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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 36:3

 

 

"Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the calamity which I plan to bring on them, in order that every man will turn from his evil way; then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin."

Adam Clarke Commentary

It may be that the house of Judah will hear - It was yet possible to avert the judgments which had been so often denounced against them. But in order to this they must -

  1. Hear what God has spoken.
  • Every man turn from his evil way.
  • 3. If they do so, God graciously promises to forgive their iniquity and their sin.


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    Bibliography
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-36.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    Compare Jeremiah 26:3. In point of date Jeremiah 26: is immediately prior to the present.


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    Bibliography
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-36.html. 1870.

    The Biblical Illustrator

    Jeremiah 36:3

    It may be.

    It may be

    I. This word shows us the heart of God. Displeased because of sin, but longing to show mercy to the sinner. All His counsels and warnings, promises and threatenings, are for good (Deuteronomy 5:29-33; Deuteronomy 32:44-47; Isaiah 1:18-20; Jeremiah 8:7-11; Ezekiel 12:3; Ezekiel 18:31; Hosea 11:1-8; John 3:16-17; Luke 19:10; Luke 19:41-42).

    II. This word reveals the grand possibilities of human life.

    1. Earnest attention (Jeremiah 36:3).

    2. Penitential prayer (Jeremiah 36:7).

    3. Moral reconciliation. The hindrances to peace are not with God, but with us.

    III. This word holds out encouragement to all true workers for Christ.

    1. Prayer.

    2. Holy endeavour.

    3. Missionary enterprise. (W. Forsyth, M. A.)


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    Bibliography
    Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Jeremiah 36:3". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/jeremiah-36.html. 1905-1909. New York.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them,.... Not that there was any uncertainty in God as to the knowledge of future events, any more than a change in his purposes: he had purposed to bring evil upon them, which purpose would not be disannulled; and he knew that the Jews would not hearken to the prediction of it, or be concerned about it, and repent of their sins, and reform; but this method he was pleased to take, as being, humanly speaking, a probable one to awaken their attention, and which would leave them inexcusable:

    that they may return every man from his evil way; repent of it, and reform:

    that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin; by not inflicting on them the punishment and ruin threatened: where repentance is, remission of sin is likewise, and both are the gifts of divine grace, when spiritual and evangelical.


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    Bibliography
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-36.html. 1999.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    hear — consider seriously.

    return … from … evil way — (Jonah 3:8).


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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 36:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-36.html. 1871-8.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    Here God explains the object he had in view, even to make another trial whether the Jews were healable, so that the teaching of the Prophet might be conducive to their salvation. But he uses the particle אולי auli, “it may be,” which implies a doubt; because they had so often, and for so long a time, and in such various ways, shewed themselves to be so obstinate that hardly a hope could be entertained of their repentance. God, however, shews that he was not wearied, provided there remained in them still the smallest particle of religion. It may be then, he says, that the house of Judah will hear all the evil, etc.

    We have seen how the Prophet labored, not only to terrify his own nation by threatenings, but also sweetly to allure them to the service of God; but God speaks here of them as of perverse men, who were almost intractable, according to what is said in Psalms 18:26, that God would be severe towards the perverse; for God deals with men according to their disposition. As the Jews then were unworthy that God should, according to his gentleness, teach them as children, this only remained for them, to repent under the influence of fear. It may be, he says, that they will bear all the evil, etc. We now see why God touches only on threatenings, for this alone remained for men so obstinate.

    He says, The evil which I think to do, etc. God here transfers to himself what belongs to men; for he does not think or deliberate with himself; but as we cannot comprehend his incomprehensible counsel, he sometimes assumes the person of man; and this is what is common in Scripture. But he says, that he thinks of what he pronounces in his word; for as long as God exhorts men to repent, he holds, as it were, his hand suspended, and allows an opportunity to repent. He then says, that he is, as it were, in the midst of his deliberations: as when one wants to know whether an offender will submit, so God transforms himself, in a manner, into what man is, when he says, I think; that is, let them know that vengeance is not in vain denounced in my word; for I will perform whatever I now threaten, except they repent.

    He says, That they may turn every one from his evil way This is to hear, previously mentioned, even when men become seriously touched, so as to be displeased with their vices, and to desire from the heart to surrender themselves to God. He joins a promise, for without the hope of pardon it cannot be, that men will repent, as it has been often said; but it must be repeated, because few understand that faith cannot be separated from repentance; and a sinner can never be induced to return truly to God, unless he entertains a hope of pardon, for this is a main truth, according to what is said in Psalms 130:4,

    “With thee is mercy, that thou mayest be feared.”

    Then, according to what is commonly done, the Prophet says, that if the Jews turned to God, he would be propitious to them, as though he had said, that men would not be disappointed, if they repent, because God would readily meet them, and be reconciled to them: for this one thing alone, as I have said, is what can encourage us to repent, that is, when we are convinced that God is ready to give us pardon. He mentions iniquity and sin. The Prophet, no doubt, referred to these two words, in order to shew that we ought by no means to despair, though sins be heaped on sins. It follows —


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    Bibliography
    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-36.html. 1840-57.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

    A DREAD UNCERTAINTY

    ‘It may be.’

    Jeremiah 36:3; Jeremiah 36:7

    The words tell of an awful uncertainty as to the future of the chosen people.

    Will they repent? ‘It may be——’

    Let us recognise—

    I. The even balance.—Could anything be more soul-stirring than to realise that a crisis so momentous had come? In Jeremiah 36:3 it is the voice of God, in Jeremiah 36:7 the voice of Jeremiah in echo. Divine love and prophetic zeal were linked in a supreme effort to turn the scale of destiny for a whole people. A people, too, with a history that has no parallel for its marvels of providence and grace. Now they stood on the brink of a precipice of disaster. Before the last step, the dreadful plunge, is taken, another effort is to be made to save them. ‘It may be——’ Among us there may be some for whom the personal crisis is just as momentous, just as urgent. Who knows the hour at which he passes over the line when God and His messengers are to make the last great effort to save him? Is it always at death? One dare not say ‘Yes, always!’ Might it not be here and now, in the hour when God speaks home some searching truth to the heart? Has He sent forth for some of us to-day His message that may never be repeated, saying, ‘It may be that [they] will hear … that they may return … that I may forgive.’

    II. The favouring conditions.—A series of prophecies, twenty-three years long, culminated in Jeremiah 25:1-12, a vivid forecast of Babylon’s victory over Jerusalem, and the fall and captivity of the Jews. This was trumpeted forth in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 25:1). Probably at that very time Nebuchadnezzar had just defeated the forces of Egypt at Carchemish, and was marching towards Jerusalem. In a few months the city was captured. But Nebuchadnezzar, being called away, shortly left the vanquished city (2 Chronicles 36:6-7; Daniel 1:1), and before the year closed God stirred up Jeremiah to repeat all his warnings given in those long twenty-three years. Baruch wrote at Jeremiah’s dictation in some secluded hiding-place, and took, it seems, some nine months to prepare his awful message. Then, when the people had themselves arranged a day of fasting, in view of their calamitous estate, Baruch came forth and spoke the words of Jeremiah, in which was the voice of God (Jeremiah 36:1-10). Was there not everything to make the message effective? If only the people’s heart had been sincere in their day of fast, how could they do other than hear, heed, and repent? For us it is a matter of the greatest moment that we should not miss our crisis. If it comes in the solemn hour of worship, though it be on some ordinary Sunday, we shall look back upon it and feel that only hardened perversity could have blinded our eyes to its meaning. Is it our crisis now?

    III. The disaster.—There is the burning of the roll. So impotent to do away with the prophecy. Cf. the case of Luther’s books. ‘Do you imagine that Luther’s doctrines are found only in those books that you are throwing into the fire? They are written where you cannot reach them, in the hearts of the nation.’ Then the dread captivity, now inevitable. But withal the remnant and the restoration, and every good promise wholly fulfilled. For the many, spite of all the tender mercy and longsuffering of God, desolation and misery; for the few, repentance, hope, and salvation. For us, too, there is the overshadowing of a great possibility of disaster, but also a promise and hope that never fail.


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    Bibliography
    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/jeremiah-36.html. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    Jeremiah 36:3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

    Ver. 3. It may be that the house of Judah will hear, &c.] See here the utility of the Holy Scriptures, and the excellent use that may be made of reading them. A man may be thereby doubtless converted where preaching is wanting, as various were in Queen Mary’s days, when the Word of God was precious; (a) as Augustine was by reading Romans 13:1-14., Fulgentius by the Frophet Jonah, Franciseus Junius by John 1:1-51., &c.; the eunuch, [Acts 8:26-39] and those noble Bereans, [Acts 17:11] were notably prepared for conversion by this ordinance.

    That I may forgive their iniquity and their sin,] i.e., Their sins of all sorts, giving them a free and full discharge.


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    Bibliography
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-36.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Jeremiah 36:3. It may be, &c.— These and other expressions of the like kind, sufficiently indicate that God's foreknowledge of future events lays no irresistible restraint on the will of man, nor takes away the liberty of human actions. Baruch was the most faithful disciple of our prophet: he served him as long as he lived in the capacity of his secretary, and never left him till his death.


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    Bibliography
    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-36.html. 1801-1803.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    What we translate it may be ylw others translate if perhaps, which better expresseth the sense. God knew what would be, but yet he would not be wanting in means by which they might be informed in his will, and so believe the thing, for believing and reforming are here meant by hearing, as the next words in part expound this term here. Forgiveness of sin in Scripture sometimes signifieth the acquitting of a sinner from the obligation sin layeth the sinner under to eternal death, sometimes the remission of a temporal punishment; it may here well be understood as comprehending both, though I think the latter to be what is here principally intended.


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    Bibliography
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-36.html. 1685.

    Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

    All of these recorded prophecies of coming judgment might move the Judahites to repent (cf. Jeremiah 25:13). If the people repented, the Lord would forgive them.


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    Bibliography
    Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-36.html. 2012.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Jeremiah 36:3. It may be that the house of Judah will hear, &c. — That is, will hearken, and lay to heart, all the evil, &c., that they may return, &c. — Blaney translates the verse, “Peradventure the house of Judah may hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them, so as to return every one from his evil way, and I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” See the like expression, Jeremiah 36:7; Jeremiah 26:3; Ezekiel 12:3; Amos 5:15; in which places God is introduced as speaking after the manner of men, and using such methods as, in human probability, might be most likely to prevail: compare Jeremiah 8:6. These, and expressions of the like kind, sufficiently indicate that God’s foreknowledge of future events lays no restraint on the will of man, nor takes away the liberty of human actions. That I may forgive their iniquity and their sin — Forgiveness of sin in Scripture sometimes signifies the acquitting of a sinner from the obligation sin had laid him under to eternal death; sometimes the remission of a temporal punishment: it may here be understood as comprehending both, though it is probable the latter is principally intended.


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    Bibliography
    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-36.html. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    If. This indicates free-will. (Haydock) --- God makes this last effort, that the hearing of so many separate prophecies together might make a deeper impression.


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    Bibliography
    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-36.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    evil = calamity. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.

    every man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

    iniquity. Hebrew. "avon. sin. Hebrew. chata App-44.


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    Bibliography
    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-36.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

    It may be that ... Judah will hear - consider seriously.

    That they may return every man from his evil way - (Jonah 3:8).


    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 36:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-36.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (3) It may be that the house of Judah will hear . . .—Better, hearken to, as implying more than the physical act of listening. Here again, in the expression of the hope that Israel would “return every man from his evil way,” we have a distinct echo from Jeremiah 25:5.


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    Bibliography
    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-36.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
    may be
    7; 18:8; 26:3; Deuteronomy 5:29; Ezekiel 12:3; Zephaniah 2:3; Luke 20:13; 2 Timothy 2:25,26; 2 Peter 3:9
    hear
    Ezekiel 18:27,28; 33:7-9,14-16; Matthew 3:7-9; Luke 3:7-9
    they may
    18:8,11; 23:14; 24:7; 35:15; Deuteronomy 30:2,8; 1 Samuel 7:3; 1 Kings 8:48-50; 2 Chronicles 6:38,39; Nehemiah 1:9; Isaiah 55:6,7; Ezekiel 18:23; Jonah 3:8-10; Acts 26:20
    that I
    Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:15; Mark 4:12; Acts 3:19; 26:18; 28:27

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    Bibliography
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 36:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-36.html.

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