|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:6-11 Both priests and people rejected knowledge; God will justly reject them. They forgot the law of God, neither desired nor endeavoured to retain it in mind, and to transmit the remembrance to their posterity; therefore God will justly forget them and their children. If we dishonour God with that which is our honour, it will, sooner or later, be turned into shame to us. Instead of warning the people against sin, from the consideration of the sacrifices, which showed what an offence sin was to God, since it needed an atonement, the priests encouraged the people to sin, since atonement might be made at so small an expense. It is very wicked to be pleased with the sins of others, because they may turn to our advantage. What is unlawfully gained, cannot be comfortably used. The people and the priests hardened one another in sin; therefore justly shall they share in the punishment. Sharers in sin must expect to share in ruin. Any lust harboured in the heart, in time will eat out all its strength and vigour. That is the reason why many professors grow so heavy, so dull, so dead in the way of religion. They have a liking for some secret lust, which takes away their hearts.
Verse 10. - For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase. This part of the verso states the punishment to be inflicted and the reward to be received; it is thus an expansion of the closing clause of the preceding verse, with an obvious allusion to the sin specified in the eighth verse. To eat and not be satisfied may occur in time of famine, or be the effect of disease or the consequence of insatiable craving. "Since," says Kimchi, "they eat in an unlawful manner, their food shall not be to them a blessing." This was one of the punishments threatened for violation of the Law, as we read in Leviticus 26:26, "When I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied." Further, the multiplication of wives or concubines would not increase their posterity; Solomon long previously had been a notable exemplification of this. "So in their cohabitation with their women, since it is in a whorish manner, they shall not increase, for they shall not have children by them; or, if they have, they shall die from the birth." The Hiph. hiznu has rather the intensive sense of Qal than that of causing or encouraging whoredom. Because they have left off to take heed to the Lord. The verbal lishmor either
(1) has Jehovah for its object, as in the Authorized Version; or
(2) durko or darkair may be supplied, as is done by Kimchi and Aben Ezra. The former has, "To observe his ways, for they have no delight in him and in his ways; to observe his ways they have left off;" the latter has, "They have forsaken Jehovah, to observe his way or his Laws." But
(3) Kimchi informs us that "Saadiah Gaon of blessed memory has connected the word with the verse that comes after it; they have forsaken the Lord to observe whoredom and wine and new wine."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For they shall eat, and not have enough,.... Namely, the priests; for of them the words are continued, who ate of the sacrifices of the people, and of feasts made in honour of idols; and yet, either what they ate did not satisfy or nourish them, or else their appetites were still greedy after more of the same kind: or this may respect a famine, either at the siege of Samaria, or in their captivity; when they who had lived so voluptuously should have so little to eat, that it should not satisfy them: or though, as others, they eat to the honour of their idols, expecting to be blessed with plenty by them, they shall not have it:
they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase; that is, their offspring; they shall not beget children, so the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi; or the children they beget shall quickly die; yea, though they commit whoredom in the idol's temple with that view, where the women prostituted themselves for that purpose:
because they have left off to take heed to the Lord; to his word, and worship, and ordinances, which they formerly had some regard unto, but now had relinquished: or, "the Lord they have forsaken", or "left off to observe" (y); his ways, his word, and worship. R. Saadiah connects this with the following words, they have forsaken the Lord to observe fornication and wine; but wrongly.
(y) "Jehovam desierunt observare", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Rivetus, Liveleus; "ad observandum", Schmidt; "reliquerunt observare", Cocceius; "deseruerunt observare", so some in Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. eat, and not have enough—just retribution on those who "eat up (greedily) the sin of My people" (Ho 4:8; Mic 6:14; Hag 1:6).
whoredom, and … not increase—literally, "break forth"; used of giving birth to children (Ge 28:14, Margin; compare Ge 38:29). Not only their wives, but their concubines, shall be barren. To be childless was considered a great calamity among the Jews.
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