17. Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress:
17. Collige e terra merces tuas, quae habitas in munitione:
18. For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.
18. Quia sic dicit Iehova, Ecce ego funda projiciens habitatores terrae vice hac, et coarctabo eos (vel, faciam ut obsideant eos) ut inveniant.
The first verse which we have recited, the Rabbins think, is addressed to the Chaldeans, but in my view very incorrectly. Jeremiah had indeed said that all the nations who devised gods of stone and of other corruptible materials, were very foolish; but we have seen for what purpose he said this, even to confirm the Israelites, who were captives, and in addition to the disgrace of exile were greatly hated by the Chaldeans and the Assyrians; it was, I say, to confirm them, lest they should depart from the true worship of God, but constantly defend the honor of their God, from whom they expected restoration. It is, therefore, absurd for the Rabbins to explain this verse of the Chaldeans; for the two verses ought to be connected,
But the meaning is simply this, -- that the whole country would be exposed to the will of their enemies, that they might plunder it: as then devastation was nigh at hand, the Prophet bids those in fortified places to gather their wages, or to gather a gathering, (we shall hereafter speak of this expression.) Now, we have already stated in several places, that the Prophets ironically touched on the torpidity of the people; for plain truth would have had no effect, except it was urged on them as it were vehemently The Prophet then undertakes the character of a man, who brings warlike tidings, as we shall more clearly see presently. But in this place, as in some other places, he declares that nowhere in Judea would there be safety, except in fortresses; which yet would not be able to resist the attacks of enemies, as we shall hereafter see.
As to the words, some give this rendering, "gather thy humiliation," as
Then follows the reason,
And he says
Then he says,
"They shall find the fruit of their own ways."
The Jews sought nothing less than the calamity which Jeremiah denounced on them: but they had really long sought it; for it was right that they should receive the wages due to their wickedness. Then it is, that they may find, that is, the reward of their own works.1 It follows --
1 As to these two verses the early versions all differ from one another, as well as from our version and that of Calvin. The Targum comes the nighest to our version. I offer the following rendering, --
17.Gather from the land thy gains, Thou who dwellest in a fortress!
18.For thus saith Jehovah, -- Behold I will sling out The inhabitants of the land at this time, And will fortress them, that they may be taken.
The first verse is spoken ironically, recommending what they were doing. Then the Lord says what he would do: They were gathering their goods into fortresses in order to secure them, and the Lord says that he would violently fortress (as the word means literally) or drive into fortresses all the inhabitants of the land, and would do so, that they might be found or taken, that is, captives; there would be no need of collecting the people, for they would be driven into fortified cities, where the enemies would find them. This seems to be the meaning of this verse, which Horsley deemed "very obscure," and elucidated "by no expositor." -- Ed.
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