« Prev Lecture seventy eighth Next »

Lecture Seventy-Eight

We said yesterday that the Prophet’s confused state of mind is described in this passage; for he would have no doubt himself confessed, that he was carried away by an intemperate feeling, so as not to be himself; for it is to cast reproach on God when any one curses his own birth-day. And he goes farther than this, for he adds, Cursed be the man who declared to my father, that a male child was born Here he not only fights against God, but is also ungrateful towards men; for what but thanks did he deserve who first told his father that he had a son born to him? It was then an ingratitude in no way excusable And hence we also learn that the Prophet had no control over his feelings, but was wholly led away by a blind impulse, which made him to utter very inconsiderate words; for in this sentence there is no piety nor humanity; but as I have said, the Prophet was ungrateful to men as well as to God; and his hyperbolical language also more fully expresses how intemperate his feelings were, who declared to my father that a male child was born He seems here, as though he avowedly despised God’s favor, for we know that males are preferred to females. But the Prophet mentions here the word male, as though he wished to complain of what he ought to have been thankful for.

And he adds, Who with joy made him joyful We see, as it is commonly said, how he mingles heaven and earth; for had it been in his power, when this frenzy possessed his mind, he would have certainly disturbed all the elements. But more grievous and more inordinate is what follows, Let that man be like the cities which God destroyed without repentance Why did he imprecate on an innocent man the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? and then he speaks not of temporal punishment, but devotes the man to endless perdition, for that is the import of the words, and he repented not; as though he had said, “May God be angry with him, without shewing any mercy, but manifest himself as wholly implacable, as he dealt with Sodom, which he at once destroyed without leaving it any hope.” Had he spoken of an inveterate enemy, he ought to have kept within those bounds prescribed to all God’s children; but he had nothing against the man who brought the news to his father. We hence see how he was led away as it were by an insane impulse. But let us hence learn to restrain, in due time, our feelings, which will pass over all bounds if we indulge them; for they will break out then as it were into fury, as the case was with the Prophet.

He also adds, Let him hear a cry in the morning, and a tumult at noon-tide Here he devotes an innocent man to perpetual inquietude. And mention is made of the dawn, for we know that terrors occur during darkness in the night. If anything happens in the day-time, we inquire what it is, and we are not so frightened; but when there is any noise in the night, fear takes full possession of us. There is then something monstrous in what the Prophet expresses here. Hence, also, we more fully learn how very hot was his indignation, that he thus wished perpetual torments to an innocent man. In the morning, he says, let him hear a cry, and at noon a tumult Had he said, “Let him hear a cry perpetually,” it would not have been so grievous. It now follows, —

« Prev Lecture seventy eighth Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |