13. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
13. Et nunc bonificate (bonas facite) vias vestras et studia vestra, et obtemperate voci Jehovae Dei vestri, et poenitebit Jehovam omnis mali quod pronunciavit contra vos.
He not only confirms here what he had taught, but also reproves the hardness and obstinate wickedness of the priests and prophets; for though he addressed the princes and the people, he yet no doubt designed to touch more sharply those ungodly men who set themselves up against God; and at the same time his discourse referred to them all, when he said, "How have I sinned? I have endeavored to promote your safety, must I therefore die?" We hence see that the Prophet not only confirmed what he had said, but also accused his adversaries of ingratitude; for nothing could have been more kind, and ought to have been more acceptable, than to be called to repent, that they might receive mercy from God: "What was the object of my doctrine? even that ye might repent; and what does repentance bring? even salvation; for God is ready to forgive you. Now ye cannot bear to hear, that God would be merciful to you. What madness is this?" We now then see the design of the Prophet.
And this passage deserves to be noticed; for God will render to all the ungodly their own reward; not only because they harden themselves against every instruction, but also because they are manifest and, as it were, sworn enemies to their own salvation, inasmuch as they refuse the necessary remedy, and do not allow themselves to be restored to the right way, that they may be forgiven. Very weighty, then, is what he now says, that no fault could be found in his doctrine, except that it proved galling to the wicked, but that they could yet obtain peace, provided they sought reconciliation with God.1
Grant, Almighty God, that since thou hast not only called us once to the hope of an eternal inheritance, but invitest us continually to repentance, while we cease not by our continual sins to depart from thee, -- O grant that we may not with deaf ears reject thy voice, but be pliable and submissive to thee, and that we may also so accustom ourselves to bear the yoke, that we may prove, through our whole life, that we are of thy sheep, and that Christ, thine only-begotten Son, whom thou hast set over us, is indeed our Shepherd, until we shall be gathered unto that kingdom which he has obtained for us by his own blood. -- Amen.
1 The words are, --
13. And now make good your ways and your doings, etc.;
or, But now, etc. It reads better than "therefore," as in our version, borrowed from the Vulg. The Sept. is "and," and the Targ. also. "Amend" of our version, is the Syr.; "make good" is the rendering of the other early versions. He mentions what is posterior first; to hear God's voice is in order previous to the making good our ways; but this is according to the practice often adopted by the prophets. -- Ed.
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