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19. Yahveh, my defence and my bulwark and my refuge in the day of trouble, to thee shall nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: Our fathers inherited mere deception, empty things, by which no one profits. 20. Should a man make gods to himself, which yet are no gods? 21. Therefore, behold, I will this time make them feel, will make them feel my hand and my power, and they shall know that my name is Yahveh.
XVII. 1. The sin of Judah is recorded with an iron style, with a diamond pencil, engraved on the table of their heart and on the horns of your altars; 2. as their children remember their altars and their Astarte-pillars by the green
and in addition utterly unclean, and thus in so far carcases. Ver. 19. They inherited it, received it as a possession (otherwise Israel, x. 16). Heathenism is something hereditary, which mitigates responsibility for its errors. ion, see on n. 5.
Ver. 1 f. The style of vv. 1-4 is especially harsh, perhaps through the corruption of the text; consequently the meaning also is somewhat obscure. pBv, nail, here pencil. Cf. Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxxvii. 15: "Diamond-chips are sought after by engravers and put in iron, as they easily cut the hardest material." Cf. on the figure, Job xix. 24. The sin committed by Judah (cf. xv. 4) is engraved indelibly on the table of their heart, i.e. burnt on their conscience, so that it must constantly remind them of their guilt. "And on the horns of your altars." Since Josiah had broken down these altars, we must suppose that the prophet is addressing the previous generation, which practised idolatry there. The horns of the altars, on which the blood was smeared, are permanent witnesses to God of what they had done. Their posterity also (ver. 2) will remember those altars and the idols there, when they pass by a budding tree or a lofty hill (see on ii. 20). See the different attempts at interpretation in expositors. That of Nagelsbach is attractive. He understands by cm3 the children of the present day, who talk together in those places with horror of the Moloch-sacrifices, and so bear witness to the sin. But it is not probable that children would figure as witnesses in this way. lat3 with dagesh lene, see Ges. § 28. 1. fy by, " by the green tree," is either to be taken in the local sense or states the occasion of the remembrance: on occasion of. D'icK, statues of Ashera or Astarte. tree, on the high hills. 3. I give up my mountain in the field, thy wealth, all thy treasures for a prey, thy heights because of the sin in all thy borders. 4. And thou shalt remove thy hand * from thy iuheritance, which I gave thee, and I make thee serve thy foes in the land which thou knowest not; for you have kindled a fire in my wrath, which burns for ever.
5. Thus says Yahveh: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whilst his heart departs from Yahveh. 6. And he shall be like a juniper-plant in the wilderness, and see no good come and dwell in parched deserttracts, in a salt land, which is not settled. 7. Blessed is the man who trusts in Yahveh, and whose trust Yahveh is. 8. He shall be like a tree planted by the water, and it stretches out its roots by the river, and is not afraid when heat comes,
Ver. 3. "My mountain in the field," first obj.-accus. to "I will give up," is certainly harsh, on which account Ewald reads 3 'Tin and joins the two words to the previous verse, where, however, they would form an awkward addition, and would not run smoothly. According to our text, God's sanctuary comes first as the most precious possession, and is called mountain in the field = mountain visible and prominent far and wide; cf. xxi. 13. Ver. 3 f. appear here in their place and iu more correct form than in xv. 13 f. Ver. 4. "pi, and indeed through thyself, by thy own fault, or "along with thee," would be too harsh. Instead of this, J. D. Michaelis correctly reads, and Graf, Nagelsbach, Cheyne after him, IT, after Deut. xv. 2 f. An allusion to the law of remitting debts, connected with the Sabbath-year, is all the more probable, as the desolating of the land is regarded as a kind of Sabbath rest for it, cf. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. Ver. 6. ijny is not to be interpreted differently from ijmy, xlviii. 6. The local reference and the contrast with ver. 8 favours the old translation, which understood by it a tree or plant. LXX, uypiofiupixri; Jerome myrice, tamarisk; Celsius, after the Arabic arar, juniper-plant. Moderns, on the other hand, prefer the simple meaning of ijny, bare, naked; cf. Pa. cii. 17. Perhaps the Masoretes so took the present passage, but wrongly. Salt-land = entirely barren. Cf. Verg. Georg. ii. 238, salsa teltus. Which is not settled, but Hebrew intransitively as often of countries and cities: they settle, dwell not. Ver. 8. Cf. Ps. i. 3. Kethib trv, to be preferred, synonymous with JKT (so also LXX, Syr., Vulg.). On the other hand, Keri and its leaves are green; even in the year of drought it shall not be anxious, nor cease to bear fruit. 9. The heart is full of guile and is corrupt; who can fathom it? 10. I, Yahveh, search the heart, try the reins, and will give every one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. 11. A partridge which cherishes what it has not laid is he who gathers riches, but not lawfully; he will leave it in the half of his days, and at his end he will become a fool.
12. Thou Throne of glory, lifted up from the beginning,
nKT, similarly to ver. 6. Ver. 9. Spy, properly, lumpy, uneven, is here the opposite of moral straightness, rectitude (cf. Hab.
ii. 4), therefore: crafty, insincere, cunning. cUK, wretched, very sick, corrupt, of course in an ethical sense also: it labours under a morbid love of dissimulation and unnatural self-deception; only the Lord sees through it, ver. 10. Luther classically, but not following the words " froward and cowardly," indicating less the inner character than the resulting moods. On cUK, cf. xv. 18, where it is explained: nBm roKD, which applies ethically to the present passage. LXX read pby, deep, instead of 3py and BOK, which is to be rejected. Ver. 10. In nn|>i the copula is not to be erased. The infin. stands with b, instead of finite verb, I am about to recompense; cf. Ges. § 132. a. 1; Eng. § 129. Cf. Jer. xix. 12. Ver. 11. top, partridge, from calling. U1, only again Isa. xxxiv. 15, and indeed after this passage to be distinguished from brooding as the subsequent keeping together of the chickens, as also in Aramaic the word is used (if collecting eggs or chickens. That the partridge, still common in Palestine, hatches eggs of other birds, like the hen, or gathers their young about it, is certainly not known either from antiquity or by modern observation. Some writers (see Winer, Emltvdrterbuch, Eebhuhn) affirm it, but perhaps on the authority of this passage. A popular notion of this kind must have existed. The figure is striking; the construction is the usual one in such an oracle. Cf. Prov. xi. 22, etc.; Ges. § 155. 4b; Eng. § 152.—Take icy as subj. to B9T. Ver. 12 f. Solemn, lyrical invocation (observe the assonances, ver. 12) in four pairs of words, which precede the name Yahveh invoked. Grammatically the old translation: "A throne of glory, a place from of old is our sanctuary," is justifiable, but the construction given is better. The prophet addresses himself in the name of believers to the face of God visible on Zion. "Throne of glory" applies, according to xiv. 21, to God's seat there (cf.
iii. 17); Zion was a lofty height of divine revelation from the Place of our sanctuary, 13. Hope of Israel, Yahveh—all who forsake thee shall come to shame. They that depart from thee are written on the earth; for they have forsaken the fountain of living waters, Yahveh! 14. Heal me, Yahveh, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for thou art my song. 15. Behold, they say to me: Where is Yahveh's word? Let it come! 16. But I have not shunned being a shepherd after thee, and have not longed for the woful day; thou knowest; what proceeded from my lips was before thy face. 17. Be not a discouragement to me, thou art my shelter in the day of calamity. 18. Let my persecutors come to shame, and let me not be put to confusion; let them despair, and let me not despair. Bring upon them the day of calamity, and strike them into ruin with double shattering.
beginning. DiiD, indeed, is often used of the heavenly height, where God's throne is (xxv. 30); but the following "place of our sanctuary" proves that the reference is to the earthly height, where God has long taken up His abode (cf. xxxi. 12). Ver. 13. niD', Kethib, to hold fast, from subst. HD' or "HD' (cf. W, xviii. 19). On the other hand, Keri mm, from partic. "»D. The language here passes into God's words. They are written on the earth, in the dust; their existence soon utterly vanishes. Cf. with the confirmatory clause, ii. 13. Ver. 16. pK with IP can only be understood of wilfully ceasing to follow God, not of pressing into office (Umbreit, Nagelsbach: shepherd in the literal sense, to be taken as Jeremiah's former calling). Therefore: I have not wrenched myself from the shepherd (shepherd's office) in following thee, I have followed thee willingly and faithfully in my capacity as shepherd; therefore forsake me not, ver. 17 f., as would be the case if the prophecies were not fulfilled. His heart did not long for the day of evil, which he announced, but he spoke of it under a higher impulse. "Thou knowest," etc. God knows how his whole soul turned from the constant preaching of misfortune; he has only too often and earnestly given expression to his grief on this subject before his God! Cf. xv. 10 ff., 19. Ver. 17. rVnn, Ges. § 75. a. 17; Eng. § 74 nnrno, outward or moral destruction; cf. the verb, l 17. God Himself would be so, if He neglected to help in regard to the fulfilment or otherwise. Ver. 18. to3n for Ges. § 72. a. 7; Eng. § 71.
Contents of xvi. 1-xvii. 18. The Judge and Deliverer. a. Fallen a prey to Judgment! xvi. 1-xvii. 4: a. the Divine Ban on Judah, xvi. 1-13; y9. Judgment and Eedemption, xvi. 14xvii. 4. b. Infallible Confidence, xvii. 5-18: a. False and Genuine Confidence, xvii. 5-11; y3. the Prophet's Confidence, xvii. 12-18.
This discourse presents essentially the same position of things as the previous one; it may even be regarded as a continuation and close of the revelations received in the time of drought, ch. xiv. 15. The prophet's anxiety at the scoffing of the foes, who demand the fulfilment of his threatenings (xvii. 15), shows that no more serious invasion on the part of the Chaldaeans has yet fallen on the land. We have thus still to do, as in chs. xiv., xv., with the calmer years of Jehoiakim.
a. XVI. 1-XVII. 4. There lies on the land, as xvi. 1 ff. explain, a ban, making fellowship between God and His people impossible. For this reason the prophet also as God's organ and representative is to hold himself aloof from the people. First of all, the founding of a household in this land is forbidden him (ver. 2), that wife and children may not involve him in its fate (cf. 1 Cor. vii. 26). In a similar way Hosea (i. 1 ff., iii. 1 ff.), Isaiah (viii. 18), Ezekiel (xxiv. 15 ff.) had to set forth symbolically the relation of the God whom they represented to Israel by their married and household life. But not merely by celibacy, so unusual among the Jewish people, is Jeremiah to testify to the nation that God has broken with it and is not disposed to build Himself a house in its midst; he has also to give up all social intercourse with his contemporaries, and according to ver. 5 ff. to neglect the most ordinary offices of love as well as the expression of sympathy in cases of bereavement, that every one may know that God has removed His peace from the land, i.e. renounced