24. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.
24. Non revertetur (vertunt) furor irae Jehovae, donec exequatur ipsum, et donec surgere faciat (attollat, vel, stabiliat) cogitationes cordis sui: in extremo dierum intelligatis in hac re.
He confirms the last sentence, and compares the wrath or the vengeance of God to a messenger or a minister, who is sent to carry a message, or to perform what has been commanded him. Of God's word, that is, of his threatenings as well as of his promises, Isaiah speaks thus,
"My word shall not return to me void." (Isaiah 55:11)
The meaning is, that whatever God promises or threatens, is never without its effect. But they wrongly understand the passage who say that the word of God returns not void, because it brings forth fruit; for he speaks of the effect of the word, whether for salvation or for perdition. So now also God declares that his vengeance, when gone forth, shall not return until it fulfils what has been commanded.
He then adds,
Then the Prophet here condemns the stupidity of all those who thought that they could escape, though they had often heard that their guilt was so great that they must at last be visited with judgment. Though they had often heard this, yet they were deaf to all warnings; and it was for this reason that the Prophet spoke of the thoughts of God's heart.
At last he adds,
If then we explain this sentence of the children of God, it is an exhortation to bear patiently their evils until God appeared as their defender: but if we apply it to the unbelieving, it is a derision of their insensibility, because they regarded as fables all threatenings; but the Prophet exclaims, "Ye shall at last become wise, but it will be too late." Even experience becomes a teacher when there is no more opportunity to repent.
1 The verse is literally as follows, --
Turn not away shall the burning of Jehovah's wrath, Until his execution and until his completion Of the purposes of his heart: In the latter days ye shall understand it.
A verb in the infinitive mood in Hebrew is used often as a noun, "his execution." A similar form exists in Welsh, nes gwneuthur ohono. "Until he hath confirmed," or "performed," according to our version, is better rendered in the Vulg., "until he hath completed." Here is the execution and the completion. -- Ed.
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