17. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
17. Dicentes dicendo iis qui me contemnunt, Loquutus est Jehova, Pax erit vobis, et omnibus qui ambulant (cunctis ambulantibus; est quidem singularis numerus, ad verbum, cuique ambulanti) in pravitate cordis sui, dicunt, Non veniet super vos malum.
18. For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
18. Nam quis stetit in consilio Jehovae? et vidit et audivit sermonem ejus? Quis attendit ad sermonem ejus et audivit?
Jeremiah introduces another mark by which the false prophets might be known as different from the true prophets, -- they flattered the ungodly and wicked despisers of God. He thus repeats what he had before said, that they strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that they became hardened in their impiety, and threw aside every care for repentance. Though he uses different words, yet the meaning is the same, that they
Then he says,
The verse which follows is usually thus explained, Jeremiah condemns the false teachers for their carelessness, because they attended not to the word of God, and regarded as nothing what the Law contained. But interpreters seem to me to have been certainly much mistaken in this view; for Jeremiah here shews throughout, he passage how insolently and arrogantly the false teachers conducted themselves in audaciously opposing the true and faithful servants of God,
Examples of this in our time give a plain exposition to this passage. For when the Papists feel themselves driven to an extremity, when they prevail nothing by clamor and falsehood, they run to this sort of evasion, "He! if we must determine everything in religion by the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel, what certainty can be found? The Scripture is like a nose of wax, for it can be turned to anything, and no meaning can with certainty be elicited; thus all things will remain perplexed and doubtful, if authority belongs to the Scripture alone." We then see that the enemies of truth at this day, when they cannot otherwise cover their filthiness, labor to throw all things into confusion, and to discredit God's word, and to introduce such darkness, that white cannot be distinguished from black, that light becomes mixed with darkness.
Similar to this was the perverse wickedness of the false teachers. For Jeremiah and his associates, when they came forth, declared that God's vengeance could no longer be deferred, for the people continued to provoke it; and they announced themselves as the heralds of God and witnesses to his hidden purpose; but these unprincipled men, that they might lull to sleep, yea, and stupify the consciences of men, said, "Eh!
1 Some, as Venema and Blayney, think that
2 There is a difference in the early versions as to this clause; it is connected in the Sept. and Arab. with the preceding, "They say to those who reject the word of the Lord," etc., and Blayney has followed this arrangement. The Vulg., the Syr., and the Targ., take it as a separate clause, and render it as here. The Hebrew no doubt admits of either constructions, but the Lord appears to be the speaker, and therefore the latter construction ought to have the preference, --
17. They boldly say to those who despise me, Spoken hath Jehovah, "Peace shall be to you;"
And to every one who walks in the resolutions of his own heart, They say, "Not come upon you shall evil." This rendering also corresponds more with what is said in Jeremiah 23:25, that the prophets prophesied lies in God's name. -- Ed.
3 What seems to militate against this view is the fact, that these false prophets themselves pretended to a divine revelation; they announced their message as coming from God. Hence these questions seem to deny their pretensions. He seems to say, "Who of you have been in the council of Jehovah?" The tautology may be avoided without having recourse to the emendations which Blayney proposes, --
But who (of you) has stood in the secret council of Jehovah? And saw and understood his business? Who has listened to his word and heard it?
We know that
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