Jeremiah 3:9

9. And it came to pass, through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

9. Et factum est a velocitate (vertunt tam Hieronymus quam alii interpretes, facilitatem; nomen deductum est a llq, quod significat interdum esse velocem; hic levitas notatur, vel petulantia, factum est, igitur, a levitate, aut petulantia) scortationum ejus, ut pollueret terram (vel, contaminaret; alii vertunt, peccare faceret; sed Hieronymus ubique fere reddit hoc verbum per contaminare, neque male quadrat,) et scortata est cum lapide et cum ligno.


Here the Prophet completes his charge, -- that so far was it that the punishment which God had inflicted on the Israelites, had any effect on the tribe of Judah, that she surpassed by her levity and lustfulness the whoredomes of her sister. She has polluted, he says, the land, or made the land to sin, that is, rendered the land guilty. It is indeed what greatly exaggerates the crime, when it is said that the land became guilty or contaminated. The land, we know, was in itself pure, and could contract no pollution from the vices of men; but that the impiety of men might be exhibited the more detestable, the land is said to have been contaminated by them:

Or, it may be said that the land was made guilty. How so? The reason why they are said to have contaminated the land or to have made it guilty or to have implicated it in their own vices, he gives in these words, she has played the harlot with stone and with wood.1 Of this metaphor of playing the harlot it is not necessary now to speak; for we have said already, that this similitude is often repeated, because God had united that people to himself and bound them to him, as it were, by the sacred bond of marriage. Hence whenever the people departed from the pure worship of God, they were justly said to have played the harlot, for they violated their pledged faith: as simplicity of faith is spiritual chastity, so apostasy is that shamelessness and perfidy, when a wife becomes unfaithful to her husband by following adulterers. It afterwards follows --

1 This verse may be thus rendered,-

And it was, that through the report of her fornication, She polluted the land; And she committed adultery with stone and wood.

There is no instance of lq, in the sense of swiftness, etc., being used as a noun. It is the Chaldee for lwq, voice, fame, report. Gataker paraphrases the words thus, "by her notorious fornication." The early versions and the Targum all differ. Excessive addiction to idolatry is evidently what is spoken of.-Ed.


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