4. And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.
4. Et desolabuntur altaria vestra, et conterentur idola vestra, et cadere faciam occisos coram idolis vestris.
Hence it appears how greatly obedience pleases God, and how true it is that it is better than sacrifices. (1 Samuel 15:22; I Kings 12.) For it is certain that the Israelites extolled their own fictions exorbitantly, as if they were worshipping God correctly In the beginning, indeed, Jeroboam cunningly devised those new rites, that he might alienate the ten tribes from the family of David, and at length the error spread, so that they thought that God approved that impious worship. But we see that God abominates them. We should always hold this principle, that although men think that they obey God when they thrust in their own fictions, yet they produce no other effect than to provoke the wrath of God against them. This vengeance, therefore, had not been taken against altars, unless God had been greatly offended with the impious mixture. Your altars, therefore, shall come to ruin and destruction, and then your idols shall be destroyed. Here some understand the idols of the sun, as the noun is taken from heat, which is afterwards repeated: but this divination seems to be too contracted Hence I do not doubt that the idols are so called on account of the mad love with which the worshippers were seized: for throughout the Prophets they are said to be like adulterers, and our Prophet also uses the same language. Idols therefore may very properly derive their name from heat, because their superstitious worshippers inflame themselves with love, and like adulterers run after harlots, as we shall again see. He afterwards uses another word, when he says, I will lay prostrate your slain before your idols: for they call idols glvlym, gelolim, on account of their foulness, nay even filth. We see then in the first place that the fury with which the Israelites were inflamed is condemned by the Prophet, since they perverted the pure and lawful worship of God: then he reproves their enormity because they willingly remained in filth and defilement. But here also we are taught how mightily God is angry with all superstitions, when he not only cites mankind to his tribunal because they profane true piety, but is angry with external instruments -- as stones and wood, and, as it were, involves these instruments of idolatry with their authors. It follows --