Jeremiah 14:10-12


Our local Torah/Talmud study group has found the following pesukim for which we can find no discussions or explanations by Rashi or other Talmud Sages. Our local Rabbi refuses to discuss Jeremiah 14:10-12 and we would like to find a knowledgeable person to explain which people are being referenced.

Jeremiah 14:10-12

“Thus said the LORD concerning this people: “Truly, they love to stray, they have not restrained their feet; so the LORD has no pleasure in them. Now He will recall their iniquity and punish their sin.”

And the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the benefit of this people.

When they fast, I will not listen to their outcry; and when they present burnt offering and meal offering, I will not accept them. I will exterminate them by war, famine, and disease.”
Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.




  1. The Mahari Kara, an early French scholar, points out that whilst it is not completely clear to whom the prophecies in chapter 14 are directed, it seems that they are referring to the reign of Tzedikiah.

    Verse 10 – The Radak (Rabbi David Kimche) explains that God is telling the Jewish People that just as they had no problem moving from one country to another in order to try and find allies, now, as a form of “measure-for-measure justice”, they would be forced to move from one place to another to try and find food.

    The Da’at Sofrim, Rabbi Chaim Dov Rabinowitz, explains that the end of the verse as meaning that God’s patience had seemingly – but not truly – finally run out. The people made the mistake of misinterpreting God’s patience as meaning that God had forgotten their sins, and, subsequently they did not try to repent for their actions. In reality, however, God’s patience is actually to allow the people to recognize the enormity of their sins and to use the time to repent.

    Verse 11 – The Malbim explains that there are two ways that God metes out His punishments. The first is that God removes His overt presence from those sinning so that it looks as if the sinners are being left up to random chance. When that happens, if a person is cognizant of the lack of Divine input in their lives they should pray to God for the “benefit of His people.” The second approach is when the sins are far greater and prayer alone is not enough. It is at those times that God punishes directly. God is telling Jeremiah that the Jewish People mistakenly think that all they need to do is to pray. But that was a gross miscalculation, as their sins were too far-reaching to imagine that prayer alone would take care of the dire situation.

    Verse 12 is now really self-explanatory. God declares that the Jewish People have gone too far, and subsequently fasting and sacrifices alone will no longer be sufficient to help them.

    Best wishes from the Team