Hosea 13:16

Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Samaria shall become desolate,.... With this verse the fourteenth chapter begins in the Hebrew copies, and in the Targum, and in many versions; but seems better to conclude the present chapter; since it is in close connection with Hosea 13:15, and explains the figurative expressions there used. Samaria was the head of Ephraim, Isaiah 7:9; or the metropolis of the ten tribes of Israel; whose desolation is here prophesied of, and was accomplished by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, signified by the east wind; by whom it was not only besieged and taken, but very probably its houses were demolished, its walls broken down, and razed to the very foundation; see 2 Kings 17:5; and, as this was the head city, it may be put for all the rest, and even for the whole land, which was at the same time laid waste. The Targum is,

"Samaria shall be guilty;''

that is, shall be found guilty of many sins; her transgression shall be revealed, as Jarchi, become manifest by the just punishment inflicted on her;

for she hath rebelled against her God; and bitterly provoked him to wrath and anger, as the word {u} signifies; by relinquishing him and his worship, and by serving idols, the calves at Dan and Bethel, Baal and other idols; when the Lord was their God, not only by creation, as of all men, but by the choice he made of them, and the covenant he made with them; by a national adoption of them, attended with various blessings and privileges, and by their profession of him; all which were an aggravation of their rebellion against him;

they shall fall by the sword: the inhabitants of Samaria, and of the land, particularly the men thereof; and especially their armed men, their men of war, that fought for them, and defended them; these should fall by the sword of the Assyrian;

their children shall be dashed to pieces; against stones, walls, and pavements; who should have perpetuated their name to future ages, and inherited their possessions:

and their women with child shall be ripped up; things which are often done by cruel enemies, when cities are sacked and plundered; and which Shalmaneser might be provoked unto by the perfidy of the king of Israel, and by the city of Samaria holding out a three years' siege. This, though we have no account of as done at that time, yet no doubt was; even as the same things are predicted of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and which were to be done to them, in retaliation for them, though there is no narrative of them; see Ps 137:8.

{u} ttrm "ad amaritudinem concitavit", V. L. "significat amaricare, vel amaritudine replere", Rivet.