Jeremiah 8:21

21. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.

21. Super contritione filiae populi mei contritus sum, obtenebratus sum, stupor (nam Mms est stupere et attonitum esse; stupor ergo) apprehendit me.


As the hardness of the people was so great, that the threatenings we have observed did not touch them, the Prophet now ascribes to himself what he had before attributed to them. We then see how the Prophet varies his mode of speaking; but it was necessary, for he was at a loss to find a way to address them sufficiently strong to penetrate into their stony and even iron hearts. We need not wonder, then, that there are so many figurative terms used by the Prophet; for it was needful to set before them God's judgment in various ways, that the people might be awakened out of their torpid state.

He then says, that he was bruised for the bruising of his people. He was no doubt ridiculed by most of them: "Oh! thou grievest for thine own evils; it is well and prosperous with us: who has asked thee for this pity? Think not, then, that thou canst gain any favor with us, for we are contented with our lot. Weep rather for thine own calamities, if thou hast any at home; but suffer us at the same time to enjoy our pleasures, since God is propitious and indulgent to us." Thus then was the Prophet derided; but yet he warns the obstinate people, that they might be less excusable: he says, that he was rendered black; for sorrow brings blackness with it, and makes dark the face of man: it is a metaphorical expression. He says at last, that he was astonished1 The astonishment with which he was seized he no doubt sets down as being the opposite of the people's torpor and insensibility, for they had no fear for themselves. It follows --

1 To keep throughout the metaphorical character of this verse, it ought to be rendered thus, --

For the bruising of the daughter of my people I was bruised, I became black; Desolation possessed me.

But taking the words as applied to the mind, divested of metaphor, we must render them thus, --

For the sorrow of the daughter of my people I sorrowed, I mourned; Astonishment possessed me.

And this "astonishment" he explains in the next verse: there were means of restoration, and yet the people were not restored; at this he was astonished. -- Ed.