Thus shall you say to them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth…
These words are written in the Chaldee tongue, whereas the rest of the prophecy is in the Hebrew: the reason whereof you shall then have, when we have first seen the occasion, coherence, and sum of the words, which is as followeth: The prophet having in the end of the last chapter threatened the Jews, and all the neighbour nations with captivity, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and the Arabians of the wilderness: in this chapter leaving out the rest he singles out the Jews, to instruct them for their demeanour and carriage in their captivity; to wit, that they should not learn the way of the heathen whither they should be carried, that they should not worship the signs of heaven, nor regard their gods of gold and silver, which could do neither evil nor good. But lest they should think that they had acquit themselves well, if they abstained from what they should see the heathen do, he tells them they must yet do more than this, they must make open profession against their gods; they must proclaim against their idolatry and false worship; and therefore in the middle of the exhortation, he interlaceth these words in the Chaldee tongue, "Thus shall ye say," etc. These words then contain a proclamation, which the Jews are enjoined from God to make against the gods of the Gentiles, when they should be carried captive to Babylon, wherein are to be considered two things —
I. THE PROCLAIMING ITSELF.
II. THE SUM OF THE PROCLAMATION. The proclaiming in these words, "Thus shall ye say unto them." Here are three things —
1. The persons who, namely, Ye Jews, who are the worshippers of the living God; ye captive Jews, carried out of your own land, and living as slaves and vassals under your proud lords the Babylonians; "Ye shall say unto them."
2. The persons to whom, namely, your lordly masters of Babylon.
3. The manner how; "thus," that is, not in cryptic, or mystical terms, or in your own Hebrew mutterings, a language which they understand not, but in the vulgar tongue of Babylon.
4. In the sum of the proclamation are two things contained —
(1) A description of false gods in these words, "The gods which made not the heavens and the earth."(2) Their doom in these words, "They shall perish from the earth and from these heavens.
(J. Mede, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.