Lecture One Hundred and First
14. As for me, behold, I am in your hand; do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you:
14. Et ego, ecce ego in manu vestro, facite mihi sicuti bonum, vel sicuti rectum erit in oculis vestris.
15. But know ye for certain, that, if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof; for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you, to speak all these words in your ears.
15. Veruntamen sciendo seite, quod si vos occideritis me, sanguinem purum (vel, innoxium) vos ponetis super vos et super urbem hanc, et super habitatores ejus; quia in veritate misit me Jehova ad vos, ut loqueror in auribus vestris cunctos istos sermones.
Jeremiah, after having exhorted the princes, the priests, and the whole people to repent, and having shewn to them that there was a remedy for their evil, except by their obstinacy they provoked more and more the wrath of God, now speaks of himself, and warns them not to indulge their cruelty by following their determination to kill him; for they had brought in a sentence that he deserved to die. He then saw that their rage was so violent, that he almost despaired of his life; but he declares here that God would be an avenger if they unjustly vented their rage against him. He yet shews that he was not so solicitous about his life as to neglect his duty, for he surrendered himself to their will; "Do what ye please," he says, "with me; yet see what ye do; for the Lord will not suffer innocent blood to be shed with impunity."
By saying that he was in their
We now, then, see in what sense Jeremiah regarded his life as in the hand of his enemies, not that he thought himself cast away by God, but that he acknowledged that loosened reins were given to the wicked to rage against him. But we must at the same time bear in mind why he said this; after having conceded that his life was in their hand, he adds,
But let us attend to what follows, even that God had sent him. He now takes this principle as granted, that it could not be that God would forsake his servants, to whom he has promised aid when oppressed by the ungodly. God, indeed, ever exhorts his ministers to patience, and he would have them to be prepared for death whenever there is need; yet he promises to bring them help in distress. Jeremiah then relied on this promise, and was thus persuaded that it could not be that God would forsake him; for he cannot disappoint his people, nor forfeit his faith pledged to them. As, then, he was fully persuaded of his own calling, and knew that God was the author of all his preaching, he boldly concluded that his blood could not be shed with impunity. All faithful teachers ought to encourage themselves, for the purpose of discharging strenuously the duties of their office, with this confidence, -- that God who has committed to them their office can never forsake them, but will ever bring them help as far as it may be necessary. It now follows, --
1 "And upon this city," etc., according to our version and all the early versions and that of Calvin; but the preposition is different, and might be rendered "against:" by killing him, they must have brought the guilt of innocent blood on themselves as perpetrators, and against the city and its inhabitants as having allowed and countenanced such a deed. -- Ed
2 "Meet," in our version, is not the correct word; the term signifies what is just and right. The Sept. renders the phrase very loosely, "as it is expedient and as it is best for you." The Vulg. is nearly the original, "what is good and right in your eyes;" literally it is, "as good and as right in your eyes." -- Ed
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