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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 12:2

 

 

You have planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit. You are near to their lips But far from their mind.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou art near in their mouth - They have no sincerity: they have something of the form of religion, but nothing of its power.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Their veins - i. e., their heart. The reins were regarded by the Jews as the seat of the affections.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-12.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Jeremiah 12:2

Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

God comes nearer to the hearts of His people in their duties than He doth to any hypocritical or formal professor

By God’s nearness we understand not His omnipresence (that neither comes nor goes), nor His love to His people (that abides), but the sensible, sweet manifestations and outlets of it to their souls (Psalms 145:18). Note the limitation of this glorious privilege; it is the peculiar enjoyment of sincere and upright-hearted worshippers.

1. Sincere souls are sensible of God’s accesses to them in their duties, they feel His approaches to their spirits (Lamentations 3:57). The heart fills apace, the empty thoughts swell with a fulness of spiritual things, which strive for vent.

2. They are sensible of God’s withdrawment from their spirits; they feel how the ebb follows the flood, and how the waters abate (Song of Solomon 5:6).

3. The Lord’s nearness to the hearts and reins of His people in their duties is evident to them from the effects that it leaves upon their spirits. For look, as it is with the earth and plants, with respect to the approach or remove of the sun in the spring and autumn, so it is here as Christ speaks (Luke 21:29).

Infer--

1. Then certainly there is a heaven and a state of glory for the saints.

2. But, oh! what is heaven? And what that state of glory reserved for the saints? Doth a glimpse of God’s presence in a duty go down to the heart and reins? Oh, how unutterable, then, must that be which is seen and felt above, where God comes as near to man as can be! (Revelation 22:3-4.)

3. See hence the necessity of casting these very bodies into a new mould by their resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:41).

4. Is God so near to His people above all others in the world? How good is it to be near to them that are so near to God:

5. If God be so near to the heart and reins of His people in their duties, oh, how assiduous should they be in their duties!

6. What steady Christians should all real Christians be! For lo, what a seal and witness hath religion in the breast of every sincere professor of it! (John Flavel.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Jeremiah 12:2". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/jeremiah-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thou hast planted them,.... In the land of Canaan, fixed the bounds of their habitation, given them a firm and comfortable settlement; for all the good things, even of the wicked, come from God:

yea, they have taken root; as everything that is planted does not; but these did, though it was downwards in the earth, on which their hearts were set, and so were strengthened and established in their worldly circumstances:

they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; but to themselves, not to God; not fruits of righteousness or good works; they grow, not in grace and holiness, but in their worldly substance; and they brought forth fruit, not such as were meet for repentance, but they had great riches, and numerous families; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "they produce children, and bring forth fruit." The Targum is,

"they become rich, yea, they possess substance.'

Thou art near in their mouth; they often made use of the name of God, either in swearing by it, or praying to him in an external manner; they called themselves the Lord's people, and boasted of being his priests, and employed in his service; they took his covenant, and the words of his law, into their mouths, and taught them the people, and yet had no sincere regard for these things:

and far from their reins; from the affections of their hearts, and the desires of their souls; they had no true love for God, nor fear of him, nor faith in him. The Targum is,

"near are the words of thy law in their mouth, and far is thy fear from their reins.'


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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 12:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou [art] near in their mouth, and far from their c reins.

(c) They profess God in mouth, but deny him in heart, which is here meant by the reins, (Isaiah 29:13) ; (Matthew 15:8).

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

grow — literally, “go on,” “progress.” Thou givest them sure dwellings and increasing prosperity.

near in … mouth … far from … reins — (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8). Hypocrites.


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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 12:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-12.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

Far — Thou art far from their inward parts, they neither fear thee, nor love thee.


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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 12:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-12.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

When the happiness of the wicked disturbs our minds, two false thoughts occur to us, — either that this world is ruled by chance and not governed by God’s providence, or that God does not perform the office of a good and righteous judge when he suffers light to be so blended with darkness. But the Prophet here takes it as granted, that the world is governed by God’s providence; he therefore does not touch the false notion, which yet harasses pious minds, that fortune governs the world. Well known are these words, “I am disposed to think that there are no gods.” (53) It was thought there were no gods who ruled the world, because he died who deserved a longer life. And the wisest heathens have thus spoken, “I see fortune, which yet no reason governs; I see fortune, which prevails more than reason in these matters.” (54) But the Prophet, who was far removed from these profane notions, held this truth, that the world is governed by God; and he now asks, How it was that God exercised so long a forbearance? The ungodly, the thoughtless, and inconsiderate might have said that this forbearance was far too scanty. But the Prophet, as I have said, clearly describes what the Jews deserved.

Then he says, that they had been planted by God; for they could not have prospered had not God blessed them. The metaphor of planting, as we have before seen, often occurs, but in a different sense. When the celestial life is the subject, God is said to have planted his own elect, because their salvation is sure. He is said also to have planted his people in the land which he had given to them as an heritage. Now, when he speaks of the reprobate, the Prophet says that they had been planted by God, and for these reasons, because they flourished, because they produced leaves, and because they brought forth some fruit. In short, as Scripture, for various reasons, compares men to trees, so it employs the word planting in a corresponding sense. The Prophet indeed says that the ungodly are supported by God, and this is certain; for were not God to deal kindly with them for a time, they could not but instantly perish. Hence their prosperity is a proof of God’s indulgence. But the Prophet expresses his wonder at this, not so much through his own private feeling, as for the purpose of shewing to the Jews that it was a strange thing that they were tolerated so long by God, as they had a hundred times deserved to be wholly destroyed.

Yea, he says, they have taken root By this metaphor he means their continued happiness. He says also, that they had advanced aloft; that is, were raised high and increased. (55) He then adds, that they had brought forth fruit The fruit of which he speaks was nothing else than their offspring; as though he had said, that the ungodly were not only prosperous to the end of life, but that they also propagated their kind, so that they had children surviving them, so that their families became celebrated. But the import of the whole is this, — that God not only endured the ungodly for a time, but extended his indulgence to many ages, so that their descendants continued in the same wealth, dignity, and power, with their dead fathers.

He afterwards adds, Thou indeed art nigh in their mouth, but thou art far from their reins Jeremiah no doubt intended to anticipate them; for he knew that the Jews would have objections in readiness, — “What art thou, who summonest us here before God’s tribunal, and who pleadest with God that he may not too patiently bear with us? Are not we his servants? Do we not daily offer sacrifices in the Temple? Are we not circumcised? Do we not bear in our bodies the sign of our adoption? Do we not possess a kingdom and a priesthood? Now, these are pledges of God’s paternal love towards us, But thou wouldest have thyself to be more just than God himself. Can God deny himself? He has bound his faithfulness to us by the sign of circumcision, by the Temple, by the kingdom, by the priesthood, and by the sacrifices; and when we do anything amiss, then our sins are expiated by sacrifices and washings, and other rites.”

As then the Prophet knew that the Jews were wont thus loquaciously and perversely to defend their own cause, he says, “O, I see what they will say to me, even that which they are wont to say; for the common burden of their song is, that they are the children of Abraham, that they sacrifice, and have other ways of pacifying God, and then that they possess a priesthood and a kingdom. These things,” he says, “are well known to me: but, O Lord, thou knowest that they are mere words; thou knowest that they act fallaciously, and that they do nothing but declare what is false when they pretend these vain shifts and evasions; for thou knowest the heart, ( καρδιογνώστης;) thou therefore understandest that there is nothing right or sincere in their mouth; for their reins are far from thee, and thou also art far from their reins.” We hence also perceive with more certainty the truth of what I have stated, — that the Prophet here pleads with God, in order that the Jews might know that they could in no way be absolved when they came before God’s tribunal. It, follows —

Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root; They thrive, yea, they have produced fruit: Nigh art thou to their mouth, But far from their reins.

“They thrive,” is literally “they go on,” that is, after having rooted, or taken root. The “reins” stand for the affections — fear, reverence, love,etc. — Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-12.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 12:2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou [art] near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

Ver. 2. Thou hast planted them, and they have taken root.] All goes well with them; they have more than heart can wish. [Psalms 73:7] And in lieu of God’s goodness to them, they profess largely, and pretend to great devotion; but that is all.

Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.] That is, From their affections. [Titus 1:16] Hypocrites are like that heap of heads [2 Kings 10:8] that had never a heart among them; they have vocem in choro, mentem in foro; virtutem non colunt sed colorant. Voices in the choir, minds in the market place, they do not worship in strength but in deception. That Persian ambassador - of whom before - when conversing with Christians, he had so oft in his mouth, Soli Deo gloria, made believe that he gave glory to the only true God, whenas he meant the sun, whom he worshipped as his god. The king of Bohemia, when beaten out of Prague, was encouraged by some great commanders about him that he had many princes his friends and allies that would readily assist him; to which he made no answer, but wrote the word Deus God, in large letters. But some thought he meant Denmark in D, England in E, Hungary in U, and the Swedes in S. God knows what his meaning was; but he will make "all the Churches to know that he searcheth the hearts and reins," and that he will "kill with death" all such as had rather seem to be good, than seek to be so. If Jeremiah had been one of those, he dared never to have said,


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-12.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 12:2. They grow, &c.— Thou art near in their mouth, but far from their reins; signifies, agreeably to another passage in Scripture, They honour thee with their lips, while their heart is far from thee, See Isaiah 29:13. Matthew 15:8.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-12.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Here are a people that indeed talk of thee, and one that only observeth their mouths would judge thou wert near to them, and they had communion with thee; but he that observeth their lives may easily discern that thou art far from their inward parts, they have neither fear of thee, nor love for thee, nor desire after thee, nor delight in thee, nor are they obedient to thee; yet thou hast planted them by thy power, and by thy providence they thrive, go on, and prosper.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-12.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord had been responsible for these wicked people coming into existence, growing, and flourishing, like trees. This was a result of His "common grace" (cf. Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35). They spoke freely about Yahweh, but they did not really take Him into consideration.


Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-12.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Reins. They have thy name in their mouth, but not in their heart, Isaias xxix. 13., and Matthew xv. 8.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

near. Anathoth was a city of priests.

mouth. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), for the words uttered by it.

reins = kidneys. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6, for the affections.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

They grow - literally, go on, progress. Thou givest them sure dwellings and increasing prosperity.

Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins - (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8). Hypocrities.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Thou hast planted them.—The words express, of course, the questioning distrust of the prophet. The wicked flourish, so that one would think God had indeed planted them. Yet all the while they were mocking Him with hypocritical worship (here we have an echo of Isaiah 29:13), uttering His name with their lips while He was far from that innermost being which the Hebrew symbolised by the “reins.”


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
hast
11:17; 45:4; Ezekiel 17:5-10; 19:10-13
grow
Heb. go on. near.
Isaiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:31; Matthew 15:8; Mark 7:6; Titus 1:16

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-12.html.

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