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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 10

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Hos 10:1 Israel [is] an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.

Ver. 1. Israel is an empty vine ] Heb. an emptying vine, בוקק losing her fruit, and so deceiving the owner. How can Israel but be empty of all good, of all fruits of the Spirit, when he will not hearken unto God, nor dwell under the droppings of a powerful ministry? when he is cast off by God, Hosea 9:17 , who fills his people with the fruits of righteousness, Philippians 1:11 : and is not a wilderness a land of darkness unto them? Jeremiah 2:31 , when his root is dried up, and all his juice and strength runs out into leaves, so that is frondosa vitis (as the Vulgate renders it), a leafy vine; such as are our profligate professors, and carnal gospellers, and such as was St James’s solifidian, that empty fellow, as he calleth him, κενε , James 2:20 , when, lastly, the Holy Spirit (those two golden pipes, Zec 4:12 ) empties not into his candlestick the golden oils of all precious graces, as from two blessed olive branches. The vine and the olive, two of the best fruit trees, grow best together, saith Melancthon. If Israel’s heart be divided from God, as Hosea 10:2 , and hath not his fruit found in him, as Hosea 14:8 , what marvel if he prove as Nah 2:10 empty and void and waste; and though as Nah 2:2 the Lord turn away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel; for the emptiers have emptied them out, and married their vine branches?

He beareth fruit to himself ] As he beareth fruit in and from himself (like the ivy, which, though it clasp about the oak, and sometimes kills it, yet brings forth all its berries, by virtue of its own root) so he beareth fruit for himself, or to himself. Profit, pleasure, and preferment is his Trinity; and corrupt self is all these in unity. He fasteth to himself, as those hypocrites, Zechariah 7:5 ; he prays, hears, confers, giveth alms, &c., out of sinful self-love. In all that he doth, sibi soli velificatur, he seeks his own ends only; as the eagle, when he flieth highest, hath his eye on his prey. In parabola ovis capras suas quaerit; in the parabol of the sheep, he sought for his own sheep; like the fish in the Gospel, either he is dumb, or hath nothing but silver in his mouth, he is a notorious self-seeker, he bears fruit to himself, he sacrificeth to himself, as Sejanus did. As Prometheus is fabled to have stolen fire from Jupiter, so the false Israelite would defraud God of heaven, if he could tell how. Spira confessed that he used prayer only as a bridge to bring him to heaven; and therefore he despaired of acceptance, as well he might: for how should God relish such sorry hedge-fruits? how should he say of such clusters of Gomorrah, "Destroy it not, for there is a blessing in it?" Isaiah 65:8 . The good soul, as she bears all her fruit in Christ, John 15:2 , so she keeps all her fruit for him, Song of Solomon 5:13 , and cries out, Propter te, Domine, propter te. On account of you, Lord, on account of you. As all his springs are in her, so all she has and is, is for him; and if she had more and better, she could think it worthy of him. Hence it is, that when he comes into his garden (upon her invitation), Song of Solomon 4:16 , to eat his pleasant fruits, he gathereth his myrrh with his spice, he eateth his honey with his honeycomb, as it were, crust and crumb together, Song of Solomon 5:1 . He takes in good part the better and worse performed services; he passeth by failings in the manner, where the heart is upright for the main: wicked men present also some kind of fruit (as the oak bears some kind of apples and acorns, but they are not man’s meat; swine indeed will hunch them up; so the devil likes well enough of these self-fruits), but they make not to God’s palate. Delicata res est Spiritus Dei The Spirit of God is a charming person. (Tertull.), our oaken apples will not down with him. Self must be strained out, and God set up, that ye may be called "Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he alone may be glorified," Isaiah 61:3 ; "being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God," Philippians 1:11 .

According to the multitude of his fruit, he hath increased the altars ] Iuxta ubertatem, exuberant simulachris, saith the Vulgate elegantly; but yet short of the original, where there is a dainty alliteration, and a double polyptoton. a For the sense: the prophet, as he had accused Israel of emptiness and selfishness, so he doth here of unthankfulness, in abusing God’s plenty to the promoting of idolatry; as if God had hired them to be wicked. See the like before, Hosea 2:8 . See Trapp on " Hos 2:8 " and consider how far against the ingenuity of a Christian it is to be least for God when he hath most from him; when his own turn is served, then to turn his back from the author of all his good; to do as the moon, that getteth farthest off the sun when she is fullest of his light.

According to the goodness of his land ] Idolaters desire to be in the place where there are good lands, fruitful fields; that they may lavish upon their images; that they may so beautify, or (as the Hebrew word here is) bonify their images, as Jezebel did her head with tires and brave dresses, 2 Kings 9:30 . "Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god," or that endow another god, and give gifts to him, as that text may be rendered, Psalms 16:4 . What excessive cost the superstitious Papists bestow upon their idols, or images (which are one and the same, as we see here), and especially upon their Lady of Loretto, the Jesuit Tursellinus hath set forth to the world. And why they so much desire and endeavour to recover England (praying for it, as is to be seen written on the gates of their colleges, Iesu, Iesu, converte Angliam: fiat, fiat Jesus, Jesus, convert the English, let it happen, let it happen) the reason is evident; it is a good land, and would easily yield them good images, stately altars, &c. England was wont to be called the pope’s ass, and his puteus inexhaustus, unexhausted well, his pit of treasure, that could never be drawn dry: he was wont to say, that he could never want money so long as he could hold a pen in his fingers to write to England. He received here hence yearly above nine tons of gold. Now, according to what they received they expended upon their images. What a shame it is, then, for true worshippers, that there is no proportion between their increases for God and their increases from God, that those that are rich in this world are not rich in good works; that they lay not by for pious and charitable uses, according as God hath blessed them, 1 Corinthians 16:2 , but that they should be the richer the harder; as children that have their mouths full, and both hands full, yet will part with none, but spill it rather. It is observed of men that grow very fat, that they have so much the less blood. And so the fatter many men are in their estates the less blood, life, and spirits they have for God.

a A rhetorical figure consisting in the repetition of a word in different cases or inflexions in the same sentence. ŒD

Verse 2

Hos 10:2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.

Ver. 2. Their heart is divided ] sc. from God; whose soul therefore is justly disjointed from them, Jeremiah 6:8 . They professed to worship the true God, and yet they transferred the honour due to him alone upon dumb idols; they halted between two, and would needs serve two lords; but God would have none of that. "Be the gods of the heathen good fellows," saith one, "the true God is a jealous God, and will not part stakes with another." The double-minded man is not for his service; for he will be served truly, that there be no halting; and, totally, that there be no halving. Good therefore and worthy of all acceptation is the counsel of St James to such, James 4:8 , "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded," or ye cloven-hearted, διψυχοι . Out with the corruption that cleaveth to your hearts; and then there will be a constance and evenness in your minds, mouths, and manners; which is absolutely necessary to such as draw nigh to God in holy duties, and the contrary abominable, Isaiah 29:13 .

Now shall they be found faulty ] Sinners against their own souls, procurers of their own ruth and ruin. And this they shall so clearly be convinced of (as afflictio dat intellectum, smart makes wit), that they shall cry out, with Joseph’s brethren, We are verily guilty, Genesis 42:21 , and conscience awakened, shall answer as Reuben in the next verse, "Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin" (O do not this abominable thing): "and ye would not hear?" Did not the prophets foretell you what would be the fruit of your idolatries? did they not even slit up your hearts with the sacrificing knife of God’s word (sharper than any two-edged sword), and lay all your evil thoughts naked and open, or dissected, quartered, and cleft in the backbone (as the apostle’s word, τετραχηλισμενα , signifieth, Heb 4:13 ), but ye would not then be convinced of all, and falling down upon your face, worship God, as 1Co 14:24-25 ? Now you are found faulty, or guilty, and cry peccavi; I have sinned, or now you are, that is, shortly ye shall be, wasted and desolated, as some render it; or now shall they die ( interibunt, so the Vulgate), shall they perish; how should they do otherwise whose heart, that seat of life, is cut in twain; and whom the jealous and just God will cut in twain ( διχοτομησει ), tearing their souls from their bodies by death, Satan’s slaughter man, and appointing them their portion with hypocrites, Matthew 24:51 .

He shall break down their altars ] He, that is, God, my God, Hosea 9:17 , for this chapter is a continuation of that (though Gualter makes it the beginning of Hosea’s seventh sermon). He, that excelleth he, that Aph-hu, 2 Kings 2:14 . Even he, proved by five reasons to be one of God’s attributes, by Mr Weemiss in his exposition of the moral law, Part I p. 162. Vide sis. Others render it thus: It shall break down their altars, Ipsum cor. It, that is, their heart (which indeed is the next antecedent), and happy had it been for them if their heart, divided from their wickedness, had been active in breakng down their altars in the prophet Isaiah’s sense, Isaiah 27:9 , as a fruit of their true repentance: "By this therefore," that is, by their affliction sanctified, "shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit" (and good fruit too) "to take away his sin; when" (in testimony of his sound repentance and self-abhorrency for former idolatry) "he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalk-stones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up." But it appears not anywhere that Israel was so well affected, though grievously afflicted; that his divided heart prompted him to any such holy practice. Rather it brought ruin upon him to the decolling of his altars and spoiling of his images (which he so doted on and delighted in), and so might well say to him, as Apollodorus the tyrant’s heart did, who dreamed one night that he was flayed by the Scythians, and boiled in a caldron; and that his heart spake to him out of the kettle; It is I that have drawn thee to all this: thou mayest thank me for all, ‘ Eγω σοι τουτων αιτια ..

Verse 3

Hos 10:3 For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us?

Ver. 3. For now they shall say, We have no king ] sc. to do us good; he is no better to us now than a king of clouts: he cannot protect us, or deliver us out of the hand of our enemies. If we cry unto him, as she did, "Help, O king"; he must needs answer as there, "If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee?" 2 Kings 6:26-27 . Vain is the help of man now that God sets against us. Feared him we have not, and now help us he will not. Est ergo interrogatio negantium et desperantium, saith Rivet. This is the question not of penitentiaries (as Lyra thinketh) but of such as despair, and deny that help can be had either from God, whom they have slighted, or from their king, who is over matched; as Asa was by the Ethiopians, when he came forth against them with an army of five hundred thousand, but was encountered by an army of a thousand thousand, the largest, I think, that we read of in the Book of God, 2 Chronicles 14:11 , and was therefore fain to cry, "Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest in thee: and in thy name, not in our own strength, we go against this multitude."

Because we feared not the Lord ] We trembled not at his word, as Hosea 9:17 , and now it hath taken hold of us, Zechariah 1:6 ; See Trapp on " Zec 1:6 " By our profaneness we have enraged God against us; by our creature confidence we have made him our enemy; and now, all too late, we acknowledge our impiety, we bewail our folly; for what should a king do to us? what can he do for us, more than weep over us, as Xerxes did over his army? cry Alas Alas that great city Babylon, &c., as those kings, her paramours, Revelation 18:9-10 , wish they had never reigned; as Adrian, Felix si non imperitassesset. Once the cry of this people was, Nay, but we will have a king, and they had him; but no such great joy of him. After that again, they would have a king of their own choosing, Jeroboam, I mean; and he proved a singular mischief to them, as did likewise all his successors. They doted upon a king, and put their trust in princes; but they soon found that in them there was no help, Psalms 146:3 , that they could not rescue them out of the punishing hands of the King of kings, the living God.

Verse 4

Hos 10:4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.

Ver. 4. They have spoken words ] Bubbles of words, great swelling words, as 2Pe 2:18 thereby thinking to bear down and outface the prophets, and the godly party. They speak violent words (as the Chaldee hath it), robust words, as if they would yet carry it (though their king could not help them) by confederacies and covenants confirmed with oaths; holding that rule of the Priscillianists for gospel (as they say),

Iura, periura: secretum prodere noli:

and that maxim of Machiavel, that religion itself (in contracts and covenants) should not be cared for; but only the appearance, because the credit is a help, the use a cumber; but all these are but words, saith the prophet, and those but wind; they shall do them no good, because without God.

Quid nisus? risus; conamina? inania, vana:

Conventus? ventus; foedera? verba mera. ”

Swearing falsely in making a covenant ] A foul business, whether it be understood of covenant with God (whereof before) or with the Assyrian, with whom they broke, to ingratiate with "So, king of Egypt," 2 Kings 17:4 . How God plagueth perjurers, &c., covenant breakers, see Zec 5:3 Malachi 3:5 . See Trapp on " Zec 5:3 He will See Trapp On" Mal 3:5 appoint the sword to avenge the quarrel of his covenant, Leviticus 26:25 , as he did upon Jerusalem, not leaving there one stone upon another; upon those seven golden candlesticks, long since broken in pieces for their breach of covenant; upon Bohemia, that seat of the first open and authorized Reformation whatever will yet become of England.

Thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field ] Heb. of my field, where I have ploughed and made long furrows, fitted for good seed, wherein I "looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry," Isaiah 5:7 . This root of bitterness, these stalks of hemlock (that venomous weed, full of deadly poison), is bad anywhere, but worst of all when found in God’s field, noted for a habitation of justice and mountain of holiness, Jeremiah 31:23 . Where should a man look for justice, but where holiness is professed? since primo praecepto reliquorum omnium observantia praecipitur, the second table of the law is included in the first; yea, the keeping of all the ten is enjoined in the first commandment? Of Rome it was anciently said, that all the neighbouring cities were the better for her example of singular care to do justice. It should be so said of the city of God; where when judgment is turned into wormwood, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock, as Amos 6:12 , well, it may grow till it be ripe in the field, but God will not suffer it to shed, to grow again, but cuts it up by a just and seasonable vengeance.

Verse 5

Hos 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof [that] rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.

Ver. 5. The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear ] sc. When God shall break the necks of their altars, and spoil their images, as Hosea 10:2 . They feared not God, by their own confession, Hosea 10:3 , therefore they are full of base fears, whereof the true fear of God would have freed them, Matthew 10:28 . He that feareth God needeth not fear any other thing, or person, Psalms 112:7 ; but can say with David, "My feet," that is, mine affections, "stand in an even place," that is, in an equal tenor; Impavidum ferient ruinae. "I shall rest in the day of trouble, when he cometh up against the people" (saith holy Habakkuk, Hab 3:16 ). I shall rejoice in the God of my salvation; when those that fear not God shall be at their wits’ end; yea, they shall be mad for the sight of their eyes that they shall see, Deuteronomy 28:34 .

Because of the calves of Bethaven ] Calves in the feminine gender, she-calves, by way of contempt and derision, as Jerome noteth; as Isaiah 3:12 , "women rule over them." The Jews at this day look upon women as a lower creation, and do not allow them to enter into the synagogue. As among the Turks they never go to church, neither is there any reckoning made of their religion. The heathens had the like conceits and expressions: O Phrygiae, neque enim Phryges - Aχηιδες ουκ ετ Aχαιοι , &c. (Virg. Aeneid. 9. Hom. II 8). We cannot speak overbasely of idols; the Scripture calleth them excrements, nothings, &c. Luther wonders that Jeroboam, knowing how ill the people had sped with their golden calf in the wilderness, should yet dare to set up two at Dan and Bethel (both here called Bethaven, or houses of iniquity); and a man might as well wonder that, having as great a miracle wrought before him in the drying up of his hand, as St Paul at his conversion, yet was he no whit wrought upon. But if God strike not the stroke, if the Spirit set not in with the means, all is to no purpose. Who would think that men should ever be so void of reason as to trust in that which cannot save itself from the enemies’ hands? as these calves of Bethaven, and as the Papists’ breaden god, brought into the field by the rebels of Norfolk in King Edward VI’s days; neither was there lacking masses, crosses, banners, candlesticks, with holy bread, and holy water plenty, to defend them from devils and all adversary power; which, in the end, neither could help their friends nor save themselves from the hands of their enemies; but again both the consecrated god, and all the trumpery about him, was taken in a cart, and there lay all in the dust; leaving to them a notable lesson of bitter experience, saith Mr Fox, who relateth it.

For the people thereof ] i.e. of the calf, to whom they had dedicated themselves; as the Moabites are called the people of Chemosh, Numbers 21:29 , and Turks Mahometans. "For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever," Micah 4:5 .

Do mourn over it ] As those women wept for Tammuz, Ezekiel 8:14 , that is, for Osiris, king of Egypt, whose image they had adored, as those, Revelation 18:15 , wailed over that old whore, when they saw her a broiling; as idolatrous Micah cried after his gods, Judges 18:24 , and as the people of the East Indies, in the isle Ceylon, having an ape’s tooth which they had consecrated gotten from them, mourned, and offered an incredible mass of treasure to recover it. Should not men then mourn after the sincere service of God, and hold it dear to their souls?

And the priests thereof that rejoiced in it ] Heb. the Chemarims, or chimney chaplains, that were all black and sooty with the smoke of the sacrifices, and were therefore called Chemarim, or Camilli, as affecting a black habit, sanctimoniae ergo; therefore sacred, or having black brand marks upon their bodies, in honour of their idols, whereof these haply were the Hierophantae, or masters of the ceremonies, and made a great gain thereof the ground of their joy; for it is κερδος because κεαρ ηδει , gain so called, because it delights the heart.

For the glory thereof ] i.e. of the calf, the beauty and bravery of its worship, all is now utterly gone.

Verse 6

Hos 10:6 It shall be also carried unto Assyria [for] a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.

Ver. 6. It shall be also carried unto Assyria, &c. ] As no small part of the spoil, shall this Deafter be carried captive; being so far unable to save others, that he cannot save himself.

For a present to king Jareb ] See Hosea 3:1-3 , in signum omnimodae victoriae; so Aeneas (Aeneid. 1),

Ilium in Italiam portat, victosque penates,

though in another sense; yet they must needs be poor despicable deities that fall into the enemies’ hands, see Isaiah 46:2 . The ark indeed fell into the Philistines’ hands; but the ark was not God’s, but only a sign of his presence, which God suffered so to be taken for a punishment to his people, and for a plague to his enemies, whom he "smote in the hinder parts, and so put them to a perpetual reproach," Psalms 78:66 .

Ephraim shall receive shame ] Because they hoped and harped upon better things, Job 6:20 . O pray, with David, that our hopes be not disappointed; that they make us not ashamed, as Paul speaketh, Romans 5:5 ; that they prove not as the spider’s web, curiously framed, but to catch flies only; or as the child’s hope, who catcheth at the shadow on the wall which he thinks he holds fast, or at the butterfly, which if he catch, he hath no such great catch of.

And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsels ] Of their impolitic plots and practices, in dividing themselves from David’s house, and setting up unwarranted worships, calling in foreign helps, &c. Their own counsels have cast them down, Job 18:7 , because they were acted by false principles, and aimed at their own corrupt ends. They took counsel, but not of God; and covered with a covering, but not of his Spirit, that they might add sin to sin, Isaiah 30:1 . They made not the word the man of their counsel, as David did, Psalms 119:24 , neither prayed they as he, Psalms 73:24 , Guide me, Lord, with thy counsel, and so bring me to glory. In a word, they perished by their own counsels, Hosea 11:6 , whereby they provoked God, and so were brought low by their iniquity, Psalms 106:48 , and then they were ashamed of their own counsel, they saw themselves befooled by their carnal reason, and by that which they call reason of state, which indeed is treason, unless it be seasoned with justice and religion.

Verse 7

Hosea 10:7 [As for] Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.

Ver. 7. As for Samaria, her king is cut off, as the foam upon the waters ] An apt simile (whereof this prophet is full). Her king (not her idols, as some sense it), though gotten into Samaria, a strong city, so well victualled and fortified as to hold out a siege of three years’ continuance, yet shall be cut off, or silenced, as Hosea 4:7 , "as the foam upon the waters," bulla evanida, more weak than water, whereof it ariseth, and whereby it is wherried away, and cannot resist; or, as a bubble blown up by every small wind, and as easily blown out again; it no sooner appears but it disappears. Lo, such are the greatest kings and kingdoms, when God taketh them in their wickedness. "He cuts off the spirit of princes," Psalms 76:12 , he slips them off (so the Hebrew is) as one would slip off a flower between one’s fingers; or as one would slip off a bunch of grapes. The kingdoms of the earth are like "foam upon the waters": 1. For their seeming brightness; 2. For their great eminence; 3. For their instability and inability to resist; 4. For their sudden fall and disappearance. The Turkish empire (which hath swallowed up so many glorious empires and renowned kingdoms) laboureth with nothing more than the weightiness of itself; and shall shortly be cut off as foam, and live no otherwise than by fame, as others now do; though for the present it be no whit inferior in greatness and strength to the greatest monarchies that ever yet were upon the face of the earth; the Roman empire only excepted.

Verse 8

Hos 10:8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

Ver. 8. The high places also of Aven, &c. ] Sept. the altars, ab Alto dicta ( במות whence Bωμοι ). Of Aven, for Bethaven (whereof before), a place so hateful now, that God loathes at large to mention it; he even cuts off the head of it, as he had threatened to do by the altars, Hosea 10:2 . So Jeconiah degenerating is Coniah, &c.

The sin of Israel ] That damning sin of idolatry here committed, that wickedness with a witness, which makes God abhor places as well as persons, and turns them into sin as it were. "What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem," Micah 1:5 .

Shall be destroyed ] Thus, man’s sin brings destruction upon the creatures. It is as poison in a glass, that causeth the glass to be broken, and cast upon the dunghill. The vessels that held the sin offering, if made of earth, they were to be broken; if of brass, or other metals, to be purged with fire; as one day the earth and visible heavens also shall be for the defilement that man’s sin hath set upon them.

The thorn and the thistle shall come upon their altars ] There shall be nil nisi solitude in terris, aegritudo in animis, &c. See Trapp on " Hos 9:6 "

They shall say to the mountains, Cover us ] This they shall say out of the sense and terror of God’s just judgments driving them to desperation. - tellus prius ima dehiseat, &c. Aristides commendeth Themistocles for this, that he never was so perplexed by any evil occurrence as to wish that the earth would swallow him up quick, or to pronounce the dead happy. Rivet well observeth here that Judea, as it was full of hills and rocks, so they were wont to dig themselves therein caves and dens, wherein to hide in time of danger. To these David often repaired, and so secured himself from Saul. And to these he alludeth when he calleth God his rock, Psalms 18:2 , and the rock of his refuge, Psalms 94:22 . And of these places of security Josephus writeth, describing the form of them (Antiq. 1. 14, cap. 26; B. J. i. 26). Now when they were in those holes of the hills, and were distressed by the enemy there, what wonder though they said to the mountains, Fall upon us, cover us, bury us alive, crush us to pieces, grind us to powder, rather than that we fall into the bloody fingers of these merciless monsters, who will put us haply to a lingering death, kill us piece meal, as Tiberius did those, he was angry with (Sueton.); and as the cannibals of America, when they take a prisoner, feed upon him alive, and by degrees, to the unutterable aggravation of his horror and torment. Our Saviour foretold his disciples, that at the last destruction of Jerusalem men should cry out to the mountains on this manner; and so shall the antichristian rout also do one day, Revelation 6:16 . They that would not worship the Lamb shall find him a lion; those that would not cast away their transgressions, but faced the heavens, shall run into the rocks to hide them; those that would not aspire to eternity shall despair of mercy; those that would not lift up their eyes to the everlasting mountains, from whence comes help, shall now in vain tire the deaf mountains, with Hide us, help us. Now what can the mountains do more than give an echo to such Help us; for they need help also; the wrath of God is upon the creature.

Verse 9

Hos 10:9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.

Ver. 9. O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah ] Or, prae diebus, worse than in the days of Gibeah. What those days were, see Hos 9:9 Judges 19:15 : when they were is not so certain; but probably before the time of the Judges, and soon after Joshua’s death; for Jebus, or Jerusalem, was not yet taken, Jdg 19:11-12 cf. Hosea 1:1 , and Phineas was yet alive and ministered before the Lord, Judges 20:28 , and was one of those elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, which he did for Israel, Judges 2:7 , so that these days of Gibeah were very ancient; and Israel’s sin the worse, because from those days; and yet more, because above or beyond those days. God made use of your forefathers to punish that great sin; and yet you continue to be more vile and vicious than they were, that were so punished by your forefathers; neither are ye at all warned by their harms: which is just both presage and desert of your downfall. Alterius perditio tua sit cautio. Exemplo alterius qui sapit, ille sapit.

There they stood ] Who stood? either the men of Gibeah stood stoutly to it, and slew in two battles 40,000; or, "there stood the men of Israel, and their battle did not overtake the children of iniquity"; not so overtake them at first, but that they were twice beaten by them; all which, notwithstanding, they stood it out, and prevailed at last; but so shall not you, since it is in my desire and decree, Hosea 10:10 , to order it otherwise, and utterly to destroy you at once. Non surget hic afflictio. This pain will not arise.

Verse 10

Hosea 10:10 [It is] in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.

Ver. 10. It is in my desire that I should chastise them ] That is, I am unchangeably resolved, and fully bent upon it, to carry them captive and enslave them to their enemies, Nahum 1:9 , wherein they shall find that they have to do with God, and not with man; and that it is I that bind them, though I make use of the Assyrians to that purpose. Luther renders it, Valde cupide eos castigabo, exceeding desirously will I chastise them. O the venomous nature of sin, that maketh the merciful God to desire and to delight in men’s miseries; to take comfort in their punishments, Ezekiel 5:13 ; Ezekiel 5:15 , to laugh at their destruction, Prov. i. And although he bear long with men’s evil manners, ετροποφορησεν , Acts 13:18 , yet he beareth them as a burden whereof he desireth to be eased, Isaiah 1:24 , as a servitude whereof he desireth to be freed, Isaiah 43:24 , as a pain not inferior to that of a travailing woman; and albeit he bite in his pains, as it were, for a time, yet hear him what he saith, Isaiah 42:14 , "I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself; now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once."

And the people shall be gathered against them ] God can bring in his armies at his pleasure; for all creatures are at his beck and check. If he do but look out at the windows of heaven, and cry, "Who is on my side? who?" all creatures in heaven and earth will presently present their service; he never need want a weapon to chastise his rebels. If he but stamp with his foot (as that proud Roman, Gnaenus Pompey, said) he can have men enough. How ready are the Assyrians here to be the rod in his hand!

When they shall bind themselves in their two furrows ] i.e. I will bring their enemies upon them, and they shall yoke them like oxen that are yoked to plough; yea, they shall bring them into such servitude that they shall make them do double work, plough in their two furrows, be they never so weary of doing one. The enemies shall not be moved to pity the poor Israelites, when tired with hard labour; but shall make them plough like beasts, giving them no rest till they have even wearied and worn them out. This is Polanus’s interpretation; who farther admonisheth us, as often as we behold or think upon the yoking of oxen for the plough, that we likewise think of the miserable condition of such poor Christians as are slaves to Turks, and Tartars, and other enemies, who bind them indeed in their two furrows. It is not so long since here among us divers of God’s dear servants were driven from Ciceter and other places (taken by the enemy) naked and barefoot, (as the Egyptians were by the Assyrians, Isa 20:4 ), through thick and thin, to Oxford jail, &c., where, by the cruelty of their keepers, many of them lost their precious lives, to the incredible grief of their dear relations. Neither can I here pass by Tilly’s cruelty at Magdeburg, in Germany; where, after 20,000 persons at least put to the sword, and the town burned down, his soldiers committed all manner of ravages, all the country over; ladies, gentlewomen, and others, like beasts, they yoked and coupled together, leading them into the woods to ravish them; and such as resisted they stripped naked, whipped them, cropped their ears, and so sent them home again (Mr Clark in the Life of the King of Sweden). The Irish cruelties unnameable might here be instanced. O quam durum, O quam tristem serviunt illi servitutem! Oh how harsh to serve sorrow to slaves. See Mr Clark’s relation. The words may be read, "They shall bind them together."

Verse 11

Hos 10:11 And Ephraim [is as] an heifer [that is] taught, [and] loveth to tread out [the corn]; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, [and] Jacob shall break his clods.

Ver. 11. And Ephraim is as a heifer that is taught ] sc. With the ox goad, which hath its name from teaching (Malmad), Judges 3:31 , because therewith oxen are taught to plough, saith R. David. Ephraim was a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke, Jeremiah 31:18 , but God brought her to it and taught her, though at first a backsliding heifer, Hosea 4:16 , See Trapp on " Hos 4:16 " taught her, as Gideon taught the men of Succoth, with briers and thorns of the wilderness, so that they paid dear for their learning, Judges 8:16 . But Ephraim, though taught it, loveth not ploughing work, because hard and hungry. She loveth rather

to tread out the corn ] where she may dance and frisk in the soft straw without either yoke or muzzle, Deuteronomy 25:4 . As we thresh, so it was their manner to tread out their hard grain with the feet of beasts, or by them to draw wagons over it and so get it out of the husk. Now this was fair and free work, and Ephraim delighted in it; the rather, because she might feed all the while at pleasure; whereas those heifers that ploughed wrought hard all day, and in all weathers, without any refreshment. It is an ill sign, when men must pick and choose their work; this they will do for God, but not that. A dispensatory conscience is a naughty conscience; neither doth he God’s will, but his own, that doth no more, or no other, than himself will. Such holy day servants, such retainers, God careth not for. Every one can swim in a warm bath; and every bird will sing in a summer’s day. Judas will bear the cross, so he may bear the bag. And those carnal Capernaites follow Christ while he feeds them; as children will say their prayers so they may have their breakfast. But Abraham will forsake all to follow God, though he knew not whither; yea, though God seemed to go cross ways; as when he promised him a land flowing with milk and honey, and yet as soon as he came there he found famine. Genesis 12:1 ; Genesis 12:10 ; so when he promised him seed as the stars, yet kept him without child for twenty years after; and after that he must kill him too, Genesis 22:2 . So Job will trust in a killing God; Jonah calls upon him out of the deep; David keeps his statutes, when God had in some degree forsaken him, Psalms 119:8 , and "behaved himself wisely in a perfect way," though God was not yet come unto him, Psalms 101:2 . This is the trial of a Christian, to do difficult duties upon little or no encouragement; to wrestle, as Jacob did, in the night, and alone, and when God was leaving him, and upon one leg. This is workman-like. The staff rings were to continue upon the ark; the Kohathite’s shoulders felt wherefore; and so long God "helped them to carry it," 1 Chronicles 15:26 ; but when they once fell to carting it for their own ease, as the Philistines had done, 1 Samuel 6:7-8 , God made a dismal breach upon them, 2 Samuel 6:6-8 , and David was very sensible of it, when he came up the second time to fetch the ark, 1 Chronicles 15:12 ; 1 Chronicles 15:18 .

But I passed over upon her fair neck ] God will make her both bear and draw, though she were grown delicate and tender, with long prosperity; her good and fair and fat neck, not galled or brawned with the yoke, which now she made dainty of; yet he would bring her to it; though he were by her untractableness forced to sit upon her neck, and make her more towardly to the yoke, as the manner of ploughmen was in that case.

I will make Ephraim to ride ] Or, as the Vulgate hath it, I will ride him and rule him, though he kick and lay about him never so much; though he champ upon the bridle and stamp with his feet, &c. I will master him, and make him more serviceable, or, at least, less insolent. See this fulfilled, Jeremiah 31:18-19 , where Ephraim is brought in, seeing his need of mercy in the sense of misery.

Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods ] Judah doth the worst of the work, and suffers more hardship in the ways of my worship, and is held under by Israel, as appeareth in 2 Kings 10:16-21 . Jacob, that is, the ten tribes, did only break the clods, or harrow, which is the lighter work; and should therefore have been done with more delight; but they love to take their ease, and only follow after their pleasure and profit; and though taught to plough, yet like it not, because laborious; no, though they have Judah for an example of better.

Verse 12

Hos 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Ver. 12. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy ] Righteousness is a sure seed, a precious grain, which those that sow (and every action of our life is a sowing) shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, and bring their sheaves with them, Psalms 126:6 . Only they must not look to sow and reap all in one day; as one saith of the Hyperborean people far north, that they sow shortly after the sunrising with them, and reap before the sunset; that is, because the whole half year is one continual day with them. The Church is God’s husbandry, Heresbach. de re Rust. 1 Corinthians 3:9 ; the seed is the Word of God, Luke 8:11 . Ministers are God’s husbandmen, harvestmen, Matthew 9:37-38 ; the plough, Luke 9:62 , plough staff, Luke 13:8 , axe, Matthew 3:10 , are the law’s threatenings; the fruit causing rain are the promises of the Gospel, Isaiah 55:10-11 ; faith, that works by love, are the fruits; the last day, the harvest, Matthew 13:39 ; Matthew 13:41 . Then at utmost, those that sow bountifully (or, in blessings, Eπ ευλογιας , as the Greek hath it) shall reap bountifully, 2 Corinthians 9:6 . He that soweth seemeth to cast away his seed; but if he sow in locis irriguis Ecclesiastes 11:1 Eze 34:26 upon fat and fertile places, he knows he shall receive his own with usury. In some parts of Egypt, where the river Nile overfloweth, they do but throw in their seed, and they have four rich harvests in less than four months. Oh sow bountifully the seeds of piety and charity into God’s blessed bosom; and then be sure to reap plentiful mercy, in thy greatest necessity; reap in the month of mercy. (as the original here hath it), that is, according to the measure of Divine mercy, see Leviticus 27:16 Exo 16:16 proportionably to the infiniteness of God’s mercy. Now the Scripture hath three notable words to express the fulness of God’s mercy in Christ to those that sow in righteousness: Ephesians 2:7 , the abundant riches of his grace, that are cast in over and above; Romans 5:20 , the grace of God hath been more than exceeding; there is a second υπερ : 1 Timothy 1:14 , the grace of God was exceeding abundant. It had an abundance before: yea, but here is a super abundance; here is good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall God give into men’s bosoms: like as when a poor man asked Mr Fox for an alms, he (finding him religious) gave him his horse; or as Alexander gave one (that craved some small courtesy of him) a whole city. And when the poor man said, it was too much for him to receive; yea, but not for me to give, said he, Non quaero quid te accipere deceat, sed quid me dare (Sen. de Benef.). So God giveth liberally and like himself, James 1:5 . He doth not shift off his suitors, as once a great prince did a bold begging philosopher. He asked a groat of him, and the king told him, it was too little for a king to give. He requested the king then to give him a talent; the king replied, it was too much for a beggar to crave, ου Bασιλικον δομα ου κυνικον λημμα . Certain it is, that God in his spiritual blessings and mercies to us is wont to regard not so much what is fit for his to ask or expect, as what standeth with his goodness and greatness to bestow. If Israel had a hundredfold increase of his seed, Genesis 26:12 , those that sow to themselves in righteousness, by doing and suffering God’s will, shall have much more; even a hundredfold here, and eternal life hereafter, Matthew 19:29 ; so great a gain is godliness; so sure a gain is righteousness: who would not then turn spiritual seedsman?

Break up your fallow ground ] sc. of your hearts, that ye sow not among the thorns, Jeremiah 4:3 . The breaking up of sinful hearts is a singular means to prevent the breaking down of a sinful nation. Hence the prophet, though almost out of hope of any good to be done upon his desperate countrymen, resolves to try one more exhortation to them; and as in the morning he had sown his seed, so in the evening he withholdeth not his hand, Ecclesiastes 11:6 , for who can tell whether it may not prosper? and whether in the midst of threats they might not suffer a word of exhortation, and whether it might not leave some impression, being delivered in few words? Hebrews 13:22 . Sow (therefore saith he) to yourselves in righteousness, &c., but first "break up your fallow ground." Innovate vobis novale. Repent, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds; in spirit and speech, in mind and manners, in constitution and conversation, in the purpose of your hearts, and practice of your lives. Old things are past, let all things become new; turn up the turf, stock up and stab up the roots and weeds; get into Christ, and become a new creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17 . Till this be done men are in an undone condition, though they should spend their whole time in gathering up pearls and jewels.

For it is time to seek the Lord ] High time, since your souls lie upon it. Ploughmen, we know, are careful to take their time; so are all others, wise enough in their generation. The wayfaring man travelleth while it is light; the seafaring man takes his opportunity of wind and tide; the smith smites while the iron is hot; the lawyer takes his term-time a to entertain clients, despatch suits. The men of Issachar were in great account with David, because they had understanding of the time, to know what Israel ought to do, 1Ch 12:32 so are they with God that regard and use the seasons of grace; that "seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near," Isaiah 55:6 ; that put in the plough, set upon the practice of repentance, after a shower, when the heart is best affected; after God by his Word and Spirit hath taught (so some render the text) or rained righteousness upon them. Rain comes from heaven; so doth every good and perfect giving. Rain pours down plentifully, Psalms 68:9 , thou didst send a plentiful rain on thine inheritance; so do the showers of righteousness on good hearts. Not a drop of rain falls in vain, or in a wrong place, but by a Divine decree, Job 28:26 ; so here. Seek it in time, and we shall not fail of it. Only we must not set God a time when to come, but wait upon him, who waiteth to be gracious. Elijah sent seven times ere the rain came. Seek till God comes; limit not the Holy One of Israel. As he seldom comes at our time, so he never fails in his own. Hold out, therefore, faith and patience; for behold he cometh on the clouds, on the wings of the wind, and his reward is with him. "To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward," Proverbs 11:18 .

a The period during which the law courts are in session; ŒD

Verse 13

Hos 10:13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.

Ver. 13. Ye have plowed wickedness ] The former exhortation was even spilt upon them; for they went on to plot and plough wickedness; they had their necks in the devil’s yoke, and promoted his kingdom with sides and shoulders; they let out the strength of their spirits for the furtherance of sin, and were at no small pains to go to hell, as being the devil’s hinds and horses to draw his plough, Proverbs 21:4 . "Even as I have seen," saith Eliphaz, "they that plough iniquity and sow wickedness, reap the same," Job 4:8 . Ye have reaped iniquity, saith our prophet, that is dignum factis praemium, the reward of your wickedness. And her iniquity is opposed to mercy in the former verse, as wickedness also is to righteousness; or wickedness may be taken for their apostasy, idolatry, and creature confidence; and iniquity for the rest of their enormities, proceeding from those former; for these wicked ones are never out of action. Arant, serunt, errant, scelera, they plough, sow, and harrow mischief (Plaut. Capt. Acts 3:1-26 . sc. 5); so that would they but take the like pains for heaven that they do for hell, they could not lightly miss it.

Ye have eaten the fruit of lies ] That is, ye have been deceived by your false prophets and state politicians; whose fetch it is to formalize and enervate the power of truth, till at length they have left you a heartless and sapless religion. Ye have fed hungerly upon the murdering morsels of sin; and that is the reason that there is so much ill blood among you. Your bread is that panis mendacii bread of falsehood, Solomon speaks of Proverbs 20:17 , full of grit and gravel, made up with sawdust (as they served the martyrs) and mixed with lime, as the treacherous Greeks dealt by the Western Christians, marching towards the Holy Land.

Because thou didst trust in thy way ] In thy calf worship. Way is often put for religion; and every action men do is a step either to heaven or to hell: he that walketh uprightly walketh safely. These idolaters were very confident of their way; so are our Papists, and other heretics; as David George, that pestilent Libertine, was fully persuaded that the whole world would submit to him. And Campian, Coster, and other zealous Papists tell us to our heads that our religion is error, ourselves heretics, our end destruction; that one heaven cannot hold us hereafter, one Church now, &c. Thus "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth to counsel" (as no confident fool will) "is wise," Proverbs 12:15 .

And in the multitude of their mighty men ] This made them ready to boast, as that young king of Hungary did, that though the sky should fall down upon them, yet they were men enough, and strong enough, with their pikes to bear it up. These Ephraimites liked their way of false worship the better because backed by a strong army. That way the mighty men go, that shall be trodden; this is a secret bias, a strong poise upon the spirits of most men. Revelation 13:4 , when power and authority was put into Antichrist’s hands, the whole world wondered after him. But cursed be that man that maketh flesh his arm, Jeremiah 17:5 . I will not trust in my bow, my sword shall not save me, saith David. "There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength," Psalms 33:16 . See Psalms 146:3-5 .

Verse 14

Hos 10:14 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.

Ver. 14. Therefore shall a tumult arise among the people, &c. ] Even among those mighty men, wherein ye trusted, shall there be seditious tumults, that shall soon bring all into a miserable confusion. Intestine commotions may undo a people, as a man may die of an inward bleeding. (Virg. Aeneid. lib. 1),

Ac veluti in magno populo cum saepe coorta est

Seditio, saevitque animis ignobile vulgus. ”

When the multitude is in a rage they are like to a tiled house that is on fire (saith one), there is no coming near the house, the tiles do so fly about your face; so it is in tumults, there is no coming near to talk to them, to convince them; but they are ready to fly presently upon you. In Ket’s sedition, Dr Parker, in his sermon before the rebels, near Norwich, touched them for their misliving so near that they went near to touch him for his life. The rude rage of the rebels was such, that some, being disabled almost to hold up their weapons, would strive what they could to strike their enemies; others being thrust through the body with a spear, would run themselves farther, to reach those that deadly wounded them. Yea, boys were observed to be so desperately resolved, as to pull arrows out of their own flesh, and deliver them to be shot again by the archers on their side. There are none so insolent and cruel as the vilest of the people, when they are got together in a head. What havoc made the seditious in Jerusalem a little before the last destruction of it! the Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italy! Wat Tyler and his accomplices here! That rebel, held up by the many headed multitude, dared to say, that all the laws of England should come out of his mouth. The Hebrew word ( שׁאון ) here used signifieth an inundation, or multitude of waters, which overran their banks with violence and roaring. The people are a most dangerous and heady water, when once it is out; it is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food, Proverbs 28:3 . The Septuagint render it, Destruction. Sal. Jarchi saith, it signifieth the voice of those that cry, Fugite, Fugite, Away, Away, the enemy is at hand, &c. Some say, to the same purpose, that it signifieth clamorem meticulosorum, the crying of those that are scared, as when there is luctus ubique paver, et plurima morti imago. See Amo 2:2 Zephaniah 1:15 .

And all thy fortresses shall be spoiled ] Yea, though they be munitions of rocks. "Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine own heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord," Jeremiah 49:16 . And again, "All thy strongholds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs; if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater, who shall devour them at a bite," Nahum 3:12 .

As Shalman spoiled Betharbel ] Shalman signifieth peaceable (saith an interpreter), a man of a calm spirit; but he answered not his name; for he exercised greatest cruelty. There is not a more troublesome sea than that which is called Mare pacificum, Pacific Ocean. There is often aliud in titulo, aliud in pyxide Different in name from practice. Absalom signifieth the Father’s peace; but he proved otherwise than was hoped.

Fallitur augurio spes bona saepe suo.

But this Shalman is by the best interpreters thought to be Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, in this prophet’s time. Shalman is vex truncata, a name cut off to the halves; a thing very ordinary in all the learned languages, as were easy to instance. See Isaiah 15:2 . Bamoth for Bamoth-Baal, Joshua 13:17 . Chamath for Chamath-Dor. Hesiod puts Bρι for Bριαροι , Ennius hath Fabric for Fabricius. This Shalmaneser (or, as Luther will have it, some other great warrior called Shalman, not elsewhere mentioned in Scripture, but not unknown to the ten tribes) did cruel execution, it seems, upon Betharbel, a city beyond Jordan, /Apc 1Ma 9:2, like as Tamerlane (for a terror to the Greek empire, much whereof he afterwards subdued) did at Sebastia; where he made a merciless slaughter of all sexes and sizes; whereby he held the whole East in such awe, as that he was commonly called The wrath of God , and terror of the world. There are those who think this Arbel to be the same as that Arbela, where Alexander defeated Darius, and won the Persian monarchy. They make it a city or country of Assyria, beneath Arpad, and hinted at by Rabshakeh, 2 Kings 18:34 . "Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?" sc. Shalmaneser hath utterly destroyed them. See 2Ki 15:29 ; 2 Kings 17:24 ; 2 Kings 19:13 . Arbel is by some interpreted the city of Bel, where Belus or Baal was worshipped. By others Betharbel is interpreted as the house of the ensnaring god, the god of policy or subtilty. It seemed to them that the people of this place had a god that they thought would ensnare and ensnarl all their enemies; but it proved much otherwise.

For, the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children ] Dashed against tbe ground (so the word signifieth), against the walls, or pavements. See Genesis 32:11 Psa 137:9 Isaiah 13:16 ( רטשׁ εδαφιζειν . Sept.). Such is the savage cruelty of war, when God lets it out. Such was the barbarous dealing of the French in the Parisian massacre, such the Sicilian Vespers, and at Merindoll, where the paps of many women were cut off, which gave suck to their children; which, looking for suck at their mother’s breasts being dead before, died also for hunger. Was not this to "kill the mother with the children?" which God forbade by a symbol of taking the dam with the young, Deuteronomy 22:6 , and again of killing the ewe and the lamb both in one day, Leviticus 22:28 . The Spaniards murdered fify million Indians in forty-two years, as Acosta, the Jesuit, testifieth. Arsenoe was killed upon her children by her bloody brother, Ptolemy, king of Egypt. And another of that name killed thirty thousand Jews, and compelled the living to feed upon the flesh of the dead. When the Switzers vanquished the Thericenses in battle, they banqueted in the place where they won the victory; using the dead bodies of their adversaries instead of stools and tables. The sight of such like cruelties, common in war, might well make Zwinglius say, when he had been abroad with the army, that he had found more wickedness and bad counsels and courses therein than ever he had known before, either by experience or out of books. This passage in God’s book (and the like, Hosea 13:16 , "their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up") he could not be ignorant of. The prophet refers his hearers to a sad example of fresh bleeding cruelty, well known to them; that they might relent, repent, and prevent the like misery upon themselves. This is the use we should all put such examples to. Luke 13:2-3 ; Luke 13:5 ; Luke 17:26 ; Luk 17:28 1 Corinthians 10:6-8 ; 1 Corinthians 10:11 .

Verse 15

Hos 10:15 So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.

Ver. 15. So shall Bethel do unto you ] i.e. The idolatry that you have committed at Bethel, by a synedoche of the place, this shall undo you. Or, So shall he do unto you, O inhabitants of Bethel. Bethel shall be made a Betharbel. They that take not example by others shall be made an example to others. Lege historiam, ne fias historia.

Because of your great wickedness ] Heb. the wickedness of your wickedness, the iniquity of your sin, the foolishness of your madness, Ecclesiastes 7:25 , your idolatry especially, that wickedness with a witness. Let us (by God’s example) learn to lay load upon our sins, and not to extenuate, but to aggravate them against ourselves.

In a morning shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off ] This was fulfilled in Hoshea, the last king of Israel, 2 Kings 17:6 , cut off in a morning, that is, in a moment, as foam, or a bubble upon the waters. The morning light lasteth not long, but shineth on to the perfect day. Or, in a morning, when some hope appears, and some comfort is expected, as Psalms 30:6 , it is but a lightning before death.

Accidit in puncto, quod non speratur in anno.

“It happend in a monbecause it was not kfor in that year.”

Contrarily, the saints at evening time have light, Zechariah 14:7 . See Trapp on " Zec 14:7 "

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hosea 10". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/hosea-10.html. 1865-1868.
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