9. And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
9. Et recordabuntur qui ex vobis evaserint mei in gentibus, apud quas captivi fuerint illic1 quia frangar ad cor ipsorum quod fornicatur,2 a quod recessit a me, et ad oculos ipsorum scortantes3 post idola sua, et pudifient coram facie sua super malis quae fecerunt in omnibus abominationibus suis.
I see that I cannot finish, and I think the time is advancing.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou desirest a continual memorial of thy former remarkable judgments on thy people, that we may this day restrict ourselves to thy pure worship -- grant, I say, that we may be teachable by thee, and never attempt to adulterate thy worship by our devices; and since thou hast clearly manifested thy will to us, through thine only-begotten Son, that we may remain in obedience to him, and may so invoke Thee the Father, in his name, while we are pilgrims in the world, until at length we arrive at that blessed inheritance which is laid up for us in heaven by the same, our Lord. -- Amen.
In the last lecture I only recited the ninth verse, but did not explain it; for the Lord says, he would afterwards make some part of Israel a remnant, since he hoped they would profit by the chastisement: then, says he, the remnant will remember me. By these words he obliquely reproves the sluggishness of the ten tribes, who could never be brought to any sense of God's anger, unless by experiencing it. For there is an opposition between remembrance and forgetfulness, since he says they would remember after they were afflicted, he signifies that during their prosperity they were drowned in negligence and contempt. We may learn from this that God's chastisements are very useful to us, because when he indulges us we abuse his kindness, and flatter ourselves so as to become hardened in sin. It is necessary, therefore, nay, even useful, that those who indulge themselves in their vices, should be chastised, and although the Lord can recall us to himself in other ways, yet our weakness is so great that we always grow torpid in our sins, until his chastisements draw us back to life. Besides, we must also observe, that; all are not permitted to become wise again, even when chastised by God. And the Prophet does not speak generally, but marks out the survivors, or those who shall have been preserved.
This therefore is the reason why the Prophet restricts this promise to those who should be saved out of the whole people. He had said they should be preserved, because God was unwilling to extinguish the whole Church, that he might not destroy his covenant, which ought to be perpetual and inviolable. He says among the Gentiles, among whom, or where, they were captives. Here also the Prophet signifies that exile would be useful to the Israelites, because as long as God suffered them to possess the Holy Land, they provoked him as if on purpose. Since, therefore, they so polluted God's worship in the Holy Land, he ought long ago to have destroyed them. And the Prophet signifies this when he says, among the nations where they were captives they would then return to a sound mind, though they had been obstinate in the region assigned them by God. It follows that he was broken down, or worn down, through their heart. There may be a double sense of the words. The first is, that God was at length conquered by their wickedness, after he had found that he did not profit by bearing them patiently. For when he sees that his favor becomes a laughing-stock, he is the more angry, and deservedly so. Thus, therefore, this passage may be conveniently explained, that God was broken on account of the adulterous heart of the Israelites; because when he had long suffered them to sin with impunity, yet when he saw no end to it, being conquered, as it were, by their obstinacy, he descends to punish them. But we may also refer this to pardon, because they will acknowledge that God is broken through their heart, because he wishes to pardon them. For he is said to be broken who voluntarily forgives injuries; and since there are many tender and kind, who willingly pardon their enemies for even the greatest crimes. And this explanation is in some degree suitable, because the sinner cannot really remember God, without perceiving some taste of his goodness, so that he hopes he will be propitious to him. Yet the first sense seems more suitable, that the Israelites will begin to remember when they were dragged into exile, that just punishment awaited them, because God had borne with them patiently, and had not treated them at once with the utmost rigor, but when compelled, he descended at length to take vengeance, after he was broken down or worn down by their desperate wickedness. Now, therefore, we understand the Prophet's intention. Hence also we gather, that those who seriously repent do not acknowledge their fault lightly, but think within themselves in what ways, and how long, and how perversely, they have provoked God's wrath. The Prophet expresses this by the word breaking. God, therefore, did not treat the Israelites so harshly, while he was offended by their wickedness, but at length he was broken by their hardness.
He says, Through their adulterous heart which departed from me, and through their adulterous eyes after their idols. This image occurs everywhere throughout the Prophets; and because I have often explained it, I now pass it slightly by. For the superstitious are said to commit whoredom with their idols, that all idolatry may be rendered more detestable. For those who adulterate the worship of God by their fictions, yet think that they offer an acceptable obedience. Since, therefore, the blind and unbelieving so please themselves by their corruptions, hence Scripture compares them to adulterers. The name of devotion among the Papists is at this time so plausible that it buries all the light of sound doctrine. For by this one word they reject whatever is offered them in the law and the gospel: and so also concerning "good intentions" as they call them. Since, therefore, the incredulous so intoxicate themselves with their own comments, God distinctly mentions fornicators, and says, that all who recede from the pure rule of the law contaminate themselves with debaucheries. At the same time, as I have often said, the prophets allude to a sacred and spiritual marriage in which God has bound himself to his Church. For chastity of soul means the pure worship of God. When, therefore, men fall off from that sincerity, it is just as if a woman should desert her husband and follow adulterers. Now that the Prophet may express this mad desire more clearly, he adds eyes to the heart. By these words he understands furious lust, not only because they were devoted to their idols with all their heart, but they were drawn that way by their eyes, as if their eyes had been torches to inflame their mind. He retains, however, his own image, because adulterers by their wandering glances generate the flames of lust, and so their heart is set on fire. For this reason therefore he says, they were adulterous both in eye and heart.
Afterwards he adds, and they shall become ashamed, or shall be cut off in their faces, that is, before their face: others translate, they shall feel nausea, which seems rather too rough. But because the word
1 "The adverb of place is redundant." -- Calvin.
2 "That is, which burns with adultery." -Calvin.
3 " Or full of lust." -- Calvin.
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