11. Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond -- tree,
11. Et (hoc est, postea) factus est sermo Jehovae ad me (datus est mihi, fuit, ad verbum,) dicendo, Quid tu vides, Jeremia? Et dixi, Baculum vigilis (aut, amigdali) ego video.
12. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.
12. Et dixit Jehova ad me, Bene fecisti ad videndam (hoc est, recte vidisti,) quia vigilo (aut, festino, vigilans ego, ad verbum) super sermonem meum ut ipsum faciam (hoc est, ut compleam.)
God confirms in this passage what he had previously said of the power of his word. These two verses, then, are to be taken as explanatory, for no new subject is introduced; but the former part is confirmed -- that the Prophets spoke not in vain, or to no purpose, because they were invested with celestial power to plant and to build, and, on the other hand, to pull down and to root up, according to what we have quoted from Paul, who says that true teachers are armed with such power. (2 Corinthians 10:5, 6) We have in readiness, he says, vengeance against all the unbelieving, however proud they may be: and though their height may terrify the whole world, yet we have a sword in our hands which will stay them; for God's word has sufficient power to destroy the rebellious.
God then proceeds with the same subject when he says,
God then caused his servant to see the staff of a watcher. For what purpose? The answer is given:
"Not return shall my word to me empty, but shall prosper in all things," (Isaiah 55:11)
that is, "I will cause the prophetic doctrine to take effect, that the whole world may know that I have not spoken in vain, and that my word is not an empty sound, but that it has real power, which in due time will appear."
Hence I have said that these verses ought to be connected with the last, in which God said, that he sent his Prophet to root up and to plant, to demolish and to build. He then gives a proof of this in other words, and says that he would
God does not here resign his own office to Jeremiah, though he employs him as his teacher; for he shews that the power to accomplish what the Prophet would declare remained with him. God indeed does not here ascribe to Jeremiah anything as his own, or apart from himself, but sets forth only the power of his word; as though he had said, "Provided thou be my faithful minister, I will not frustrate thy hope, nor the hope of those who shall obey thee; for I will fulfill whatever thou and they may justly hope for: nor shall they escape unpunished who shall resist thee; for I will in due time bring on them the punishment they deserve."
He therefore uses the word to watch, or to hasten, in order to shew that he stood ready to give effect to his word at the appointed time. The effect does not indeed always appear to us: it is on this account said by Habakkuk, that if prophecy delays, we are to wait;
"for it will not be," he says,
"beyond its time; but coming it will come." (Habakkuk. 2:3)
God then bids us with quiet minds to wait for the accomplishment of his word; but he afterwards adds, in order to modify what he had said, "coming it will come;" that is, "I will accomplish and really perform whatever my prophets have spoken by my command." So there shall be no delay, for the suitable time depends on God's will, and not on the judgment of men. It then follows, -- but as the clock strikes, I cannot proceed farther today.
Grant, Almighty God, that since thou art pleased kindly to invite us to thyself, and hast consecrated thy word for our salvation, -- O grant that we may willingly, and from the heart, obey thee, and become so teachable, that what thou hast designed for our salvation may not turn to our perdition; but may that incorruptible seed by which thou dost regenerate us into a hope of the celestial life so drive its roots into our hearts, and bring forth fruit, that thy name may be glorified; and may we be so planted in the courts of thine house, that we may grow and flourish, and that fruit may appear through the whole course of our life, until we shall at length enjoy that blessed life which is laid up for us in heaven, through Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 The word is rendered " a rod of almond" by the Septuagint, the Arabic version, and Theodotion; and also by Piscator, Drusius, Grotius, and Blayney; and " the rod of the watcher" by Sym., Aq., and the Vulgate. The latter is no doubt more suitable in a translation. Some conclude, from what is related in Numbers 17., that the head of each tribe carried a wand or a staff made of the almond tree as a token of watchfulness: if so, the probability is, that this wand was presented to the view of the Prophet. It being a well-known emblem of watchfulness, and called perhaps the watchful rod or staff, it was most suitable to the purposes here designed. The verb
11. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, " What seest thou, Jeremiah?" and I said, " The rod of a watcher is what I see."
12. Then Jehovah said to me, " Thou seest rightly, for I am watching over my word to do it." -Ed.
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