|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:29-37 The nation had not been wrought upon by the judgements of God, but sought to justify themselves. The world is, to those who make it their home and their portion, a wilderness and a land of darkness; but those who dwell in God, have the lines fallen to them in pleasant places. Here is the language of presumptuous sinners. The Jews had long thrown off serious thoughts of God. How many days of our lives pass without suitable remembrance of him! The Lord was displeased with their confidences, and would not prosper them therein. Men employ all their ingenuity, but cannot find happiness in the way of sin, or excuse for it. They may shift from one sin to another, but none ever hardened himself against God, or turned from him, and prospered.
Verse 33. - Why trimmest thou thy way I rather, How well thou contrivest thy way, etc.? Therefore hast thou also taught, etc. The meaning which floated before our trans-labors seems to be this: "so utterly immoral is thy course of life, that even the worst of women ['wicked ones' is in the feminine] have been able to learn something from thee" (so the great Dutch scholar, De Dieu,in 1548). But a more natural rendering is, "Therefore [i.e. to gain thine ends] thou hast accustomed thy ways to those evil things." Nemo repente fuit tupissimus. It required a deliberate "accustoming," or "training" (such is the literal meaning of limad), to produce such a habit (ἕξις) as is here rebuked.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?.... To seek the love, and gain the affections and esteem, of the idolatrous nations; as a lascivious woman dresses herself out in the best manner to excite the lust and move the affections of her lovers; and as Jezebel, who painted her face, and tired her head, 2 Kings 9:30 or dressed it in the best manner, where the same word is used as here; so the Targum,
"why dost thou make thy way beautiful, to procure loves (or lovers) to be joined to the people?''
or the sense is, why art thou so diligent and industrious to make thy way, which is exceeding bad, look a good one, by sacrifices and ceremonies, oblations and ablutions, in order to seek and obtain my love and favour, which is all in vain? it is not to be gained by such methods:
therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways; the wicked idolatrous nations, to whom they joined themselves; these they taught their ways of sacrificing, their rites, ceremonies, and superstitions; or, as Jarchi interprets it, thou hast taught thyself the worst way among them all; that is, thou hast used thyself to it: there is a double reading in this clause. The Cetib, or writing, is "I have taught"; as if they were the words of God, saying, "wherefore I have taught"; or, "will teach"; that is, by punishing thee;
that thy ways are evil; or, as Kimchi explains it,
"I have taught thee by thy ways that they are evil, and evil shall come unto thee because of them.''
The Keri, or reading, is "thou hast taught"; which is confirmed by the Targum; and is followed by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and other versions. It is by some rendered, "seeing thou hast taught others thy evil ways" (p); not content to sin themselves, but taught others to do so, and yet would be thought good.
(p) "Quandoquidem etiam (alios) malas docuisti vias tuas", Noldius, p. 507. vid. No. 1998.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
33. Why trimmest—Maurer translates, "How skilfully thou dost prepare thy way," &c. But see 2Ki 9:30. "Trimmest" best suits the image of one decking herself as a harlot.
way—course of life.
therefore—accordingly. Or else, "nay, thou hast even," &c.
also … wicked ones—even the wicked harlots, that is, (laying aside the metaphor) even the Gentiles who are wicked, thou teachest to be still more so [Grotius].
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