22. But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us.
22. Nisi (vel, sed, vel, quod si) rejiciendo rejecisti nos excanduisti contra nos valde.
The two words
For the Jews labor under this superstition, that when a book ends with a hard and severe sentence, or one containing a dreadful threatening, grating to the ears, in order to avoid the sad omen, they repeat the last verse but one. So they do at the end of Isaiah, and at the end of Malachi. As Isaiah says, "It shall be a horror (or abomination) to all flesh;" they therefore repeat the previous verse. So in Malachi; as he says, "Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse --
If this explanation be approved, we must hold that the Prophet here exceeded due limits, as also the faithful, in their prayers, do not always so restrain themselves, but that some heat bubbles up; for we see how David, in the Psalms, too often shewed this kind of feeling; and it is hence evident, that his mind was not always sufficiently calm. We must then say, that the Prophet was impelled by a turbulent feeling when he uttered these words.
But it cannot be that God will reject his people, and be so angry with them, as never to be reconciled. We hence see that the Prophet does not simply set down the condition, as though he said, "O God, if thou art to be perpetually angry with us, and wilt never be reconciled, it is there all over with our salvation; but if thou wilt be reconciled to us, we shall then entertain good hope." No, the Prophet did not thus keep his own mind and the minds of others in suspense, but had a sure confidence as to God's favor; for it cannot be that God will ever forsake those whom he has chosen, as Paul also shews in the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.
As it has so seemed good to the brethren, I will begin tomorrow the explanation of Ezekiel.
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou didst formerly execute judgments so severe on thy people, -- O grant, that these chastisements may at this day teach us to fear thy name, and also keep us in watchfulness and humility, and that we may so strive to pursue the course of our calling, that we may find that thou art always our leader, that thy hand is stretched forth to us, that thy aid is ever ready for us, until, being at length gathered into thy celestial kingdom, we shall enjoy that eternal life, which thine only-begotten Son has obtained for us by his own blood. -- Amen.
1 The particles,
For surely rejecting thou hast rejected us,
Thou hast been wroth with us exceedingly,
or, more literally,
Thou hast foamed against us exceedingly.
The first line here corresponds with the latter part of the previous verse, "Restore us to our land, and renew the ancient days," -- " Thou hast wholly rejected us." He speaks of things as they were then. Then the last line in this verse bears a relation to the first part of the preceding verse, "Restore us to thy favor," -- " Thou hast been exceedingly displeased with us." Thus, for displeasure he asked favor, and for repudiation, a restoration. -- Ed.
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