6. Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.
6. Propterea percussit eos leo e sylva; lupus solitudinum (alii per
Here, at length, God shews that he was moderate in his judgments, so that the wicked in vain charged him, as it is usual with them, with too much rigor.
Some render the words in the past tense, and think the sense to be, that the Prophet reminds the Jews that they had not been afflicted without reason by so many evils, as they had deserved heavier punishments. But another view may be taken; for we know that in Hebrew the tenses often change; and I am inclined to regard the future tense as intended; for the Prophet seems not here to record what they had already suffered, but to remind them of the heavy punishment that was awaiting them.
He mentions here three wild beasts -- the lion, the wolf, and the leopard. By these wild beasts he understands no doubt the enemies, who would shortly attack them with the greatest cruelty. It is indeed true that the Jews, before the time in which Jeremiah spoke to them, had been afflicted with many evils; for God had not punished them only once, but had given them frequent warnings; and had there been any hope of repentance, they might have still continued in safety, though considerably reduced. But Jeremiah seems to predict future punishment: he therefore refers, not only to the Egyptians and the Assyrians, but also to other enemies. For that people, we know, were hated by all their neighbors, and had suffered grievous wrongs even from their own kindred. Since, then, many nations were hostile to the Jews, it is nothing strange that the Prophet enumerates here three sorts of wild beasts; as though he had said, that enemies would come from every quarter, who would, like lions, wolves, and leopards, vent their fury on them, because they had so often, and for so long a time, provoked God's wrath. At the same time, God does here check those false complaints which are wont to be often alleged by the wicked, and shews that he is a righteous Judge, and that the punishments he inflicted could not be blamed by the Jews: and it was for this purpose that he used the particle,
He also adds,
At the end of the verse he repeats again, and speaks more fully of what he meant by "
1 The word, as found here, is never used for the evening; it ever means the desert, or uncultivated plains. The plural termination of the word, when it means the evening, is
2 This illative, "wherefore," or therefore, or, for this cause, is both retrospective and anticipative. It is a reason given for what is contained in the latter part of the last verse, and for what is contained in the last words of this verse; it anticipates the particle "because" before "multiplied."-Ed.
3 It is rendered "
Because they have multiplied their transgressions, They have strengthened (or increased) their apostasies.-Ed.
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