But they, like men, have transgressed the covenant
The false prophets, as Aben Ezra, whom he threatened to cut off and slay, ( Hosea 6:5 ) ; or rather Ephraim and Judah, whose goodness was so fickle and unstable; and who, instead of doing acts of mercy, and seeking after the true knowledge of God and his worship, which are preferable to all sacrifices, they transgressed the law of God, which they promised at Mount Sinai to obey; the precepts of the moral law, even of both tables, which concern both God and man; and also the ceremonial law, by appointing priests to sacrifice who were not of the tribe of Levi, as did Ephraim or the ten tribes under Jeroboam; and by offering sacrifices to their calves, and by not observing the solemn feasts; and the precepts relating to both these laws constitute the covenant made with the children of Israel at Sinai, ( Exodus 24:3-8 ) ; which they transgressed, either "like Adam" F25 the first man, as Jarchi; who transgressed the covenant of works in paradise God made with him, and all mankind in him: or like the men of old, the former generations, as the Targum; meaning either the old inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites; or the men of the old world at the time of the flood, who were a very wicked and abandoned generation of men; or like men in common, depraved and degenerated, fickle and inconstant, vain and deceitful, and not at all to be depended upon; especially like the lower sort of men, the common people, who have no regard to their word, covenant, and agreement; or particularly like such men that are given to penury, and make no conscience of oaths and covenants ever so solemnly made: or, as others read the words, "but they have transgressed the covenant like man's" F26; making no more account of it than if it was a man's covenant; there have they dealt treacherously against me;
in the covenant they entered into, by breaking it, not performing their promises; and eve in the very sacrifices they offered, and were so fond of, and put their confidence in; either by offering such sacrifices as were not legal, or by offering them to idols, under a pretence of offering them to God, which was dealing treacherously against him; and in all other acts of religion, in which they would be thought to have regard to the covenant of God, his laws and precepts, and to be very serious and devout, yet acted the hypocritical part, were false and deceitful, and devoid of all sincerity: or there, in the promised land, where the Lord had so largely bestowed his favours on them; so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel, agreeably to the Targum, which paraphrases it thus,
``and in the good land, which I gave unto them to do my will, they have dealt falsely with my word.''
F25 (Mdak) "sicut Adam", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Castilio, Grotius, Cocceius.
F26 "Tanquam hominis, [sub.] pectum", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Zanchius.