“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.’”
Explanation and Commentary of Jeremiah 11:11
At the time the prophet preached, the people of God had once again allowed themselves to willfully drift into disobedience and idolatry. The Bible is clear that there is wrath for sin, especially the sin of worshiping false gods (Ex 20:3-5), and the people of Judah and Jerusalem have once again ignored what they have been taught and what they have seen of the goodness and mercy of God.
God’s judgment will be severe for this. He is righteous and just, and he cannot be any other way. Simultaneously, for those who believe and truly turn to him, his righteous judgment will be exacted upon his Son, Jesus. God’s people were adulterous (Ja 4:4), but God in his unfailing love has wooed his bride (Hos 2:14) and sent Christ so as to become the just and the justifier for those who trust him (Ro 3:26).
One cannot read this and think that it is enough to pray a prayer and then live in any way one wishes, contrary to God’s ways. The true believer will long to follow God, to seek the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Jeremiah 11:11
Once again Judah has broken the covenant that God made with their ancestors after rescuing them from Egypt so mightily. Once again they have turned to idols.
#2 “…this is what the Lord says:”
Jeremiah was a true prophet of God who was given the hard task of facing his people with the judgments of God. God spoke to him, and through him authoritatively.
#3 “I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape.”
Wars, famine, and exile would be the consequences of the unbelief of the Jews. God’s covenant with them was that he would care for them and bless them in every way if they would keep their side of the covenant to worship the only true God. But if they refused, as they did, they would not have any escape from his wrath.
#4 “Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.”
Sometimes in the history of the Jewish people God had been willing to pardon them even when their repentance was proved ungenuine. But now, God was unprepared to listen to their cry, seeing it ultimately as words alone and without the accompanying change of heart. God would not listen to them, but he will listen to his Son, who died for us and intercedes at the right hand of God, and who pours out his Spirit, so that we can finally receive new life, and truly repent and turn.
Expert Overview of Jeremiah
Biblical Translations of Jeremiah 11:11
Therefore this is what the Lord says: “I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.”
Therefore, this is what the Lord says: “I am going to bring calamity upon them, and they will not escape. Though they beg for mercy, I will not listen to their cries.”
Therefore, thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.”
Therefore thus saith the Lord, “Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.”
Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them.”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.