But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
But they rebelled,.... Against the Lord, not withstanding he thought so well of them; did so many good things for them; sympathized with them, and showed them so many favours; wretched ingratitude! they rebelled against the Lord in the times of Moses, at the Red sea, and in the wilderness, by their murmurings, unbelief, and idolatry; wherefore he calls them a rebellious people, and says they were such from the day he had been with them; and so in later times, in the times of the judges, and of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, they rebelled against God their Parent, Protector, and King; see Deuteronomy 9:7 and so they did in the times of Christ, whom they rejected as the Messiah, and disowned as their King, and still continue in their rebellion, Luke 19:14:
and vexed his holy Spirit; the Spirit of God the Father, who pitied them in all their afflictions; or the Spirit of the Angel of his presence, that redeemed and saved them; for the Spirit is both the Spirit of the Father and of the Son; and he is holy in his nature and operations, and the author of sanctification in the hearts of his people; him they vexed and provoked to anger against them, speaking after the manner of men, by their sins and transgressions; rejecting his counsels and instructions by Moses, and by the prophets in later times, in and by whom he spake unto them, and by the apostles in Gospel times; for the Jews, as their fathers before them ever did, resisted the Holy Spirit of God in the evidence he gave of the Messiah, which must be very provoking, Acts 7:51. The Targum paraphrases it, the word of his holy prophets; and so Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it; and according to some, in Aben Ezra, the Angel of glory is meant, who went before the people of Israel, whom they were charged not to provoke, Exodus 23:20:
therefore he was turned to be their enemy; not that there is any change in God, or any turn in him from love to hatred; but he may, and sometimes does, so appear in his providential dispensations towards his people, as to seem to be their enemy, and to be thought to be so by them,
Job 13:24. The Targum is, and his Word became their enemy; compare with this Luke 19:27:
and he fought against them; as he threatened he would when they behaved ill towards him; and as he actually did when he brought the sword upon them, gave them up into the hands of their enemies, as often in the times of the judges, and particularly when the king of Babylon came against them; see Leviticus 26:25 and as the Messiah did when he brought the Roman armies against them, and destroyed their city, to which times this prophecy is thought by some to have respect, and not without reason.