Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast [thee] off
Or, is the cause of thy being cast off by the Lord, and of being cast out of thine own land, and carried captive into another; the past tense is used for the future, as is common in prophetic writings, to denote the certainty of the thing: or "thy calf hath left thee" F1; in the lurch; it cannot help thee; it is gone off, and forsaken thee; it has "removed" itself from thee, according to the sense of the word in ( Lamentations 3:17 ) ; as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe; or is removed far from thee, being carried captive itself into Assyria; for, when the king of Assyria took Samaria, he seized on the golden calf for the sake of the gold, and took it away; see ( Hosea 10:5 Hosea 10:6 ) ( Isaiah 10:11 ) ; or "he hath removed thy calf" F2; that is, the enemy, taking it away when he took the city; or God has rejected it with the utmost contempt and abhorrence: the calf is here, and in the following verse, called the calf of Samaria, because this was the metropolis of the ten tribes, in which the calf was worshipped, and because it was worshipped by the Samaritans; and it may be, when Samaria became the chief city, the calf at Bethel might be removed thither, or another set up in that city: mine anger is kindled against them:
the calves at Dan and Bethel, the singular before being put for the plural; or against the if of Samaria, and Samaria itself; or the inhabitants of it, because of the worship of the calf, which was highly provoking to God, it being a robbing him of his glory, and giving it to graven images: how long [will it be] ere they attain to innocency?
or "purity" F3; of worship, life, and conversation: the words may be rendered thus, "how long?" F4 for there is a large stop there; and this may be a question of the prophet's, asking how long the wrath of God would burn against the people, what; would be the duration of it, and when it would end? to which an answer is returned, as the words may be translated, "they cannot bear purity" F5; of doctrine, of worship of heart, and life; when they can, mine anger will cease burning: or, as the Targum,
``as long as they cannot purify themselves,''or be purified; so long as they continue in their sins, in their superstition and idolatry, and other impieties, and are not purged from them.