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GO about through the streets of Jerusalem, and see, and consider, and seek in the broad places thereof, if you can fins a man that executeth judgement, and seeketh faith: and I will be merciful unto it.

Ver. 1.  Go, Jeremias, and you who publicly adhere to me.

 

--- Man.  Sodom would have been spared for the sake of ten just people.  Gen. xviii. 32.  Before the reform of Josias, Jerusalem was strangely corrupted, though these expressions be hyperbolical, and spoken  as it were in the heat of debate.  Josias, Holda, and others, were living at this time, and renowned for their piety.




2 And though they say: The Lord liveth; this also they will swear falsely.

Ver. 2.  Falsely.  Some may confess my name.  But they swear falsely.  C. iv. 2.  C.

 

--- Unless the requisite conditions be observed, an oath is unlawful.  W.


3 O Lord, thy eyes are upon truth: thou hast struck them, and they have not grieved: thou hast bruised them, and they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than the rock, and they have refused to return.

Ver. 3.  Return.  The miseries with which, Achaz, &c. were afflicted, produced no amendment.


4 But I said: Perhaps these are poor and foolish, that know not the way of the Lord, the judgement of their God.

Ver. 4.  Foolish idiots, (C.) who have had no means of receiving instruction.  H.

 

--- Such might be more excusable; but when the chiefs offend, the evil is irremediable.


5 I will go therefore to the great men, and I will speak to them: for they known the way of the Lord, the judgement of their God: and behold these have together broken the yoke more, and have burst the bonds. 6 Wherefore a lion out of the wood hath slain them, a wolf in the evening, hath spoiled them, a leopard watcheth for their cities: every one that shall go out thence shall be taken, because their transgressions are multiplied, their rebellions are strengthened.

Ver. 6.  Lion.  Nabuchodonosor.

 

--- Wolf.  Cambyses, (C.) and leopard.  Epiphanes.  H.

 

--- The Chaldees, Persians and Greeks afflicted them.  S. Jer.

 

--- The first beast may designate Nabuc: the second Nabuzardon: the third, Alexander or Epiphanes.  W.


7 How can I be merciful to thee? thy children have forsaken me, and swear by them that are not gods: I fed them to the full, and they committed adultery, and rioted in the harlot's house.

Ver. 7.  How can.  I have only the character of judge left.  C.


8 They are become as amorous horses and stallions, every one neighed after his neighbor's wife.

Ver. 8.  Stallions.  Heb. mashcim, (H.) "stretching out," as others translate.  Ezec. xxiii. 20.  S. Jer.

 

--- The horse is the most intemperate of all animals but man.  Aristot. Hist. vi. 22.



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9 Shall I not visit for these things, sayeth the Lord? and shall not my soul take revenge on such a nation? 10 Scale down the walls thereof, and throw them down, but do not utterly destroy: take away the branches thereof, because they are not the Lord's.

Ver. 10.  Destroy, at the first taking of the city, v. 18. and C. iv. 27.

 

--- Branches.  Children of Jechonias, (C. xxii. 30.) and the people.  C.

 

--- Heb. "her battlements," (H.) Chal. "palaces."


11 For the house of Israel, and the house of Juda have greatly transgressed against me, saith the Lord.


12 They have denied the Lord, and said, It is not he: and the evil shall not come upon us: we shall not see the sword and famine.

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13 The prophets have spoken in the wind, and there was no word of God in them: these things therefore shall befall them.

Ver. 13.  Them.  The evil shall fall on the head of these impostors.  So the wicked deride the prophets (C.) impugning the known truth.  H.


14 Thus saith the Lord the God of hosts: Because you have spoken this word, behold I will make my words in thy mouth as fire, and this people as wood, and it shall devour them.

Ver. 14.  Fire.  Thou shalt declare their impending ruin.


15 Behold I will bring upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: a strong nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou shalt not know, nor understand what they say.

Ver. 15.  Ancient.  Nemrod founded the empire of Ninive and of Babylon.  Gen. x. 10.  Nabopolassar had succeeded to the ancient Assyrian and Chaldee sovereigns.  Under his son, Nabuchodonosor, the dominions were much enlarged.

 

--- Say.  4 K. xviii. 26.


16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all valiant. 17 And they shall eat up thy corn, and thy bread: they shall devour thy sons, and thy daughters: they shall eat up thy flocks, and thy herds: they shall eat thy vineyards, and thy figs: and with the sword they shall destroy thy strong cities, wherein thou trustest.

Ver. 17.  Devour.  Heb. "destroy."  They did not eat human flesh.


18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the Lord, I will not bring you to utter destruction. 19 And if you shall say: why hath the Lord our God done all these things to us? thou shalt say to them: As you have forsaken me, and served a strange god in your own land, so shall you serve strangers in a land that is not your own.

Ver. 19.  Own.  You shall thus know the difference between the masters.  C.



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20 Declare ye this to the house of Jacob, and publish it in Juda, saying:


21 Hear, O foolish people, and without understanding: who have eyes, and see not: and ears, and hear not.

Ver. 21.  Understanding.  Lit. "heart."  C. iv. 22.  H.


22 Will not you then fear me, saith the Lord: and will you not repent at my presence? I have set the sand a bound for the sea, an everlasting ordinance, which it shall not pass over: and the waves thereof shall toss themselves, and shall not prevail: they shall swell, and shall not pass over it.

Ver. 22.  It.  Nature and chance are improper terms.  God regulates all, and has established those laws which preserve the world.


23 But the heart of this people is become hard of belief and provoking, they are revolted and gone away. 24 And they have not said in their heart: let us fear the Lord our God, who giveth us the early and the latter rain in due season: who preserveth for us the fullness of the yearly harvest.

Ver. 24.  Rain, in autumn and in spring.  Deut. xi. 14.  C.

 

--- Fulness.  Heb. "the weeks for harvest."  H.

 

--- That of barley began at the Passover, and that of wheat ended before the feast of weeks, (Ex. xxxiv. 22.  Lev. xxiii. 10.  C.) or Pentecost.  H.


25 Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withholden good things from you.

Ver. 25.  Away.  The rain comes unseasonably.


26 For among my people are found wicked men, that lie in wait as fowlers, setting snares and traps to catch men.

Ver. 26.  Man.  As some tyrants have done, though this implies (C.) the eagerness with which the wicked strive to corrupt mankind.  H.


27 As a net is full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit: therefore are they become great and enriched. 28 They are grown gross and fat: andhave most wickedly transgressed my words. They have not judged the cause of the widow, they have not managed the cause of the fatherless, they have not judged the judgement of the poor.

Ver. 28.  Of the widow, is not in Heb.  C.

 

--- Fatherless.  Prot. add, "yet they prosper, and they," &c.  H.



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29 Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord? or shall not my soul take revenge on such a nation?

Ver. 29.  Nation?  It is contrary to God's justice not to punish the guilty.  W.


30 Astonishing and wonderful things have been done in the land. 31 The prophets prophesied falsehood, and the priests clapped their hands: and my people loved such things: what then shall be done in the end thereof?

Ver. 31.  Clapped.  Heb. "came down to, or received in, or domineered by their hands."  The priests concurred with these impostors for their own ends.  C.

 


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