Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JEREMIAS - Chapter 18

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Jeremias xviii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Potter's. Thus God would shew his dominion over all, Romans ix. 21.

Ver. 3. Wheel. Hebrew, "stones." Septuagint, "seats;" or "wheel." (Chaldean) (Exodus i. 16.) See Ecclesiasticus xxxviii. 32. (Calmet)

Ver. 4. Broken. So Providence ordered it. (St. Jerome) --- How should this idea humble man! (Calmet) --- A potter may mould afresh the clay as long as it is soft, but God can change the hardest heart. (Worthington)

Ver. 8. Shall repent, having free-will, though prevented by grace. (St. Jerome)

Ver. 12. Hopes. Chap. ii. 25. Septuagint, "we are valiant men." (Haydock)

Ver. 13. Virgin. The disorders of Israel are thus enhanced. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Snow. It continues on Libanus seven or eight months, (La Roque quoted. Univ. Hist. ii. p. 363) or all the year; (Tacitus, Hist. v. 6.) and hence the mountain is justly denominated "white," as the Alps and Albion are from albon. (Bochart; Parkhurst, p. 155.) (Haydock) --- Away. Yet my people abandon me, to serve idols! Hebrew may have many other senses to the same purpose. Septuagint, "Shall the mountain springs fail, or snow from Libanus? Shall a stream forcibly driven by the wind, turn aside?" (Haydock) --- The laws of nature are observed by inanimate things, and shall my people be so foolish as to follow mere vanity.

Ver. 15. Ancient; followed by the patriarchs, chap. vi. 16.

Ver. 16. Head, through contempt (Calmet) and pity, Lamentations ii. 15.

Ver. 17. Burning. Hebrew kadim, "eastern," (Haydock) coming from Desert Arabia, Exodus x. 13. (Calmet) --- Back. Thus the Lord now treats the synagogue. (St. Jerome)

Ver. 18. Prophet. Jeremias will not cease to upbraid us with our transgressions; or we have guides as good as him, and we shall not be left destitute, as he would intimate. --- Tongue, detraction; or make him suffer for what he says. In all the transactions of this prophet, Christ was foreshewn; (Calmet) and here, particularly, the Jews demand the crucifixion. (St. Jerome) (Worthington)

Ver. 20. Remember, &c. This is spoken in the person of Christ, persecuted by the Jews, and prophetically denouncing the evils that should fall upon them in punishment of their crimes. (Challoner) --- Jeremias had prayed earnestly for the people, chap. xiv. 17. (Haydock)

Ver. 21. Therefore. He foretells of the event, and approves of the chastisement of the impenitent, (Calmet) whose "impurity might be a bad precedent for others.["] (St. Jerome) See chap. xvii. 18.

Ver. 22. For. Protestants, "when." (Haydock) --- Robber. So Nabuchodonosor and all professional conquerors are styled. (Calmet)

Ver. 23. Destroy. Hebrew, "with them." Use them as vessels of ignominy: abutere. (Haydock)


Bible Text & Cross-references:

As clay in the hand of the potter, so is Israel in God's hand. He pardoneth penitents, and punisheth the obstinate. They conspire against Jeremias, for which he denounceth to them the miseries that hang over them.

1 The word that came to Jeremias from the Lord, saying:

2 Arise, and go down into the potter's house, and there thou shalt hear my words.

3 And I went down into the potter's house, and behold he was doing a work on the wheel.

4 And the vessel was broken which he was making of clay with his hands: and turning, he made another vessel, as it seemed good in his eyes to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

6 *Cannot I do with you, as this potter, O house of Israel, saith the Lord? behold as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

7 I will suddenly speak against a nation, and against a kingdom, *to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy it.

8 If that nation against which I have spoken, shall repent of their evil, I also will repent of the evil that I have thought to do to them.

9 And I will suddenly speak of a nation and of a kingdom, to build up and plant it.

10 If it shall do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice: I will repent of the good that I have spoken to do unto it.

11 Now, therefore, tell the men of Juda, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying: Thus saith the Lord: Behold I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: *let every man of you return from his evil way, and make ye your ways and your doings good.

12 And they said: We have no hopes: for we will go after our own thoughts, and we will do every one according to the perverseness of his evil heart.

13 Therefore, thus saith the Lord: Ask among the nations: Who hath heard such horrible things, as the virgin of Israel hath done to excess?

14 Shall now the snow of Libanus fail from the rock of the field? or can the cold waters that gush out and run down, be taken away?

15 Because my people have forgotten me, sacrificing in vain, and stumbling in their ways, in ancient paths, to walk by them in a way not trodden:

16 *That their land might be given up to desolation, and to a perpetual hissing: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and wag his head.

17 As a burning wind will I scatter them before the enemy: I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their destruction.

18 And they said: Come, and let us invent devices against Jeremias: for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet: come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us give no heed to all his words.

19 Give heed to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries.

20 Shall evil be rendered for good, because they have digged a pit for my soul? Remember that I have stood in thy sight, to speak good for them, and to turn away thy indignation from them.

21 Therefore, deliver up their children to famine, and bring them into the hands of the sword: let their wives be bereaved of children, and widows: and let their husbands be slain by death: let their young men be stabbed with the sword in battle.

22 Let a cry be heard out of their houses: for thou shalt bring the robber upon them suddenly: because they have digged a pit to take me, and have hid snares for my feet.

23 But thou, O Lord, knowest all their counsel against me unto death: forgive not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from thy sight: let them be overthrown before thy eyes, in the time of thy wrath do thou destroy them.



6: Isaias xlv. 9.; Romans ix. 20.

7: Jeremias i. 10.

11: 4 Kings xvii. 13.; Jeremias xxv. 5. and xxxv. 15.; Jonas iii. 9.

16: Jeremias xix. 8. and xlix. 3. and l. 13.