16. Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.
16. Percussus est Ephraim, radix eorum exaruit, fructum non facient: etiamsi genuerint, tunc interficiam desiderabilia uteri ipsorum.
The Prophet again threatens extreme vengeance to the Israelites. It is no wonder that the same sentence is so often repeated; for hypocrites, we know, too much flatter themselves, and are not frightened even by the most grievous threatening. As then hypocrites are so stupid, they must be often, nay, frequently pricked, and most sharply, that they may at length be awakened out of their torpor. Hence the Prophet repeats the threatening which he had often before announced, and says, that
He then leaves this similitude or metaphor, and says,
We now then apprehend the design of the Prophet, which was to show, that the Lord would no more be content with some moderate punishment, for he had often found that this abandoned people were in vain chastised by paternal love; but that extreme vengeance awaited them, which would consume not only the men, but also their children so that no residue should remain. The reason is afterwards added --