But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities…
1. He means, first, in regard of ceremonial performances that were without vigour and spirit of true devotion. There was no spirit in their legal performances. They were dead, empty things. Therefore when judgment came they were as leaves. So an idle, careless hearer, when judgment comes, all is as leaves.
2. So it is true in regard of mortality, the vanity of health and strength. We all as a leaf fade away when God's judgments come to nip us. Men are as leaves; as the leaves now in autumn fall, and there is a new generation in the spring.
3. For all idle performances, that have not a foundation in substantial piety, they are all as leaves.
( Sibbes, Richard, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.