Ezekiel 8:6

6. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that should go far off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.

6. Et dixit ad me, Fili hominis, an tu vidisti quod isti faciunt? abominationes magnas, quas domus Israel faeiunt1 illic ut procul recedam a sanctuario meo? et adhuc converte to,2 et videbis abominationes magnas.


Now God complains with his Prophet; and we must always mark the object and consider God's design, because at the end of the chapter we shall see how severe a vengeance God was about to take on the people. Hence the Prophet prevents those obstreperous reproaches with which the people loaded him through envy, when he chastised them according to their deserts. Hence he doubtless wished the exiles to be persuaded of what they could scarcely conceive, namely, that the destruction of Jerusalem was near. For we have said that those who had been drawn into captivity had displeased him, and wished to return to their country. Since therefore their condition was too grievous and severe, for this reason God wished to testify to them that the last overthrow of Jerusalem was at hand. He does this while he shows the great abominations which reigned in the very temple, whence the Almighty must of necessity appear as the avenger of his glory and worship. The rest to-morrow.


Grant, Almighty God, since thou hast treated us so indulgently, and when provoked by our iniquities, hast yet shown thyself a propitious Father to us, that we may no longer abuse thy patience, but return directly to thy way and submit ourselves to thee -- and, being humbled by a true sense of penitence, grant that we may be so dissatisfied with our sins, that we may devote ourselves to thee with our whole heart and follow the direction of thy holy calling; until after finishing the pursuits of this rife, we may arrive at that happy repose which thine only-begotten Son has acquired for us by his blood. -- Amen.

Lecture Twenty-Second.

WE stopped yesterday at that. clause when God asks his Prophet, whether he saw the abominations which the sons of were perpetrating in the very temple: by which words he not only cites his servant as a witness, but constitutes him in some sense a judge, so that all should know that the coating vengeance was not only just but must be immediate. This is the reason why God asks, whether he saw the abominations. For if a mortal is compelled to pass an opinion, surely God, who sees much further than the eyes of man, cannot be ignorant of their crimes, when they had come to such a pitch of obstinacy that his patience could no longer hold out. Now the adverb of place is used, which seems to be put emphatically, because he refers to the temple, from which all filth and defilements ought to be removed. Since therefore God complains that abominations were perpetrated there, he magnifies the people's wickedness, because even the temple did not remain pure. He adds, for retreating: some refer this to the people and elicit this sense, that those who so pervert God's worship recede from his sanctuary, because they have no longer anything in common with God. But I rather interpret it concerning God himself, who is compelled to depart from his sanctuary, as we shall afterwards see. For while they so defiled the temple with their sacrilege, they yet thought God included therein. He now renounces the temple, and says, that he left the place empty and void, because he could not bear to dwell among that sordid defilement. The meaning is, that God would depart from his temple, because the complete worship which he had commanded under the law did not flourish there. And this place is worthy of notice, because we gather from it that God could not bear the profanation of his worship, but will leave those who pervert his law by their fictions, as we see the Jews did. At this day we know how haughtily the Papists pride themselves in their figments, but the more they heap together fictitious ceremonies the more they provoke God's anger. Hence it happens that they vainly boast that they have him in their temples, as they think. For this sentiment will ever remain fixed, that God cannot dwell in a profane place. Now nothing sanctifies a place more than obedience and sincerity of faith. When men introduce their inventions, it immediately causes God to depart from them: this is the full meaning. Now he adds, turn thyself, and thou shalt see great abominations. Some translate greater, but because a question would arise, why he calls the abomination first greater and then different, I interpret it simply that the Prophet should see other great abominations. Afterwards indeed he will express another, for he will say twbewthlam twldg, gedloth-maleh-thogn-both, but in my opinion there is no comparison here between greater and less; hlam, maleh, I simply interpret "beyond others," and I rather approve of this simplicity, because interpreters anxiously labor to show this last abomination heavier than all others, though the reason for it does not clearly appear. But there is no need of our making these difficulties, because the Prophet only speaks of great abominations. Let us go on --

1 That is, "perpetrate." -- Calvin.

2 That is, "to turn again." -- Calvin.


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