27. I have seen thy adulteries, and the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
27. Adulteria tua et hinnitus tuos, cogitationem scortationis tuae super montes in agro vidi, abominationes tuas: vae tibi Jerusalem; non mundaberis posthac? quousque adhuc?
Here the Prophet explains at large what I have before stated, -- that the people were justly punished by God, though very grievously, because they had provoked God, not at one time only, but for a long time, and had obstinately persisted in their evil courses. Moreover, as their sins were various, the Prophet does not mention them all here; for we have seen elsewhere, that they were not only given to superstitions, but also to whoredoms, drunkenness, plunders, and outrages; but here he only speaks of their superstitions, -- that having rejected God, they followed their own idols. For by
He then says,
Some read the words by themselves and put them in the nominative case, "Thy adulteries and thy neighings, and the thought of thy whoredom on the mountains;" and then they add, "In the field have I seen thine abominations." But I prefer to take the whole together, and thus to include all as being governed by the verb
He mentions hills and field. Altars, we know, were then built on hills, for they thought that God would be better worshipped in groves; and hence there was no place, no wood, and even no tree, but that they imagined there was something divine in it. This is the reason why the Prophet says, that their abominations were seen by God on the hills as well as on the plains. And he adds fields, as though he had said, that the hills did not suffice them for their false worship, by which they profaned the true worship of God, but that the level fields were filled with their abominations.
We now then perceive the meaning of what is here said, that the Jews in vain tried to escape by evasions, since God declares that he had seen them; as though he had said, "Cease to produce your excuses, for I will allow nothing of what ye may bring forward, as the whole is already well known by me." And he declares their doings to be abominations, and also adulteries and neighings.
At length he adds,
Jerome seems to have read
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast once cleansed us by the blood of thine only-begotten Son, to the end that we might worship thee in true sincerity of heart, and that we might also strive to regulate our whole life according to the rule of righteousness, -- O grant that we, being mindful of our vocation, may labor to render ourselves approved by thee, so that thy name may through us be glorified, and that casting far away from us all pollutions, we may retain the simple worship of thee, and preserve ourselves within the limits of thy word, so that we may not be led astray after vanities and the sinful superstitions of this world, but advance towards the mark which thou hast been pleased to set before us, until we shall be at length gathered into that celestial kingdom in which we shall enjoy that inheritance which thine only-begotten Son has provided for us. -- Amen.
1 In all the versions, as well as in the Targum, the words in the beginning of this verse, as far as "whoredom," are read in apposition with "shame" in the preceding verse, and what follows as connected with the verb "I have seen," in this manner, --
On hills in the field have I seen thy abominations.
Another arrangement, suggested by Gataker, is more consonant with the Hebrew style, by considering the substantive verb to be understood in the first clause, as follows, --
27. Thy adulteries and thy neighings, The scheming of thy fornication, Have been on hills in the field; I have seen thine abominations.
Thou hast devised thy whoredom upon the hills, In the fields I have seen thine abominations.
The simplicity of this order recommends it, but the former seems preferable. -- Ed.
2 The meaning seems to be right, but it is better to construe
Woe to thee, Jerusalem! thou wilt not be cleansed
After what time wilt it yet be?
Literally it may be rendered, "After when yet ?" -- Ed.
Back to BibleStudyGuide.org.
These files are public domain. This electronic edition was downloaded from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.