New International Version
Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.
King James Bible
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
Darby Bible Translation
Can an Ethiopian change his skin, or a leopard his spots? [Then] may ye also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.
World English Bible
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.
Young's Literal Translation
Doth a Cushite change his skin? and a leopard his spots? Ye also are able to do good, who are accustomed to do evil.
Jeremiah 13:23 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Can the Ethiopian change his skin - Can a black, at his own pleasure, change the color of his skin? Can the leopard at will change the variety of his spots? These things are natural to them, and they cannot be altered; so sin, and especially your attachment to idolatry, is become a second nature; and we may as well expect the Ethiopian to change his skin, and the leopard his spots, as you to do good, who have been accustomed to do evil. It is a matter of the utmost difficulty to get a sinner, deeply rooted in vicious habits, brought to the knowledge of himself and God. But the expression does not imply that the thing is as impossible in a moral as it is in a natural sense: it only shows that it is extremely difficult, and not to be often expected; and a thousand matters of fact prove the truth of this. But still, what is impossible to man is possible to God. See the note on Jeremiah 13:27.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
accustomed. Heb. taught.
LibraryAn Impossibility Made Possible
'Can the Ethiopian change his skin?'--JER. xiii. 23. 'If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.'--2 COR. v. 17. 'Behold, I make all things new.'--REV. xxi. 5. Put these three texts together. The first is a despairing question to which experience gives only too sad and decisive a negative answer. It is the answer of many people who tell us that character must be eternal, and of many a baffled man who says, 'It is of no use--I have tried and can do nothing.' The second text is the grand Christian …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Cavils of the Pharisees Concerning Purification, and the Teaching of the Lord Concerning Purity - the Traditions Concerning Hand-Washing' and Vows. '
Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them.
Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted.
"My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good."
Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning.
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