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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 13:19

19 The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.

19 Urbes Austri clausae sunt, et nemo qui aperiat; traductus est (vel, transmigravit) Jehudah totus, translatus est perfecte (perfectione, hoc est, in totum abductus est in captivitatem)

By the cities of the south, almost all understand the cities of the tribe of Judah, whose portion was towards the south; and by the cities being shut up, they consider that what is meant is, that they would be forsaken; for they say, that cities are open when they are frequented. But I am con- strained here also to take another view. I take the cities of the south to have been those of Egypt; for we know that the Jews looked there for a refuge, whenever they were attacked by the Assyrians or the Chaldeans. Since then they thought that Egypt would be to them a sort of an asylum, the Prophet declares that all these cities would be closed against them, and that there would be no one to open them; as though he had said, |The Lord will drive you out, and will prevent you to take refuge there.|

He would doubtless have spoken more clearly had he meant the cities of Judah; and besides, as he was at Jerusalem, this way of speaking must have been ambiguous, and even improper; and we shall find him presently speaking of the Assyrians as being in the north. He now then warns them, that Egypt would be closed against them, though they at the same time expected that they would be safe there, and that an easily-borne exile was in their power. As then they foolishly trusted that they would be received by the Egyptians, the Prophet says, that the gates would be closed, and that there would be no one to open them. It then follows, carried away wholly has been Judah, carried away completely; that is, |Ye shall all be led away into Assyria and Babylon;| which is the north country, according to what afterwards follows, --

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