The Meaning of Jeremiah 6:16 Explained

Jeremiah 6:16

KJV: Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

YLT: Thus said Jehovah: Stand ye by the ways and see, and ask for paths of old, Where is this -- the good way? and go ye in it, And find rest for yourselves. And they say, 'We do not go.'

Darby: Thus saith Jehovah: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, which is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

ASV: Thus saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls: but they said, We will not walk therein .

What does Jeremiah 6:16 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Yahweh commanded the Judahites to compare the paths in which they could walk. Then they should ask their leaders to direct them in the good old paths, the teachings of the Mosaic Covenant, or perhaps the ways of the patriarchs. [1] Then they should walk in those ways and so experience rest (cf. Isaiah 28:12; Matthew 11:28-29). But the people refused to follow those old paths. Probably they confused the ancient ways with obsolete ways, as many in our day do.
"The importance of the covenant for Jeremiah cannot be overrated. For him the covenant was fundamental to Israel"s very life, involving as it did the acknowledgment of Yahweh as Israel"s only sovereign Lord, and the glad acceptance of the covenant obligations. When Israel took this way she followed the ancient paths, the good way, and found rest. It was a theme to which Jeremiah returned again and again ( Jeremiah 7:22-23; Jeremiah 11:1-13; etc.)." [2]

Chapter Summary: Jeremiah 6

1  The enemies sent against Judah,
4  encourage themselves
6  God sets them on work because of their sins
9  The prophet laments the judgments of God because of their sins
18  He proclaims God's wrath
26  He calls the people to mourn for the judgment on their sins

What do the individual words in Jeremiah 6:16 mean?

Thus says Yahweh Stand in the ways and see and ask for the paths old where [is] - way the good and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls But they said not we will walk [in it]
כֹּ֣ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֡ה עִמְדוּ֩ עַל־ דְּרָכִ֨ים וּרְא֜וּ וְשַׁאֲל֣וּ ׀ לִנְתִב֣וֹת עוֹלָ֗ם אֵי־ זֶ֨ה דֶ֤רֶךְ הַטּוֹב֙ וּלְכוּ־ בָ֔הּ וּמִצְא֥וּ מַרְגּ֖וֹעַ לְנַפְשְׁכֶ֑ם וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ לֹ֥א נֵלֵֽךְ

כֹּ֣ה  Thus 
Parse: Adverb
Root: כֹּה  
Sense: thus, here, in this manner.
אָמַ֣ר  says 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
יְהוָ֡ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
עִמְדוּ֩  Stand 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: עָמַד  
Sense: to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand.
דְּרָכִ֨ים  the  ways 
Parse: Noun, common plural
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
וּרְא֜וּ  and  see 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: רָאָה 
Sense: to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider.
וְשַׁאֲל֣וּ ׀  and  ask 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: שָׁאַל 
Sense: to ask, enquire, borrow, beg.
לִנְתִב֣וֹת  for  the  paths 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, feminine plural construct
Root: נָתִיב 
Sense: trodden with the feet, path, pathway.
עוֹלָ֗ם  old 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֹולָם  
Sense: long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world.
אֵי־  where  [is] 
Parse: Interrogative
Root: אֵי  
Sense: where?, whence?.
זֶ֨ה  - 
Parse: Pronoun, masculine singular
Root: זֶה  
Sense: this, this one, here, which, this … that, the one … the other, another, such.
דֶ֤רֶךְ  way 
Parse: Noun, common singular construct
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
הַטּוֹב֙  the  good 
Parse: Article, Adjective, masculine singular
Root: טָבַב 
Sense: good, pleasant, agreeable.
וּלְכוּ־  and  walk 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
בָ֔הּ  in  it 
Parse: Preposition, third person feminine singular
וּמִצְא֥וּ  and  you  will  find 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Imperative, masculine plural
Root: מָצָא  
Sense: to find, attain to.
מַרְגּ֖וֹעַ  rest 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מַרְגֹּועַ  
Sense: rest.
לְנַפְשְׁכֶ֑ם  for  your  souls 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, feminine singular construct, second person masculine plural
Root: נֶפֶשׁ  
Sense: soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion.
וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ  But  they  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
נֵלֵֽךְ  we  will  walk  [in  it] 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, first person common plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.