Jeremiah 3:5

Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.

Will he reserve his anger for ever?.... These words may be considered as a continuation of the speech put into their mouths to make to the Lord and plead with him, as well as what follows:

will he keep it to the end? that is, his anger: no; he will not: this is not according to the nature of God; he retains not his anger for ever, Micah 7:18, though, according to some versions, this is to be understood of the sins of these people being reserved and kept forever, as their impudence and obstinacy; so the Syriac and Arabic versions; and to which agrees the Targum,

"is it possible that thy sins should be kept for thee for ever, or the stroke (of punishment) be strengthened upon thee to the end?''

so Kimchi,

"says the prophet, if thou dost this (call him my father, &c.) will God reserve thine iniquity for thee for ever, or keep thy sin unto the end? he will not do so; but when thou returnest unto him, he will return unto thee, and do thee good; but thou hast not done so.''

The sense is much the same:

Behold, thou hast spoken, and done evil things as thou couldest; which were enough to cause the Lord to reserve and keep his anger for ever. There is a double reading here; the Cetib, or writing, is ytrbd, "I have spoken"; the prophet had spoken to them to return; or the Lord by the prophet had spoken to them, and put the above words into their mouths, and told them what they should say when they returned to the Lord; "but thou hast done evil things" {y}; notwithstanding such declarations of grace, and dost continue to do them:

and thou hast prevailed {z}; as the last clause may be rendered; that I cannot turn away mine anger from thee, but must reserve it, and keep it for ever. The Keri, or reading, is trbd, "thou hast spoken"; thou hast said thou wilt do evil things, and thou hast done them as thou hast said, and hast prevailed; thou hast sinned with all thy might and main, and hast spoken and done as evil things as possibly could be done. Some choose to render the words thus, "if thou hadst spoken"; the words that were put into their mouths before mentioned; "though thou hast done evil things, yet thou wouldest have prevailed" {a}; that is, with God, to have turned away his anger from thee.

{y} twerh yvexw "sed fecisit mala", Schmidt.
{z} lkwxw "et praevaluisti", Vatablus, Schmidt; "et preavales", Piscator, Gataker; "et evaluisti", Cocceius.
{a} "Si ita loquereris, quanquam mala plurirma fecisti, praevaleres", Grotius.