Ver 1. Of priests. What is said of priests in this prophecy is chiefly understood of the priests of the kingdom of Israel; who were not true priests of the race of Aaron, but served the calves at Bethel and Dan. Ch.
--- They had the name of priests, and pretended to act as such. 3 K. xii. W.
--- There were some apostates among them. C. iv. 6. But they lost all authority.
--- To them. Lit. "to the watch:" speculationi. Heb. "at Maspha," (H.) in Galaad, where a profane altar was erected. C. vi. 8. C.
Ver. 2. Depth, or pits of fire, where victims were sometimes thrown. Iphigen. Grot.
--- By substituting th for t, we might read, "they have dug pits to take them." C. ix. 9. Jos. xxiii 13. C.
--- Idolatry leads to the abyss. H.
Ver. 4. Known. Fornication had darkened their intellect. C.
Ver. 5. Answer. Sept. "be humbled." It appears openly, so as to deserve condemnation. H.
Ver. 6. Them. He will receive their victims no longer. Is. i. 11. C.
--- In vain do they expect to escape by this appearance of sanctity, while they continue in sin. H.
Ver. 7. Strangers. That is, aliens from God: and therefore they are threatened with speedy destruction. Ch.
--- Their offspring is rebellious, and deserves no longer to be called my people. C. i. 9.
--- Month. Every month the Assyrians shall come upon them; (Chal. S. Jer.) or, in the space of one month, they shall perish. C.
--- Sept. "the mildew shall eat them and their portions." H.
Ver. 8. Back. Bethel lay northwest of Benjamin. The two tribes would hear the distress of Israel, that they might beware and avoid the like misconduct. C.
--- The captivity is here described. W.
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. 9. That. Lit. "faith," (H.) that my word shall come to pass.
Ver. 10. Bound. This was a capital crime, under Numa, and forbidden. Deut. xix. 14. C.
--- Juda hoped to seize what was abandoned. S. Jer.
--- They deferred doing penance, and removed the boundaries set by their fathers, (Theod. C.) the virtuous patriarchs, whom they would not imitate.
Ver. 11. Oppression. Lit. "calumny." H. Is. lii. 4.
--- The Assyrians had no just reason for attacking Israel, though their crimes called for punishment (C.) from God. H.
Ver. 13. Avenging. Heb. and Sept. Jareb, (S. Jer.) which some explain of the king of Egypt; others understand the Assyrian; (C. x. 6.) while most suppose that Ephraim applied to Phul, and Juda sent to a protecting king, Theglathphalassar. 4 K. xvi. 7. and xvii. 4. C.
Ver. 14. Lioness. Heb. and Sept. "panther." H.
--- The Assyrians, instead of assisting, proved the ruin of both kingdoms.
Ver. 15. Place; to heaven. I will abandon my temple. C.
--- Face: "they will seek the absent." S. Jer.