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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 10:16

16. The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.

16. Non sicuti illi portio Iacob, quia creator omnium est; et Israel virga haereditatis, ejus, Iehova exercituum nomen ejus.

We have said before, that superstitions cannot be from the heart and boldly rejected, except the true God be known; for the heathens, even when they disapproved of the opinions of the vulgar, yet reasoned on both sides, and knew nothing certain, and had no sure faith. It is, therefore, necessary that we should have previously a knowledge of the true God. Hence the Prophets, whenever they spoke of idols, spoke also of the true God; for it would have been to little purpose to condemn these follies, except they represented God in his own real dignity. For this reason the Prophet says again, that God, who is the portion of Israel, is not like idols.

He calls God the portion of Israel, that he might preserve the people in the pure truth of the law which they had learnt, and with which they had been favored; and thus he draws away the attention of the Israelites from all the inventions of men or of the heathens. The portion then of Israel is not like idols -- how so? For he is the former of all things, that is, the creator of heaven and earth. Then he says, Israel is the rod of his inheritance Rod may be taken for a measuring rod; and I think it ought to be so taken, for he mentions inheritance: for he took the comparison from common practice; as men are wont to measure fields and possessions by a rod. He therefore says, Israel is the rod, that is, the measuring rod of his inheritance He concludes by saying, Jehovah of hosts is his name

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