Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
shows this prophecy was uttered after the league made with Egypt
1. Israel . . . called my son out of
"From the time that he (Israel) was in Egypt, I called him My
son," which the parallelism proves. So
and Ho 13:4
use "from . . . Egypt," for "from the time that thou didst
sojourn in Egypt."
also shows that Israel was called by God, "My son," from the time of
his Egyptian sojourn
God is always said to have led or brought forth, not to
have "called," Israel from Egypt.
therefore, in quoting this prophecy (typically and primarily referring
to Israel, antitypically and fully to Messiah), applies it to Jesus'
sojourn in Egypt, not His return from it. Even from His
infancy, partly spent in Egypt, God called Him His son. God included
Messiah, and Israel for Messiah's sake, in one common love, and
therefore in one common prophecy. Messiah's people and Himself are one,
as the Head and the body.
calls Him "Israel." The same general reason, danger of extinction,
caused the infant Jesus, and Israel in its national infancy (compare
Ge 42:1-43:34; 45:18; 46:3, 4;
to sojourn in Egypt. So He, and His spiritual Israel, are already
called "God's sons" while yet in the Egypt of the world.
2. As they called them--"they," namely, monitors sent by Me. "Called,"
suggests the idea of the many subsequent calls by the prophets.
went from them--turned away in contempt
Baalim--images of Baal, set up in various places.
3. taught . . . to go--literally, "to use his feet." Compare a similar
8:2, 5, 15; 32:10, 11;
God bore them as a parent does an infant, unable to supply itself, so
that it has no anxiety about food, raiment, and its going forth.
which probably refers to this passage of Hosea; He took them by the
arms, to guide them that they might not stray, and to hold them up that
they might not stumble.
knew not that I healed them--that is, that My design was to restore
them spiritually and temporally
4. cords of a man--parallel to "bands of love"; not such cords as oxen
are led by, but humane methods, such as men employ when inducing
others, as for instance, a father drawing his child, by leading-strings,
teaching him to go
I was . . . as they that take off the yoke on their jaws . . . I laid
meat--as the humane husbandman occasionally loosens the straps under
the jaws by which the yoke is bound on the neck of oxen and lays food
before them to eat. An appropriate image of God's deliverance of Israel
from the Egyptian yoke, and of His feeding them in the wilderness.
5. He shall not return into . . . Egypt--namely, to
seek help against Assyria (compare
as Israel lately had done
after having revolted from Assyria, to whom they had been tributary from
the times of Menahem
In a figurative sense, "he shall return to Egypt"
that is, to Egypt-like bondage; also many Jewish fugitives were
literally to return to Egypt, when the Holy Land was to be in
Assyrian and Chaldean hands.
Assyrian shall be his king--instead of having kings of their own, and
Egypt as their auxiliary.
because they refused to return--just retribution. They would not return
(spiritually) to God, therefore they shall not return (corporally) to
Egypt, the object of their desire.
6. abide--or, "fall upon" [CALVIN].
branches--that is, his villages, which are the branches or
dependencies of the cities [CALVIN].
GROTIUS translates, "his bars" (so
that is, the warriors who were the bulwarks of the state. Compare
"rulers" (Margin), "shields"
because of their own counsels--in worshipping idols, and relying on
7. bent to backsliding--Not only do they backslide, and
that too from ME, their "chief good," but
they are bent upon it. Though they (the prophets) called them
(the Israelites) to the Most High (from their idols), "none would exalt
(that is, extol or honor) Him." To exalt God, they must cease to be
"bent on backsliding," and must lift themselves
8. as Admah . . . Zeboim--among the cities, including
Sodom and Gomorrah, irretrievably overthrown
heart is turned within me--with the deepest compassion, so as not to
execute My threat
So the phrase is used of a new turn given to the feeling
repentings--God speaks according to human modes of thought
God's seeming change is in accordance with His secret
everlasting purpose of love to His people, to magnify His grace after
their desperate rebellion.
9. I will not return to destroy Ephraim--that is, I will no
more, as in past times, destroy Ephraim. The destruction primarily
meant is probably that by Tiglath-pileser, who, as the Jewish king
Ahaz' ally against Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria, deprived Israel
of Gilead, Galilee, and Naphtali
The ulterior reference is to the long dispersion hereafter, to be ended
by God's covenant mercy restoring His people, not for their merits, but
of His grace.
God, . . . not man--not dealing as man would, with
implacable wrath under awful provocation
I do not, like man, change when once I have made a covenant of
everlasting love, as with Israel
We measure God by the human standard, and hence are slow to credit
fully His promises; these, however, belong to the faithful remnant, not
to the obstinately impenitent.
in the midst of thee--as peculiarly thy God
(Ex 19:5, 6).
not enter into the city--as an enemy: as I entered Admah, Zeboim, and
Sodom, utterly destroying them, whereas I will not utterly destroy thee.
Somewhat similarly JEROME: "I am
not one such as human dwellers in a city, who take cruel vengeance;
I save those whom I correct." Thus "not man," and "in the midst of
thee," are parallel to "into the city." Though I am in the midst of
thee, it is not as man entering a rebellious city to destroy utterly.
MAURER needlessly translates, "I will not come
10. he shall roar like a lion--by awful judgments on their foes
calling His dispersed "children" from the various lands of their
shall tremble--shall flock in eager agitation of haste.
from the west--
Literally, "the sea." Probably the Mediterranean, including its "isles
of the sea," and maritime coast. Thus as
specifies regions of Africa and Asia, so here Europe.
is parallel, referring to the very same regions. On "children," see
11. tremble--flutter in haste.
dove--no longer "a silly dove"
but as "doves flying to their windows"
in their houses--
Literally, "upon," for the Orientals live almost as much upon
their flat-roofed houses as in them.
12. MAURER joins this verse with the
twelfth chapter. But as this verse praises Judah, whereas
censures him, it must belong rather to the eleventh chapter and a new
prophecy begins at the twelfth chapter. To avoid this, MAURER translates this verse as a censure, "Judah wanders
with God," that is, though having the true God, he wanders after false
ruleth with God--to serve God is to reign. Ephraim wished to rule
without God (compare
nay, even, in order to rule, cast off God's worship [RIVETUS]. In Judah was the legitimate succession of kings
with the saints--the holy priests and Levites
[RIVETUS]. With the
fathers and prophets who handed down the pure worship of God. Israel's
apostasy is the more culpable, as he had before him the good example of
Judah, which he set at naught. The parallelism ("with