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Jeremiah 14:13

13. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

13. Et dixi, O, ho, Domine Jehovah; ecce prophetae dicunt illis, Non videbitis gladium, et fames non erit vobis; quoniam pacem veritatis (id est, stabilem) dabo vobis in hoc loco.

 

The Prophet no doubt relates what he had expressed in prayer to God; but yet he has a reference to the people. He then prayed in the manner he now relates; but he renders public the prayers he offered by himself and without a witness, in order that he might restore the Jews from their impiety. Now Jeremiah’s colloquy with God availed not a little to touch the Jews; for as though they themselves had been present, he set before them what he had heard from God’s mouth. We now then understand why he made known his secret prayers; it was not for the sake of boasting, but for the sake of doing good to the Jews. It was then his object to consult their benefit, when he declared to them what he had previously poured forth without any witness into the bosom of his God.

And I said, Ah, Lord Jehovah! He uses an expression of grief, Ah! and thus he shews what concern he felt for his people, being not less anxious on account of their ruin than on account of his own. It may yet be an expression of astonishment, as though the Prophet was fined with surprise, “What can this be, O Lord?” And doubtless an expression of astonishment is not unsuitable, so that the Jews might feel horrified together with him, when they saw that they had been led astray by the false prophecies, by which they had been deceived. He then says, “How is this, O Lord? for the prophets say to them, etc. 114114     “Alas!” is commonly the meaning of this exclamation, being an expression of grief rather than of astonishment. “Ah!” is the Vulgate, — “Oh!” the Septuagint. It is rendered “Alas!” by Blayney.Ed.

Here the word, prophets, is emphatic, as though he had said, They are not thus mad wilfully in promising to themselves peace, contrary to thy will, but these prophets who profess and boast of thy name, these are the authors of this so gross a security; for they say, Ye shall not see the sword, famine shall not happen to you; nay, I will give you, etc. Here they assume the person of God; for it is not said, “God shall give you sure peace,” but “I will give you,” etc. We hence see that the Prophet here expresses his horror, while he compares false prophecies with the oracle which he had received from the mouth of God. The prophets, he declares, say, etc. They assumed an honorable title, and one connected with the power and authority of God himself. “Even the prophets then, who seem endued with the authority of heaven, and seem to have been sent by thee, as though they were angels, — even these promise men peace, not in a common manner, but in a way the most imposing, as though they had thine authority, and brought from thy mouth their fallacies, I will give you.”

We now then understand the design of the Prophet; for it was necessary to shake off from the Jews that false confidence, by which the false prophets, who pretended to have been sent from above, and boasted that they were God’s servants, the agents of the Holy Spirit, had inebriated them. As then it was necessary to take away from the Jews this confidence, the cause of their ruin, because they hardened themselves in contempt of God, and despised all his threatenings; he therefore says, “What! the false prophets speak thus, I will give you sure peace 115115     Or, “constant peace — pacem firmam.” It rather means “true or real peace,” literally, “the peace of truth.” The version of the Septuagint is “truth and peace,” — of the Vulate and Targum, “true peace,” and of the Syriac, “peace and security.” — Ed. in this place.”

We hence learn that Jeremiah had almost a continual contest; for the fiercest antagonists immediately presented themselves, whenever he threatened the people either with exile or with famine, or with any other judgment of God. “What! be secure, for God has chosen this place where he is worshipped. It cannot be that he will banish his Church from its quiet rest. There is no reason then to fear that he will ever suffer this kingdom to perish or his Temple to be destroyed.” Hence the complaint of the Prophet, not that he himself was affected by such falsehoods, but he regarded the good of the people, and sought to recover those who were as yet healable from these deceptions. Hence it follows —


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