7. Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them: for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
7. Propterea sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Ecce ego examinabo eos (vel, conflabo; ad verbum, examinans, vel, conflans,) et probabo eos; nam quomodo agerem cum filia (ad verbum, a facie filiae) populi mei?
Jeremiah, speaking in God's name, concludes that the chastisement, of which he had spoken, was necessary; And what I have already said appears more clearly from this verse, -- that he brings to light their sins, that they might know that they could not escape God's hand, who is a just avenger of wickedness; for they had extremely provoked him by their petulance and obstinacy.
And the reason is added,
But we hence learn that it is right that judgment should begin at the house of God, as it is elsewhere said. (1 Peter 4:17.) God indeed will not pass by anytliing without punishing it: hence the heathens must at last stand before his tribunal. But as he is nearer to his Church, their impiety, who profess themselves to be as it were his domestics, is less tolerable, as though he had said, "I have chosen you to be my peculiar people, and have taken you under my care and protection; when ye become intractable, what remains for me to do, but to try you, as ye act so unfaithfully towards me." It follows --
1 All the ancient versions (except the Vulgate) and the Targum read, as though
Therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, -- Behold I will melt them that I may try them; For thus will I do because of the wickedness of my people.
The rendering of the last line, according; to the received text, might be this, which is nearly the Vulgate, --
For how should I deal otherwise with the daughter of my people?
The passage runs better in this way, than according to the proposed emendation. -- Ed.
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