5. Thus saith the Lord God, This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
5. Sic dicit Dominator Iehoyah, Haec est Hierusalem, in medio gentium, posui eam, et in circuitu ejus terras.
6. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
Now God shows the reason why he determined to act so severely and harshly towards that holy city which he had selected as the royal residence. For the greater the benefits with which he had adorned the city, by so much the baser and grosser was their ingratitude. God recounts, therefore, his benefits towards Jerusalem, and that for the sake of reproving it. For if the Jews had embraced the blessing of God, doubtless he would have enriched them more and more with his gifts: but when he saw that they rejected his favors, he was the more angry with their indignity. For contempt of God's benefits is a kind of profanation and sacrilege. Now, therefore, we understand the intention of the Holy Spirit when he says, that Jerusalem was placed as it were on a lofty platform, that its dignity might be conspicuous on all sides. This is not said in praise of Jerusalem, but rather to its greatest disgrace, because whatever the Lord had conferred upon it ought to be taken into account, since they had so unworthily corrupted themselves and had polluted God's glory as it were on purpose. As to its being said, that Jerusalem was in the midst of the nations,(Psalm 74:12,) I do not take this so precisely as Jerome and most others. For they fancy that Jerusalem was the center of the earth, and he twists other places also into this sense: where God is said to have worked salvation to the midst of the earth, he explains it the very middle, as they say. But that is in my judgment puerile, because the Prophet simply means that Jerusalem was placed in the most celebrated part of the world: it had on all sides the most noble nations and very rich, as is well known, and was not far distant from the Mediterranean Sea: on one side it was opposite to Asia Minor: then it had Egypt for a neighbor, and Babylon on the north. This is the genuine sense of the Prophet, that Jerusalem was endued with remarkable nobility among other nations, as if God had placed it in the highest rank. There is no city which has not nations and lands round it, but God here names lands and nations par excellence, not any whatsoever, but those only which excelled in fruitfulness, in opulence, and all advantages. And the demonstrative pronoun is emphatic when he says, This is Jerusalem: for he extols the city with magnificent praises, that its ingratitude may appear the greater -- hence it was placed in the midst of the nations and of countries round about it: because it was surrounded by many opulent regions, and there the grace of God was chiefly displayed, as if it were the most beautiful part of a theater, which attracted all eyes towards it, and moved all minds to admiration.
He now adds, My judgments are changed concerning the word
1 Or, "she has transgressed my judgments or been rebellious.
2 Or, "was rebellious against my statutes." -- Calvin
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