Jeremiah 10:15

15. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

15. Vanitas sunt, opus illusionum; in tempore visitationis ipsorum peribunt.


He confirms the same thing. What he called before falsehood, rqs, shikor, he calls now vanity, lbh ebel. They are vanity, he says. He had said that they were falsehood, which means, that men were grossly deceived when they sought the presence of God in dead things, now he says, that they were vanity, and also the work of illusions; but some render the last word "mockeries," taking it in a passive sense; and hence the Chaldee interpreter renders it, "a thing worthy of ridicule and laughter."1 But I prefer to take it for imposture or deception. Jacob said to his mother, "I shall be found in the eyes of my father a deceiver;" but some render the word there "a mocker." But Jacob, on the contrary, meant that he should be found out as one of no credit, or acting in guile, as though he had said, "I shall be an impostor, and rny father will flnd out the fraud." So also in this place, he calls idols the work of deceptions, by which men infatuated themselves. He does not then teach us here that idols deserved to be ridiculed, but he refers to the madness of those who imagined that they were gods, for he had before called them vanity and falsehood; and there is no doubt but that in these various ways he repeats and confirms the same thing.

He afterwards adds, In the time of their visitation they shall perish. The pronoun "their" may be applied to idols or to the Chaldeans: when the time of visitation shall come; that is, when God shall punish the enemies of his Church, then their idols shall perish: or, when the time shall come for God to visit the idols, they shall perish. Either sense may be admitted; and indeed as to the subject in hand, there is no difference.

The Israelites might have objected and said, "How is it then that false gods, whom men have devised for themselves, are worshipped, and are in great esteem and highly regarded? How does God suffer and overlook this?" The Israelites might have raised an objection of this kind. Therefore the Prophet answers them, They shall perish; but it shall be at the time of visitation.2 It is an exhortation to patience, that the faithful might not despond or be weakened in their hopes, though they saw silver gods carried on men's shoulders, though they saw wood and stone set on elevated places, and incense burnt to them and sacrifices offered to them. Though then they saw idols in such esteem, they were not yet to despair or fall away from true religion, for the time of visitation was to be looked for, when God would execute his judgment on the false gods as well as on their worshippets. We now understand why he speaks of visitation. It follows --

1 So, substantially, is the version of the ,Sept., Vulg., Syr., and -- Arab., -- "ridiculous -- worthy of laughter -- foolish -- ludicrous." But the word means no such thing. The verb het means to wander, to err, to go astray; in Niphal, to be led astray, 'to be deceived; and Hiphil, to lead astray, to seduce, to deceive; and it is a Hiphil participle in Genesis 27:12. It is here a reduplicate noun; and Blayney takes it as referring to persons, and not as an abstract noun -- those who greatly err; and this is the best view, as the Prophet has been throughout describing the idol -- makers --

Vanity are they (i.e., the idols,) The work of the grossly deluded: At the time of their visitation they shall perish;

that is, the grossly deluded.

He had before threatened ruin to idols; but he now threatens their makers. -- Ed.

2 Scott quotes a sermon of Mede, in which he says, "Ye have heard the state of the times, wherein this prophecy is commanded; now let us consider the event. We have heard of the admired oracles of the Gentiles, of Apollo at Delphos, of Jupiter Ammon in Egypt, etc.; but all of them are long since perished. Where is now Bel, the god of Babylon, Nisroch, the god of Assyria, Baal and Astaroth, the gods of Zidonians, Milcom of the Ammonites, Chemosh of Moab, and Tammuz of the Egyptians? Even these also are perished with their names." The partial fulfillment of this prophecy is an evidence of its complete fulfillment, when "the spirit of evil," as Scott says, "whom all idolaters worship, shall be confined to the bottomless pit." -- Ed.


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