But they obeyed not
Or, "heard not" F3; so as to observe and do; that is, their fathers did not; this command was very early disobeyed, and more or less in all intervening times: neither inclined their ear;
or listened attentively to what was said to them; but if they heard at all, it was in a very indifferent and careless manner, as if they cared not whether they heard or not; whereas persons intent on hearing bow the head, and turn the ear; and if they have one better than another, will turn that, in order to take in what they are attentive to; but so did not the Jewish fathers: but made their neck stiff;
or "hard" F4; and would not bend it, to take upon them the yoke of the commandments: a metaphor taken from untamed oxen, that will not submit the neck to the yoke, but draw back from it. The Septuagint and Arabic versions understand all this, not of the Jewish fathers of old, but of their children, even of the then present generation, rendering the words, "but hardened their neck more than their fathers"; they were more stiffnecked, refractory, and disobedient than they were; this was always the character of this people; as were the fathers, so were the children, if not worse; see ( Acts 7:51 ) ; that they might not hear nor receive instruction;
about the command of the sabbath, or any other: or "correction", or "discipline" F5; the yoke of which they were as unwilling to bear as the yoke of the commandments, ( Jeremiah 31:18 ) .