Warning against Israel's Joy at Partial Relief
from Their Troubles: Their Crops Shall Fail, and the People Leave the
Lord's Land for Egypt and Assyria, Where
They Cannot, If So Inclined, Serve God According to the Ancient Ritual:
Folly of Their False Prophets.
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 2:12).
2. (Ho 2:9, 12).
fail—disappoint her expectation.
3. return to Egypt—(See on Ho 8:13). As in Ho 11:5 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. De 28:68, though threatening a return to Egypt,
28:36) 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 (Eze 4:13). See 2Ki 17:6.
4. offer wine offerings—literally, "pour
as a libation (Ex 30:9; Le 23:13).
neither shall they be pleasing unto
him—as being offered on a profane soil.
sacrifices … as the bread of
mourners—which was unclean (De 26:14; Jer 16:7; Eze
their bread for their soul—their
offering for the expiation of their soul [Calvin], (Le 17:11).
Rather, "their bread for their sustenance ('soul' being often used for
the animal life, Ge 14:21,
Margin) shall not come into the Lord's house"; it shall only
subserve their own uses, not My worship.
5. (Ho 2:11).
6. because of destruction—to escape from
the devastation of their country.
Egypt shall gather them up—that is,
into its sepulchres (Jer 8:2; Eze 29:5). 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 silver" [Maurer].
nettles—the sign of desolation (Isa 34:13).
7. visitation—vengeance: punishment
Israel shall know it—to her cost
experimentally (Isa 9:9).
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 (La 2:14; Eze 13:3; Mic 3:11; Zep
for the multitude of thine iniquity,
&c.—Connect these words with, "the days of visitation …
are come"; "the prophet … is mad," being parenthetical.
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
8. The watchman … was with my
God—The spiritual watchmen, the true prophets, formerly
consulted my God (Jer 31:6; Hab 2:1); but their so-called prophet is
a snare, entrapping Israel into idolatry.
hatred—rather, "(a cause of) apostasy"
house of his God—that is, the state of
Ephraim, as in Ho 8:1 [Maurer]. Or, "the house of his (false) god,"
the calves [Calvin]. Jehovah, "my
God," seems contrasted with "his God." Calvin's view is therefore preferable.
9. as in the days of Gibeah—as in the
day of the perpetration of the atrocity of Gibeah, narrated in Jud
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 East, Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2; Mic
7:1); so it was My delight to
choose your fathers as My peculiar people in Egypt (Ho 2:15).
at her first time—when the
first-fruits of the tree become ripe.
went to Baal-peor—(Nu 25:3): the Moabite idol, in whose worship
young women prostituted themselves; the very sin Israel latterly was
unto that shame—to that shameful or
foul idol (Jer 11:13).
their abominations were according as they
loved—rather, as Vulgate, "they became abominable like
the object of their love" (De 7:26; Ps 115:8). English Version gives good
sense, "their abominable idols they followed after, according as their
lusts prompted them" (Am 4:5,
11. their glory shall fly away—fit
retribution to those who "separated themselves unto that shame"
9:10). Children were
accounted the glory of parents; sterility, a reproach. "Ephraim"
means "fruitfulness" (Ge 41:52);
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 (Job 27:14).
woe … to them when I depart—Yet
the ungodly in their madness desire God to depart from them (Job 21:14; 22:17; Mt 8:34). At last they know to their cost how
awful it is when God has departed (De 31:17; 1Sa 28:15, 16; compare Ho 9:11; 1Sa
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 (Eze
is planted—as a fruitful tree;
image suggested by the meaning of "Ephraim" (Ho 9:11).
bring forth his children to the
murderer—(Ho 9:16; Ho 13:16). With all his fruitfulness, his
children shall only be brought up to be slain.
14. what wilt thou give?—As if
overwhelmed by feeling, he deliberates with God what is most
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 (Job 3:3; Jer 20:14; Lu 23:29).
15. All their wickedness—that is, their
Gilgal—(see on Ho
4:15). This was the scene of their first contumacy in rejecting God
and choosing a king (1Sa 11:14, 15; compare 1Sa 8:7), 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 (compare Mal 1:3).
out of mine house—as in Ho 8:1: 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 (Ps 102:4).
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 … nations—(2Ki
15:29; 1Ch 5:26).