17. Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them, Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.
17. Dices igitur ( copula enim loco illativoe particuloe sumitur) ad eos verbum hoc, (hoc est, annunciabis illis hoc verbum) Deducent oculi mei lachrymam (vertunt alii, descendent oculi mei in lachrymam; Hebraicum nomen est singulare) nocte et die, et non quiescent; quoniam contritione magna contrita est virgo, filia populi mei, plaga aegra (vel, acerba) valde.
God shews here again how tardy, yea, how stupid the people were, whom no threatenings could induce to return to a right mind. When, therefore, they daringly neglected all threatenings, God bids a sad spectacle to be presented to them, justly calculated to fin them with fear and shame; he bids his Prophet to speak rims to them, "Behold, I shall be wholly dissolved into tears, and that on your account." The Prophet, no doubt, wept sincerely when he saw his own people wilfully drawing upon themselves the wrath of God and their final dest, ruction; nor could he divest himself of his humane feelings: but he speaks not here only of his own solicitude, but God himself bids him thus to speak, in order that the Jews might be ashamed of their carelessness, as they ridiculed or despised, with dry eyes, the calamity which was nigh them, and the Prophet alone wept for them. We have spoken of this in the ninth chapter and in other places. There indeed the Prophet wished that his eyes were fountains of tears; but his object was, no doubt, not only to shew his concern for his own nation, but also thus to try whether they could be turned to repentance, their hardness being so great: and in this place the same thing is shewn still more clearly; for God bids the Prophet to weep, not in secret, but to declare this to the whole people,
We now perceive the design of the Holy Spirit; for as the obstinacy of the people was so great that they shed no tears, though God often terrified them with the most dreadful threatenings, it was necessary that this coming calamity should be set before their eyes, in the person of Jeremiah, as in a mirror, in order that they might at length learn to fear. Whenever such passages occur, let us remember that at this day also men are equally stupid, so that they ought not to be less sharply urged, and that, God in the gospel adds vehemence and sharp goads to the truth; for such is not only the sloth of our hearts, but also their hardness, that it is necessary to constrain those who will not suffer themselves to be drawn and led.
Some render the words, "Descend shall tears from mine eyes;" but more correct is the other version, "Mine eyes shall descend into, tears," as
He calls them
And for the same purpose he adds, that
1 More consistent with the character of the Hebrew is to render the verse thus, --
17. And thou shalt say to them this word, -- Pour down shall my eyes the tear Night and day, and shall not cease; For great has been the breach, Broken has been the virgin of the daughter of my people; The smiting has been very grievous.
The event, though future, is represented as having past; for he relates a vision. The "daughter" is not in apposition but in construction with "virgin." Vitringa says, that a state, or a kingdom, is often called a virgin in the prophets. It is rendered here "kingdom" by the Targum. See Isaiah 37:22; 47:1; Jeremiah 31:21; 46:11.
"Those cities," says Lowth, "are called virgins, which never came into a conqueror's hands." Jerusalem was in this sense a virgin. He says further, "The dissolution of the body politic is called a breach, in allusion to the breaking of the limbs of the human body." The "smiting," or the stroke, was "very grievous," because the body politic, or the state, was shattered into pieces." -- Ed.
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