Seek the Lord, and ye shall live
This is, repeated to stir up unto it, because of their backwardness and slothfulness, and to show the importance and necessity of it. By the "Lord" may be meant the Messiah, Israel's God that was to come, and they were to prepare to meet, ( Amos 4:12 ) ; and the rather, since life spiritual and eternal is only to be had from him, and he is to be sought unto for it, and all the blessings of it, peace, pardon, righteousness, rest, and salvation as well as temporal deliverance, and all outward mercies: lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour [it];
that is, lest his wrath and fury break out like fire as the Targum, by sending an enemy to invade the land, destroy it, and carry the inhabitants of it captive; even all the ten tribes, who frequently go by the name of Ephraim the son of Joseph, that being the principal tribe, and the first king of them being of it: and [there be] none to quench [it] in Bethel;
the calf worshipped there, and the priests that officiated, would not be able to avert the stroke of divine vengeance, or turn back the enemy, and save the land from ruin. The Targum is,
``and there be none to quench it, because of your sins, who have been serving idols in Bethel.''