Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty,
&c.] Not the Romans after Christ came, into whose hands they were delivered, and by whom they were slain in great numbers, not accounting it any sin to put them to death; but the priests, Scribes, Pharisees, and doctors, among the Jews, who ruined and destroyed their souls, by feeding them with poisonous doctrines; teaching them the commandments of men, and to observe the traditions of the elders; and to seek for life and salvation by the works of the law, which was a ministration of condemnation and death to them; and yet thought they did God and the souls of men good service: and they that sell them;
as false teachers make merchandise of the souls of men: say, Blessed [be] the Lord, for I am rich;
having devoured widows' houses and substances, under a pretence of long prayers; and enriched themselves through tithes of everything, and by other methods; as the Scribes and Pharisees did: and their own shepherds pity them not;
those who should have been concerned for the welfare of their souls had no compassion on them. Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, interpret this of God, the Shepherd of Israel; the verb being singular, though the noun is plural: so God is called Makers, Creators, ( Psalms 149:2 ) ( Ecclesiastes 12:1 ) and this sense agrees with the following words.