10:1 Israel [is] an a empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the b goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
(a) Of which though the grapes were gathered, yet always as it gathered new strength it increased in new wickedness, so that the correction which should have brought them to obedience, only proclaimed their stubbornness. 10:2 Their heart is c divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.
(b) As they were rich and had abundance.
(c) That is, from God, by serving their false gods. 10:3 For now they shall say, We have no d king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us?
10:4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making e a covenant: thus f judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
(d) The day will come that God will take away their king, and then they will feel the fruit of their sins, and how they trusted in him in vain; ( 2 Kings 17:6-7 ).
(e) In promising to be faithful toward God. 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall g fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the h priests thereof [that] rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.
(f) In this way their integrity and fidelity which they pretended, was nothing but bitterness and grief.
(g) When the calf will be carried away. 10:8 The high places also of i Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
(h) These were certain idolatrous priests, who wore black apparel during their sacrifices, and cried with a loud voice: which superstition Elijah derided, ( 1 Kings 18:27 ). See 2 Kings 23:5
(i) This he speaks in contempt of Bethel. See 10:9 O Israel, thou hast k sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they l stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not m overtake them.
(k) In those days you were as wicked as the Gibeonites, as God there partly declared: for your zeal could not be good in executing Gods judgments, seeing your own deeds were as wicked as theirs. 10:10 [It is] in my desire n that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two o furrows.
(l) That is, to fight, or, the Israelites remained in that stubbornness from that time.
(m) The Israelites were not moved by the example of the Gibeonites to cease from their sins.
(n) Because they are so desperate, I will delight to destroy them. 10:11 And Ephraim [is as] an heifer [that is] taught, [and] loveth to p tread out [the corn]; but I passed over upon her q fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, [and] Jacob shall break his clods.
(o) That is, when they have gathered all their strength together.
(p) In which is pleasure, whereas in plowing there is labour and pain. 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; r break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
(q) I will lay my yoke upon her fat neck.
10:14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as s Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon [her] children.
(r) See See ( Jeremiah 4:4 )
(s) That is, Shalmaneser in the destruction of that city spared neither type nor age.