But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear
Neither to the law that was given them, nor to the promises that were made unto them, this was the case of the Jewish fathers, and also of their posterity, to whom belonged the law, and the promises, and the service of God: but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart;
what their evil heart imagined, advised and directed to, that they attended to, walked in, and pursued after. The heart of man is evil; it is desperately wicked, even wickedness itself; and so is every thought and every imagination of the thoughts of it and all its counsels, machinations and contrivances; and therefore the consequence of walking in these, or steering the course of life according to them, must be bad: and went backward, and not forward;
they went backwards from the ways of God, and walked not in them. The Targum is,
``they turned the back in my worship, and did not put my fear before their face;''or else this may design, not their sin, but their punishment, as Kimchi interprets it; they did not prosper, but suffered adversity; a curse, and not a blessing, attended the works of their hands.