8. And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city?
8. Et transibunt gentes multae per urbem hanc, et dicent quisque socio suo (vir ad socium suum, ad verbum,) cur fecit Jehova in hunc modum urbi huic magnae?
9. Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.
9. Et dicent, Quia dereliquierunt foedus Jehovae Dei sui, et sese inclinarunt coram diis alienis, et coluerunt eos.
The Prophet shews in these words how blind the Jews were as to their own ruin, in disregarding in so refractory a manner the judgment of God. The words no doubt embrace two contrasts; he compares mortal men with God, and those many nations with him alone. The Jews could not bear God as their judge, and were still refractory and strove by their perverseness to overcome him. Then the Prophet says, that as they would not endure to be judged by God, judges would come who would pronounce on them a free impartial sentence; and who were they to be? the heathens. And then, as the Jews would not obey the one true God, the Prophet sets many nations in contrast with the one true God.
We hence see the full import of these words,
"The nations," he says, "will understand what ye do not comprehend, even that this city will exhibit an example of dreadful vengeance, and this will be the subject of their inquiry; but while God now of his own free will foretell this to you, ye close your ears; surely there would be no need of much inquiry in a matter so clear, were you not deaf and blind, and indeed obstinate, for God of his own accord warns you beforehand. What, then, can this be, that God forewarns you and ye refuse to hear him, except that the devil bewitches you?"
And he says,
He afterwards adds, that there would be not only a spirit of inquiry among the nations, but that every one would become spontaneously a judge of the whole people:
1 So the Versions, "through," and not, "by," as in our version; it is "nigh" in the Targ. The preposition is
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