Hosea 14:6-7

6. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

6. Ibunt rami ejus, et erit quasi olivae decor ejus, et odor ei quasi Libani.

7. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

7. Revertentur incolae umbrae ejus (qui habitant sub ejus umbra) et se vivificabunt tritico (vel, quasi triticum,) et germinabunt tanquam vitis: odor ejus (alii vertunt, Memoriam; sed male; nam rkz, saicar, proprie memoriam significat, a verbo rkz, quod est Recordari; sed metaphorice etiam Hebraei odorem vocant memoriam; quia etiamsi res non videtur, tamen diffundit suam fragrantiam: odor igitur ejus tanquam vini Libani.


The Prophet goes on with the same subject, but joins the beginning of the first verse with the second clause of the former verse. He had said that the roots of the people would be deep when God should restore them. Now he adds, that their branches shall go on. He mentions here "to go on" metaphorically for extending far; for branches of trees seem to go on, when they extend and spread themselves far and wide. His branches, then, shall go on; which means, that a tree, after striking roots, remains not in the same state, but grows and spreads forth its branches in all directions. In short, God promises a daily increase to his blessing, after he has once begun to show himself bountiful to the people of Israel. "I will then be bountiful at the beginning; and further, he says, my blessing shall, as time passes, increase and be multiplied."

He afterwards adds, His comeliness shall be like the olive. The Prophet accumulates similitudes, that he might more fully confirm the people. And we certainly see that the minds of men grow faint, when they look for prosperity from this or that quarter; for there is hardly one in a hundred who is fully persuaded that when God is propitious, all things turn out well and happily: for men regard not the love of God when they wish things to be well with them, but wander here and there through the whole world; and now they seek prosperity from themselves, then from the earth, now from the air, then from the sea. Since then it is so difficult to impress this truth fully on the hearts of men, that the love of God is the fountain of all blessings, the Prophet has collected together a number of similitudes to confirm what he teaches. Then his comeliness, he say, shall be like the olive; and further, his fragrance like that of Libanus: and odoriferous trees, we know, grow on Mount Libanus. But by these various similes the Prophet shows that the state of the people would be prosperous and happy as soon as they should be received by God into favour. He afterwards adds, the dwellers under his shadow shall return; but I defer this till to-morrow.


Grant, Almighty God, that as we are so miserable as soon as thou withdrawest thy favour from us, -- O grant, that we may deeply feel this conviction, and thus learn to be humble before thee, and to hate our ownselves, and that we may not in the mean lime deceive ourselves by such allurements as commonly prevail, to put our hope in creatures or in this world, but raise our minds upwards to thee, and fix on thee our hearts, and never doubt, but that when thou embraces us with thy paternal love, nothing shall be wanting to us. And in the meantime, may we suppliantly flee to thy mercy, and with true and genuine confession, acknowledge this to be our only protection -- that thou deign to receive us into favour, and to abolish our sins, into which we not only daily fall, but by which we also deserve eternal death, so that we may daily rise through thy free pardon, till at length our Redeemer Christ thy Son shall appear to us from heaven. Amen.

Lecture Thirty-eighth

The dwellers under his shadow shall return, (so it is literally;) they shall revive themselves with corn, (or, revive as the corn;) they shall grow as the vine: his odour shall be as the wine of Libanus. The Prophet proceeds with the same subject, that God would show himself bountiful to his people, that it might plainly appear from their different state that they had before suffered just punishment. And he says, The dwellers under his shadow shall return. But the verb wbsy, ishibu, in this place rightly means, "to be refreshed," as in Psalm 19; where the law of God is spoken of as tbysm, meshibet, converting the soul; which signifies the same as refreshing or restoring the soul. So the Prophet intimates, that after the Israelites shall begin to flourish again, their shadow would be vivifying, such as would restore and refresh those lying under it. He calls the "dwellers under his shadow", all those who belong to the people; and compares the common state of the people of Israel to a tree full of leaves, which extends its branches far and wide, so that they who flee under its shadow are defended from the heat of the sun. We now see the design of this metaphor, and what the Prophet means by the verb wbsy, ishibu.

He afterwards adds They shall vivify themselves with corn, or, revive as corn. If we read the word in the nominative case, the preposition k, caph, is to be understood. The ablative case is more approved by some, "They shall vivify themselves with corn." But the former sense seems more suitable; for, as I have said yesterday, the Prophet, as he handles a truth difficult to be believed, does on this account accumulate similitudes, such as serve for confirmation. Hence they shall revive as corn; that is, they shall increase. As from one grain, we know, many stalks proceed; so also, since the prophet speaks of the increase of the people after their restoration to God's favour, he says that they would grow like corn.

But he adds, They shall germinate as the vine. This similitude strengthens what I have just said, that the people are compared both to trees and to corn, and also to vines. And what is said of dwellers ought not to appear strange, for he wished more fully to express how this common benefit would come, that is, to every one. He afterwards adds, His odour shall be as the wine of Libanus; that is, when they shall germinate as the vine, they shall not produce common or sour wine, but the sweetest, such as is made on Mount Libanus, and which is of the best odour. But the Prophet means no other thing than that the Israelites will be happy, and that their condition will be prosperous and joyful, when they shall be converted from their superstitions and other vices, and shall wholly surrender themselves to be governed by God. This is the meaning. Let us now proceed --