20. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
20. Non revertetur iracundia Jehovae usque dum fecerit, et usque dum stabilierit cogitationes cordis sui: in extremitate dierum intelligetis hoc intelligentia (hoc est, intelligetis hujus rei intelligentiam, ad verbum.)
He confirms what he had said, lest the hypocrites, with whom he had to do, should think that their punishment would be light and soon pass away. For though they may have seen that God's hand was armed against them, yet they took comfort, because they expected that it would only be for a short time. Hence Jeremiah here reminds them that they were much deceived if they thought that they could dissipate as a cloud the vengeance that, was at hand; for God would not cease to punish them until he had destroyed them.
There was another security which deceived the ungodly: they were not terrified by threatenings of the Prophet, because they thought that God was in a manner dallying with them whenever he denounced ruin. And, doubtless, the wicked could not have so securely indulged themselves, had it not been that they did not believe that God's word would be fulfilled. As, then, God's threatenings did not strike hypocrites with terror, the Prophet here declares that there was no reason for them to harbor the vain hope that God only uttered words, and that there would be no execution of his vengeance.
Turn back, he says,
We must not yet think that God is like us, as though he reflected on this thing and on that, and formed many purposes, while one thing or another comes into his mind; no, such a gross idea as this cannot be entertained, and cannot be consistent with the nature of God.
But Jeremiah calls, by a kind of metaphor, the counsel of God his
The sum of the whole is, that God now pronounces a sentence against the people, which could not be reversed; for he had once for all decreed to destroy the men who were obstinate in their sins.
But he seems to refer to the word
Then he adds,
"Let him who is ignorant, be ignorant."
(1 Corinthians 14:38.)
He no doubt checks the arrogance of those who rejected every sound doctrine and all right counsels.
So, then, the Prophet teaches us here that hypocrites gain nothing by setting up their own contumacy and arrogance in opposition to God, for they will find, though too late, that God has not spoken in vain. We then see that by
There is also another truth taught us here, that we are to seek God while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6.) For if we abuse his forbearance and despise him who speaks to us today, we shall find out too late, and not without the most grievous sorrow, that we have been deceived by the devil, because we did not attend to God calling us. It follows, --
1 Literally, "at the posteriority of days," meaning, at a future time, without designating any particular period; it is the same as "hereafter." The words which follow can hardly be rendered literally in our language -- "ye shall discern it with discernment." What is the antecedent to "it," which is,
The Vulg. here is, "at the last days ye shall understand his counsel;" the Sept., "at the last of days ye shall understand it;" and the Targ., "at the end of days ye shall by understanding understand this."
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