28. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
28. Impinguati sunt (nam
Here the Prophet reproves those who were high in dignity, station, and wealth, and who wished at the same time to be deemed inviolable, because they were the rulers of the people. He had spoken before generally, but now he assails the higher orders, the king's counselors, the priests, the judges, and all endowed with authority. He says, that they were swoln with
It hence appears that the Prophet was not dealing with the common people nor with private individuals; but that he openly and avowedly reproved the king's court and the judges. "They judge not judgment, "he says; which means, that they had no care for executing justice, but suffered thefts and robberies to go unpunished: and he still enhances their guilt and says,
And he says, that they yet
1 Expounders differ as to the meaning of these words. They are partly omitted by the Septuagint and Syriac. The Vulgate is, "et praeterierunt sermones meos pessime-and they have passed by my words very haughtily." The Targum is a loose version, "They have also transgressed the words of the law, they have done what is evil." Such meanings do not correspond with the context. The words literally are, "They have passed over (or, by) the words of wrong;" but as the term for "words" often means things, affairs, matters, the version may be, "matters of wrong, "or wrong things. These "matters of wrong" are afterwards specified, as will be seen in the following version,-
28. They have become fat, they have shined: Moreover, they have passed by matters of wrong; The cause they have not defended- The cause of the orphan, yet have they prospered; And the right of the meek have they not pleaded.
The word "moreover, "may be rendered "though, "as Blayney does, (see Nehemiah 6:1:) but the rest of the sentence is not so well rendered,-
Though they have gone beyond the claims of the wicked.
He conceived that the meaning is, that they granted to the wicked man more than he claimed, while they denied justice to the orphan and the poor. But what is more accordant with the words is, that he states here what he afterward specifies. It is not properly the "poor" who are meant, but the quiet, the humble: for the poor, strictly speaking, had not much to lose; hence the judges were not bribed to allow them to become a prey to dishonest men.-Ed.
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