Yet they listened not to me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Worse than their fathers.—The rapid survey of the past makes it doubtful whether the comparison is made between the generations that came out of Egypt and their immediate followers, or between those followers and their successors. Probably the general thought was that the whole history of Israel had been one of progressive deterioration, reaching its climax in the generation in which Jeremiah lived. His words find a striking parallel in the complaint of the Roman historian (Livy, Præf), or of the poet :—
“Ætas parentum, pejor avis, tulit
Nos nequiores.”—Hor., Od. iii. 6.
“Our fathers’ age, more stained with crime
Than were their sires in older time,
Has brought us forth a later race
Yet more iniquitous and base.”
worse than their fathers—(Jer 16:12). In Jer 7:22 He had said, "your fathers"; here He says, "their fathers"; the change to the third person marks growing alienation from them. He no longer addresses themselves, as it would be a waste of words in the case of such hardened rebels.Judges 2:19, Jeremiah 9:3; and whereas he had said before your fathers, now changing the person he saith
their fathers, as it were in great displeasure turning away from them to the prophet, as one speaking, but in vain, to such a stupid people.
nor inclined their ear; to what was said to them; would not listen to it, and much less obey what was commanded them:
but hardened their neck; and so became stiffnecked, and would not submit to bear the yoke of the law:Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. made their neck stiff] Cp. for the phrase ch. Jeremiah 19:15; 2 Kings 17:14; Nehemiah 9:16-17; Nehemiah 9:29; Proverbs 29:1.Jeremiah 3:25. - For (Jeremiah 7:20) because of this idolatrous work, the wrath of the Lord will pour itself over the land in the consuming fire of war (cf. Jeremiah 4:4 with Jeremiah 5:17, Nahum 1:6, etc.), so as to cut off men and beasts, trees and fruit.
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