25. Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst; but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
25. Prohibe pedem tuum a discalceare (hoc est, ne discalceeris) et guttur tuum a siti (quanquam alii existimant esse nomen substantivum
The words of the Prophet, as they are concise, may appear at the first view obscure: but his meaning is simply this, -- that the insane people could by no means be reformed, however much God might try to check that excess by which they were led away after idols and superstitions. In the first clause, God relates how he had dealt with the people. All the addresses of the prophets had this as their object -- to make the people to rest contented under the protection of God. But he employs other words here,
We now, then, comprehend the design of the Prophet: for God first shews that the people had been admonished, and that in time; but that they were so taken up with their own perverse counsels, that they could not endure the words of the prophets. It was the highest ingratitude in them, that they refused to remain quiet at home, but preferred to undergo great and severe labors without any advantage, according to what is said by Isaiah in another place,
"This is your rest, but ye would not." (Isaiah 30:15.)
There is no one who desires not rest and peace; nay, all confess that it is the chief good, which all naturally seek. The Prophet says now, that it was rejected by the people of Israel. It hence follows, that they were wholly insane, for they had lost a desire which is by nature implanted in all men. The Prophet, then, does not here simply teach, but reminds the Jews of what they had before heard from Isaiah, and also from Micah, and from all the other prophets. For God had often exhorted them to remain quiet; and the Prophet now upbraids them with ingratitude, because they gave way to their own mad folly, and rejected the singular benefit offered them by God.
Let us then know that the Prophet states here what others before him had taught,
It then follows,
Isaiah expostulated with them in another way, and blamed them, because they did not say, "There is not a hope." (Isaiah 57:10.) Thus Isaiah and Jeremiah seem to be inconsistent; for our Prophet here reproves the people for saying, "There is not a hope;" and Isaiah, for not having said so. But when the Jews expressly answered, according to this passage, "There is not a hope," they meant that the prophets spent their labor in vain, as they were determined to follow their own course to the last. Hence by this expression, "There is not a hope," is set forth the extreme perverseness of the people; and he shews that no hope of repentance remained, since they said openly and without any evasion that it was all over. But Isaiah reproved the people for not saying, that there was not a hope, because they did not acknowledge after long experience that they were proved guilty of folly: for after having often run to Egypt and then to Assyria, and the Lord having really taught them how ill-advised they had been, they ought to have learnt from their very disappointments, that the Lord had frustrated their expectations in order to lead them to repentance. Justly then does Isaiah say, that the people were extremely besotted, because they ever went on in their blind obstinacy, and never perceived that God did set many obstacles in their way, in order to compel them to go back and to cast aside all their vain hopes, by which they deceived themselves. We hence see that there is a complete agreement between the two prophets, though their mode of speaking is different.
Jeremiah then introduces the people here as saying expressly, and thus avowing their own perverseness,
It then follows,
1 That the word means to be barefooted, or without shoes, is clear from Isaiah 20:2-4, and also from 2 Samuel 15:30: and it is nowhere else found except here. It being here a noun, it signifies literally barefootedness. They are here exhorted not to travel for aid to foreign lands, so as to wear out their shoes and thus become barefooted. This was said in contempt, in order to pour ridicule on their folly in seeking foreign aid.-Ed.
2 It has been disputed whether the negative "no," refers to the advice given at the beginning of the verse, or to the immediately preceding word. The latter is the most natural. The word
25. Keep thy foot from being bare And thy throat from thirst; But thou hast said, " Hopeless! No; For I have loved strangers, And after them will I go."
The first part implies that they were pursuing a useless course. The insolent answer was, "Is it hopeless? By no means." The Septuagint omit the negative, and have only "
To confess that it was a hopeless thing to attempt to reform them, is not so appropriate, as to deny it to be hopeless to have recourse to foreign alliances: which seems to be the import of the passage. This is the view which Gataker seemed most inclined to take; and he mentions this rendering, "Should I despair? No." To the same purpose is the version of Jun. and Trem. But Grotius, Henry, and Adam Clarke, agree with the explanation of Calvin.-Ed.
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