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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 12:12

12. The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.

12. Super omnes oras (vel, quomodo alii vertunt, super omnia loca excelsa, sphym, uno verbo dicere licebit, prominentias; accipitur etiam pro rupibus; sed loquitur de finibus extremis; ergo super fines extremos) in desertum venerunt perditores; quid gladius Jehovae voravit a fine terrae usque ad finem terrae; non est pax universae carni.

Jeremiah here proceeds farther -- that no corner of the land would be exempt from the attacks of enemies. Desert is not put here for solitude not inhabited, but for high places; and as such places fbr the most part are fit for pastures, there is no doubt but that he means here secluded places. It is, however, sufficient for our present purpose to consider, that the desert; here is put in opposition to the level parts of the country. When, therefore, the enemies had rambled through the plains, the Prophet says, that no recesses, however hidden, would be safe; for there also the violence of the enemies would penetrate. And this is what he states more clearly at the end of the verse when he says that there would be no peace to any flesh: for he intimates, no doubt, that all, from the least to the greatest, would be rendered miserablei as God's vengeance would reach every one without exception; and he says this, because those who sought hiding -- places might have hoped to escape, thinking that the enemy would be satisfied with a limited victory; but the Prophet declares, that God's wrath would so burn as to consume all, and to leave no part of the land without involving in ruin the rich and the poor, the country people and the citizens.

After having then threatened the plains, which were more open and accessible, he now adds, that neither the mountains nor the hins would escape the outrage of their enemies; and at the same time he reminds them that God would be the author of all their calamities; for had he only spoken of the Chaldeans, the Jews would not have thought that they were given up to punishment by God on account of their sins: it would have therefore been without any good effect had they thought that they had a contest only with the Chaldeans. Hence he calls their attention to God's judgment, and shews, that though ambition, avarice, and cruelty instigated and influenced their enemies, they were yet conducted by a divine power, because the Jews had for a long time provoked against themselves the vengeance of God. He, in short, intimates that the Chaldeans would fight for God and do his work, as he would be the chief commander in the war; and this he intimates lest the Jews should think that such great calamities happened to them by chance: hence he says, The sword of Jehovah hath devoured, etc. He indeed speaks of future things; but he uses the past tense, which is commonly done by the prophets. It now follows --

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