For the transgression of Jacob [is] all this, and for the sins
of the house of Israel
All this evil, all these calamities and judgments, signified by the above metaphorical phrases, these did not come by chance, nor without, reason; but were or would be inflicted, according to the righteous judgment of God, upon the people of Israel and Judah, for their manifold sins and transgressions, especially their idolatry: and should it be asked, what [is] the transgression of Jacob?
what notorious crime has he been guilty of? or what is the iniquity the two tribes are charged with, that is the cause of so much severity? the answer is, [is it] not Samaria?
the wickedness of Samaria, the calf of Samaria? as in ( Hosea 7:1 ) ( 8:6 ) ; that is, the worship of the calf of Samaria; is not that idolatry the transgression of Jacob, or which the ten tribes have given into? it is; and a just reason for all this wrath to come upon them: or, "who [is] the transgression of Jacob?" F18 who is the spring and source of it; the cause, author, and encourager of it? are they not the kings that have reigned in Samaria from the times of Omri, with their nobles, princes, and great men, who, by their edicts, influence, and example, have encouraged the worship of the golden calves? they are the original root and motive of it, and to them it must be ascribed; they caused the people to sin: or, as the Targum,
``where have they of the house of Jacob sinned? is it not in Samaria?''verily it is, and from thence, the metropolis of the nation, the sin has spread itself all over it: and what [are] the high places of Judah?
or, "who [are] they?" F19 who have been the makers of them? who have set them up, and encouraged idolatrous worship at them? [are] they not Jerusalem?
are they not the king, the princes, and priests, that dwell at Jerusalem? certainly they are; such as Ahaz, and others, in whose times this prophet lived; see ( 2 Kings 16:4 ) ; or, as the Targum,
``where did they of the house of Judah commit sin? was it not in Jerusalem?''truly it was, and even in the temple; here Ahaz built an altar like that at Damascus, and sacrificed on it, and spoiled the temple, and several of the vessels in it, ( 2 Kings 16:10-18 ) .
F18 (bqey evp ym) "quis est praevaricatio Jacobi?" De Dieu; so Pagninus, Burkius; "quis defectio Jacobi?" Cocceius; "quis scelus Jacobi?" Drusius.
F19 (hdwhy twmb ym) "quis est excelsa Judae?" Montanus, Drusius, De Dieu; "quis cesla Judae?" Cocceius; "quis fuit causa excelsorum Jehudae?" Burkius; so Kimchi.