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13 You have spoken harsh words against me, says the Lord. Yet you say, “How have we spoken against you?”

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Here again God expostulates with the Jews on account of their impious and wicked blasphemy in saying, that he disappointed his servants, and that he made no difference between good and evil, because he was kind to the unfaithful and the faithful indiscriminately, and also that he overlooked the obedience rendered to him.

He says now that their words grew strong; by which he denotes their insolence, as though he had said, Vous avez gagné le plus haut; for חזק, chezak, is to be strong. He means that such was the waywardness of the Jews that it could not by any means be checked; they were like men whom we see, who when once seized by rage and madness, become so vociferous that they will not listen to any admonitions or sane counsels. At first they murmur and are only heard to whisper; but when they have attained full liberty, they then send forth, as I have said, their furious clamours against heaven. This is the sin which the Prophet now condemns by saying, that the Jews grew strong in crying against God. 260260     
   Your words have waxen bold against me. — Newcome

   Your words against me have been hard. — Henderson.

   Ye have made heavy (or, overcharged — ἐβαρύνατε) against me your words. — Septuagint

   To “grow strong” is the idea expressed by Jerome and Marckius; and it is the common meaning of the verb. “Strong of forehead” in Ezekiel 3:7, is rendered “impudent” in our version, and very justly. Impudence or insolence is what is here evidently meant, —

   Insolent against me have been your words.

   — Ed.
They again answer and say, In what have we spoken against thee? 261261     Rather, “What have we been talking together against thee? The verb is in Niphal, and only found so here, in the sixteenth verse, Psalm 119:23, and Ezekiel 33:30. It denotes a mutual converse, a talking together, or a frequent converse. — Ed. It appears from these so many repetitions that the hypocrisy, which was united with great effrontery, could not be easily corrected in a people so refractory: it ought indeed to have come to their minds that they had wickedly accused God. But they acknowledge here no fault, “What meanest thou?” as though they wished to arraign the Prophet for having falsely charged them, inasmuch as they were conscious of no wrong.