Woe unto them, for they have fled from me
From the Lord, from his worship, and the place of it; from obedience to him, and the service of him; as birds fly from their nests, and leave their young, and wander about; so they had deserted the temple at Jerusalem, and forsaken the service of the sanctuary, and set up calves at Dan and Bethel, and worshipped them; and, instead of fleeing to God for help in time of distress, fled further off still, even out of their own land to Egypt or Assyria: the consequence of which was, nothing but ruin; and so lamentation and woes: destruction unto them, because they have transgressed against me;
against the laws which God gave them; setting up idols, and worshipping them, and so broke the first table of the law; committing murder, adultery, thefts and robberies, with which they are charged the preceding part of this chapter, and so transgressed the second table of the law; and by all brought destruction upon themselves, which was near at hand, and would certainly come, as here threatened; though they promised themselves peace, and expected assistance from neighbouring nations, but in vain, having made the Lord their enemy, by breaking his laws: though I have redeemed them;
out of Egypt formerly, and out of the hands of the Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, and others, in the times of the judges; and more lately in the times of Joash and Jeroboam the second, who recovered many cities out of the hands of the Syrians. Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret this of the good disposition of God towards them, having it in his heart to redeem them now from their present afflictions and distresses, but that they were so impious and wicked, and so unfaithful to him: yet they have spoken lies against me;
against his being and providence, being atheistically inclined; or pretending repentance for their sins, when they were hypocrites, and returned to their former courses; or setting up idols in opposition to him, which were vanity to him; attributing all their good things to them, and charging him with all their evils. Abendana reads the words interrogatively, "should I redeem them, when they have spoken lies against me?" F20 no, I will not.
F20 (Mdpa yknaw) "et ego redimerem eos?" so some in Rivet.