16. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the Lord.
16. Judicium judicavit pauperis et egeni, tunc bene; an non cognoscere me, inquit Jehova?
He more fully expresses what he had said, that Josiah lived usefully, and was honored and esteemed, for royal majesty shone forth in him. He then repeats in other words what he had said, but he did this for the sake of explanation.1
It then follows,
But this passage deserves to be noticed, as it shews that piety leads men to all the duties of love. Where God then is known, kindness to man also appears. So also on the other hand we may conclude, that all regard for God is extinguished, and all fear of him is abolished, when men wilfully do wrong to one another, and when they seek to oppress or defraud one another. There is therefore no doubt but that gross impiety will be found where the offices of love are neglected. For when Jeremiah
1 Venema considers that there is here no repetition, but takes this verse as addressed to Jehoiakim, and gives this version, --
By judging judge the afflicted and poor, Then it will be well with thee: Is not this the knowledge of me, saith Jehovah?
But the words will not admit of this rendering. The verb is in the past tense, followed by a noun derived from the same verb, a thing not unusual in Hebrew. Literally the verse is, --
He defended the defense (the cause) of the needy and poor, Then well it was with him: Was not that to know me, saith Jehovah?
Was not that the knowledge of me, saith Jehovah? That is, Was it not the fruit or the effect of that knowledge? -- Ed.
2 The Vulg. is, "Was it not so, because he knew me, saith Jehovah?" the Syr., "He who doeth such things knoweth me, saith the Lord;" and the Targ., "Is not that the knowledge which I desire, saith the Lord?" The Vulg. is the most correct. "They are said to know God," says Grotius, "who shew by their deeds that they know what pleases Him." -- Ed.
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