solid silver"; it being the same word from whence the firmament of heaven has its name, or the wide expanse; hence we render it "spread", stretched, and drawn out into plates. The Syriac version is, "the best silver"; as very likely that from Tarshish was reckoned.

And gold from Uphaz; called sometimes "the gold of Uphaz"; Daniel 10:5 or "Fess"; perhaps the same with the gold of Ophir, Job 28:16 and so the Targum here calls it, "gold from Ophir"; to which agrees the Syriac version; and was esteemed the best gold.

The work of workmen, and of the hands of the founder; melter or refiner, being first purified by him from dross, and then wrought into plates, and polished, and fitted for the idol; and all this being owing to the art and workmanship of men, shows the brutishness and ignorance of the people, in worshipping it as a god. Blue and purple is their clothing; not the clothing of the workmen, but of the idols; these colours seem to be chosen to dazzle the eyes of the populace, and cause them to entertain a high opinion of them; the "blue" being the colour of the heavens, and the "purple" what is wore by kings; and so both may denote their deity and dominion. But, alas!

they are all the work of cunning men: both the idols, and their clothing; especially the latter is meant, which were curiously wrought and embroidered by men skilful in that art.


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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 10:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Silver beaten into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold f from Uphaz, the work of the craftsman, and of the hands of the goldsmith: blue and purple [is] their clothing: they [are] all the work of skilful [men].

(f) Where they found the best gold; showing that they thought nothing too dear for their idols, some read Ophir as in (1 Kings 9:28).

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-10.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Everything connected with idols is the result of human effort.

Silver spread — (See on Isaiah 30:22; see on Isaiah 40:19).

Tarshish — Tartessus, in Spain, famed for precious metals.

Uphaz — (Daniel 10:5). As the Septuagint in the Syrian Hexapla in the Margin, Theodotus, the Syrian and Chaldee versions have “Ophir,” Gesenius thinks “Uphaz” a colloquial corruption (one letter only being changed) for “Ophir.” Ophir, in Genesis 10:29, is mentioned among Arabian countries. Perhaps Malacca is the country meant, the natives of which still call their gold mines Ophirs. Heeren thinks Ophir the general name for the rich countries of the south, on the Arabian, African, and Indian coasts; just as our term, East Indies.

cunning — skilful.


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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 10:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-10.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

Tarshish — Is the proper name of a sea-town in Cilicia, and being a noted port, it is usually put for the ocean, and may signify any place beyond the sea.

Uphaz — Probably the best gold came from thence as the best silver from Tarshish.


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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 10:9". "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

The Prophet, anticipating what might be said, refers to the splendor and pomp of idols, and declares that all was frivolous and extremely puerile. Whence was it that the world shewed so much honor to idols, except that their pomp dazzled the eyes of men? The devil has also by this artifice ever deluded the unbelieving; for he has exhibited in idols something that involved men’s minds in darkness.

The Prophet then assails these foolish imaginations, and says, Silver is brought from Tharsis, that is, from Cilicia; for so the Scripture designates that transmarine country, which lies opposed to Judea; and we know that Cilicia was over against Judea; for the Mediterranean Sea intervenes between Syria and Cilicia; and the sea of Tharsis is what they call that part which extended towards Cilicia and Asia Minor. The Prophet then says; that it was brought from a far country. Well, he says, the fact is so; and then it is added that gold was brought from Uphaz Some have explained this last word wrongly, by saying that it means pure or fine gold; but it appears from this place and many others, that it is the name of a country, that is, Persia, or one not far from Persia: it was at least a country eastward of Judea. He then says, gold is brought from Uphaz; and he mentions the workmanship, the work of the artificer; that is, it is not silver and gold in its rude state; but they are so elegantly wrought, that they readily attract the eyes of men. Then he adds the hands (he speaks in the plural number) of the melter; that is, the silver and gold were melted and were made to assume a certain form; and then art was employed, which gave an increased polish to these forms which came out of the furnace. He afterwards says, The hyacinth and purple are their vestments; that is, it is not enough to have the precious metal, and that cast into an elegant and lovely form, but it must be clothed in purple and hyacinth. He says in the last place, that the work was that of the wise; that is, skillful men were chosen, who could in the most perfect manner give expression to every lineament; in short, nothing was left undone. (10)

But the Prophet, though he concedes generally to the unbelieving that they added whatever could add beauty to their idols, yet declares that they were mere trumperies: they are puppets, he says; for man, who is a mortal, cannot make a god: and then, what can art and the toil and labor of man do in this respect? can he change the nature of things? can he make a god from wood and stone? and when a vestment covers the idol of gold or of silver, can it raise it above the heavens, that it may attain a new divinity? We hence see that the Prophet mentions all that was done, that he might taunt the heathens and ridicule their fatuitous trifles; for in their idols there was nothing real, nothing that could be dependd upon. He then subjoins —

9.Silver extended, from Tarsis it is brought, And gold from Uphaz, — The work of the artizan And of the hands of the founder; Blue and purple their garments, — The work of the wise, all of them.

The Septuagint and Arabic have “Mophaz;” the Vulgate, “Ophaz;” the Syriac and the Targum, “Ophir.” Probably the same country is meant, and that it had two names. “Blue” is rendered “hyacinth,” violet-color, by all the versions and the Targum.

“Uphaz,” according to Bochart, was a country near the Ganges in India, and the same with Ophir. — Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-10.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 10:9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple [is] their clothing: they [are] all the work of cunning [men].

Ver. 9. Silver spread into plates.] See Isaiah 40:19.

Is brought from Tarshish.] From Tarsus or Tartessus; [Ezekiel 27:12] from Africa, saith the Chaldee. Idolaters spare for no cost.

And gold from Uphaz.] The same with Phaz; [Job 28:17] or with Ophir, as some; Aurum Obzyrum.

They are all the work of cunning men.] Quaerunt suos Phidias et Praxiteles: but how could those give that deity which themselves had not?


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 10:9. Tarshish, and—Uphaz Tarshish was a place at this time celebrated through all the East for its commerce. Calmet has endeavoured to prove, in his dissertation upon Ophir, that the gold of Uphaz was the same with that of the river Pison; and Bochart supposes Uphaz to be the same with Ophir in India, near Zeilan, a place famous for gold.

Blue and purple is their clothing The splendor and magnificence of dress seems among the ancients to have consisted very much in the richness of the colours; the art of dying to perfection, which was esteemed a matter of great skill, being known and practised by very few. The excellency of the Tyrian purple is celebrated by both sacred and profane authors; and the blue, which from many passages of Scripture we find to have been in great request, was also imported from remote countries as an article of expensive luxury. See Ezekiel 27:7; Ezekiel 27:24.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". 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

Silver spread into plates; it was not wood washed with gold, nor massy silver or gold, but covered over with plates of silver or gold, Exodus 39:3.

From Tarshish; from some remote place, probably from Spain, whence the best gold came; Tarshish is the proper name of a sea-town in Cilicia, Ezekiel 27:12,25 Jon 1:3; and being a noted port, from whence they had passage to Africa, India, and other remote countries, it is usually put for the ocean, and may as well signify from any place beyond the sea. If you take it properly, then possibly it is noted as the best silver coming from thence, as Uphaz for the best gold; for though we read also of gold coming from thence, 1 Kings 10:22 2 Chronicles 9:21, yet where the most proper commodities of it are mentioned we read of no gold, Ezekiel 27:12, unless what seems rather to be brought thither, Jeremiah 10:22.

Gold from Uphaz, i.e. probably the best gold, coming from thence in those days, as the best silver from Tarshish, and that here was the best gold is probable from Daniel 10:5. There are various conjectures at what place this points at, whether the same with Phas, or Fez, by an aphaeresis, or Ophir, a place not far from Tarshish; and divers other places are conjectured; and some think it refers to no place at all, but to point at the excellency of the gold only. But it is not the design that this comment should swell with things rather conjectural than profitable, it is enough to know that this place intends the purest gold.

The work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: thus, saith he, the artificer takes it, and each, according to his art, shapes it and adorns it; fits the silver and the gold for it.

Blue and purple is their clothing: expositors differing about the materials out of which they were dyed, do differ also in the colours, which here are called blue and purple; the dispute is not worth the while in a vulgar comment, they that will may consult the English Annotations. Either this relates to the further adorning those rich idols of silver and gold; or it implies other artists, such as shape, or sew silk or cloth, woollen or linen, made use of to make these garments for those idols of more inferior materials, as wood or stone, the other being sufficiently beautified without them.

They are all the work of cunning men, i.e. the choicest men in their respective arts were picked out for this work, that there might be nothing wanting as to exactness, richness, and curiosity; all this the prophet speaks the more to ridicule their idols, as if all this would put any thing of power, virtue, or excellency in them, still deest aliquit intus.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-10.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. Tarshish — Generally supposed to have been located in the south of Spain. It is thought from the context to have been an opulent and cultured city.

Uphaz — Thought by Gesenius and Keil to be a dialectical variety of Ophir, and the Targum and the Syriac Version so treat it. Others, however, regard it as a distinct name. It occurs elsewhere only in Daniel 10:5.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-10.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The idolaters imported silver from Tarshish in the far west, probably Tartessus in Spain, and gold from Uphaz (location unknown). Instead of place names, some translators believed refined silver and pure gold are in view. Some ancient versions substituted Ophir, a site in southern Arabia, for Uphaz. Craftsmen and goldsmiths then glorified these images that had no glory of their own. They dressed the idols up like little kings with royal-colored fabrics, but that did not make them kings since they were merely manmade artifacts.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "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 10:9. Silver spread into plates — To cover the images, and make them appear as if made of massy silver; is brought from Tarshish — A port of Spain, to which the merchants of Tyre and Sidon traded; of which place see note on Isaiah 2:16. And gold from Uphaz — The Syriac, Chaldee, and Theodotion read, from Ophir, which Bochart supposes to be here meant; namely, Ophir in India, near Zeilan, a place famous for gold. Blue and purple are their clothing — “The splendour and magnificence of dress seem, among the ancients, to have consisted very much in the richness of the colours; the art of dying which to perfection, was esteemed a matter of great skill, being known and practised by very few. The excellence of the Tyrian purple is celebrated by both sacred and profane authors. And the blue, which from many passages of Scripture we find to have been in great request, was also imported from remote countries as an article of elegant and expensive luxury.” They are all the work of cunning men — “If, in the preceding verse, the insignificance of the idols was argued from the vile and perishable matter out of which they were composed; the same is inferred in this from their being indebted to the art and labour of man for all their costly ornaments, their splendid outward show. In short, the whole of them, says the prophet, internal and external, is the work of skilful men. Upon what ground then could the thing formed pretend to a nature more excellent than its former?” — Blaney.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-10.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ophaz, or Phison, (Genesis ii. 11.; Calmet) the coast of Pegu, Faprobana, &c. (Menochius)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Tarshish. See note on 1 Kings 10:22.

Uphaz. Probably = Ophir. Compare 1 Kings 9:28; 1 Kings 10:11.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "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

Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

Silver spread - (note, Isaiah 30:22; Isaiah 40:19).

Tarshish - Tartessus, in Spain, famed for precious metals.

Uphaz - (Daniel 10:5). As the Septuagint in the Syrian Hexapla in the margin, Theodotus, the Syrian and Chaldee versions have Ophir, Gesenius thinks Uphas is a colloquial corruption (one letter only being changed) for Ophir. Ophir, in Genesis 10:29, is mentioned among Arabian countries. Perhaps Malacca is the country meant, the natives of which still call their gold-mines Ophirs. Heeren thinks Ophir the general name for the rich countries of the South, on the Arabian, African, and Indian coasts: just as our term East Indies.

Work of cunning men - skillful men.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "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

(9) Tarshish.—As elsewhere in the Old Testament, Spain, the Tartessus of the Greeks (Genesis 10:4; Jonah 1:3; Ezekiel 27:12), from whence Palestine, through the Phoenicians, was chiefly supplied with silver, tin, and other metals.

Uphaz.—Possibly an error of transcription, or dialectical variation, for Ophir, giving the meaning “gold-coast.” The word is found only here and in Daniel 10:5. Some interpreters, however, connect it with the name of Hyphasis, one of the tributaries of the Indus. We cannot attain to greater certainty. (See Note on 1 Kings 9:28.)

Blue and purple.—Both were colours obtained from the murex, a Mediterranean shell-fish, and were used both for the curtains of the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:4) and for the gorgeous apparel of the idols of the heathen. “Purple,” as elsewhere in the English of the Bible, must be understood of a deep crimson or scarlet. (Comp. Matthew 27:28; Mark 15:17.)


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
Silver
Tarshish
1 Kings 10:22; Ezekiel 27:12
Uphaz
Daniel 10:5
are all
Psalms 115:4

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 10:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-10.html.

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