13:1 When Ephraim spake a trembling, he b exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, c he died.
(a) He shows the excellency and authority that this tribe had above all the rest. 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, [and] idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, d Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.
(b) He made a king of his tribe.
(c) The Ephraimites are not far from destruction, and have lost their authority.
(d) "Let the men that sacrifice" or "while they sacrifice men". The false prophets persuaded the idolaters to offer their children after the example of Abraham, and he shows how they would exhort one another to the same, and to kiss and worship these calves which were their idols. 13:4 Yet I [am] the LORD thy God e from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for [there is] no saviour beside me.
(e) He calls them to repentance, and reproves their ingratitude. 13:9 O Israel, thou f hast destroyed thyself; but in me [is] thine help.
(f) Your destruction is certain, and my benefits toward you declare that it comes not from me: therefore your own malice, idolatry, and vain confidence in men must necessarily be the cause of it. 13:10 g I will be thy king: where [is any other] that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?
13:12 The iniquity of Ephraim [is] h bound up; his sin [is] hid.
(g) I am all one; ( James 1:17 ).
13:13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he [is] an unwise son; for he should not stay long in [the place of] the i breaking forth of children.
(h) It is surely laid up to be punished, as in ( Jeremiah 17:1 ).
(i) But would come out of the womb, that is out of these dangers in which he is, and not wait to be suppressed. 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O k death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: l repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
(k) Meaning that no power will resist God when he will deliver his own, but even in death he will give them life.
(l) Because they will not turn to me, I will change my purpose.