Ver. 1. Branches. Sept. "Wood." Sym. This is all: it yields no fruit. Prot. "empty." H.
--- Heb. "plucked." The grapes are taken away, as the Israelites were; though they boasted of their numbers. C. ix. 16. They are often compared to a vine, the symbol of fecundity. Is. v. 3. Ps. cxxvii. 3. C.
--- The greater benefits of God enhanced their ingratitude. W.
--- On every noted hill (H.) profane altars were erected.
Ver. 2. Divided between the Lord and idols. 3 K. xviii. 21. C.
--- The Jews relate that Osee, the last king of Israel, gave the people leave to go to Jerusalem; (4 K. xvii. 2.) and as they would not take advantage of it, their ruin was decreed. S. Jer.
Ver. 3. No king, in captivity; or they give this title to the golden calf. Manahem had destroyed one, so that they could not but see its vanity. The neighbouring nations looked upon their idols as their kings.
Ver. 4. Covenant with Phul, who seeks only your destruction. 4 K. xv. 19. C.
--- Bitterness. Heb. "poison," (H.) or a bitter herb. C.
Ver. 5. The kine of Bethaven. The golden calves of Jeroboam, (Ch.) one of which (H.) was set up at Bethel. W.
--- The feminine cows, is spoken in ridicule; as (C.) O verè Phrygiæ, Æn. ix. Isis was represented with a cow's head. Herod. ii. 41.
--- Rejoiced. To avoid this apparent contradiction, the Jews relate that the priests had sent a brazen calf to the Assyrians, and secreted the golden one. While they rejoiced at their success, Salmanasar, (Seder. Olam.) or Sennacherib, discovered the cheat, and came to destroy the kingdom. S. Jer.
--- This has the air of a fable. If (C.) we substitute e for g, in yagilu, (H.) we may give a good sense to the Heb. "The people shouting, or in black, (cemaraiv) have been in sorrow, because their glory is taken from them: so the idol is called. Ps. cv. 20. C.
BethavenBethaven (Gen 12:8): poss. Kh, Haiyân, also called El-Jîr, E. of Beitîn. — 1 Samuel 13:5, Bethoron should probably be read instead of Bethaven. --- Bethaven and Bethel are the same place; (S. Jerom. C.) though many distinguish them, with Cellarius. The former name means "the house of iniquity," because Jeroboam there set up a golden calf. Bethel was its former appellation, in consequence of the vision of Jacob. Gen. xxviii.
Ver. 6. Itself also is carried, &c. One of the golden calves was given by king Manahem to Phul, king of the Assyrians, to engage him to stand by him. Ch.
--- Avenging. C. v. 13.
--- Will, or expectation of aid. C.
--- He had recourse to this nation, without consulting God. H.
AssyriaAssyria. The successors of Cyrus now ruled over those countries, (C.) which had belonged to the most potent Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs; and therefore the titles are given to them indiscriminately. T.
Ver. 7. Pass. Heb. "As for Samaria, it is undone. Its king is like froth, or a bubble," &c. C. xi. 1. The calf; (v. 3.) Zacharias or Osee may be meant.
Ver. 8. Us, as the Jews would do at the last siege, and sinners before the day of judgment. Lu. xxiii. 30. Apoc. vi. 14. Too happy, if they could by a speedy death escape eternal torments! C.
--- People shall be in the utmost consternation at the approach of the Assyrians. H.
--- They will not think themselves secure enough in their caverns.
Ver. 9. Gabaa. Sept. "high places;" or he alludes to the brutality of the citizens. Judg. xx. 13.
--- Stood. Those of Gabaa were speedily punished by the other tribes. Now, all are perverse. At that time one tribe was guilty, and yet some were spared; but all Israel shall be now led into captivity. C.
--- From the time that Dan adored Micha's idol, (Jud. xviii. 14.) the evil has spread among the rest of the tribes, which did not punish this transgression. Hence all shall at last suffer. W.
Ver. 10. Their two iniquities. Their two calves; (Ch.) or because they have abandoned God, and followed idols. Jer. ii. 13. Many render, "when I shall have tied them, like oxen, in their two furrows." But the Vulg. is plainer, and adopted by most.
Ver. 11. Neck. I will confine her to harder labour. While the oxen tred out corn, they may eat. Deut. xxv. 4.
--- Himself. Juda shall be chastised after the ten tribes; so that none of my people shall escape.
Ver. 12. Mouth. Heb. "in proportion to (C.) your piety." Sept. "gather a vintage of the fruit of life." H.
--- Ground. Reform you conduct. C.
--- Justice, when Christ shall appear, the source of all our grace and justice. S. Jer. &c. C.
--- Sept. "Light up for yourselves the light of knowledge, for it is time; seek the Lord, till ye obtain the fruit of justice."
Ver. 13. Ploughed. Sept. "Why have you concealed impiety," refusing to confess? H.
--- Iniquity, or punishment.
--- Lying. Your hopes are frustrated, and no fruit is seen. C.
--- Ways: idols. S. Jer.
Ver. 14. Tumult. Heb. shaon; the din of war, (H.) or cry of soldiers. C.
--- Salmana, king of the Madianites, was destroyed by the house; that is, by the followers of him that judgeth Baal; that is, of Gedeon, who threw down the altar of Baal, and was therefore called Jerobaal. See Judg. vi. and viii. Ch.
--- Of him. Sept. Rom. "of Jeroboam." But S. Jer. &c. have, Jerobaal. Theodoret, "in the house of Arbeel." Heb. "as Salmana ruined the house of Arbela." There were many places of this name; but none of great note, taken by Salmanasar. Some think that he took it before he was king. Yet this is all uncertain, and the Heb. seems rather changed, so that we should read with the Alex. MS. S. Jer. &c. Jerobaal, who defeated the Madianites, and treated Succoth with great severity. Judg. viii. 15. C.
BaalBaal (1Chron 4:33), probably identical with Baalath Beer Ramath (Josh 19:8; Simeon), poss. Biâr Mãyîn, or Tell el-Lekiyeh, N. of Bersabee. Baal, or Ballath. Jos. xix. 1.
Ver. 15. Bethel. This place, defiled by an idol, shall be the scene of your misery. Sept. "So I will treat you, O house of Israel," &c. (H.) which is not in Heb. (S. Jer.) but seems as good. H.
--- Heb. adds here properly, (C.) "Presently, or in the morning, shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off," which we have in the next chapter.