Then said the Lord unto me, what seest thou, Jeremiah?
&c.] This question is put, in order that, upon his answer to it, he might have an explication of the vision: and I said, figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil,
that cannot be eaten, they are so evil;
or "so bad", or "because of badness" F2; which may be applied to mankind in general; who may be distinguished into good and bad: those that are good, who are made so by the grace of God; for none are so by nature, or of themselves; they are very good: they have many good things in them; they have a good heart, a new and a clean heart, and a right spirit created in them; they have a good understanding of spiritual things; they have a good will to that which is good, and good affections for God and Christ, and divine things; they have the good Spirit of God and his graces in them, and Christ and his word dwelling in them: and they do good things, and are prepared for every good work; they are good to others; pleasantly and acceptably good to God through Christ; and profitably good to their fellow saints and fellow creatures. On the other hand, those that are bad are exceeding bad; as they are by nature children of wrath, unclean, corrupt, loathsome, and abominable in the sight of God; so they are from their youth upward, and continue so, and are never otherwise; all in them, and that comes from them, are evil; their hearts are desperately wicked, the thoughts and imaginations of their hearts are evil continually; their words are idle, corrupt, and filthy, and all their actions sinful; there is no good in them, nor any done by them; they are good for nothing; they are of no use to God, to themselves, or others; sin has made them like itself, exceeding sinful: and now between these two sorts there is no medium; though all sins are not alike; and some in a comparative sense may be called greater or lesser sinners; yet all are exceeding bad, even the least: they are all of the same nature, and have the same wicked hearts; though some may be outwardly righteous before men; and hypocrites and formal professors are worst of all. There never were but two sorts of persons in the world; the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent; the children of God, and the children of the devil; and so things will appear hereafter at the great day; the one will be placed at Christ's right hand as good and righteous men, the other at his left hand as wicked, and will have separate states to all eternity: and so those figs are explained in the Talmud F3; the good figs, they are the perfect righteous; the bad figs, they are the perfect wicked.
F2 (erm) "prae pravitate", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "prae malitia", Schmidt.
F3 T. Bab. Erubim, fol. 21. 2.