And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were
not right against the Lord their God
As being partly conscious to themselves that they were not right, and ashamed to commit them openly; and partly as foolishly imagining, that, being done privately, they were not seen and observed of God, having imbibed some atheistical notions of him, that he was not omniscient, or saw not, and had forsaken the earth; or they "covered" F7 these actions of theirs under reigned and plausible pretences, that what they did they were obliged to by their kings, and with political views, and that they worshipped the true God in the calves; but these were coverings too thin not to be seen through:
and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of
the watchmen to the fenced city;
not content with those built in former times, they built new ones; and these not in their metropolis only, but in all the cities of the kingdom; and not in large cities only, but in every town and village between one fortified city and another; even wherever there was a watch tower erected, either for shepherds to watch their flocks, or for keepers of gardens, orchards, and vineyards, to watch the fruits of them, that they were not taken away.
F7 (wapxy) "occultaverunt", Montanus, Vatablus, Grotius; "palliaverunt", Piscator.