17. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
17. Et constitui super eos speculatores, ut attenderent ad vocem (hoc est, clangorem) tubae: et dixerunt, Non attendemus.
This is an explanation of the last verse, yet not simply so; for the Prophet by a similitude aggravates the obstinacy of the people, who were not only deaf to the Prophet's admonitions, but would not be roused by the sound of the trumpet, nor even attend to it. The sound of the trumpet ought to have penetrated into their minds more than anything else for two reasons, -- because it was louder than any voice of man, -- and also, because we do not usually hear the trumpet sounding, except when war is at hand, or when there is the fear of war.
We hence see why the Prophet, after having announced his message, mentions the sound of the trumpet; as though he had said, that not only the prophets were despised, while teaching the people, but that the sound of the trumpet, announcing the approach of war, was not attended to by them. The stupidity of the people, and not only their stupidity, but as I have said, their perverseness also, was more fully proved, than if the Prophet had simply said, that they had resolved not to hear. It now follows --