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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 17:3

3. O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders.

3. Montane, in agro substantiam tuam (opes tuas,) omnes thesauros tuos in praedam dabo propter excelsa tua, propter peccatum tuum in omnibus finibus tuis.

The Prophet again repeats, that punishment was nigh the Jews, and that it availed them nothing to seek for themselves recesses and lurking-places, for God would draw them forth from the mountains and expose them as a prey to their enemies.

Some render hrry, erri, |O my mountain,| etc.; and at the first view this meaning seems appropriate; but as the context requires this to be understood of the Israelites and the Jews, who always resorted to their recesses, when any fear of enemies assailed them, I prefer another rendering. Since then at times of distress they betook themselves to their hiding-places, the Prophet says, that they would in vain attempt to escape, for the mountains would be like the fields: I will expose, he says, as in the field, or the plain, your riches and treasures, that they may become a prey to your enemies. The meaning is, that the Prophet denounces vengeance on the Jews, and at the same time shakes off their foolish confidence, which rendered them secure, so as to despise all the threatenings of God: |Ye think,| he says, |that there will be a safe refuge for you on the mountains; but God will draw forth from thence all your possessions, and expose them on the open field, so that they may become an easy prey.|

He again repeats what he had said, that God would inflict a just punishment on the Jews, because they had sinned very greatly on their high places. By high places he doubtless means all their ungodly and corrupt modes of worship. For God had chosen for himself a Temple on Mount Sion; he designed sacrifices to be offered there: but they, carried away by a foolish zeal, had built for thenlselves many altars, so that there was no hill where they had not set up some altar or another. By stating then a part for the whole, the Prophet here refers to every thing that was inconsistent with the law of God: and in order to amplify their sin, he says, In all thy borders; that is, their impiety was widely and extensively diffused, so that no part of the land was free from their corrupt superstition. Since then the land was throughout contaminated, justly does the Prophet say, |In all thy borders;| he declares that there would be no refuge for them, to preserve them and their treasures from becoming a prey to their enemies. It follows --

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