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WHEN Ephraim spoke, a horror seized Israel: and he sinned in Baal and died.

Ver. 1.  Spoke.  When Jeroboam proposed to erect the golden calves, people were seized with horror; yet they consented, and soon after Baal and other idols were worshipped.  W.

 

--- Ephraim was one of the greatest tribes, and by its example the rest were drawn into idolatry.  Achab principally introduced the worship of Baal, which caused God to decree the misery of his people.  3 K. xvi. 31.



Baal

Baal (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.

2 And now they have sinned more and more: and they have made to themselves a molten thing of their silver as the likeness of idols: the whole is the work of craftsmen: to these that say: Sacrifice men, ye that adore calves.

Ver. 2.  Calves.  A cutting reproach!  Those who could stoop to adore a calf, might be so blind as to sacrifice men!  Heb. "sacrifice, ye men who," &c.  Jeroboam issues this edict.  C.

 

--- Sept. "immolate men; calves are wanting."  H.


3 Therefore they shall be as a morning aloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the dust that is driven with a whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.

Ver. 3.  Away.  C. vi. 4.

 

--- Chimney, or hole, at the side or top of the room.  C.

 

--- Heb. arubba, (H.) means also "a locust," as the Sept. render it, though here it affords no sense.


4 But I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt: and thou shalt know no God but me, and there is no saviour beside me.

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5 I knew thee in the desert, in the land of the wilderness.

Ver. 5.  Knew: treated thee with kindness, or tried thee.  C.


6 According to their pastures they were filled, and were made full: and they lifted up their heart, and have forgotten me.

Ver. 6.  Pastures: the more they were indulged.  H.  Deut. xxxii. 15.


7 And I will be to them as a lioness, as a leopard in the way of the Assyrians.

Ver. 7.  Lioness.  Sept. "panther."  I will pursue them even in their captivity.


8 I will meet them as a bear that is robbed of her whelps, and I will rend the inner parts of their liver: and I will devour them there as a lion, the beast of the field shall tear them.

Ver. 8.  Whelps; with the greatest fury.  2 K. xvii. 8.

 

--- Inner.  Heb. "what encloses the heart;" or, I will break their hard heart.  C.


9 Destruction is thy own, O Israel: thy help is only in me.

Ver. 9.  Own.  Evils are brought on by the sins of men, which God does not cause.  W.

 

--- Sept. "who will aid to prevent thy perdition, O Israel."  H.

 

--- God alone is the author of salvation.  He also punishes, (Amos iii. 6.) but for man's amendment in life.  W.


10 Where is thy king? now especially let him save thee in all thy cities: and thy judges, of whom thou saidst: Give me kings and princes.

Ver. 10.  Princes.  It was on this pretext that a king was demanded.  1 K. viii. 20.  Will any now save you?  M.



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11 I will give thee a king in my wrath, and will take him away in my indignation.

Ver. 11.  King; Saul, Jeroboam, or the Assyrian.

 

--- Away.  Osee, (C.) so that you shall have no more kings of Israel.  H.

 

--- Sept. alone have, "I took (C.) or had him in," &c.  S. Jer.


12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up, his sin is hidden.

Ver. 12.  Hidden.  He thinks to escape.  H.

 

--- But I keep it like pieces of silver, bound up in my treasury.  S. Jer.  C.




13 The sorrows of a woman in labour snail come upon him, he is an unwise son: for now he shall not stand in the breach of the children.

Ver. 13.  Him.  He shall be taken when he least expects it.  His fruit shall come forth.  Jer. iv. 31.

 

--- Children.  He shall have no share in the division of property, or shall not escape when the father shall bring his children to an account.  The Chal. &c. insinuate, that the infant affords no help to come forth, as it would if it had sense.  C.


14 I will deliver them out of the hand of death. I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy death; O hell, I will be thy bite: comfort is hidden from my eyes.

Ver. 14.  Death.  This must be understood of eternal misery, from which the just are preserved.  All must die, and many suffered a violent death from the Assyrians.  W.

 

--- After denouncing the severest judgments, the prophet promises redress and a sort of resurrection, which was a figure of the real sufferings and rising of Jesus Christ.  The apostle applies this text to him, but follows not the Heb. or Sept.  1 Cor. xv. 55.  C.

 

--- Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy victory?  O death, where is thy sting?  Prot. read, O grave, (marg. hell) instead of the latter death.  Heb. ehi has been twice placed for aie, I will be instead of where? (H.) as the Gr. Arab. and Syr. versions, as wll as the context, evince.  All the versions prove the same corruption to be.  v. 10.  Kennicott, Aquila, and the 5. edit. read where?  Sym. I will be: (S. Jer.) so that the change probably took place between A. 130 and 200.  Sept. "Where is thy cause gained, (in a lawsuit, or thy justice; dikh.  H.) O death?" &c.

 

--- Eyes.  I can find no consolation, (S. Jer.) because the people cause dissension by their perseverance in evil.  Hebrew also, "repentance," &c.  I will utterly destroy Ephraim; or rather, "vengeance...because he shall flourish," &c.  If Ephraim would repent, this should not take place; but now, the Lord will bring Salmanasar, a burning wind.  v. 15.  C.



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15 Because he shall make a separation between brothers: the Lord will bring a burning wind that shall rise from the desert, and it shall dry up his springs, and shall make his fountain desolate, and he shall carry off the treasure of every desirable vessel.

Ver. 15.  Springs of death; or the sins which Christ, born of a virgin, shall destroy, and liberate the vessels of election from hell.  S. Jer.  H.



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