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Jeremiah 18:21

So give their children over to famine; hand them over to the power of the sword. Let their wives be made childless and widows; let their men be put to death, their young men slain by the sword in battle.

Is Jeremiah speaking from the mouth of the Lord?

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imprecate – that is, those that invoke judgment, calamity or curses upon one's enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God

There is a category of psalms called Imprecatory Psalms:

Major imprecatory Psalms include Psalm 69 and Psalm 109, while Psalms 5, 6, 11, 12, 35, 37, 40, 52, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 79, 83, 94, 137, 139 and 143 are also considered imprecatory. As a sample, Psalm 69:24 states toward God, "Pour out Your indignation on them, and let Your burning anger overtake them."

Jeremiah 18 was written in the imprecatory style. Let's see the context:

18 They said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.”

19 Listen to me, Lord;

Jeremiah was in a defensive mode and solicit God's help.

Is Jeremiah speaking from the mouth of the Lord?

No, not really. He was being defensive here.

hear what my accusers are saying!

Jeremiah targeted his accusers only, not all the Jews.

20 Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for me.
Remember that I stood before you
and spoke in their behalf
to turn your wrath away from them.

Jeremiah had done them good before.

21 So give their children over to famine;
hand them over to the power of the sword.
Let their wives be made childless and widows;
let their men be put to death,
their young men slain by the sword in battle.

Why is Jeremiah so mean in Jeremiah 18:21?

He wasn't really being mean. He was being defensive and imprecatory.

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The setting for Jeremiah chapter 18 (through to chapter 21) is the potter's house, where the LORD commanded Jeremiah to go. The purpose was to teach Jeremiah various lessons.

Jeremiah spoke the word of the LORD to the people living in Judah and Jerusalem, to pronounce a warning of impending disaster because of their evil ways. This warning prompted them to plot an attack against Jeremiah.

Verses 19 to 23 contain an impassioned plea from Jeremiah to the LORD, but he is not seeking human vengeance against his enemies. Jeremiah seeks divine vindication.

Matthew Henry, in his Commentary, makes these observations regarding Jeremiah's words in verses 19 to 23:

He imprecates the judgments of God upon them, not from a revengeful disposition, but in a prophetical indignation against their horrid wickedness, v. 21-23...

Lord, in the time of thy anger, do to them (he does not say what he would have done to them, but) do to them as thou thinkest fit, as thou usest to do with those whom thou art angry with—deal thus with them. Now this is not written for our imitation. Jeremiah was a prophet, and by the impulse of the spirit of prophecy, in the foresight of the ruin certainly coming upon his persecutors, might pray such prayers as we may not; and, if we think by this example to justify ourselves in such imprecations, we know not what manner of spirit we are of; our Master has taught us, by his precept and pattern, to bless those that curse us and pray for those that despitefully use us. Yet it is written for our instruction, and is of use to teach us,

[1.] That those who have forfeited the benefit of the prayers of God's prophets for them may justly expect to have their prayers against them.

[2.] That persecution is a sin that fills the measure of a people's iniquity very fast, and will bring as sure and sore a destruction upon them as any thing.

[3.] Those who will not be won upon by the kindness of God and his prophets will certainly at length feel the just resentments of both.

Source: https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary.php?com=mh&b=24&c=18

The events of 607 B.C. show how God used the Babylonians to execute His judgment against His wayward, disobedient and unrepentant people. They really should have listened to Jeremiah instead of paying no heed to the divine warning.

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