29. Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.
29. Et multiplicasti scortationes tuas super terram Chanaan in Chaldaea, et ne in hoc quidem fuisti satiata.
Here the Prophet teaches that the Jews were immoderate in their desires, just as if a woman was not satisfied with two or three followers, should wantonly crave after many lovers: such, says the Prophet, was the Jews' licentiousness. As to his saying, over the land of Canaan in Chaldaea, some think it means, that they heaped up the impure rites of all the nations, and not only defiled themselves with the ancient. idolatries of the nations of Canaan, but imitated the Chaldaeans in their impiety. Others say in Chaldea, which is next to the land of Canaan; but this comment, like the last, is too forced: others take 'l, al, comparatively, for |through| the land of Canaan. But I only understand it as a particle expressing likeness, thus, you have multiplied thy pollution's in Chaldaea just as in the land of Canaan. It is not surprising if they defiled themselves with their neighbors, as the Prophet had formerly said they did with the Egyptians, but when they ran about to a remote region of the world, this indeed was most remarkable. This then seems the real sense, and it reads best, that they increased their defilement in Chaldaea as in the land of Canaan. For if a female meets with a stranger she may act sinfully without so much disgrace, but when she runs about to a distance to seek followers, this proves her most abandoned. I have no doubt that the Prophet here exaggerates the people's crimes by comparison, since they penetrated even to the Chaldaeans to pollute themselves among them. He says that the Jews were not satisfied even with this, using the same expression as when treating of the Assyrians. The sum of the whole is, that the Jews were seized with such a furious impulse that they manifested no moderation in their wickedness. For they had not revolted from God once only, or in one direction: but wherever occasion offered, they were accustomed to seize it too eagerly, so that they showed in this way that not even a drop of piety remained in their minds. Let us learn then from this passage to put the bridle on cur lusts in time: for when the fire is lighted up, it is not easily extinguished, and the devil is always supplying wood or adding oil to the furnace, as the phrase is. Let us then prevent the evil which is here condemned in the Jews, and let us restrain ourselves, lest the devil seize upon us with insane fury. It follows --