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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 12:6

6. For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.

6. Certe etiam fratres tui et domus patris tui, etiam ipsi perfide agunt in te, etiam ipsi clamant post te plena voce (vel, turmatim, 'lm enim varie exponitur;) ne confides ipsis, etiam si loquantur ad te (hoc est, tecum) bona (id est, amice tecum loquantur.)

Here God addresses his Prophet, in order to confirm the whole of what we have observed. Jeremiah's object was, as we have said, to set forth the judgment of God: he therefore undertook the part of art accuser, and shewed how intolerable was the impiety of the whole people. He afterwards shewed that he was a conqueror in the cause. And now God himself speaks: he first indeed reproves the people and condemns their insane presumption; and then he addresses the Prophet himself, as though he had said, |Thou hast faithfully pleaded my cause, and as thine own people are all perfidious, there is no reason for thee to doubt but that I will be thy defender.|

The Prophet no doubt was commanded to preach and to write in God's name; and yet he had regard to the people, who would have hardened themselves against his preaching, had he not more fully set forth the dreadful judgment of God. Hence he says, Surely even thy brethren and the house of thy father, etc.: it is an amplification, when he says, that not only the citizens of Jerusalem and the whole people had conspired against the Prophet, but also his own relations and friends; Even thy brethren, he says, and the house of thy father, even these, etc. We see how emphatically God speaks; and there is an implied comparison between the citizens of Anathoth and the rest of the Jews, for they dealt not with a brother and one of themselves with any more courtesy than those not related to him. He repeats for the third time, Even these have cried after thee; that is, |They have so inimically persecuted thee, that even when thou hast yielded to their fury they were not pacified.| For to cry after one is all evidence of settled hatred; for when an enemy stands his ground and offers resistance, it is no wonder that we assail him; but when he turns his back and allows that he is conquered, and declines fighting, it seems that we are burning with a furious hatred, when we follow him and draw him to figlit against his will, even when he of his own accord avoids a contest. It was to set forth this blind fury that God said that they cried after Jeremiah.

He adds the word ml', mela, which some render |with a full voice;| others, |in a troop,| or, |in a mass.| Either sense may be admitted; I will not therefore dwell on the point; for it makes but little difference whether we say that they followed the Prophet with loud clamor, or that they in a troop conspired against him.

He afterwards subjoins, Even though they speak to thee good things, that is, though they pretend to be friends and profess peace, yet trust them not God intimates by these words, that though the citizens of Anathoth did not openly rage against Jeremiah, they were yet full of perfidy: in short, he means that they were either wolves or foxes, for they fought against the Prophet, now by fraud, then openly. We hence see that God here condemns the people, and shews his approbation of what had been previously said by Jeremiah. He afterwards subjoins --

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