Jeremiah 23:15

15. Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets, Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

15. Propterea sic dicit Jehova exercituum super (vel, ad) prophetas istos, Ecce ego cibabo eos amaritudine (aut, veneno; alii vertunt, absynthio, hnel, sed nomen absynthii non videtur quadrare; ubicumque enim ponitur hoec vox, significat amaritudinem noxiam et virulentem et mortiferam,) et potabo eos aquis veneni (alii vertunt, fellis; diximus alibide hac voce, sar,) quoniam a prophetis Jerusalem egressa est impietas in totam terram.


This verse is addressed to the prophets of the kingdom of Judah, as we learn from its conclusion; and thus the exposition which I have given is confirmed, even this, that God extenuates the fault of other prophets, in speaking of the prophets of Jerusalem, who boasted of greater sanctity. But he declares that they would have poison for meat and gall for drink; as though he had said, "I will pursue them with every kind of punishment." He expresses evidently the same thing I have before referred to, that their table would become a snare to them. (Psalm 69:22.) The ungodly, indeed, always think that they can by their arts escape; God on the other hand declares, that though they might have a table prepared, they yet would find nothing on it, but poison for meat, and gall for drink. For as to God's children and faithful servants, evils are turned to their benefit; so as to the ungodly and his wicked despisers, all things must necessarily turn out for their ruin, even meat and drink, and their course of life, and in a word everything.

The cause follows, For gone forth is impiety1 through the whole land from the prophets of Jerusalem. By which words he declares that they were the authors of all evils, so that in comparison with them the prophets of Samaria might have been deemed in a manner righteous. But there is no doubt but that this declaration was considered too severe; yet we see by what necessity Jeremiah was constrained thus to speak; for the lamp of God as yet remained at Jerusalem, according to what is said in many passages, nor was the light of sound doctrine wholly put out. They professed that they continued to obey the Law; and at the same time they were much worse than others, for not only the worship of God in the Temple and in the city was corrupted, but adulteries, frauds, plunders, and all kinds of wickedness prevailed everywhere. He adds --

1 This is the Syr., but it is not the meaning; it is properly rendered "pollution," or defilement, by the Sept., the Vulg., and Arab., but improperly flattery, by the Targ. The verb from which it comes is commonly rendered to defile; see Isaiah 24:5; Micah 4:11. The "profaneness" of our version, and "the perverseness" of Blayney, seem incorrect; the word is used in neither sense. The pollution here was by idolatry -- the adultery beforementioned. This pollution had spread from Jerusalem through the whole land. -- Ed.