20. And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall; and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee, and to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
20. Et posui te huic populo in murum aeneum (aeris, ad verbum) munitum: ergo pugnabunt contra te, sed non praevalebunt tibi; quia tecum ego sum ad servandum te et ad liberandum te, dicit Jehova.
As Jeremiah might have objected and said, that the burden was too heavy for him, if he only attempted to break down the contumacy of the people, for he was alone, and we have seen how great was the ferocity and also the cruelty of his adversaries, -- as he might have shunned his commission, it being too much for his strength, hence God comes to his aid and bids him to take courage, for he was fortified by a help from heaven,
We see then what God meant by these words: As the Prophet was almost alone, and God had bidden him to contend with many and powerful enemies, he promises to stand on his side; as though he had said, -- "Though thou art defenceless and unarmed, and they are furnished with wealth and great power, thou shalt yet be like a well-fortified city; thou shalt indeed be impregnable, notwithstanding all their assaults and whatever they may attempt against thee."
But God proceeds lay degrees; for he first declares that his Prophet would be like a brazen and a fortified wall, that is, like an invincible city: for by stating a part for the whole, a wall means a city that is impregnable. It then follows,
It was indeed necessary for Jeremiah of his own self to disturb the Jews; for nothing would have been more agreeable to them than his silence; and the object of all their attempts was to drive him to despair. But it is not without reason that they are said to fight with him; for it is contrary to nature for men to resist God and to set themselves against him when he invites them to himself; for what can be more natural than for the whole world to hasten to God? It is then something monstrous for men to oppose God, nay, furiously to rise up against hhn, when he kindly calls them to himself. Hence it is that God here makes the Jews the authors of all this disturbance. For since they loaded the Prophet with the most wicked calumnies, as we have seen, and said, that he was a turbulent man and confounded all things by his morosity, God here shews, on the other hand, that all the commotions and the rightings ought to be attributed to them, because they ought to have obediently received the doctrine set before them.
But though this was said only once to Jeremiah, yet the condition of all God's servants is here set before us as in a mirror; for they cannot perform what God commands them without having to encounter many and grievous assaults; for the world is never so prepared to obey God, but the greater part furiously resists, and, as far as it can, stifles the word of God and checks his ministers.
He states the reason,
1 All the ancient versions are in favor of the common reading, and there are no MSS. favorable to the proposed emendation. The Septuagint, the Vulgate, the Syriac, and the Targum, render it "strong;" and the Arabic "fortified." "A strong wall of brass," is the version of Blayney. - Ed.
2 The words here used are remarkably precise and significant. I render the verse thus, --
20. And I will make thee to this people A wall of brass, fortified; And they will fight against thee, But they shall not prevail over thee; For with thee will I be, To save thee and to rescue thee, Saith Jehovah.
To "save" was to preserve him from the hands of his enemies; but if he fell into their hands, he would rescue him. And this latter idea is more fully expressed in the following verse, --
Yea, I will rescue thee from the hand of the malignant, And free thee from the grasp of the terrible.
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