Jeremiah 7:26
Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
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(26) 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.”

7:21-28 God shows that obedience was required of them. That which God commanded was, Hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord thy God. The promise is very encouraging. Let God's will be your rule, and his favour shall be your happiness. God was displeased with disobedience. We understand the gospel as little as the Jews understood the law, if we think that even the sacrifice of Christ lessens our obligation to obey.Imagination - Better, as in the margin.

And went backward - literally, as in the margin; i. e., they turned their back upon Me to follow their own devices.

26. hardened … neck—(De 31:27; Isa 48:4; Ac 7:51).

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.

Their fathers had done bad enough, but they were so far from reforming, that they did worse than their fathers, 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.

Yet they hearkened not unto me,.... Speaking by the prophets:

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:

they did worse than their fathers; every generation grew more and more wicked, and went on to be so until the measure of their iniquity was filled up; hence it follows:

Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
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 7:26But they have not regarded that which was foremost and most cardinal in the law. They hearkened not, sc. to my voice; and instead of walking in the ways commanded, they walked in the counsels of the stubbornness of their evil heart. בּמעצות is stat. absol., and בּשׁררוּת is co-ordinated with it in apposition, instead of being subordinated; cf. Ew. 289, c. The lxx have not seen their way to admit such a co-ordination, and so have omitted the second term; and in this, Movers, Hitz., and Graf have followed them, deleting the word as a mere gloss. As to "the stubbornness of their evil heart," see on Jeremiah 3:17. יהיוּ לאחור, they were backwards, not forwards, i.e., they so walked as to turn to me the back and not the face. היה with ל expresses the direction or aim of a thing. The subject to these clauses is the Israelites from the time of Moses down to that of Jeremiah. This is shown by the continuation of the same idea in Jeremiah 7:25 and Jeremiah 7:26. From the time the fathers were led out of Egypt till the present time, God has with anxious care been sending prophets to exhort and warn them; but they have not hearkened, they have made their neck hard, i.e., were stiffnecked, and did worse than their fathers, i.e., each succeeding generation did more wickedly than that which preceded it. On למן היּום, (the period) from the the remarks on Haggai 2:18. The ל gives to the mention of the time the value of an independent clause, to which that which is said regarding that time is joined by ו consec. יום is adverbial accusative: by the day, i.e., daily, in early morn, i.e., with watchful care sending (on this expression, see at Jeremiah 7:13). יום acquires this sense, not in virtue of its standing for יום יום, but by reason of its connection with the two infinitives absoll.
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