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Ho 11:1-12. GOD'S FORMER BENEFITS, AND ISRAEL'S INGRATITUDE RESULTING IN PUNISHMENT, YET JEHOVAH PROMISES RESTORATION AT LAST.
1. Israel . . . called my son out of Egypt--BENGEL translates, "From the time that he (Israel) was in Egypt, I called him My son," which the parallelism proves. So Ho 12:9 and Ho 13:4 use "from . . . Egypt," for "from the time that thou didst sojourn in Egypt." Ex 4:22 also shows that Israel was called by God, "My son," from the time of his Egyptian sojourn (Isa 43:1). God is always said to have led or brought forth, not to have "called," Israel from Egypt. Mt 2:15, therefore, in quoting this prophecy (typically and primarily referring to Israel, antitypically and fully to Messiah), applies it to Jesus' sojourn in Egypt, not His return from it. Even from His infancy, partly spent in Egypt, God called Him His son. God included Messiah, and Israel for Messiah's sake, in one common love, and therefore in one common prophecy. Messiah's people and Himself are one, as the Head and the body. Isa 49:3 calls Him "Israel." The same general reason, danger of extinction, caused the infant Jesus, and Israel in its national infancy (compare Ge 42:1-43:34; 45:18; 46:3, 4; Eze 16:4-6; Jer 31:20) to sojourn in Egypt. So He, and His spiritual Israel, are already called "God's sons" while yet in the Egypt of the world.
2. As they called them--"they," namely, monitors sent by Me. "Called,"
suggests the idea of the many subsequent calls by the prophets.
3. taught . . . to go--literally, "to use his feet." Compare a similar
8:2, 5, 15; 32:10, 11;
God bore them as a parent does an infant, unable to supply itself, so
that it has no anxiety about food, raiment, and its going forth.
which probably refers to this passage of Hosea; He took them by the
arms, to guide them that they might not stray, and to hold them up that
they might not stumble.
4. cords of a man--parallel to "bands of love"; not such cords as oxen
are led by, but humane methods, such as men employ when inducing
others, as for instance, a father drawing his child, by leading-strings,
teaching him to go
5. He shall not return into . . . Egypt--namely, to
seek help against Assyria (compare
as Israel lately had done
after having revolted from Assyria, to whom they had been tributary from
the times of Menahem
In a figurative sense, "he shall return to Egypt"
that is, to Egypt-like bondage; also many Jewish fugitives were
literally to return to Egypt, when the Holy Land was to be in
Assyrian and Chaldean hands.
6. abide--or, "fall upon" [CALVIN].
7. bent to backsliding--Not only do they backslide, and that too from ME, their "chief good," but they are bent upon it. Though they (the prophets) called them (the Israelites) to the Most High (from their idols), "none would exalt (that is, extol or honor) Him." To exalt God, they must cease to be "bent on backsliding," and must lift themselves upwards.
8. as Admah . . . Zeboim--among the cities, including
Sodom and Gomorrah, irretrievably overthrown
9. I will not return to destroy Ephraim--that is, I will no
more, as in past times, destroy Ephraim. The destruction primarily
meant is probably that by Tiglath-pileser, who, as the Jewish king
Ahaz' ally against Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria, deprived Israel
of Gilead, Galilee, and Naphtali
The ulterior reference is to the long dispersion hereafter, to be ended
by God's covenant mercy restoring His people, not for their merits, but
of His grace.
10. he shall roar like a lion--by awful judgments on their foes
calling His dispersed "children" from the various lands of their
11. tremble--flutter in haste.
12. MAURER joins this verse with the
twelfth chapter. But as this verse praises Judah, whereas
censures him, it must belong rather to the eleventh chapter and a new
prophecy begins at the twelfth chapter. To avoid this, MAURER translates this verse as a censure, "Judah wanders
with God," that is, though having the true God, he wanders after false