The wealthy and powerful nations around her, whom she feared and envied, sought the favour of their gods by pagan devices and seemed to find compensation for doing so. McComiskey helps one to picture how this influence may have emerged in Israel’s life:

It began, perhaps, with something as innocuous as the placing of an image of Baal in a farmer’s field. This is what their Canaanite neighbours did to increase production. It is what people did in this land, and it appeared to work. Gradually the invisible Yahweh lost ground to the baals whom the people could see and handle, whose religion was concerned with the necessities of life more than rigid moral demands. It was the baals, many Israelites came to believe, who fostered their crops and blessed them with children (1992: I:34)

From Ortlund, God’s Unfaithful Wife, p 58