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LET Samaria perish, because she hath stirred up her God to bitterness: let them perish by the sword, let their little ones be dashed, and let the women with child be ripped up.

Ver. 1.  Perish, because she hath stirred up her God to bitterness.  It is not a curse or imprecation, but a prophecy of what should come to pass (Ch). to Israel, in Assyria.  Many such expressions occur.  Ps. lxviii. 25. &c.  S. Jer.


--- Sometimes they are the efforts of zeal, conformable to divine justice.  Ps. cxl. 6.  W.


--- Heb. "Samaria has sinned, or shall perish."  C.


--- Bitterness.  Sept. "she hath resisted her God."  H.

2 Return, O Israel, to the Lord thy God: for thou hast fallen down by thy iniquity.


3 Take with you words, and return to the Lord, and say to him: Take away all iniquity, and receive the good: and we will render the calves of our lips.

Ver. 3.  Words.  In captivity, legal victims cannot be offered.  C.


--- But a contrite heart is always acceptable.  Ps. l.


--- Good.  While engaged  in sin, (H.) "we can offer thee nothing good."


--- Calves: victims of praise.  S. Jer.


--- Heb. parim.  Sept. omit m, (H.) and render fruit.  They are followed by the Arab. and Syr. as well as by the apostle.  Heb. xiii. 15.  C.


--- We will offer what victims we please.  E.  Ps. lxix. 23. and lxv. 13.

4 Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses, neither will we say any more: The works of our hands are our gods, for thou wilt have mercy on the fatherless that is in thee.

Ver. 4.  Gods.  The Assyrians, instead of protecting, oppress us; while Egypt, famous for horses, sits unconcerned.  C.


--- But the source of all our evils are the idols, which we will follow no more.


--- In thee: adheres to the true faith in practice.  H.


--- Israel was like an orphan during the captivity.  Lam. i. 1.  C.


Assyria. 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.

5 I will heal their breaches, I will love them freely: for my wrath is turned away from them.

Ver. 5.  Breaches, when Israel shall be converted, as some were to Christ, and many will be at the end of the world.  W.


--- Heb. "their return."  Sept. "dwellings."  They shall be purified.


--- Freely.  I have been forced to chastise, My heart dilates.  C.


--- Sept. "I will love them manifestly."  Syr. "accept their free offerings."  H.

6 I will be as the dew, Israel shall spring as the lily, and his root shall shoot forth as that of Libanus.

Ver. 6.  Dew.  Israel has been like a plant dried up.  C. xiii. 15.


--- Libanus.  The cedars were tall and bulky, being well rooted.

7 His branches shall spread, and his glory shall be as the olive tree: and his smell as that of Libanus.

Ver. 7.  Glory.  Sept. "he shall be as fruitful as the olive-tree."


--- Libanus, or incense.  C.


--- The term has both meanings.  H.

8 They shall be converted that sit under his shadow: they shall live upon wheat, and they shall blossom as a vine: his memorial shall be as the wine of Libanus.

Ver. 8.  His.  This may refer to the tree, or to God.  The captives shall return, and be happy.  But in a more sublime sense it refers to the nations which shall embrace the gospel.


--- Libanus, or fragrant.  Such wine was esteemed in which certain odoriferous herbs were infused.  Cant. vii. 2.  C.


--- Libanus was also famous for generous wines.  Siconita 11.

9 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I will hear him, and I will make him flourish like a green fir tree: from me is thy fruit found.

Ver. 9.  Idol? or God will no more reproach them, as their conversion is sincere.


--- Make.  Heb. "be to him like," &c.  C.

10 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know these things? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall in them.

Ver. 10.  Wise.  This denotes the obscurity of the prophecy.  Theod.


--- No human wit can explain the prophets: yet the just shall understand as much as shall  be necessary.  S. Jer.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 28.  W.


--- Only few will make good use of these admonitions, and share in the promises.  C.

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