8. And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt.
8. Et sicut ficus malae, quae non comeduntur prae malitia (id est, amaritudine,) sic certe (est
God, after having promised to deal kindly with the captives, now declares that he would execute heavier punishment on King Zedekiah, and the whole people who yet remained in their own country. We have stated why God exhibited this vision to the Prophet, even that he might support their minds who saw nothing but grounds of despair, and that also, on the other hand, he might correct their pride who flattered themselves in their own lot, because God had deferred his vengeance as to them. Then the Prophet, having given comfort to the miserable exiles, now speaks against Zedekiah and his people, who boasted that God was propitious to them, and that they had not only been fortunate, but also wise in continuing in their own country.
He then says that
Now we know that Zedekiah was set over the kingdom of Judah, when Jeconiah surrendered himself to Nebuchadnezzar: he was the uncle of Jeconiah, and reigned eleven years; and during that time he ought to have been at least wise at the expense of another. For Eliakim, who was also called Jehoiakim, had been chastised, and that not only once; but Nebuchadnezzar, after having spoiled the temple, rendered him tributary to himself, on his return to Chaldea. At length, after having been often deceived by him, he became extremely displeased with him; and his son, who had reigned with his father, three months after his death, voluntarily surrendered himself into the power and will of the conqueror. Mathaniah afterwards reigned, of whom the Prophet speaks here. So, he says,
And this was also the reason why the prophets so sharply reproved them: they relied on the help of Egypt, and took shelter under its protection. When, therefore, they found themselves exposed to the will of their enemies, they fled into Egypt. But Nebuchadnezzar afterwards, as we shall see, conquered Egypt also. Thus it happened that they were only for a short time beyond the reach of danger. But as fugitive slaves, when recovered, are afterwards treated more severely by their masters, so also the rage of King Nebuchadnezzar became more violent against them. It now follows --
1 Rather "make." The verb
8. But like the bad figs, which cannot be eaten, they being so bad, (yea, thus saith Jehovah,) so will I make Zedekiah, etc. -- Ed.
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