18. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
18. Ex quo autem desiimus suffitum offerre artificio coelo-rum et libare ei libamina, desti-tuti (vel, privati) fuimus omnibus, et gladio et fame sumus consumpti.
Here he enlarges on their ingratitude, that they attributed to God the fault of all their calamities, when yet God would have drawn them, as the Prophet will hereafter tell us, as it were out of darkness into light, had they been reclaimable. They ought to have been restored, by punishments, to their right mind. But this had been so far from being the case, that the effect of God's scourges had been to render them more and more obstinate.
They then said, that from the time they left off to worship idols, they had been miserable, that they had labored under the want of everything, and had been consumed by famine and the sword. They had before been consumed, as it is well known, by the famine and the sword, and as we have said, they had before suffered many calamities. Why then did they not refer to these punishments which they had suffered for having so often, and for so long a time, rebelled against God? But they willfully covered over God's judgments: and yet they said that they had been in every way miserable, since they had ceased from false worship. But was it for this reason they became miserable, because they no longer poured out libations to stars and idols? Nay, the reason was very different, as the Prophet will presently answer them. But we must repeat all their words; we shall come afterwards to the refutation given by the Prophet.
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