Jeremiah 23:37

37. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

37. Sic dices Prophetae, Quid respondit tibi Jehova? Et quid loquutus est tibi Jehova?


He repeats what we noticed yesterday, and almost in the same words. The meaning is, that if we desire to profit in God's school, we must beware lest our minds be preoccupied by any corrupt feeling. For whence is it that God's word is not savored by us, or excites in us a bitter spirit? even because we are infected by some sinful lust or passion which wholly corrupts our judgment. God then would have us to come to him free from every vicious disposition, and to be so teachable as to inquire only what he teaches, what he may answer to us; for whosoever becomes thus disentangled and free, will doubtless find the prophetic doctrine to be for his benefit. There is then but one cause why God's word does not profit us, but on the contrary is injurious and fatal to us, and that is, because we seek not what God speaks, that is, because we are not teachable, nor come to learn, but either sloth, or contempt, or ingratitude, or perverseness, or something of this kind, bears rule in us.

Now he says here, that the prophets ought to be asked as to what God speaks, or as to what he may answer.1 In these words he exculpates God's faithful servants; for if a hearer is ready to obey, he will find from a faithful teacher what may justly please and do him good. In short he shews that there is nothing wrong in the prophets when their doctrine does not please us, but that this happens because we do not regard what Jeremiah here reminds us of, that we ought to hear God that we may learn, and that we may obey his voice. It follows, --

1 "Thus shalt thou say to the Prophet," that is, every one of you. The singular is used, as is the case often, instead of the plural. The Syr. indeed adopts the plural, "Thus shall ye say," etc. They are here directed how to address a Prophet. -- Ed.