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IT is commonly said: If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and marry another man, shall he return to her any more? shall not that woman be polluted, and defiled? but thou hast prostituted thyself to many lovers: nevertheless return to me, saith the Lord, and I will receive thee.

Ver. 1.  It.  Heb. "a saying."  Sept. "If," &c.  Deut. xxiv. 1.  H.

 

--- Woman.  Heb. "land."

 

--- Lovers.  Sept. "shepherds," C. seeking aid from idols and foreigners.


2 Lift up thy eyes on high: and see where thou hast not prostuted thyself: Thou didst sit in the ways, waiting for them as a robber in the wilderness: and thou hast polluted the land with thy fornications, and with thy wickedness.

Ver. 2.  High.  Lit. "straight forward."  H.

 

--- On the hills, idolatry and immorality prevailed.

 

--- Ways, where harlots used to sit.  Gen. xxxviii. 14.  Prov. vii. 9. and xxxiii. 27.

 

--- Robber; "Arab," (Chal. &c.) or "crow." (Sept.)  C.

 

--- No sin is so great as to be irremissible to the true penitent.  W.


3 Therefore the showers were withholden, and there was no lateward rain: thou hadst a harlot's forehead, thou wouldst not blush.

Ver. 3.  Rain; about November.  Deut. xi. 14.  This drought happened under Josias, (C. v. 24.) and was different from that specified, C. viii. 13. and xiv. 1.


4 Therefore at least at this time call to me: Thou art my father, the guide of my virginity:

Ver. 4.  Guide.  Husband.  Prov. ii. 16. and Joel i. 8.


5 Wilt thou be angry for ever, or wilt thou continue until the end? Behold, thou hast spoken, and hast done evil things, and hast been able.

Ver. 5.  Wilt.  Heb. "will he," &c.  The faithless people will not use this language, but do all the evil possible.


6 And the Lord said to me in the days of king Josias: Hast thou seen what rebellious Israel hast done? she hath gone out of herself upon every high mountain, and under every green tree, and hath played the harlot there.

Ver. 6.  Days, before the 18th year.  God now pronounces sentence (C.) on all.  H.

 

--- Rebellious, a faithless wife.  The kingdom of Israel gave way to idolatry first.  But the people were less favoured than Juda, which had many prophets and good kings, the temple, &c.  Moreover, the misfortunes of Israel did not open the eyes of their brethren.  C.

 

--- Both the ten tribes, and the two tribes (W.) which adhered to the line of David, prevaricated.  H.



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7 And when she had done all these things, I said: Return to me, and she did not return. And her treacherous sister Juda saw,


8 That because the rebellious Israel had played the harlot, I had put her away, and had given her a bill of divorce: yet her treacherous sister Juda was not afraid, but went and played the harlot also herself.


9 And by the facility of her fornication she defiled the land, and played the harlot with stones and with stocks. 10 And after all this, her treacherous sister Juda hath not returned to me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, saith the Lord.

Ver. 10.  Falsehood.  Their reform was only apparent, under Joas, &c.  C.




11 And the Lord said to me: The rebellious Israel hath justified her soul, in comparison of the treacherous Juda.

Ver. 11.  Soul, and appeared comparatively innocent.  v. 6.  Ezec. xvi. 51.  S. Jer.

 

--- Yet neither of them was excusable.  W.




12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and thou shalt say: Return, O rebellious Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not turn away my face from you: for I am holy, saith the Lord, and I will not be angry for ever.

Ver. 12.  North.  Samaria, or rather Assyria, where the people were captives.

 

--- Face, in anger.



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13 But yet acknowledge thy iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God: and thou hast scattered thy ways to strangers under every green tree, and hast not heard my voice, saith the Lord.

Ver. 13.  Ways, dividing thy love, and adoring idols with me.


14 Return, O ye revolting children, saith the Lord: for I am your husband: and I will take you, one of a city, and two of a kindred, and will bring you into Sion.

Ver. 14.  Kindred.  Only few Israelites returned under Cyrus.  The rest came by degrees, though it was more fully accomplished by the conversion of the Gentiles.




15 And I will give you pastors according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine.

Ver. 15.  Pastors.  Zorobabel, &c. but more particularly Christ and his apostles.



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16 And when you shall be multiplied, and increase in the land in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more: The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come upon the heart, neither shall they remember it, neither shall it be visited, neither shall that be done any more.

Ver. 16.  Ark.  It was no longer at Jerusalem.  The law and its figures cease.


17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord: and all the nations shall be gathered together to it, in the name of the Lord to Jerusalem, and they shall not walk after the perversity of their most wicked heart.

Ver. 17.  All.  Many might embrace the Jewish religion.  But the predictions of the prophets on this head, were not verified, till the gospel was preached.  C.

 

--- Then many embraced the faith: several captives also returned to God.  W.




18 In those days the house of Juda shall go to the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land which I gave to your fathers.

Ver. 18.  North.  Sept. add, "and from all places" where the Jews were in captivity.  H.

 

--- Many thus returned to their own country.  v. 14.  C.

 

--- Israel had been led into captivity sooner, but all were released at once.  Theodor.  W.




19 But I said: How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a lovely land, the goodly inheritance of the armies of the Gentiles? And I said: Thou shalt call me father and shalt cease to walk after me.

Ver. 19.  Gentiles, which they all covet, or to which they are invited in the Church.  C.

 

--- Me.  On these conditions thou shalt be restored.  H.


20 But as a woman that despiseth her lover, so hath the house of Israel despised me, saith the Lord. 21 A voice was heard in the highways, weeping and howling of the children of Israel: because they have made their way wicked, they have forgotten the Lord their God.

Ver. 21.  God.  Hence proceed these miseries and lamentations.


22 Return, you rebellious children, and I will heal your rebellions. Behold we come to thee: for thou art the Lord our God. 23 In very deed the hills were liars. and the multitude of the mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.

Ver. 23.  Liars, unfruitful; and the idols have left us empty.  C.

 

--- They were placed on the hills.  Houbigant.


24 Confusion hath devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

Ver. 24.  Confusion.  Thus Baal was styled Boseth, contemptuously.  Jer. xi. 13.


25 We shall sleep in our confusion, and our shame shall cover us, because we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers from our youth even to this day, and we have not hearkened to the voice of theLord our God.

Ver. 25.  Shame.  We are justly punished with exile, (C.) and death.  M.

 


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