And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly…
Note how a multitude of offenders excuseth no, offence: but if even the whole congregation should sin through ignorance, yet a sin-offering must be offered by them all, and their number yieldeth no excuse. Great was the number of sinners when God sent the flood, but their number defended them not. So in Sodom and Gomorrah the offenders were many. Ten tribes of twelve fell away from God and became idolaters. Broad is the way that leadeth to hell, and many find it, going to hell, though they be many, &c. Secondly, observe with yourself the praise (hid from your eyes) and see the state of many a man and woman do evil. The matter is hid from their eyes in God's anger, and albeit they lie at the pit's brink of destruction, yet they see it not, feel it not, are not troubled with it. Because, indeed, they never sit and take an account of themselves and their works, laying them to the rule of the word: which if they did, conscience would quickly bite and spy, and speak of a misdoing. The godly do this at last, and therefore you see it here in your chapter, a time of knowing to them, as there was a time of hiding. Pray we ever for this grace, that we sleep not in death: I mean in sin, that leadeth to death, but that we may awake and stand up from the dead, and Jesus Christ vouchsafe us light, to amendment of life, and eternal comfort and safety.
Parallel VersesKJV: And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty;