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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 44:11-12

11. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah.

11. Propterea sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Deus Israel, Ecce ego pono faciem meam contra vos in malum et ad excidendum totum Jehudah;

12. And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.

12. Et tollam reliquias Jehudah, quae posuerunt faciem suam ut venirent in terrain Aegypti ad peregrinandum illic, et consumentur omnes in terra Aegypti, cadent in gladio, fame consumentur a parvo usque ad magnum; in gladio et fame morientur, et erunt in execrationem et stuporem et in maledictum et in opprobrium.

He again denounces punishment on the obstinate; nor is it a wonder that these threatenings were so often repeated, since he had to do with men so ferocious and refractory. The reason then why he denounced on them God's judgment, was because they boldly derided him; and it will become more evident from what follows how necessary was such vehemence.

And first, indeed, the Prophet briefly shews that all those would perish who had yet falsely imagined that they could not otherwise be safe than by fleeing into Egypt. Then Jeremiah here reproves and condemns their false and vain confidence. And then he explains the manner when he says, I will take away all the remnant of Judah, who have set their face to come to Egypt, etc. By these words and the following, God intimates that the Jews had in vain sought hiding-places in Egypt, because there he would inflict on them the punishment which they had deserved. He names the sword and the famine; the third kind he omits here, but he will mention it presently. Then he says that they were to perish, partly by the sword and partly by famine, and in order to speak more emphatically, he uses different words, They shall be consumed by famine, they shall fall by the sword, they shall all be consumed, and then he says, from the least to the greatest.

At length he adds, And they shall be a curse. We have said elsewhere that the word 'lh, ale, sometimes means a curse, though it properly signifies an oath; and the reason is, because men in swearing often introduce a curse, |Let God curse me,| -- |Let me perish.| Then he says, that the Jews would become an example of a curse; for in making an oath this would be the common form, |Let God destroy me as he destroyed the Jews.| He afterwards adds, an astonishment, because all would be horrified at the very sight of their calamity. It follows in the last place, a curse and a reproach, of which we have spoken before. Let us now proceed, --

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