5:1 For judgment - God's controversy is with you all. A snare - You, O priests and princes, have ensnared the people by your examples. Mizpah - By idolatries acted at Mizpah, a part of Libanus. On Tabor - Here, as in Mizpah, idolatry catched men as birds are taken in a net.
5:2 The revolters - All those that have cast off the law of God. Profound - Dig deep to hide their counsels, and to slay the innocent. Though I - Hosea.
5:5 Doth testify - Is an evident witness against him.
5:6 To seek the Lord - The Jewish doctors tell us, that under Hosea, Israel had liberty of bringing their sacrifices to Jerusalem. Shall not find him - God will not be found of them. Hath withdrawn himself - For their impenitency.
5:7 Have begotten - They have trained up their children in the same idolatry. A month - Possibly it may refer to Shallum's short time of usurpation, which lasted but a month; the Assyrians shall make a speedy conquest over you. With their portions - With all their substance.
5:8 Blow ye - Ye watchmen, sound the alarm, the enemy cometh. After thee, O Benjamin - After thy cries. After thee, O Beth - aven, let Benjamin also cry aloud: for they shall also fall for their sin.
5:9 Ephraim - The whole kingdom of the ten tribes. Rebuke - When Salmaneser shall besiege, sack and captivate all thy cities, rebuked for their sins. Of Israel - To the house of Israel openly. Made known - By my prophets.
5:10 The bound - The ancient bounds which limited every one, and prevented the encroaching of covetous men. Like water - Like an overflowing flood.
5:11 Ephraim - The ten tribes are by seditions, civil wars, unjust sentences, and bloody conspiracies eaten up already. After the commandment - To forbear going to the temple, and to worship the calves at Dan and Bethel, as Jeroboam the son of Nebat commanded.
5:12 A moth - Moths leisurely eat up our clothes; so God was then, and had been, from Jeroboam's death, weakening the ten tribes. As rottenness - Secretly consuming them.
5:13 His sickness - Weakness, like a consumption, threatening death. Then went - Made application. The Assyrian - Particularly to Israel or Pul.
5:14 Will tear - Divine vengeance by the Assyrians, shall be as a lion tearing his prey.