FAIL, AND THE
ACCORDING TO THE
1. Rejoice not . . . for joy--literally, "to exultation." Thy
exultation at the league with Pul, by which peace seems secured, is out
of place: since thy idolatry will bring ruin on thee.
as other people--the Assyrians for instance, who, unlike thee, are
in the height of prosperity.
loved a reward upon every corn floor--Thou hast desired, in reward for thy homage to idols, abundance of corn on every threshing-floor
(Ho 2:9, 12).
fail--disappoint her expectation.
3. return to Egypt--(See on
it is said, "He shall not return into . . . Egypt."
FAIRBAIRN thinks it is not the exact country that
is meant, but the bondage state with which, from past
experience, Egypt was identified in their minds. Assyria was to be a
second Egypt to them.
though threatening a return to Egypt, speaks
of their being brought to a nation which neither they nor their
fathers had known, showing that it is not the literal Egypt, but a
second Egypt-like bondage that is threatened.
eat unclean things in Assyria--reduced by necessity to eat meats
pronounced unclean by the Mosaic law
4. offer wine offerings--literally, "pour as a libation
neither shall they be pleasing unto him--as being offered on a profane
sacrifices . . . as the bread of mourners--which was unclean
their bread for their soul--their offering for the expiation of their
Rather, "their bread for their sustenance ('soul' being often used for
the animal life,
Margin) shall not come into the Lord's house"; it shall only
subserve their own uses, not My worship.
6. because of destruction--to escape from the devastation of their
Egypt shall gather them up--that is, into its sepulchres
Instead of returning to Palestine, they should die in Egypt.
Memphis--famed as a necropolis.
the pleasant places for their silver--that is, their desired
treasuries for their money. Or, "whatever precious thing they have of
nettles--the sign of desolation
7. visitation--vengeance: punishment
Israel shall know it--to her cost experimentally
the prophet is a fool--The false prophet who foretold prosperity to
the nation shall be convicted of folly by the event.
the spiritual man--the man pretending to inspiration
for the multitude of thine iniquity, &c.--Connect these words with,
"the days of visitation . . . are come"; "the prophet . . . is mad,"
the great hatred--or, "the great provocation"
[HENDERSON]; or, "(thy)
great apostasy" [MAURER]. English Version means Israel's "hatred"
of God's prophets and the law.
8. The watchman . . . was with my God--The spiritual watchmen, the
true prophets, formerly consulted my God
but their so-called prophet is a snare, entrapping Israel into
hatred--rather, "(a cause of) apostasy" (see
house of his God--that is, the state of Ephraim, as in
[MAURER]. Or, "the house of his (false) god," the
calves [CALVIN]. Jehovah, "my God," seems
contrasted with "his God." CALVIN'S view is
9. as in the days of Gibeah--as in the day of the perpetration of the
atrocity of Gibeah, narrated in
10. As the traveller in a wilderness is delighted at finding grapes
to quench his thirst, or the early fig (esteemed a great delicacy in the
so it was My delight to choose your fathers as My peculiar people in
at her first time--when the first-fruits of the tree become ripe.
went to Baal-peor--
the Moabite idol, in whose worship young women prostituted themselves;
the very sin Israel latterly was guilty of.
separated themselves--consecrated themselves.
unto that shame--to that shameful or foul idol
their abominations were according as they loved--rather, as
Vulgate, "they became abominable like the object of their love"
English Version gives good sense, "their abominable idols they
followed after, according as their lusts prompted them"
11. their glory shall fly away--fit retribution to those who
"separated themselves unto that shame"
Children were accounted the glory of parents; sterility, a
reproach. "Ephraim" means "fruitfulness"
this its name shall cease to be its characteristic.
from the birth . . . womb . . .
conception--Ephraim's children shall perish in a threefold
gradation; (1) From the time of birth. (2) From the time of pregnancy.
(3) From the time of their first conception.
12. Even though they should rear their children, yet will I bereave
them (the Ephraimites) of them
woe . . . to them when I depart--Yet the ungodly in their madness
desire God to depart from them
(Job 21:14; 22:17;
At last they know to their cost how awful it is when God has departed
1Sa 28:15, 16;
13. Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus . . . in a pleasant place--that is, in
looking towards Tyrus (on whose borders Ephraim lay) I saw Ephraim
beautiful in situation like her
is planted--as a fruitful tree; image suggested by the meaning of
bring forth his children to the murderer--
With all his fruitfulness, his children shall only be brought up to be
14. what wilt thou give?--As if overwhelmed by feeling, he deliberates
with God what is most desirable.
give . . . a miscarrying womb--Of two evils he chooses the least. So
great will be the calamity, that barrenness will be a blessing, though
usually counted a great misfortune
15. All their wickedness--that is, their chief guilt.
This was the scene of their first contumacy in rejecting God and
choosing a king
(1Sa 11:14, 15;
and of their subsequent idolatry.
there I hated them--not with the human passion, but holy hatred of
their sin, which required punishment to be inflicted on themselves
out of mine house--as in
out of the land holy unto ME. Or, as "love" is
mentioned immediately after, the reference may be to the Hebrew mode of
divorce, the husband (God) putting the wife (Israel) out of the house.
princes . . . revolters--"Sarim . . .
Sorerim" (Hebrew), a play on similar sounds.
16. The figures "root," "fruit," are suggested by the word "Ephraim,"
that is, fruitful (see on
Ho 9:11, 12).
"Smitten," namely, with a blight
17. My God--"My," in contrast to "them," that is, the people, whose
God Jehovah no longer is. Also Hosea appeals to God as supporting his
authority against the whole people.
wanderers among . . .