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Jeremiah 19:8

8. And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

8. Et ponam urbem hanc in stuporem et sibilum; quisquis transibit per eam stupebit et sibilabit super omnen plugam ejus.


Jeremiah proceeds with his denunciation, and it was necessary for him to add this amplification, that he might penetrate into their hard and perverse hearts; for had he employed only a single sentence, or a common mode of speaking, in describing their calamity and the ruin of the city, they would not have been at all moved. Hence he enlarges on the subject, and advances with greater vehemence, and always speaks in the person of God, that his denunciation might have greater weight.

I will set, etc. Here is to be noticed a second reason; for it was not enough that a calamity should be denounced on the Jews, without adding this, that it was inflicted by God’s hand, and that thus the punishment of their wickedness was just. Then he says, I will set this city for an astonishment; for so in this place the word שמה sheme ought to be rendered, inasmuch as the reason afterwards follows, astonished shall be whosoever shall pass through it 216216    Blayney gives the same meaning, —
   “And I will make this city an object of astonishment and of hissing.”

   The Vulgate and the Syriac are the same; but the Septuagint and the Targum have “desolation” instead of “astonishment.” The word שמה signifies both, as in Hebrew the same word often expresses the cause and the effect: desolation is the cause, astonishment is the effect. The primary meaning is what is given mostly by the Septuagint and very seldom the secondary. The literal rendering of the sentence is, —

   “And I will set this city for an astonishment
and for a hissing.”

    — Ed.
He adds also, for a hissing, which is rather a mark of detestation than of scorn; yet the desolation of the whole land, and also the ruin of the holy city in which God had chosen an habitation for himself, might have filled all with terror, and ought justly to have done so. Whosoever, he says, shall pass through shall be astonished, and shall hiss on account of all her stroke; 217217     Plagam; the original word is considered to be in the plural number, and means strokes, stripes, scourges, but not plagues in the usual sense of the word — pestilences: it may be rendered smitings, or more properly, inflictions. It occurs three times in Deuteronomy 28:59, and is rendered plagues, but it ought to be smitings or inflictions; and so here, “on account of all her inflictions.” — Ed. for it was not to be a common calamity, but one in which might be seen God’s dreadful judgment. It follows —

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