9. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children's children will I plead,
9. Propterea adhuc contendam (vel, disceptabo) vobiscum, dicit Jehovah; et cum filiis filiorum vestrorum disceptabo.
It is indeed usual with hypocrites foolishly to cast off all fear, especially after having been once chastised by the Lord; for they think it enough that they have suffered punishment for their sins; and they do not consider that God moderately punishes the sins of men to invite others to repentance, and that he is in such a way sharp and severe as yet to restrain himself, in order that there may be room for hope, and that they who have sinned, while waiting for pardon, may thus more readily and willingly return to the right way. This is what hypocrites do not consider; but they think that God on the first occasion expends all his rigor, and so they promise themselves impunity as to the future. As for instance, -- When God chastises a city, or a country, with war, pestilence, or famine, while the evils continue there is dread and anxiety: most of those whom God thus afflicts sigh and groan, and even howl; but as soon as some relaxation takes place, they shake off the yoke, and having no concern for their wickedness, they return again as dogs to their vomit. It is hence necessary to declare to hypocrites what we see to have been done here by Jeremiah, -- that God so visits men for their sins, that in future he ceases not to pursue the same course, when he sees men so refractory as not to profit under his scourges.
Let us then learn from this passage, that whenever God reproves us, not only in words, but in reality, and reminds us of our sins, we do not so suffer for one fault as to be free for the future, but that until we from the heart repent, he ever sounds in our ears these words,
1 Gataker thinks that it was verbal pleading: "It is as if he had said, 'I have argued the case with your forefathers already, let me debate the matter a little further with you, and let your posterity also consider well what I now say, ' (see Deuteronomy 31:19, 31.) And so is the same word afterwards used for debating the case or pleading, verse 29 (Jeremiah 2:29)." Henry, Adam Clarke, and Blayney, take the same view; but Scott seems to agree with Calvin. The verb
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