|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
57:3-12 The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appear before him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened with judgments, they ridiculed the word of God. The Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction. Their zeal in the worship of false gods, may shame our indifference in the worship of the true God. The service of sin is disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves to hell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to a religion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to do any evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone for crimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite lust. This explains idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. But those who set up anything instead of God, for their hope and confidence, never will come to a right end. Those who forsake the only right way, wander in a thousand by-paths. The pleasures of sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for the word of God and his providences, show they have no fear of God. Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys.
Verse 8. - Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance. It has been usual to explain this of a removal from its proper place into an obscure position of the formulae which the Israelites were commanded in the Law to write on their doorposts and on their gates (Deuteronomy 6:9; Deuteronomy 11:20). But, in the first place, there is no evidence that anciently these passages were understood literally, or that such inscriptions were ever set up; and secondly, as Mr. Cheyne remarks, they would have been more, rather than less, conspicuous in a new place. Probably, therefore, the "memorial" (zikkaron) of this place is some idolatrous symbol or emblem newly adopted by the Jews, and made use of as a sort of talisman. Many commentators think that it was of a phallic character (see Ezekiel 16:17). Discovered thyself; rather, uncovered thyself. Thou hast enlarged thy bed; i.e. multiplied thy idolatries (comp. 2 Kings 16:3, 4, 10; 2 Kings 21:3-7). It is a feature of the idolatry of the time, that it was a mixture adopted from many quarters. It included Baal and Ashtoreth-worship from Phoenicia, Moloch-worship from Moab and Ammos, worship of the Queen of Heaven from Syria, high-place worship from the Canaanites, and stone-worship from their own remote Mesopotamian ancestors. And made thee a covenant with them; i.e. "a bargain for wages," that aid and protection should be rendered in return for worship and sacrifice. Where thou sawest it. The original is very obscure, but can scarcely have this meaning. It is certainly a distinct clause, and may perhaps be best translated, "thou sawest indecency."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance,.... The memorial of thine idols, as the Targum. As the Heathens had their "lares" and "penates", their household gods, so the Papists have their tutelar images, which they place in their houses, and in their bedchambers; their images of saints, their crucifixes and superstitious pictures, which they call "memories", and "laymen's books":
for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me; or, "from me" (n); departing from me, and leaving my bed; rejecting Christ as King of saints, deserting his worship and ordinances; thou hast uncovered thyself to another, prostituted thyself to another, been guilty of spiritual adultery or idolatry; receiving and acknowledging another for head of the church, according to whose will all things in worship are directed:
and art gone up; to the bed set up in the high place; to idolatrous temples and altars, there to offer sacrifice:
thou hast enlarged thy bed; to take in many adulterers, and idolatrous worshippers; and so, as Musculus observes, many small chapels, at first erected for this and the other saint, through the vast concourse of people to them, and the gifts they have brought, have, in process of time, become large and magnificent temples:
and made a covenant with them; with idols, and idol worshippers; agreeing to receive the mark and name of the beast, and to worship his image, Revelation 13:15, or, "thou hast cut for thyself more than they" (o); more trees to make idols of, or to make more room for the placing of idols in groves than the Heathens: or, "thou hast hewed it for thyself",
a bed larger (p) than theirs; that is, thy bed thou hast made larger than theirs: or, "thou hast cut for thyself from them" (q); taken away from emperors and kings part of, their dominions, and joined them to thy patrimony, and appropriated them to thine own use:
thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it; took delight and pleasure in places of idolatrous worship, and in their idolatry, wherever they were: or, "thou lovedst their bed, a hand thou hast seen" (r); stretched out to help thee, or give thee power, or to invite, encourage, and receive thee into the idolatrous bed; or rather any pillar, monument (s), or statue, erected for idolatry, which seen, they fell down to and worshipped.
(n) "a me", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vitringa. (o) "et caedis tibi arbores plusquam illi", Piscator. (p) "Caedens tibi amplius Cubile quam illorum sit", Junius & Tremellius. (q) "Et excidisti tibi ex eis", Montanus. (r) "manum vidisti", Montanus, Cocceius. (s) "Ubi monumentum vidisti", Vitringa.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. "Remembrance," that is, memorials of thy idolatry: the objects which thou holdest in remembrance. They hung up household tutelary gods "behind the doors"; the very place where God has directed them to write His laws "on the posts and gates" (De 6:9; 11:20); a curse, too, was pronounced on putting up an image "in a secret place" (De 27:15).
discovered thyself—image from an adulteress.
enlarged … bed—so as to receive the more paramours.
made … covenant—with idols: in open violation of thy "covenant" with God (Ex 19:5; 23:32). Or, "hast made assignations with them for thyself" [Horsley].
thy bed … their bed—The Jews' sin was twofold; they resorted to places of idolatry ("their bed"), and they received idols into the temple of God ("thy bed").
where—rather, "ever since that" [Horsley]. The Hebrew for "where" means "room" (Margin), a place; therefore, translate, "thou hast provided a place for it" (for "their bed"), namely, by admitting idolatrous altars in thy land [Barnes]; or "thou choosest a (convenient) place for thyself" in their bed [Maurer] (Isa 56:5).
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