Did they not take hold of your fathers? - Every thing happened according to the predictions, and they were obliged to acknowledge this; and yet they would not turn from their evil way.
Only My words and My decrees - Which God spake by them, “did not they overtake them?” (as Psalm 2:7; Zephaniah 2:2). Pagan reminiscence of God‘s justice acknowledged, “Rarely hath punishment with limping tread parted with the forerunning miscreant.” “All these curses,” Moses foretells, “shall come upon thee and overtake thee, until thou art destroyed” Deuteronomy 28:45.
And they returned to God and said - The history of the Jews in Babylon is omitted in Holy Scripture, except as to His special dealings with Daniel and his three companions. Yet Jeremiah confesses in words, what Zechariah had apparently in his mind; “The Lord hath done that which He purposed; He hath fulfilled His word, which He commanded in the days of old” Lamentations 2:17. The Lamentations are one long confession of deserved punishment, such as Daniel too made in the name of his people with himself Daniel 9:4-16.
It was one long waiting for God and for the restoration of His visible worship. Yet repentance was a condition of their restoration.