They hate him that rebuketh in the gate - They cannot bear an upright magistrate, and will not have righteous laws executed.
They hate him that rebuketh - “The gate” is the well-known place of concourse, where just or, in Israel now, unjust judgment was given Deuteronomy 25:7; Job 5:4; Job 31:21; 2 Samuel 15:2; Proverbs 22:22; Isaiah 29:21, where all was done which was to be done publicly Rth 4:1 , Rth 4:11 . Samaria had a large area by its chief gate, where two kings could hold court, and the 400 false prophets and the people, in great numbers, could gather 1 Kings 22:10; 2 Chronicles 18:9, and a market could be held 2 Kings 7:1. Josiah brake down an idol-shrine, which was in one of the gates of Jerusalem 2 Kings 23:8. The prophets seized the opportunity of finding the people together, and preached to them there. So it was even in the days of Solomon. “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates, in the city she uttereth her words, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? ” Proverbs 1:20-22, and again, “She standeth in the top of high places, by the way, in the meeting of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors; Unto you, O men, I call, “ Proverbs 8:2-4. Jeremiah mentions two occasions, upon which God bade him reprove the king and people in the gates of Jerusalem Jeremiah 17:19; Jeremiah 19:2. There doubtless Amos and Hosea reproved them, and, for reproving, were “hated.” As Isaiah says, “they lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate” Isaiah 29:21. They sinned publicly, and therefore they were to be rebuked publicly. They sinned “in the gate” by injustice and oppression, and therefore were to be “rebuked before all, that others also might fear” 1 Timothy 5:20.
And they abhor him that speaketh uprightly - Literally, “perfectly.” The prophets spoke “perfectly”, “for they spoke the all-perfect word of God, of which David says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” Psalm 19:7. “Carnal eyes hate the light of truth, which they cast aside for execrable lies, closing to themselves the fountain of the divine mercy”. Rup.: “This is the sin which hath no remission; this is the sin of the strong and mighty, who sin not out of ignorance or weakness, but with impenitent heart proudly defend their sin, and ‹hate him that rebuketh arid abhor him who‘ dareth to ‹speak perfectly,‘ that is, not things which please them, but resisting their evil.” This, like all other good of God and evil of man, met most in and against Christ. Rup.: “Who is he who ‹rebuked in the gate‘ or who ‹spake perfectly?‘ David rebuked them, and spake much perfectly, and so they hated him and said, ‹what portion have we in David, or what inheritance have we in the son of Jesse?‘ 1 Kings 12:16, Him also who spake these very words, and the other prophets they hated and abhorred. But as the rest, so this too, is truly and indubitably fulfilled in Christ, rebuking justly and speaking perfectly. He Himself saith in a Psalm, ‹They that sat in the gate spake against Me‘ Psalm 69:12, wherefore, when He had said, ‹he that hateth Me hateth My Father also‘ John 15:23-25, and, ‹now they have. both seen and hated both Me and My Father,‘ He subjoined, ‹that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, they hated Me without a cause.‘ Above all then, we understand Christ, whom they hated, ‹rebuking in the gate,‘ that is, openly and in public; as He said, ‹I spake openly to the world, and in secret have I said nothing‘ John 18:20. He alone spake perfectly, ‹Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.‘ 1 Peter 2:22. In wisdom also and doctrine, He alone spake perfectly, perfectly. and so wonderfully, that ‹the officers of the chief priests and Pharisees‘ who were ‹sent to take, Him, said, Never man spake like this Man.‘ John 7:45-46.
Jerome: “it is a great sin to hate him who rebuketh, especially if he rebuke thee, not out of dislike, but out of love, if he doth it ‹between thee and him alone Matthew 18:15-17, if, taking with‘ him a brother, if afterward, in the presence of the Church, so that it may be evident that he does not blame thee out of any love of detraction, but out of zeal for thine amendment.”
Against the marked oppression, the flagrant injustice, the unwonted luxury and extravagance, the shameless feasting and drunkenness, the gross licentiousness and debauchery, of their age, the prophets lifted their voices; but in vain were their protests, in vain their denunciation of sin. “Him that rebuketh in the gate,” declared Amos, “they hate, ... and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.” “They afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.” Amos 5:10, 12. PK 282.1
Such were some of the results that had followed the setting up of two calves of gold by Jeroboam. The first departure from established forms of worship had led to the introduction of grosser forms of idolatry, until finally nearly all the inhabitants of the land had given themselves over to the alluring practices of nature worship. Forgetting their Maker, Israel “deeply corrupted themselves.” Hosea 9:9. PK 282.2
The prophets continued to protest against these evils and to plead for rightdoing. “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy,” Hosea urged; “break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.” “Turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.” “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity: ... say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.” Hosea 10:12; 12:6; Hosea 14:1, 2. PK 282.3Read in context »