|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:11-14 It is a great sin to corrupt the worship of God, and will be charged as sin on all who do it, how plausible soever their excuses may seem to be. The Lord had caused his law to be written for them, but they cared not to know, and would not obey it. Man seems by the temples he builds to be mindful of his Maker, yet really he has forgotten him, because he has cast off all his fear; but none ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. So long as men despise the truths and precepts of God's word, and the ordinances of his worship, all the observances and offerings, however costly, of their own devising, will be unto them for sin; for those services only are acceptable to God, which are done according to his word, and through Jesus Christ.
Verses 13, 14. - For the sacrifice of mine offerings, they sacrifice flesh and eat it; but the Lord accepteth them not. The mention of altars naturally suggests that of sacrifices, and, as a matter of fact, with the multiplication of those altars riley multiplied their sacrifices, so that the latter kept pace with the former, and a due proportionateness maintained between them. And yet, numerous as those sacrifices were, they were not real sacrifices; they were no more and no better than slaying so many animals and feasting on their flesh; the spirit of devotion was absent, therefore God did not accept them. Now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt. The turning-point was now reached, their iniquity was full, and the time of punishment had arrived. God had delivered their fathers out of the bondage of Egypt; now he will send their posterity into a bondage similar to or even worse than that of Egypt. For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples (or, palaces). Here Israel's sin, with the consequent suffering, is traced to its source. The origin of all was their forgetfulness of God and false confidence in man - them-selves and others or both. And Judah hath multiplied fenced cities. Israel forgot his Maker, and built shrines on high places, "consecrating," as Jerome says, "whole hills and mountains and shady trees to Baal and Ashtaroth and other idols." Judah also, though aware that Israel had renounced the love of Jehovah and had been punished for their sins, did not return to God, but trusted in fenced cities. But I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. To the word for "city" the masculine suffix is attached; while with "palaces" the feminine suffix is employed. With the proper names of peoples either gender is used:
(a) the masculine with reference to the people or population, and the feminine in relation to the country; or the reference may be to Israel and Judah, the masculine referring to their respective peoples, and feminine to their lands; though
(b) Aben Ezra refers the feminine suffix of "palaces" to עיר, city, which is feminine.
(c) The Septuagint has τὰ θεμέλια, foundations, instead of palaces
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings,
and eat it,.... Or, "as to the sacrifices mine offerings" or "gifts, they sacrifice flesh, and eat it" (o); these sacrifices, which, according to the law, should given to God when they offered them, they did not give them to him, they took them to themselves, and ate them; they were carnal offerings, and offered with a carnal mind, without faith and piety, without any regard to the glory of God, but merely for the sake of caring: the Targum interprets it of sacrifices got by rapine, which God hates, Isaiah 61:8;
but the Lord accepteth them not; neither the sacrifices, nor the sacrificers, but despised and abhorred them; no sacrifice was acceptable to God but what was offered according to law, and where he directed, and in the faith of Christ, and through him:
now will he remember their iniquities, and visit their sins; he will not pardon them, but punish for them; so far were their sacrifices making atonement for them, as they expected, they added to the measure of their iniquities:
they shall return into Egypt; either flee thither for refuge, many of them it seems did, when the king of Assyria entered their land, and besieged Samaria; where they lived miserably, as in exile, and were there buried, and never returned to their own land any more; see Hosea 9:3; or they should be carried captive into Assyria, where they should be in a like state of bondage as their fathers were in Egypt. Some render it, "they return into Egypt" (p); and consider it not as their punishment, but as their sin; that when the Lord was about to visit them for their transgressions, they being made tributary to the Assyrians, instead of returning to the Lord, and humbling themselves before him, they sent to the king of Egypt for help, 2 Kings 17:4.
(o) "quod attinet ad sacrificia donariorum meorum, sacrificant illi quidem carnem, et comedunt", Piscator, De Dieu; "quantum ad sacrificia", &c. Schmidt. So Reinbeck. De Accent. Hebr. p. 445. (p) "illi in Aegyptum redeunt", Cocceius; "revertuntur", Schmidt. So Tarnovius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. sacrifices of mine offerings—that is, which they offer to Me.
eat it—Their own carnal gratification is the object which they seek, not My honor.
now—that is, "speedily."
shall return to Egypt—(Ho 9:3, 6; 11:11). The same threat as in De 28:68. They fled thither to escape from the Assyrians (compare as to Judah, Jer 42:1-44:30), when these latter had overthrown their nation. But see on Ho 9:3.
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