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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 1 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 6:11

11. Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.

11. Ergo indignatione (vel, ira) Jehovae repletus sum (copula hic ponitur vice illativae particulae, nisi adversative resolvere libeat, atqui, vel, ego autem) et laboravi continendo, ad effundendum super parvulum in compitis (hoc est, in publico, foris,) et super consilium juvenum ( vchvrymsunt proprie electi, nam vchr est eligere; sed ita vocantur juvenes, qui sunt in flore aetatis) similiter: quoniam etiam vir cum uxore capientur, senex cum pleno dierum.

The prophet here rises higher; for it was not enough simply to set forth the truth to refractory men, but it was necessary to stimulate them even sharply, and sometimes to wound them, for they could not otherwise be roused, so great was their hardness. Hence the Prophet proceeds in the same strain with what we observed yesterday; and he declares that he was full of the indignation of God. This may be taken passively and actively, -- that the Prophet was indignant with holy zeal, because he undertook the cause of God, -- or, that he dreaded the judgment, which the Jews nevertheless in no way heeded. But he speaks here no doubt according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as though he said, that he did not announce what his own mind suggested, but what was dictated by the Spirit of God. This indignation is, in short, to be applied to what was taught, as though he had said, |If I address you with great vehemence, think not that as a man I forget moderation, being influenced by wrath; but the Spirit of God leads and impels me. Whatever indignation then is found in my language, whatever vehemence and sharpness and menacing, all this is from God's Spirit, and not from my own feelings as a man.| It was on this account that he says, that he was filled with the indignation of God.

What follows confirms this statement; for he says, that he was wearied with restraint; as though he said, that so great was the impulse of God's wrath, that it could not be withheld from breaking out into vehemence. And hence we learn, as I have said, that the Prophet declares no other thing than that he was not moved by his own indignation, or by any feeling of his own nature, but that he of necessity followed where he was led by the hidden influence of God's Spirit, lest what he taught might be despised; for the Jews had long accustomed themselves to use their taunts and to say, that they were not to be frightened like children. That the Jews then might not thus trifle, Jeremiah declares, that he was so filled with the indignation of God, that he could contain himself no longer, but must denounce on his own kindred what God had committed to his charge. As we shall elsewhere see the same mode of speaking, and in more express terms, I shall proceed without making any farther remarks.

He afterwards says, I shall pour it out, etc. He no doubt continues the same subject. He then says, that since he could no longer suppress the vengeance of God, whose herald he was, he would now pour it out, and that upon the children, he says, in the streets He doubtless means by these words that there was nothing pure among the people, for the very children were involved in the same guilt. Since, then, impiety so prevailed that even children in their tender age were not exempt from it, it was an evidence of a hopeless condition. This is what the Prophet means by saying, that he would pour wrath upon children. Then he adds, upon the assembly, etc. The word svd, sud, means a congregation, or an assembly; and it means also counsel. But as the Prophet speaks of streets, there seems to be a contrast between streets and counsels, as though he said, that children playing in the streets were without any counsel or understanding: but still I include with them the old and the grown up men, for they are all exposed to God's judgment. He then adds, the counsel of young men; for there is more discretion and prudence in young men grown up to maturity. The Hebrews do not call youths of fifteen vchvrym, bachurim, but men of full and mature age; and the word is derived from a verb which means to choose. They then who are in the flower of their age are called vchvrym, bachurim, because they are endued with discretion, and do not play in the streets like children. The Prophet then says, that God's wrath would now be poured forth on children, and also on men grown up to the age of twenty or thirty.

For the husband, he says, with his wife shall be taken, the aged with the full of days Some think that the full of days was the decrepit: but by zqn, zaken, I understand the aged, and by the full of days, all those already grown into maturity, as those from fifty to eighty may be so called. He means, in short, that no one would be exempt from suffering God's vengeance, as impiety had pervaded all stations, ranks, and ages. It follows --

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