|New International Version (©2011)|
"When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved.
New Living Translation (©2007)
The LORD says, "O Israel, when I first found you, it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But then they deserted me for Baal-peor, giving themselves to that shameful idol. Soon they became vile, as vile as the god they worshiped.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel. Like the first fruit on the fig tree in its first season, I saw your fathers. But they came to Baal-peor and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame, and became detestable like the thing they loved.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree in its first season. But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame, And they became as detestable as that which they loved.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
I discovered Israel like grapes in the wilderness. I saw your fathers like the first fruit of the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal-peor, consecrated themselves to Shame, and became detestable, like the thing they loved.
International Standard Version (©2012)
"I found Israel, as one finds grapes in the wilderness; Your ancestors seemed to me like the fruit gleaned from a fig tree's first harvest. When they went to Baal-peor, they devoted themselves to that filth, and they became loathsome, like what they loved.
NET Bible (©2006)
When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness. I viewed your ancestors like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season. Then they came to Baal-Peor and they dedicated themselves to shame--they became as detestable as what they loved.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
[The LORD said,] "When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first figs of the harvest. But they went to Baal Peor and worshiped shameful idols. They became as disgusting as the things they worshiped.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and they became abominations like the thing they loved.
American King James Version
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves to that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
American Standard Version
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig-tree at its first season: but they came to Baal-peor, and consecrated themselves unto the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved.
I found Israel like grapes in the desert, I saw their fathers like the firstfruits of the fig tree in the top thereof: but they went in to Beelphegor, and alienated themselves to that confusion, and became abominable, as those things were, which they loved.
Darby Bible Translation
I found Israel as grapes in the wilderness; as first-ripe fruit on the fig-tree, I saw your fathers at the beginning: they went to Baal-Peor, and separated themselves unto that shame, and became abominations like their lover.
English Revised Version
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first season: but they came to Baal-peor, and consecrated themselves unto the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved.
Webster's Bible Translation
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig-tree at her first time: but they went to Baal-peor, and separated themselves to that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
World English Bible
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness. I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at its first season; but they came to Baal Peor, and consecrated themselves to the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved.
Young's Literal Translation
As grapes in a wilderness I found Israel, As the first-fruit in a fig-tree, at its beginning, I have seen your fathers, They -- they have gone in to Baal-Peor, And are separated to a shameful thing, And are become abominable like their love.
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:7-10 Time had been when the spiritual watchmen of Israel were with the Lord, but now they were like the snare of a fowler to entangle persons to their ruin. The people were become as corrupt as those of Gibeah, Jud 19; and their crimes should be visited in like manner. At first God had found Israel pleasing to Him, as grapes to the traveller in the wilderness. He saw them with pleasure as the first ripe figs. This shows the delight God took in them; yet they followed after idolatry.
Verse 10. - I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig tree at her first time. Grapes and first figs are among the choicest and most refreshing fruits; but to find such delicious fruits in a dry, barren wilderness is specially grateful and delightful. There are three possible constructions of bammidhbor:
(1) with "found,"
(2) with "grapes," and
(3) with both.
According to the first, which, on the whole, seems preferable, the meaning is, "I found Israel of old as a man finds grapes in a desert;" and the sense is God's good will towards and delight in Israel. Grapes found by a weary, exhausted traveler in a wilderness are a real boon, refreshing and strengthening him for continuing his journey and reaching his destination. Rashi gives the sense clearly and concisely thus: "As gropes which are precious and delicious in a desert, even so have I loved Israel." Aben Ezra, in his exposition, refers to Deuteronomy 32:10, "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye;" and then adds, "As grapes in a wilderness where no one dwells; every one that finds them rejoices in them, and so in the first-ripe figs." The comment of Kimchi is fuller and more satisfactory: "As a man, when he finds grapes in the wilderness which is dry and fruitless, rejoices over them; and as he rejoices when he finds a first-fruit in the fig tree in its beginning; even so have I found Israel in the wilderness, and fed them and nourished them: they lacked nothing, equally as if they had been in an inhabited land; but they have not recognized my goodness." As the fig harvest is rather late in Palestine - about the middle of August - early figs have special worth, and are regarded as a delicacy. The comparison then is, according to Rashi, with the "early fig on the fig tree, which is ripe; like the fig on the fig tree in its beginning, i.e. in the beginning of the ripening of the figs;" then he subjoins, "Even so did your fathers appear in my eyes, that I loved them." But they went to Baal-peor, and separated themselves unto that shame. Israel did not continue long in a condition so pleasing to God, but fell away from him, forgot his benefits, and turned aside to the abominable idols of the surrounding Gentiles. As Aben Ezra somewhat pathetically expresses it, "Yet my joy was only small and of short duration, for they did homage to Baal-peor, and separated themselves from me." Long, therefore, before the sin of Gibeah they transgressed in Baal-poor; in the early period of their history they apostatized and proved unfaithful to Jehovah. To this hideous god, corresponding to Priapus of the Greeks, the maidens of Moab sacrificed their virginity. The Israelites were designed to be Nazarites, that is, separated to Jehovah and consecrated to his service, but they separated themselves unto that shame, either the idol or his worship. And their abominations were according as they loved. If men are slaves to appetite, they make a god of their belly; if to lust, Baal-peor is their god; and men become like what they worship, and abominable as the idols they serve, as the psalmist says, "They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them." They "became abominations like their lover" (ohabh, paramour; namely, Baal-peor), that is, as abominable and loathsome in the sight of God as the idols which they adulterously worshipped.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness,.... Not Jacob or Israel personally, with the few souls that went down with him into Egypt; for these died in Egypt, and never returned from thence, or came into the wilderness to be found; nor Israel in a spiritual sense, the objects of electing, redeeming, and calling grace; though it may be accommodated to them, who in their nature state are as in a wilderness, in a forlorn, hopeless, helpless, and uncomfortable condition; in which the Lord finds them, seeking them by his Son in redemption, and by his Spirit in the effectual calling; when they are like grapes, not in themselves, being destitute of all good, and having nothing but sin and wickedness in them; for, whatever good thing is in them at conversion, it is not found, but put there; but the simile may serve to express the great and unmerited love of God to his people, who are as agreeable to him as grapes in the wilderness to a thirsty traveller; and in whom he takes great delight and complacency, notwithstanding all their sinfulness and unworthiness; and bestows abundance of grace upon them, and makes them like clusters of grapes indeed; and such were many of the Jewish fathers, and who are here intended, even the people of Israel brought out of Egypt into the wilderness of Arabia, through which they travelled to Canaan: here the Lord found them, took notice and care of them, provided for them, and protected them, and gave them, many tokens of his love and affection; see Deuteronomy 32:10; and they were as acceptable to him, and he took as much delight and pleasure in them, as one travelling through the deserts of Arabia, or any other desert, would rejoice at finding a vine laden with clusters of grapes. The design of this metaphor is not to compare Israel with grapes, because of any goodness in them, and as a reason of the Lord's delight in them; for neither for quantity nor quality were they like them, being few, and very obstinate and rebellious; but to set forth the great love of God to them, and his delight and complacency in them; which arose and sprung, not from any excellency in them, but from his own sovereign good will and pleasure; see Deuteronomy 7:6;
I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time; the Lord looked upon their ancestors when they were settled as a people, in their civil and church state, upon their being brought out of Egypt, with as much pleasure as a man beholds the first ripe fig his fig tree produces after planting it, or the first it produces in the season, the fig tree bearing twice in a year; but the first is commonly most desired, as being most rare and valuable; and such were the Israelites to the Lord at first, Micah 7:1. This is observed, to aggravate their ingratitude to the Lord, which soon discovered itself; and to suggest that their posterity were like them, who, though they had received many favours from the Lord, as tokens of his affection to them, and delight in them; yet behaved in a most shocking and shameful manner to him:
but they went to Baalpeor: or "went into Baalpeor" (a); committed whoredom with that idol, even in the wilderness where the Lord found them and showed so much regard to them; this refers to the history in Numbers 25:1. Baalpeor is by some interpreted "the lord" or "god of opening": and was so called, either from his opening his mouth in prophecy, as Ainsworth (b) thinks, as Nebo, a god of Babylon, had his name from prophesying; or from his open mouth, with which this idol was figured, as a Jewish writer (c) observes; whose worshipper took him to be inspired, and opened their mouths to receive the divine afflatus from him: others interpret it "the lord" or "god of nakedness"; because his worshippers exposed to him their posteriors in a shameful manner, and even those parts which ought to be covered; and this is the sense of most of the Jewish writers. So, in the Jerusalem Talmud (d), the worship of Peor is represented in like manner, and as most filthy and obscene, as it is by Jarchi (e), who seems to have taken his account from thence; and even Maimonides (f) says it was a known thing that the worship of Peor was by uncovering of the nakedness; and this he makes to be the reason why God commanded the priests to make themselves breeches to cover their nakedness in the time of service, and why they might not go up to the altar by steps, that their nakedness might not be discovered; in short, they took this Peor to be no other than a Priapus; and in this they are followed by many Christians, particularly by Jerom on this place, who observes that Baalpeor is the god of the Moabites, whom we may call Priapus; and so Isidore (g) says, there was an idol in Moab called Baal, on Mount Fegor, whom the this call Priapus, the god of gardens; but Mr. Selden (h) rejects this notion, and contends that Peor is either the name of a mountain, of which Isidore, just now mentioned, speaks; see Numbers 23:28; where Baal was worshipped, and so was called from thence Baalpeor; as Jupiter Olympius, Capitolinus, &c. is so called from the mountains of Olympus, Capitolinus, &c. where divine honours are paid him; or else the name of a man, of some great person in high esteem, who was deified by the Moabites, and worshipped by them after his death; and so Baalpeor may be the same as "Lord Peor"; and it seems most likely that Peor is the name of a man, at least of an idol, since we read of Bethpeor, or the temple of Peor, in Deuteronomy 34:6;
and separated themselves unto that shame; they separated themselves from God and his worship, and joined themselves to that shameful idol, and worshipped it, thought by many, as before observed, to be the Priapus of the Gentiles, in whose worship the greatest of obscenities were used, not fit to be named: so that this epithet of shame is with great propriety given it, and aggravates the sin of Israel, that such a people should be guilty of such filthy practices; though Baal, without supposing him to he a Priapus, may be called "that shame", for Baal and Bosheth, which signifies shame, are some times put for each other; so Jerubbaal, namely Gideon, is called Jerubbesheth, Judges 8:35; and Eshbaal appears plainly to be the same son of Saul, whose name was Ishbosheth, 1 Chronicles 8:33; and Meribbaal is clearly the same with Mephibosheth 1 Chronicles 8:34; yea, it may be observed that the prophets of Baal are called, in the Septuagint version of 1 Kings 18:25; , "the prophets of that shame"; every idol, and all idolatry being shameful, and the cause of shame, sooner or later, to their worshippers; especially when things obscene were done in their religious rites, as were in many of the Heathens in which the Jews followed them; see Jeremiah 3:24;
and their abominations were according as they loved: or, "as they loved them", the daughters of Moab; for it was through their impure love of them that they were drawn into these abominations, or to worship idols, which are often called abominations; or, as Joseph Kimchi reads the words, and gives the sense of them, "and they were abominations as I loved them"; that is, according to the measure of the love wherewith I loved them, so they were abominations in mine eyes; they were as detestable now as they were loved before.
(a) "ingressi sunt", Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Drusius. (b) Annotations on Numbers 25.3.((c) Racenatensis in Capito, apud Drusium in loc. (d) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 28. 4. (e) Perush in Numbers 25.3.((f) Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 45. p. 477. (g) Origin. l. 8. c. 11. p. 70. (h) De Dis Syris, Syntagma 1. c. 5. p. 162, 163. See Cumberland's Sanchoniatho, p. 73, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. As the traveller in a wilderness is delighted at finding grapes to quench his thirst, or the early fig (esteemed a great delicacy in the East, Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2; Mic 7:1); so it was My delight to choose your fathers as My peculiar people in Egypt (Ho 2:15).
at her first time—when the first-fruits of the tree become ripe.
went to Baal-peor—(Nu 25:3): the Moabite idol, in whose worship young women prostituted themselves; the very sin Israel latterly was guilty of.
separated themselves—consecrated themselves.
unto that shame—to that shameful or foul idol (Jer 11:13).
their abominations were according as they loved—rather, as Vulgate, "they became abominable like the object of their love" (De 7:26; Ps 115:8). English Version gives good sense, "their abominable idols they followed after, according as their lusts prompted them" (Am 4:5, Margin).
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