Verse 12. "And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord." They denied thine existence, mocked thy power, insulted thy worship, and destroyed thy house; up, therefore, O Lord, and make them feel to the full that thou art not to be mocked with impunity. Pour into their laps good store of shame because they dared insult the God of Israel. Recompense them fully, till they have received the perfect number of punishments. It will be so. The wish of the text will become matter of fact. The Lord will avenge his own elect though he bear long with them.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 12. "Render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom," etc. This may seem to be contrary to common justice; because that the punishment should not exceed the fault. But here you are to know, that this hath not respect unto what the enemies of God's church have acted, but what they have deserved. And therefore when the prophet here says, "Render unto our neighbours sevenfold," it is not sevenfold beyond their deserts; for one scorn that a wicked man poureth upon a child of God (and so upon God), cannot be recompensed with ten thousand reproaches poured upon wicked men. The least reproach poured upon God is an infinite wrong. And the reproach of his people is so much his, as he reckons it as his own; and will therefore render to their enemies their reproach "sevenfold" (and that's but equal) "into their bosom." Abraham Wright.
Verse 12. "Unto our neighbours." Because their scorn was more intolerable, and also more inexcusable than the oppression of distant enemies. J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 12. "Into their bosom." An expression which originally seems to have had reference to the practice of carrying and holding things in the lap, or the front fold of the flowing oriental dress, has in usage the accessory sense of retribution or retaliation. Joseph Addison Alexander.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS