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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 37:20

20. Therefore hear now, I pray thee, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray thee, be accepted before thee; that thou cause me not to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.

20. Et tu audi obsecro (vel, nunc, vel agedum) domine mi Rex; cadat precatio mea coram facie tua, ut ne (ad verbum, et non sed, potius, ut ne) remittas me (v.el, redire me facias) in domum Jonathan scribae, neque moriar lilic.

This verse shews that Jeremiah was not destitute of human feelings, for he, as other men, dreaded death. But yet he could so control himself, that no fear made him to turn aside from his duty. Fear, then, did not dishearten him, as the boldness which we have noticed was a manifest proof of his constancy. The Prophet therefore overcame, as to his work, every anxiety and the fear of death; and yet he did not disregard his life, but sought, as far as he could, deliverance from his evils. He asked for some alleviation from the king. We hence see that the Prophets were not logs of wood, nor had iron hearts; but though subject to human feelings, yet they elevated themselves to an invincible courage as to their work, so as to fulfill their office.

As to the words, Let my prayer fall before thee, they mean a humble supplication; it is a mode of expression derived, as we have before seen, from what was done by men in prostrating themselves in prayer, and is transferred here from God to mortals. The Prophet then humbly asked, that he might not be cast again into that horrid prison where he had been confined -- and why? that he might not die We see that he shunned death, for this was natural; and yet he was prepared to die, whenever necessary, rather than to turn aside in the least from discharging the duty imposed on him by God.

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