12. For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.
12. Quoniam sic dicit Jehova, gravitas confractioni tuae (vel, fracturae alii vertunt, contritionem, qued idem est, nam svr significat etiam centerere) segra plaga tua.
The design of the Prophet is first to be noticed: he was fighting with those impostors who gave hope of a return in a short time to the people, while seventy years, as it has been said, were to be expected. The Prophet then wished to shew to the people how foolishly they hoped for an end to their evils in so short a time. And this is what ought to be carefully observed, for it was not without reason that the Prophet dwelt much on this point; for nothing is more difficult than to lead men to a serious acknowledgment of God's judgment. When any thing adverse happens, they are tender and sensitive as to the evils they endure; but at the same time they look not to God, and comfort themselves with vain imaginations. It was therefore necessary for the Prophet to dwell on his doctrine at large; for he saw that the Israelites promised to themselves a return after two years, though they had been warned by the Prophets that they were to bear the scourge of God for seventy years.
This is the reason why the Prophet speaks here of the grievousness of evils, not because the Israelites were insensible, but because they had been credulous, and were still hoping for a return, so that they deceived themselves with false comfort. He therefore says, that the breaking was grievous; some give this rendering, |Unhealable, or hopeless, is thy bruising.| But 'nvs, anush, is here a substantive, for it is followed by the preposition l, lamed; nor can what the Prophet says be rendered otherwise than in this manner, |Grievousness is to thy bruising,| or breaking. He afterwards adds that the wound was grievous, that is, difficult to be healed; for so I understand the passage. But the end was to be hoped for; yet the people were not to think it near at hand; they were, on the contrary, to prepare themselves for patient waiting until the end prescribed by God had come. It follows, --