7. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your hurt.
7. Et non audistis me, (non auscultastic mihi) dicit Jehova, ut provocaretis (hoc est, quia voluistis me irritare) in opere manuum vestrarum, in malum vobis.
He proves what he had said before, that the Jews had been wholly disobedient, though God had kindly offered and shewed that he would be reconciled to them, provided they turned from the heart to him. The fact that this message was not received by the Jews, was an evidence of extreme and irreclaimable obstinacy. And he enhances their guilt by saying, that ye might provoke me; for he intimates that they were led away to evil by a voluntary purpose, as though they wished to provoke God. The Prophet, then, by saying that ye might provoke me, accuses them of deliberate wickedness. It, indeed, often happens that men go astray through ignorance, and do not attend because no one warns them; but since God had so many times exhorted the Jews to repent, no other opinion could have been formed of them, but that they designedly wished, not only to despise God, but also to provoke him to the contest.
And this is what we ought carefully to notice, for whosoever has been taught the will of God, unless he obeys, he cannot escape the charge of a voluntary obstinacy, as he has resolved, as it were, to carry on war with God. Though the ungodly do not confess this, yet the fact is evident; and God, who is a righteous judge, has declared that they who despised the prophetic doctrine were so regarded.
And he says, for evil to you, in order that they might know that God did not plead his own cause because he stood in need of their service, but that he cared for their welfare. For there is to be understood here an implied contrast, as though the Prophet had said, "What loss has God suffered by your perverseness? Ye have, indeed, tried to deprive him of his glory, for ye have adorned your idols by spoils taken from him; but it is not in men's power to subtract anything from the rights of God; he remains ever perfect: then it only turns out to your ruin when ye are rebellious. When, therefore, God now reproves you, he does not maintain his own right, as though he received any gain or loss from you; but it is an evidence of his mercy, because he would not have you to perish, though he sees that you are led into destruction by an insane impulse." It afterwards follows, --