|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-7 A practical disbelief of God's government was at the bottom of all israel's wickedness; as if God could not see it or did not heed it. Their sins appear on every side of them. Their hearts were inflamed by evil desires, like a heated oven. In the midst of their troubles as a nation, the people never thought of seeking help from God. The actual wickedness of men's lives bears a very small proportion to what is in their hearts. But when lust is inwardly cherished, it will break forth into outward sin. Those who tempt others to drunkenness never can be their real friends, and often design their ruin. Thus men execute the Divine vengeance on each other. Those are not only heated with sin, but hardened in sin, who continue to live without prayer, even when in trouble and distress.
Verse 2. - And they consider not in their hearts (margin, say not to their heart) that I remember all their wickedness. Between the common reading libravken and bilravken found in several manuscripts by Kennicott and De Rossi, there is a not unimportant difference. The latter, equivalent to saying "in their heart," which is the usual expression, denotes one's inward thoughts or reasonings with himself; the former, equivalent to saying "to their heart," is an address to, or remonstrance with, the heart with the view of restraining its evil purposes. God's remembrance of wickedness imports its punishment. Now their own doings have beset them about. Their doings
(1) have become evident or conspicuous as a robe or garment with which a man is surrounded, or a troop of body-guards placed about him. Or
(2) the terrors and penal consequences of their sins have surrounded them like a garment, as we elsewhere read, "He clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment." In this latter sense the figure is rather taken from enemies besieging a town or city, and beleaguering it closely all around, or from lictors, i.e. officers of the law surrounding them, or even witnesses confronting them on every side. Kimchi explains the sense as follows: "Now their evil deeds surround them, which were before my face and were not hidden from me; and, while they receive the punishment, they will remember that 1 know all the whole, and that it is I who return their reward upon their head." They are before my face, in the last clause, has a striking and awe-inspiring parallel in the ninetieth psalm: "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance." Aben Ezra's exposition is somewhat obscure; it is as follows: "They think that I do not see them, and they do not observe that their actions encircle them, as they are before my face."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness,.... That is, the people of the ten tribes, and the inhabitants of Samaria, whose iniquity and wickedness are said to be discovered, and to be very notorious: and yet "they said not to their hearts" (m), as in the original text; they did not think within themselves; they did not commune with their own hearts; they did not put themselves in mind, or put this to their consciences, that the Lord saw all their wicked actions, their idolatry, falsehood, thefts, and robberies, and whatsoever they were guilty of; that the Lord took notice of them, and put them down in the book of his remembrance, in order to call them to an account, and punish them for them:
now their own doings have beset them about; or, "that now their own doings", &c. (n); they do not consider in their hearts that their sins are all around them, on every side, committed by them openly, and in abundance, and are notorious to all their neighbours, and much more to the omniscient God: and that
they are before my face; so the Targum,
"which are revealed before me;''
were manifest in his sight, before whom all things are; but this they did not consider, and therefore went on in that bold and daring manner they did. Some understand these clauses of the punishment of their sins, which should surround them on every side, that they should not be able to escape, like persons closely besieged in a city, that they cannot get out; alluding to the future siege of Samaria, when it would be a plain case, though they did not now think of it, that all their sins were before the Lord, and were observed by him.
(m) "et non dicebant ad cor suum", Cocceius; "et non dicunt cordi suo", Schmidt. (n) "quod circumdent ipsos opera eorum", Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. consider not in their hearts—literally, "say not to," &c. (Ps 14:1).
that I remember—and will punish.
their own doings have beset them about—as so many witnesses against them (Ps 9:16; Pr 5:22).
before my face—(Ps 90:8).
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