18. Nevertheless in those days, saith the Lord, I will not make a full end with you.
18. Atque etiam in diebus illis dicit Jehova, non faciam vobiscum finem (alii vertunt, consumptionem.)
Different views may be taken as to the meaning of this verse; but the greater part of interpreters think that a hope is here given to the faithful; yea, nearly all are of this opinion; indeed I know not any one who takes another view. They then think that God moderates here what he had previously said, and that he gives some ground of hope to his servants, lest they should imagine that the Church would be so reduced as to have no seed remaining: and hlk, cale, as it was said yesterday, is often taken in this sense. But when I now carefully consider the context, I feel constrained to take another view, even this -- that God here enhances the severity of his vengeance. And the particle Mg, gam, "also, "or even, favors this view; as though he had said, "Think not that it will be all over when your enemies shall thus plunder you of all your possessions, deprive you of your children, and reduce you to extreme want; for ye shall not by any means be thus freed from all evils, as I shall pursue my vengeance still further." There will hereafter follow promises to moderate threatenings, that the hearts of the faithful may not despond: but in this place the Prophet, I have no doubt, introduces God as a Judge, executing vengeance, as though there was no place for mercy.
Then also, he says; for the particle Mg, gam, is inhansive and emphatic; Then also, in those days; that is, "When your enemies shall strip your land of its produce, and of all its animals, and of its inhabitants, I shall not even then cease to pursue you: I will not make an end with you, for there will still remain scourges, when ye shall think that rest is given to you, and that the end of evils and of all calamities had come." In this manner is God wont to deal with the impenitent; for such is their perverseness, that being smitten they become more and more hardened, and champ the bit, according to the old proverb. And hence is their hardness, because they think that God is, as it were, disarmed when he has punished them for their sins. He therefore declares that he has in his power different kinds of punishment and different ways of punishing.1 And to the same purpose is what follows --
Yet even in those days, saith Jehovah,
I will not make with you a completion,
I will not wholly destroy you.
It depends on the context what the bearing of this may be, while the sentence itself retains the same meaning. "I will not wholly destroy you, for I intend to preserve a Church for myself, he might also say, "I will not wholly destroy you, for I have other punishments in reserve for you: "and the latter, as Calvin maintains, seems to be the purport of the expression in this passage. Still the words themselves have the same meaning.-Ed.