Jeremiah 13:16

Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Give glory to the Lord your God,.... By confessing sin unto him; by humiliation for it before him; by believing what he says, hearkening to his word, and obeying his commands, and living to his honour and glory; see Joshua 7:19, especially by believing in Christ, the true God, and true Messiah, embracing his Gospel, and his ordinances:

before he cause darkness; before the Lord brings on the dark dispensation threatened, the calamity before spoken of; repent while space is given, before it is too late; so the Targum,

"before tribulation comes upon you, and ye be like to those that walk in darkness.''

The Babylonish captivity may be meant, which was a dark day with the Jews, as is their present case, and which may be included; and it is applicable to any dark state of the church of God, such as may be now apprehended as near, through the spread of Popery, the growth of errors and heresies, the persecution of the saints, the slaying of the witnesses, the cessation of the Gospel ministry and ordinances for a while; which is that day of darkness and gloominess, that hour of temptation that shall come upon all the earth, to try its inhabitants; happy those that give glory to God by their faith in him, and by keeping the word of his patience:

and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains; or, "of twilight"; or, "of the evening"; or rather, "upon the mountains in the evening" {y}; at eventide; at which time it is troublesome and dangerous travelling on mountains. These may design either the mountains to which they would flee for shelter, Matthew 24:16, or those which lay in the way to Babylon, over which they should travel when carried captive; or rather the kingdoms of Babylon and Media, whither they should be carried, and where they should endure much affliction and hardship; it being usual to signify kingdoms by mountains; so Babylon itself is, Jeremiah 51:25, perhaps there may be some allusion, as Sanctus thinks, to Babylon itself, which being situated in a marshy place, might be generally covered with a cloud or mist, and, together with the smoke of the city, might look like a dark mountain; and especially the hanging gardens in it looked at a distance like {z} mountains with forests on them. It may be applied to the eventide of the latter day, when many shall stumble and fall through mountains of difficulties and discouragements in the way of religion; of professing the pure Gospel and ordinances of it, through the prevailing darkness of the age, and the persecution of men; and to the evening of life, and the dark mountains of death and eternity, on which men may be said to stumble and fall when they die; and when their everlasting state will appear to be fixed as immovable as mountains; and there will be no more means of grace, of faith, repentance, and conversion, but blackness of darkness for evermore, outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth; wherefore, before this time comes, it behooves persons to be concerned for the glory of God, and the everlasting welfare of their souls:

and while ye look for light; prosperity and happiness, as the false prophets gave out they should have; or for help and assistance from the Egyptians, to whom they sent:

he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness; that is, the Lord, who would disappoint them, and, instead of having that relief and comfort they were promised, would bring upon them such shocking calamities, which would be as terrible as death itself, or at least as the shadow of death, and be like gross darkness, even such as was in Egypt, which might be felt; see Isaiah 49:9.

{y} Pvn yrh le "in montibus crepusculi", Montanus, Piscator; "montibus caecioribus intempesta nocte", Junius & Tremellius.
{z} See Berosus apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 1. &; Contr. Apion. l. 1. c. 19. & Curtius, Hist. l. 5. c. 1.