12. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
12. Propterea erit via eorum ipsis tanquam lubricitates, in caligine impingent, et cadent in ea; quia inducam super eos malum, annum visitationis eorum, dicit Jehova.
Here he declares to false prophets and unfaithful priests that the Lord's judgment was nigh at hand, because they had deceived the people. But he speaks figuratively when he says, that their way would be to them as lubricities. By way he understands the means which they thought to be of the best kind, as elsewhere, nearly in the same sense, what is deemed delectable, or what conduces to sustain life, is called |the table| of the wicked. (Psalm 69:22.) The meaning then is, that when they thought all things prosperous, as if one made his way through a plain, they would find themselves on a slippery ground. Their way, then, would be to them as lubricities, that is, when they seemed to take a safe counsel and so prudently to set all things in order, as that nothing could happen amiss to them, their way would become slippery, and that in darkness. He doubles the evil; for one may stand on a slippery ground, and yet may take care of himself on seeing danger; but when darkness is added to the slippery ground, he who can neither stand nor move can hardly do otherwise than fall, either on this or that side: hence he says, they shall stumble and fall in it
The reason follows, even because the Lord was displeased with them. They could not then escape ruin, for they had to do with God. But as the ungodly derive false confidence from God's forbearance, so that they dare to glory in their wickedness, he adds, the year of their visitation Though, then, God would not immediately put forth his hand to punish them, yet their time was to come; for the year of visitation means the suitable time which God has determined within himself. He indeed defers punishment; but when hypocrites and his despisers have long abused his forbearance, he then suddenly begins to thunder against them; and this is the year of visitation. It follows, --