|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-5 In repentance, it is good to think upon the sins of which we have been guilty, and the places and companies where they have been committed. How gently the Lord had corrected them! In receiving penitents, he is God, and not man. Whatever thou hast said or done hitherto, wilt thou not from this time apply to me? Will not this grace of God overcome thee? Now pardon is proclaimed, wilt thou not take the benefit? They will hope to find in him the tender compassions of a Father towards a returning prodigal. They will come to him as the Guide of their youth: youth needs a guide. Repenting sinners may encourage themselves that God will not keep his anger to the end. All God's mercies, in every age, suggest encouragement; and what can be so desirable for the young, as to have the Lord for their Father, and the Guide of their youth? Let parents daily direct their children earnestly to seek this blessing.
Verse 2. - Lift up thine eyes, etc. No superficial reformation can be called "returning to Jehovah." The prophet, therefore, holds up the mirror to the sinful practices which a sincere repentance must extinguish. The high places; rather, the bare hills (comp. on Jeremiah 2:20). In the ways hast thou sat for them. By the roadside (comp. Genesis 38:14; Proverbs 7:12). As the Arabian in the wilderness. So early was the reputation of the Bedouin already won (comp. Judges 6.). Jerome ad loc. remarks, "Quae gens latrociniis dedita usque hodie incursat terminos Palaestinae."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Lift up thine eyes unto the high places,.... Where idols were set and worshipped; either places naturally high, as hills and mountains, which were chosen for this service; or high places, artificially made and thrown up for this purpose; see 2 Kings 17:9, Jarchi interprets the word of "rivulets of water"; and so the Targum, where also idolatry was committed:
and see where thou hast not been lien with; see if there is a hill or mountain, or any high place, where thou hast not committed idolatry; the thing was so notorious, and the facts and instances so many, there was no denying it; every hill and mountain witnessed to their idolatry; to which agrees the Targum,
"see where thou hast not joined thyself to worship idols:''
in the ways hast thou sat for them; for the idolaters, waiting for them, to join with them in their idolatries; as harlots used to sit by the wayside to meet with their lovers, to be picked up by them, or to offer themselves to them as prostitutes, Genesis 38:14 which shows that these people were not drawn into idolatry by the temptations and solicitations of others: but they put themselves in the way of it, and solicited it, and others to join with them in it:
as the Arabian in the wilderness; who dwelt in tents in the wilderness, and sat by the wayside to trade with those that passed by; or else lay in wait in desert and by places to rob all that passed by them; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it,
in the ways thou didst sit, expecting them as a thief in the wilderness; the Arabians being noted for thieves and robbers. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it,
as a crow, or raven, of the desert; the same word signifying a "raven" and an "Arabian": see 1 Kings 17:4,
and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness; the land of Judea, where idolatry was so openly and frequently committed, which brought a load of guilt upon it, and exposed it to the wrath and judgments of God; so the Targum,
"thou hast made the land guilty with thine idols and with thy wickedness.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. high places—the scene of idolatries which were spiritual adulteries.
In … ways … sat for them—watching for lovers like a prostitute (Ge 38:14, 21; Pr 7:12; 23:28; Eze 16:24, 25), and like an Arab who lies in wait for travellers. The Arabs of the desert, east and south of Palestine, are still notorious as robbers.
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