15. All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?
15. Plauserunt super te manibus suis (id est, comploserunt manus suas) omnes transcuntes per viam, sibilarunt, et moverunt caput suum super filia Jerusalem, An haec urbs de qua dixcrunt, perfecta decore, gaudium totius terrae?
The Prophet here reminds the Jews of the miseries by which they had been already in an extreme measure afflicted, so that these words seem redundant and somewhat unkind; for unseasonable is reproof when one lies down, as it were, worn out with evils. As this was the condition of the people, the Prophet ought not to have made more bitter their grief. But we have already referred to the reason for this, even because the Jews, though they mourned and were extremely sorrowful in their calamities, did not yet consider whence their evils came. It was therefore necessary that they should be more and more awakened; for it is but of little profit for any one to suffer evils, except he has regard to God's judgment. We hence perceive the design of the Prophet, why he so much at large speaks of the miseries which were seen by all, and could not escape the notice of the Jews, who were almost overwhelmed with them; for it was not enough for them to feel their miseries, except they also considered the cause of them.
He then says,
"From Sion shall go forth the law,
and rite word of God from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:3.)
God had also promised to Ezekiel, that this city would be the fountain and origin of salvation to the whole world. (Ezekiel 47:1-12.) As, then, Jerusalem had been adorned with so remarkable gifts, the Prophet introduces here strangers, who ask, "Could it be that a city so celebrated for beauty had become a desolation?"
He calls it also
1 Jeremiah relates what had taken place, the verbs being in the past tense. Our version is not correct in rendering the verbs in the present tense. The old versions follow the Hebrew. -- Ed.
2 The words may be rendered, "the joy of the whole land," i.e., the land of Israel; which was strictly true. -- Ed.
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