20. And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,
20. Et promiscuae multitudini, et cunctis regibus terrae Uz, et cunctis regibus terrae Philistim et Ascalon et Gazae et Echron, et reliquiis Azoth,
Jeremiah, after having spoken of his own nation and of the Egyptians, now mentions other nations who were probably known by report to the Jews; for we see in the catalogue some who were afar off. He then does not only speak of neighboring nations, but also of others. His object, in short, was to shew that God's vengeance was near, which would extend here and there, so as to include the whole world known to the Jews.
We stated yesterday the reason why he connected the Egyptians with the Jews; but now nothing certain can be assigned as a reason with regard to each of these nations; only it may be said in general, that the Jews were thus reminded, not only to acknowledge God's judgment towards them as an evidence of his wrath, but also to extend their thoughts farther and to consider all the calamities, which would happen to nations far as well as nigh, in the same light, so that they might know that human events revolve, not by chance, but that God is a righteous judge, and that he sits in heaven to chastise men for their sins.
It is a common proverb, that it is a solace to the miserable to see many like them; but the Prophet had something very different in view; for it was not his object to alleviate the grief of his people by shewing that no nations would be free from calamities; but his intention was to shew them in due time that whatever happened would proceed from God; for if it had not been predicted that the Chaldeans would have the whole of the east under their dominion, it would have been commonly said, that the world was under the rule of blind fortune, and thus men would have become more and more hardened in their impiety; for it becomes the cause of obstinacy, when men imagine that all things happen by chance. And for this reason God severely reproves those who acknowledge not that he sends wars, famine, and pestilence, and that nothing adverse takes place except through his judgment. Hence the Jews were to learn before the time, that when God afflicted them and other nations, they might know that it had been predicted, and that therefore God was the author of these calamities, and that they might also examine themselves so as to acknowledge their sins; for they who dream that the world as to its evils is governed at random by fortune, do not perceive that God is displeased with them; and so they regard not what they suffer as a just punishment.
Many indeed confess God as the inflicter of punishment, and yet they complain against him. But these two things ought to be remembered, -- that no adversity happens fortuitously, but that God is the author of all those things which men regard as evils, -- and that he is so, because he is a righteous judge; which is the second thing. God then in claiming for himself the disposal of all events, and in declaring that the world is governed at his will, not only declares that the chief power and the supreme government is in his hand, but goes farther and shews, that things happening prosperously are evidences of his goodness and justice, and that calamities prove that he cannot endure the sins of men, but must punish them. To set forth this was the Prophet's design.
He says that God threatened
He afterwards mentions
But it may be asked, why he names the
1 Venema and Blayney connect these words with the former verse, and consider that the mixed people in Egypt are meant; and this is most probable. So the Sept. "and all that are mixed with them." The Syr. is, "and all the borders of it," that is Egypt. The Vulg. is a paraphrase, "and the whole generally." -- Ed.
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