56. For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride,
56. Et non fuit Sodoma soror tua in sermonem in ore tuo in die superbiarum tuarum,1
57. Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about.
57. Priusquam detegeretur malitia tua secundum tempus probri filiarum Syriae, et omnium quae in circuitu ejus sunt filiarum Philistim, quae spreverunt2 te a circuitu.
God here blames the Jews because they did not attend to that remarkable judgment which he had executed against the Sodomites: for they had always before their eyes what ought to retain them in the fear of God; for that was a formidable spectacle, as it is this day. They knew that region to have been like the paradise of God, as it is called by Moses. (Genesis 13:10.) Since, then, the fertility and pleasantness of the place was so great, to see there the lake of sulphur and bitumen was sufficient material for instructing them, unless they had been utterly sluggish. But the Prophet says, that there was no mention of Sodom while the Jews lived happily; and we know that it was a great crime not to consider God's judgments, as we read in Isaiah. (Isaiah 5:12.) Among other things he says, that the Jews and Israelites were so corrupt that they did not regard God's works: hence as it is a useful exercise to consider God's judgments, yea, this is the chief prudence of the faithful; so, on the other hand, those who shut their eyes to the manifest judgments of God are like the brutes. And yet this is a very common fault, especially when the circumstance here expressed is added, that profane men do not attend to God's operations through being intoxicated by prosperity; for in this passage we have two ways of explaining the word
Besides, interpreters explain this of the slaughter which the Jews suffered in the time of Ahaz. (2 Kings 16.) For then the King of Syria laid waste almost the whole region, and the citizens of Jerusalem were grievously fined. The Philistines took advantage of this occasion and made an irruption: they think, therefore, that the time is pointed out when the King of Syria made war upon the Israelites, and violently assaulted Judea. But I know not whether the Prophet looks to the future, as I said yesterday; for he speaks of punishment at hand, just as if God was fulfilling what he had already determined. I am inclined to think that the beginning and the end ought to be united. Hence God begins to disclose the wickedness of the people from the time when the burning consumed their neighbors till it reached themselves; for the slaughter of the tribes of Israel brought upon them many losses, as we know well enough. But God seems to embrace their ultimate destruction, which was now at hand. Hence he says, that they had been, and would be, a laughingstock to the daughters of Syria, and the nations all around, and also to the daughters of the Philistines. But because they were spoiled by the Philistines, who took their cities, as the sacred narrative informs us, it is very suitable thus to explain the word
1 Or, "loftiness." -- Calvin.
2 Or, "have seized." -- Calvin.
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