20. We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers; for we have sinned against thee.
20. Cognoscimus, Jehova, scelus nostrum, et iniquitatem patrum nostrorum; quoniam scelerate egimus in te (
The Prophet here prescribes no doubt to the Jews the way of appeasing God. He before uttered a prayer, partly in order to reprove the people for their wicked obstinacy, and partly to shew to the godly and the elect that there remained some hope. But now he uses a simple form of prayer, when he says,
He therefore says,
He speaks of
We now then understand what the Prophet means; and hence we learn how foolishly the Papists set up this shield against God; that is, by having the word fathers often on their lips; for they ought on the contrary to confess the wickedness and iniquities of their fathers, according to what is more fully enlarged upon in the ninth chapter of Daniel (Daniel 9), where he confesses that he himself and the fathers and kings had done wickedly. And in these words we may also notice, that it was not some slight fault that Jeremiah refers to when he said, "We acknowledge our iniquity and the iniquity of our fathers;" he mentions first the iniquity of the living; then the iniquity of their fathers, and adds, in the third place, "We have acted wickedly against thee." We hence see that he did not formally acknowledge some slight faults, but he confesses most plainly, that they were all ungodly and transgressors of God's law, and were worthy, not merely of a moderate chastisement, but of dreadful perdition, as they had thus provoked the wrath of God.1
Grant, Almighty God, that though we have been once reconciled to thee, and reconciliation has been testified to us in thy gospel, we yet cease not daily to provoke thy wrath, -- O grant, that we may at least groan, and undissemblingly so condemn our vices, that we may be touched with real and deep sorrow, and thus learn to flee, not only once in our life, but every moment, to thy mercy, that thou mayest be reconciled to us, and not deal with us according to our merits; but since thou hast been once pleased to embrace us with paternal love, for the sake of thy only -- begotten Son, continue this favor to us, until having at length been cleansed from all filth and pollution, we shall become partakers of thy celestial glory, through Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 There is no and in Hebrew, nor in the Septuagint, nor in the Vulgate, between "wickedness" and "iniquity;" it is found in the Syriac and the Targum. In case it be excluded, Blayney proposes to render the passage thus, "We acknowledge, O Jehovah, that we have wrought wickedly the iniquity of our fathers;" that is, as he adds, "We have practiced over again the same wickedness, of which our fathers set the example." But a meaning is given to
We acknowledge, Jehovah, our wickedness, -- The iniquity of our fathers; For we have sinned against thee.
Their wickedness, the same with the wickedness or iniquity of the fathers, was, that they sinned against God. -- Ed.
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