31. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.
31. Pervenit (hoc est, perveniet) sonitus (vel, impetus) ad extremitatem terrae; quia lis Jehovae cum gentibus, judicium (id est, contentio, vel, disceptatio) ei contra omnem carnem: impios dabit (tradet) ipsos ad gladium, dicit Jehova.
He pursues the same subject; he says that there would be a dreadful assault, and that it would extend to the extreme parts of the earth. The word
The time of contending is not always: he who does not immediately bring his adversary before the judge, but deals kindly with him, and seeks to obtain amicably from him what is right, does not thereby forego what is justly due to him; but when he finds that the contumacy of his adversary is such that his kind dealing effects nothing, he may then litigate with him. The same thing is now expressed by the Prophet, even that God would now
Let us then observe, that nothing is detracted from God's power and authority, when it is said, that he disputes or contends with men; but that in this way all those clamors are checked which the ungodly raise against him, as though he raged immoderately against them, and also that thus the end of all punishment is pointed out, even that God condescends to assume the character of an opponent, and proposes nothing else than to require what is reasonable and just, like him who having a cause to try before the judge, would willingly agree beforehand, if possible, with his adversary; but as he sees no hope, he has recourse to that remedy. So God contends with us; for except we were wholly irreclaimable, we might be restored to his favor; and reconciliation would be ready for us, were we only to allow him his rights.
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou seekest continually in various ways to restore us to thyself, -- O grant, that we may not by our untameable perverseness resist thy holy and kind admonitions, nor continue torpid in our drowsiness, but anxiously flee to thee, and so humbly solicit pardon, that we may thus shew that we really and habitually repent, so that thy name may in every way be glorified, until we shall come into thy celestial glory, through Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Amen.
1 The terms are legal terms, --
31. Gone has the sound to the extremity of the earth; For a contention had Jehovah with the nations, Into judgment hath he entered with all flesh; The wicked -- he gave them to the sword, saith Jehovah.
The past is evidently used for the future. "The sound" then was to go forth, and for the reasons here assigned, -- God would have a dispute with all, would try the matter as it were by a judicial process, and would give up the condemned, the wicked, to the sword. The object of this representation is very correctly stated by Calvin. -- Ed.
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