30. Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.
30. Argentum reprobatum (contemptibile) vocarunt ipsos (hoc est, vocabunt:) quia sprevit (vel, reprobavit) ipsos Jehova.
Jeremiah concludes his subject by saying, -- that if the Jews had been cast a hundred times into the furnace, they would not be improved, as they would never become softened on account of their hopeless obstinacy. He uses the word silver, by way of concession; for they were not worthy of that name, and we have already seen that there was nothing soft or tender in them.
But the prophets often conceded some things to hypocrites; yet not without some appearance of a taunt, as the case seems to be here. The Jews wished to be regarded as silver, and to appear as such: |Let them then be silver, |that is, |Let them claim the name, by boasting themselves as the holy seed of Abraham; but they are a reprobate silver;| according to what we say, Faux or faux argent; which yet is neither silver nor gold; but the words are used not in their strict meaning, and we afterwards shew that what we have so called is not silver. Even so does the Prophet say, |They are silver in their own esteem, and take pride in the title: but they are a reprobate silver.| How so? For Jehovah has rejected them He shews that it belongs to God to pronounce sentence on men, and that they gain nothing by their vain flatteries, and by securing some esteem in the world: for God alone is the true judge. The Prophet then shews that the Jews were a reprobate silver, in order that they might know that they in vain gloried, while they boasted themselves to be God's people and heritage. Now follows --