Jeremiah 22:7

7. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons; and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.

7. Et praeparabo (vertunt alii, sanctificabo, ut etiam sdq hoc significat, praeparabo igitur) adversum to perditores, (aut, vastatores; txs significat perdere, et redigere in nihilum, et corrumpere, unde nomen Mytxsm, quod hic ponitur,) virum et arma ejus (aut, instrumenta bellica, vasa transferunt,) et exscindent electionem cedrorum tuarum (hoc est, electissimas quasque cedros tuas,) et conjicient in ignem.


He expresses the manner, for he had only said before, that the ruin of the city Jerusalem was nigh at hand; he adds, that destroyers would come and those well armed with warlike instruments, who would cut down all the choicest cedars and cast them into the fire. But he reminds them, that those destroyers would not come of themselves or through an impulse of their own, but through the secret operation of God; for if the Jews had thought that they had to do only with the Chaldeans, there would have been nothing to call forth the exercise of a religious principle; but the Prophet distinctly declares, that the Chaldeans would be the ministers of God, for they would be roused and led by him, according to what is often taught by the Prophets.

In short, these two things ought to be noticed, -- first, that God had in readiness many ways by which he could punish the Jews. For the contempt of the ungodly arises, because they dream that God is unarmed and has not always the execution, as they say, ready at hand. Hence the Prophet shews that the Chaldeans would be ready as soon as God hissed for them, or gave them a sign. This is one thing. Secondly, it ought to be observed, that he reminds them that the Chaldeans would be the scourge of God, that the Jews might not think that they contended with mortals, but might know that they were summoned to render an account of their life, because they had too long been rebellious against God and his Prophets. This is what we must understand by the word prepare.1

Now as to the choice cedars, the Prophet again alludes to Mount Lebanon and to the forest of Jerusalem, which was mentioned yesterday. The word forest may, however, be applied to the buildings; for the Jews built their chambers for the most part of cedar wood, as it is well known; we may then apply this to their splendid and sumptuous houses; but we may also take it without a figure and apply it to the trees of Mount Lebanon. But the chief ornament of the country were the noble trees on that Mount; hence, by cedars, the Prophet no doubt designated whatever was splendid at Jerusalem and in the country around it. It follows, --

1 The verb is sdq, to sanctify, or rather to separate or to set apart for a holy purpose, to consecrate. It is rendered by the Septuagint, "I will bring;" by the Vulgate, "I will sanctify;" by the, Syriac, "I will prepare:" but by Blayney, "I will commission." It intimates a setting apart or selecting for a holy purpose, such as the execution of the just judgment of God. Perhaps the best rendering would be, "I will consecrate for thee."

The next words are "destroyers, each man and his instrument," rendered by the Septuagint, "a destroying man and his hatchet;" by the Vulgate, "a slaying man and his weapons;" by the Syriac, "wasters, each with a hatchet in his hand;" and by the Arabic, "a destroying man with his hatchet."

The word ylk, does not mean specifically a weapon of war, but generally an instrument of any kind; and "hatchet" is the most suitable term for it here. We might then give this version, --

7. And I will consecrate for thee destroys, Every man and his hatchet; And they shall cut down thy choisest cedars, And shall cast them into the fire. -- Ed.