Circumcise yourselves to the Lord
Or, "be ye circumcised", as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it. This is to be understood of the circumcision of the heart, as Kimchi observes; and as appears from the following words: and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah, and
inhabitants of Jerusalem;
this is the true spiritual circumcision; and they that are possessed of it are the circumcision, the only truly circumcised persons; and they are such who have been pricked to the heart, and thoroughly convinced of sin; who have had the hardness of their hearts removed, and the impurity of it laid open to them; which they have beheld with shame and loathing, and have felt an inward pain on account of it; and who have been enabled to deny themselves, to renounce their own righteousness, and put off the body of the sins of the flesh: and though men are exhorted to do this themselves, yet elsewhere the Lord promises to do it for them, ( Deuteronomy 30:6 ) , and indeed it is purely his own work; or otherwise it could not he called, as it is, "circumcision without hands", and "whose praise is not of man, but of God", ( Colossians 2:11 ) ( Romans 2:29 ) , and the reason of this exhortation, as before, is to convince those Jews, who were circumcised in the flesh, and rested and gloried in that, that their hearts were not circumcised, and that there was a necessity of it, and they in danger for want of it; as follows: lest my fury come forth like fire;
to which the wrath of God is sometimes compared, ( Nahum 1:6 ) and is sometimes signified by a furnace and lake of fire, even his eternal wrath and vengeance: and burn that none can quench it;
such is the fire of divine wrath; it is unquenchable; it is everlasting, ( Mark 9:43 Mark 9:44 ) ( Matthew 3:12 ) ( 25:41 ) : because of the evil of your doings;
which are so provoking to the eyes of his glory; the sins of men are the fuel to the fire of his wrath, and cause it to burn to the lowest hell, without the least degree of mercy. The Targum is,
``turn to the worship of the Lord, and take away the wickedness of your hearts, lest my fury burn as fire, and consume without mercy, because of the evil of your doings.''