4:1 Hear this word, ye a kine of Bashan, that [are] in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, b Bring, and let us drink.
(a) Thus he calls the princes and governors, who being overwhelmed with the great abundance of Gods benefits, forgot God, and therefore he calls them by the name of beasts and not of men. 4:2 The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with c hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.
(b) They encourage those who have authority over the people to oppress them, so that they may have profit by it.
(c) He alludes to fishers, who catch fish by hooks or thorns. 4:4 Come to d Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, [and] your tithes after three e years:
(d) He speaks this in contempt of those who resorted to those places, thinking that their great devotion and good intention was sufficient to have bound God to them. 4:5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving f with leaven, and proclaim [and] publish the free offerings: for this g liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
(e) Read ( Deuteronomy 14:28 ).
4:6 And I also have given you h cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
(f) As ( Leviticus 7:13 ).
(g) You only delight in these outward ceremonies and care for nothing else.
(h) That is, lack of bread and meat. 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when [there were] yet three i months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.
(i) I stopped the rain until the fruits of the earth were destroyed with drought, and yet you would not consider to return to me by repentance. 4:8 So two [or] three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were k not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
(k) They could not find enough water where they had heard that it had rained. 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of l Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
4:11 I have overthrown [some] of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a m firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
(l) As I plagued the Egyptians; ( Exodus 9:10 ).
4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: [and] because I will do this unto thee, prepare to n meet thy God, O Israel.
(m) You were almost all consumed, and a few of you were wonderfully preserved; ( 2 Kings 14:26 ).
(n) Turn to him by repentance.