30. Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbor.
30. Propterea ecce ego ad (vel, super) prophetas, dicit Jehova, qui furantur sermones meos, quisque a socio suo:
31. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
31. Ecce ego ad (vel, super, vel, contra) prophetas, dicit Jehova, qui mollificant (vel, tollunt) linguam suam, et dicunt, sermo (vel, dictio:)
32. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.
32. Ecce ego super (vel, ad, vel, contra) prophetantes somnia mendacii, dicit Jehova, et narrant illis et decipiunt populum meum in mendaciis suis et levitate sua; et ego (hoc est, quanquam ego) non miserim ipsos, neque mandaverim illis, et utilitate non proderunt (proficiendo non afferent utilitatem) populo huic, dicit Jehova.
Jeremiah returns again to the false teachers, who were the authors of all the evils; for they fascinated the people with their flatteries, so that every regard for sound and heavenly doctrine was almost extinguished. But while God declares that he is an avenger against them, he does not exempt the people from punishment. We indeed know that a just reward was rendered to the reprobate, when God let loose the reins to the ministers of Satan with impunity to deceive them. But as the people acquiesced in those false allurements, while Jeremiah so severely reproved the false teachers, he reminds the people how foolishly they betook themselves under the shadow of those men, thinking themselves to be safe.
He says, first,
We indeed see the same thing now under the Papacy, for the monks and unprincipled men of the same character have their own false doctrines; and when they ascend the pulpit, every one speaks as though he was endued with some special gift; and yet they steal every one from his friend, for they are like the soothsayers or the magi, who concocted among themselves their own falsehoods, and only brought out what they deemed necessary to delude the common people. This, then, was one of the vices which the Prophet shews prevailed among the false teachers, -- that no one attended to the voice of God, but that every one took furtively from his friend what he afterwards openly proclaimed.
He adds, secondly,
It afterwards follows,
He adds, thirdly,
At last he says, that they
1 Various have been the expositions of this sentence: they adopted the manner of the true prophets, as some say, and used their words, an instance of which is found in Jeremiah 28:1-4; and this is the view of Scott; others hold that the imitation in saying, "Thus saith the Lord," is what is referred to. It has also been suggested that they are intended -- who, knowing the truth, withheld it from the people; and that to withhold what they knew, is represented here as stealing. But none of these views sufficiently account for the words here used, "who steal my words every one from his neighbor." They were God's words committed to the people, and these prophets stole them, that is, by rendering them void by their falsehoods and vain dreams, as Satan is said to steal the seed sown in the heart of the way-side hearer. This is the view taken by Grotius, Venema, and Gataker. -- Ed.
2 There are those who, with Houbigant, suppose a transposition in the word, the
The Syr. is, "who pervert their own tongues," which means that they used them falsely; and the Targ., "who prophesy according to the will of their own heart." -- Ed.
3 The word is rendered "errors," by the Sept.; "miracles," by the Vulg.; "lasciviousness," by the Syr.; and "rashness," by the Targ. It comes from a verb which means to swell, to overflow. As a feminine noun it is only found here, and as a participial noun in two places, Judges 9:4, and Zephaniah 30:4, in which places it evidently means licentious persons; and I once thought that as used here it means licentiousness; see Note on Zephaniah 30:4, in vol. 4 on the Minor Prophets: but I now think that the meaning most suitable here is excess or overflowing in words -- vaunting boasting. The false prophets boasted that they were prophesying in God's name; they were telling lies, and boasting that they were sent by God. In this way they succeeded in leading astray the people, Venema renders it "vain boasting."
Behold, I am against those who prophesy Lying dreams, saith Jehovah; And who declare them, that they may lead astray My people by their lies and by their vauntings.
Then follows a virtual denial of their vauntings, for God had "not sent' nor "commanded" them; and the conclusion of the verse refers to their lies, for what they said would "not profit" the people. Thus we see a perfect correspondence between what is said in this and in the following verse, and the order is according to the usual style of the Prophets, it being reversed in the latter instance; their vauntings were false, because God did not send them; and their lies were vain, for they would not profit the people. -- Ed.
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