2. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.
2. Divisum est (vel, se divisit) cor eorum: nunc convicti erunt (alii, peribunt; nam 'sm utrunque significat; refertur tam ad culpam quam ad poenam: sed mihi probatur eorum sententia qui vertunt, Nunc convicti erunt, hoc est, Nunc erunt scelerati; quemadmodum etiam simile examplum jam vidimus capite 5, nisi fallor: Nunc ergo convicti erunt:) ipse evertet altaria eorum, destruet statuas ipsorum.
He says first that their heart was divided, that is, from God; for this, we know, is principally required, that people should faithfully cleave to their God. |And now Israel, what does thy God require of thee, but to cleave to him with the whole heart?| Since God then binds us to himself by a holy union, it is the summit of all wickedness, when our heart is divided from him, as it is when an unchaste and perfidious wife alienates her affection from her husband. For as long as the husband keeps the heart of his wife, as it were, tied to himself, conjugal fidelity and chastity continue; but when her heart is divided from her husband, it is all over, and she abandons herself to lewdness. So also the Prophet says here that the heart of the people was divided from God; for they did not devote themselves to God with a pure and sincere affection, as they ought to have done. |This people then have withdrawn their heart from me.|
But he says, Now they shall be guilty; that is I will now show what they deserve, so that they shall not hereafter, as they are wont to do, sport with their cavils; for the verb 'sm, ahsem, is not to be referred to the deeds but rather, as, they say, to its manifestation. Then he says that they shall be guilty, for they shall be convicted: as, to be justified means to be absolved, so also to be guilty means to be condemned. The meaning is, that as this people could not perceive the Lord's wrath as long as their condition was easy to be borne, he would inflict such dreadful punishment as would convince them, so that they might no longer deceive and flatter themselves. They shall then be now condemned. How? For the Lord will overturn their altars. This may be referred to the minister of vengeance; but as no name is expressed, I prefer to understand God as being meant. God then shall overturn their altars and destroy, or reduce to nothing, their statues
This was added, because ungodly men, we know, trust in their own devices, and can never be brought to serious fear, except when they understand that they have been deceived by the crafts of Satan, while they gave themselves up to superstitions and idolatry. Hence the Prophet declares that their altars shall be overturned, and their statues reduced to nothing, that hypocrites might lay aside the confidence by which they had hitherto grown proud against God. But a confirmation of this view follows --