Verse 17. Violence - All injustice is here meant towards all sorts of men, whom they first despise and next destroy. Returned - From injustice against man they return to impiety against God. The branch - As the worshippers of Bacchus waved their Thyrsus, the stalk wreathed with ivy, and bowed their bodies and often kissed the branches, so did these idolatrous Jews.
Verse 18. Will not hear - The time was, when God was ready to have heard, even before they cried: but now they cry aloud, and yet cry in vain. It is the upright heart which God regards, and not the loud voice.