[As] they called them, so they went from them
That is, the prophets of the Lord, the true prophets, called Israel to the worship and service of God; but they turned a deaf ear to them, and their backs upon them; and the more they called to them, the further they went from them, and from the way of their duty; see ( Hosea 11:7 ) . So the Targum,
``I sent the prophets to teach them, but they wandered from them;''Moses and Aaron were sent unto them, and called them out of Egypt, but they hearkened not unto them; see ( Exodus 6:9 Exodus 6:12 ) ; in later times the prophets were sent unto them, to exhort them to their duty, and to reclaim them from their evil ways, but they despised and refused to attend to their advice and instructions; and this was continued to the times of Israel, or the ten tribes, departing from the house of David, and setting up idolatrous worship; and during their revolt and apostasy: but all in vain. So after Christ was called out of Egypt, he and his apostles, and John the Baptist before them, called them to hearken to him, but they turned away from them. Aben Ezra interprets it of the false prophets, who called them to idolatry, and they went after them. Schmidt understands it of the Israelites calling one another to it, and going after it, for their own sakes, and because it pleased them, and was agreeable to them; they sacrificed to Baalim, and burnt incense to graven images:
they joined themselves to Baalpeor, and worshipped the golden calf, fashioned with a graving tool, in the wilderness; they sacrificed to Baalim, one or another of them, in the times of the judges, and of Ahab, and committed idolatry with other graven images, of which burning incense is a part. And the Jews in Christ's time, instead of hearkening to him and his apostles, followed the traditions of the elders, and the dictates of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were their Baals, their lords and masters and they sought for life and righteousness by their own works, which was sacrificing to their net, and burning incense to their drag; all this was great ingratitude. Next follows a narrative of other benefits done to this people.