Jeremiah 8:12

12. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.

12. An pudor (est enim interrogative hoc legendum, sicuti capite sexto diximus, subaudienda igitur est particula, An; An ergo pudefacti sunt) quod abominationem patrarunt? etiam in pudore non pudifacti sunt, et erubescere non noverunt; propterea cadent inter cadentes; in tempore visitationis ipsorum impingent (vel, corruent,) dicit Jehova.


The Prophet in these words shews still more clearly that they were wholly irreclaimable; for they had divested themselves of every shame. It is no doubt a proof of a wickedness past all remedy, when no shame remains. This verse has been also explained in the sixth chapter; it forms the fifteenth verse. But we must bear in mind the design of the Prophet. It is then briefly this, -- to shew that the wickedness of the people was unhealable, and for this reason, because they had an iron front.

Hence he asks, Have they been ashamed, because they have committed abomination? as though he had said, "They have been proved guilty of wickedness, can they be made to feel any shame?" To this he answers, Even in their shame they are not ashamed. The particle Mg, gam, even, is emphatic, Then the meaning may be thus given, -- that when God brought against them their shameful conduct, and proved them guilty, so that they could not escape by any evasion -- that when they were thus convicted, they yet had no feeling of shame. At the same time, this passage may be explained as referring to what is commonly called actual conviction; for they were well -- nigh consumed with miseries, through their untamable perverseness, while contending with God's judgment. Even then in shame itself they had no feeling of shame.

Added is the reason, They know not how to blush. By this want of shame, then, Jeremiah proves that they were men past remedy. And on this account he adds, Fall therefore shall they among those who fall, and in the time of their visitation they shall perish, or stumble. By these words he intimates that they were no longer to be reasoned with, and that God's vengeance would be just in wholly destroying them, for he had in vain spoken to them, he had in vain contended with them, he had in vain tried to bring them to the right way. The import of the whole then is, -- that the only thing that remained for them was destruction; for they had without shame rejected all instruction and every warning.

And he says, among the fallen, because every one, as it is commonly the case, encouraged others in their contempt of God, and in their perverseness. When therefore they saw others to be like themselves, they entertained hope of impunity; and hence they were allured to sin by this deception. On this account the Prophet says, that ruin was nigh them all. They shall fall, he says, among the fallen,1 and stumble in the time of their visitation. He shews that God had fixed a day in which they were to be destroyed. But if he deferred the time, there was no reason for them to think that it would be to their advantage; for they would by their obstinacy procure for themselves a heavier judgment. In short, though God might spare them for a time, yet the Prophet warns them, that this would avail them nothing, as God's time of visitation was fixed. Then follows a confirmation --

1 This may be differently understood. There are here throughout the passage two parties spoken of,-the people, and the priests together with the prophets. The "wise" men, in Jeremiah 8:9, made ashamed were the people deluded by the priests and prophets. Those who felt no shame, mentioned in this verse, though their words proved false, were the priests and prophets: and hence we see the import of this expression here, that they were appointed to fall with the fallen, that punishment would reach them as well as the people.

This verse is somewhat different from the fifteenth of the sixth chapter, and may be thus rendered,-

12. Have they been ashamed, Because they have done abomination? Even with shame they are not ashamed, And how to blush they know not: Therefore fall shall they with the fallen; At the time of their visitation They shall perish, saith Jehovah.

The "abomination' was the perversion of the law so as to justify idolatry and all kinds of wickedness.-Ed.