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Jeremiah 15:1 Then Yahweh said to me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind would not be towards this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth- As discussed on Jer. 14:11,12, things had gone so far with Israel that Jeremiah's words were not to be counted as Israel's, and so in that sense He was not to pray for them. However as noted on Jer. 14:20-22, he attempts to do so. And here we have God's response. He was not going to accept third party intercession and repentance as theirs. Hence the force  here of "then Yahweh said...". ‘Standing before the Lord’ refers to prayer- Ps. 106:23; Ezra 9:15; Jer. 15:1; 18:20. To live a life standing before the Lord is to live a life of prayer. Hence David and Paul say that prayer can be continual- in that life becomes a lived out prayer, with the practice of living in the presence of God. And straight away we ask ourselves, in lives just as busy as those of David and Paul, whether our self-talk, our minute by minute inner consciousness, is “before the Lord”... or merely the sheer and utter vapidity of the modern mind.


God's "soul" (LXX) could not face the people, they were to be cast out of His presence; and therefore no intercessor could stand in His presence representing them. There has to come a moment when the pull of the flow toward the waterfall of condemnation is now too strong, and the plunge is inevitable. It is that moment which perhaps we need to fear more than anything else in human experience. It happened to Israel- their hearts too were hard, and in the end, after a period, God have them over to their hard hearts (Ps. 81:11,12)- the implication being that even whilst He hardened their hearts, He kept them by grace from the full consequences... but in the end, the final inevitable drag towards the waterfall set in. This is why there were times when even repentance, as a change of mind, could not save Jerusalem from destruction (Jer. 4:28; 15:1-9; 16:12; Ez. 7:1-9). This was the moment after the inevitable tug towards the waterfall beings, but before the actual plunge. It's Saul cowering before the witch of Endor, lying face down in the dirt that fateful night... and this is the human condition we should most dread.


Jeremiah 15:2 It shall happen, when they tell you, Where shall we go forth? Then you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for captivity, to captivity- The idea may be that they would desire to "go forth", but none would come out of the siege alive apart from a fourth part who would go into captivity. The rest would only come out of the siege of Jerusalem, as it were, to death. But that isn't how it worked out. The various statements of judgment express the various possible scenarios which could have emerged. For they didn't all come true; see on Jer. 10:18.

Jeremiah 15:3 I will appoint over them four kinds, says Yahweh: the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, the birds of the sky and the animals of the land, to devour and to destroy-
LXX "Four kinds of death". But there is no evidence that wild animals killed anyone in Judah. It may have happened, but the idea seems to be that a quarter of the population would be killed by the invaders, and the rest by birds and wild animals. If the animals of the land refer to the local nations killing the Jews, then we would have thought that was included in the category "the sword to kill". So we seem here to have  a prediction that three quarters of the population would die at the hand of wild animals- perhaps aggressively searching for food due to the awful drought of Jer. 14, and the abandoning of the countryside. But this didn't happen. As noted on Jer. 10:18, God in wrath remembered mercy, or perhaps allowed a different path of events and potentials to take place. Indeed the very next verse speaks of them being wanderers amongst the nations; which means they were not all to be slain as here threatened. We are meant to understand that there were  various potential scenarios which could work out- depending upon the extent of their repentance.

Jeremiah 15:4 I will cause them to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the land because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem-
This removing of Judah from their land uses the same word as in Dt. 28:25; in response to their breaking of the covenant, they would be "removed (s.w.) into all the kingdoms of the eretz, throughout the land promised to Abraham. But this curse could have been turned into a blessing; for the restoration prophets envisaged the nations of the eretz repenting and converting to Yahweh. This could have been achieved by the exiles witnessing to the various peoples and languages within the Babylonian / Persian empire. But this didn't happen as was potentially possible. The exiles didn't repent, and so their repentance and experience of the grace of forgiveness was not the powerful pattern of conversion to their neighbours which it could have been. The kingdoms of the eretz would then be the wild animals of the land of :3. Ezekiel at this time had been careful to explain that the children don't die for the sins of their fathers. They would be punished because they continued in the sins of Manasseh.

Jeremiah 15:5 For who will have pity on you, Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask of your welfare?-
LXX "Who will spare you?". This is a rhetorical series of questions, each of which is answered in one word: Yahweh. He was the One who would "have pity" upon the exiles although nobody else would (s.w. Ez.  36:21; Joel 2:18; Mal. 3:17). LXX "who will turn back to ask for thy welfare?" suggests therefore that Yahweh did "turn back" or relent. See on :3. The "welfare", Heb. shalom, the peace of Jerusalem... is indeed Yahweh's special interest. "Ask" is literally 'to pray', and the same two words are found in Ps. 122:6: "Pray [ask] for the peace [welfare] of Jerusalem".

Jeremiah 15:6 You have rejected Me, says Yahweh, you have gone backward-
As explained on Jer. 7:21,24, they were confirmed in their backward path by God Himself. "Rejected" is 'cast off'. Yahweh 'cast off' Judah (Jer. 12:7; 23:33) but only because they had cast Him off (Jer. 15:6 s.w.). And yet God did not cast off His people (Jer. 33:26); Jeremiah personally was persuaded that God would not cast off His people for ever (Lam. 3:31). He will show them mercy as if He had not cast them off (Zech. 10:6); this reversal of their casting off was to be through the repentance of the exiled community (Lev. 26:44). But even this didn't happen, and yet God still did not cast them away (Rom. 11:2). His love and grace was such that He holds on to them. This desperate holding on to His people is seen in the experience of every person who joins God's people through baptism into Christ. They may indeed be cast off ultimately, but that is because they cast Him off, and wrestled against His insistent desire to keep hold of them eternally.

Therefore have I stretched out My hand against you and destroyed you- The hand of God is an Angelic term, and here we see it responsible for the frequent repenting (changing of mind) of God concerning Israel. Frequent repentance is fundamentally not a characteristic of God Himself- "God is not a man, that He should repent" (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29).

I am weary- This weariness of God is reflected in how in Jer. 9:2, God says that He wished to leave His people and find a "lodging place in the wilderness for wayfaring men" and spend the night there, away from His adulterous people. In Jer. 14:8, Jeremiah here recalls those statements of God, and sees it as tragic that God had felt this way about His people. And indeed it was and is. The desire to leave them was because they were adulterous women and dishonest men (Jer. 9:2). And so the God of all grace, the most surpassingly loving husband, wanted to become an endlessly travelling man, weary of the road, who wanted to just turn in to a one night motel and rest from His weariness. The emotional drain of the relationship wearied Him. This of course is Almighty God adjusting Himself to mortal man, allowing Himself to feel through our limitations.

With relenting- God was prepared to relent (Jer. 18:8; 26:3,13,19; 42:10), and yet He says in Jer. 4:28 that He will not. This is not self-contradiction, but rather a reflection of the depth of how God's compassion is finally greater than His judgment of sin. The whole mental and emotional trauma made God weary of all the relenting, so deeply did He feel it (Jer. 15:6). This is likewise the theme of Hosea's emotionally draining relationship with Gomer, which reflected that of Yahweh with Israel (Hos. 11:8).


Jeremiah 15:7 I have winnowed them with a fan in the gates of the land; I have bereaved them of children, I have destroyed My people; they didn’t return from their ways-
And yet they had bereaved themselves of their children by offering them to the idols. The 'destruction' of the people was not literal death; for after it, they still didn't "return from their ways". There is a play upon the word for "return". Israel's return to God would be matched by their return to the land. The exiles didn't repent, and yet by grace God still returned them, so eager was and is He to as it were force through His purpose of grace. The destruction is parallel with the winnowing; the intention was that the judgment would lead to the true corn falling to the ground and the chaff being blown away. But this didn't happen, and so it was reapplied and rescheduled to the last days.

Jeremiah 15:8 Their widows are increased to Me above the sand of the seas; I have brought on them against the mother of the young men a destroyer at noonday-
Attacks were typically made at dawn and not in the heat and visibility of noon. But the destroyers would be that confident and zealous as to attack and destroy the women at noon. These words are very similar to those of Ps. 137:8,9, where the daughter of Babylon is to be "destroyed" (s.w. "destroyer") and also loose her children. What was done to Zion was to be done to Babylon; which is the theme of Revelation, that the judgments upon Israel are then to be brought upon those who deliver them. All throughout, it is Yahweh who is the "destroyer" through the hand of the surrounding peoples (s.w. Jer. 25:36). This was in radical tension with the idea that a local god is always supportive of his people and always saves them. The God of Israel reveals a sensitivity to sin as fundamental to His character; and therefore He will judge and even destroy His own people rather than save them from their invaders.

I have caused anguish and terrors to fall on her suddenly- The sudden nature of Jerusalem's fall is emphasized (Jer. 4:20; 6:26; 15:8; 18:22); she was to fall as Babylon would "suddenly" fall (Jer. 51:8). Jerusalem fell predictably after a siege, there were no great surprises that she fell. See on Jer. 16:9. It was not a sudden fall that came out of left field, unexpectedly. And yet that is the implication of the prophecies. Babylon was reveling in prosperity when the Medes unexpectedly took the city; but the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon was totally expected and inevitable. Yet the fall is spoken of as "sudden". It could be that a potential "sudden" invasion and destruction of Jerusalem was projected by God, but the intercession of the few faithful, or the repentance of a tiny remnant, changed this possible outcome of their sin. So many different possibilities of judgment are given, ranging from a quarter destruction to total destruction of people and even all animal life. This reflects the open nature of God's working with His people, setting up various potentials in order to be fully responsive to human freewill decisions.

Jeremiah 15:9 She who has borne seven languishes; she has given up the spirit; her sun is gone down while it was yet day; she has been disappointed and confounded: and their residue will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, says Yahweh-
Instead of being respected and glorified for having had seven children, the woman was ashamed because those children were dead. There is a strong sense of disappointment here, her sun going down before its time. This may refer to how the false prophets were shown to be so shamefully wrong.

Jeremiah 15:10 Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole land!-
Having spoken of the shame of a mother who loses her seven children, Jeremiah now thinks of his own mother, and feels her shame for having given birth to such a "man of strife" as himself. This logical progression of thought concerning the shame of mothers has the ring of psychological credibility to it. This is indeed how Jeremiah would have felt, and again, the Biblical record has every credibility and internal evidence that it is true. "To the whole land" / eretz suggests that his messages were taken to the Gentile nations in the land promised to Abraham. God's intention was that they too along with Judah and Israel should repent, and participate in the restored Kingdom of God in Israel which He wished to establish.

I have not lent, neither have men lent to me; yet everyone of them curses me- The people cursed Jeremiah as people curse one in whose debt they are. By preaching the Truth to people, they become in our debt. Paul used this figure to persuade Philemon, who as his convert was as it were in his eternal debt. Our preaching of the Gospel is not therefore without impact upon the consciences of our hearers. Their apparent disinterest is an act. Every bullet, as it were, hits its target; but people consciously choose not to respond. 

Jeremiah 15:11 Yahweh said, Most certainly I will strengthen you for good; most certainly I will cause the enemy to make supplication to you in the time of evil and in the time of affliction-
The promise of strengthening is a repeat of that made at the start of Jeremiah's ministry. The strengthening was psychological strengthening against their hate and rejection of him. The Hebrew word for 'intercede' means also 'to meet'; every prayer is a meeting with God (Job 21:15; Is. 47:3; 64:5; Jer. 7:16; 15:11). Those who had so hated Jeremiah would come to him begging for his help in mediating with God.

The Hebrew here is difficult. The LXX offers: "Be it so, Lord, in their prosperity; surely I stood before thee in the time of their calamities, and in the time of their affliction, for their good against the enemy". GNB: "LORD, may all their curses come true if I have not served you well, if I have not pleaded with you on behalf of my enemies when they were in trouble and distress". The LXX would suggest that Jeremiah succeeded in interceding before God, and achieved "good" for them, in that his intercession ameliorated the judgments pronounced at the hand of their enemies. This would explain why there are so many different scenarios of judgment given through Jeremiah; but some were ameliorated by his intercession.

Jeremiah 15:12 Can one break iron, even iron from the north, and brass?-
GNB "No one can break iron, especially the iron from the north that is mixed with bronze". In those days, "iron" was not made as today and was relatively weak. But the Babylonians mixed iron and brass, and this was the hardest metal of its time. We see here how God's word speaks in terms of contemporary understandings and situations, just as the language of demon possession is used in the New Testament.

Jeremiah 15:13 Your substance and your treasures will I give for a spoil without price, and that for all your sins, even in all your borders-
GNB "The LORD said to me, "I will send enemies to carry away the wealth and treasures of my people, in order to punish them for the sins they have committed throughout the land". But their sins may have been particularly in their borders, for it was from these that they went to the nations surrounding them, seeking relationship and covenants which are portrayed in the prophets as similar to prostitution. The mention of "treasures" could refer to the temple treasures. But it could be that until the drought, Judah had become prosperous under the reforms of Josiah. Yet their wealth is presented as parallel with their sins, which were to be punished by the loss of wealth. 

Jeremiah 15:14 I will make them to pass with your enemies into a land which you don’t know; for a fire is kindled in My anger, which shall burn on you-
GNB "it will burn forever". But it didn't. God felt like that, at that time, but the pole of His mercy is stronger, in the end, than that of His rightful anger and judgment.

Both Yahweh and Israel are described as kindling the fire of judgment; He responded to what they had done (Jer. 11:16; 15:14; Lam. 4:11 cp. Jer. 17:4). Thus Israel were the ones who had kindled the fire of Yahweh's condemnation (Jer. 17:4). The rejected are witnesses against themselves (Is. 44:9; Mt. 23:31). Herein lies the crass folly and illogicality of sin. Jeremiah pleaded with Israel: "Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls [i.e. yourselves], to cut off from you man and woman...that ye might cut yourselves off" (Jer. 44:7,8, cp. how Jerusalem cut her own hair off in Jer. 7:29). In the same passage, Yahweh is the one who does the cutting off (Jer. 44:11); but they had cut themselves off. Likewise as they had kindled fire on their roofs in offering sacrifices to Baal, so Yahweh through the Babylonians would set fire to those same houses (Jer. 32:29). 

Jeremiah 15:15 Yahweh, you know; remember me, and visit me, and avenge me of my persecutors; don’t take me away in Your long suffering: know that for Your sake I have suffered reproach-
God had promised Jeremiah protection and strength at the start of his ministry, but he clearly doubted this. He felt that he was likely to be killed, and he asks God to save him from this. That salvation was to be according to God's patient long suffering; which may suggest that Jeremiah felt he was worthy of death as a sinner, and it was only of grace and Divine patience that he be spared death.

It seems that Jeremiah was one of several later characters who found inspiration in Samson, and alluded to him in their prayers to God, seeing the similarities between his spirit and theirs: "O Yahweh [Samson only used the Yahweh Name at the end of his life], thou knowest: remember me [as Samson asked to be remembered for good, Jud. 16:28], and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors ["that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines", Jud. 16:28]... know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke [the Philistines doubtless mocked Yahweh as well as Samson]. Thy words were found, and I did eat them [cp. Samson loving the word and eating the honey which he "found" in the lion]: and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart... I sat not in the assembly of the mockers... I sat alone because of thy hand [Samson's separation from an apostate Israel]... why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable?" [the finality of his blindness] (Jer. 15:15-17). If these connections are valid, Samson's love of the word was a very big part of his life.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them-
Josiah's zealous reforms started with reading "the book of the covenant" (2 Kings 23:2), probably the list of curses which were to come for disobedience (2 Kings 22:19 =  Lev. 26:31,32). And this book was in some way a joy and rejoicing to Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16). In this sense Paul used the terror of possible condemnation to persuade men (2 Cor. 5:11), and David in the Psalms takes comfort and joy in judgment to come.

Despite this unity of spirit between God and the prophets, the prophets weren’t always forced to say the words. Jeremiah didn’t want to say them at times, the weariness of it all got on top of him; and yet he felt unable to walk away, just as God felt with Israel. But there were times when he outright rebelled. Jer. 20:7 is made a mess of in most translations, because the obvious translation is simply too shocking. Jeremiah complains: “O Lord, thou hast seduced me [s.w. Ex. 22:16 of a man seducing a woman], and I am seduced; thou hast raped me [s.w. Dt. 22:15] and I am overcome” (Abraham Heschel’s translation). Here is Jeremiah saying that he was attracted by God, he was seduced by Him, but then the whole thing became too much- he felt his soul had been raped. And yet in Jer. 15:16 he says that he had found God’s word and eaten it, and as a result, “I am called by thy name, O Lord”- the language of a woman marrying and taking her husband’s name (Is. 4:1). The word of God was his “joy [and] delight”- two words used four times elsewhere in Jeremiah, and always in the context of the joy of a wedding (Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; 33:11). Jeremiah saw his prophetic task as actually a marriage to God, an inbreathing of His word and being, to the point that he could say that he personally was “full of the wrath / passion of God” (Jer. 6:11). A prophet could only be incensed if God was incensed (Num. 23:8)- such was the bond between them. No wonder these men felt alone amongst men. They had a relationship with God which others couldn’t enter into, which totally affected their lives and beings. The preacher / testifier of Jesus knows something of this spirit of prophecy. But in Jer. 20:7, Jeremiah felt he had been raped and not married. He resented the complete takeover of his heart.

And Your words were to me the joy and the delight of my heart: for I am called by Your name, Yahweh, God of Armies- Jeremiah's lament that the people had no joy or delight in God's word (Jer. 6:10) is the basis for this comment that when he found God's words, they were his joy. We might therefore detect there a sense of spiritual superiority over the Jews for whom God's word was not their joy. Jer. 6:10 had spoken of how God's word was a "reproach" to Israel, and here in :15 he laments how he had become a reproach because of his identity with God's word.

LXX is slightly different: "Consume them; and thy word shall be to me for the joy and gladness of my heart: for thy name has been called upon me, O Lord Almighty". The idea would therefore be that if God consumes Jeremiah's enemies, which included his own family, then he would find joy and gladness in God's word. But without that, he implies that he saw little personal delight in it. This would have been great weakness; and would fit the impression that in :16-18 Jeremiah sins in what he says, and is challenged to repent of his attitude in :19.

Jeremiah 15:17 I didn’t sit in the assembly of those who make merry, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Your hand; for You have filled me with indignation-
This was all true in a sense, and alludes to Psalm 1. But Jeremiah is rebuked for his attitude of resenting that he "sat alone" and had kept away from the "assembly" of the rejoicers (Jer. 15:17,19); and so we are to assume that he said these things in resentment that he had had to stand alone amongst men. He resented how he "sat alone" (Lam. 3:28); yet this is the very term used of how Jerusalem was to "sit alone [solitary]" (Lam. 1:1). He was her representative, and yet he seems to have resented that. He was after all being representative of those who had hated him and tried to kill him. As Jeremiah wrongly lamented his own 'sitting alone', so he ought to have perceived that he should not have lamented Jerusalem's likewise.

As we lay awake at night looking up at the lamp fitting, or stare out from the balcony at the city lights, there must have been within each reader a deep sense of this clawing, intrusive loneliness. That search for ourselves, that inner despair, that fear of standing so totally and essentially alone in this world… And I have reason to believe that these kinds of struggles are more common amongst Christians than amongst many others. For we have been separated from this world unto the things of the future Kingdom; there is a deep and natural sense of our ‘separation’, yet frankly we often don’t know how to handle it. But we can end up like Jeremiah here, almost resenting that separation: “I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me..." . Our essential loneliness, and recognizing it, is what leads us to faith in and relationship with our true Father. The Lord Jesus will not leave us alone as orphans- He will come to us (Jn. 14:18). He does this through “The Comforter”, the Spirit of Christ.

Jeremiah 15:18 Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will You indeed be to me as a deceitful brook, as waters that fail?-
LXX "Why do they that grieve me prevail against me? my wound is severe; whence shall I be healed?". Jeremiah saw no way out from his psychological pain which had arisen from him accepting the perspective of God about Israel. He also saw that his separation from his family (:17) was going to be permanent; as they were so against God, so they would be against him, He was no cure for his broken heart. And this of course represented the feelings of God about Israel. But Jeremiah appears to feel that God has promised him a better experience than this. He felt God was deceitful, a mirage of water in a thirsty land which in reality wasn't there. It was this which was so upsetting to God. For He does not deceive His people. As representative of both God and Judah, the fault was not with God but with Judah; their impenitence was the cause for Jeremiah's perpetually broken heart. This was how God felt. But Jeremiah was tired of feeling that hurt and isolated; he wanted to be a normal person rather than the manifestation of Yahweh. This giving up, being tired of acting for God, of intimate identity with Him, warranted the strict and condemnatory response of God in :19.

The "waters that fail" may be an allusion to Is. 58:11, where God had promised the faithful that even in drought (which was ongoing at this time, Jer. 14:1), He would be as waters that don't fail to His faithful people. "Fail" is s.w. "deceitful". Yet Jeremiah apparently feels that God hasn't come through on this promise; perhaps he resented having to suffer the results of the drought along with the rest of Israel.

Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus says Yahweh, If you return, then I will restore you, and you shall stand before Me-
Jeremiah often makes a play upon the Hebrew word shub- it can mean to turn away (from God), and also to 'turn back' or repent (e.g. Jer. 3:1,7,10,12,14,19,22; 4:1). Jeremiah had sinned in his words of :16-18. If he returned / repented, then he would be restored. And yet even through this failure, God uses Jeremiah to be representative of Israel. If Israel turned in repentance, then God would return them to their land and restore the kingdom of God in Israel; if they turned away from Him, He would turn them out into the Gentile world. Our lives are a twisting and turning, either to or away from God; and God is waiting to confirm us in those twists and turns. Jer. 8:4-6 comment that if one turns from the right road, then they must turn back. We all know how when we miss the way in finding an unfamiliar address, there's a tendency to keep on going along the wrong road- because turning back is so psychologically difficult. And this is the image that God uses here- to appeal to Israel, and ourselves, not to foolishly 'backslide', keep on turning away, from Him- just because that's the course we're set upon.  

If you utter what is precious, and not what is base, you shall be as My mouth: they shall return to you, but you shall not return to them- His words of :16-18 are therefore called "base". The word is used for riot, drunkenness and gluttony; this was how God viewed his lack of self control with his words. Although the record of them is in the inspired Bible, those words were not right. We see here the difference between inspiration [of the historical record] and revelation [of Divine truths through His word, which in these particular words of Jeremiah we don't have. But several versions follow the LXX "If thou wilt bring forth the precious from the worthless, thou shalt be as my mouth: and they shall return to thee; but thou shalt not return to them". "The precious" would refer to "the precious sons of Zion" (s.w.), which Jeremiah later laments were slain, and therefore he had not saved (Lam. 4:2). He had not separated the good metal from the dross in his ministry.


In Jer. 15:15, Jeremiah asks for vengeance on his persecutors, and in Jer. 15:18 accuses God of deceiving him. God’s response is to ask him to repent of this, so that he can resume his prophetic work: “If you [Jeremiah] return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me [prophetic language]. If you utter what is precious, and not what is base, you shall be as my mouth” (Jer. 15:19). Perhaps Jeremiah had this incident in mind when he commented: “The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word” (Lam. 1:18). This indicates that at least in Jeremiah’s case, he was not irresistibly carried along by the Spirit in some kind of ecstasy, having no option but to speak God’s word. His speaking of God’s word required that he shared the essentially loving and gracious spirit / disposition of his God.

Jeremiah 15:20 I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they shall fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and to deliver you, says Yahweh-
This continues the reassurance to Jeremiah given in :15, in response to his collapse of faith that God would preserve him from the Jewish opposition. God had promised Jeremiah protection and strength at the start of his ministry, but he clearly doubted this. He felt that he was likely to be killed, and he asks God to save him from this. But again we see how Jeremiah is representative of Judah, at least potentially. For had they repented as Jeremiah did (:19), then they would also have found that they were fought against (by the Babylonians) but not prevailed against. And God's promise of deliverance would have been true for them as well as Jeremiah. But there is clearly a double meaning in these words; for they could have come true in that Jeremiah personally was their bronze wall, and then those who fought against "you" (Judah) would not prevail, for the sake of Jeremiah's intercession, acting as a wall between them and their enemies.

Jeremiah 15:21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the hand of the terrible
- As noted on :20, the passage could refer to Jeremiah being delivered out of the hand of the "wicked... terrible" Jews (s.w. Jer. 14:16; 33:5); or to their deliverance from the "wicked... terrible" Babylonians as a result of his intercession for them (the words are used of them in Ez. 28:7; 31:12 etc.). Even in his weakness and failure, Jeremiah was still representative of his people.