XVII The captivity of Judah for her sin, ver. 1-4. Trust in man cursed: in God, blessed, ver. 5-8. The deceitful heart and most secret practices are known to God, ver. 9-11. The salvation of God, ver. 12-14. The prophet complains of the mockers of his prophecies, ver. 15-18. Of keeping the sabbath, ver. 19-27.
Verse 1. Graven - Nor is it a thing done in secret, but it is engraven upon the horns of their altars. God's altar was four-square, and at each corner there was a rising part made of brass, these were called the horns of the altar. Now their sin is said to be engraven upon the horns of the altar, because the blood of the sacrifices which they offered to idols was sprinkled there, or because their altars had some inscription upon them, declaring to what idol that altar was consecrated.
Verse 2. Their children - This shewed how inveterate they were in this sin of idolatry, that they taught it their children.
Verse 3. My mountain - Jerusalem stood at the foot of an hill, and part of it on the side of it, upon the top of which hills, were many pleasant fields.
Verse 4. For ever - For a longtime; so the word ever is often taken.
Verse 9. The heart - There is nothing so false and deceitful as the heart of man; deceitful in its apprehensions of things, in the hopes and promises which it nourishes, in the assurances that it gives us; unsearchable by others, deceitful with reference to ourselves, and abominably wicked, so that neither can a man know his own heart, nor can any other know that of his neighbour's.
Verse 11. Hatcheth them not - Having lost them, either by some man that has taken them from her, or by some vermin or wild beast. A fool - Shall lose it again before he dies, and then shall understand what a fool he was.
Verse 13. Depart - From what I have revealed to them as thy will, shall have no portion beyond the earth.
Verse 14. For thou art - He whom alone I have reason to praise for mercies already received.