27. Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.
27. Dicentes ligno, Pater meus tu (hoc est, tu es pater meus,) et lapidi, Tu genuisti me (si legamuss per
28. But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.
28. Et ubi sunt dii tui, quos fecisti tibi? Surgant, an servent to tempore mali tui (hoc est, afflictionis tuae, sicuti prius;) quia secundum numerum urbium tuarum fuerunt dii tui, Jehudah.
The Prophet here confirms what he had before said of the perverse wickedness of the people. He shews that he had not said without reason, that their sins were extremely gross, and could not be excused by any evasions: for they
But the Prophet points out here what is especially to be detested in idolatry, and that is, the transferring of the honor, due to God, to statues, not only as to the external act by bending the knee before them, but by seeking salvation from them.
And this is what we ought particularly to notice: for the Papists at this day, though they prostrate themselves before their pictures and statues, do not yet acknowledge themselves guilty of idolatry, when such a charge is brought against them. They say that they worship the statues, not with the honor due to God, but with such honor as a servant renders to his master.1 They think that they thus exculpate themselves. But were we to grant what they allege, they yet cannot deny but that they address prayers and supplications to statues. As then they ask the very statues to save them, whatever sophistry they may adopt, it is altogether nugatory: for the prophets condemn not merely the outward gesture, the bowing down, and other ceremonious acts, as they are called, when they condemned idolaters. What then? They condemned them, because they said to
We must now, then, bear in mind, that the Jews were not only condemned, because they burnt incense and offered sacrifices to idols, but because they transferred the glory of God to their statues, when they asked salvation from them. And as this was not done in express words, the Prophet here brings to light their impious thoughts; for they did not raise up their minds and thoughts to God, but turned them to their statues.
It afterwards follows,
And hence he adds,
The same thing is, no doubt, done at this day under the Papacy; for the Papists have their patrons; and when they find that their foolish superstitions can do nothing for them, they would have God to help them, and yet they leave nothing to him: after having taken away all his glory, and divided it as a spoil among dead saints, they would then have God to be their helper. But we see what God's answer to them is, "Where are your gods?" etc.
Now this truth is of use to us; and we hence learn, that we are not to wait until we are really, and in the last state of despair, compelled to acknowledge that our labors have been useless, while we hoped and prayed for help from idols; but that we ought to come directly to God himself for aid in our distress.
God proceeds farther with the sarcasm or the derision which he has employed,
1 The words employed by Calvin are the technical terms, latria and dulia, the fictions of the Papists. The first means specifically worship, and the second, service, obedience. The verb
2 The "neck" here means evidently the hinder part, for it is in contrast with " face;" and the word generally means the hinder part. Hence it is properly rendered here "back" in our version and by Blayney, and so by the Targum and the early versions, except the Syriac, which retains the hinder part of the neck. We have no single word, except it be nape, which denotes the back part of the neck. There is one in Welsh, " gwegil, " and so in Latin, " cervix, " and in Greek,
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