And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria
The ten tribes of Israel, among whom, in Ahab's time there were many false prophets, Baal's prophets, even four hundred and fifty; whose "folly" the Lord had formerly taken notice of; even their idolatry and impiety for giving into which the ten tribes had been carried captive years ago. The word F18 here used signifies that which is "unsavoury": something very unsavoury in their doctrines, and in their lives; they were as salt which has lost its savour and is good for nothing; to which bad ministers are compared, ( Matthew 5:13 ) . These words are to be read in connection with the following, and may be rendered, "indeed I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria"; of Israel in times past; "but I have seen in the prophets of Jerusalem" F19 that which is far worse; and therefore they must not expect to escape; or, as the Syriac version, "as I have seen in the prophets of Samaria--so have I seen in the prophets of Jerusalem" so that here is a comparison run between them; and the latter are represented as worse than the former, though they were bad enough; as follows: for they prophesied in Baal;
in the name of Baal, whose prophets they were; so the Targum,
``they prophesied in the name of idols:''or, "they prophesied by Baal", as the Septuagint version F20; they pretended to be inspired by him, and to receive their prophecies from him: or, "they prophesied concerning Baal"; what he would do for them, for those that worshipped him. The Arabic version is, "they prophesied in my name to Baal"; which seems to be foreign from the sense of the place: and caused my people Israel to err;
by following their directions and instructions, and worshipping Baal.
F18 (hlpt) "insulsitatem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt; "intulsa", Pagninus; "insulsam rem", Munster, Vatablus; "insulsum", Montanus, Cocceius.
F19 So Schmidt.
F20 (lebb) , (dia ton baal) , Sept. "per Baalem", Schmidt. So Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.