|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:5-17 The sentence passed upon Jerusalem is very dreadful, the manner of expression makes it still more so. Who is able to stand in God's sight when he is angry? Those who live and die impenitent, will perish for ever unpitied; there is a day coming when the Lord will not spare. Let not persons or churches, who change the Lord's statutes, expect to escape the doom of Jerusalem. Let us endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Sooner or later God's word will prove itself true.
Verse 7. - Because ye multiplied, etc.; better, with the Revised Version, because ye are turbulent. The vereb is cognate with the noun translated "tumult" in 1 Samuel 4:14; Psalm 65:7; Isaiah 33:3, though it is more commonly rendered "multitude." It is not (as stated by Currey and Gardiner) the verb rendered "rage" in Psalm 2:1. The former meaning fits in fairly here, hot some critics (Smend) suppose that the text is corrupt. A conjectural emendation gives, "ye were counted with the nations." Neither have done according to the judgments; better, with the Revised Version, ordinances. Taking the words as they stand, the words find their explanation in Jeremiah 2:10, 11. In doing as the nations (Ezekiel 11:12; Ezekiel 16:47), Jerusalem had not done as they did, for they were at least true to the gods whom they worshipped, and she had rebelled against her God. Some Hebrew manuscripts and some versions omit the negative, but this is probably a correction made in order to bring about a verbal agreement with Ezekiel 11:12.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore thus saith the Lord God,.... Having observed their sins, and which are still enlarged upon, the Lord proceeds to denounce his judgments against them:
because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you; not in numbers, nor in wealth and riches, or in blessings and privileges, and therefore grew wanton and forgetful; though this was true: but in sins and wickedness, which abounded among them, and in which they exceeded the nations round about them; and so the Targum paraphrases it,
"because that ye have sinned more than the people that are round about you:''
and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments; which as repeated to show the certainty of fact, and how much the Lord resented it:
neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you. The Syriac version leaves out the negative particle and renders the words thus, "but ye have done the judgments of the nations which are round about you"; and it may be observed, that it is omitted in parallel text, Ezekiel 11:12; and this is what the Jews are often reproved for, that they followed the laws and customs of the Gentiles, and worshipped their gods; and the opposition to the preceding clause seems to require this sense; but the retaining the negative particle is confirmed by the Targum, Masora, and the Septuagint and Arabic versions; and also by the Talmud (t), which reconciles the passage with the parallel text before mentioned, thus,
"according to those things which are right among them (the Gentiles) ye have not done; but according to what are corrupt among them ye have done;''
and the meaning is, either that they did not walk according to the law and light of nature, which the Gentiles had, and attended to, Romans 2:14; or that they did not follow them in their conduct and behaviour; they were not so zealous for the true God as the Heathens were for their idols; they were not so tenacious of the laws and worship the true God of Israel as the Gentiles were of their superstitious rites and ceremonies; the Gentiles did not change their gods, and manner of worship, but retained what, they received from their ancestors time immemorial; but the Jews changed their glory for that which did not profit, Jeremiah 2:11.
(t) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 39, 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. multiplied—rather, "have been more abundantly outrageous"; literally, "to tumultuate"; to have an extravagant rage for idols.
neither have done according to the judgments of the nations—have not been as tenacious of the true religion as the nations have been of the false. The heathen "changed" not their gods, but the Jews changed Jehovah for idols (see Eze 5:6, "changed My judgments into wickedness," that is, idolatry, Jer 2:11). The Chaldean version and the Masora support the negative. Others omit it (as it is omitted in Eze 11:12), and translate, "but have done according to the judgments," &c. However, both Eze 11:12 and also this verse are true. They in one sense "did according to the heathen," namely, in all that was bad; in another, namely, in that which was good, zeal for religion, they did not. Eze 5:9 also proves the negative to be genuine; because in changing their religion, they have not done as the nations which have not changed theirs, "I (also) will do in thee that which I have not done."
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