|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:4-11 Sometimes Israel and Judah seemed disposed to repent under their sufferings, but their goodness vanished like the empty morning cloud, and the early dew, and they were as vile as ever. Therefore the Lord sent awful messages by the prophets. The word of God will be the death either of the sin or of the sinner. God desired mercy rather than sacrifice, and that knowledge of him which produces holy fear and love. This exposes the folly of those who trust in outward observances, to make up for their want of love to God and man. As Adam broke the covenant of God in paradise, so Israel had broken his national covenant, notwithstanding all the favours they received. Judah also was ripe for Divine judgments. May the Lord put his fear into our hearts, and set up his kingdom within us, and never leave us to ourselves, nor suffer us to be overcome by temptation.
Verse 10. - I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled. The house of Israel comprises
(1) the ten tribes of the northern kingdom, according to some; it seems more correct
(2) to understand it of the whole nation, including both the northern and southern kingdoms, in which case the remainder of the verse relates to the northern kingdom of the ten tribes, and the succeeding verse to the southern kingdom of the two tribes. Further, Israel is not synonymous with the parallel Ephraim, as Keil thinks; the latter is the principal tribe which led the way in Israel's apostasy. The "horrible thing" comprehends every sort of crime and abomination; while the" whoredom," literal or spiritual, is specified as an example thereof. (For the explanation of "there," see on ver. 7.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel,.... Idolatry, the calves set up at Dan and Bethel, which God saw with abhorrence and detestation; or the prophet saw it, and it made his hair stand on end as it were, as the word (g) signifies, that such wickedness should be committed by a professing people:
there is the whoredom of Ephraim; in the house of Israel is the whoredom of Jeroboam, who was of the tribe of Ephraim, and caused Israel to sin, to go a whoring after idols; or the whoredom of the tribe of Ephraim, which belonged to the house of Israel, and even of all the ten tribes; both corporeal and spiritual whoredom, or idolatry, are here meant:
Israel is defiled; with whoredom of both kinds; it had spread itself all over the ten tribes; they were all infected with it, and polluted by it; see Hosea 5:3.
(g) a "pilus".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. horrible thing—(Jer 5:30; 18:13; 23:14).
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