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CHAPTER 11 Ju1. 21 
The Covenant of God
The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh saying, 2Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3and say to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: Cursed is the man who doesn’t hear the words of this covenant, 4which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace saying, Obey My voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so you shall be My people, and I will be your God; 5that I may establish the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then answered I and said, Amen, Yahweh. 6Yahweh said to me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem saying, Hear the words of this covenant, and do them. 7For I earnestly protested to your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, rising early and protesting saying, Obey My voice. 8Yet they didn’t obey, nor turn their ear, but walked each one in the stubbornness of their evil heart: therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they didn’t do them. 9Yahweh said to me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear My words; and they are gone after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers. 11Therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will bring evil on them, which they shall not be able to escape; and they shall cry to Me, but I will not listen to them. 12Then shall the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry to the gods to which they offer incense: but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13For according to the number of your cities are your gods, Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have you set up altars to the shameful thing, even altars to burn incense to Baal. 14Therefore don’t pray for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry to Me because of their trouble. 15What has My beloved to do in My house, since she has worked lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from you? When you do evil, then you rejoice. 16Yahweh called your name, A green olive tree, beautiful with goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he has kindled fire on it, and its branches are broken. 17For Yahweh of Armies, 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 worked for themselves in provoking Me to anger by offering incense to Baal. 18Yahweh gave me knowledge of it, and I knew it: then You showed me their evil deeds.
A Plot to Kill Jeremiah 
19But I was like a gentle lamb that is led to the slaughter; and I didn’t know that they had devised devices 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 may be no more remembered. 20But, Yahweh of Armies, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, I shall see Your vengeance on them; for to You have I opened up my cause. 21Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life saying, You shall not prophesy in the name of Yahweh, that you not die by our hand; 22therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23and there shall be no remnant to them: for I will bring evil on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.


11:2 At times of Israel's apostasy, God reconfirmed Israel's covenant relationship with Him. Note how God calls them “My beloved” even whilst listing their sins and His future rejection of them (:15). His grace is so counter-instinctive. The height of the demand, the extent of the implication of being in covenant with God ought to preclude the possibility of worshipping anything else. The covenant we have entered has constant and binding claims upon our loyalty (Dt. 29:14-18). By reminding them of the nature of their covenant relationship at a time of their moral weakness, they were being led to realize that the life of sin was not for them. And so there should be a like awareness in us when at least weekly we are reminded of our covenant bond in the communion service, celebrating the blood of the covenant made with us.
11:13 Each street of Jerusalem was named after an idol, just as was the case in Babylon (Jer. 11:13)- and thus Jerusalem shared Babylon’s judgment. Zion lost her children and also her husband whilst still a young woman (Is. 49:21; 54:6), just as Babylon would (Is. 47:9). If we act like Babylon, we will share her judgments (Rev. 18:4).
11:17 In provoking Me to anger- This is Yahweh speaking, but earlier in the verse it’s Jeremiah speaking. So often in the prophets, the pronouns change quickly. One moment we have God speaking, the next, the prophet is responding in agreement, appealing to his people, or echoing the message in his own words. So in Is. 1:2,3 we have the direct words of God, ending with “They have rebelled against me… my people does not understand”. And then in Is. 1:4 we have Isaiah echoing back those thoughts of God: “They have forsaken the Lord”. Prophecies begin with God speaking in the third person, and end with Him speaking in the first person; and vice versa. In all these examples, we see God merging with His prophet, and vice versa (Am. 3:1; Is. 1:2-4; 3:1,4; Is. 5:1,2 cp. 3-6; 7; 10:12; 11:3,9; 22:17,19,20; 53:10,12; Is. 61:6,8; Jer. 4:1,2,21,22; 8:13,14; 11:17; 9:1,2; 23:9,11; Nah. 1:12,13). However, there was more than an echo going on between God and the prophet. There was a kind of dialectic in the Divine-human encounter. God is influenced by man, as well as man by God. This same mutuality between God and man is possible for us too (Rev. 19:10).
11:18 You showed me their evil deeds- Ezekiel was likewise shown “what the house of Israel is doing in the dark” (Ez. 8:12). To pass through human life with this level of sensitivity to the amount of sin around them must’ve been so hard, as it is for us. Psychologically and nervously, the stress would’ve been awful. Hence the prophets had to be somehow psychologically strengthened by God to endure living that sensitively in this crass and unfeeling world- hence God made Ezekiel and Jeremiah as a wall and “iron pillar” to Israel, hardened their faces, so that they wouldn’t be “dismayed at [the] looks” of those who watched them with anger and consternation (1:18; 15:20; Ez. 2:4-6; 3:8,9,27). This psychological strengthening was not aimed at making them insensitive, but rather in strengthening them to live sensitively to sin in a sinful world without cracking up. And He will do the same for us, too; for the spirit of the prophets is what our testimony to Jesus is all about (Rev. 19:10).