1:4 the former prophets. The preexilic prophets (e.g., Isaiah, Jeremiah).
they did not hear or pay attention to me. Their fathers showed obstinacy and rebellion (2 Kin. 17:13–15). As a consequence, the curses of the covenant (Deut. 28:15–68) came upon them for their disobedience.
declares the Lord. The Hebrew expression means an utterance that gives the prophets insight into the plan and will of God (Ps. 110:1).