8. The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.
8. Juravit Dominus Jehova per animam suam, dicit Jehova, Deus exercituum, Detestor ego excellentiam Jacob, palatia ejus odio habeo, et tradam urbem et plenitudinem ejus.
God here declares that he would not desist, because he had hitherto loaded his people with many benefits: for he had now changed his purpose, so that he would no longer continue his favors. And this was designedly added by the Prophet; for hypocrites, we know, grow hardened, when they consider what dignity had been conferred on them; for they think their possessions to be firm and perpetual: hence they become haughty towards God. Since then hypocrites act thus foolishly, the Prophet justly says that it would avail them nothing, that they had hitherto excelled in many endowments for God no longer regarded their excellency.
I detest then
He afterwards adds,
But that this threatening might not be slighted, the Prophet confirms it by interposing an oath. Hence he says, that God had sworn. And as we know that God's name is precious to him, it is certain that it was not in vain adduced here, but on account of the hardness and contumacy of those who were wont to set at nought all the prophecies, and were wont in particular to regard as nothing all threatenings. This was the reason why the Prophet wished thus to ratify what he had said: it was, that hypocrites might understand that they could not escape the vengeance which he had denounced. The form of swearing, as it is, may seem apparently improper; but God in this place puts on the character of man, as he does often in other places. He swears by his soul, that is, by his life, as though he were one of mankind. But we ought to accustom ourselves to such forms, in which God familiarly accommodates himself to our capacities: for what Hilary philosophizes about the soul, as though God the Father swore by his own wisdom, is frivolous: that good man certainly exposed his own doctrine to ridicule, while he was attempting to refute the Arians. "God the Father, he says, swears by his own wisdom. Now he who is wont to swear by himself, could not swear by an inferior; but wisdom is the only begotten Son of God: hence it follows, that the Son is equal to the Father." These things at first sight seem plausible; but they are puerile trifles.
Let it then be observed, that God borrows from men this mode of swearing; as though he said, "If men be believed when swearing by their life, which yet is evanescent, of how much greater weight must that oath be, by which I pledge my own life?" Since God thus speaks, surely the whole world ought to tremble. We now apprehend the Prophet's design. Let us go on --
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