Verse 27. Add iniquity unto their iniquity. Unbelievers will add sin to sin, and so, punishment to punishment. This is the severest imprecation, or prophecy, of all. For men to be let alone to fill up the measure of their iniquity, is most equitable, but yet most awful.
And let them not come into thy righteousness. If they refuse it, and resist thy gospel, let them shut themselves out of it.
"He that will not when he may,
When he would he shall have nay."
Those who choose evil shall have their choice. Men who hate divine mercy shall not have it forced upon them, but (unless sovereign grace interpose) shall be left to themselves to aggravate their guilt, and ensure their doom.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 23-28. He denounces ten plagues, or effects of God's wrath, to come upon them for their wickedness. David Dickson.
Verse 27. Add iniquity unto their iniquity. This is that retaliation of sin which God returns into their bosoms that foster it; that since "they loved cursing, it shall be unto them." Ps 109:17. So David here (though it was not in him precantis votum, but prophetantis vaticinium, he did not desire it to be so, but he knew it would be so), Add iniquity unto their iniquity. Neither doth God this by infusion of wickedness, but by subtraction of his Spirit. He is causa deficiens, non efficiens: as the recalling of the sun from us causeth darkness; so the privations of grace creates the prevalence of ungodliness. It is in him not peccatum sed judicum, -- not sin, but judgment. When he leaves us to ourselves, it is no wonder if we fall into horrid and prodigious sins. Peccatum est malum in se: effectum prioris mali, et causa subsequentis: est et supplicium, et causa supplicii: Sin is evil in itself, the effects of former evil, the cause of future: it is both punishment itself, and the cause of punishment. In all the storehouse of God's plagues there is not a greater vengeance. With other punishments the body smarts; the soul groaneth under this. Hence, sins multiply without limits, that the plagues may be without end. Every affliction is sore that offends us; but that is direful which offends God. Such do at once act and suffer: it is both an active and a passive sin. The punishment they suffer is (in them) sin; the sin they do is (from God) a punishment. Thomas Adams.
Verse 27. Add iniquity unto their iniquity. Or, as the original signifies, perverseness, treat their perverseness with perverseness: act, in thy judgments, as crookedly towards them as they dealt crookedly towards thee. They shall get, in the way of punishment, what they have dealt out in the way of oppression. Adam Clarke.
Verse 27. Add iniquity unto their iniquity. Sin, carried far enough, becomes its own punishment. Let but a voracious glutton be bound to sit at a well furnished table but two hours after he had filled his stomach, he would account it an intolerable penance. Let but the drunkard be forced to drink on with those that can drink him down, how is he a burden to himself, and a scorn to his fellow drunkards! Let but a lazy sluggard be confined three days to his bed, and how weary will he be of his bed of down! How is the idle person more weary of his idleness than another is of work! Samuel Annesley (1620-1696), in "Morning Exercises."
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS