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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 27:9

 

 

"But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers or your sorcerers who speak to you, saying, `You will not serve the king of Babylon.'

Adam Clarke Commentary

Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets - Who pretend to have a revelation from heaven.

Nor to your diviners - קסמיכם kosemeychem, from קסם kasam, to presage or prognosticate. Persons who guessed at futurity by certain signs in the animate or inanimate creation.

Nor to your dreamers - חלמתיכם chalomotheychem, from חלם chalam, to break in pieces; hence חלום chalom, a dream, because it consists of broken fragments. Dream-interpreters, who, from these broken shreds patch up a meaning by their own interpolations.

Nor to your enchanters - ענניכם oneneychem, from ענן anan, a cloud - cloud-mongers. Diviners by the flight, color, density, rarity, and shape of clouds.

Nor to your sorcerers - כשפיכם cashshapheychem, from כשף kashaph, to discover; the discoverers, the finders out of hidden things, stolen goods, etc. Persons also who use incantations, and either by spells or drugs pretend to find out mysteries, or produce supernatural effects. Every nation in the world had persons who pretended to find out hidden things, or foretell future events; and such were gladly encouraged by the ignorant multitude; and many of them were mere apes of the prophets of God. Man knows that he is short-sighted, feels pain at the uncertainty of futurity, and wishes to have his doubts resolved by such persons as the above, to put an end to his uncertainty.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-27.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Dreamers - literally, as in the margin. People dream dreams for themselves, and go to diviners to ask the explanation of them.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-27.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets,.... False prophets, as the Targum. These words are not directed to the Jews, but are a continuation of what the messengers of the nations should say to their masters from the God of Israel, by the mouth of his prophet; for they had their prophets as well as the Jews; as the prophets of Baal, and others:

nor to your diviners; or soothsayers; such an one as was Balaam:

nor to your dreamers; or "dreams"; such as they had themselves, and laid great stress upon; or to those who pretended to interpret them to them:

nor to your enchanters; or stargazers; astrologers, who pretended by the position of the stars to foretell what would come to pass:

nor to your sorcerers; or wizards, or necromancers; who, by unlawful methods, pretended to acquire knowledge of future things:

which speak unto you, saying, ye shall not serve the king of Babylon; meaning, either that they ought not to become tributary to him; or they should not be brought into subjection by him: and so were stirred up to oppose him, and not submit to him.


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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 27:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-27.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

ye — the Jews especially, for whom the address to the rest was intended.

enchanters — augurs [Calvin], from a root, the “eyes,” that is, lookers at the stars and other means of taking omens of futurity; or another root, a “fixed time,” observers of times: forbidden in the law (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10, Deuteronomy 18:11, Deuteronomy 18:14).


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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 27:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-27.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

As Jeremiah had declared to the king, as well as to the citizens, that they could not escape the punishment that was at hand, he now shakes off from them that vain confidence, which was as an obstacle in the way, so that they were not touched by threatenings, nor received wholesome warnings. For the false prophets deceived them by their flatteries, and promised that all things would happen prosperously to them. As then the Prophet saw that the ears both of the king and of the people were closed against him, so that he could do little or nothing by exhorting and threatening them, he added what he deemed necessary, even that all the things which the false prophets vainly said were altogether fallacious.

He therefore said, Hear ye not your prophets and your diviners; for קסם, kosam, is to divine; then he adds, your dreamers; in the fourth place, your augurs; in the fifth place, your sorcerers, or charmers. Some indeed regard עננים, onnim, as observers of time, for עונה, oune, is a stated time, hence they who imagine that a thing is to be done on this or that day, and promise a happy issue, were called, as they think, עננים onnim, because they superstitiously observed hours and periods of time. But as ענן, onen, means a cloud, they may also be called עננים, onnim, who divined by the stars, and hence took counsel as to what was to be done. (184)

But let us now inquire, whether Jeremiah speaks of such dreamers, and others as were among the Jews, or whether he includes also such as were found among the neighboring nations. It seems probable to me, that what he says ought to be confined to the Jews; for I take the word ye, as emphatical, Hear ye not, etc. There follows afterwards an explanation, According to these words have I spoken to the king; and then he adds, that he spoke to the priests and to the people. Hence then we conclude, that the whole of this part was probably addressed to the Jews alone. Divinations,

auguries, and incantations, were indeed prohibited in the Law; but we well know how often the Jews gave up themselves to these tricks of the devil, the Law of God being wholly despised by them. It is then no wonder if at this time there were among them magicians, as well as augurs and diviners, notwithstanding the manifest prohibition of the Law. We may, however, so understand these words, as that the Prophet compared these false prophets to diviners, as well as to augurs and sorcerers. He sets, in the first place, the prophets, but in mentioning them, he seems to mark them with disgrace, because they had departed from their own office, and had assumed another character, for they deceived the people, as augurs, diviners, and magicians were wont to deceive the nations.

It is indeed certain, as I have before reminded you, that the Prophet spoke, not for the sake of other nations, but that the Jews might be rendered inexcusable, or, if there was any hope of repentance, that they might be reminded not to proceed in their usual course. We hence see the meaning of the words, and at the same time perceive the design of the Prophet, or rather of the Holy Spirit, who spoke by his mouth.

I said at first that the Prophet met an objection, which might have lessened or taken away the authority of his doctrine; for it was not a small trial, that the prophets denied that any evil was at hand. For the prophetic name was ever held in great repute and respect among the Jews. But we see also at this day, and experience sufficiently teaches us, that men are more ready to receive error and vanity, than to receive the word of God; and so it was then, and the Jews imagined that they honored God, because they regarded his Prophets. But when any one faithfully performed the prophetic office, he was often despised. The Jews therefore were taken up only with a mere name, and thought that they did all that was required by saying that they attended to the prophets, while at the same time they boldly despised the true servants of God. It is so at this day; while the name of the Catholic Church is boasted of under the Papacy, it seems that a regard is had for God; but when the word of God is brought forward, when what has been spoken by apostles and prophets is adduced, it is regarded almost as nothing. We hence see that the Papists separate God as it were from himself, as the Jews formerly did.

And hence also we see how necessary it was for Jeremiah to remove such a stumblingblock; for the Jews might have pertinaciously insisted on this objection, — “Thou alone threatenest us with exile; but we have many who glory in being prophets, and who promise safety to us: wouldest thou have us to believe thee alone rather than these who are many?” Thus the Prophet, being alone, had to contend with the false prophets, who were many. And we have now a similar contest with the Papists; for they boast, of their number; and then they object, that nothing would be certain, if it was allowed to every one to appeal to the word of God. They hence conclude that we ought simply to believe the Church, and to receive whatever is brought under the pretense of being Scripture. But Jeremiah had confidence in his own vocation, and had really proved his divine mission, and also that he proclaimed the messages which he had received from the mouth of God. As then he had given certain proofs of his vocation, he had a right to oppose all those false prophets, and not only to disregard their lies, but also in a manner to tread them under his feet, as he seems to have done, Hear ye not, he says, your prophets

He concedes to them an honorable name, but improperly. It is therefore a catachristic way of speaking, when he names them prophets; but he leaves them their title, as it was not necessary to contend about words. Yet he shews at the same time that they were wholly unworthy of being heard. Hence no authority was left them, though a mere empty name was conceded to them. It is the same at this day, when we call those priests, bishops, and presbyters, who cover themselves with these masks, and yet shew that there is in them nothing episcopal, nothing ecclesiastical, and, in short, nothing that belongs to the doctrine of Christ, or to any lawful order.

He afterwards adds, Who say to yote, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon We have said that the last clause is rendered by some as an exhortation, Serve ye not the king of Babylon, as though the false prophets stimulated the Jews to shake off the yoke.: But the proper meaning of the verb may be still retained, Ye shall not serve; for we know that the false prophets, when they came forth, pretended to be God’s ambassadors, sent to promise tranquillity, peace, and prosperity to the Jews. Thus they reigned to do, when yet God, as it has been stated, and as we shall again see presently, had testified that there was no other remedy for the people but by submitting to the king of Babylon. It follows —

1.Prophets — who claimed divine inspiration;

2.Diviners — who prognosticated by means of lots and arrows;

3.Dreamers — who pretended that they had divine dreams;

4.Astrologers — who foretold events by the clouds and stars:

5.Sorcerers — who pretended to have familiar converse with some spirit.

Parkhurst considers the second, diviners, as a general term, meaning those who divined either by dreams or stars, or familiar spirits; and he renders the fourth word cloudmongers, though he considers that they prognosticated by the stars, as well as by meteors, thunder, lightning, and probably by the flight of birds; but he regards the last word as meaning those who pretended to discover hidden and future things by magical means. How completely heathenized were the Jews become! they believed all these Pagan delusions rather than the infallible oracles of God! and yet these were things expressly forbidden in their law. — Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-27.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 27:9 Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:

Ver. 9. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets.] Whom the devil setteth to work to persuade you otherwise to your ruin; as he is an old manslayer, and hath his breathing devils abroad as his agents, such as are here mentioned.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-27.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 27:9. Therefore, hearken not, &c.— He speaks to Zedekiah and to the messengers of the other princes spoken of in Jeremiah 27:3. The diviners, dreamers, &c. belonged to the idolatrous nations; as the prophets to the Jews.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, The date of this prophesy is in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim; then probably the yokes were made in token of Judah's subjection, which soon began, though only sent to the neighbouring nations several years after, in the reign of Zedekiah, when the time of their captivity drew nearer.

1. The sign given is, the making bonds and yokes, and the putting one (probably a light, small one) on his own neck, in token of the bondage to which the people should be delivered; and this he wore for many years, as appears from chap. Jeremiah 28:1-10.

2. He is commanded to send one of these to all the neighbouring nations, by the hand of the messengers who came to Jerusalem to congratulate Zedekiah on his accession, or to make a league with him to oppose the growing power of the king of Babylon, and, in case of invasion, to unite their forces. A vain design! which God had determined to disappoint; and therefore they are enjoined to tell their masters from God, when they delivered the prophetic symbol of their captivity, that the Lord of Hosts, at whose beck are the armies of heaven and earth; the God of Israel; the great Creator of all, and who, therefore, had an absolute right to dispose of all the creatures of his hand, had given these lands, with all their produce, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his servant, raised up to be his minister of wrath; and under his dominion they must continue, and under that of his son, and his son's son, see chap. Jeremiah 25:14 till the seventy years should be completed, during which the captivity should last; and then other mightier kings and nations should destroy this monarchy, and raise another on its ruins. Resistance to the divine decree would but aggravate their misery, and expose them to more horrid desolation, and diverse kinds of death; nor must they give heed to their diviners and sorcerers, who would flatter them with lying hopes, which would infallibly disappoint them, and, by encouraging them to resist, exasperate their conquerors more fearfully to destroy them; while those who patiently submitted and surrendered themselves should find favour in the sight of their enemies, and be suffered quietly to remain under tribute, and not be carried away captive into a strange land. Note; (1.) The earth is the Lord's, and he doth as pleases him with it, and none have reason to murmur against his disposal of his own. (2.) The wicked frequently enjoy the greatest share of this world's good. (3.) To struggle against God's providence is to oppose in vain; for when he judges he will overcome. (4.) Patience will alleviate the burdens which perverseness but aggravates.

2nd, Jerusalem was now tributary to the king of Babylon: but Zedekiah was meditating rebellion, and his false prophets encouraging him with hopes of success; but the consequence would be, the completion of the nation's ruin.

1. The prophet addresses the king of Judah with earnestness, beseeching him, for his own and his people's sake, patiently to submit and live, since all revolt against the king of Babylon would certainly prove fatal in the issue, and expose them to all the miseries of a siege and the massacre of a city taken by storm, notwithstanding the lies of the false prophets who flattered him and the people to their ruin, and would themselves fall under the judgment. Note; (1.) Rebellion against God will be attended with still more fearful consequences: how much better is it to bow our necks to the easy yoke of Christ, and live! (2.) They who embolden sinners in their evil ways shall perish with them, the deceived and the deceiver together.

2. He gives the priests and people the same warning as he had given to their king, admonishing them of the folly of hearkening to the false prophets; your prophets he calls them, because they chose their lying visions, and loved to have it so. They told them, that they should be successful in their revolt, and that the king of Babylon would soon be willing to purchase peace from them by the restoration of the sacred vessels which had been carried to Babylon; but, alas! they were only pushing them to the precipice of destruction, bringing on the utter ruin of their city, and the demolition of the temple; when, as Nebuchadnezzar had before taken the vessels of gold, 2 Kings 24:13-15 so far would he be from restoring them, that all the other vessels, with the pillars, sea, and bases of brass, should follow them into Babylon. Better, therefore, far better were it, that they should become intercessors with God to prevent the impending judgments, and preserve what was left, than flatter them with the delusive hopes of the restoration of what had been carried away. Note; (1.) True prophets will be advocates before God in prayer for those to whom they preach. They who maintain no communion with God can have no commission from him. (2.) The general ruin of sinners arises from false hopes, with which their lying and lazy teachers flatter them, who cry peace! when there is no peace.

3. The prophesy concludes with a gleam of hope amid the darkness of this long captivity. Though the vessels of the Lord's house, and of the houses of the kings and princes of Judah, should be thus carried to Babylon, they should not be lost, but safely laid up against the time appointed of God, when, after the seventy years were fulfilled, they should again be restored; which was marvellously accomplished by Cyrus, Ezra 1:7. Note; (1.) In wrath God still remembers mercy. (2.) Though the time of the church's distress be long, we must not despair; the vision is for an appointed time, at the end it shall speak: blessed are all they that wait for it.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-27.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

It is uncertain whether these words were part of the message which Jeremiah by command from God sent to the kings above mentioned, or the prophet’s words to the Jews; for as those pagan nations had

diviners, dreamers, enchanters, and sorcerers, so the Jews had them also, Isaiah 47:12,13: the meaning is, Hearken to none of them that pretend as from God to foretell your escape from this judgment, and not being brought into servitude to the king of, Babylon, for you shall serve the king of Babylon. By prophets he means such as pretended to some Divine revelations. By diviners he means soothsayers, of which were several sorts. By dreamers, such as pretend to revelations in their sleep. By enchanters and sorcerers, he means their astrologers, and such as used necromancy, or by any unlawful ways and means pretended to know the mind and will of God.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-27.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. Prophets… diviners… dreamers… enchanters… sorcerers — Five kinds of heathen prophecy are here mentioned, and five kings have also been introduced. (See Jeremiah 27:5.) But this correspondence is, without doubt, purely accidental. The only significance to be attached to the fact that so many terms are here employed is, that they suggest and illustrate the variety of delusive schemes for supplying to the people the lack of inspiration. Error is many; truth is one.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-27.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Prophets, who deluded the Jews, as diviners did the Gentiles.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-27.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

diviners, &c. These were their heathen guides.

enchanters = observers of the clouds.

sorcerers. These were mediums and necromancers.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-27.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:

Hearken not ye - the Jews especially, for whom the address to the rest was intended.

Enchanters - augurs (Calvin), [ `on


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-27.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) Therefore hearken ye not to your prophets.—The almost exhaustive list of the names given to the men who claimed the power of prevision, may have had its ground in the fact that each of the five names was characteristic of this or that among the five nations to whom the message was sent. Of the names themselves, the prominent idea in “prophet” is that of full-flowing utterance; in “diviners,” that of casting lots, as in Ezekiel 21:21; in “dreamers,” what the English word indicates; in enchanters, that of practising “veiled” or “secret” arts (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10); in “sorcerers,” that of muttered and whispered spells (Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 47:9-13; 2 Kings 9:22). It is clear that the five nations of the confederacy were sustained in their rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar by a unanimity of prediction from men of all these classes like that which lured Ahab to his destruction (1 Kings 22:22). Every oracle was tuned, as it were, in favour of the policy of resistance.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-27.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
hearken
14-16; 14:14; 23:16,25,32; 29:8; Exodus 7:11; Deuteronomy 18:10-12,14; Joshua 13:22; *marg:; Isaiah 8:19; Micah 3:7; Zechariah 10:2; Malachi 3:5; Acts 8:11; Revelation 9:21; 18:23; 21:8; Revelation 22:15
dreamers
Heb. dreams.
Isaiah 47:12-14

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-27.html.

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