Hosea 10:14-15

14. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.

14. Et (vel, ideo, copula enim illativam particulam valet, ideo) surget tumultus in populis tuis; et unaquaeque munitionum tuarum vastabitur, secundum vastationem Salman Beth-arbel: in die proelii mater super filios allidetur.

15. So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.

15. Secundum (hoc modo) faciet vobis Bethel a facie malitiae, malitiae vestrae: in aurora pereundo peribit rex Israel.


The Prophet here denounces punishment, having before exposed to view the sins of the people, and sufficiently proved them guilty, who by subterfuges avoided judgement. He now adds, that God would be a just avenger. A tumult then shall arise among thy people. Thou hast hitherto satiated thyself with falsehood; for hope in thine own courage has inebriated thee, and also a false notion of wisdom; but the Lord will suddenly stir up tumults among thy people; that is, a tumult shall in one moment arise on every side. He intimates that its progress would not be slow, but that the tumult would be each as would confound things from one corner of the land to the other. A tumult then, or perdition, shall arise among thy people; for the word Nwas, shaun, on" means perdition or destruction; but I prefer "tumult," as the verb, Maq "kam" seems to require. "Every one of thy fortresses," he says, "shall be demolished." He shows that whatever strength the people had would be weak and wholly useless, when the Lord had begun to raise a tumult; for this tumult would reduce to ruin all their fortified cities.

He then adds an instance, which some refer to Shalmanezar. He only mentions Shaman; and Shalmanezar is indeed a compound name; but it is not known whether the Prophet had put down here his name in its simple form, Shaman: and then he mentions Betharbel, a city, referred to in some parts of Scripture, which was, with respect to Judea, beyond Jordan. If we receive this opinion, it seems that the Prophet wished to revive the memory of a recent slaughter, "Ye know what lately happened to you when Shalmanezar marched with so much cruelty through your country, when he laid waste your villages and towns and cities, and ye especially know how fierce the battle was in Betharbel, when a carnage was made, when mothers were violently thrown on their children, when the enemy spared neither sex nor age, which in the worst wars is a most cruel thing." Such, then, may have been the meaning of the Prophet. But others think that he relates a history, which is nowhere else to be told. However this may be, it appears that the Prophet spake of some slaughter which was in his day well known. Then the report of it was common enough, whether it was a slaughter made by Shalmanezar, or any other, of which there is no express mention found. We no see the meaning of the Prophet; but we cannot finish to-day.


Grant, Almighty God, that as we remain yet in our own wickedness, though often warned and sweetly invited by thee, and as thou prevailest not with us by thy daily instruction, -- O grant, that we may, in a spirit of meekness, at length turn to thy service, and fight against the hardness and obstinacy of our flesh, till we render ourselves submissive to thee, and not wait until thou puttest forth thy hand against us, or at least so profit under thy chastisements, as not to constrain thee to execute extreme vengeance against us, but to repent without delay; and that we may indeed, without hypocrisy, plough under thy yoke, and so enjoy thy special blessings, that thou mayest show thyself to us not only as our Lord, but also as our Father, full of mercy and kindness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lecture Twenty-ninth

We explained yesterday Hosea 10:14, in which the Prophet denounced the vengeance of God on his people, such as they had experienced either when the country was laid waste by the army of Shalmanezar, or when some other slaughter was made. From the words, we certainly learn that a battle had been fought in Arbel, which was a town, as we have said, beyond Jordan. But the Prophet shows also how much had been the atrocity of that battle, and how grievous and dreadful would be that slaughter which he now threatens to the people, by saying that even the mother had been violently thrown upon her children. And the Prophet also shows that God's vengeance would be just, because the Israelites had provoked God by their superstitions.

He then points out in the last verse the cause why the Lord would deal so severely with his people; and his manner of speaking ought to be observed. So, he says, shall Bethel do unto you. He might have said, 'So will God do unto you;' but he more distinctly shows that the evil, or the cause of the evil, was in themselves; Bethel, he says, shall do this unto you. It is certain that the war did not arise from Bethel; but as they had corrupted the worship of God by worshipping the calf, the Prophet says, that the Assyrian was not, properly speaking, the author of this slaughter, but that it was to be imputed to that corruption which had arisen in Bethel. Bethel then shall do this unto you.

But he adds, Because of wickedness -- of your wickedness. Some give this explanation, "Because of the wickedness of wickedness," by which is expressed something extreme, as the genitive case is often used by the Hebrews in the place of the superlative degree; but it may be viewed as a simple repetition, "This shall be for wickedness -- your wickedness, and it shall be so, that ye may not be able to transfer the blame to any other cause; for ye are yourselves the authors of all the evils."

He says, in the last place, In a morning shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off, or, by perishing shall perish. The Prophet means by these words, that the Lord would so punish the people of Israel, that it would appear plain enough, that it was not done by man or by chance; for the Lord would suddenly overturn that kingdom which had been so well fortified, which flourished so much in wealth and power. Cut off then in a morning, or in one morning, shall be the king of Israel. Some read, "as the morning," instead of, "in a morning," rxsk, cashicher, rxsb, beshicher. 'The king of Israel shall perish like the dawn;' for the dawn, we know, immediately disappears when the sun rises: the sun brings with it the full day, and then the dawn immediately passes away. But the other is the more correct reading, as it has also been more commonly received, that is, "In a morning, or in one morning, shall the king of Israel perish;" as we say in French, Cela n'est que pour un desiuner. For that proud people thought that no adversity could happen to them for many years, as they had a blind confidence in their own strength. The Prophet derides this madness, and says, that the slaughter would be sudden, that the king would in a moment be destroyed, though he thought himself well supplied with soldiers and all other defences. Now follows --