We explained yesterday the declaration of the Prophet, — that the kingdom would again be restored by the Lord, if the king
and his servants and the whole people repented. He now introduces a commination, — that if they heard not, it was all over
with the palace and the city. But the word house, or palace is often repeated; for though the defenses of the city gave courage
to the people, yet what made them especially proud was
the confidence they felt that the kingdom had been promised to be for ever. Hence, they thought, that the royal dignity
could not possibly fall as long as the sun and moon continued in the heavens. (Psalm 89:38.) This false confidence is what the Prophet now meets, and he says, If ye will not hear these words, etc. He changes the number: he had said before this word, את הדבר הזה, at edeber eze; but he now says these words, את הדברים, at edeberim. But the singular number includes the whole of his doctrine; yet he now uses the plural number, because he had exhorted them
to change their life.
“These words” include the “word” of message contained in the second verse, and the “word” of precept in the third verse;
and “this word” or thing, at the beginning of the fourth verse, is the latter — the word of precept. — Ed.
And that they might not think that they were for no good reason terrified, he declares that God had sworn by himself We indeed know that when God makes an oath, either when he promises anything, or when he denounces punishment on sinners,
it is done on account of men’s sloth and dullness. For our hearts through
unbelief will hardly receive a simple truth, unless God removes the impediments; and this is the design of making an oath,
when God does not only speak, but in order to render us more certain of our salvation, he confirms his promise by introducing
his own name as a pledge. The reason is similar as to threatenings; for so great is the false security of sinners, that they
are deaf until God, as it were, with force penetrates into their hearts. Hence he says, that God made an oath by himself;
it seemed incredible to the Jews, that the family which had been set apart by God from the world, would ever perish. It