18. And the LORD hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings.
18. Et Jehova ostendit mihi (cognoscere me fecit) et cognovi; tunc patefecisti mihi opera (vel, instituta) ipsorum.
We know that they were all very wicked; and though they were proved guilty, yet they were not wining to yield, to acknowledge and confess their fault; but they raged against God and rose up against the prophets. And as they dared not to vomit forth their blasphemies against God, they assailed his servants and wished to appear as though their contest was with them. And this is not the vice only of one age, but we find that it prevails at this day; for when we boldly reprove hidden vices, immediately the profane make a clamor and say, |What! these divine; but who has made these things known to them? Have they this oracle from heaven?| As though, indeed, neither the word of God nor his Spirit can shew their power, except when children become judges! But the ungodly rise up against God's servants for this end, that they may with impunity do this and that, and everything, except what may draw them before an earthly tribunal, and be proved by clear and many evidences
For this reason the Prophet says, that made known, to him had been the vices of his own nation; as though he had said, |I see that you will be ready to raise an objection, as ye are wont proudly to resist all reproofs and threatenings, as though you contended only with men; but I testify to you now beforehand, that I bring nothing of my own, nor divine of myself what any one of you thinks within: but know ye that God, who knoweth the heart, has committed to me my office. He has then appointed me to be the herald of his vengeance, he has appointed me as a herald to denounce war on you. So I do not come nor act in my own name: there is, then, no reason for you to deceive yourselves, according to your usual manner, as though I presumptuously reproved you, when yet your vices are concealed, it being peculiar to God to know what is hid in the hearts of men. The recesses of the heart are indeed intricate, and great darkness is within; but God sees more dearly than men. Cease then to make this objection which ye are wont to raise against me, that I am presumptuous in bringing forth to light what lies hid in darkness, for God has appointed me to bring these commands to you: as he knows the heart, and as nothing escapes him, and as he penetrates into our thoughts and feelings, so he has also designed by his word which he has put in my mouth to render public what ye think is concealed.|
We now see the design of the Prophet: but some take a different view, that God had made known to his servant Jeremiah the impious conspiracy of which he afterwards speaks, and thus connect the two verses. But I doubt not that the Prophet intended here to shew what and how much weight belonged to his doctrine, the credit and authority of which the Jews thought of detracting by boastfully alleging that he, a mortal man, assumed too much, and announced uncertain divinations. Hence, to repel such calum -- nies, he wished to testify that he threatened them not inconsiderately, nor spoke what he supposed or conjectured, when he exposed their sins, but that he only declared faith. -- fully what had been enjoined by God and revealed also by the Holy Spirit. This is what is meant. It afterwards follows --