19. Thus said the Lord unto me, Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;
19. Sic dixit mihi Jehova, Vade et sta in porta filiorum populi; per quam ingrediuntur reges Jehudah, et per quam egrediuntur, (ad verbum, e qua egrediuntur in ipsa; sed wb est supervacuum,) et onmibus portis Jerusalem:
20. And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates:
20. Et dic illis, Audite sermonem Jehovae, reges Jehudah, et totus Jehudah, et omnes incolae Jerusalem, qui ingredimini per has portas
21. Thus saith the Lord, Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath-day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem.
21. Sic dicit Jehova, Custodite vos, (vel, cavete vobis,) in animabus vestris, ne inferatis onus die sabbathi, (ne tollatis,)et inferatis per portas Jerusalem.
This discourse is no doubt to be separated from the preceding one, and whosoever divided the chapters was deficient in judgment as to many other places as well as here. Now the meaning is, that so great and so gross was the contempt of the law, that they neglected even the observance of the Sabbath; and yet we know that hypocrites are in this respect very careful, nay, Isaiah upbraided the men of his day that they made so much of their sanctity to consist in the outward observance of days. (Isaiah 1:13.) But, as I have already said, the Jews were so audacious in the time of Jeremiah that they openly violated the Sabbath, men were become so lost, as we commonly say, as not to pretend any religion. The licentiousness of the people was so great that they had no shame; nay, they all openly shewed that they had wholly cast away the yoke of God and of his law. When this was the case at Jerusalem, wlmt can we think was done in obscure villages where so much religion did not exist? for if there was any right teaching, if there was any appearance of religion, it must have been at Jerusalem.
We now then see that the Prophet was sent by God to charge the people with this gross and base contempt of the law; as though he had said, "Go to now, and pretend that you retain at least some religion: yet even in this small matter, the observance of the Sabbath, ye are deficient, for ye bring burdens, that is, ye carry on business on the Sabbath as on other days. As then there is not among you even an external sanctity as to the Sabbath, why do you go on with your evasions? for your impiety is sufficiently proved." We now see what the Prophet means, and what the import of this discourse is which we are now to explain.
He says first, that he was sent, go, to bring this message. He had been indeed chosen before a prophet; but he speaks here of a special thing which he was commissioned to do: and he says that he was sent to
He then adds,
He bids them to attend, or to beware in their souls. Some render the words, "As your souls are precious to you." But I take souls, not for their lives, but for the affections of their hearts; as though he had said, "Take heed carefully of yourselves, that this may be laid up in your inmost heart." The word
"Take heed to yourselves,
to your souls."
here it is,
Hence we ought to notice also what he says in these words,
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast not only in former times sent thy prophets, but makest the testimony of thy will to be declared to us daily, -- O grant, that we may learn to render ourselves teachable and submissive to thee, and so willingly bear thy yoke, that thy holy word may gain among us that reverence which it deserves: and may we so submit ourselves to thee, while thou speakest to us by men, that we may at length enjoy a view of thy glory, in which will consist our perfect felicity; and that we may not only contemplate thy glory face to face, but also hear thee thyself speaking, and so speaking, that we shall delight in that sweetness, which is laid up for us in hope, through Christ, our Lord. -- Amen.
1 There is a peculiarity in the phraseology of the original as to the relative "which," after "the gate of the city;" literally it is, "which they enter through it the kings of Judah, and which they go out through it." In Welsh there is exactly the same form of expression, -- Yr hwn yr a trwyddo frenhinoedd Iwda, etc. Had this been the Welsh version, it would have been literally the Hebrew, and more consonant than the present version with the idiom of the language. -- Ed.
2 "Guard ye your souls" is the version of the Septuagint, Vulgate, and the Targum; but that of the Syriac is, "Take heed to yourselves;" which is no doubt the meaning, as the word soul,
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