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Chapter XXVIII.—Of the Predicted Rejection of Idols.

43. It cannot be questioned that what was predicted at sundry times by His prophets is now being realized,—namely, the announcement that He would disclaim His impious people (not, indeed, the people as a whole, because even of the Israelites many have believed in Christ; for His apostles themselves belonged to that nation), and would humble every proud and injurious person, so that He should Himself alone be exalted, that is to say, alone be manifested to men as lofty and mighty; until idols should be cast away by those who believe, and be concealed by those who believe not; when the earth is broken by His fear, that is to say, when the men of 95earth are subdued by fear, to wit, by fearing His law, or the law of those who, being at once believers in His name and rulers among the nations, shall interdict such sacrilegious practices.

44. For these things, which I have thus briefly stated in the way of introduction, and with a view to their readier apprehension, are thus expressed by the prophet: And now, O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. For He has disclaimed His people the house of Israel, because the country was replenished, as from the beginning, with their soothsayings as with those of strangers, and many strange children were born to them. For their country was replenished with silver and gold, neither was there any numbering of their treasures; their land also is full of horses, neither was there any numbering of their chariots: their land also is full of the abominations of the works of their own hands, and they have worshipped that which their own fingers have made. And the mean man621621     Homo. has bowed himself, and the great man622622     Vir. has humbled himself; and I will not forgive it them. And now enter ye into the rocks, and hide yourselves in the earth from before the fear of the Lord, and from the majesty of His power, when He arises to crush the earth: for the eyes of the Lord are lofty, and man is low; and the haughtiness of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon every one that is injurious and proud, and upon every one that is lifted up and humbled,623623     The text gives humiliatum; but elatum seems to be required, corresponding with the LXX μετέωρον. and they shall be brought low; and upon every cedar of Lebanon of the high ones and the lifted up,624624     Reading cedrum Libani excelsorum et elatorum, which is given by the mss., and is accordant with the LXX. ὑψηλῶν και μετεῶρων. Some editions give cedrum Libani excelsam et elatam = Every high and elevated cedar of Lebanon. and upon every tree of the Lebanon of Bashan,625625     The LXX. here has και ἐπι πᾶν δενδρον βαλάνου Βασάν = And upon every tree of the acorn of Bashan. For the βαλάνου Augustin adopts Libani, as if he read in the Greek Λιβανου. and upon every mountain, and upon every high hill,626626     The fifteenth verse of our version is wholly omitted. and upon every ship of the sea, and upon every spectacle of the beauty of ships. And the contumely of men shall be humbled and shall fall, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day;627627     [Ver. 18, though very relevant, is omitted: “And the idols shalt utterly pass away.”—R.] and all things made by hands they shall hide in dens, and in holes of the rocks, and in caves of the earth, from before the fear of the Lord, and from the majesty of His power, when He arises to crush the earth: for in that day a man shall cast away the abominations of gold and silver, the vain and evil things which they made for worship, in order to go into the clefts of the solid rock, and into the holes of the rocks, from before the fear of the Lord, and from the majesty of His power, when He arises to break the earth in pieces.628628     Isa. ii. 5–21. [The variations from the Hebrew are quite numerous; compare the English versions.— R.]


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