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WOE to you that devise that which is unprofitable, and work evil in your beds: in the morning light they execute it, because their hand is against God.

Ver. 1.  Evil.  Sept. "labours."  Heb. "vanity, or an idol."  H. 

 

--- That is called unprofitable, which is very detrimental.  W.

 

--- Morning, suddenly and with zeal.  C.

 

--- Is.  Heb. "has power," (Chal.) "they have not raised their hands to God."  Sept. Arab.


2 And they have coveted fields, and taken them by violence, and houses they have forcibly taken away: and oppressed a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.

Ver. 2.  Oppressed.  Lit. "calumniated," (H.) as Jezabel did Naboth.  3 K. xxi. 13.


3 Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold, I devise an evil against this family: from which you shall not withdraw your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for this is a very evil time.

Ver. 3.  Time.  It was very near.  Micheas saw the ruin of Samaria, under Theglathphalassar and Salmanasar.


4 In that day a parable shall be taken up upon you, and a song shall be sung with melody by them that say: We are laid waste and spoiled: the portion of my people is changed: how shall he depart from me, whereas he is returning that will divide our land?

Ver. 4.  Say.  The Israelites sing this mournful canticle to v. 7. which the prophet composes for them, to shew the certainty of the event.  It is very difficult.  C.

 

--- The whole synagogue speaks.  M.

 

--- Depart.  How do you pretend to say that the Assyrian is departing, when indeed he is coming to divide our lands amongst his subjects?  Ch.

 

--- The Cutheans were sent into the country.  4 K. xvii. 24.  C.

 

--- Sept. "and there was none to hinder him from returning, our lands were divided."  H.


5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast the cord of a lot in the assembly of the Lord.

Ver. 5.  None.  Thou shalt have no longer any lot or inheritance in the land of the people of the Lord.  Ch.

 

--- Strangers had taken possession.  C.

 

--- Virgil has the like affecting thoughts.  Ec. i.  Impius hæc tam culta novalia miles habebit?  H.


6 Speak ye not, saying: It shall not drop upon these, confusion shall not take them.

Ver. 6.  Drop.  That is, the prophecy shall not come upon these.  Such were the sentiments of the people that were unwilling to believe the threats of the prophets.  Ch.

 

--- The princes order the prophets not to inculcate so many miseries. W.

 

--- Heb. "Make it not rain: they will make it rain: they will cause no rain like this: confusion shall not cease."  The people beg that the prophets would not announce such judgments: but, (C.) correcting themselves, they bid them to say what they please, (H.) as nothing can befall them more terrible.  Here the canticle ends.  C.

 

--- Sept. "shed no tears, nor let them weep for these things, for she will not cast away reproaches, who says the house of Jacob has provoked the spirit," &c.  H.


7 The house of Jacob saith: Is the spirit of the Lord straitened, or are these his thoughts? Are not my words good to him that walketh uprightly?

Ver.7.  Straitened.  Is he inclined to danger?  The prophet replies, if God punishes, it is because the people will not repent.  C.

 

--- His mercy is extended to penitents, as well as to the just.  W.


8 But my people, on the contrary, are risen up as an enemy: you have taken away the cloak off from the coat: and them that passed harmless you have turned to war.

Ver. 8.  Away.  You have often stripped people of their necessary garments; and have treated such as were innocently passing on the way, as if they were at war with you.  Ch.

 

--- He alludes to Israel attacking Juda without cause, and killing 120,000 at once, while they took 200,000 women and children (v. 9.) captives, whom Oded indeed persuaded them to release.  2 Par. xxviii. 6.  Sept. are very obscure in this chapter.  C.


9 You have cast out the women of my people from their houses, in which they took delight: you have taken my praise for ever from their children.

Ver. 9.  Cast out, &c.  Either by depriving them of their houses; or, by your crimes, giving occasion to their being carried away captives, and their children, by that means, never learning to praise the Lord.  Ch.

 

--- The Jews accustomed them to sing God's praises early, while they were still innocent.  Ps. viii. 2.  Misery might cause them to complain of Providence.  Perhaps the prophet alludes to the custom of divorces.  Mal. ii. 15.


10 Arise ye, and depart, for there is no rest here for you. For that uncleanness of the land, it shall be corrupted with a grievous corruption.

Ver. 10.  Corruption.  Your sins will not permit you to remain any longer, and strangers shall defile this land.  C.



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11 Would God I were not a man that hath the spirit, and that I rather spoke a lie: I will let drop to thee of wine, and of drunkenness: and it shall be this people upon whom it shall drop.

Ver. 11.  Would God, &c.  The prophet could have wished, out of his love to his people, that he might be deceived in denouncing to them these evils that were to fall upon them: but by conforming himself to the will of God, he declares to them that he is sent to prophesy, literally to let drop upon them, the wine of God's indignation, with which they should be made drunk; that is, stupified and cast down.  Ch.

 

--- Prot. "If a man, walking in the spirit of falsehood, do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and strong drink, he shall even be a prophet of this people."  But I cannot thus deceive you.  H.


12 I will assemble and gather together all of thee, O Jacob: I will bring together the remnant of Israel, I will put them together as a flock in the fold, as the sheep in the midst of the sheepcotes, they shall make a tumult by reason of the multitude of men.

Ver. 12.  Assemble.  God shews his mercy, in gathering his Church out of all nations.  W.

 

--- At least the Jews shall be converted, (Rom. xi. 25.  S. Jer.  Eus. Dem. ii. 50.) or they shall be butchered by the Assyrians.  Sanct.

 

--- Men.  The country was very populous when the Romans destroyed the Jews.  They had returned by degrees.  C.


13 For he shall go up that shall open the way before them: they shall divide, and pass through the gate, and shall come in by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.

Ver. 13.  Open.  Heb. "break down."  H.

 

--- Divide.  Heb. "make a breach."  They shall return boldly, and in triumph.  C.


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