Jeremiah 21:10

10. For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord; it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

10. Quia faciem meam contra urbem hanc in malum, et non in bonum, dicit Jehova; in manum regis Babylonis tradetur et exuret eam igni.


He again confirms what he had said, that it would be the way of death if the Jews remained fixed in the city, for this would be to struggle against God; for God is said to set his face for evil, since he had fully determined to punish that nation. To set the face is the same as to be resolute. Then God says that what he had resolved respecting the destruction of Jerusalem could not be changed. Now, what must at length be the issue when any one thinks that he can, against the will of God, escape death? As they who violently stumble against a stone break their legs, and arms, and head, too; so they who furiously stumble against God attain for themselves final ruin.1

We hence see why the Prophet added this verse: it was, that the Jews might not in their usual manner foster vain hopes; for to hope for any good was to contend with God himself. Delivered, he says, shall be this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. He intimates that Nebuchadnezzar would not only conquer the people and triumph over a taken city, but that the city itself was doomed to destruction. It is, indeed, a most grievous thing when a city is wholly demolished: cities are often taken, and the conqueror removes the inhabitants here and there, while it remains still a habitable place; but God declares here that he would act more severely towards the city of Jerusalem, for it was to perish by fire. It follows, --

1 The phrase is not, "against this city," but "upon this city;" and such is the rendering of the Sept. and Vulg., though the Syr. has "against." How could his face be set against it, not for good? God is said to set or fix his face on the city, and it was for doing it evil, and not for doing it good. -- Ed.