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Commentary On Hebrews by Jean Calvin

APPENDIX E 2

Chapter 8:9. And I regarded them not, etc The Apostle here follows the Sept., though in some other parts of this quotation he follows more closely the Hebrew. Our version in Jeremiah 31:32, is, |although I was a husband to them,| which is not countenanced by any of the earlier versions. The phrase is peculiar, not found anywhere else except in Jeremiah 4:17; which is rendered by Kimchi, |I have abhorred them.|

The verb means to have, to possess, to rule, to exercise dominion, to marry; and Pocock and some others think, that it means to loathe, to disdain, to abhor, when followed as here by the preposition v and it is said that its cognate in Arabic has this meaning. The Vulg. here is, |and I have ruled over them;| and the Syr., |and I have despised them.| The expression is softened by the Sept., |and I have disregarded (or cared not) for them.| The same is done as to the preceding clause, |because they continued not in my covenant,| which is in Hebrew, though not as rendered in our version, |because they broke my covenant.| So 'sr rendered by the Syr. and the Targ. |Which my covenant| has been derived from the Vulg., and is a construction which the original will not bear.

Still the most probable and the easiest solution is, to suppose a typographical mistake in Jeremiah 31:32, the word vlty: being used instead of vchlty: there being only one letter different. The reasons for this supposition are these: -- All the versions are different here from what they are in Jeremiah 4:17, where the same phrase is supposed to occur, -- and this latter verb is found in Zechariah 11:8, followed by: as here, and means to |abhor,| or according to some, to |reject.|

There is also another word, nlty which has been mentioned, and has but one letter different; and as it is used by Jeremiah himself in chapter 14:19, and with v, in the sense of abhorring or loathing, it may justly be deemed as the most probable word.

But Newcome suggests another thing, a typographical mistake in the Greek. There is another reading in some copies of the Sept., and that is, emelesa, |I have cared for them;| and this would in substance agree with |I was a husband to them.| This conjecture is less probable; for it involves a mistake both in the Sept. and in this Epistle. But either of these suppositions would reconcile the passages; and it is singular that in both cases the change required is only in one letter!

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