|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:6-11 If we mark the crimes of those who break off from a religious profession, and the consequences, we see abundant reason to shun evil ways. It is dreadful to be proved more criminal than those who have actually perished in their sins; yet it will be small comfort in everlasting punishment, for them to know that others were viler than they.
Verse 9. - Through the lightness of her whoredom; i.e. through the slight importance which she attached to her whoredom. So apparently the ancient versions. The only sense, however, which the word kol ever has in Hebrew is not "lightness," but "sound," "voice," and perhaps "rumor" (Genesis 45:16). Hence it is more strictly accurate to render "through the cry." etc. (comp. Genesis 4:10; Genesis 19:13), or "through the fame," etc. (as Authorized Version, margin). But neither of these seems quite suitable to the context, and if, as King James's translators seem to have felt it necessary to do, we desert the faithful translation, and enter on the path of conjecture, why not emend kol into klon (there is no vav, and such fragments of true readings are not altogether uncommon in the Hebrew text), which at once yields a good meaning - "through the disgrace of her whoredom ?" Ewald thinks that kol may be taken in the sense of k'lon; but this is really more arbitrary than emending the text. With stones, etc. (see Jeremiah 2:27).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, through the lightness of her whoredom,.... Or the "swiftness" (b) of it; when it was once set on foot, it ran through the land presently one taking it from and following the example of another; or it became a light thing with her to commit idolatry; it was looked upon as a small thing, a trivial offence at most: so the Targum,
"it came to pass that her idols were light in her eyes;''
not lightly esteemed of, but it was a light thing to commit idolatry with them; interpreting the word as the Masora, which it follows: and to the same sense the Septuagint version, "her fornication was for nothing"; it stood for nothing, it was not reckoned as a sin: the Arabic version is, "her fornication was with nothing"; with an idol, which is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4, some choose to render it, "because of the voice or fame of her whoredom" (c), or idolatry; it sounded forth, and the fame, or rather infamy of it, went out through the whole land: wherefore it follows,
that she defiled the land; polluted it with sin, involved it in guilt, and exposed it to punishment:
and committed adultery with stones and with stocks; that is, with images made of stone and wood, which they served and worshipped as gods; and is the adultery or idolatry they are charged with, and by which the land was defiled. The Targum is,
"she erred or committed idolatry with the worshippers of stone and wood.''
This, by what follows, seems to be understood not of Judah, but of Israel.
(b) "a levitate", a "velocem esse", Calvin. (c) Heb. "propter vocem scortationis ejus, vel famosam scortationem", Piscator; "a voce scortationis ejus", Schmidt; "propter famam scortationis ejus", Cocceius; "prae famosa scortatione", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. it—Some take this verse of Judah, to whom the end of Jer 3:8 refers. But Jer 3:10 puts Judah in contrast to Israel in this verse. "Yet for all this," referring to the sad example of Israel; if Jer 3:9 referred to Judah, "she" would have been written in Jer 3:10, not "Judah." Translate, "It (the putting away of Israel) had come to pass through … whoredom; and (that is, for) she (Israel) had defiled the land" &c. [Maurer]. English Version, however, may be explained to refer to Israel.
lightness—"infamy." [Ewald]. Maurer not so well takes it from the Hebrew root, "voice," "fame."
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