19. They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
19. Et argentum suum per compita projicient, et aurum ipsorum in disjectionem erit: argentum eorum et aurum eorum non poterit ad liber andum ipsos in die excandescentiæ Iehovae: animam suam non satiaunt et viscera sua non replebunt, quia offendiculum iniquitatis ipsorum fuit.
Now the Prophet threatens that the desperation of the people would be so great that they would forget both gold and silver: for we know that men are more anxious about those possessions than about life itself. But gold, unless it be prepared for use, has no value in itself: yet we see that the majority are so inflamed with the desire of gold, that they cast themselves into the certain danger of death. For how many neglect their own life to acquire wealth: hence when men despise gold, they are assuredly astonished by fear and anxiety so as to lose their natural senses. The Prophet means this when he says, they shall cast their gold into the streets, because if they thought they should survive, and if there were any hope of life left, doubtless they would hide their gold and silver. But when gold is cast away, it is certain, as I have said, that all things are full of despair. Their gold, says he, shall be cast away I prefer this interpretation to an unclean thing. ndh, nedeh, signifies pollution, defilement, and separation. If any prefer-the translation |separation,| I do not object, only let us understand that the Jews would treat their gold as valueless, and so willingly separated from it. For we know that men are so attached to their gold and silver that it grieves them to be torn from what they so much love: no less than if you tore away their entrails. But the word |a casting away| is clearer, and will answer to the former member of the sentence better. He adds, their gold and silver will be unable to preserve them in the day of Jehovah's anger Here the Prophet derides the perverse confidence of those who thought themselves safe, because fortified with great wealth. For when men see themselves protected by guards they fear nothing, and such security is not easily wrested from them. For this cause also, Ezekiel pronounces that gold and silver would be useless to the Jews when God was fierce against them. And at the same time he obliquely reproves their sloth, because they despised God's judgments since they were spared at the time. Hence he declares -- the day of God's burning wrath shall come: then he says, they shall not satisfy their souls, and they shall not fill their bellies Here he means that the richest even should be famished. When any famine presses upon the people, yet those who have money at home do not suffer; besides, the rich have all kinds of produce in their barns and granaries. But the Prophet says, that the penury shall be such as to involve the rich, so that they should not have food to refresh themselves. Thus the reason is added, because it was the stumblingblock of their iniquity Some take this clause generally, that the Jews should stumble on account of their iniquity, that is, then shall be the time of receiving their reward. For God had seemed to pardon them, and not to notice so many iniquities with which they provoked him. He says therefore, in that day shall be a stumblingblock, if that sense pleases you, but I would rather restrict it to money itself, since silver and gold shall profit nothing, inasmuch as it shall be a stumblingblock of iniquity, that is, it shall be the material or occasion of sinning: and the next verse confirms this sense when it says --