Jeremiah 3:25

25. We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.

25. Jacuimus in pudore nostro, et operuit nos ignomina nostra; quoniam cum Jehova Deo nostro scelerate egimus, nos et patres nostri, a pueritia nostra, et ad hunc diem usque; et non audivimus vocem Jehovae Dei nostri.


As the Israelites say here nothing new, but continue the same subject, I propose only to touch briefly on the words, lest I should be too tedious. They say then that they were lying in their miseries; and why? because they had dealt wickedly with God. We see that they are explaining what they had confessed, -- even that the labor of their fathers had been consumed by their shame, that is, by their wickedness; and they ascribe to themselves what might have been put to the account of their fathers, because they knew that they were heirs to their iniquity. We have lain, they say, in our shame.1They here shortly confess that they were deservedly miserable, that they could not accuse God of cruelty, as that he afflicted them too severely. How so? because they were lying in their own shame, and their own disgrace covered them; as though they said, that the cause of all their evils was to be found in their sins, and that it was not to be sought anywhere else.

Because we and our fathers, they say, have done wickedly. By these words they intimate that they had acted thus, not for a day only, but had been so perverse, that from early life they had imbibed the iniquity of their fathers, and thus added evils to evils. They had said before, that the labor of their fathers had been consumed from their childhood, thereby signifying the continuance of their punishment; for God had not for a day chastised them, but had often repeated his scourges, and yet without any benefit. Now they add, "As we have from our childhood dealt wickedly towards our God, so also he has warned us from our childhood to return to him; and it has been our fault that we have not returned, for he called us; but as we were obstinate, so also God has justly executed on us his vengeance."

They afterwards say, even to this day; by which they confirm what I have already stated, -- that they had been so perverse as not to cease from their vices. At the same time he points out the source of all their wickedness: they hearkened not to the voice of Jehovah. Had they gone astray, and had God been silent, their fault might have been extenuated; but as God had daily sent prophets to them, who never ceased to cry in their hearing, and yet they continued deaf, their perverseness in their sinful courses was inexcusable. We then see that their sin was increased by the circumstance, that they refused to hear the voice of God; as though he had said, that God had done his part in calling them back from the way of ruin, but that they had been so obstinate as to disregard his favor, and that they thus justly suffered, not only for their impiety, but also for their ingratitude and perverse wickedness.


Grant, Almighty God, that as we cease not, though favored with many blessings, to provoke thee by our misdeeds, as though we avowedly carried on war against thee, -- O grant, that we being at length warned by those examples, by which thou invitest us to repentance, may restrain our depraved nature, and in due time repent, and so devote ourselves to thy service, that thy name through us may be glorified, and that we may strive to bring into the way of salvation those who seem to be now lost, so that thy mercy may extend far and wide, and that thus thy salvation, obtained through Christ thine only -- begotten Son, may be known and embraced by all nations. -- Amen.

1 Calvin seems to have followed the Septuagint in rendering the verb in the past tense. The Vulgate and Syriac retain the future of the original; but the Targum gives the present, and rightly so, as the future in Hebrew is often to be so taken. It is the same in Welsh, the future conveys the meaning of the present. This distich might in that language be rendered exactly according to the Hebrew, and the future would be understood as expressing what the present state of things is,-

Gorweddwn yn ein cywilydd, A gorchuddia ni ein gwarth.

But in English the present must be used, as it is the confession of the penitent when returning to God,-

We lie in our shame, And cover us does our disgrace, Because against Jehovah our God Have we sinned, we and our fathers, From our childhood even to this day; And we have not hearkened To the voice of Jehovah our God.-Ed.