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Ezekiel 16:47

47. Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.

47. Et non in viis ipsarum ambulasti, et non secundum abominationes earum fecisti quasi parum 139139     “A small matter.” — Calvin. et exiguum: et corrupt, es prae illis in cunctis viis tuis.


Now the Prophet, not content with the simile which he had used, says that the Jews were far worse than either their mothers or sisters. Yet he is not inconsistent, for God wished by degrees to drag the wicked to trial. If at the very first word he had said that they were worse than the Sodomites, they would have been less attentive to this accusation. But when he proposed a thing incredible, namely, that they were the daughters of the nations of Canaan, and the sisters of Samaria and Sodom, and afterwards proceeded further, and pronounced that they surpassed both their mother and sisters, this, as I have said, would stir up their minds more vehemently. This difference then contains no inconsistency, but rather tends to magnify their crimes. You, says he, have not walked according to their ways. He does not here exempt the Jews from participating in sins as if they were faultless through not imitating the Hittites, or Sodomites, or Israelites: but the word walking ought to be restricted to the sense of equality, as if he said, you are not equal. But it is a kind of correction when God says that the Jews were not equal to the Hittites or Sodomites, meaning that their impiety was more detestable, since they rushed forward to all kinds of wickedness with greater license. We now understand the Prophet’s meaning when he says that; the Jews had not walked in the ways of either Sodom or Samaria or the nations of Canaan, since they had gone before them, and even with greater ardor of pursuit; for if they had simply imitated the three people of whom mention has been made, they had walked in their ways. But when they were so hurried on in their intemperance as to run before them, they did not walk in their ways only through leaving them behind. And this comparison will sufficiently explain the Prophet’s mind, that the Jews did not follow either the Sodomites, Israelites, or Canaanites, but through their base and headlong violence left them far behind. And he says, as if it were only a small matter, that is, as if it were of little moment to thee to be like thy mother and sisters. But you have been corrupt, says he, before them. He now explains the case more clearly, since they had not walked in their ways through precipitating themselves with greater license, as we have already said. It follows —

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