And they said, there is no hope
Or, "but they said" F23; not that there was no hope of the grace and mercy of God, upon their repentance and reformation, for that is before declared; but that they were so hardened in their sins, so fixed in their wicked courses, and so determined to go on in them, that there was no room for the prophet to hope of ever reclaiming them; signifying, that it was to little purpose to talk to them, or exhort them; his labour would be in vain; for they were at a point, and resolved to continue in their evil practices, let the consequences be what they would. Jarchi's note is,
``but I know that they will say to thee concerning thy words, that we do not care for them;''no, not a rush; you may as well hold your peace and say nothing; we are in no pain about future judgments, these give us no uneasiness. The Targum is,
``we are turned from thy worship;''and we are resolved to continue as we are, and not to return to say what you will: but we will walk after our own devices;
God may take his way, and we will take ours; he has devised evil against us, you say, and he may bring it if he pleases; we have devised sin, and we shall go on in it: and we will do everyone the imagination of his evil heart;
whatsoever our hearts suggest to us as pleasant and agreeable, that we shall do, let the issue be what it will: it is not to be thought that these people expressed themselves in so many words; but this was the language of their hearts, and of their actions, known unto the Lord, and are put into this form by him, or by the prophet, expressing the real sentiments of their minds.
F23 (wrmaw) "sed dixerunt", Schmidt; "sed dicunt", Piscator.