But they listened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward…
When Christian, in the Pilgrim's Progress, thought about going back, he recollected that he had no armour for his back. He had a breastplate, he was covered from head to foot by his shield, but there was nothing to protect his back, and therefore, if he retreated, the adversary could spit him with his javelin in a moment. So he thought that bad as it was to go forward, it would be worse to go backward, and therefore he bravely cut a path for himself straight onward for glory. Look at that fact whenever you are tempted: do not endure the idea of turning tail in the day of battle. May retreat be impossible to you! God makes it Impossible by His grace.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
WEB: But they didn't listen nor turn their ear, but walked in [their own] counsels [and] in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.