8. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
8. Atqui vos declinastis e via, impingere (vel, ruere) fecistis multos in lege; corrupistis foedus Levi, dicit Iehova exercituum.
He shows here how far were the priests of his time from fulfilling that compact which he had mentioned. He hence concludes that they were unworthy of the honor of which they were so confidently proud, and under the shadow of which they sought to cover their vices, as though they were not bound to God, and were at liberty to tread the Church under foot with impunity. He then shows that it was an extremely foolish arrogance in them to seek to be exempt from all law, and yet to regard God and the whole Church bound to them.
He says first, that they deviated from the way, that is, they exhibited nothing suitable to their office, on account of which they were counted priests. He then amplifies their guilt -- that they made many to stumble in the law He had before said that Levi walked in peace and uprightness; what he now says is very different -- that the priests, forgetting religion, had first shaken off the yoke. He had said that Levi restored many from iniquity; but he now says that the priests made many to stumble.
He adds in the last place -- Ye have therefore corrupted the covenant. An illative is to be put here, for so ought the sentence to be explained -- |As ye have deviated from the way, and perverted the whole worship of God, ye have thus violated the compact which had been sanctioned with Levi; ye have then no reason to boast of your title of honor, for succession failed when ye fell away from the faithfulness of your father Levi.| At length it follows --