Jeremiah 16


However, days will surely come, says the LORD, when it will no longer be said, “As the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites out of Egypt”; but rather, “As the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites out of the land of the north and out of all the countries to which he had banished them.” I will bring them back to the land which I gave their fathers. Look! I will send many fishermen, says the LORD, to catch them. After that, I will send many hunters to hunt them out from every mountain and hill and from the clefts of the rocks – Jeremiah 14-16:16

I understand this to be a prophecy pointing to the apostles whom Jesus called “fishers of men”. My question is who are the hunters in this passage pointing to?


I’m spit-balling, but I’m guessing, HE didn’t want to compel HIS chosen people to live close enough to a shoreline (or on houseboats) so that they might be more handily accumulated by fishermen. HE KNEW that some would want to live on “mountain and hill and from the clefts of the rocks.”

I figure, it would be easier to send “hunters” then to bring into existence fishermen who were thought crazy enough to fish in the clefts of the rocks. C’mon, fishermen were, at that time (sic, a goodly portion of the 12 apostles) and are now, crazy enough. So…HE went with “hunters.”

If HE were speaking to the people of today, he might have thrown in “cabbies to collect MY Hasidic People in B R O O K L Y N.” :wink: :smiley:



And, not to offend. . . HE would have probably sent a car service but the traffic on the bridges and tunnels Oy Vey!


The New American Bible online refers this passage to 2 Kgs 24:2 and Lam 4:19.

2 Kgs 24:2 The LORD loosed against him bands of Chaldeans, Arameans, Moabites, and Ammonites; he unleashed them against Judah to destroy him, according to the LORD’s word spoken through his servants the prophets.

Lam 4:19 Our pursuers were swifter / than eagles in the sky, / In the mountains they were hot on our trail, / they ambushed us in the wilderness.

Both of these passages refer to the Israelites being driven out. Jeremiah’s language seems to be a reversal. As they had been hunted down and killed, so will the Lord hunt them down to save them.

My thought… the hunters are probably missionaries. :slight_smile:

May Christ’s peace be with you.


Great Answer! Thanks heaps :thumbsup:


This passage is about how God will bring about a new exodus. The people of God have been scattered and are in exile because of sin (Jer 16:1-13). Because of their sin they are outside of God’s covenant and have therefore become beastlike. Jeremiah uses two images that mean the same thing. The scattered and lost people of God will eventually be caught and gathered into the new covenant (Jer 31:31). This is why Jesus appointed fishermen. To symbolize that He was bringing about a new exodus and it would be accomplished through his fishermen/hunters.

St. Jerome puts it well:

in Jeremiah, the Lord sends fishers and hunters to spread nets for the lost fish tossed about in whirlpools and to hunt down and save the beasts that wander through mountains and hills. This and the following verses do not promise punishment to sinners, as many believe, but rather give them promise of healing. HOMILIES ON THE PSALMS 60


Here is what the Douay-Rheims Study Bible says, in which is taken from St. Jerome’s commentary on Jeremiah…

Fishers. The Apostles.
Hunters. Other Apostolic men.
**Of rocks. **Not only Christ is a rock, but he has also given to his Apostle Peter to be called a rock, in whose judgments they that rest are rightly said to be translated from the rock. (St. Jerome in hunc locum)

St. Jerome in his commentary on Jeremiah says that Jewish commentators understood Chaldeans to represent fishers, and Romans represent hunters. But he suggests that the apostles represent the fishers and that the ecclesiastical men or angels represent the hunters, because “when the consummation comes, they will hunt each and every saint from the mountains of lofty dogmas, from the hills of good works and from clefts of the rocks, who are the apostles and apostolic men.”

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