12 Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
12. Dices etiam illis (hoc est, annuntiabis) hunc sermonem, Sic dicit Jehova, Deus Israel, Omnis lagena (alii vertunt, utrem, sed hoc loco parum interest, omnis ergo lagena) implebitur vino: et dicent tibi, An non sciendo scimus (hoc est, An nesciendo non scimus) quod omnis lagena implebitur vino?
13. Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
13. Tunc dices illis, Sic dicit Jehova, Ecce ego implens (vel, impleo) omnes habitatores terrae hujus, et omnes reges qui sedent pro Davidae super solium ejus, et sacerdotes et prophetas, et omnes incolas Jerosolymae ebrietate.
14. And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
14. Et collidam eos (alii vertunt, dispergam; proprie significat violenter disjicere; hic apte reddetur collidere; collidam ergo) quenque ad fratrem suum et patres et filios simul, dicit Jehova; non parcam et non ero propitius, (idem significant, sunt synonyma) et non miserabor a perdendo (hoc est, quin perdam) ipsos.
The Prophet denounces here by another similitude the vengeance of God, for he says that all would be
This general statement might have appeared to be of no weight; for what instruction does this contain, "Every bottle shall be filled with wine?" It is like what one might say, -- that a tankard is made to carry wine, and that bowls are made for drinking: this is well known, even to children. And then it might have been said that this was unworthy of a prophet. "Eh! what dost thou say? Thou sayest that bottles are the receptacles of wine, even as a hat is made to cover the head, or clothes to keep off the cold; but thou seemest to mock us with childish trifles." We also find that the Prophet's address was thus objected to, for they contemptuously and proudly answered, "What! do we not know that bottles are prepared for the purpose of preserving wine? But what dost thou mean? Thou boastest of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: how strange is this? Thou art, like an angel come down from heaven; thou pretendest the name of God, and professest to have the authority of a prophet; now, what does this mean, that bottles are filled with wine?" But it was God's particular object thus to rouse the people, who were asleep in their delusions, and who were also by no means attentive to spiritual instruction. It was then his purpose to shew, by the most trifling, and as it were by frivolous things, that they were not possessed of so much clear-sightedness as to perceive even that which was most evident. They indeed, all knew that bottles were made for wine; but they did not understand that they were the bottles, or were like bottles. We have indeed said that they were inflated with so much arrogance that they seemed like hard rocks; and hence was their contempt of all threatenings, because they did not consider what they were. The Prophet then says that they were like bottles; though God had indeed chosen them for an excellent use, yet, forgetful of their frailty, they had marred their own excellency, so that they were no longer of any use, except that God would inebriate them with giddiness and also with calamities.
We hence see why God had commanded a general truth to be here announced which was received with indifference and contempt; it was, that an opportunity might be given to the Prophet to touch to the quick those stupid men to whom their own state was wholly unknown. It had been said that they were like mountains, because they had as their foundation the free election of God; but as they had in them no firmness and no constancy of faith, but had decayed, their glory had as it were melted away; and though they still retained an outward appearance, yet they were like brittle vessels; and so their fragility is here better expressed by the Prophet than if, in a plain sentence, he had said, "As a bottle is filled with wine, so will the Lord fill you with drunkenness." Had he thus spoken, there would not have been so much force in the prediction; but when they answered with disdain, "This is known even to children," they were then told what more sensibly touched them, -- that they were like bottles.2
It may now be asked, What was this drunkenness which the Prophet announces? It may be understood in two ways, -- either that God would give them up to a reprobate mind, -- or that he would make them drunk with evils and calamities; for when God deprives men of a right mind, it is to prepare them for extreme vengeance. But the Prophet seems to have something further in view -- that this people would be given up to the most grievous evils, which would wholly fill them with amazement. Yet it appears from the context that the former evil is intended here; for he says,
But he afterwards speaks of the whole people, including the kings, priests, and prophets, so that he excepts no order of men, however honorable; and this express mention of different orders was altogether necessary, for kings thought that they ought not to have been blended with the common people. The priests also regarded themselves as sacred, and a similar pride possessed the false prophets. But Jeremiah includes them all, without exception, in the same bundle, as though he had said, -- "The majesty of kings shall not deliver them from God's judgment, nor shall the priests be safe on account of their dignity, nor shall it avail the false prophets to boast of that noble and illustrious office which they discharge." This prediction was no doubt regarded as very unjust; for we know with what high commendations God had spoken of the kingdom of David. As to the priesthood, we also know that it was a type of the priesthood of Christ, and also that the whole tribe of Levi was counted sacred to God. It could not therefore be but that Jeremiah must have greatly exasperated the minds of all by thus threatening kings as well as priests.
But we hence gather, -- that there is nothing so high and so illustrious on earth, which ought not to be made to submit, when the power and glory of God, and the authority of celestial truth, are to be vindicated. Whatever then is precious and excellent in the world must come to nothing, if it derogates even in the least degree from the glory of God or from the authority of his truth: and yet kings and priests dared to oppose the word of God. No wonder then, that the Prophet should thrust them down from their elevations and compare them to bottles: he thus treads under foot that frail glory by which they sought to obscure God himself. And as the name of David was, as it were, sacred among that people, in order to shake off this vain confidence, the Prophet says, -- "Though kings sit on the throne of David and be his successors and posterity, yet God will not spare them."3 And hence also it appears how foolishly the Papal clergy at this day bring forward against us their privileges and their dignity. Doubtless, whatever these unprincipled men may claim for themselves, they cannot yet make themselves equal to the Levitical priests: and yet we see that it availed them nothing, that God had set them apart for himself, because they had abused their power. There is, therefore, no reason for the Pope and his clergy, the very filth of the world, to be at this day so proud. We now perceive the design of the words, when mention is made of kings, priests, and prophets.
It must, however, be observed, that, he does not speak here of faithful prophets, but of those who wore the mask, while yet they brought nothing but chaff instead of wheat, as we shall hereafter see. He then uses the word prophets in an improper sense, for he applies it to false teachers, as we do at this day, when we speak of those savages who boast that they are bishops and prelates and governors: we indeed concede to them these titles, but it does not follow that they justly deserve to be counted bishops, though they are so called. In the same way then does Jeremiah speak here of those who were called prophets, who yet were wholly unworthy of the office.
He then speaks of the collision to which we have referred, -- I will cause them to
He then adds,
And he adds,
1 It is not true that the word ever means a bladder, though so rendered by the Septuagint and the Targum. The Vulgate has "laguncula -- a little flagon," and Syriac "dolium, -- a tub." It means a jug or jar. Blayney has "vessel." -- Ed.
2 With regard to this comparison, Gataker says, "A type taken from what they much loved, liked, and looked after; for they loved and looked after the flagons of wine, Hosea 3:1; and those prophets best pleased them who prophesied of wine and strong drink, Micah 2:11. God therefore sendeth his prophet to them with a prophecy of wine, but of other wine than they expected."
3 The clause, literally rendered, would convey this meaning, --
And the kings who sit for David on his throne.
"For David," that is, as his representatives. "In David's stead," is the rendering of Gataker and Blayney. The word "even" before "the kings" in our version, is improper; for what follows is not a specification of what is gone before, as "the inhabitants of Jerusalem," at the end of the verse, is in contrast with "all the inhabitants of this land," that is, the people of the country. -- Ed.
4 The word seems to mean shattering or breaking in pieces, and in a secondary sense, scattering, as the effect. The early versions give the latter meaning, scattering, but, as Calvin says, inconsistently with the rest of the clause. The Targum gives in effect the first sense, "I will cause them to rush, each on his brother." The word "dash" is the most suitable, or dash to pieces, --
And I will dash them to pieces, each against his brother, Both the fathers and the sons together, saith Jehovah.
The allusion is to the bottles: they would be broken like brittle vessels, when thrown one against another. -- Ed.
5 The verbs are different, and so Calvin renders them in the text; but not here. There is no unanimity in the versions as to these verbs and the one which follows. The first means to be tender so as to relent; the second, to spare so as not to inflict punishment, to connive; and the third, to feel pity or compassion. They may be rendered thus, --
I will not relent, nor will I spare; Nor will I pity, so as not to destroy them.
The two lines announce the same thing, only the last is stronger and more specific. Pitying or commiserating is stronger than relenting, and not destroying describes the act, while sparing is a general term. -- Ed.
6 The sentence literally is, "From consuming," or destroying, "them." The preposition
Ae ni resynav rhag eu difetha.
The preposition "rhag," which ordinarily means from, signifies here from not, which is exactly the Hebrew. -- Ed.
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