They that swear by the sin of Samaria
The calf at Bethel, which was near Samaria, and which the Samaritans worshipped; and was set up by their kings, and the worship of it encouraged by their example, and which is called the calf of Samaria, ( Hosea 8:5 Hosea 8:6 ) ; the making of it was the effect of sin, and the occasion of leading into it, and ought to have been had in detestation and abhorrence, as sin should; and yet by this the Israelites swore, as they had used to do by the living God; so setting up this idol on an equality with him: and say, thy God, O Dan, liveth;
the other calf, which was set up in Dan; and to this they gave the epithet of the bring God, which only belonged to the God of Israel: and the manner of Beersheba liveth;
or, "the way of Beersheba" F18; the long journey or pilgrimage of those at Beersheba; who chose to go to Dan, rather than Bethel, to worship; imagining they showed greater devotion and religion, by going from one extreme part of the land to the other, for the sake of it. Dan was on the northern border of the land of Judea, about four miles from Paneas, as you go to Tyre F19; and Beersheba was on the southern border of the land, twenty miles from Hebron F20; and the distance of these two places was about one hundred and sixty miles F21. And by this religious peregrination men swore; or rather by the God of Beersheba, as the Septuagint render it; though the phrase may only intend the religion of Beersheba, the manner of worship there, it being a place where idolatry was practised; see ( Amos 5:5 ) . The Targum is,
``the fear (that is, the deity) which is in Dan liveth, and firm are the laws of Beersheba;''even they shall fall, and never rise up again;
that is, these idolatrous persons, that swear by the idols in the above places, shall fall into calamity, ruin, and destruction, by and for their sins, and never recover out of it; which was fulfilled in the captivity of the ten tribes, from whence they have never returned to this day.
F18 (ebv-rab Krd) "via Beersebah", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Vatablus, Mercerus, Tigurine version; "iter, peregrinatio", Drusius; "Bersabanum iter", Castalio.
F19 Hieronymus de locis Heb. fol. 92. H.
F20 Ibid. fol. 89. F.
F21 Ib. Epist. ad Dardanura, fol. 22. I.