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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 9:7

 

 

Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, I will refine them and assay them; For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?

Adam Clarke Commentary

Behold, I win melt them - I will put them in the furnace of affliction, and see if this will be a means of purging away their dross. See on Jeremiah 6:27; (note).


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-9.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Jeremiah 9:7

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them.

God’s people melted and tried

Observe, here, that God represents Himself as greatly concerned to know what to do with His people. But notice, next, the Lord is so resolved to save His people, that He will use the sternest possible means rather than lose any of those whom He loves. Observe, once more, that God’s concern about His people, and His resolve to use strange ways with them, spring out of His relationship to them; for He says, “How shall I do for the daughter of ‘My’ people? My people.” They were His, though they were so far away from Him through their evil ways. When God has chosen a man from before the foundation of the world, and when He has given that man over to Christ to be a part of the reward of His soul’s travail, He will adopt strange means to accomplish His sacred purpose, and He will carry out that purpose, let it cost Him what it may.

I. First, these principles may be applied to the matter of conversion.

1. There is a very simple way of being saved; it should be, I hope it is, the common way. It is the simple way of following the call of grace. Without any violence, your heart is opened, as with the picklock of grace. God puts the latch key into the door, and steps into your heart without a word.

2. This is the way of salvation, but there are some who will not come this way. There is the Wicket Gate. They have but to knock, and it will be opened; but they prefer to go round about through the Slough of Despond, or to get under the care of Mr. Worldly Wiseman, who leads them round by the house of Mr. Legality, who dwells in the village of Morality, and there they go with their burdens on their backs, which they need not carry even for a single hour, for they would roll off directly if they would but look to Jesus, and believe in Him. But they will not do this. There are some of whom God has to say, “How shall I do for the daughter of My people?” Why is this? Well, some of them have a crooked sort of mind, they never can believe anything straight; they must go round about. But some others are obstinate in sin. They are not happy in it; but they will not give it up. Some others are unwilling to confess sin at all. They think themselves wrong; but they try to make excuses. Then there are some people who are not saved, but who are outwardly very religious. They have never omitted going to Church; they have been brought up carefully, and they have said their prayers regularly, and they have had family prayer, too. The robe of their self-righteousness clings to them, and prevents their coming to rest in Jesus. There are some others who will not come to Christ because they are so full of levity and fickleness. They are all froth, all fun. They live like butterflies; they suck in the juices from the flowers, and only flit from one to the other. They are easily impressed one way and another; but there is no heart in them. And withal, there is another class of persons that are insincere. There is no depth of earth about them. They do not really feel what they think they feel; and when they say that they believe, they do not really believe in their heart.

3. Now, having brought before you these characters, or held up the looking glass of God’s Word so that they might see themselves in it, I want you to notice how God does deal with such people very often. According to my text, they will have to feel the furnace. I have noticed, during a considerable period of time, some of the self-righteous and the outwardly-religious put into the fire and melted, by being permitted to fall into some gross and open sin. I pray God that none of you self-righteous people may be left to go into an open sin; but it may be that the Lord may leave you to yourselves, to let you see what you really are, for you probably have no idea what you are. Some, again, have been melted down by temporal calamities. Oh yes, there are some who cannot be saved as long as they have a silver spoon in their mouths; but when they are brought to poverty, it is the nearest way round to the Father’s house, round by the far country where they would fain fill their bellies with the husks that the swine eat. At other times, without any overt sin, without any temporal trouble, God has ways of taking men apart from their fellows, and whipping them behind the door. They have told me that their sin haunts them day and night; they cannot hope for mercy; they cannot think that God will ever blot out their transgressions. They are ground down, and brought low. This is all meant to work for their good; they would not come to God any other way. It is by such an experience “that God is fulfilling His Word, I will melt them, and try them.”

4. In all this God has one great object. It is just this, first, to hide pride from men. God will not save us, and have us proud. Grace must have the glory of it from first to last. Beside that, God means to take us out of our sin, and to do that He makes it to be a bitter and an evil thing to us. Blessed is the blow that almost crushes you if it breaks off the connection between you and sin.

II. I want to say something to Christians; for, in the matter of Christian life, God seems to say, “What shall I do for the daughter of My people? I will melt them, and try them.”

1. Some Christians go from joy to joy. Their path, like that of the light, shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Why should not you and I be like that?

2. There are other Christians who appear to make much progress in Divine things, but it is not true progress. Whereas they say that they are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, they are all the while naked, and blind, and poor, and miserable. The worst thing about their condition is that some of them do not want to know their real state. They half suspect that it is not what they say it is; but they do not like to be told so; in fact, they get very cross when anyone even hints at the truth. Now, there are such people in all our congregations, of whom God might well say, “How shall I do for the daughter of My people?”

3. This is what He will do with a great many who are now inflated with a false kind of grace: “I will melt them, and try them,” says the Lord of hosts. He will put them to a test. Here is a man who has a quantity of plate, and he does not know the value of it, so he takes it to a goldsmith, and asks him what it is worth. “Well,” says he, “I cannot exactly tell you; but if you give me a little time, I will melt it all down, and then I will let you know its value.” Thus does the Lord deal with many of His people. They have become very good, and very great, as they fancy, and He says, “I will melt them.” He that is pure gold will lose nothing in the melting; but he that is somebody in his own opinion, will have to come down a peg or two before long.

4. Now, the result of melting is truth and humility. The result of melting is that we arrive at a true valuation of things. The result of melting is that we are poured out into a new and better fashion. And, oh, we may almost wish for the melting-pot if we may but get rid of the dross, if we may but be pure, if we may but be fashioned more completely like unto our Lord! (C. H. Spurgeon.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Jeremiah 9:7". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/jeremiah-9.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how else should I do, because of the daughter of my people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbor, but in his heart he layeth wait for him. Shall I not visit them for these things? saith Jehovah; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?"

"Shall I not ... shall not my soul ..." (Jeremiah 9:9)? The very raising of such questions, "Points up the legal aspects of breach of covenant."[10] The Jews of that period were just like the rest of humanity, no better, and no worse. Why, then, was God so outraged and disgusted with Judah? It all hinged upon the privileges of their covenant relationship with God! God had given them the Law of Moses; he had taught them the principles of truth and morality as carefully expounded in that Law; and God had every right to have expected a far better response to the privileges and blessings already conferred upon the nation than the indifference and disobedience which he actually received. It is impossible to understand anything in this prophecy without the perception of the "breach of the holy covenant" that was accomplished in the behavior of the Chosen People. Without that conception, God's severe punishment of Israel amounted to no more than a capricious punishment of an unfortunate nation that was no worse than a dozen other peoples living in all directions from Israel!

Back in Jeremiah 9:6, the prophet had revealed that "through deceit, the people refused to know the Lord"; and as Matthew Henry stated it, "Those who would not know the Lord as their lawgiver, would be compelled to know him as their judge!"[11]


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jeremiah-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts,.... Because of this deceit and hypocrisy, and lying:

behold, I will melt them, and try them: as the refiner does his gold and silver, by putting them into the fire of afflictions, and thereby remove their dross and corruption from them. So the Targum,

"behold, I will bring distress upon them, and melt them, and try them.'

For how shall I do for the daughter of my people? the sense is, what could be done otherwise or better? what was more fit or proper to be done, than to melt and try them, and purge away their sin, "from the face of the daughter of my people", as the words may be rendered? The Septuagint version is, "what shall I do from the face of the wickedness of my people?" and so the Targum,

"what shall I do from before the sins of the congregation of my people?'

that is, by way of resentment of them, and in order to remove them.


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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 9:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will h melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

(h) With the fire of affliction.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-9.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

try them — by sending calamities on them.

for how shall I do — “What else can I do for the sake of the daughter of My people?” [Maurer], (Isaiah 1:25; Malachi 3:3).


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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 9:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-9.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

Try them — By melting them, I will bring upon them, the fire of the Chaldean war, that shall purge away those deceits in which they trust, that the remnant may be purified.

For how — I have tried all other means.


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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 9:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-9.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah, speaking in God’s name, concludes that the chastisement, of which he had spoken, was necessary; And what I have already said appears more clearly from this verse, — that he brings to light their sins, that they might know that they could not escape God’s hand, who is a just avenger of wickedness; for they had extremely provoked him by their petulance and obstinacy.

I will try or melt them, he says, and I will prove them As they put on a false color, he says that there was a trial needful, as when any one shews copper or any other metal for gold, he is disproved by trial. Any impostor might otherwise sell dross for silver: the spurious metal, that is passed as gold or silver, must be proved; it must be cast into the fire and melted. As then the Jews thought that they had honest pretences to cover their baseness, God gives this answer, that he had yet a way to discover their deceitfulness, and as it were tells them, “The goldsmith, when any one brings dross for silver, or copper for gold, has a furnace, and he tries it; so will I try and melt you; for you think that you can dazzle ray eyes by false pretences: this will avail you nothing.” In short, God intimates that he had means ready at hand to discover their deceitfulness, and that thus their hypocrisy would be of no advantage to them, as his judgments would be like a furnace. As then stubble or wood, cast into the furnace, is immediately burnt, so hypocrites cannot endure God’s judgment. They indeed at first exhibit some brightness, until God tries them; but their deceits must eventually be discovered; and they themselves will be consumed when they come to be really proved. This is the meaning.

And the reason is added, For how should I do with the daughter of my people? This may be applied to Jeremiah himself; but it would be a strained meaning. He then continues, I have no doubt, to speak in God’s name; How then should I do, or act, with the daughter of my people? God speaks here as one deliberating; and thus he more fully proves the Jews guilty; for since he admits them as judges or counsellors, they could give no other reply. We hence see that this question is very emphatic; for the Prophet intimates, that except the Jews were beyond measure stupid, they could no longer flatter themselves in their sins, so as to demand to be otherwise treated by God, as they had in so many ways and with s.uch perversity procured vengeance for themselves. (240)

But we hence learn that it is right that judgment should begin at the house of God, as it is elsewhere said. (1 Peter 4:17.) God indeed will not pass by anytliing without punishing it: hence the heathens must at last stand before his tribunal. But as he is nearer to his Church, their impiety, who profess themselves to be as it were his domestics, is less tolerable, as though he had said, “I have chosen you to be my peculiar people, and have taken you under my care and protection; when ye become intractable, what remains for me to do, but to try you, as ye act so unfaithfully towards me.” It follows —

Therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, — Behold I will melt them that I may try them;
For thus will I do because of the wickedness of my people.

The rendering of the last line, according; to the received text, might be this, which is nearly the Vulgate,

For how should I deal otherwise with the daughter of my people?

The passage runs better in this way, than according to the proposed emendation. — Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-9.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 9:7 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

Ver. 7. Behold, I will melt them and try them.] I will cast them into the fiery crucible of sharp affliction. A metaphor from metallaries. See Jeremiah 6:29.

For how should I do for the daughter of my people?] i.e., How should I do otherwise? What can I do less to them though they are my people, since they are so shamelessly, so lawlessly wicked? An unruly patient maketh a cruel physician; a desperate disease must have a desperate remedy.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-9.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

I read this verse alone, in order that we may not lose the beauty and the blessedness of it. What a delightful representation is here made of the Lord's pity for his people? Doth it not seem as if the Lord was looking round for a way for them, and waiting to be gracious? He appears as if he said, How shall I give thee up? Isaiah 30:18; Hosea 11:8-9.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/jeremiah-9.html. 1828.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 9:7. Behold, I will melt them The prophet uses here the same metaphor as in chap. Jeremiah 6:28, &c. where see the note. Houbigant renders the last clause; So will I do, for the perversity of the daughter of my people.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-9.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I will melt them, and try them; the same metaphor used Jeremiah 6:29; try them by melting them, i.e. either I will try what lesser afflictions will do before I do utterly destroy them; or rather, I will bring judgment upon them, the fire and fury of the Chaldean war, that shall clear away their dross from among them, and purge away those deceits in which they trust, that fire remnant may be purified, Daniel 11:35; as when the dross is separated from metals, the rest remains pure: see on Isaiah 1:25. How shall I do? q. d. There is no remedy, I have tried all other means, and they have been ineffectual, any people will take no wanting; they are grown to such a height of impiety, that I can do no less, though they are any people, Hosea 6:4. Or God doth expostulate with them, How can you expect that I should treat you otherwise, that have so provoked me, and whose impieties have redounded so much to any dishonour?


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-9.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. I will melt them… try them — Even their punishment is not simply retributive, but rather, corrective. God punishes for their sake and not for his own. He puts them into the crucible, not to torture, but to purify. How shall I do, etc. — That is, how else can I do? Is there any other course for me to take? Other and milder measures have failed, this alone remains.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-9.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The sovereign Lord promised to put the Judean sinners through a refining process and to assay their value, because the current "dear" generation of His people was so wicked (cf. Jeremiah 6:27-30; Malachi 3:3). He could do nothing else.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-9.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Try them in the crucible of war, chap. vi. 27. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the LORD of hosts. See note on Jeremiah 6:6 and 1 Samuel 1:3.

how shall = how [else] shall, &c.

for the daughter: or, because of [the wickedness of] the daughter, &c.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

I will melt them and try them - by sending calamities on them. The image is taken from melting metals in order to purge them of their dross (cf. Jeremiah 6:29; Isaiah 1:25; Malachi 3:3, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness").

For how shall I do - `what else can I do for the sake of the daughter of my people?' (Maurer.)


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) I will melt them, and try them.—The prophet, speaking in the name of Jehovah, falls back upon the imagery of Jeremiah 6:28-30; Isaiah 48:10. The evil has come to such a pass that nothing is left but the melting of the fiery furnace of affliction. How else could He act for the daughter of His people? The phrase throws us back upon Jeremiah 8:21-22. The balm of Gilead had proved ineffectual. The disease required a severer remedy.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
I will
6:29,30; Isaiah 1:25; 48:10; Ezekiel 22:18-22; 26:11,12; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:12
shall
31:20; 2 Chronicles 36:15; Hosea 6:4,5; 11:8,9; Zechariah 1:14-16

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-9.html.

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