23. And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord GOD.
23. Et consolabuntur vos, quia videbitis vias ipsorum et opera ipsorum: et scietis quod non frustra fecerim quaecunque feci in ea, dicit Dominator Iehovah.
He now puts the verb for comforting in the third person, but in the same sense, because after the Jews shall have been led captive, they will bear sure and special marks of God's justice against their sins. This, then, is the consolation, as I explained it yesterday, while the exiles acknowledge that cruelty cannot be ascribed to God, as if he had exceeded moderation in exacting punishment; for the desperate wickedness of the people demanded it. But this passage contains a useful doctrine, since we collect from it that we are never tranquil in our minds unless when the greatest equity and justice appears in God's judgments, and become present to our minds. As long, therefore, as we do not acknowledge God to be severe in just cases, our minds must necessarily be disturbed and disarranged: hence the word |consolation| is opposed to those turbulent thoughts. But since nothing is more miserable than to be distracted and drawn hither and thither, and to be anxiously disturbed, let us learn that those profit most who acquiesce in God's judgments, although they do not perceive the reason of them, yet modestly adore them. But when God shows why he treats either us or others so severely, this is a special favor, since he offers us material for joy and tranquillity. Let us proceed.