Hosea 12:14

14. Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.

14. Provocavit Ephraim excelsis suis, et sanguis ejus super eum manebit (vel, fundetur:) et opprobrium ejus reddet illi Dominus suus.


The Prophet says first, that Ephraim had provoked God by his high places. Some, however, take the word Myrwrmt, tamerurim, for bitternesses. Then it is, "Israel or Ephraim have provoked God to bitterness." But since this word in other places as in the thirty-first of Jeremiah, is taken for high places and as it clearly appears that the Prophet here inveighs avowedly against Israel and their vicious worship, I doubt not but that he points out these high places in which the Israelites appointed their false and impious modes of worship. Ephraim then have provoked him with their high places: 1 Ephraim having in so many ways immersed themselves in their superstitions, provoked God in their high places.

Then his blood shall remain on him. As the word stn, nuthesh, signifies "to pour out," and signifies also to "remain," some render it, "His blood shall remain;" others "Shall be poured upon him." But this makes but a little difference as to what is meant; for the Prophet intends to show, that Ephraim would have to suffer the punishment of their impiety; as though he said, "They shall not at last escape from the hand of God, they shall receive the wages of their iniquities."

And his reproach shall his Lord return unto him. Here he calls God himself the Lord of Israel, though Israel had shaken off the yoke, and alienated themselves from the service of God. They cannot, he says, escape the authority of God, though they have spurned his law; though they have become wanton in their superstitions, they shall yet know that they remain under the hand and power of God, they shall know that they effect nothing by this their petulance; though they thus wander after their abominations, yet the Lord will not lose his right, which he had obtained for himself by redeeming Israel. Their Lord then shall render to them their own reproach, of which they are worthy.


Grant, Almighty God, that as we have not only been created by thee, but when thou hast placed us in this world, thou hast also enriched us with abundance of all blessings, -- O grant, that we may not transfer to others the glory duo to thee, and that especially since we are daily admonished by thy word, and even severely reproved, we may not with an iron hardness resist, but render ourselves pliable to thee, and not give ourselves up to our own devices, but follow with true docility and meekness, that rule which thou hast prescribed in thy word, until at length having put off all the remains of errors, we shall enjoy that blessed light, which thou hast prepared for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 Calvin is not correct as to the meaning of this word. There is no instance in which it means "high places;" in Jeremiah 31:21, to which reference is made, it means obelisks or pillars set up as way-marks. There is no doubt but that the word signifies here what is expressed in our version. Gesenius says, that it is to be taken here adverbially, and with him Newcome and most critics agree. Horsley renders the clause thus, -- "Ephraim has given bitterest provocation."