28. They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
28. Omnes perversi perversorum ambulantes in obtrectatione (dicemus postea de hac voce;) aes (aut, chalybs, ut alii vertunt,) vel ferrum; omnes perditores (vel, corruptores) sunt.
The Prophet now shews what he found the Jews to be, whose manners and proceedings he had been commanded to observe. Had he said this at first, either the fury of the people would have been kindled, or his judgment would have been treated with contempt: but when God shewed what he had known through his servant, it had more weight, and then the fury of the people was also repressed, when they understood that it would avail them nothing to fight against God.
He says, that they were
He afterwards adds, that they
"Go not," or walk not, "among thy people with slander."
Yet this phrase may be otherwise explained, that is, that they walked in calumnies, or that they perverted everything. But in this place, the word slander, seems too feeble, as the Prophet, in my judgment, means more, even the audacity of the people, so that they allowed themselves every liberty in sinning, and thus walked in their own wickedness.
He at last adds, that they were
1 "Their impudence resembles brass, and their obstinacy may be compared to iron."-Lowth.
2 This verse and the preceding have been amended, and for the most part conjecturally, by Blayney, and though with the approbation of Horsley, yet with no satisfactory reasons. That the Prophet was made as it were a fortress, appears from Jeremiah 1:18: and there is here an evident allusion to that, though his being made a watchtower, or a watchman occupying such a place, was for a different purpose. The two verses I thus render,-
27. A watchtower have I given thee among my people, A fortress, that thou mightest know and try their way; Then we are told what he had found them to be,- All of them are the apostates of apostates, Companions of the slanderer; Brass and iron are all of them, Corrupted are they.
"The apostates of apostates," mean thorough, confirmed apostates, as "servant of servants" means the basest: "companions," etc., is literally, "Walkers with, "etc. "All of them, "clearly belong to "Brass and iron, "as "they" follows "corrupted." The ancient versions are not satisfactory, and the Targum is paraphrastic; but they give the general meaning. "Prover" or "examiner" is what the versions give for "watchtower." "Fortress" is omitted in the Septuagint, the Arabic, and the Targum, and is rendered "strong" by the Vulgate. "The apostates" is left out by the Septuagint and the Arabic, and is rendered "princes" by the Vulgate, Syriac, and the Targum. For "companions of the slanderer, "the Septuagint and Arabic have "walking perversely-
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