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HEAR the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning you, O ye children of Israel: concerning the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying:

Ver. 1.  Family, including all the posterity of Jacob.  W.


--- He afterwards addresses the ten tribes in particular.  S. Jer.  C.

2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore will I visit upon you all your iniquities.

Ver. 2.  Known, with love, (H.) and favoured with the law, &c.  Above all, styling you my people.  Ex. xix. 6.  Ezec. xx. 5.  C.


--- Visit.  That is, punish.  Ch.


--- I will treat you like my children, that I may spare you in eternity.  C.

3 Shall two walk together except they be agreed?

Ver. 3.  Agreed?  As t hey cannot do this well, so neither can man be acceptable to God, unless he keep his laws.  W.


--- The prophet here proves his mission, intimating that if he were not inspired, he would soon be open to detection.  He had been banished from Bethel.  C. 7.  By many similes, he shows that the event will prove the sincerity of his character, and that he cannot resist the holy spirit which is in him.

4 Will a lion roar in the forest, if he have no prey? will the lion's whelp cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?

Ver. 4.  Nothing?  Thus, shall I inveigh against your crimes, if there were no need?

5 Will the bird fall into the snare upon the earth, if there be no fowler? Shall the snare be taken up from the earth, before it hath taken somewhat?

Ver. 5.  Somewhat?  When the prophet speaks, has he no reason?  God shews that he has sent him, by inflicting the punishments which he denounces.

6 Shall the trumpet sound in a city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, which the Lord hath not done?

Ver. 6.  Afraid.  Yet you can hear these terrible truths without consternation!  Will you therefore escape?  C.


--- Evil.  He speaks of the evil of sin, of which God is not the author.  Ch.


--- All evil of punishment is sent by God, either to reclaim sinners or to be the beginning of sorrows, if they die impenitent.  W.


--- You know that He rewards or punishes.  If, therefore, what I foretell come to pass, do not blame me.


7 For the Lord God doth nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

Ver. 7.  Prophets.  In vain then would you silence them.  C. ii. 12, and vii. 12.  He always tends to the conclusion.  v. 8.  C.

8 The lion shall roar, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who shall not prophesy? 9 Publish it in the houses of Azotus, and in the houses of the land of Egypt, and say: Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the many follies in the midst thereof, and them that suffer oppression in the inner rooms thereof.

Ver. 9.  Azotus.  Sept. "Assyrians."


--- Follies.  Sept. "wonders."  Let you greatest enemies know what crimes you commit against yourselves (H.) and others.


Azotus, or as the Heb. writes, Asdod, on the Mediterranean, was noted for the temple of Dagon, (1 K. v. 1,) which Jonathas destroyed. Joseph. xxii. 8. C.

10 And they have not known to do the right thing, saith the Lord, storing up iniquity, and robberies in their houses. 11 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: The land shall be in tribulation, and shall be compassed about: and thy strength shall be taken away from thee, and thy houses shall be spoiled.

Ver. 11.  About, As oxen tread out corn, going round a tree.  C.


--- Sept. "Tyre even all round, thy land shall be a desert."  Tsar means "Tyre and tribulation," according to S. Jerom's master.  H.

12 Thus saith the Lord: As if a shepherd should get out of the lion's mouth two legs, or the tip of the ear: so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, in a piece of a bed, and in the couch of Damascus.

Ver. 12.  Ear: things of small value.  Thus few even of the poor will escape the Assyrians.  M.


--- Damascus.  Some render "couch side."  But there is no proof of this being accurate.  Jeroboam II. subdued Damascus, and reigned in prosperity.  Who would then have thought that Israel should so soon be removed into Media?  C.


--- Sept. "over-against the tribe of Juda, and in Damascus, priests hear," &c.  They probably left hares, (H.) "couches," (Aquila) untranslated, and some person has substituted "priests."  S. Jer.


--- Only the miserable M. or fugitives escape the enemy.  H.

13 Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord the God of hosts: 14 That in the day when I shall begin to visit the transgressions of Israel, I will visit upon him, and upon the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altars shall be cut off, and shall fall to the ground.

Ver. 14.  Bethel.  Manahem seems to have sent one of the calves to engage Phul to come to his assistance.  Osee x. 5. and 4 K. xv. 19.  Salmanasar had both.  Osee viii. 5.  Josias afterwards defiled the profane altars.  4 K. xxiii. 15.


--- Horns, made of brass, which the Assyrians carried off.  C.


--- The fairest possessions of sinners will at last perish.  W.


Bethel, 1 see s.v. — 2 (Josh 12:16; Simeon) another name for Bethul. --- Bethel, as it was called in the days of Moses, being the ancient Luza. C. --- Bethel signifies the house of God, being honoured with two altars. H.

15 And I will strike the winter house with the summer house: and the houses of ivory shall perish, and many houses shall be destroyed, saith the Lord.

Ver. 15.  Winter.  Sept. "winged house," to keep off cold, (S. Jer.) or to give air.  C.


--- Summer-house.  The noblemen had such is cooler regions.  M.


--- The kings of Persia passed the summer at Ecbatana.  Xen. Cyr. viii.


--- Palladius (i. 12.) orders that the summer apartments must look to the north.


--- Ivory.  Many ornaments of this nature appeared in them, (C.) whence Achab's palace was so called.  3 K. xxii. 39.  H.

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Holy Spirit