Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. On.
Literally, the wind. (Haydock) --- To trust in men is no less vain. (Worthington) --- Septuagint, "Ephraim is an evil spirit,"
&c. --- Heat. Hebrew, "eastern or burning wind." (Haydock) --- Manahem attempted to engage Egypt on his
side, but he was frustrated in his hopes, (4 Kings xv.; St. Jerome) as Osee was likewise; to which king the sense conducts
us better, chap. xiii. 15. --- Oil. That of Palestine was very excellent, Ezechiel xxvii. 17.
Ver. 2. Judgment.
Hebrew, "trial." What follows refers to all the people, whose impiety is contrasted with Jacob's virtue.
Ver. 3. Brother
Esau, thus foreshewing what would happen, Genesis xxv. --- Angel. Septuagint, "God," whose place this angel held. Elohim
implies both, ver. 4., and Genesis xxxii. 24.
Ver. 4. Wept.
Septuagint, "they wept, and besought me." Other interpreters agree with the Vulgate. --- Us. By changing a vowel point,
in Hebrew, it might be, "He spoke to him." (Cap.[Cappel?;] Grotius) --- The most magnificent promises were made, at Bethel,
regarding the Israelites: this made the profanation of the place more horrible. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "They found me in
the house of On, and there the word was addressed to them." --- Bethaven was the name of Bethel, among the pious Jews,
in the days of Osee. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Memorial,
and the object of worship; or this great Jehovah spoke to Jacob.
Ver. 7. Chanaan.
The Phœnicians were so called, and all merchants. Here the title is given reproachfully (Calmet) to all the posterity
of Jacob. (Haydock) --- None more ignominious could be used, Daniel xiii. 56. Thus Rome is styled Babylon.
Ver. 8. Idol.
Hebrew also, "vanity." Riches are vain, and lead to idolatry when people place their affections on them, Matthew xiii. 22.,
and Ephesians v. 5. --- Committed. I am conscious of no injustice. (Calmet) --- Yet he had used a deceitful balance,
and his judgment is equally perverse. (Haydock) --- "What rich man shall be saved?" (Clement of Alexandria)
Ver. 9. Egypt.
At Sinai the covenant between God and Israel was chiefly ratified. The former ceased not to perform the conditions, but the
latter repaid him with ingratitude. --- Feast. The people shall be brought back, (Calmet) or they shall again be forced
to dwell under tents. (Theodoret) --- "Shall I still cause?" &c. (Tournemine)
Ver. 10. Prophets.
They have represented me as it were under visible forms, that you cannot plead ignorance. The prophets prefigured Christ,
the end of the law, &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Idol.
That is, if Galaad, with all its idols and sacrifices, be like a mere idol itself, being brought to nothing by Theglathphalassar,
how vain is it to expect that the idols worshipped in Galgal shall be of any service to the tribes that remain. (Challoner)
--- Will these idols be more powerful? Septuagint copies vary. Roman edition has Galaad, and Comp. Galgal in
both places. But that of St. Jerome and of Theodoret is better. --- Heaps of stones. They are in ruins, or very numerous:
(Calmet) yet have not secured the country. (Haydock)
Ver. 12. Jacob.
The history of the patriarch, and of his posterity, serves to place the ingratitude of the people in the clearest light. (Worthington)
--- The prophet had interrupted the account of Jacob, (ver. 4.) who had signalized his piety in Galaad, Genesis xxxi. 46.
Ver. 13. Prophet.
Josue put the people in possession of the country, and offered sacrifice at Galgal, where the rite of circumcision was performed.
This place is now defiled. What perfidy (Haydock) and ingratitude. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Him.
He shall suffer for his crimes. (Menochius) --- He can blame only himself. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Israel is reproved for sin. God's favours to them.
1 Ephraim feedeth on the wind, and followeth the burning heat:
all the day long he multiplieth lies and desolation: and he hath made a covenant with the Assyrians, and carried oil into
2 Therefore there is a judgment of the Lord with Juda, and a visitation
for Jacob; he will render to him according to his ways, and according to his devices.
3 *In the womb he supplanted his brother: and by his strength he had
success with an angel.
4 And he prevailed over the angel, and was strengthened: he wept, and
made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us.
5 Even the Lord the God of hosts, the Lord is his memorial.
6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and hope in
thy God always.
7 He is like Chanaan, there is a deceitful balance in his hand,
he hath loved oppression.
8 And Ephraim said: But yet I am become rich, I have found me an idol:
all my labours shall not find me the iniquity that I have committed.
9 And I that am the Lord, thy God, from the land of Egypt, will
yet cause thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the feast.
10 And I have spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions,
and I have used similitudes by the ministry of the prophets.
11 If Galaad be an idol, then in vain were they in Galgal offering sacrifices
with bullocks: for their altars also are as heaps in the furrows of the field.
12 *Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife,
and was a keeper for a wife.
13 *But the Lord, by a prophet, brought Israel out of Egypt: and he was
preserved by a prophet.
14 Ephraim hath provoked me to wrath with his bitterness, and his blood
shall come upon him, and his Lord will render his reproach unto him.
3: Genesis xxv. 25. and xxxii. 24.
12: Genesis xxviii. 5.
13: Exodus xiv. 21. and 22.