John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible
- By the parable of a potter, God's absolute power and disposal of nations is set forth, verse 1-10.
- Judah's unparalleled revolt: and her judgments, verse 11-17.
- The prophet prays against his conspirators, verse 18-23.
Cannot I do - That God hath an absolute sovereign power to do what he pleases with the work of his hands: but he acts as a just judge, rendering to every man according to his works.
Of Lebanon - Lebanon had rocks, and also fruitful valleys; snow fell upon these rocks, and upon a thaw ran down into the lower places. Reason teaches men not to forsake a greater good for a less, tho' that greater good was but a poor creature comfort, not to be compared with God.
Vanity - Idols. Ancient paths - The ways wherein Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the ancient patriarchs walked. To walk - In a way not cast up, not fit for God's people to walk in.
Desolate - Not that this was the end they aimed at, but it was the end these courses would certainly issue in.
East wind - The east wind was in those parts the fiercest wind. As the east-wind scatters the chaff, so saith God, I will scatter them. In their calamity - And when they shall be in great calamity, I will turn my back upon them, I will not regard their prayers.
For - We have the church on our side; the regular priests and the prophets, they know God's mind as well as he. Let us smite him with the tongue - Expose him, representing him to be what the people hate.
Therefore - But is it lawful for God's servants to pray for evil against their enemies? It is not lawful for Christians. It is doubtless our duty, to pray for the conversion, forgiveness, and eternal salvation of our worst enemies.