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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 12:17

17. But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.

17. Quod si non audierint, tunc evellam (copula etiam hic accipitur pro adverbio temporis) gentem illam, evellendo et perdendo, dicit Jehova.

As he had shewn that there was a sure hope of salvation to his own people, when the Gentiles would embrace his mercy, so he now threatens the Gentiles with destruction in case they repented not; for he had promised to be merciful to the Gentiles conditionally, and said, -- |If they learn the ways of my people, if they submit to my authority:| but now he says, if they will not hear, etc We hence see that God here threatens extreme vengeance to the Gentiles if they subjected not themselves to his yoke, so as to render obedience to him. His object, no doubt, was to terrify the Jews as well as the nations; for as the Gentiles could not with impunity despise God, though unknown to them, how inexcusable would the Jews be, who had from their infancy imbibed the true knowledge of the law, if, after the manner of the Gentiles, they were perverse and intractable?

We in short see that God, on one side, sweetly allured the Jews to render a wining obedience to his law, and, on the other, he threatened them; for as he could by no means bear with the perverseness of the Gentiles, much less could the Jews hope to escape punishment. This is the import of the passage. Now follows another prophecy --

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