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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 12:7

7. I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.

7. Reliqui domurn meam, deserui haereditatem meam, posui dilectionem (aut, desiderium) animae meae in manum inimicorum ejus.

He confirms what I have already stated; he testifies that the people were either openly furious or acting perfidiously and deceitfully; nor has it been the object hitherto merely to say that wrong had been done to the Prophet, but regard has been had to what he taught.

He now adds, Forsaken have I my house and left my heritage God here declares that it was all over with the people. They were inebriated with vain confidence, relying on the covenant which God had made. with their fathers, and thought that God was bound to them. Thus they wished to treat God with contempt according to their own humor, and at the same time to allow themselves every kind of licentiousness. The Prophet makes here many concessions, as though he had said, |Ye are the house of God; ye are his heritage, ye are his beloved, ye are his portion and his richest portion; but all this will not prevent him to become your Judge, and at length to treat you with rigorous justice, and to vindicate himself.| We now perceive the meaning of the Prophet. But as I have before said, the words have more weight having been spoken by God, than if Jeremiah himself had said them. God then, as though sitting for judgment, declares thus to the Jews, Forsaken have I my house The Temple was indeed commended in high terms; but the whole country also was on account of the Temple regarded as the habitation of God; for Judah was overshadowed by the Temple, and was secure and safe under its shadow. This word then is to be extended to the whole land and people, when God says, |Forsaken have I nay house;| that is, |Though I have hitherto chosen for myself an habitation among the Jews, yet I now leave them.| He then adds, Left have I my heritage (The verbs zv oseb, and nts nuthesh, have nearly the same meaning; the one is to forsake, and the other is to leave) This distinction was a great honor to the Jews; and hence, how much soever they kindled God's wrath against themselves, they yet, thought that they were safe as it were by privilege, inasmuch as they were the heritage of God. The Prophet. concedes to them this distinction, but shews how vain it was, for God had departed from them.

He then says, Given have I the desire or the love of my soul, etc. The word ydydvt, ididut, may be rendered love; but in Latin we may render it darling, (delitias:) the darling then of my soul have I put in the land of her enemies; for the pronoun is in the feminine gender. We hence see what is the subject here; for God intended to deprive the Jews of their vain confidence, and thus to humble and subdue them, so that they might know that no empty and vain titles would be of any help to them. These titles or distinctions he indeed concedes to them, but not without some degree of irony; for he at the same time shews that all this in which they gloried would avail them nothing when God executed on them his vengeance. But further, this passage contains an implied reproof to the Jews for their ingratitude, inasmuch as they were not retained in their obedience to God by benefits so remarkable; for how great was the honor of being called the heritage and the house of God, and even the beloved of his soul? They had deserved no such honor. As then God had manifested towards them such incomparable love, as he had rendered himself more than a father to them, was it not a wickedness in every way inexcusable, not to respond to so great a love, and that gratuitous, and also to so great a liberality? for what more could God have done than to call thenl the darling of his soul?

We hence see that the sin of the people is greatly amplified by these distinctions, on account of which they yet fostered their pride; as though he had said, |These words indeed are ready on your tongues, -- that ye are God's heritage, and sanctuary, and his love; but ye are for this very reason the more abominable, because ye respond not to God's love and bountiful dealings: He has favored you with incredible love, he has raised you to very great honor, and yet ye despise him and perversely resist his teaching, nor can ye bear him to govern you.| We now then see what instruction may be gathered from these words. It follows --

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