Jeremiah 5:24

24. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

24. Et non dixerunt in corde suo, Timeamus agedum Jehovam, Deum nostrum, qui dat pluviam et imbrem matutinum et serotinum (diximus de his verbis alibi) tempore suo; hebdomadas perpetuas messis (hoc est, ad messem) custodit nobis.


The Prophet in other words proves here that the Jews had been justly charged with perverseness: he says, that it did not come to their minds, that they did not think, to fear God. We hence see that all that is said is designed to shew, that the people were no less senseless and stupid, than if they were lifeless elements; nay, that there was more stupidity and more furious madness in their hearts than in any created thing.

To say in the heart means in Hebrew to weigh, to consider. We should say in Latin, "It did not come to their minds," (non venit illis in mentem;) that is, "Have they not been so void of common sense, that this thought did not come to their minds, or did not occur to them, Let us fear the Lord?" And here he takes away every pretense of ignorance, that they might not object and say, that they did not worship God through error or want of knowledge: "But ye had eyes," he says, and ye had ears, and all the faculties belonging to men; God gave you rain; there has been no year in which the earth did not bring forth its fruit for you; when ye eat bread, does not the bounty of God occur to your minds? and yet ye consider not that he ought to be worshipped." We hence see that he takes away every excuse for their ingratitude by saying, that they had been inattentive to those blessings, which were seen by the eyes, and felt by the hands, and touched by every part of the body. But of the rest we must speak to-morrow.


Grant, Almighty God, that since thou daily invitest us to thyself with so much kindness and benevolence, and since thy word continually sounds in our ears, -- O grant, that we may not become deaf through the depravity of our flesh, but be attentive to hear the doctrine of salvation, and become so teachable and obedient, that we may be willing to be turned wherever thou pleasest, and to be guided in the way thou pointest out to us, until we shall at length reach that blessed rest, which has been prepared for us in heaven by Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.

Lecture Twenty-Second

Yesterday was exhibited the senselessness of those who were not induced by God's blessings to serve him. The Prophet indeed mentioned the benefits which God usually bestows on the good and the bad without distinction, -- that he gives rain and spring and autumn, and so regulates all the year as to ripen all the fruit; for by the appointed weeks he only means, that God so arranges the different parts of the year, that what men sow comes to maturity; and the word reserve, or keep, is intended to shew the same thing. For it is the same as though he had said, "The seasons through the whole year are so changed, that there is a regular succession of suitable weather preserved."

We now then understand the Prophet's object: He shews that the Jews had been extremely thoughtless; for they did not regard the paternal favor of God as to their daily food, so as to be thereby moved to worship and serve Him. Paul, also, when addressing heathens, adduced this reason,

"God," he says, "never left himself ajma>rturon, without a testimony; for he gave rain and fruitful seasons,"
Acts 14:17)

that is, he so arranged the seasons, that the care he takes of mankind may be thus seen as in a mirror. But it was the Prophet's object here to condemn the Jews for their ingratitude, because they did not consider how bountifully God had ever dealt with them and beyond what was common. For he had not only in an ordinary way allured them to himself by his benefits; but his object had been to attach them to himself by singular and unusual means. Since then he had shewn to them singular favors, the more base was their ingratitude; for they did not consider, that the many benefits which God conferred on them, were so many motives or allurements, by which he bound them as it were to himself.

We now then see the Prophet's meaning, when he says, They have not said, "Let us fear Jehovah, who gives us rain; that is, the vernal rain and the rain that precedes the harvest, and that also in its season. For hence God's providence shines forth, because the rain follows when the husbandmen have sown; and it supplies the earth with moisture; and then before the fruit ripens, God renders it plump by latter rain. And for the same purpose is added this, Who reserves the appointed weeks, (literally, the weeks of ordinances;) and he says, that they are the weeks of the harvest.1 It now follows --

1 Blayney, following the Septuagint and the Vulgate, has rendered the latter clause thus,-

A sufficiency of the appointed things of harvest he secureth to us.

But the Targum agrees with our version; and Gataker, Grotius, Venema, and others, take the same view, which is more expressive and more accordant with the passage,-

The weeks, the appointed seasons of harvest,
He preserves for us.

The word twqx, means what is established, fixed, ordained, or appointed, as to time, place, course, portion, or law; and it is here, not in regimine, but in apposition with "weeks."-Ed.