25. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;
25. Ecce dies veniunt, dicit Jehova, ut visitem (ad verbum, et visitabo) super omnem circumcisum in praeputio.
26. Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
26. Super Egyptium (vel, super Egyptum; tam de terra quam de hominibus potest accipi) et super Jehudah, et super Edom, et super omnes filios Amon, et super Moab, et super omnes finitos in angulo (alii vertunt, attonsos comam, sed nulla ratio apparet) habitantes in deserto; quia omnes gentes incircumcisae (vel, praeputiatae) et tota domus Israel praeputiati sunt corde (vel, incircumcisi.)
The Prophet, after having removed the obstacle which he saw hindered the Jews from reverently receiving the truth of God, now speaks more sharply, and performs the office of a herald in denouncing the vengeance which was at hand:
This passage admits of two meanings. Some interpreters take as distinct these two words,
However this may be, the Prophet here denounces ruin, not only on the Jews, but also on the Egyptians and on other neighboring nations; but he yet speaks to his own people, for his word was not destined for the Egyptians, nor for the Idumeans and the Moabites. But as the Jews were wont to have recourse to the Egyptians, when any danger arose from the Assyrians and Chaldeans, the Prophet here connects the Egyptians with the Jews, and for the same reason, the other nations. We indeed know that the Idumeans and the Moabites were most hostile enemies to the Jews; but as the state of things changed, they were at one time their enemies, at another their friends; and when they saw that the Chaldeans extended their power, they saw also that they were exposed to plunder, and hence it happened that they willingly helped the Jews. Since then the Hebrews hoped that their neighbors on every side would aid them, the Prophet says that a visitation was nigh them all: and hence is confirmed what I have already said; for he distinguishes not the Jews from the Egyptians and other nations; but, on the contrary, as they had made alliances with them, he intends to unite them in one body:
It is indeed true that the Idumeans were circumcised, for they were the descendants of Esau, and had no doubt retained this external symbol; but their circumcision was altogether a mockery, as Esau had departed from the Church of God. The circumcision of the elect people was in itself efficacious; but as they had alike fallen into superstitions, they were like the uncircumcised, according to what Paul says, -- that the letter of the circumcision, that is, the external rite, was nothing. We hence see that there is no common propriety in the Prophet's words, when he denounces vengeance on the Jews as well as on the Egyptians, and names the circumcised with the uneircumcision; for the latter had uncircumcision, the former circumcision, and thus they had blended profane and sacred things together, so that there was nothing pure or uncorrupted: and hence he mentions
He afterwards adds,
He then adds,
But as some objection might still be alleged, he says, the Jews are
It is a common thing with Moses and the Prophets to call an unrenewed heart, uncircumcision, and to say that the people are uncircumcised in heart: for circumcision, while an evidence of free salvation in Christ, at the same time initiated the Jews into the worship and service of God, and proved the necessity of a new life; it was in short a sign both of repentance and of faith. When, therefore, the Jews presented only the sign, they were justly derided by Moses and the prophets; for they seemed as though they sought to pacify God by a thing of nought, without regarding the end. The same is the case now when we boast of baptism alone, and are at the same time destitute of repentance and faith: our boasting is absurd and ridiculous. And hence Paul calls the external rite, when the sign is separated from its reality and substance, the letter of the circumcision; and on the other hand he calls that the true circumcision, which is in secret and in the spirit. We may also say the same of baptism, -- that the literal baptism avails hypocrites nothing, for they receive only the naked sign: and therefore we must come to the spirit of baptism, to the thing itself; for the interior power is renovation, when our old man is crucified in us, and when we rise again with Christ into newness of life.
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast revealed to us in thy Gospel how guilty and miserable we are, we may learn to loathe ourselves, ard so He down confounded and despairing on account of the sins and guilt we have contracted, as yet to know that true glory is offered to us, and that we can be made partakers of it, if by true faith we embrace thy only-begotten Son, in whom is offered to us perfect righteousness and salvation: And grant also that we may so cleave to Christ, and so receive by faith his blessings, that we may be able, not only before the world, but also against Satan and death itself, to glory in thee, that thou alone art just and wise and strong; and may thy strength and justice and wisdom shine forth upon us in our iniquity and ignorance and infirmity, until we shall at length reach that ruiness of glory, which has been prepared for us in heaven by Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 The exposition of the phrase given in this section is inconsistent with all the ancient versions and the Targum: it is what has been given by modern rabbins. "The shaven around the face," is the Septuagint; "the shaven as to the hair," the Vulqate and the Targum; and to the same purpose is the Syriac and Arabic. The word
25. Behold the days are coming, saith Jehovah, That I will visit every one circumcised, Who is in uncircumcision, --
26.The Egyptians and Judah, Edom also and the children of Ammon and Moab, And all the shawm on the side of the head, Who dwell in the desert; For all these nations are uncircumcised; And all the house of Israel, -- They are uncircumcised in heart.
It is justly remarked by Horsley that the nations here mentioned practiced circumcision. They were hence circumcised, and yet in uncircumcision; and the Jews were like them: and the last line explains this apparent contradiction: they had the outward but not the inward circumcision. -- Ed.
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