12. And ye shall know that I am the Lord: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.
12. Et cognoscentis quod ego sim Iehovah; quia in statutis meis non ambulastis, et judicia mea non fecistis: sed secundum judicia gentium quae in circmitu vestro sunt, fecistis.
He repeats what he had said, that they would acknowledge too late how impiously and wickedly they had despised the prophecies: because this was to draw down God himself from heaven; for God wishes that reverence which he exacts from us to be given to his own word. Therefore men rage in contempt of his teaching, as if after the manner of giants they wished to draw God down from heaven. But he expresses the cause more clearly: because indeed they have not walked in his law and his precepts; but have entangled themselves in the superstitions of the nations. Here we see that God could not possibly be accused of too much rigor, because he executed a judgment so heavy and severe against the Jews. For he had given them the law. This was the greatest ingratitude, to reject the teaching, which ought to be familiar to them, and at the same time to add to it the impious rites of the Gentiles: this was to prefer the devil to God himself with full deliberation. Hence God shows that although he would treat the Jews severely, yet that his wrath was moderate compared with their sins: because nothing was wanting to complete their impiety when they so rejected his law. When therefore he says that they did not walk in the law, he takes this principle for granted, that the law was not given in vain, but that in it the Jews were, faithfully and clearly taught the right way, as also Moses says, "this is the way, walk ye in it." There is no doubt that Ezekiel referred to that sentence of Moses, when he said,
that the Jews did not walk in the law, and did not perform the judgments of God. (Deuteronomy 5:33; Isaiah 30:21.)
Since therefore God has shown the way, so that they had no excuse for wandering, how great was their ingratitude in leaving the way and willfully casting themselves into wanderings?
Now comparison aggravates their crime, when he says, that they preferred the judgments and rites of the Gentiles which were around them. Because they had unbelieving neighbors, God had opposed his law like a rampart to separate them from the profane Gentiles. Since therefore they had so far approached these detestable rites, and that too by rejecting utterly the law of God, do we not perceive that they were worthy of severe punishment? Meanwhile let us observe, when God has borne with us a long time, if we persist in our obstinacy, that nothing else is left but the extinction of the light of doctrine, and that God should show himself in some other manner. For the Prophet's discourse is like a glass, in which God represents himself. But when we shut our eyes and throw down the glass and break it, then God shows himself in some other manner; that is, he no longer thinks it right to show us his face, but teaches us by his hand, and convinces us of our impious obstinacy by a proof of his power, because we were unwilling to submit to his teaching. It follows --
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