And that they might not think that they were for no good reason terrified, he declares that God had sworn by himself We indeed know that when God makes an oath, either when he promises anything, or when he denounces punishment on sinners, it is done on account of men's sloth and dullness. For our hearts through unbelief will hardly receive a simple truth, unless God removes the impediments; and this is the design of making an oath, when God does not only speak, but in order to render us more certain of our salvation, he confirms his promise by introducing his own name as a pledge. The reason is similar as to threatenings; for so great is the false security of sinners, that they are deaf until God, as it were, with force penetrates into their hearts. Hence he says, that God made an oath by himself; for it seemed incredible to the Jews, that the family which had been set apart by God from the world, would ever perish. It now follows:
 "These words" include the "word" of message contained in the second verse, and the "word" of precept in the third verse; and "this word" or thing, at the beginning of the fourth verse, is the latter -- the word of precept. -- Ed.