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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 11:6-8

6. Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, amid do them.

6, Ex dixit Jehova ad me, clama (hoc est, clamosa voce promulga) verba haec in urbibus Jehudah et in compitis Jerusalem dicendo, Audite verba foederis hujus et facite ca.

7. For I earnestly protested unto your fathers, in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.

7. Quia contestando contestatus sum patribus vestris dic qua feci ascendere eos e terra Egypti usque ad diem hanc, mane surgendo et contestando et dicendo, Audite vocem meam:

8. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.

8. Et non audierunt et non inclinarunt aurem suam; et ambularunt quisque post pravitatem cordis sui mali: et (ideo, copula hic inative accipitur) venire feci (hoc est, immisi) super eos omnia verba foederis hujus, quod mandavi ut facerent; et non fecerunt.

Here the Prophet explains more clearly why he had been commanded to promulgate the words of the covenant: for the greater part of the people were no doubt ready boldly to object and say, |What dost thou mean? Are not we the disciples of Moses? Thou, forsooth! thinkest that thou hast to do with a barbarous people. Have we not been from our childhood taught the law of God? Is it not daily enjoined on us? We are sufficiently instructed in this doctrine of which thou pretendest that we are ignorant. Be gone hence; and go either to the Chaldeans or to the Assyrians or to the Egyptians; for we understand what the law teaches.|

There is then no doubt but that Jeremiah had been repulsed by this kind of insolence: he therefore shews that he had a just cause to set before them the law of God; for so great an oblivion had prevailed, that they did not know what God had formerly taught in his law: and besides, they and their fathers had been always rebellious, so that they had ever need of being taught, according to what is said by Isaiah, that the people were to be treated like children and taught, A, A; B, B, and that though the same things were repeated, they yet stopped at the rudiments and never made any progress. (Isaiah 28:10, 13) As then Isaiah reproached the people with tardiness in learning the law, so Jeremiah shews now that they were not to think it strange that God commanded his law to be proclaimed to them, because it had been hitherto despised by them. The rest we shall defer.

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