Notes & Commentary:
Ver 1. Of
priests. What is said of priests in this prophecy is chiefly understood of the priests of the kingdom of Israel;
who were not true priests of the race of Aaron, but served the calves at Bethel and Dan. (Challoner) --- They had the name
of priests, and pretended to act as such, 3 Kings xii. (Worthington) --- There were some apostates among them, chap. iv. 6.
But they lost all authority. --- To them. Literally, "to the watch:" speculationi. Hebew, "at Maspha," (Haydock)
in Galaad, where a profane altar was erected, chap. vi. 8. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Depth,
or pits of fire, where victims were sometimes thrown. (Iphigen.) (Grotius) --- By substituting th for t, we
might read, "they have dug pits to take them," chap. ix. 9., and Josue xxiii 13. (Calmet) --- Idolatry leads to the abyss.
Ver. 4. Known.
Fornication had darkened their intellect. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. Answer.
Septuagint, "be humbled." It appears openly, so as to deserve condemnation. (Haydock)
Ver. 6. Them.
He will receive their victims no longer, Isaias i. 11. (Calmet) --- In vain do they expect to escape by this appearance of
sanctity, while they continue in sin. (Haydock)
Ver. 7. Strangers.
That is, aliens form God: and therefore they are threatened with speedy destruction. (Challoner) --- Their offspring is rebellious,
and deserves no longer to be called my people, chap. i. 9. --- Month. Every month the Assyrians shall come upon them;
(Chaldean; St. Jerome) or, in the space of one month, they shall perish. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "the mildew shall eat them
and their portions." (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Back.
Bethel lay northwest of Benjamin. The two tribes would hear the distress of Israel, that they might beware and avoid the like
misconduct. (Calmet) --- The captivity is here described. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. That.
Literally, "faith," (Haydock) that my word shall come to pass.
Ver. 10. Bound.
This was a capital crime, under Numa, and forbidden, Deuteronomy xix. 14. (Calmet) --- Juda hoped to seize what was abandoned.
(St. Jerome) --- They deferred doing penance, and removed the boundaries set by their fathers, (Theodoret; Calmet) the virtuous
patriarchs, whom they would not imitate.
Ver. 11. Oppression.
Literally, "calumny." (Haydock) (Isaias lii. 4.) --- The Assyrians had no just reason for attacking Israel, though their crimes
called for punishment (Calmet) from God. (Haydock)
Ver. 13. Avenging.
Hebrew and Septuagint Jareb, (St. Jerome) which some explain of the king of Egypt; others understand the Assyrian;
(chap. x. 6.) while most suppose that Ephraim applied to Phul, and Juda sent to a protecting king, Theglathphalassar,
4 Kings xvi. 7., and xvii. 4. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Lioness.
Hebrew and Septuagint, "panther." (Haydock) --- The Assyrians, instead of assisting, proved the ruin of both kingdoms.
Ver. 15. Place;
to heaven. I will abandon my temple. (Calmet) --- Face: "they will seek the absent." (St. Jerome)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
God's threats against the priests, the people, and princes
of Israel, for their idolatry.
1 Hear ye this, O priests, and hearken, O ye house of Israel, and give
ear, O house of the king: for there is a judgment against you, because you have been a snare to them whom you should have
watched over, and a net spread upon Thabor.
2 And you have turned aside victims into the depth: and I am the
teacher of them all.
3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now Ephraim hath committed
fornication, Israel is defiled.
4 They will not set their thoughts to return to their God: for the spirit
of fornication is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord.
5 And the pride of Israel shall answer in his face: and Israel, and Ephraim
shall fall in their iniquity, Juda also shall fall with them.
6 With their flocks and with their herds, they shall go to seek the Lord,
and shall not find him: he is withdrawn from them.
7 They have transgressed against the Lord: for they have begotten children
that are strangers: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
8 Blow ye the cornet in Gabaa, the trumpet in Rama: howl ye in Bethaven,
behind thy back, O Benjamin.
9 Ephraim shall be in desolation in the day of rebuke: among the tribes
of Israel I have shewn that which shall surely be.
10 The princes of Juda are become as they that take up the bound: I will
pour out my wrath upon them like water.
11 Ephraim is under oppression, and broken in judgment: because
he began to go after filthiness.
12 And I will be like a moth to Ephraim: and like rottenness to
the house of Juda.
13 And Ephraim saw his sickness, and Juda his band: and Ephraim went to
the Assyrian, and sent to the avenging king: and he shall not be able to heal you, neither shall he be able to take off the
band from you.
14 For I will be like a lioness to Ephraim, and like a lion's whelp to
the house of Juda: I, I will catch, and go: I will take away, and there is none that can rescue.
15 I will go and return to my place: until you are consumed, and seek my