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Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 2

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Hosea 2:1 . Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi, that is, my people; and to your sisters, Ruhamah, that is, mercy, or oh mercy, or having obtained mercy, or mercy shall follow.

Hosea 2:3 . Lest I strip her naked. The feminine name was given by the Greeks to all countries, and on that idea the text is founded. Nudity was the ancient punishment of an adulteress. Ezekiel 16:37. The scenes of drunkenness and prostitution which attended gentile feasts, were such as cannot be recited.

Hosea 2:12 . I will destroy her vines and her fig-trees, by the army of Salmanezer, who devastated Samaria. 2 Kings 17:6. A contemporary prophet speaks in the same manner as Hosea: “Wo to the drunkards of Ephraim.” Isaiah 28:1.

Hosea 2:15 . I will give her the valley of Achor for a door of hope. This was the entrance to the promised land, a beautiful vale, and situate near Jericho. As God purged Achan’s sin in this place, so he promises to purge his christian Israel, and to give them every blessing of the new covenant. Any farther import of this impressive promise must refer to the glory of the latter day.

Hosea 2:16 . Thou shalt call me Ishi. Man, my man, or my husband. No more Baal, lord or oppressor. This may indicate the bondage of the law; but the bride calling the Messiah her husband implies the highest privilege, liberty and honour which the church can enjoy.

Hosea 2:17 . I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth. The mention of the name of idols was forbidden by the Mosaic law. Exodus 23:13. The church having her Maker for her husband, must scorn the name of idols. I believe many young men, by reading the Greek and Roman classics, get their attachment diminished, if it ever existed, to the sacred scriptures. Hence abridgments of the classics have been advised for the use of christian schools.

Hosea 2:18 . I will make a covenant with the [wild] beasts the fowls and the creeping things, as serpents, not to hurt them. This is coincident with the promise in Isaiah 11:6-9. The Psyllians of Africa boasted of a power against the bite of serpents.

Gens unica terras Incolit a sævo serpentum innoxia morsu Marmaridæ Psilli. Pax illis cum morte data est. PHAR. 9:894.

Of all who Afric’s scorching sun endure,

None like the swarthy Psyllians are secure;

With healing gifts and privileges graced,

Well in the land of serpents were they placed;

Truce with the dreadful tyrant death they have,

And border safely on his realm the grave. ROWE.

Hosea 2:22 . And they shall hear Jezreel. The heaven and the earth shall hear Jezreel, or the sons of the prophets, or the people of Israel who formerly inhabited the valley of Jezreel, or God’s dispersed people. It implies that heaven and earth should hear the Lord’s converted people, praising him for the temporal and spiritual blessings of his covenant.


Hosea, proceeding with his subject, is led to pronounce the Lord’s divorce against his carnal people for idolatry, and incorrigible wickedness. He declares concerning his once chosen church, she is neither my wife, nor am I her husband. This awful sentence, which it is presumed Hosea lived to see accomplished, should strike terror on certain apostate men who seem, in their style of manners, to be superior to the weakness of a scrupulous conscience, and of sanctifying fear. Perhaps their confidence, and superior wisdom may not guard every avenue at which punishment may enter.

We have the aggravation of Israel’s sin. She said, my lovers have given me this bread and water, this wool and flax. Thus she honoured the newly- imported idols of the gentiles above the God whom her fathers revered, and who gave her the land. To ascribe our mercies either to chance, or to our own industry and skill, is a sin which is marked in heaven.

We have Israel’s punishment. I will hedge up her way with thorns, or the three usual calamities of famine, sickness, and war, as Joel, a contemporary prophet, has remarked in chap. 4. Thus her mirth, her feasts, her beauty departed; yet she returned not to the Lord. What follows must therefore respect the new-testament church, and the glory of the latter day.

We have the recollection and repentance of the church. She said, I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better with me than now. The few of the ten tribes who survived at home might continue their corruptions in exile, and pine away, and lose their glory by marrying with the gentiles; yet God is ever nourishing his spiritual Zion, by converts brought to recollection and to tears. And oh, it is peculiarly happy when back-sliders are so far recollected and humbled as to return to the Lord, and to his house.

We have lastly, the return of consolation to the church, which seems to flow with a double tide for having been obstructed. I will allure her, as in Egypt, and bring her into the wilderness. Yes, and when I shall gather in my people, and give the gentiles a portion with them, I will make a covenant with the beasts not to hurt them. I will break the bow, and make wars to cease. I will also betroth thee unto me for ever in righteousness and in faithfulness. St. John affirms the same of the church. Revelation 21:22.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Hosea 2". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/hosea-2.html. 1835.
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