Because they ministered unto them before their idols
Had officiated for them in the priest's office, their idols being in the courts of the Lord at the same time; or preached unto them false doctrines, such as are not agreeable to the word of God; and led them into superstition and will worship, and confirmed them therein: and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity;
or, "were for a stumbling block of iniquity" F8; unto them the means of their stumbling and falling; by their ministrations, teaching them unsound doctrine; and by their practices and example, leading them into a way of false worship, and dissoluteness of life and conversation; who ought to have been examples to them in word and conversation, in faith and purity: therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord;
to smite and afflict them, and chastise them for the same; or, "upon them", or "concerning them" F9; and so it may be expressive of an oath, of which lifting up the hand is a sign; wherefore, that what the Lord had said of them might be believed and expected, he swears to it: and they shall bear their iniquity;
which is repeated for the confirmation and certainty of it; see ( Ezekiel 44:10 ) , what is meant by it follows.