Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet…
I. IN RELIGION. Religion is certainly in itself the best thing in the world; and it is as certain that, as it has been managed by some, it has had the worst effects: such being the nature, or rather the fate of the best things, to be transcendently the worst upon corruption.
II. IN CIVIL GOVERNMENT, or polities.
III. TO THE PRIVATE INTERESTS OF INDIVIDUALS.
1. An outrageous, ungoverned insolence and revenge, frequently passes by the name of sense of honour.
2. Bodily abstinence, joined with a demure, affected countenance, is often called piety and mortification.
3. Some have found a way to smooth over an implacable, unalterable spleen and malice, by dignifying it with the name of constancy.
4. A staunch, resolved temper of mind, not suffering a man to sneak, fawn, cringe, and accommodate himself to all humours, though never so absurd and unreasonable, as commonly branded with and exposed under the character of pride, morosity and ill-nature.
5. Some would needs have a pragmatical prying into and meddling with other men's matters, a fitness for business, forsooth, and accordingly call and account none but such persons men of business.
(R. South, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!