5. For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest?
5. Nam quis parcet tibi Jerusalem (vel, quis miserebitur tui? sed
6. Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.
6. Tu reliquisti me, dieit Jehova; retrorsum abiisti; ideo extendam manum meam super te et perdam to: fatigatus sum poenitendo.
The Prophet shews here that the severe punishment of which he had spoken could not be deemed unjust, according to what those men thought who were querulous, and ever expostulated with God, and charged him with too much rigour. Lest, then, the Jews should complain, the Prophet says briefly, that all the evils which were nigh at hand were fully due, and so deserved, that they could find no pity, even among men. We know that the worst of men, when the Lord punishes them, have some to condole with them. There is no one so wicked that relatives do not favor him, and that some do not console him. But the Prophet shews that the Jews were not only inexcusable before God, but that they were undeserving of any sympathy from men.
He first says,
We hence see that the Jews are here divested of every complaint, for the whole world would acknowledge them to be unworthy of any commisen~tion. But the Prophet does not mean that all would act cruelly towards Jerusalem, but rather shews, that such were their crimes that there was no room for courtesy, or for those acts of kindness which men of themselves perform towards one another.1
Then follows the reason --
It then follows --
In short, he deprives the Jews of every excuse, and shews that they acted impiously when they murmured against God, for they allowed no place to his mercy; nay, whenever they found him recentliable they abused his forbearance with extreme indignity and perverseness. It follows --
1 There is a general agreement as to the two first clauses of this verse, but not as to the last. The Syriac and the Targum give the meaning advocated by Calvin, with whom Gataker, Grotius, and Blayney agree. But the Septuagint and the Vulgate seem to take the other view, that to "pray for peace" is whatn is meant; and this has been adopted by Montanus, Castalio, and Venema. But the former is no doubt substantially the right view, though the phrase used, "to salute," or "to enquire of one's welfare," or "how thou doest," is too general. In 1 Samuel 25:5 (see also 1 Samuel 10:4) we have the same form of words too loosely rendered, "greet him in my name," in our version. The following verse shews that the rendering ought to be, "wish (or bid) him peace in my name." Literally it is, "Ask for him in my name for peace." So here the literal rendering is, --
Or who will turn aside to ask for peace for thee?
or, in our language, "to bid thee peace."
The word "turn aside" seems clearly to favor this meaning. In the other case its import does not appear. The intimation is, that no one would deem it worth his while to turn out of his way to express a good wish in behalf of Jerusalem. - Ed.
2 The verse may be thus rendered, --
6. Thou hast broken loose from me, saith Jehovah; Backward dost thou walk; But I will stretch my hand over thee and destroy thee; I have become wearied with repenting.
The verb here used, commonly rendered "forsake," means to loose oneself from restraints: the Jews were bound, as it were, to God by covenant; they broke loose from this bond, they freed themselves from this tie, and went back to idolatry. "Walk," though future, is to be taken here as present. The last line in the Septaugint is as follows - "I will no longer release them;" and in the Syriac, "I will no longer spare them." The verb
I am wearied with forbearing them, or, with suffering them to rest; 7. And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land.
He truly says that there is a kind of contrast between the suffering of them to rest quietly, and the fanning of them in the gates of land for the purpose of dispersing them. - Ed.
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