7. So the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord.
7. Et audierunt sacerdotes et prophetae et totus populus Jeremiam loquentem sermones hos in templo Jehovae.
8. Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
8. Et factum est, cum finesset Jeremias loqui quaecunque mandaverat Jehova, ut loqueretur toti populo, ut loqueretur toti populo, comprehenderunt ipsum sacerdotes et prophetae et totus populus, dicendo, Morte morieris.
Here the Prophet recites what happened to him, after he had declared God's message, and faithfully warned the people by adding threatenings, as God had commanded him. He says first that he was heard; which is not to be deemed as commendatory, as though the priests and prophets patiently heard what he taught; for there was no teachable spirit in them, nor did they come prepared to learn, but they had long indulged themselves in perverseness, so that Jeremiah was become to them an avowed enemy; and they also audaciously opposed all his threatenings. But though they were not ashamed to reject what the Prophet said, they yet observed a certain form, as it is usual with hypocrites, for they are more exact than necessary, as they say, in what is formal, but what is really important they neglect. We may hence observe, that the priests and prophets deserved no praise, because they restrained themselves, as though they deferred their judgment until the cause was known, but as the whole people were present, they for a time shewed themselves moderate; it was yet a reigned moderation, for their hearts were full of impiety and contempt of God, as it became really manifest.
But it must be observed that he says that the priests and prophets hearkened. As to the priests, it is no wonder that he calls them so, though they were in every way wicked, for it was an hereditary honor. But it is strange that he mentions the prophets. At the same time we must know, that Jeremiah thus calls those who boasted that they were sent from above. In the twenty-third chapter he at large reproves them; and in many other places he condemns their impudence in falsely assuming the authority of God. He then allowed them an honorable title, but esteemed it as nothing; as we may do at this day, who without harm may call by way of ridicule those prelates, bishops, or pastors, who under the Papacy seek to be deemed so, provided we at the same time strip them of their masks. But these lay hold on the title, and thus seek to suppress the truth of God, as though to be called a bishop were of more weight than if an angel was to come down from heaven. And yet were an angel to descend from heaven, he ought to be counted by us as a devil, if he brought forward such filthy and execrable blasphemies, as we see the world is at this day polluted with by these unprincipled men. This passage then, and the like, ought to be borne in mind, for they shew that titles are not sufficient, except those who bear them really shew that they are such as their calling imports. Thus, then, Jeremiah was called a Prophet, and also those impostors were called prophets whose only religion it was to corrupt and pervert the doctrine of the Law, but they were so called with regard to the people. It is in the meantime necessary, wisely to distinguish between prophets or teachers, as also the Apostle reminds us, we ought to inquire whether their spirit is from God or not. (1 John 4:1.)
He says at last, that he was condemned by the priests, and the prophets, and the whole people; he at the same time introduced these words, that he had spoken all that the Lord had commanded him. Thus he briefly exposed the injustice of those by whom he was condemned; for they had no regard to what was right, as we shall presently see. But as they had brought with them a preconceived hatred, so they vomited out what they could no longer contain. It afterwards follows, --