O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and
hardened our heart from thy fear?
&c.] These are the words, not of wicked men among the Jews, charging all their errors, hardness of heart, and wickedness they were guilty of, upon the Lord, as if he was the author and occasion of them, and led them into them; but of the truly godly, lamenting and confessing their wandering from the ways, commands, and ordinances of God, the hardness of their hearts; their want of devotion and affection for God; and their neglect of his worship; not blaming him for these things, or complaining of him as having done anything amiss or wrong; but expostulating with him, and wondering at it, that he, who was their loving and tender Father, that he should suffer them to err from his ways, and to wander from his worship, by withholding his grace and withdrawing his presence from them; by leaving them to the corruptions and hardness of their hearts; by chastising them sorely, and suffering the enemy to afflict them in such a severe manner as laid them under temptation to desert the worship of God, and cast off the fear of him. The Jews F6 interpret this of their being hardened from the fear of God, and made to err from his ways by seeing the prosperity of the wicked, and their own long captivity, troubles, and distresses: return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance;
or turn F7; turn from thine anger and displeasure to thy people; or, as the Targum,
``return thy Shechinah to thy people;''thy gracious and glorious presence, which has been so long withdrawn; or "return" thy people from their captivity, the twelve tribes, thy portion and "inheritance"; and do this "for thy servants' sake"; for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: or because of the covenant made with them; or for the sake of all thy people, who are thy servants, and which also are the tribes of thine inheritance, return unto them.