They shall not dwell in the Lord's land
The land of Israel, or Canaan; which, though all the earth is the Lord's, was peculiarly his; which he had chosen for himself, and for this people; where he had his temple, and caused his Shechinah or divine Majesty to dwell in a very special manner, and where his worship and service were performed. So the Targum calls it the land of the Shechinah or majesty of the Lord. Sometimes it is called Immanuel's land, where the Messiah Immanuel, God with us, was to be born, and dwell, and where he did. Kimchi wrongly interprets this of Jerusalem only; and others of Judea; but it designs the whole land of promise, which God save by promise to the fathers of this people, and put them in the possession of, the tenure of which they held by their obedience; but they not living according to will, and in obedience to his laws, who was Lord of the land, sole Proprietor and Governor of it, he turned them out of it, and would not suffer them to continue any longer in it; and which was a great punishment indeed, to be driven out of such a land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and where they had been favoured with privileges and blessings of every kind; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt;
or the ten tribes; that is, some of them, who should flee thither for refuge and sustenance; when the Assyrian should invade their land, and besiege Samaria, they should go thither again, where their ancestors had formerly been in a state of bondage: this is prophesied of them, ( Deuteronomy 28:68 ) ; and they shall eat unclean [things] in Assyria;
that is, Ephraim or the ten tribes, the far greater part of there, should be taken captive, and carried into Assyria, and there eat food which by their law was unclean, as things sacrificed to idols, swine's flesh, and many others; or food that was not fit for men to eat, which nature abhorred; such bread as Ezekiel was bid to make and eat, ( Ezekiel 4:9 Ezekiel 4:12 Ezekiel 4:13 ) . This may be understood even of them that went to Egypt for help against the Assyrians, or for shelter from them, or for food to eat in the time of famine; who should be brought back again, and carried into Assyria, and there live a miserable and an uncomfortable life; who had been used to enjoy corn and wine, and plenty of all good things, to which these unclean things may be opposed.