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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 12:3

 

 

But You know me, O LORD; You see me; And You examine my heart's attitude toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter And set them apart for a day of carnage!

Adam Clarke Commentary

But thou, O Lord, knowest me - I know that the very secrets of my heart are known to thee; and I am glad of it, for thou knowest that my heart is towards thee - is upright and sincere.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou hast seen me … - Rather, “Thou seest me and triest mine heart” at all times, and knowest the sincerity of its devotion” toward Thee.”

Pull them out - The original is used Jeremiah 10:20 of the rending asunder of the cords of the tent, and Ezekiel 17:9 of the tearing up of roots. Jeremiah does not doubt God‘s justice, or the ultimate punishment of the wicked, but he wants it administered in a summary way.

Prepare - literally, “sanctify,” i. e., devote.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-12.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But thou, O Lord, knowest me,.... The Lord knew him before he was born, Jeremiah 1:5, he knew what he designed him for, and what use he would make of him; and he knew him now, and loved him, and cared for him, as his prophet; he knew his sincerity and faithfulness, and took notice of it, with what integrity he performed his office, and discharged his duty; and he knew that all his enemies said of him were scandal and reproach, lies and calumnies.

Thou hast seen me; his inside, his heart, and all in it; for all things are naked and open to the eyes of an omniscient God:

and tried mine heart towards thee; he had tried him by various afflictive providences, and his heart was found towards God; the affections and desires of his soul were towards him, and he remained faithful and upright before him, and not like the wicked before mentioned.

Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter; either out of the fold, or from a fat pasture; so fat sheep are plucked from the rest, in order to be killed: this shows that their riches, affluence, and plenty, served but to ripen them for ruin and destruction, and were like the fattening of sheep for slaughter; which the prophet, by this imprecation, suggests and foretells would be their case, as a righteous judgment upon them; see James 5:5.

Prepare them for the day of slaughter; or, "sanctify them"F23והקדשם "et sanctifica eos", V. L. Montanus; "segrega", Piscator; "destina", Schmidt; "consecra", Cocceius. ; set them apart for it: this, doubtless, refers to the time of Jerusalem's destruction by the Chaldeans.


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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 12:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried my heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and d prepare them for the day of slaughter.

(d) The Hebrew word is "sanctify them", meaning that God would be sanctified in the destruction of the wicked to whom God for a while gives prosperity, that afterward they would the more feel his heavy judgment when they lack their riches which were a sign of his mercy.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

knowest me — (Psalm 139:1).

tried … heart — (Jeremiah 11:20).

toward thee — rather, “with Thee,” that is, entirely devoted to Thee; contrasted with the hypocrites (Jeremiah 12:2), “near in … mouth, and far from … reins.” This being so, how is it that I fare so ill, they so well?

pull … out — containing the metaphor, from a “rooted tree” (Jeremiah 12:2).

prepare — literally, “separate,” or “set apart as devoted.”

day of slaughter — (James 5:5).


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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 12:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-12.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The Prophet is not here solicitous about himself, but, on the contrary, undertakes the defense of his own office, as though he had said that, he faithfully discharged the office committed to him by God. Though then the Jews, and even the citizens of Anathoth, his own people, unjustly persecuted him, yet he was not excited by private wrongs; and though he disregarded these entirely, he yet could not give up the defense of his office. He then does not speak here of his own private feelings, but only claims for himself faithfulness and sincerity before God in performing his office as a teacher; as though he had said that he executed what God had commanded him to do, and that therefore the Jews contended not with a mortal being, but with God himself.

Hence he says, But thou, Jehovah, knowest me and seest me, and triest my heart towards thee; that is, thou knowest how sincerely I serve thee, and endeavor to fulfin my vocation, and thus to obey thy command. He afterwards glories over them as a conqueror, and says, Draw them forth as sheep for the day of sacrificing, prepare them for slaughter Here no doubt the Prophet intended not only to touch, but sharply to wound the Jews, in order that they might know that they had been hitherto secure to no purpose, and to their own ruin, because God had spared them. They who consider that the Prophet was himself troubled, because he saw that God was propitious and kind to the ungodly, think that, with reference to himself, he took comfort from this, — that the judgment of God was nigh at hand; but I doubt not but that the Prophet had regard to the Jews, as I have already reminded you. When, therefore, he saw that they were torpid in their delusions, he intended to rouse their sensibilities by saying, “I see how it is, O Lord; thou dost indeed concede thyself; but what else is thy purpose but that they should be fattened for the day of slaughter?”

He says, first, Thou wilt draw them out: others read, “Thou wilt lead them forth,” and quote a passage in Jude 20:32, where נתק nutak, is taken in this sense. The word properly means to draw out with force, as when a tree is pulled up, or when any one is drawn out against his will; and this is the sense most suitable to the present passage. Thou wilt then draw them out; that is, thou wilt suddenly draw them out to slaughter. He then intimates that there was no reason for the Jews to be dormant in their prosperity, for God could in a moment act against them; and as the pain of one in labor is sudden, so also, when the wicked say, Peace and security, their ruin will come suddenly upon them. (1 Thessalonians 5:3) This then is what the Prophet now means: but he goes on in his way of teaching; for he does not address men as they were all deaf, but speaks to God himself, that his doctrine might be more effectual: Thou then wilt draw them out, and do thou prepare them; for it is a prayer: do thou then prepare them for the day of slaughter (56)

The last expression ought especially to be noticed. The Prophet indeed seems here in an excited feeling to imprecate ruin on the people; but there is no doubt but that he was here discharging the duty of his office, for he was the herald of God’s vengeance. IIe therefore asks God to execute what he had commanded him to denounce on the people. He had often promulgated what God had resolved to do to them, but he had moved no one: he now then asks God to fulfin what he had foretold the Jews — that they should shortly perish, because they refused to repent.

We may also learn from this passage, — that when the ungodly accumulate wealth, they are in a manner fattened. When oxen plough, and sheep are fed that they may bear wool and bring forth young, they are not fed that they may grow fat, and a moderate quantity of food will suffice them; but when any one intends to prepare sheep or oxen for the slaughter, he fattens them. So then the feeding of them is nothing else than the fattening of them; and the fattening of them is a preparation for their slaughter. I have therefore said that a very useful doctrine is included in this form of speaking; for when we see that plenty of wealth and power abound with the ungodly and the despisers of God, we see that they are in a manner thus fined with good things, that they may grow fat: — it is fattening or cramming. Let us then not bear it in that they are thus covered with their own fatness, for they are prepared for the day of slaughter. It follows —

But thou, Jehovah, thou hast known me; Thou seest me, and triest my heart towards thee: Pull them out as sheep for the sacrifice, And set them apart for the day of slaughter.

It is evident that “seest,” which is here in the future tense, is to be taken as expressing a present act. It would be so rendered in Welsh, —

F">(lang. cy) Ond ti Jehova, adwaenaist vi;
Gweli vi, a phrovi, vy nghalon tuag atat.

God had known him, he was still seeing him, and approved of his heart before him, as the Septuagint express the words. To prove here, or to “try,” means a trial by which a thing is found to be genuine. Blayney gives the meaning by a paraphrase, —

Thou canst discern by trial my heart to be with thee.

Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-12.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 12:3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.

Ver. 3. But thou, Lord, knowest me, &c., ] q.d., I can safely appeal unto thee, and take thee for a witness of mine innocence and integrity, that I have thee not in my mouth only, as they, but in my heart also, which is wholly devoted to thy fear, ut sit tecum, hanging toward thee, and hankering after thee continually. (a)

Pull them out as sheep.] Punish some of them presently for an example of thy providence, and reserve others of them till hereafter for an instance of thy patience. See Jeremiah 11:20.

Prepare them.] Heb., Sanctify them. {as Isaiah 13:3; Isaiah 6:7} Fatted ware is but fitted for the shambles.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-12.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 12:3. Pull them out, &c.— Thou wilt separate them as sheep to be sacrificed, and set them apart, &c. Houbigant.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". 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

But thou, O Lord, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried my heart toward thee: here seemeth to be something understood, viz. But, Lord, it is otherwise with me, I am maligned, and my life is hunted after; yet, Lord, thou knowest the sincerity of my heart before and towards thee, thou hast had experience of me in the discharge of my prophetical office, and knowest that I have been faithful in revealing to the people what thou didst reveal to me, yet for this it is they seek my life and would have my blood.

Prepare them for the day of slaughter: Lord, avenge me on this wicked generation, confirm the words against them which I have from thee denounced. Concerning the meaning of expressions of this nature, and the lawfulness of putting up such petitions against those who are not only our enemies, but God’s also, See Poole "Jeremiah 11:20".


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. Thou, O Lord, knowest me — A solemn appeal to the heart-searching God, not in the spirit of Phariseeism, but with a clear consciousness of thorough honesty. The fact that God is omniscient is terrible to the sinner, but a source of ineffably precious consolation and strength to the Christian.

Pull them out — Literally, tear them out. The same word is used in Jeremiah 10:20, of the breaking of the cords of the tent, and in Ezekiel 17:9, of the tearing up of roots. No more vigorous word could have been used in this place.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-12.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord knew that Jeremiah"s attitude toward Him was entirely different than those hypocrites. The prophet prayed that the Lord would drag them off to punishment like sheep going to the slaughter (cf. Jeremiah 11:19). He prayed that God would reserve them for special destruction, as He had set Jeremiah apart for his ministry ( Jeremiah 1:5).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-12.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Gather. God orders his prophet to announce the misery of the wicked.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

prepare = separate, or devote.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "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

But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.

Thou, O Lord, knowest me - (Psalms 139:1).

Tried mine heart - (Jeremiah 11:20).

Toward thee , [ 'itaak (Hebrew #854)] - rather, with thee, i:e., entirely devoted to thee; contrasted with the hypocrites (Jeremiah 12:2), "Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins." This being so, how is it that I fare so ill, they so well?

Pull them out - containing the metaphor from a 'rooted tree' (Jeremiah 12:2).

Prepare - literally, separate, or set apart as devoted.

Day of slaughter - (James 5:5, "Ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter").


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 12:3". "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

(3) Thou, O Lord, knowest me.—Like all faithful sufferers from evil-doers before and after him, the prophet appeals to the righteous Judge, who knows how falsely he has been accused. In words in which the natural impatience of suffering shows itself as clearly as in the complaints of Psalms 69, 109, he asks that the judgment may be immediate, open, terrible. As if recalling the very phrase which he had himself but lately used (Jeremiah 11:19), he prays that they too may be as “sheep for the slaughter,” dragged or torn away from their security to the righteous penalty of their wrong.

Prepare.—Better, devote. The Hebrew word, as in Jeremiah 6:4, involves the idea of consecration.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
knowest
11:20; 2 Kings 20:3; 1 Chronicles 29:17; Job 23:10; Psalms 17:3; 26:1; 44:21; Psalms 139:1,23; John 21:17; 1 John 3:20,21
toward
or, with. pull.
17:18; 18:21-23; 20:12; 48:15; 50:27; 51:4
the day
11:19; Psalms 44:22; James 5:5

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-12.html.

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