Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they…
The sins of one people may be greater than the sins of another; all sins are not equal, nor all sinners equally guilty. Jerusalem's sins exceeded Samaria's and Sodom's; they were not half so great sinners as she was. The more mercies any people enjoy, the greater are their sins if they answer not those mercies. Christians' sins will be found the scarlet and unparallelable sins.
2. Comparing of sins and sinners together, makes great sins seem little and great sinners seem righteous. Great things when they are exceeded by greater in view, they seem little; a great house is nothing to a great rock, a great mountain or city; a great river is nothing to the ocean; so a great heap of sins is as nothing to a greater; what is a cartful of dung to a great dunghill? And as it is in quantities, so in qualities: some poisons are so poisonous, so strong, that they kill immediately; others, though more in quantity, yet are longer in producing such an effect, and in comparison they are no poisons; so some sins and sinners compared with others, are as none. Luke 18:14, the publican went down to his house justified rather than the Pharisee: this Pharisee compared himself with the publican, and thought himself righteous; but the publican in comparison of him was righteous. Take heed therefore of comparing yourselves with others who are worse and greater sinners than you, and from thence of framing a righteousness to yourselves notwithstanding. Sodom and Samaria were less sinners, more righteous than Jerusalem, yet you know how God dealt with them, and destruction will be the end of all those who trust to such righteousness.
3. Great sinners see not, or forget their own sins, and are apt to censure, judge, and condemn others who are less sinful than themselves, and especially when they are under the hand of God.
4. It is a shame for those who are guilty of the same or greater sins to judge others.
5. Sin brings shame. What a shame was it to Jerusalem that she was a greater sinner than Samaria, than Sodom; that she did such things as made the daughters of the Philistines ashamed of her (ver. 27). Shame is the lackey that waits upon sin, and causeth the conscience to blush as well as the face (Proverbs 14:34): sin is a reproach to nations.
6. Shame in itself, or as it accompanies the judgments of God upon sinners, is a burdensome thing. "Bear thine own shame," reproach, disgrace.
7. Sinners must bear the judgments of God, and the shame that is due unto them, whoever they be. "Thou also," even thou Jerusalem, "bear thine own shame."
(W. Greenhill, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.