APPLICATION OF THE
DELINEATION OF THE
PERSONIFIED AS A
(1) Taken up by God's gratuitous favor from infancy
(2) and, when grown up, joined to Him in spiritual marriage
(3) her unfaithfulness, her sin
(4) the judgment
(5) her unlooked-for restoration
to the close).
2. cause Jerusalem to know--Men often are so blind as not to perceive
their guilt which is patent to all. "Jerusalem" represents the whole
kingdom of Judah.
3. birth . . . nativity--thy origin and birth;
literally, "thy diggings" (compare
"and thy bringings forth."
of . . . Canaan--in which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sojourned before
going to Egypt, and from which thou didst derive far more of thy innate
characteristics than from the virtues of those thy progenitors
an Amorite . . . an Hittite--These, being the most powerful tribes,
stand for the whole of the Canaanite nations (compare
which were so abominably corrupt as to have been doomed to utter
extermination by God
(Le 18:24, 25, 28;
Translate rather, "the Amorite . . . the
Canaanite," that is, these two tribes personified; their wicked
characteristics, respectively, were concentrated in the parentage of
"The Hittite" is made their "mother"; alluding to Esau's wives,
daughters of Heth, whose ways vexed Rebekah
(Ge 26:34, 35; 27:46),
but pleased the degenerate descendants of Jacob, so that these are
called, in respect of morals, children of the Hittite (compare
4. Israel's helplessness in her first struggling into national
existence, under the image of an infant
cast forth without receiving the commonest acts of parental regard. Its
very life was a miracle
navel . . . not cut--Without proper attention to the navel cord, the
infant just born is liable to die.
neither . . . washed in water to supple thee--that is, to make the
skin soft. Rather, "for purification"; from an Arabic root
GESENIUS translates as the Margin, "that thou mightest (be presented
to thy parents to) be looked upon," as is customary on the birth of
salted--Anciently they rubbed infants with salt to make the skin firm.
5. cast . . . in . . . open field--The exposure of infants was common
in ancient times.
to the loathing of thy person--referring to the unsightly aspect of
the exposed infant. FAIRBAIRN
translates, "With contempt (or disdainful
indifference) of thy life."
6. when I passed by--as if a traveller.
polluted in . . . blood--but
PISCATOR, "ready to be trodden on."
I said--In contrast to Israel's helplessness stands God's omnipotent
word of grace which bids the outcast little one "live."
in thy blood--Though thou wast foul with blood, I said, "Live"
"Live in thy blood," that is, Live, but live a life exposed
to many deaths, as was the case in the beginnings of Israel's national
existence, in order to magnify the grace of God
[CALVIN]. The former
view is preferable. Spiritually, till the sinner is made sensible of
his abject helplessness, he will not appreciate the provisions of God's
7. caused . . . to multiply--literally, "I . . . made thee a myriad."
bud of . . . field--the produce of the field. In two hundred fifty
years they increased from seventy-five persons to eight hundred thousand
[CALVIN]. But see
Ex 12:37, 38.
excellent ornaments--literally, "ornament of ornaments."
naked . . . bare--
Literally, "nakedness . . . bareness" itself; more
8. thy time of love--literally, "loves" (compare
Thou wast of marriageable age, but none was willing to marry thee, naked
as thou wast. I then regarded thee with a look of grace when the full
time of thy deliverance was come
(Ge 15:13, 14;
Ac 7:6, 7).
It is not she that makes the advance to God, but God to her; she has
nothing to entitle her to such notice, yet He regards her not with mere
benevolence, but with love, such as one cherishes to the person
of his wife
spread my skirt over thee--the mode of espousals
I betrothed thee
(De 4:37; 10:15;
The cloak is often used as a bed coverlet in the East. God explains
what He means, "I entered into . . . covenant with thee,"
that is, at Sinai. So Israel became "the wife of God's covenant"
Ho 2:19, 20;
thou . . . mine--
9. washed I thee--as brides used to pass through a preparatory
So Israel, before the giving of the law at Sinai
"Moses sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes." So
oil--emblem of the Levitical priesthood, the type of Messiah
Ps 45:13, 14,
similarly describes the Church (Israel, the appointed mother of
Christendom) adorned as a bride (so
It is Messiah who provides the wedding garment
(Re 3:18; 19:8).
badgers' skin--tahash; others translate, "seal skins." They formed
the over-covering of the tabernacle, which was, as it were, the nuptial
tent of God and Israel
and the material of the shoes worn by the Hebrews on festival days.
fine linen--used by the priests
emblem of purity.
11. The marriage gifts to Rebekah
(Ge 24:22, 47).
12. jewel on thy forehead--rather, "a ring in thy nose"
a crown--at once the badge of a bride, and of her being made a queen,
as being consort of the King; the very name Israel meaning "a prince
of God." So they are called "a kingdom of priests"
Though the external blessings bestowed on Israel were great, yet not
these, but the internal and spiritual, form the main reference in the
kingly marriage to which Israel was advanced.
13. flour . . . honey . . . oil--These three
mixed form the sweetest cakes; not dry bread and leeks as in Egypt.
From raiment He passes to food
(De 32:13, 14).
the city; also,
prosper into a kingdom--exercising empire over surrounding nations.
14. thy renown . . . among . . . heathen--The theocracy reached its
highest point under Solomon, when distant potentates heard of his "fame"
&c.), for example, the queen of Sheba, Hiram, &c.
my comeliness--It was not thine own, but imparted by Me.
15. Instead of attributing the glory of her privileges and gifts to
God, Israel prided herself on them as her own
and then wantonly devoted them to her idols
Lu 15:12, 13).
playedst . . . harlot because of thy renown--"didst play the wanton
upon thy name" [FAIRBAIRN],
namely, by allowing thy renown to lead thee
into idolatry and leagues with idolaters
(Isa 1:21; 57:8;
Jer 3:2, 6).
English Version is better, "because of thy renown," that is,
relying on it; answering to "thou didst trust in thine own
his it was--Thy beauty was yielded up to every passer-by.
Israel's zest for the worship of foul idols was but an anxiety to have
the approbation of heaven for their carnal lusts, of which the idols
were the personification; hence, too, their tendency to wander from
Jehovah, who was a restraint on corrupt nature.
16. deckedst . . . with divers colours--or, "didst make . . . of
divers colors" [FAIRBAIRN];
the metaphor and the literal are here mixed.
The high places whereon they sacrificed to Astarte are here compared to
tents of divers colors, which an impudent harlot would spread to
show her house was open to all
[CALVIN]. Compare as to "woven hangings
for Astarte" (the right translation for "grove")
the like . . . shall not come, neither shall . . . be--rather, "have
not come, nor shall be." These thy doings are unparalleled in the past,
and shall be so in the future.
17. my gold . . . my silver--
images of men--rather, "of the phallus," the Hindu lingam, or
membrum virile [HAVERNICK],
deified as the emblem of fecundity; man
making his lust his god. English Version, however, is appropriate;
Israel being represented as a woman playing the harlot with
"male images," that is, images of male gods, as distinguished from
18. tookest thy . . . garments . . . coveredst them--that is, the
idols, as if an adulteress were to cover her paramours with garments
which she had received from the liberality of her husband.
my oil--the holy anointing oil sacred to God
Also that used in sacrifices
(Le 2:1, 2).
19. My meat . . . I gave--
set it before them--as a minchah or "meat offering"
a sweet savour--literally, "a savor of rest," that is, whereby they
might be propitiated, and be at peace ("rest") with you; how ridiculous
to seek to propitiate gods of wood!
thus it was--The fact cannot be denied, for I saw it, and say it was
so, saith Jehovah.
20, 21. sons and . . . daughters borne unto me--Though
"thy children," yet they belong "unto Me," rather than to thee, for
they were born under the immutable covenant with Israel, which even
Israel's sin could not set aside, and they have received the sign of
adoption as Mine, namely, circumcision. This aggravates the guilt of
sacrificing them to Molech.
to be devoured--not merely to pass through the fire, as
sometimes children were made to do
without hurt, but to pass
through so as to be made the food of the flame in honor of idols
Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my
children--rather, "Were thy whoredoms a small matter (that is, not
enough, but) that thou hast slain
(that is, must also slay)," &c. As if thy unchastity was not enough,
thou hast added this unnatural and sacrilegious cruelty
22. not remembered . . . youth--Forgetfulness of God's love is the
source of all sins. Israel forgot her deliverance by God in the infancy
of her national life. See
forms a lovely contrast
23. woe, woe unto thee, &c.--This parenthetical exclamation has an
awful effect coming like a lightning flash of judgment amidst the black
clouds of Israel's guilt.
24. eminent place--rather, "a fornication-chamber," often connected
with the impure rites of idolatry; spiritual fornication, on "an eminent
place," answering to "fornication-chamber," is mainly meant, with an
allusion also to the literal fornication associated with it
(Jer 2:20; 3:2).
25. at every head of the way--in the most frequ