For the idols have spoken vanity
The vanities of the Gentiles cannot give rain; if they promise it, they speak vain things; God only can give it, and therefore it must, be asked of him, ( Jeremiah 14:22 ) . The word for idols is "teraphim", the same as in ( Genesis 31:19 ) ( Hosea 3:4 ) and here signifies worshippers of idols, as the Targum interprets it; and may be understood of the idolatrous Papists who worship idols of gold, silver, brass, and wood, ( Revelation 9:20 Revelation 9:21 ) and who speak lies in hypocrisy, great swelling words of vanity, and even blasphemy against God, his name, his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven, ( 1 Timothy 4:1 1 Timothy 4:2 ) ( Revelation 13:6 ) . Jarchi on ( 2 Kings 23:24 ) , says, the teraphim are images that speak by sorcerers or sorceries; and to such evils the followers of the man of sin are addicted, ( Revelation 9:21 ) ( 18:23 ) and the Jews F12 have a notion that those images were so formed, that they were capable of speaking and talking with men; see ( Hosea 3:4 ) they seem to confound them with the "talisman": and the diviners have seen a lie;
delivered it out, and others believed it, being given up to judicial blindness, because they received not the love of the truth, ( 2 Thessalonians 2:10 2 Thessalonians 2:11 ) . The Targum is,
``the diviners prophesy falsehood;''or preach false doctrine, as the Romish clergy do, who are meant by the diviners: and have told false dreams;
about transubstantiation, purgatory, &c. which are visionary things; false doctrines are compared to dreams, ( Jeremiah 23:25 Jeremiah 23:27 Jeremiah 23:28 Jeremiah 23:32 ) : they comfort in vain;
by works of supererogation, by selling pardons, and praying souls out of purgatory: therefore they went their way as a flock;
as a flock of sheep straying from the fold. The Targum is,
``they are scattered as sheep are scattered;''that is, the Jews, being hardened against the Christian religion, by the idolatry, lies, and dreams of the Papists, wander about in their mistakes and errors concerning the Messiah; which is their case to this day, and will be until the man of sin is destroyed: they were troubled, because [there was] no shepherd;
or, "no king", as the Targum paraphrases it; that is, the King Messiah, according to them, is not yet come; which is their affliction and trouble, that they are as sheep without a shepherd: or, "they answered", that there "is no shepherd" F13; they replied to the diviners, the tellers of false dreams and idolaters, and affirmed that the Messiah is not come, and that the pope of Rome is not the shepherd and bishop of souls.
F12 Targum Jon. in Gen. xxxi. 19. R. Eliezer Pirke, c. 36. fol. 40. 1.
F13 (her Nya yk wney) "testificati sunt nullum fuisse pastorem", Junius & Tremellius, Heb.; "responderunt", Piscator; "respondebunt quod non sit pastor", Burkius.