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Jeremiah 4:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For thus saith Jehovah to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, “Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For thus saith Jehovah to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up for you a fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For, thus, saith Yahweh, Unto the men of Judah and unto Jerusalem, Till ye the untilled ground,—And do not sow among thorns.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— For thus said Jehovah, To the man of Judah, and to Jerusalem: Till for yourselves tillage, And do not sow unto the thorns.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For thus saith the Lord to the men of Juda and Jerusalem: Break up anew your fallow ground, and sow not upon thorns:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For thus saith the LORD to the men of Iudah and Ierusalem, Breake vp your fallow ground, and sow not among thornes.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah{gr.Juda}, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Break up fresh ground for yourselves, and sow not among thorns.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— For thus saith Yahweh to the men of Yehudah and Yerushalaim, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
thus x3541
(3541) Complement
כֹּה
koh
{ko}
From the prefix K and H1931; properly like this, that is, by implication (of manner) thus (or so); also (of place) here (or hither); or (of time) now.
saith 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
to the men 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
of Yh יְהוּדָה 3063
{3063} Prime
יְהוּדָה
Y@huwdah
{yeh-hoo-daw'}
From H3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory.
and Yrlaim יְרוּשָׁלִַם, 3389
{3389} Prime
יְרוּשָׁלִַם
Y@ruwshalaim
{yer-oo-shaw-lah'-im}
A dual (in allusion to its two main hills (the true pointing, at least of the former reading, seems to be that of H3390)); probably from (the passive participle of) H3384 and H7999; founded peaceful; Jerushalaim or Jerushalem, the capital city of Palestine.
Break up 5214
{5214} Prime
נִיר
niyr
{neer}
A root probably identical with that of H5216, through the idea of the gleam of a fresh furrow; to till the soil.
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
your fallow ground, 5215
{5215} Prime
נִיר
niyr
{neer}
From H5214; properly ploughing, that is, (concretely) freshly ploughed land.
and sow 2232
{2232} Prime
זָרַע
zara`
{zaw-rah'}
A primitive root; to sow; figuratively to disseminate, plant, fructify.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
not x408
(0408) Complement
אַל
'al
{al}
A negative particle (akin to H3808); not (the qualified negation, used as a deprecative); once (Job 24:25) as a noun, nothing.
among x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
thorns. 6975
{6975} Prime
קוֹץ
qowts
{kotse}
From H6972 (in the sense of pricking); a thorn.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Jeremiah 4:3

_ _ Transition to Judah. Supply mentally. All which (the foregoing declaration as to Israel) applies to Judah.

_ _ and Jerusalem — that is, and especially the men of Jerusalem, as being the most prominent in Judea.

_ _ Break ... fallow ground — that is, Repent of your idolatry, and so be prepared to serve the Lord in truth (Hosea 10:12; Matthew 13:7). The unhumbled heart is like ground which may be improved, being let out to us for that purpose, but which is as yet fallow, overgrown with weeds, its natural product.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Jeremiah 4:3-4

_ _ The prophet here turns his speech, in God's name, to the men of the place where he lived. We have heard what words he proclaimed towards the north (Jeremiah 3:12), for the comfort of those that were now in captivity and were humbled under the hand of God; let us now see what he says to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, who were now in prosperity, for their conviction and awakening. In these two verses he exhorts them to repentance and reformation, as the only way left them to prevent the desolating judgments that were ready to break in upon them. Observe,

_ _ I. The duties required of them, which they are concerned to do.

_ _ 1. They must do by their hearts as they do by their ground that they expect any good of; they must plough it up (Jeremiah 4:3): “Break up your fallow-ground. Plough to yourselves a ploughing (or plough up your plough land), that you sow not among thorns, that you may not labour in vain, for your own safety and welfare, as those do that sow good seed among thorns and as you have been doing a great while. Put yourselves into a frame fit to receive mercy from God, and put away all that which keeps it from you, and then you may expect to receive mercy and to prosper in your endeavours to help yourselves.” Note, (1.) An unconvinced unhumbled heart is like fallow-ground, ground untilled, unoccupied. It is ground capable of improvement; it is our ground, let out to us, and we must be accountable for it; but it is fallow; it is unfenced and lies common; it is unfruitful and of no advantage to the owner, and (which is principally intended) it is overgrown with thorns and weeds, which are the natural product of the corrupt heart; and, if it be not renewed with grace, rain and sunshine are lost upon it, Hebrews 6:7, Hebrews 6:8. (2.) We are concerned to get this fallow-ground ploughed up. We must search into our own hearts, let the word of God divide (as the plough does) between the joints and the marrow, Hebrews 4:12. We must rend our hearts, Joel 2:13. We must pluck up by the roots those corruptions which, as thorns, choke both our endeavours and our expectations, Hosea 10:12.

_ _ 2. They must do that to their souls which was done to their bodies when they were taken into covenant with God (Jeremiah 4:4): “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskin of your heart. Mortify the flesh and the lusts of it. Pare off that superfluity of naughtiness which hinders your receiving with meekness the engrafted word, James 1:21. Boast not of, and rest not in, the circumcision of the body, for that is but a sign, and will not serve without the thing signified. It is a dedicating sign. Do that in sincerity which was done in profession by your circumcision; devote and consecrate yourselves unto the Lord, to be to him a peculiar people. Circumcision is an obligation to keep the law; lay yourselves afresh under that obligation. It is a seal of the righteousness of faith; lay hold then of that righteousness, and so circumcise yourselves to the Lord.

_ _ II. The danger they are threatened with, which they are concerned to avoid. Repent and reform, lest my fury come forth like fire, which it is now ready to do, as that fire which came forth from the Lord and consumed the sacrifices, and which was always kept burning upon the altar and none might quench it; such is God's wrath against impenitent sinners, because of the evil of their doings. Note, 1. That which is to be dreaded by us more than any thing else is the wrath of God; for that is the spring and bitterness of all present miseries and will be the quintessence and perfection of everlasting misery. 2. It is the evil of our doings that kindles the fire of God's wrath against us. 3. The consideration of the imminent danger we are in of falling and perishing under this wrath should awaken us with all possible care to sanctify ourselves to God's glory and to see to it that we be sanctified by his grace.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Jeremiah 4:3

For — The Lord turns now his speech from Israel to Judah. Break up — Prepare your hearts by making them soft, tender, and pliable, fit to embrace my word. A metaphor taken from plow — men. Thorns — Rid your hearts and hands of what may hinder you of embracing my word.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Jeremiah 4:3

For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up (c) your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

(c) He wills them to pluck up the impiety and wicked affection and worldly respects out of their heart, that the true seed of God's word may be sown in it, (Hosea 10:12) and this is the true circumcision of the heart, (Deuteronomy 10:16; Romans 2:29; Colossians 2:11).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Break:

Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Mark 4:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Mark 4:18-19 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, ... And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Luke 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ... For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
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Gn 3:18. Ho 10:12. Mt 13:7, 22. Mk 4:7, 18. Lk 8:7, 14. Ga 6:7.

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