I The prophet reproves the Jews for their ingratitude to God, ver. 1-5. For their neglect of his institutions, ver. 6-14.
Verse 2. Loved you - Both personally considered and relatively, in progenitors. Us - Who have been captives, and groaned under it all our days 'till of late. Was not Esau - Did not one father beget them, and one mother bear them? I loved Jacob - I preferred him to the birthright, and this of free love. I loved his person, and his posterity.
Verse 3. I hated - I loved not Esau's posterity as I loved Jacob's. His heritage - Mount Seir with the neighbouring mountains. Waste - By Nebuchadnezzar's arms five years after the sacking of Jerusalem, and whereas Jacob's captivity returned, and their cities were rebuilt, Esau's never were. The dragons - Creatures which delight in desolate places, by which the utter desolation of Esau is signified.
Verse 4. Throw down - So he did in the times of the Maccabees. The border of wickedness - They will be a most wicked people, and so notorious, that all their neighbours shall brand them for it. Hath indignation - They will so highly provoke God, that his indignation will be kindled against them for ever. 5. From the border of Israel - Let Israel from all his borders give God praise.
Verse 6. O priests - Had undutifulness been found among the ignorant people, it might have been a little excusable. But you, O priests, whose business is to know me, have like Eli's sons despised me yourselves, and made others do so too.
Verse 7. Bread - Either the meal-offerings, or rather in a more large sense, all sacrifices and oblations. Ye say - Perhaps in words; at least your deeds speak your thoughts. The table - This comprehends all that was offered to God.
Verse 8. Evil - Is it not against the express command of God.
Verse 9. I pray you - O priests. Beseech - Intercede with God for his sinful people. This - This contempt of God.
Verse 11. Incense - A law term for a gospel duty, and under this type are contained the prayers and praises, nay, the wholegospel-worship. A pure offering - Both sincere, in opposition to hypocrisy, and holy, in opposition to impurity, superstition and idolatry.
Verse 12. But ye - O priests! And the people by your examples. Ye say - By your deportment. Is polluted - Not a sacred thing. His meat - Either the meat which fell to the priest's share, or the portion which was laid upon the altar.
Verse 13. What a weariness - What a toil and drudgery to observe every point of the law. This - With such minds snuffing at my service, and with such sacrifices, unfit for mine altar.
Verse 14. The deceiver - The hypocrite that would seem to offer a sacrifice of the best, but puts God off with the worst. A male - A perfect male, such as God requireth.