Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.
Ye — Who of no people are made a people, who were once unpitied, but now have obtained mercy.
Your brethren — To those of the ten tribes, who are your brethren.
Ammi — Let them know that yet they are the people of God, they are still within the covenant of their father Abraham, if they will as their father, walk with God, all shall be well.
 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;
Your mother — The whole body of the people Israel, which were typified in Gomer.
Plead — Ye that are sons and daughters of God amidst this idolatrous nation.
Not my wife — For by her adulteries she hath dissolved the marriage-covenant.
 Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.
Strip her — As was usually done by incensed husbands, divorcing impudent adulteresses.
As a wilderness — Barren and desolate.
 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
That give me — Whereas every mercy she enjoyed was God's gift, a fruit of his covenant, love and faithfulness towards her; yet she denies all his kindness, and ascribes to her idols, the bread she ate, the water she drank, and the clothes she wore.
 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
Hedge up — I will compass thee in with wars, and calamities, that tho' thou love thy sinful courses, thou shalt have little pleasure in them.
Make a wall — Yea, I will make the calamities of this people as a strong wall, which they cannot break.
Her paths — Wherein thou didst go when thou wentest to Egypt, or Syria for help; but by my judgments, and thine enemies power, thou shalt be so guarded, thou shalt not find how to send to them for relief.
 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.
Her lovers — Idols and idolaters.
Overtake them — But shall never overtake their desired help.
To my first husband — God who had married Israel to himself.
 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
Did not know — Did not consider.
They — The body of the Jews. Prepared - Dedicated to the service of the idol.
 Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
Take away — I will resume all I gave.
In the time thereof — When they should gather it in, as being ripe.
 And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.
Her lewdness — Folly and wickedness.
 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
Her feast days — Though apostate, Israel was fallen to idolatry, yet they retained many of the Mosaic rites and ceremonies.
Her solemn feasts — The three annual feasts of tabernacles, weeks, and passover, all which ceased when they were carried captive, by Salmaneser.
 And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.
My rewards — They gave the praise of all their abundance to idols.
Them — Their vine-yards and olive-yards, and the places where they planted their fig-trees, and other fruit-trees.
 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.
Visit — Punish.
The days — The sins of those days.
Of Baalim — Baal was the great idol of the ten tribes; here it is plural Baalim, to denote the multitude of idols which they worshipped, all called by this one name.
Decked herself — To put the greater honour on the idol.
 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
I will allure — I will incline her mind to consider what I propose.
Into the wilderness — Deep distress.
 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
Her vineyards — Many blessings.
From thence — From the time of their repentance.
Valley of Achor — Which was a large, fruitful and pleasant valley near Jericho, on the very entrance into the land of Canaan.
A door of hope — That valley was a door of hope to Israel of old. And such a door will God give to repenting Israel.
As in the days of her youth — When I espoused her.
 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
Thou shalt call — Both by words, affections, and obedience, shall own me as thy husband, and delight to call me so.
Baali — That is, my Lord.
 For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
For — I will abolish the memory of Baalim.
Baalim — This great idol for all others.
And they — These false gods.
By their name — Their names perishing with them.
 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
For them — The Israel of God.
With the beasts — With all the creatures that might either serve or hurt them. It is a full and gracious promise of abundance of peace, safety, and love, through the creation.
Safely — This was in some measure made good to the Jews returning out of captivity. But the full accomplishment will be to the church of Christ.
 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
In that day — In the day of gospel-grace.
I will hear — God the first and universal cause will influence the heavens, he will command their dew, and showers. When the earth is dry, it does as it were, cry to the heavens for refreshing showers, when the seed sown, the vines and olives planted, are at a stand, they cry to the earth for its kindly influences, that they may spring up, and yield fruit for Jezreel, which may call, and cry, but never will be satisfied if God does not hear them, and command his blessing which he promises to his people on renewing covenant with them. Now their repentance shall be blest with plenty, and God will set the frame of heaven and earth in due order to effect this; there shall be an harmony, between all subordinate causes moved by God the first great cause, whence expected events and fruits shall be produced for their good and comfort.
 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
I will sow — I will bless them with a wonderful increase of people, exprest with allusion to seed sown in the earth. So the Jews multiplied after the Babylonish captivity, but much more are the numbers increased since the preaching of the gospel.