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Lecture One Hundred and Seventy-eighth.

In the verse we read yesterday, Jeremiah again repeated that the Kedareans would be so plundered by their enemies that nothing would remain for them. He therefore speaks again of camels and of cattle: he says that the abundance of cattle and the camels would be for a spoil and plunder But why he names camels and cattle rather than fields and vineyards, I briefly explained yesterday. For when a fertile country is the subject, whether abounding in corn or in vines, the Prophets spoke of such possessions; but when, as now, a reference is made to a country abounding in cattle and also mountainous, the Prophet speaks only of camels and of cattle; for the mode of living in that nation, as it has been stated, was austere and hard, and almost below the condition of man. When food for their cattle failed them, they went elsewhere, and carried in their waggons all their furniture.

It now follows, 1 will disperse them to every wind Here Jeremiah predicts the scattering of that nation. It sometimes happens that a country is plundered by enemies, when yet the inhabitants, stripped of their goods, remain there and live in poverty. But together with poverty, Jeremiah declares that there would be no ordinary exile, for the words are emphatical, I will scatter them to every wind There is here an implied contrast between that people and chaff; for as the chaff is carried away in all directions by blasts of wind, so would be, as Jeremiah shews, the scattering of that people. And he mentions also the utmost corners, קצוצי פאה, kotsutsi pae Jerome usually renders the words, “shorn of hair,” but very improperly; for there is no reason why the other people mentioned before should be thus called; for in Jeremiah 7 and Jeremiah 25 Jeremiah did not speak of the Kedareans, and yet he called many nations קצוצי פאה kotsutsi pae The verb קצף kotsets, whence this word comes, means to cut off; and פאה pae, signifies the extremity of anything. This phrase then is the same as though he mentioned those bordered by an extremity or a corner. And this is most suitable to this passage; for it was not probable that they who dwelt in recesses should be thus scattered. When any wealthy country is plundered by enemies, they flee here and there in all directions; for instance, were a part of Italy laid waste, they would flee to those parts who could receive fugitives; but when a nation dwells in an extreme corner, where could it betake itself, when routed by enemies? The Prophet therefore enhances the misery of exile when he says, that people at the extremities would become fugitives, so as to be scattered through all parts of the world.

He adds, and from all its sides will I bring their destruction. He confirms the same thing; for when an evil enters on one side, neighbors may assist; but when calamity urges on every side, miserable men must then of necessity be scattered; and they must seek some distant exile, as there is no part that can show them hospitality. All this then refers to their scattering. It afterwards follows, —

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