18. But if they be prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.
18. Qued si Prophetae sunt, et si est sermo Jehovae cum ipsis (id est, apud ipsos,) intercedant ipsi apud Jehovam exercituum, ne veniant vasa, quae supersunt in Temple Jehovae, et in dome regis Jehudah et Jerosolymae Babylonem.
Here the Prophet laughs to scorn the foolish confidence with which the false prophets were swollen, when they promised all happiness in time to come. He hence says, that they were not to be believed as to the prosperity of which they prophesied, but that on the contrary they ought to have dreaded a most grievous punishment.
He then says,
From this passage we learn that these two things are united -- teaching and praying. Then God would have him whom he has set a teacher in his Church, to be assiduous in prayer. And so the Apostles said, when they spoke of appointing deacons, that they could not attend to tables; for they said that they were sufficiently engaged in teaching, and they mentioned also prayers. (Acts 6:2-4.) The same also we learn from this place, where Jeremiah ascribes the office of interceding to God's true and faithful servants who conscientiously discharged the office of teaching;
"The Prophet who has a dream, and who has my true word, let him speak my word." (Jeremiah 23:28)
We said by these words of the Prophet it may be determined who they are who deserve to be called prophets, even those who have the word of God. Jeremiah confirms the same here when he says,
Grant, Almighty God, that as we continually by our many vices draw on ourselves new punishment, we may strive to be reconciled to thee, and thus anticipate thy judgment, and so submit to thee in true humility, that we may not by struggling against thee be untamable, but confess our guilt, obtain thy favor, and find reconciliation with thee, until having at length put off all our vices, we shall come to that blessed rest, which thine only-begotten Son has procured for us by his own blood. -- Amen.
1 Both the Sept. and Vulg. give the first meaning, to meet with, and not the second, to intercede with, and thus convey no sense whatever. The Syr. uses the word, pray, "let them pray the Lord," etc. See Genesis 23:8; Job 21:15. -- Ed.
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