- Israel reproved for idolatry and other sins, verse 1-8.
- Ruin foretold, yet with encouragement to hope, verse 9-16.
Ephraim - The ten tribes, of which Ephraim was the chief. Spake trembling - Humbled himself before God. Exalted himself - The kingdom flourished. When he offended - So soon as they sinned, taking Baal to be their God. He died - They lost their power and glory.
Of them - Of the idols. Let the man - Let all that bring their offerings to these idols, worship and adore, and shew they do so by kissing the calves.
Thou shalt know - I forbad thee to know any other God but me, in gratitude thou shouldest know no other.
I did know - Owned, took care of, guided and supplied.
Their pasture - When they were come into Canaan, and had abundance of all things, they ran into luxury. Was exalted - They grew proud.
Observe them - Watch for them, that I might be sure to take them.
Rent - First kill, then tear in pieces, and pull out the very heart.
Thy king - I would have been thy king to govern and save thee, but thou refusedst me in both: yet I will be thy king to punish thee. Thy judges - Where are they now? And princes - Necessary to assist the king.
A king - Such as Shallum, Menahem, Pekah.
Is bound up - As sins unpardoned; for to loose sins is to forgive, and to bind sins is to charge them upon the sinner, Matthew 16:19. Hid - Not from God, but laid up with God against the day of recompense.
The sorrows - The punishment of his sins will overtake him suddenly, with great anguish. An unwise son - A foolish son, who endangers himself and his mother. He should not stay - As a child that sticks in the birth, so is Ephraim, one while will, another while will not return to God; and thus dies under the delay.
Ransom - By power and purchase, by the blood of the lamb of God, and by the power of his Godhead. Them - That repent and believe. From the grave - He conquered the grave, and will at the great day of the resurrection open those prison-doors, and bring us out in glory. From death - From the curse of the first death, and from the second death, which shall have no power over us. Thy plagues - Thus I will destroy death. I will pull down those prison-walls, and bring out all that are confined therein, the bad of whom I will remove into other prisons, the good I will restore to glorious liberty. Repentance shall be hid - I will never, as a man that repenteths, change my word and purpose, saith the Lord. What a glorious promise is this, which is interposed in the midst of all these judgments!
He - Ephraim. His brethren - Either the rest of the tribes, or the nations who by league are become as his brethren. An east-wind - An enemy as pernicious to his estate as the east-wind is to fruits. Of the Lord - A mighty enemy, called here the wind of the Lord, the usual superlative in Hebrew. The wilderness - Which lay south-east from Canaan. The south-east winds in that country were of all, most hot and blasting. He - The Assyrian army. Shall spoil - Shall carry away all desirable vessels and furniture.