7. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is:
7. Benedictus vir qui confidit in Jehova, et cujus est Jehova fiducia (ad verbum, et erit Jehova fiducia ejus:)
8. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall et not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
8. Et erit tanquam arbor plantata prope aquas, et prope rivum emittet (hoc est, quae emittit) radices suas, et non videbit cum veniet aestus, et erit folium ejus viride, et anno prohibitionis non timebit, et non desinet a faciendo fructu (hoc est, a proferendo fructu.)
Observed ought to be the order which the Prophet keeps; for he could not have profitably spoken of this second part had he not first taken away that false confidence to which the Jews had long cleaved; for when any one casts seed on an uncultivated soil, what fruit can there be to his labor? As then it is necessary to make use of the plough before the seed is sown, so also, when we seek to teach profitably, it is necessary to pull up the vices which have their roots in the hearts of men; and this especially must be the case when we treat of faith in God alone, and of sincere calling on his name. And the Prophet had a particular reason for what he did, because the Jews had long hardened themselves in false confidences, so that they disregarded God in two respects, -- they despised his threatenings, and also made no account of his gracious promises. The Prophet then couht have effected nothing had he not pursued this method, -- that is, to correct the evil by which they had been long tainted; for noxious weeds must be first taken away before there can be any room for the corn to grow.
But had he spoken only negatively, that is, had he only condemned their false confidence, it would not have been sufficient. The Jews indeed might have said, that they had been deceived in placing their hopes in the Egyptians; but this might have happened through some bad men: and by looking for aid elsewhere, when disappointed, they would indeed have condemned their own counsels, but would yet have remained in suspense and anxious, without seeking God. Hence we see how suitably the Prophet began by condemning the Jews for placing confidence in men, and then how wisely he added this second part; for, as I have said, it was not enough to speak as it were negatively, without inviting them to return to God. But this is often the case in the present day; for we see that many laugh at those superstitions which have hitherto prevailed under the Papacy; but yet no religion appears in them. It is enough for them to ridicule these mummeries; but it would have been better for them to be retained in the fear of God, even by some superstition, than thus to expose evil, and yet to have no reverence for God. It is the same absurdity as to pull down a bad house and to leave man under the open air; for what end can such a thing be done? for he who is compelled to leave his house had something to cover him for a time. Hence it is not sufficient to destroy what is bad, except a good building succeeds.
This is the method and order which the Prophet observed: After having said, that all they are accursed who confide in men, he now adds,
We see then that the ingratitude of the whole world is here condemned by the Prophet when he says, that all who
But we must notice what farther confirms this sentence, which is in itself very clear,
He then adds a comparison, answerable to that in the former clause,
He indirectly intimates that God's children are not exempt from adversities; for they feel the heat of the sun, like trees, who are exposed to it; but moisture is supplied, and the juice diffuses itself through all the branches: hence the Prophet says, that the leaf was green, even by means of the moisture which the earth supplied, being itself watered. The Prophet then intimates, that though God's children feel great heats, as well as the unbelieving; for this is common to both, they shall yet be kept safe; for though the sun dries up by its great heat, there is yet a remedy; for the root has moisture, derived from the irrigation of water.
We now then see how suitable is every part of the comparison. He says farther, that it shall
Nearly the same similitude is found in Psalm 1:3, only that the fear of God and meditation on his law are mentioned, and not hope:
"Blessed is the man, etc., who meditates on the law of God;"
but Jeremiah speaks here expressly of the hope which ought to be put in God alone. Yet the two Prophets well agree together as to this truth, -- that all their hopes are accursed, by which men inebriate themselves, while they seek salvation in themselves or in the world, and make more account of their own counsels, virtues, power, or the aids they expect from others, than of God himself and of his promises: for he who really meditates on the law of God day and night, well knows thereby, where to put his trust for salvation, both temporal and eternal. It follows --
1 The verbs here are all futures, but ought to be rendered in our language, as they are in Syriac, in the present tense, --
And he shall be like a tree which is planted by waters, And nigh the stream sends forth its roots, Which perceives not when heat comes; And its leaf is flourishing, And in the year of drought it suffers not, And never ceases from bringing forth fruit.
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