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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 42:18

18. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more.

18. Quoniam sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Deus Israel, Sicuti fusa est iracundia mea et excandescentia mea super habitatores Jerusalem, sic fundetur excandescentia mea super vos cum veneritis in Aegyptum; et eritis in execrationem et in stuporem et in maledictum et in probrum; et non videbitis amplius locum hunc.

The Prophet confirms what he had already said, by an example of God's vengeance, which had lately been shewn as to the Jews; for though the destruction of the city and the Temple had been often predicted to them, they yet had become torpid as to God's threatenings. God, however, after having delayed for a long time, at length executed what he had threatened. They had titan seen that dreadful example, which ought to have filled them, and also their posterity, with fear. Then the Prophet, as he saw that they were so tardy and stupid that they thoughtlessly derided God's threat-enings, reminded them of what they had lately seen. |Ye know,| he says, |how God's fury had been poured forth on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, such also will be poured forth on those who will flee into Egypt.|

Now Jeremiah was able to speak with authority, as he had been the herald of that vengeance now mentioned. If any other had declared in God's name what had happened, they might have objected and said, that they had indeed been justly punished by God, but that it did not hence follow flint what he said was true; but as the Prophet had for forty years often and constantly denounced on them what at length they had really and by experience found to have been predicted to them from above, he was able to repeat a similar judgment of God with the highest authority, as he now does.

Thus saith Jehovah, he says, as my fury was poured forth, etc. The similitude is taken either from water or from metals: hence some give this rendering, |As my fury flowed down;| but the verb used by Jeremiah means properly to pour forth. It may, however, as I have said, be applied to water, which spreads when poured out, or to metals, which being liquid spread here and there. He then means, that all who should go to Egypt would be wretched and miserable; for wheresoever they might try to withdraw themselves, the vengeance of God would yet find them though exiles, for it would spread like a deluge over all the inhabitants, so that they would in vain seek hiding-places. We now see the design of the Prophet. The meaning is, that as the Jews had by their calamity known him to have been a true and faithful servant of God in foretelling the destruction of the city and Temple, so would they find now, except they repented, that the message by which he threatened a second destruction, had come also from God. Poured forth, he says, shall be mine indignation on you when ye come into Egypt

He afterwards adds a passage from the Law, which often occurs in the Prophets, that they would be an execration, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach The word 'lh, ale, which we have rendered |execration,| means properly an oath; but as imprecation is often added, when we wish to be believed, it is also understood as an execration. He then says that they would be an execration, that is, a formula of execration, as we have elsewhere explained. Whosoever then had a wish to express a curse, they would, as the Prophet says, use this form as a common proverb, |May God curse thee as he did the Jews,| -- |May I perish as the Jews perished.| In short, he intimates that the punishment would be so horrible that men would turn it to a common proverb, he adds, And an astonishment, that is, that God's vengeance would be so dreadful, that all would be filled with amazement. He further adds, And a curse and a reproach The sum of what is said is, that God would inflict on the Jews not a common punishment, but such as would be remembered among all the heathens, in order that it might appear that their wickedness in obstinately rejecting the prophetic word was not light.

He lastly adds that they should never see their own land; for it was not the design of the Jews to dwell perpetually in Egypt; for they pretended that they remained firm and constant in their dependence on God's promise, and boasted that they had a hope of a return, because God had fixed seventy years for their exile. As they then thus foolishly gloried, that they hoped in God for the promised favor, he says that they were shut out as to any hope of a return; for though God would restore the other captives dispersed throughout the East, yet the Egyptian guests were doomed to die in their exile. This then was to cut off from them every hope, in order that they might know that they were wholly rejected, and would have a place no more among- God's people, however they might wish to be deemed the first. It follows, --

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