Jeremiah 7:26
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)
(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.
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.But instead of vexing Him (Jahveh) they rather vex themselves, inasmuch as God causes the consequences of their idolatry to fall on their own head. אתם is used reflexively: se ipsos; cf. Ew. 314, c; Gesen. 124, 1, b. For the cause of the shame of their face, i.e., to prepare for themselves the shame of their face, to cover their face with shame; cf. 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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