22. My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.
22. Et avertam faciem meam ab ipsis, et profanabunt absconditum meum: et ingredientur in illud perruptores,1 et profanabunt illud.
As to the beginning of the verse there is no ambiguity, for God pronounces that the Jews would be miserable, because he would avert his face from them. For in this was situated their happiness, that God, as he had promised, would regard their safety. As long, therefore, as God deigned to look upon them, their safety was certain, so that there was no fear of danger. But when he no longer cared for them, these wretched ones were exposed to all calamities; hence they are said to be deprived of all protection, when alienated from God. This, then, is one clause. As to what follows, expositors interpret it of the sanctuary; and I do not greatly object to this, if any one approves of this sense, but I take it in a wider sense. For God in my view calls the land his hidden place, which was safe under his protection. For he says, that he had extended wings, under which he could hide the people, (Exodus 19:4;) and David prays that God would receive him within the hidden place of his tabernacle. (Psalm 27:5.) Since, therefore, the people was protected by the power of God, the land is deservedly called God's hidden place, as an asylum, and it will be proper so to translate it. Devastators, therefore, shall profane my asylum, because they shall enter in there, and shall profane it. He repeats the same word. Those who take it for the sanctuary restrict it to the holy of holies, for so they call the shrine or oracle whence the answers were given; and they call it an oracle, not from praying, but because they enquired there of secret things. But as I have said, that seems to be forced, though I will not quarrel with it, but show what I like better. The meaning is, however God had spared the Jews for a long time, nay, had them hidden, as it were, under his wings, and the land was as it were a sacred asylum, since they were so hidden that they felt no injury from foreign enemies: yet this should profit them nothing, because God would throw down all bulwarks, and give easy access to their enemies, so that they might break through, and then profane and confuse all things. It follows --
1 Or, "devastators." -- Calvin.
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