8. Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Because ye have not heard my words,
8. Propterea sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Eo quod non audistis ad sermones meos (hoc est, non attenti fuistis ad sermones meos:)
9. Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
9. Ecce ego mittam et accipiam (vel, assumam) omnes cognationes (vel, familias) Aquilonis, dicit Jehova, et Nebuchadnezer regem Babylonis servum meum, et inducam eos in terram hanc et in habitatores ejus, et in omnes gentes istas in circuitu, et perdam eas, et ponam eas in stuporem et sibilum, et in vastitares seculi (id est, perpetuas.)
Here follows a denunciation of punishment; the Prophet says that God would no longer deal in words, for their iniquity had ripened, according to what is in Genesis,
"My Spirit shall not contend (or strive) any more with man." (Genesis 6:3.)
When God prepares to execute vengeance on the wickedness of men, he says that there is no more time for contending. A sudden execution of judgment is then what is here intended; but he mentions at the same time the punishment. After having explained the cause of so much severity, even because they would
And it ought to be noticed, for we hence learn the fact, that many are God's servants who are yet wholly unworthy of so honorable a title; but they are not so called with respect to themselves. Nebuchadnezzar thought that he was making war with the God of Israel when he invaded Judea; and only ambition, and avarice, and cruelty impelled him to undertake so many wars. When, therefore, we think of him, of his designs and his projects, we cannot say that he was God's servant; but this is to be referred to God only, who governs by his hidden and incomprehensible power both the devil and the ungodly, so that they execute, though unwittingly, whatever he determines. There is a great difference between these and God's servants, who, when anything is commanded them, seek to render that obedience which they ought -- all such are faithful servants. They are, then, justly called God's servants, for there is a mutual concord between God and them: God commands, and they obey. But it is a mutilated and a half service when the ungodly are led beyond the purpose of their own minds, and God uses them as instruments when they think of and design another thing.
It must at the same time be noticed that this name of servant is given, though in an inferior sense, to Nebuchadnezzar for the sake of honor, in order that the Jews might be made ashamed; for it was a great reproach to them that a heathen had been chosen by God, and had obtained the title of a servant, when they themselves had become aliens. The Prophet then, no doubt, intended to cast reproach on them by raising to this dignity the king of Babylon. There was also another reason, even that the Jews might know that whatever they were to suffer would be inflicted by God's hand, and that they might not otherwise think of Nebuchadnezzar than as God's scourge, in order that they might thus be led to confess their sins and be really humbled. We now perceive the meaning of the words.
God says that he would make all nations, as well as the Jews,
At last he adds, that they would be
1 "Over or on the land," etc., rather than "against;" for it is literally, "I will cause them to come over this land," etc. So is the Vulg. -- Ed.
2 The three words are by the Sept. and Arab. rendered "extinction -- hissing -- perpetual reproach;" by the Vulg., "astonishment -- hissing -- perpetual solitudes;" by the Targ., "waste -- astonishment -- perpetual desolations;" and by the Syr., "astonishment -- hissing -- waste for ever." The first word,
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