1 The word of the Lord also came to me, saying, 2 “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.”  (Jeremiah 16:1-2)

The Lord specifically told Jeremiah not to marry. The reason for that is not that God was trying to be hard on Jeremiah. In fact, if you jump ahead a verse or two, you find that it was God’s love that prompted Him to give Jeremiah this command. He was really sparing Jeremiah further sorrow. Look at the following verses

3 For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in this land: 4 “They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.” (Jeremiah 16:3-4)

God’s giving of this command to Jeremiah, this forbidding of Jeremiah to marry was really God’s sparing him the additional grief of watching his wife and children die because God says that everyone in this land is going to go through this terrible persecution and suffering of seeing their land overthrown. Many of them are going to be just left for the birds to eat. It is going to be a terrible, horrible time.

5 For thus says the Lord: “Do not enter the house of mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan them; for I have taken away My peace from this people,” says the Lord, “lovingkindness and mercies. 6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them. 7 Nor shall men break bread in mourning for them, to comfort them for the dead; nor shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or their mother. 8 Also you shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink.”
9 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will cause to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. (Jeremiah 16:5-9)

God was saying, “Jeremiah, I want you to demonstrate how serious this situation is by not being involved in some of the aspects of life that in other circumstances would be perfectly natural—marriage, mourning for the dead, going to dinner parties, etc. I don’t want you to be a part of that so that you can emphasize to the people that things are not always going to be the same as they are now.”

Maybe a more better way of saying it, and the sense of what God was saying to Jeremiah was, “Jeremiah, don’t waste time trying to rearrange the deck furniture on the Titanic because it is hopeless.”

16 “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. (Jeremiah 16:16)
The difference between fishing and hunting
A fisherman attracts the prey to himself
Whereas a hunter goes after the prey
The hunting and fishing metaphor is also used in Ezekiel 12:13 and Amos 4:2

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