23. So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon; and thou shalt cause this city to be burnt with fire.
23. Et omnes uxores tuas et filios tuos deducent ad Chaldaeos, et tu non evades e manu eorum, quia in manu regis Babylonis comprehenderis, et urbem hanc combures igni.
Jeremiah pursues the same subject; but he sets forth at large the calamity, that the king being at least frightened with horror, might submit to a right counsel; for when we hear that death is at hand, this indeed fills us with horror; and when many evils are mentioned, we must necessarily be roused; and this, no doubt, was what the Prophet looked for. Then he says that Zedekiah would come into the hands of his enemies, hut he adds other indignities, which would bring greater bitterness,
We hence learn how conjugal fidelity was then with impunity violated. It was, we know, an ancient evil, but it had now passed into general practice, so that it was, as it were, the common law: and yet what God had once established continued unchanged, even that every man should have only his own wife. As, then, polygamy had so prevailed and had become so licentious among the Jews, we see that the fear of God was in fact extinguished and all regard to purity. More liberty was indeed allowed to kings, but they were not on that account to be excused, because their life ought to have been an example to others, a mirror of uprightness and chastity. When, therefore, they married a number of wives, it became an intolerable evil. And now when mention is made of
It then follows,
But as to the women, this brief notice must be added: other kings, indeed, had been very dissolute; but God now applied the remedy when the court was purged from all its old filth. For with Jeconiah, we know, the royal dignity ceased; and the city was exposed to plunder; and yet some concubines remained; and these passed as by hereditary right to other kings, as they succeeded to the wives as to the kingdom. But when wickedness became incorrigible, all the concubines were taken away also. It was then a sign of final destruction. It follows --
1 And this city shall be burnt with fire," is the rendering of the Sept., the Syriac., and the Targum. The Vulg. is, "and he (the king of Babylon) will burn this city with fire." The first, no doubt, is the true version of the hebrew, except the verb he in Hiphil, according to our version, and also that of Blayney; but what corresponds best with the passage is the former rendering. -- Ed.
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