The consideration of GodJeremiah 11:15-23$B-5(B The tree of beautiful olive
Fate of Israel which became subject of "Destroying a covenant" of the Lord's declaration, it has been caused by Israel itself, but it will no longer change, even by the prayer of Jeremiah. The collapse approaches immediately to there. Under the such circumstances, a certain conspiracy was revealed. It is article of 18-23. However, before that, secretary Baruch (?) wanted to record one thing. It is a question of although God has been chosen Israel as His people, but why does He abandon it now? and why He is trying to punish them?; there is it in Verse 15-17, as the exchange of Jeremiah and God. Is there no contradiction in God? As a prophet, Jeremiah was not possible to leave it this. Probably, it was an answer of God against a question of Jeremiah. "What right has My beloved in My house when she has done many vile deeds? Can the sacrificial flesh take away from you your disaster, so that you can rejoice?" (15) In a house of God, the place of beloved people Israel has already disappeared. However, they thought sacrifice to be able to evade an evil. Though, their fidelity to keep a covenant with God has been lost. The cross-examination of this God pointed out contradiction of their own.
First of all, sacrifice itself was born from the pagan customs of Baal worship and of goddess Ishtar, but not from the Yahweh faith. However, they were convinced that it was effective, the contradiction has come out of them, from Israel. Jeremiah understood and verified it. "The Lord called your name, 'A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form'; with the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, and its branches are worthless. And the Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me by offering up sacrifices to Baal." (16-17) Jeremiah does not doubt in the least that God has chosen Israel as people of oneself. There is it in Psalms, "But as for me, I am a green olive tree in the house of God;" (52:8); and there is it in Hosea, "His shoots will sprout, and his beauty will be like the olive tree;" (14:6). This was a traditional metaphor of Israel. However, that beautiful metaphor has turned into the metaphor of an umpire roasted by fire. "A great tumult" will be a voice to call Ishtar goddess and Baal in the shrine. They called Yahweh in that voice. "The fire" is so, too. The anger of the Lord exploded. The things which was said in Amos, "You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities." (3:2), it will happen.
$B-6(B God's power and His dignity
However, they Israel does not understand such anger and sorrow of God. They ignored their own faults and turned the brunt of the anger to prophet Jeremiah conveying a severe message. "Moreover, the Lord made it known to me and I knew it; then Thou didst show me their deeds. (It shifts to Verse 12:6: For even your brothers and the household of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you, even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.) But I was like a gentile lamb led to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised plots against me, saying, 'Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.'" (18-19) Most of the Bible commentators shift 12:6 after Verse 18; certainly such is more good to lead its context, even if it is Chapter 12 or Chapter 11. Because, this document itself of Jeremiah which was conveyed to the Masora body has been speculated that there was confusion in the process of editing or inscription. The same thing can say to Verse 20, and afterwards it seems to shift to 12:3b.
When we supplemented 12:6 and read, it seems to have been relatives living in Anathoth who had a murderous intent to Jeremiah. I mentioned at the beginning that the house of Jeremiah was the priest's family tree; because they were priests, the criticism of relatives of Jerusalem shrine would have been strong. It seems that the priests already would have duties allotment; they not only served Yahweh God but also served Baal and Ishtar goddess. Then, it was natural that the message of Jeremiah was a scathing criticism to themselves, and very strong murderous was born. Jeremiah heard it from God. I do not know what kind of situation it was, but God was so please care about Jeremiah. When God called him as a prophet, He said, "Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city, and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land. And they will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you," (1:18-19), and He would have kept that promise. So that Jeremiah was able to say thus. "But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tries the feeling and the heart, let me see Thy vengeance on them, for to Thee have I committed my cause. (shift to 12:3b) But Thou knowest me, O Lord; Thou seest me; and Thou dost examine my heart's attitude toward Thee. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter and set them apart for a day of carnage!" However, please do not hear this as a revenge of Jeremiah. He entrusted God with all. The dignity and the power of God were absolutes for Jeremiah.
However, 12:3b is prayer of the retaliation. However, "like sheep for the slaughter", it will be a offering of sacrifice on the altar of the festival. Then, because the revenge is performed on the day of sacrifice, it is not rather vengeance, but it is the emphasis that the anger of God for their act of defiling the altar of Yahweh is carried out. We must listen that God's power and His dignity is executed.
$B-7(B The consideration of God
And Jeremiah testified about the things that the Lord has talked to him in Verse 21, successively. Because there is it in Verse 18-19, "the Lord made it known to me and I knew it;", it may be thought that the same thing is repeated, but, probably it is not so. He would have heard the divine message of the Lord again. It is thought to have become this testimony. "Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, 'Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, that you might not die at our hand';" (21) At first, it is a part of the first half, but it becomes clear here that a relative for life of Jeremiah is people of Anathoth. When he heard it, "the person of the house of your brothers and father" (12:6), he seemed to think whom of the relative it was in Jerusalem first; but it was people of Anathoth, and it was obviously brothers of the house of his father. It seems that he would have a big shock, but this is words of the Lord. Their words, "Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, that you might not die at our hand", became weaker than Verse 19; would it have been a feelings of Jeremiah that did not want to be so? However, the Lord talks to Jeremiah more, "Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Behold, I am about to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughter will die by famine; and a remnant will not be left to them, for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth-the year of their punishment.'" (22-23). Probably, "a sword" and "famine" will suggest a siege war of the Babylonia military. There is no trace that the Lord sent a sword and famine into Anathoth by some kind of methods before it. Than that, we want to pay attention to the point that they were not able to take life of Jeremiah. "The life" of a prophet preaching words of God is kept here and is protected in more difficulty, too. From here, we will hear that God give consideration to the sorrow of seeing the end of the relatives of Jeremiah.