V The scope of this chapter likewise, is to discover the sins of Israel and Judah, and to denounce the judgments of God against them, ver. 1-15.
Verse 1. For judgment - God's controversy is with you all. A snare - You, O priests and princes, have ensnared the people by your examples. Mizpah - By idolatries acted at Mizpah, a part of Libanus. On Tabor - Here, as in Mizpah, idolatry catched men as birds are taken in a net.
Verse 2. The revolters - All those that have cast off the law of God. Profound - Dig deep to hide their counsels, and to slay the innocent. Though I - Hosea.
Verse 5. Doth testify - Is an evident witness against him.
Verse 6. To seek the Lord - The Jewishdoctors tell us, that under Hosea, Israel had liberty of bringing their sacrifices to Jerusalem. Shall not find him - God will not be found of them. Hath withdrawn himself - For their impenitency.
Verse 7. Have begotten - They have trained up their children in the same idolatry. A month - Possibly it may refer to Shallum's short time of usurpation, which lasted but a month; the Assyrians shall make a speedy conquest over you. With their portions - With all their substance.
Verse 8. Blow ye - Ye watchmen, sound the alarm, the enemy cometh. After thee, O Benjamin - After thy cries. After thee, O Beth-aven, let Benjamin also cry aloud: for they shall also fall for their sin.
Verse 9. Ephraim - The whole kingdom of the ten tribes. Rebuke - When Salmaneser shall besiege, sack and captivate all thy cities, rebuked for their sins. Of Israel - To the house of Israel openly. Made known - By my prophets.
Verse 10. The bound - The ancient bounds which limited every one, and prevented the encroaching of covetous men. Like water - Like an overflowing flood.
Verse 11. Ephraim - The ten tribes are by seditions, civil wars, unjust sentences, and bloody conspiracies eaten up already. After the commandment - To forbear going to the temple, and to worship the calves at Daniel and Bethel, as Jeroboam the son of Nebat commanded.
Verse 12. A moth - Moths leisurely eat up our clothes; so God was then, and had been, from Jeroboam's death, weakening the ten tribes. As rottenness - Secretly consuming them.
Verse 13. His sickness - Weakness, like a consumption, threatening death. Then went - Made application. The Assyrian - Particularly to Israel or Pul.
Verse 14. Will tear - Divine vengeance by the Assyrians, shall be as a lion tearing his prey.