When they shall go
That is, to Egypt or Assyria: I will spread my net upon them;
bring them into great straits and difficulties; perhaps the Assyrian army is meant, which was the Lord's net, guided, and directed, and spread by his providence, and according to his will, to take this silly dove in; and which enclosed them on all sides, that they could not escape; see ( Ezekiel 12:13 ) . Hoshea the king of Israel was taken by the Assyrian, and bound and shut up in prison; Samaria the capital city was besieged three years, and then taken, ( 2 Kings 17:4-6 ) ; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven;
though they fly on high, soar aloft, and behave proudly, and fancy themselves out of all danger; yet, as the flying fowl, the eagle, and other birds, may be brought down to the earth by an arrow from the bow, or by some decoy so should they be brought down from their fancied safe and exalted state, and be taken in the net, and become a prey to their enemies: I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard;
what was written in the law, and in the prophets, were read and explained in the congregations of Israel on their stated days they met together on for religious worship; in which it was threatened, that if they did not observe the laws and statutes of the Lord their God, but neglected and broke them, they should be severely chastised and corrected with his sore judgments, famine, pestilence, the sword of the enemy, and captivity: and now the Lord would fulfil his word, agreeably to what had often been heard by them, but not regarded; see ( Leviticus 26:1-46 ) ( Deuteronomy 28:1-68 ) .