20. As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty; but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them.
20. Et decus ornamenti sui in superbiam posuit ipsum, et imagines abominationum suarum, et spurcitiarum suarum fecerunt ex illo: propterea posui illis1 in projectionem.
I doubt not that Ezekiel strengthens what he had just taught by other words, namely, that the people's silver should be cast away, because it had been unworthily abused for luxury, vain pomps and superstitions. Some explain wyde ybu, tzebi-gnediu, of the temple; and certainly I confess that the temple was the chief glory of the Jews, so that they might boast of it, if they had rightly and properly worshipped God there. Hence God conveyed great glory to the Jews when he desired a temple to be erected among them to himself, which should be as it were his earthly dwelling-place. But I do not see why we should take these words of the temple, because the Prophet explains his own discourse: for he mentions gold and silver: he said, there should be no use for gold and silver, because every one should cast it into the mud, since they should cast away all hope of life and safety. He now continues the same sentiment; he shows the lawful use of gold and silver: it was, says he, the glory of his ornament. For whatever God has given to men is a testimony of his paternal favor: therefore God's liberality is refulgent in us when he enriches us with his gifts. If therefore riches are a glory and ornament, so also are bodily health, and honors, and things of this kind. Since therefore God wishes his favor to be conspicuous in all his gifts, by which he adorns and marks men out, the Prophet properly says that the Jews were adorned with gold and silver. But he accuses them of ingratitude because they turned such glory to pride. For Nwag, gaon, I here take in a bad sense, as in many other places: it sometimes signifies excellence, but I have no doubt that the Prophet here blames the Jews, because they were proud of their wealth, which they took as a testimony of God's favor. Therefore, says he, he turned the beauty of their ornament, he turned it to pride. It follows, and the images of their abominations and of their detestable things, or of their idols, for the Hebrews thus speak sometimes of idols, they made therewith. Here b, is used as if it were m, as often in other places, and thus it points out the material; for he says, that the Jews made their images, which were so many abominations before God, out of gold and silver. This was a second profanation of God's gifts: the former was in pride, when the Jews through wantonness and abundance began to be insolent against God, thus they profaned the glory with which they had been adorned. But another pollution is also added, namely, that they made their idols of gold and silver, and offered to them gifts and sacrifices: as God complains in Hosea, (Hosea 2:8,) that they converted whatever he had conferred upon them into impious worship. I had given, said he, my corn, and wine, and oil: but they adorned their idols: this was forsooth their thanksgiving, that blind to my liberality, they offered sacrifices to their idols of my corn and oil and wine. Of which matter Ezekiel discourses more fully in Ezekiel 16. But he now says: that they made images of their abominations out of that glory by which he had distinguished them. And at the end of the verse he confirms what we have lately seen: wherefore, says he, I will appoint it, namely, that beauty, to them for a castaway. We see the same sentiment repeated which he had used before: but he here relates the reasons why the Jews should disregard their gold and silver in the day of God's wrath, since they had unworthily defiled these gifts of God in which his grace and paternal favor shone forth. I will make, therefore says he, their gold or beauty as a castaway: he had said the same thing before, but had not yet expressed the reason of God's wrath. It follows --