36. And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more; for every man's word shall be his burden: for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God
36. Et oneris, Jehovae non recordabimini amplius, quia onus erit cuique sermo ejus; et pervertistis sermones Dei vivi, Jehovae exercituum, Dei nostri.
Jeremiah goes on with the same subject, that every one ought calmly and meekly to hear God speaking, he said, as we saw yesterday, that the prophets were to be asked as to what God had spoken and what he had answered; he thereby intimated that there must be docility, in order that God's word may obtain credit, authority, and favor among us. He again repeats, that the word burden could not be endured by God; for, as we explained yesterday, this word was used commonly by the Jews as expressive of hatred or disdain, being as they were unwilling to receive sound doctrine.
In forbidding them to mention the word
We now see the design of the Prophet in saying,
This passage is entitled to special notice, for we see how the greater part cannot bear threatenings and terrors when announced to them. Hence they entertain contempt and hatred towards heavenly doctrine; and yet none consider why God so often threatens and terrifies them in his word. For if men ceased to sin, God would cease to contend with them; but when they continually provoke him, is he to be silent? and further, are his prophets to suffer everything just to be violated, and God himself to be despised? Let us then know that the fault is in us when God seems to deal rigidly with us, for we do not allow him to use such a paternal language as he always would, were it not that we put a hinderance in the way.
The Prophet also adds,
He says first, that he is the
We now then see the design of the Prophet; he first warned them not to entertain hatred in their hearts to prophetic doctrine; secondly, he shewed that the whole fault was in themselves, as they constrained God to deal severely with them; and further, that they perverted the word of God, being false interpreters of it, and closing the door against his kindness when he invited all the pious and the teachable; and lastly, he exalts God's power and commends his goodness, that he might thus aggravate the sin of the people in daring to carry on war with God himself, and in despising the favor conferred on them. It follows, --
1 This sentence, as given by the Sept. and Vulg., bears the meaning first mentioned by Calvin, but another, as given by the Syr., "for the word, let it be to man his prophecy," that is, the Lord's prophecy. The meaning of which seems to be, that the burden, or prophecy, ought to be deemed by every man as the word of God, or ought to be called his word; it was no longer to be called burden, but God's word. According to Calvin and many others, the meaning is, "the word, or the phrase," the burden of the Lord, "which ye use in derision, shall really be a burden to you." The
36. And "the burden of Jehovah" ye shall no more mention; For the burden, it is become to every one his word; And ye have perverted the words of the living God, Of Jehovah of hosts, our God.
The word burden was used by all, it had become a common word; and by using it in derision, they turned the words of the living God into contempt, instead of receiving them as his words and obeying them. This was the process, they first ridiculed them, and then despised and neglected them. Hence God prohibited the use of the expression, "the burden of Jehovah." The only objection to the rendering above is, that
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