31. For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
31. Quia ad tram meam et excandescentiam meam fuit mihi urbs ista ex quo die aedificarunt eam ad diem hunc usque, ad tollendum ipsam e conspectu meo;
He confirms what we have just said, even that God, however, severely he might punish the Jews, would not yet exceed due limits in his judgment, because their iniquity had reached the highest pitch. It was a dreadful judgment when the city was wholly demolished by fire, and the Temple destroyed. Hence the atrocity of the punishment might have driven many to complain that God was too severe. Here he checks all such complaints, and says, that the city had been built as it were for this end, even to provoke him, as we say in French, Elle a este faite pour me depiter, pour me facher. Some read, |Reduced to me has been the city;| but they pervert and obscure the meaning. It might more properly be rendered, |The city has been destined to me for my wrath and indignation.| But the meaning which I have given is simpler. Thus the words 'phy, aphi, and chmty chemeti, are to be taken passively, even that the city Jerusalem had been in a manner devoted to this madness, so that it ceased not to inflame more and more against itself the vengeance of God. In a word, he repeats in other words what he had before said, even that the children of Israel did nothing else than provoke God by their misdeeds.
There is then nothing new said here, but as it was a thing difficult to be believed, the Prophet dwells on it, and says, that the city Jerusalem had been for the wrath and indignation of God, from the time in which it had been founded And we may gather from the end of the verse that this is the true meaning, for he says, Even to this day, that I should remove it from my sight; as though he had said, that the Jews had made no end of sinning, so that it was now quite the time to punish a people so wicked, whose impiety was un-healable. And he points out their persistency when he says, even to this day For the people had not only begun to sin in the wilderness, but they pursued in a regular course, so to speak, their impiety, so that at no age, in no year, in no day, did they cease from their vices. Here then is pointed out their constant habit of sinning. It follows --