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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 33:23-24

23. Moreover, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,

23. Et fuit sermo Jehovae ad Jeremiam, dicendo,

24. Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.

24. An non vidisti quomodo populus hic loquantur? Duas familias quas elegit Jehova in ipsis, reprobavit eas (sed abundat particula vhm deinde copula etiam supervacua est, nisi vertatur in adverbium temporis, nunc; nunc ergo objecit eas) et populum meum spreverunt, ut non sit amplius gens in conspectu ipsorum (hoc est, ipsorum judicio)

He now assigns a reason why he had so largely spoken of the deliverance of the people and of their perpetual preservation, even because the blessing promised by God was regarded as uncertain by the unbelieving. Farther, God not only reminds his Prophet why he bade him to repeat so often the same thing, but speaks also for the sake of the people, in order that they might know that this repetition was not in vain, as it was necessary to contend against their perverse wickedness; for they had so filled their minds and hearts with despair, that they rejected all God's promises, and gave no place to faith or hope.

There are some who explain this passage of the Chaldeans, who regarded the people with great contempt. But this explanation is cold and unmeaning. I have no doubt but that God here expostulates with the Israelites, because they relinquished the hope of a deliverance; for Jeremiah would not have spoken thus of the Chaldeans, Hast thou not seen this people? He expostulates with Jeremiah, because he had not moved from the city. He then shews, according to what I have already observed, that there was a necessity why he should so often confirm what had been said so plainly before of the return of the people, Hast thou not seen, he says, how this people speak? saying, Jehovah now rejects the two families whom he had chosen, even the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah.

It was indeed an unhappy event, that the people had been divided into two parts; for they ought to have been one nation. But though it had happened through the defection of the ten tribes that the body of the people had been torn asunder, yet the Prophet, according to the usual way of speaking, says, that the two families had been chosen The election of God was indeed different, even that the seed of Abraham might be one: for as there is but one head, so there ought to be but one body. But God had not wholly cast away the ten tribes, though they had wickedly and impiously revolted from the family of David. He then says, according to the language which prevailed, that the two families had been rejected, that is, the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. Now the people said, that both were rejected, which was true, but not in the sense they intended; for as it has been before said, they thought that there was no hope remaining, as though the covenant of God had been wholly abolished, while yet the rejection was only for a time.

We hence see what God reproved in the common language of the people, even because they entertained no hope of mercy and pardon; for being struck with amazement, they had cast aside every thought of God's promises, when they saw that they were to go into exile. For as before they had hardened themselves against threatenings, so now despair immediately laid hold on their minds, so that they could not conceive any idea of God's goodness and mercy. He adds, that the people were contemptible in their eyes, so as not to be a nation any more Thus in the third place he teaches what we have before observed.

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