A Confused DoveBy Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
When G-d wants to heal Israel, the sins of the northern kingdom are constantly rubbed in His face (metaphorically speaking). They lie, steal and spread evil. They don’t act as if G-d will remember their deeds. Their king doesn’t mind their lawlessness, since they pay him off with a “piece of the action.” They are adulterers, whose lust burns within them as hot as an oven.
On the day of the king’s coronation, his officers become sick from their drinking. The king withdraws from the proper path to join them. They prepare their hearts for their evil plans like a baker prepares his oven. They are “heated” until they consume the righteous judges who opposed them. The nation of the Ten Tribes will be mixed among others in exile. The nation’s strength was destroyed by enemies and they were oblivious that their own sins caused this downfall. Even when they lost their honor and glory, they were too stubborn to reach out to G-d. They were like a confused dove, flying to Egypt and Assyria instead of to G-d. G-d will toss a net over them.
The nation will be invaded and looted because they rebelled against G-d. Normally, G-d would save them, but in this case He won’t because they lied about Him. (Rashi gives an example from Jeremiah 43, in which the people denied that Jeremiah was, in fact, sent by G-d.) They didn’t cry out to G-d, so they’ll cry on their own. They had full stores of grain and wine, but they ignored G-d. When He punished them, they blamed Him. They’ll finally call out to Him, but too late. Their officers will fall and they will be harassed by the Egyptians when the refugees are exiled there (after the assassination of Gedaliah).