7. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction, and of her miseries, all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.
7. Recordata est Jerusalem diebus afflictionis suae et penuriae suae, omnium desiderabilium suorum quae fuerunt a diebus antiquis, cum caderet populus ejus in manu hostis et nullus auxiliator ei: viderunt hostes, subsannarunt (vel, riserunt) super sabbatio (vel, cessatione) ejus.
He confirms the former verse when he says, that
I wonder how all have given this version, "Jerusalem remembered the days," etc. Some rightly explain the passage, but all agree in giving a wrong version. But the meaning is sufficiently evident,
We may hence gather a useful doctrine; for what the Prophet relates of Jerusalem is seen almost in all mankind; but we must beware lest this should be true of us. For God has not only in a common manner dealt liberally hitherto with us, but he has also been pleased to favor us with evidences of favor even more than paternal; he has separated us from the unbelieving, and has bestowed on us many of his blessings. Let us now, then, take heed lest we become stupid while God deals liberally with us; but, on the contrary, let us learn to appreciate the blessings of God, and consider the end for which they have been given us, otherwise what is said here of Jerusalem will happen to us; for being too late awakened, we shall know that we were happy when God shewed himself a father to us. We see the same thing exemplified in Adam the first man; for though God adorned him with excellent gifts, yet being not content with his lot, he wished to exalt himself beyond due limits; after he fell and was reduced to extreme want, he then began to know what he had previously been, and what he had become through his fall. (Genesis 1:26, 27; 3:6,7.) But as this testimony of the Prophet is peculiarly suitable to the Church, let us know that we are warned by the example of Jerusalem, so that when God shews to us his bounty, his gifts ought as they deserve, to be valued, lest when too late we shall at length begin to acknowledge how desirable had been our previous condition. Then, in a word, Jeremiah here reproves the stupidity of the people, who did not know how desirable was their state, until they were deprived and plundered of all their blessings. He also says,
"Until the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths." (Leviticus 26:43.)
For when the Jews had the opportunity and leisure (when no enemies molested them)to observe the worship of God, they contemptuously profaned the Sabbaths. As, then, God's worship had been so disgracefully neglected by them, God said, "The land itself shall in your stead keep the Sabbath;" how? it shall not be ploughed, it shall not bring forth fruit. (Leviticus 26:34, 35.) That cessation was called by God Sabbath, but not without a taunt; for he cuttingly reproved the Jews for having violated the Sabbaths, as was also done by Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 17:22, 27.) 2
It then appears to me probable that taunts were cast by enemies against the Jews, that they might now have a long and a continual Sabbath, while the city was deserted and no one dwelt there. For it would have been cold and unmeaning to say that the enemies laughed at the cessation of it. The Prophet would have no doubt used a different word, if his purpose had been to point out the blasphemy of enemies as to God's worship.
1 The versions and the Targ. are evidently wrong here, and are not consistent with one another. There is no meaning except
2 There are in this verse four lines, while there are only three in all the rest; but there is no ground for supposing an interpolation, as some have thought; for it is found in every Hebrew copy and in the versions, and the Targum. As to the last word, it is rendered by the Sept., "habitation," or according to the Alexandrian copy, "emigration;" by the Vulg. "sabbaths;" and by the Syr. "sorrow." The word is nowhere found to signify the Sabbath. It is either from
When fall did her people, and she had no helper,
See her did oppressors, they laughed at her captivity. -- Ed.
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