Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Spoke.
When Jeroboam proposed to erect the golden calves, people were seized with horror; yet they consented, and soon after Baal
and other idols were worshipped. (Worthington) --- Ephraim was one of the greatest tribes, and by its example the rest were
drawn into idolatry. Achab principally introduced the worship of Baal, which caused God to decree the misery of his people,
3 Kings xvi. 31.
Ver. 2. Calves.
A cutting reproach! Those who could stoop to adore a calf, might be so blind as to sacrifice men! Hebrew, "sacrifice, ye men
who," &c. Jeroboam issues this edict. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "immolate men; calves are wanting." (Haydock)
Ver. 3. Away.
Chap. vi. 4. --- Chimney, or hole, at the side or top of the room. (Calmet) --- Hebrew arubba, (Haydock) means
also "a locust," as the Septuagint render it, though here it affords no sense.
Ver. 5. Knew:
treated thee with kindness, or tried thee. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Pastures:
the more they were indulged. (Haydock) (Deuteronomy xxxii. 15.)
Ver. 7. Lioness.
Septuagint, "panther." I will pursue them even in their captivity.
Ver. 8. Whelps;
with the greatest fury, 2 Kings xvii. 8. --- Inner. Hebrew, "what encloses the heart;" or, I will break their hard
Ver. 9. Own.
Evils are brought on by the sins of men, which God does not cause. (Worthington) --- Septuagint, "who will aid to prevent
thy perdition, O Israel." (Haydock) --- God alone is the author of salvation. He also punishes, (Amos iii. 6.) but for man's
amendment in life. (Worthington)
Ver. 10. Princes.
It was on this pretext that a king was demanded, 1 Kings viii. 20. Will any now save you? (Menochius)
Ver. 11. King;
Saul, Jeroboam, or the Assyrian. --- Away. Osee, (Calmet) so that you shall have no more kings of Israel. (Haydock)
--- Septuagint alone have, "I took (Calmet) or had him in," &c. (St. Jerome)
Ver. 12. Hidden.
He thinks to escape. (Haydock) --- But I keep it like pieces of silver, bound up in my treasury. (St. Jerome) (Calmet)
Ver. 13. Him.
He shall be taken when he least expects it. His fruit shall come forth, Jeremias iv. 31. --- Children. He shall have
no share in the division of property, or shall not escape when the father shall bring his children to an account. The Chaldean,
&c., insinuate, that the infant affords no help to come forth, as it would if it had sense. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Death.
This must be understood of eternal misery, from which the just are preserved. All must die, and many suffered a violent death
from the Assyrians. (Worthington) --- After denouncing the severest judgments, the prophet promises redress and a sort of
resurrection, which was a figure of the real sufferings and rising of Jesus Christ. The apostle applies this text to him,
but follows not the Hebrew or Septuagint, 1 Corinthians xv. 55. (Calmet) --- Death is swallowed up in victory. O death,
where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Protestants read, O grave, (marginal note: hell) instead
of the latter death. Hebrew ehi has been twice placed for aie, I will be instead of where? (Haydock)
as the Greek, Arabic, and Syriac versions, as well as the context, evince. All the versions prove the same corruption to be
[in] ver. 10. Kennicott, Aquila, and the 5. edition read where? Symmachus I will be: (St. Jerome) so that the
change probably took place between the year of the Lord 130 and 200. Septuagint, "Where is thy cause gained, (in a lawsuit,
or thy justice; dike.; Haydock) O death?" &c. --- Eyes. I can find no consolation, (St. Jerome) because
the people cause dissension by their perseverance in evil. Hebrew also, "repentance," &c. I will utterly destroy Ephraim;
or rather, "vengeance....because he shall flourish," &c. If Ephraim would repent, this should not take place; but now,
the Lord will bring Salmanasar, a burning wind, ver. 15. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Springs
of death; or the sins which Christ, born of a virgin, shall destroy, and liberate the vessels of election from hell.
(St. Jerome) (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The judgments of God upon Israel for their sins. Christ
shall one day redeem them.
1 When Ephraim spoke, a horror seized Israel: and he sinned in Baal,
2 And now they have sinned more and more: and they have made to themselves
a molten thing of their silver, as the likeness of idols, the whole is the work of craftsmen: to these that say: Sacrifice
men, ye that adore calves.
3 Therefore they shall be as a morning aloud, and as the early dew that
passeth away, as the dust that is driven with a whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.
4 *But I am the Lord, thy God, from the land of Egypt: and thou
shalt know no God but me, and there is no saviour beside me.
5 I knew thee in the desert, in the land of the wilderness.
6 According to their pastures they were filled, and were made full: and
they lifted up their heart, and have forgotten me.
7 And I will be to them as a lioness, as a leopard in the way of the
8 I will meet them as a bear that is robbed of her whelps, and I will
rend the inner parts of their liver: and I will devour them there as a lion, the beast of the field shall tear them.
9 Destruction is thy own, O Israel: thy help is only in me.
10 Where is thy king? now especially let him save thee in all thy cities:
and thy judges, of whom thou saidst: *Give me kings and princes.
11 I will give thee a king in my wrath, and will take him away
in my indignation.
12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up, his sin is hidden.
13 The sorrows of a woman in labour shall come upon him, he is an unwise
son: for now he shall not stand in the breach of the children.
14 I will deliver them out of the hand of death. I will redeem them from
death: *O death, I will be thy death; O hell, I will be thy bite: comfort is hidden from my eyes,
15 Because he shall make a separation between brothers: *the Lord will
bring a burning wind that shall rise from the desert: and it shall dry up his springs, and shall make his fountain desolate,
and he shall carry off the treasure of every desirable vessel.
4: Isaias xliii. 11.
10: 1 Kings viii. 5.
14: 1 Corinthians xv. 54.; Hebrews ii. 14.
15: Ezechiel xix. 12.