Verse 17. "They put the branch to their nose." - This is supposed to mean some branch or branches, which they carried in succession in honour of the idol, and with which they covered their faces, or from which they inhaled a pleasant smell, the branches being odouriferous. That the heathens carried branches of trees in their sacred ceremonies is well known to all persons acquainted with classic antiquity; and it is probable that the heathen borrowed those from the use of such branches in the Jewish feast of tabernacles. There are many strange, and some filthy, interpretations given of this clause; but the former are not worth repeating, and I abominate the latter too much to submit to defile my paper with them. Probably the Brahminic Linga is here intended.
It really seems that at this time the Jews had incorporated every species of idolatry in their impure worship, - Phoenician, Egyptian, and Persian. I might add that some imagine the image of jealousy to be a personification of idolatry itself.