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the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Afterward, when the Son of God shall be manifested in the flesh, the children of Israel, together with all my whole Church, shall return, and submit themselves to the worship of the true God, and of the Messiah, the true Son and Successor of David: and shall be holily and religiously affected to God and his service, in the days of the Gospel.
IV. 2. They break out, and blood toucheth blood.
They break out into horrible outrages; and murders are so frequent, as that one overtakes another, without any distance or intermission of bloodshed.
IV. 4. Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.
Yet let no man trouble himself, and lose his labour, in reproving those sins, which he sees committed; for thy people are obstinately bent to continue in their wickedness: they are such as will be ready to brawl and quarrel with the messengers of God, that shall endeavour to reclaim them.
IV. 5. Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.
Therefore will I bring swift judgment upon thee: thou shalt speedily fall, and thy prophets with thee; for, if thou fallest in the day, thy prophets shall not be long after thee, they shall fall in the night; and I will destroy the very Church and kingdom, whereto thou appertainest.
IV. 6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
My people are destroyed for lack of the true knowledge of me their God, and of my law.
IV. 8. They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.
They make a gain of the sins of my people, and feed themselves fat with their sacrifices; willingly giving way to their sins, for the benefit of their oblations; and being well pleased with their gainful iniquities.
IV. 9. And there shall be like people, like priests: and I will punish them for their ways, etc.
So as they shall be all too like to each other; wicked people, and wicked priests: the people's sins deserved to be punished with such priests, and such priests have helped to make the people thus wicked, etc.
IV. 10. For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.
They shall eat; and yet not find the benefit of their sustenance, in an increase of strength, or satisfaction of appetite:
they shall spend their bodies in the acts of their lust, and shall have no increase of issue; for that they cast off all care of God's service, and their obedience to him.
IV. 11. Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
They are so besotted with their whoredoms and drunkenness, that they have lost all the sense of whatsoever grace and goodness; and are utterly bereft of all care of God or themselves.
IV. 12. My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.
My people are so sottish, as to go unto their wooden images, for either counsel, or prediction of future events: a piece of a stick is their god, and their oracle; for this gross idolatrous disposition, whereto they have long inclined, hath drawn them into these foul enormities, and hath drawn them a whoring from under their only true God.
IV. 14. I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredoms, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.
I will not so far favour you, as to punish your daughters, or your wives, when they play the harlot: while I respected you, and took keep of you, I was ready to correct you for your misdeeds; but now, I have given up the care of you, and will not chastise that in your children and wives, which ye, that are the parents and husbands, are willingly guilty of; for ye yourselves go aside with your harlots, and spend the good cheer of your sacrifices upon whores; therefore, as I before denounced the sentence, the people, both one and other, that do not understand, nor seek after God, shall perish.
IV. 15. Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.
But though Israel, or the Ten Tribes, be thus miscarried with idolatry, yet let not the infectious example of their sin so far prevail, as that Judah and Benjamin should be tainted therewith: go not ye, O men of Judah, so far as Gilgal, the utmost bounds of your region on this side Jordan, upon any idolatrous pilgrimage; neither go ye up to the golden calf of Beth-el, yea, of Beth-aven rather, the house of vanity; neither do ye, in your solemn oaths, apply my name to your idols, as to say of them, The Lord liveth.
IV. 16. For Israel slideth back, as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
For Israel is slidden back from her profession; as some wild
and stubborn heifer draws back, to pull his neck out of the yoke and now, the Lord will lay them open to judgment, as if some silly lamb, in a large pasture, should be exposed to the violence of some devouring beast.
IV. 17. Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
Ephraim, or the Ten Tribes of Israel, have given themselves over to idolatry: meddle not thou with them, O Judah: if Israel will needs offend, let him sin without thee.
IV. 18. Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.
Their intemperance is odious: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers are all for bribes, and are not ashamed to say, Give.
IV. 19. The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
But they shall be miserably dispersed: the wind of God's judgments is ready to carry them away, upon the wings thereof, into fearful desolation; and they shall rue the time, that they yielded themselves over to those their idolatrous sacrifices.
V. 1. And give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.
And give ye ear, O house of the king of Israel; for judgment is toward you; because, when as my people were, according to my command, to go up to sacrifice at Jerusalem, ye procured wait to be laid for them, both at Mizpah and at mount Tabor, as a fowler would lay nets and snares for birds, to intercept them in their way and to draw them back to your own idolatrous altars.
V. 2. And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.
And the revolted Israelites are profound and subtle in their plots, to draw the slaughter of the sacrifices to the place of their own choosing; though I have not forborne my vehement rebukes of them all.
V. 3. I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me.
I know Ephraim, the chief of those Ten Tribes; and the rest, which make up the kingdom of Israel, are not hid from me.
V. 5. Judah also shall fall with them.
Judah also, since he would not be warned to avoid the sins of Israel, shall partake of their judgments, as well as of their iniquity.
V. 6. They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; etc.
They shall go with whole flocks and herds of their sacrifices, to seek the Lord, to appease his wrath, and recover his favour; but they shall not find grace and acceptation at his hands.
V. 7. They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
They have dealt treacherously against the Lord; for they have trained up their children in heathenish idolatry: now therefore, in a very short space, shall they and their land be devoured by the enemy.
V. 8. Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Beth-aven, after thee, O Benjamin.
Make speedy preparation therefore for the war: Blow the cornet in Gibeah, the utmost border of Judah; and blow the trumpet in Ramah, the utmost border of Israel: cry aloud at Beth-aven, that is betwixt both; and do thou, O Benjamin, consider what thou hast to do, when the enemy is at thy back.
V. 9. Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.
Even that leading tribe of Ephraim shall be desolate, in the day of my vengeance: I have signified unto the tribes of Israel, what they shall surely find, how incredulous soever they may be for the present.
V. 10. The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.
The princes of Judah were lawless in their carriage; as men, that resolved not to regard those bounds and limits, which my law hath set unto them in their callings; therefore, I will abundantly pour out my wrath upon them.
V. 11. Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.
Ephraim is oppressed by the Assyrian, and gone to wreck; because he willingly walked after the commandment of their wicked and idolatrous governors.
V. 12. Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.
Therefore will I consume Ephraim, as a moth eateth a garment; and will consume Judah, as a worm (or rottenness) consumeth wood: so will I decay them, by an insensible, yet certain judgment.
V. 13. When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: : yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.
When Israel saw the danger, wherein he was, he made means to the Assyrian for help; and when Ahaz, the king of Judah, was in distress, he sends to Tiglath Pileser, that should stand out for him; but all in vain: neither shall any aid of mortal man be able to cure you of those wounds, which the hand of my justice shall inflict upon you.
V. 15. I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge
their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
I will go, saith the Lord, and will withdraw myself from them; not giving them any testimony of my grace or presence, till they shall be humbled in the sense of their sins, and seek to recover my favour in their affliction: and if any means can possibly prevail with them, it must be this; in their affliction they will seek me instantly.
VI. 1. Come, and let us return unto the LORD.
And, in their seeking after me, they shall exhort and excite one another to repentance; Come, and let us return, etc.
VI. 2. After two days will he revive us.
After a very short space of our afflictions, he will be gracious unto us; and so cheer and restore us, as if he had given us a new life.
VI. 3. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
Then shall we attain to the perfect knowledge of the Lord, if we do carefully and constantly persist in using those good means that he hath appointed: he shall then so reveal himself to us, as the sun shews himself to the world, in his morningrising, by degrees ascending to his full height; and he shall come to us, not at once, but as the rain, that falls down by drops, even as the rain of the autumn and spring, that descends sweetly in soft and gentle showers.
VI. 4. O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.
O Israel and Judah, what course should I take with you? I have neglected no means of your good; yet there is no hold to be taken of you: some profession you make, but it is altogether fickle and inconstant: your appearing goodness vanishes away, like as a morning cloud, or an early dew in
VI. 5. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.
Therefore, I have wrought upon them by my prophets, denouncing judgment against them: I have, as it were, smitten them dead by the terrible threats of my punishments; and I have given them such means of information, as have been no less clear than the light itself, that goeth forth upon the world.
VI. 6. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God, more than burnt offerings.
For it was true inward goodness and mercy, that I required of them, and not the outward formalities of sacrifice; and the