14. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not: for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.
14. Omnes amici tui obliti sunt tui, et non requirunt; quia plaga tibi (hoc est percussi to) castigtione crudelis (hominis, aut, saevi) propter multitudinem iniquitatum tuarum, invaluerunt scelera tua.
The Prophet again repeats, that nothing remained for Israel as coming from men, for no one offered to bring help. Some, indeed, explain the words as though the Prophet had said, that friends, as it is usually the case, concealed themselves through shame on seeing the condition of the people hopeless: for as long as friends can relieve the sick, they are ready at hand, and anxiously exert themselves, but when life is despaired of, they no longer appear. But the Prophet, I have no doubt, condemns here the Jews for the false confidence with which they had been long fascinated; for we know, that at one time they placed hope in the Egyptians; at another in the Assyrians; and thus it happened that they brought on themselves many calamities. And we have seen elsewhere, in many passages, that these confederacies are compared to impure lusts; for when the people sought at one time the friendship of the Egyptians, at another, that of the Assyrians, it was a kind of adultery. God had taken the Jews under his care and protection; but unbelief led them astray, so that. they sought to strengthen themselves by the aid of others. Hence, everywhere in the Prophets the Egyptians and the Assyrians are compared to lovers. And this view will suit well here; for it was not enough to point out the miseries of the people, without making known the cause of them.
Then the Prophet refers to those false counsels which the Jews had adopted, when they thought themselves secure and safe while the Egyptians, or the Assyrians, or the Chaldeans were favorable to them. For this reason he says, that all
Now, that God calls himself an enemy, and compares himself to a
"Alas!" he says, "I will take vengeance on my enemies." (Isaiah 1:24)
He assumed there the character of one grieving, as though he had said, that he unwillingly proceeded to so much rigor, for he would have willingly spared the people, had not necessity forced him to such severity. But, as I have already said, when God calls himself the enemy of his people, it ought to be understood of temporal punishment, or it ought to be explained of the reprobate and lost, who had wholly alienated themselves from God's favor, and whom God had also cut off from the body of his Church as putrid members. But as the Prophet here addresses the faithful, there is no doubt but that God calls himself an enemy, because, according to the state of things at that time, the Jews could not have otherwise thought than that God was angry with them.
With regard to
For he adds,
1 It is better to retain the literal word "lovers," than "friends," as rendered by the Sept., the Syr., and the Targ., though not by the Vulg. The particle
14. All thy lovers have forgotten thee, Thee they seek not: Verily with the stroke of an enemy have I struck thee, -- With a violent correction; Because multiplied had thine iniquity, Grown strong had thy sins, etc.
The word for "violent," or cruel, is so construed in the early versions; the Targ. alone countenances our version. The last line conveys a different idea from the preceding. The verb, indeed, means strong in number as well as strong in power; but as number is expressed in the previous line, we may justly consider that power is meant here: their sins were not only many, but strong and vigorous, so strong as to resist all exhortations and all threatenings. -- Ed.
Back to BibleStudyGuide.org.
These files are public domain. This electronic edition was downloaded from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.