Their heart is divided
Some say from Hoshea their king, who would have reformed them from their idolatry, and returned them to the true worship of God; but of that there is no proof; better from one another, their affections being alienated from each other, by their discords and animosities, their conspiracies against their kings, and the murders of them, and the civil wars among themselves; they also not being of one mind, but disagreeing in their sentiments about their idols; some being for one, and some for another: or rather from God himself, from the fear of him, from his worship and service; or from the law, as the Targum; or their hearts were divided between God and their idols, as in Ahab's time between God and Baal; they pretended to worship God when they worshipped the calves, and so shared the service between them; or it may be rendered, "their heart flatters" F18 them; as if they had done that which was right and good, and were guilty of no evil, nor would any punishment be inflicted on them: now shall they be found faulty;
be convicted of their sin and folly, and appear guilty; when they shall be punished for their idolatry, and their idols not able to save them, as the destruction of them next mentioned will fully evince: or, "now shall they become desolate" F19 their land shall be desolate, and they carried captive: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images:
that is, the king of Assyria shall do all this, or God by him: or, "behead their altars" F20; take off the top of them, as the Targum; the horns of them, which might be made of gold, or other ornaments which were of value; and therefore became the plunder of the enemy; and who also would break in pieces their images, for the sake of the metal, gold or silver, of which they were made; as was usually done by conquerors, and to show their entire power over the conquered, that even their gods could not deliver them out of their hands.
F18 (Mbl qlx) "adblanditur cor eorum", Schmidt.
F19 (wmvay hte) "nunc desolabuntur", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Drusius; so Kimchi and Ben Melech.
F20 (Prey) "decollabit", Drusius, Piscator, Tarnovius, De Dieu; "decervicabit", Cocceius.