Ver. 1. Priests. Such, hoarding up riches, dishonour God and his sacraments, as if they were temporal things to be purchased, and so they scandalize the weak. It would be well for them if they were reduced to poverty, (v. 2.) and would repent, as they will otherwise be deprived of eternal goods, having received their wages in this world, like hirelings. John x. W.
Ver. 2. Blessings, riches. The priests also blessed the people. Num. vi. 23. C.
Ver. 3. Shoulder. I will cast away the shoulder, which in the law was appointed to be your portion, and fling it at you in my anger: and will reject both you and your festivals like dung. Ch.
--- Heb. now reads for shoulder, zerah, "grain," or seed. C.
--- "I will menace you with the shoulder, and will spread dirt on your faces, even the dirt of your feasts," (Aquila) or "the ventricle of your festivals." Sept. H.
Ver. 4. Levi. When this tribe was chosen does not appear. Some think that he alludes to the renewing of the covenant under Nehemias, which seems best. 2 Esd. ix. 1. 38. I then promised you life, &c. C.
Ver. 7. The angel, viz. the minister and messenger. Ch.
--- Priests must administer the sacraments, and likewise instruct the people, being God's messengers. W.
--- The Jews were well acquainted with the law. Jer. xviii. 18.
--- The priests had to decide most intricate cases. Deut. xvii. 9. and xxxiii. 9. C.
--- The sentence of the high priest was received like that of an angel. Diod. Sic. xl. apud Phol.
--- If such science was required under the old law, how much more is necessary in Christian priests, whose mysteries and duties are so much more important! C.
--- Ignoratio scripturarum ignoratio Christi est. S. Jer. in Is. & hic.
Ver. 9. People. If priests comply not with these high functions, they are despicable here, and condemned to eternal torments. Jude 11. W.
--- Accepted. Heb. "raised up faces," instead of reproving the guilty. Deut. i. 10. Lev. xix 15.
Ver. 10. Brother, in distress. 2 Esd. v. 1. S. Jerom mentions the tradition of the Jews, which supposed that the captives at their return dismissed their wives, and married young ones, though strangers. v. 11. But this is not probable. Such women were ordered to be dismissed. 1 Esd. ix. 1. and 2 Esd. xiii. 23. C.
Ver. 11. God, or one addicted to idol-worship, (H.) which was contrary to the law. Deut. vii. 3. C.
--- Sept. "the holy things of the Lord, by what he has loved and done for strange gods." H.
Ver. 12. Master. Heb. "the watcher, and him who answers," on guard. C.
--- Sept. "doth such things, till he be tumbled out," &c.
--- Him. Sept. "and out of those who offer a sacrifice to," &c. Such people shall be excluded from the society of God's servants. H.
Ver. 13. With tears; viz. by occasion of your wives, whom you have put away, and who came to weep and lament before the altar. Ch.
--- Though divorces were tolerated, (Mat. xix. 6.) the more virtuous did not approve of them, particularly when a wife is put away who had been married in youth. See v. 10. Perhaps this corruption had crept in, like others, (C.) owing to the people's commerce with strangers. Diod. in Photius.
Ver. 14. Covenant. The order established at first. Gen. ii. 24. Prov. ii. 17. The parties promised fidelity to each other.
Ver. 15. His spirit. Eve received a soul from God, like Adam. Heb. "One (Abraham, Chal. styled one, Ezec. xxxiii. 24.) did it not, and he had the," &c. Sept. vary. The text is very obscure. C. See Cap. Crit. iv. p. 317. Grabe prol.
--- A strange god did not make women. The human race is best propagated, where polygamy and divorces are rejected. H.
Ver. 16. Garment; viz. of every man that putteth away his wife without just cause; notwithstanding that God permitted it in the law, to prevent the evil of murder. Ch.
--- The original may receive this sense; or the woman must blame herself if she were hateful, (Deut. xxiv. 1.) and the man acted not treacherously. C.
--- Sept. "iniquity shall cover your thoughts." H.
--- It should be "garments," endumata, though S. Jerom and the printed edit. read enqumhmata, (C.) "thoughts." The first part contains the objection, and the second God's reply. S. Jer. H.
Ver. 17. Judgment. Being scandalized at the prosperity of the wicked, (H.) they deny Providence. Ps. lxxii. Jer. xii. C.
--- Yet the wicked are left for wise purposes, either for their amendment, or for the trial of the just. S. Aug. Ps. liv.
--- Those who are offended at their present success, (H.) think not of judgment nor of eternal goods. S. Jer.