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C H A P. XI.

may

course

The prophecy contained in this and the following Chapter may not improbably be assigned to the reign of Josiah ; only to the latter end of it, when the people, who in the 18th year of that prince had solemnly engaged to perform the obligations of the divine covenant,

in of time be supposed to have relapsed into their former disregard and neglect. The prophet is therefore sent to recal them to their duty, by proclaiming anew the terms of the covenant, and re. buking them sharply for their hereditary disobedience; v. 1-8. He denounceth evil against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem for their idolatrous apostasy ; v. 9–17. and being informed of the conspiracy of the men of Anathoth against his life by divine revelation, he prayeth against them, and is authorized to foretel their utter de struction.

2. And thou shalt speak] The Chald. and Vulg. with the generality of interpreters construe 09271 as the 2d pers. plur. “ And ye shall speak.” But it will not, I think, be easy to find who the

persons were, that are thus addressed in the plural number. w indeed is plural, though the Syr. read inw instead of it. But the word or message, which came from God to Jeremiah, may well be conceived to contain a general precept of obedience to the people of Judah at large; and afterwards a particular injunction to Jeremiah.

But the people, though intended in the first instance, could not be required to speak unto themselves. Nor do we meet with any trace of others joined in commission with Jeremiah, to whom it might be said, “ And ye shall speak;” besides the manifest impropriety of it being followed immediately after with 2x, “And thou shalt say.” Accordingly the LXX. render xal dannons, as if they as well as the Syr. had read

, But Ontati I conceive still to be the true reading, and to be the 2d pers. sing, with the affix b; so that after a general command given to the people to obey the words of the covenant, the prophet is particularly ordered to speak or rehearse THEM, the words of the covenant, before the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to enforce the obedience required by pronouncing a curse against the disobeyers.

4.--and do all which I command you] The LXX. and Vulg. appear to have read yw hynx, which is undoubtedly the true reading. Onix is omitted in one MS. but in eighteen MSS. and four Editions is written Dnx; the having probably been added by mistake from a transient glance cast on the last syllable of n'wps. One MS. reads sa for 43, and the first a perhaps was added after the prior corruption of Onx, being then deemed necessary.

7. and all along unto this day] Thirty five MSS. and four Editions read 799 with the conjunction, instead of 7%.

$,-therefore have I brought-] It is of the nature of a covenant to

,ודברת

and all the ancient versions seem to have ; בעד for בעת tions read

denounce penalties against the presumptuous transgressor of it. And the sanctions of the Mosaic covenant may be seen scattered through different parts of the law, but particularly Lev. xxvi. 14, &c. Deut. xi. 26-28, xxvii. xxviii. xxx. 15, &c. Our English translators have rendered N2 in the future tense; but it has the signification of the preter because of the Vau conversive. And there is no impropriety in saying that God had already brought upon the people the evils, which he had not only resolved on, but had begun in some measure to carry into execution.

10.—the iniquities---] Thirty MSS. and five Editions read 01273 at large ; and all the ancient versions express the plural number.

11.- upon them] For Onisg eight MSS. and the oldest Edition of the Bible read Dist; which seems preferable.

13. --according to the number of thy cities --See Ch.ii. 28. Ibid---to a thing of shame---] See note on Ch. ii. 24. 14.--- In the time of their calamity] Thirteen MSS. and two Edi

; done the same.

13. What hath my beloved, &c.] 017099, 01799 or 011919), and 09777 seem to be all nouns of exactly the same import, signifying loves," amores,

in the abstract, but most probably of familiar use as an endearing appellation between married people speaking to or of each other. See Ch. xii. 7. God is frequently said to have espoused his people, in regard of the special covenant that subsisted between them ; and Ch. ii. 2. he tells them, he had not forgotten " the kindness he had for them in their youth, the love of their espousals.” But when his spouse acted a disloyal part, he might then think fit to disclaim any further correspondence with her.

But the remainder of the verse seems so intricate and perplexed, as greatly to need some critical assistance. For first, it is not easy to ci nstrue 012777 roinnt together, as the Syr. and Vulg. have done, who render, “ many wickednesses” or “ much wickedness,” both in defiance of grammar; or as our English translators, “ lewdness with many;" which the words will as little bear.

But here the LXX. step , , “ Vows,” and to have prefixed the 17 as a particle of interrogation, detaching.it from the end of the preceding word 77777, and rendering, Mn suxb--- It is obvious how much this reading tends to clear up all difficulties, and affords a sense that speaks altogether for itself. “ Shall vows and holy flesh,” that is, sacrifices, “pass from thee with acceptance to me?” Compare Ch. vi. 20. Isa. i. 11.-13. Prov. xv. 8. Amos v. 22.

In the subsequent part of the verse nyn seems to be an improper combination of two words, a nyn, of which the former may be the 2d pers. sing. of the preter in Kal from 197 to be evil or malignantly disposed. The verb, I think, occurs in this sense, Deut. xv. 9. xxviii. 54, 56. and perhaps in other places, where it is thought to be in Hiphil. > is a particle of interrogation. See Noldius. The question then im

,נורים to have read הובים in to our aid

,
who appear instead of

כקול מחנה occur Ezek

. i . 24. and are there explained to be המילה

plies negatively; " When, instead of a due return of love thou shew, est malignancy or illwill, shalt thou then carry it off triumphantly?" 16. With the noise of loud clamour] The words 27 Sep or

. i. 6 like the voice of an host.” Here, as it has been remarked Ch. x. 22. they signify the confused murmur of the Chaldean army, coming to desolate Jerusalem and its dependencies with fire and sword. See Homer's description of the advance of an Asiatic army, composed, as was that of Nebuchadnezzar, of various nations. Iliad. A. 433438.

Ibid. -mounting upwards-] zihy is generally considered as the prepositions with the affix 7. But this may justly be questioned, as it must be referred to the same antecedent as 990:137, and therefore should have been 1939. But I rather take 1713 to be the feminine participle present of 175 y, the third radical admitting a change into , and so in agreement with wx to signify," a fire mounting or spreading

.” I , according to a common anomaly, and to denote either the design for which the fire was kindled, or the effect of its increasing violence, 50 as to consume the tree, both the trunk and its branches.

17. In prosecution of the evil of the house, &c.] a properly signifies “ devolving” or “ rolling on,” that is, prosecuting or pushing for. wards into effect the evil or mischief which the house of Israel and Judah had been the means of bringing upon themselves by provoking

רעה to be the infinitive of רעו also I conceive ורען upwards

.

In

God to anger.

66

Ibid. In provoking me-] One MS. reads yoyon, “in provoking him to anger.” But all the versions agree in the pronoun of the first person. And God being the speaker may be admitted to speak of himself in the first or third person indiscriminately, .

19.-like a tame lamb-There is no conjunction to be found before 973x, and therefore it cannot signify, or an ox," as in our English version. All the ancient versions represent it as an epithet of was. The Vulgate renders it mansuetus ; and 773x may be either the participle Paħul of 957N, to teach, or habituate; or a participle adjective from that source. In Arabic is signifies mansuefactus fuit

. See Castelli Lexicon.

Ibid. Let us destroy the tree in its nutriment--] The prophet's countrymen, instead of reflecting on themselves as the real authors of their own misfortunes, seem in these words willing to throw the blame upon him, as if he was the promoter and efficient cause of the evils which he predicted, and to suppose that by cutting him off they might have a chance of escaping them. This is the most probable meaning of their proverbial saying, “Let us destroy the tree by intercepting that which supplies it with nourishment; ino), “its food." Upon the same principles Ahab charges Elijah with "troubling Israel :" i Kings xviii. 17. and professes to hate Micaiah, as if it had been the effect of that prophet's illwill, that “ he did not prophesy good concerna ing him, but evil ;" 1 Kings xxii. 8.

21.- that seek thy life] The LXX. read was, “my life;" but this is unsupported by any other authority,

22. For this cause thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts ;] These words are omitted by the LXX; and indeed they seem to be quite superfluous, so as to favour a suspicion, that they may have been repeated from the beginning of the preceding verse by the mistake of a transcriber. Ibld.---The young men--

---] The LXX. and the Chald. render, “ their

young men."

23.---upon the men of Anathoth---] The ancient Bodleian MS. and three others for N read by.

CHAP. XII.

ĒMBOLDENED, as it should seem, by the success of his prayers against the men of Anathoth, the prophet ventures freely, though with professions of confidence in the divine justice, to expostulate with God concerning the prosperity of wicked men in general ; whose punishment he solicits, attesting the mischiefs that were continually brought upon the land by their unrestrained wickedness; v. 1 --- 4. In reply he is forewarned to expect, that in proportion to the power of his enemies, his own personal grievances would naturally increase ; whilst the distractions of the state and the unkindness of his kinsfolk precluded him all hopes either of public or of private redress ; v. 5, 6. ' But God expressly challenges the national calamities as the result of his own special determination and judgment. He had discarded his people for their malicious behaviour towards him, and they were therefore given up to the outrage and devastation of fierce and merciless invaders ; v. 7--13. At last he promises them a restoration in future, with a retaliation in kind upon their heathen neighbours who had oppressed them ; but with this reservation, that such of these as would come over to his established worship, he would receive and incorporate into his church; but the unbelieving part should be utterly extirpated.

1. Yet let me expostulate with thee concerning, judgments---] Duown 708 7278---This phrase or nearly the same, has occurred twice before, Ch.i. 16. iv. 12. and does again, Ch. lii. 9. where it evidently signifies to arraign a criminal, and bring him to a trial for a violation of the laws. Here it must signify a similar, though respectful, inquiry into certain measures of God's providence, how far they correspond with those principles of justice and equity, which we conceive God to have established as the common measure of his own actions as well as ours. This is the only way in which a good and pious man can with any propriety be said to " speak judgments with God,” or bring his action against him.

2. Thou art near in their mouth, but art far from their reins.] By 51710155n, as it is written in fifty seven MSS. and eight Editions, we are to understand the secret thoughts and affections of the heart. So the reins are frequently used in Scripture language; see Ch. xi. 20. xvii. 10. Ps. vii. 9. xvi. 7. Rev. ii. 23.---Compare Isa, xxix. 13.

3.---my heart to be with thee] Here the marginal translation of our Bible merits the preference, “ with thee.” For the prophet contrasts the affections of his own heart, which he says were “with God,” or set upon him, with the dispositions of those, of whom he had said, that God was far from their reins or inward parts.

4. Because they have said he will not see our latter end] That is, he will not concern himself about rewarding or punishing us hereafter. 79778, which is expressly rendered by our translators“ a reward,” Prov. xxiv. 14, 20. properly signifies the final result or consequence of our actions, according to which only it can be determined, whether they have been advantageous to us or otherwise. See Ch. xvii. 11. Num. xxiii. 10. xxiv. 20. Prov. xix. 20. xxiii. 18. and more particularly, Ps. xxxvii. 37, 38. where the different end, 7797778, of the good man and of the wicked is precisely distinguished; to the good man it is peace ; but to the wicked it is utter destruction. But the inference which bad men are apt to draw from God's past forbearance is, that he is totally regardless and indifferent as to the moral conduct of mankind. Hence promising to themselves the same impunity in future, which they have hitherto experienced, they are led to a free indulgence of all their wicked inclinations. Accordingly the Psalmist complaining, as the prophet does here, of the prosperity of the wicked, represents their behaviour and their principles in terms exactly similar; Ps. xciv. 5,

6, 7.

They break in pieces thy people, O JEHOVAH,
And thine heritage do they afflict;
The widow and the stranger do they murder,
And the fatherless they put to death :
For they have said, JEHOVAH will not see,

Neither will the God of Jacob regard. 5. Then how wilt thou chafe thyself with horses) -770770 does not properly signify “contending," as it has been.commonly rendered, but the effect of contending, being “chafed” or “beated;" as if it had been more fully expressed, “ Then how wilt thou be heated, when thou runnest with horses?” And the plain meaning of the metaphor is ; “ If in contending with men of thine own rank thou hast suffered already some inconvenience ; how much more molestation hast thou room to expect, when it cometh to thy lot to contend, as in the course of thy prophetic mission thou unavoidably wilt, with persons far more considerable in station and

power The leading men of the state, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem are meant, whom Jeremiah

appears have offended by the freedom of his opposition, and by whom he was persecuted almost unto death.

Ibid.-- In the swelling of Jordan] The ravages of war and hostile invasion are often represented in Scripture under the image of a river rising rapidly above its banks, and carrying all before it. To these inundations the river Jordan was very subject; and on such occasions, as

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