19. For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.
19. Quia vox luctus audita est ex Sion, Quomodo perditi (aut, vastati) sumus? pudefacti valde? quia dereliquimus terram, quia projecerunt habitacula nostra (quidam subaudirent, projecerunt nos.)
We have said before, that when Jeremiah addressed the people in these words, they were still in a tolerably good condition, so that the king had confidence in his own resources; and his counsellors also thought that some aid would come to them from Egypt, and the people were likewise deceived. But the Prophet speaks of future events and points out as by the finger the evils which were as yet concealed from the view; for he could not otherwise teach with any authority, as he had to do with men of iron hearts. As then he saw that his teaching had no effect, and was wholly disregarded by men so slothful, he felt it necessary to form his style so as to touch their feelings.
On this account he says, that a
But in order, as I have said, to condemn the hardness of their hearts, he represents them in another character, as bewailing their ruinous condition, and saying,
"This is my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have chosen it."
As then God had testified that it would be a quiet habitation to his people, they thought that they were fortified by a triple wall and rampart, and that the city was altogether unassailable. But Jeremiah represents them as saying, that they had left their own land, that is, that they had been drawn and driven into exile. Then he adds,
1 The true version is that given by Blaney and approved by Horsley, --
Because they have thrown down our habitations.
The ancient versions differ, but none give the meaning of our version, which is that of Junius and Tremelius. The whole verse is in the past tense: things are represented as having already taken place: --
For the voice of wailing has been heard from Sion,-- "How have we been plundered! We have been put to great shame; For we have left the land, For they have thrown down our habitations."
The people are set forth as assembled in Jerusalem, having been made to quit the land, their dwellings having been pulled down. -- Ed.
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