Lecture Thirteenth

Hosea 4:19

19. The wind hath bound her up in her wings, 1 and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

19. Ligavit ventus eam in alis suis, et pudefient a sacrificiis suis (vel, ligavit ventum in alis suis: ambigua enim est locutio apud Hebraeos: atque utrobis modolegas, genus verbi relativis non convenit, quae foeminina sunt; sed frequenter occurrunt ejusmodi exempla: libera igitur erit optio.)


If this rendering be approved, The wind hath bound her in its wings, the meaning is, that a sudden storm would sweep away the people, and thus would they be made ashamed of their sacrifices. So the past tense is to be taken for the future. We may indeed read the words in the past tense, as though the Prophet was speaking of what had already taken place. The wind, then, has already swept away the people; by which he intimates, that they seemed to have struck long and deep roots in their superstitions, but that the Lord had already given them up to the wind, that it might hold them tied in its wings. And wings, we know, is elsewhere ascribed to the wind, Psalm 104:3. And thus the verse will be throughout a denunciation of vengeance.

The other similitude or metaphor is the most appropriate, and harmonizes better with the subject; for were not men to support their minds with vain confidence, they could never with so much audacity despise God's word. Hence they are said to tie the wind in their wings; being unmindful of their own condition, they attempt as by means of the wind to fly; but when they proudly raise up themselves, they have no support but the wind. Let us now proceed --

1 Newcome's version of this sentence is far-fetched, --

'A wind shall distress her in her borders.

Horsley's is the same with ours, only expressed in the present tense, --

'The wind binds her up in its wings.'