48. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.
48. Vivo ego, dicit Dominator Iehovah, si fecerit Sodoma, soror tua ipsa et filiae ejus quemadmodum fecisti tu, et filiae tuae.
Since what we have lately seen was difficult to be believed, hence God interposes an oath. Nor is it surprising that shame was so despised and cast far away by the Jews, since they were inured to it; and we know how they were swollen with pride, for they always boasted in their adoption and gloried in the name of God. Besides, we know that at this day, if any one accuses a wicked nation, yet it is not so detestable as Sodom, and if he uses this phrase, he inflames all against himself, and causes them to reject his language with indignation. For who will suffer either one city or nation to be compared with Sodom? As far as concerned the Jews, we have said that it was intolerable in them to be fastidious and proud. There was also another reason why they should be indignant at being pronounced worse than the Sodomites: since God had not chosen them as his peculiar treasure in vain and marked them with magnificent titles: you shall be a nation of priests unto me, you shall be my inheritance, and besides, my son -- my first-born Israel. (Exodus 19:6, and Exodus 4:22.) We now see how necessary the interposition by oath was to sanction what the Prophet had said. God therefore here swears by himself, because we call him in as a witness and judge when we swear. But he swears by himself or by his life, because, as the Apostle teaches, he has no greater by whom to swear. (Hebrews 6:13.) Whatever it be, he here prostrates all foolish boasting, by which the Jews were puffed up when he swears by himself, that they were worse than Sodom and her daughters. And here also he calls in like manner the smaller cities daughters of Jerusalem. This was very hard upon the Jews, when the Prophet says and often repeats, thy sister Sodom. But he wounds their feelings far more bitterly, that Sodom was just in preference to Jerusalem: this was indeed intolerable, and yet we see that the Holy Spirit by no means indulges them here. Hence we must not regard what the reprobate are able to bear, but they must be treated according to their own disposition, and since they rise fiercely against God, so also are they to be subdued, and, according to the common proverb, |a hard wedge must be formed for a hard knot.| It now follows --