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Jeremiah 17:2

2. Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.

2. Secundum recordari filios ipsorum (hoc est, cum memores erunt filii ipsorum) altarium ipsorum et lucorum ipsorum super arborem frondosam, super colles excelsos.


Interpreters seem not to me to have perceived the design of the Prophet here, at least they have not clearly explained the subject. He proceeds, as I think, with what he said at the end of the last verse, — that the iniquity of Judah was graven on the altars, or on the horns of the altars: how was this? even because they transmitted to posterity whatever they devised as to their ungodly forms of worship. How then was iniquity graven on the horns of the altars? even because it was not a temporary wickedness only, when the Jews cast aside the Law and followed their corrupt superstitions; but, on the contrary, their iniquity flowed down, as it were, by a hereditary right, to their posterity. Justly then does Jeremiah accuse them, that they were not only led away into evil through the whole course of their own lives, but that they also corrupted their children, for they left to them memorials of their own superstitions.

Some give this explanation, “As they remember their children, so also their altars;” as though the Prophet had said, that idolaters burnt with such ardor, that they held the altars dedicated to their idols as dear to them as their own children. But this view seems too forced. I then have no doubt but that the Prophet here amplifies their wickedness, when he says, that it was graven on the horns of the altars; for their posterity remembered the superstitions, which they had received from their fathers. He mentions also their groves; 170170     The word rendered “groves,” means also idols. See 2 Kings 23:6, where “grove” in our version must mean an idol. What follows here, “near the green tree,” shews clearly that “idols,” or images, are the things meant; and such is the version given by Venema and Horsley.Ed. for on or near every shady tree they built altars; and also on all high hills. It follows —

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