Jer 8.1-22 tells us that these calamities are coming because they have rejected Yehovah. It will be better to choose death than live under the extremes they are suffering. Judah is stubborn and foolish and what is happening is coming on them for rejecting the Torah. Many will try and flee but it will be in vain, and exile was their future now, not living in the land.
v 1…”At that time (when severe judgment comes) declares Yehovah, they (Babylon) will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves (the worst dishonor).
v 2…And they will spread them out (exposed under the open sky) to the sun, the moon, and to all the host of heaven (and their influence) which they have loved (in life; they worshiped them, now in death their bones will lie before them), and which they served, and which they have gone after, and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried (their bodies and graves will be looted by the Babylonians); they will be as dung on the face of the ground (their hate and disgust of Judah is manifested in this way).
v 3…And death will be chosen rather than life (their lives are intolerable, even if they survived the siege, or made captive or fled to other countries) by all the remnant that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares the Lord of hosts (Yehgovah Tzavaot-when this term is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power).
v 4…”And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Do men fall and not get up again? Does one turn (wander off) and not repent (return to the right path-it is natural for a person to fall and get up, searching for the right path if he is lost his way)?
v 5…Why then has this people, Jerusalem, turned away in continual apostasy (why don’t they ever try to repent)? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.
v 6…I have listened and heard, they have spoken what is not right; (no sorrow for what they have done); no man repent4ed of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done (no longer aware of their sin)?’ Every one turned to his course (did what was right in their own eyes), like a horse charging into battle (swift, unaware of danger).
v 7…Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons (of going and returning in migration); and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush (birds who instictively return in obedience to God’s order, but not Judah) observe the time of their coming (migration); but my people do not know the ordinance of the Lord (Torah).
v 8…How can you say, ‘We are wise (sages), and the law (Torah) is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes (lawyers of Torah-Mark 7.70-their traditions were added as if they were from God, called the “Oral Torah” today) has made it (Torah) into a lie (this why we don’t get yoked with Rabbinic Judaism or Replacement Theology today-2 Cor 6.14-18; Isa 52.11).
v 9…The wise men (chachamim) are put to shame, they are dismayed and caught (their wisdom has not helped them avoid the coming ruin); Behold (take not of), they have rejected the law (Torah) of the Lord (personified in Yeshua-John 1.1, 14; Rev 19.13); and what kind of wisdom do they have (nothing of any value).
v 10…Therefore I will give their wives to others, their fields to new owners (the Babylonians-Jer 6.12-15); because from the least to the greatest every one is greedy for gain (covetous and false deals); from the prophet even to the priest (people who were to have good character) every one practices deceit.
v 11…And they heal the brokenness of the daughter of my people superficially (slightly) by saying, ‘Peace l(shalom), peace (shalom)’; but there is no peace (their deadly wound was being treated as a minor injury).
v 12…Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done (this alludes to the ‘Abomination of Desolation” in the future, or in other words, idols)? They certainly were not ashamed , and they did not know how to blush; therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time of their punishment they will be brought down (the false teachers),” declares the Lord.
v 13…”I will surely snatch them away” declares the Lord (Matt 24.40-41; Jer 6.11); “there will be no grapes on the vine (Israel-Isa 5.2), and no figs on the fig tree (Mark 11.11-13; Luke 21.29-meaning Israel was unfruitful and were going into exile-Micah 7.1-2. Jer 8.13 to 9.22 is the reading for the ninth of Av), and the leaf shall wither; and what I have given them shall pass away (literally “I shall appoint them to those who will overrun them”).”
v 14…Why are we still sitting still? Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities, and let us perish there (which is what was going to happen a result. However, Jeremiah will give the nation hope for their future in Jer 31.15-17), because the Lord our God has doomed us and given us poisoned water to drink (this alludes to the ceremony of the Sotah, the woman suspected of adultery in Num 5.11-31. That is how they have acted, as a spiritual adulterer).
v 15…We waited for peace, but no good came, for a time of healing, but behold, terror (they did not believe the signs)!
v 16…From Dan (in the north) is heard the snorting of his horses (Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon would come from the north); at the sound of the neighing of his stallions (strong ones) the whole land quakes (in fear at their approach); for they come (Babylon, and later Rome, and the False Messiah, the kings of the east, etc) and devour the land and its fulness, the city (Jerusalem was their main target) and its inhabitants).
v 17…For behold, (take note of, see), I am sending serpents against you (an idiom for enemies and Ha Satan-Gen 49.16-18; Isa 14.29, 30.6), adders for which there is no charm (to render them harmless) and they will bite you” declares the Lord.
v 18…My sorrow is beyond healing, my heart is faint within me (Jeremiah’s)!
v 19…Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land (they were carried captive): “Is the Lord not in Zion (to protect it)? Is her king (Yehovah) not within her (to deliver the people?” “Why have they provoked me with their graven images, with foreign idols (this is why they suffer).”
v 20…Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are not saved (grace and mercy is gone, time is up).”
v 21…For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken (in grief); I mourn (as if dying); dismay has taken hold of me (astonishment and don’t know what to do).
v 22…Is there no balm (medicinal oil-Jam 5.19) in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored (spiritually this means, “God did have healing available and sent spiritual medicine and spiritual physicians, the prophets, who tried to heal them but it was rejected, so healing could not proceed)?