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Jeremiah 36:15-16

15. And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears.

15. Et dixerunt, sede agedum, et lege ipsum (volumen) in auribus nostris; et legit Baruch in auribus ipsorum.

16. Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.

16. Et factum est cum audirent cunctos sermones, expaverunt quisque ad propinquum suum, et dixerunt ipsi Baruch,Indicando indicabimus Regi omnes hos sermones.


We see that there was some regard for religion in the princes, for they submitted to hear, and respectfully received the Prophet’s servant. Had Jeremiah himself come, he would, no doubt, have been received as God’s Prophet, as such honor was given to his servant, that the princes ordered him to be seated, which was certainly a favor. It hence appears that they were not profane despisers of God. Then follows another thing, — that they were moved with fear Then as to the king’s counsellors, we see that they were in such a state of mind, that they readily listened to, and dreaded the threatenings of God. But it was a fear that no doubt soon vanished; and what he says, that they feared each as to his neighbor, was a sign of a change; for he who fears as he ought, thinks of himself, and examines himself before God; but when the mind wavers, eyery one looks to another. It was then a sign of repentance not real and genuine, so to fear as to look to one another, for they ought, each of them, to look to God, that they might from an inward consciousness acknowledge their sins, and thus flee to the true remedy.

It follows, that they said, Declaring we shall declare to the king, etc. We hence learn, that their fear was such, that they did not yet wish to offend the king. They then referred the matter to him, being anxious to gratify him. This is the religion of the court, even so to fear God as not to lose favor, but on the contrary, so to perform one’s duty, as not to be liable to the charge of not being sufficiently attentive and devoted to the king’s interest. In short, the Prophet thus represents to us, as in a glass, the religion of the king’s counsellors, and shews to us at the same time that their minds were corrupted by ambition, and that ambition so prevailed, that they paid more regard to a mortal king than to the only true King of heaven.

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