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Ezekiel 16:43

43. Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations.

43. Quia 131131     “Because.” — Calvin. non es recordata dierum adolescentiae tuae, et irritasti me in hoc toto 132132     Or, “you have been tumultuous against me.” — Calvin. etiam ego viam tuam in caput reddam, 133133     “I will put.” — Calvin. dicit Dominator Iehovah: et non fecisti cogitationem super cunctis abominationibus tuis. 134134     Others translate, “that you may not execute thy thought in all your abominations.” Jerome reads it in the first person, and translates it thus: “I have not fulfilled my thought according to your abominations,” as if God would praise his own clemency here in being so moderate in his wrath; but this is altogether foreign to the subject. — Calvin.

 

He first blames the Jews for not reflecting on the liberality of their treatment. But that ingratitude was too shameful, since God had not omitted any kind of beneficence for their ornament. But since they thought themselves not adorned with sufficient splendor by God, and that he was less munificent than he ought to be, it may here be gathered that they were unworthy of such great and remarkable benefits. Finally, God here shows that how severely soever he punished the Jews, yet they deserved it for their ingratitude in not thinking him sufficiently liberal towards them: for their spirits were utterly broken. If a wife leave her husband, she is either compelled to do so by his perverse conduct, or else she betrays an illiberal disposition if she has been treated honorably. But since the Jews were bound to God so strongly in so many ways, their perfidy and revolt was so much the more detestable; for God does not suffer his blessings to be despised by us: since we must always mark the reason of his omitting nothing which may testify his paternal love towards us, namely, that we may celebrate his goodness. But when we turn his benefits to the profanation of his name, that is like mingling heaven and earth. Hence this passage against ingratitude must be remarked.

He now adds, thou, has been tumultuous against me, or has moved or irritated me. רגן, regen, sometimes signifies to frighten, but it means here to quarrel with, contend, or be in a rage with: for the word may, in my opinion, be taken either actively or passively, and also as a neuter. If we take it in the neuter sense, it will mean that the Jews were tumultuous against God, as if they were seized by a turbulent spirit, so as to neglect and despise him, and to indulge themselves in wickedness. If you prefer the active sense, it means you have irritated me. He adds again, I also will recompense thy way upon thy head, 135135     We must understand the pronoun “thy” before “head.” — Calvin. by which words God again affirms that he was not induced to punish the Jews by any rash or inconsiderate zeal, since if any one considered their crimes, he will acknowledge that they had received a just recompense. In fine, the mouth of the Jews is here stopped, lest they should suppose God to act unfairly when they were only reaping the fruit of their deeds. He next adds, and you have not made consideration I have already given two expositions in the note, but neither of them pleases me, for it seems altogether adverse to the Prophet’s context to receive it as if God were the speaker: besides, it is not necessary to change the tense of the verb, and take the past for the future, when the sense tends in another direction. It agrees far better that the Jews did not recall to mind their own abominations so as to be displeased with them. To make consideration, means to reflect upon. זמה, zemeh, is mostly taken in a good sense, and signifies consideration simply; and as this is the word’s proper meaning, we see that the Prophet here accuses the Jews of stupidity, because they did not turn their attention to reconsider their abominations. Those who take it for lewdness distort the sense. The whole meaning is, that the Jews were worthy of the horrible destruction which hung over them, because they were not only obstinate in their ingratitude, but altogether stupid: for their abominations were so foul before the nations, as we have formerly seen, that the daughters of the Philistines were ashamed of the wickedness of the nation, but they did not apply their minds to the consideration of these things. Since, therefore, their abominations were so gross, it was a mark of the greatest indolence not to turn their attention to review them. It now follows —


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