That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of
Israel upon him
The three or four mentioned in the preceding chapter, the great multitude of them, their profaneness, uncleanness, and luxury, their injustice and oppression of the poor; when he should visit and punish for these sins, as he would by the hand of the Assyrian, he would not forget their idolatry; though no notice is taken of this before, in the appeal to the Heathen princes, who were likewise guilty of it: I will also visit the altars of Bethel;
where one of the calves Jeroboam made was set up and worshipped; and where was an altar erected, and sacrifice offered on it, ( 1 Kings 12:28-33 ) ; and here the plural number is put for the singular; though it may be, that in process of time more altars might be set up as they increased in idolatry, and as seems from ( Hosea 8:11 ) ( 10:1 ) ; and now the Lord would show his resentment at them, and punish those that worshipped and sacrificed there. So the Targum,
``that worship at the altars in Bethel;''and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground;
for it seems this altar was made after the form of that at Jerusalem, with four horns at the four corners of it; and which were reckoned the more principal parts of it, and the more sacred, where the blood of the sacrifices was poured, and to which persons in distress fled and laid hold of for refuge; but now these should be of no use unto them, since they would be entirely demolished by the enemy, and laid level with the ground.