The Lord sent a word unto Jacob
The prophet, having comforted Judah with the promise of the Messiah, returns to denounce the judgments of God upon the ten tribes, under the names of Jacob and Israel, which signify the same; for the "word" here is not the word of promise, the comfortable word concerning the Messiah before mentioned; but a word of threatening, ruin, and destruction, to the kingdom of Israel, after enlarged upon, which the Lord sent unto them by his prophets before hand, to warn them of it, and bring them to repentance; by which they would know, when it came to pass, that their destruction was of the Lord, and not a matter of chance: the Septuagint version is, "the Lord sent death upon Jacob"; and so the Arabic version, following it; the same word, differently pointed, being used for the pestilence, but is not the sense here; the Targum, Syriac, and Vulgate Latin versions, render it, "a word", as we do: and it hath lighted upon Israel,
or "hath fallen" F24; as an arrow shot out of a bow, as some think; or as seed cast upon the earth; or rather like a thunderbolt: it denotes the sure and full accomplishment of the word of God upon the persons to whom it was sent; for as his word of promise, so of threatening, does not return to him void and empty, ( Isaiah 55:10 Isaiah 55:11 ) . The Targum is,
``the Lord sent a word into the house of Jacob, and it was heard in Israel.''