7. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
7. Propterea sic dicit Dominator Iehovah propter multiplicare vestrum1 prae cunctis gentibus, quae in circuitu vestro sunt, ut in statutis meis non ambularetis, et judicia mea non faceretis, et secundum judicia gentium, quae in circuitu vestro sunt non faceretis
8. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I, eve I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
8. Propterea sic dicit Dominator Iehovah, Ecce ego contra to, etiam ego: et faciam in medio tui judicia coram oculis gentium.
This verse is variously expounded on account of the word
Now he adds, and according to the judgments of the Gentiles which are round about you. Here the Prophet seems to blame what otherwise and in many places is praised. For the Jews ought to be separate from the Gentiles, so that they might worship God in purity, and the Prophets often expostulate with them because they followed the judgments or statutes of the Gentiles. On these words I have said nothing, because they occur often, and it has been already shown in many places why God calls his judgments laws. Some distinguish between judgments and statutes, because judgments belong to mortals, and statutes to ceremonies. But this distinction is not everywhere observed. But God, in very many places, commends the precepts of his law, since he shows that nothing necessary to a complete system of teaching was omitted. But. this name is sometimes transferred to perverse rites and vicious superstitions, so that to walk in the judgments of the Gentiles, is to corrupt oneself with their perverse morals. As I have said already, the Jews were often condemned by the Prophets because they gave themselves up to the corruptions of the Gentiles.
Here, therefore, the Prophet says, that they had not done according to the judgments of the Gentiles. But he understands that in this particular, also, they had surpassed the madness of the Gentiles, because they had not embraced the law of God so as to remain constantly in obedience to it. For we saw in the second chapter of Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 2:10, 11,) that the Gentiles were obstinate in their madness. Although that was not praiseworthy, yet God deservedly blames his people because they held him in less honor than the Gentiles did their idols. For we know how obstinately the nations were fixed in their superstitions, for they did not change their religion except by some violent impulse, just as if heaven and earth were shaken together. Since, therefore, the religion of each was firm and fixed, God accuses the Jews of trifling deservedly, because they inclined towards the errors and madness of the heathen. This, therefore, is Ezekiel's meaning when he says, the Jews had not done according to the statutes of the Gentiles: as if he had said, they should have looked at the Gentiles, and as they saw them obstinately worshipping idols, so they should have persisted in my law and in pure worship. But while the obstinacy of the Gentiles was so great that they could not be torn away from their own superstition, my people, says he, have perfidiously declined from me and my law by rash impulse, and without necessity for it. Now, therefore, we perceive why the Prophet adds this to their crimes, that the people had not walked after the judgments or manners of the Gentiles. Hence they might have perceived, that what men had once embraced they ought not lightly to have thrown away, because when we are suddenly and easily turned aside in the matter of the worship of God, it is certain that we have never put forth living roots. Since, then, the Gentiles instructed the Jews in their duty, their crime became more detestable.
Now follows the threat, that God was prepared to take vengeance. Behold, I, even, I, am against you. The particle
The sum of the whole is that he will execute judgments in the midst of Jerusalem, because he will ascend a tribunal and compel the wicked to plead their cause, and to render an account of their life. God, therefore, then executed his judgments when he manifested his vengeance by means of the Chaldeans, and so famine was a part of his punishment, as well as the sword and the pestilence. For while he delays, he seems to have ceased from his duty, and then the impious indulge themselves as if he had forgotten to execute judgment. Therefore, in opposition to this, he denounces that he would execute judgments: as if he had said, I will appear as judge although you think me asleep. For he says, he will execute judgments in the midst of Jerusalem, before the eyes of the Gentiles, by which assertion he means, that their punishments would be remarkable, and such as might be easily considered by all the nations: for we know that the Gentiles were then blind, for they thought that good and evil happened by chance. But God affirms, that his judgments will be so manifest that the blind will be, as it were, eye-witnesses. Now it follows --
1 Or, "because of your multiplication." -- Calvin.
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