12:1 Ephraim feedeth a on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and b oil is carried into Egypt.
(a) That is, flatters himself with vain confidence. 12:2 The LORD hath also a controversy with c Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.
(b) Meaning presents to get friendship.
(c) Which in those points was similar to Ephraim, but not in idolatry. 12:3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had d power with God:
(d) Seeing that God in this way preferred Jacob their father, Judahs ingratitude was the more to be abhorred. 12:4 Yea, he had e power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: f he found him [in] Bethel, and there he spake with us;
12:7 [He is] g a merchant, the balances of deceit [are] in his hand: he loveth to oppress.
(e) Read ( Genesis 32:24-32 ).
(f) God found Jacob as he lay sleeping in Bethel ( Genesis 28:12 ), and spoke with him there in such a way that the fruit of that speech appertained to the whole body of the people, of which we are.
(g) As for Ephraim, he is more like the wicked Canaanites than godly Abraham or Jacob. 12:8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: [in] all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me h that [were] sin.
(h) Thus way the wicked measure Gods favour by outward prosperity, and like hypocrites cannot endure that any should reprove their doings. 12:9 And I [that am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in i the days of the solemn feast.
(i) Seeing you will not acknowledge my benefits, I will bring you again to dwell in tents, as in the feast of the Tabernacles, which you now condemn. 12:11 [Is there] k iniquity [in] Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars [are] as heaps in the furrows of the fields.
(k) The people thought that no man dare have spoken against Gilead, that holy place, and yet the Prophet says that all their religion was but vanity. 12:12 l And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept [sheep].
(l) If you boast of your riches and nobility, you seem to reproach your father, who was a poor fugitive and servant. 12:13 And by a m prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
(m) Meaning Moses, by which appears that whatever they have, it comes from Gods free goodness.