Hosea 12:13
And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
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(13) A prophet.—Moses is here referred to, and there is, perhaps, a hint that the Lord would yet again save Israel from worse than Egyptian bondage by the words and warnings of a prophet.

12:7-14 Ephraim became a merchant: the word also signifies a Canaanite. They carried on trade upon Canaanitish principles, covetously and with fraud and deceit. Thus they became rich, and falsely supposed that Providence favoured them. But shameful sins shall have shameful punishments. Let them remember, not only what a mighty prince Jacob was with God, but what a servant he was to Laban. The benefits we have had from the word of God, make our sin and folly the worse, if we put any slight upon that word. We had better follow the hardest labour in poverty, than grow rich by sin. We may form a judgment of our own conduct, by comparing it with that of ancient believers in the like circumstances. Whoever despises the message of God, will perish. May we all hear his word with humble, obedient faith.By a prophet was he preserved - Or "kept." Jacob "kept sheep" out of love of God, sooner than unite himself with one, alien from God; his posterity "was kept" like a sheep by God, as the Psalmist said, "He led His people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron" Psalm 77:20. They were "kept" from all evil and want and danger, by the direct power of God; "kept" from all the might of Pharaoh in Egypt and the Red Sea , "not through any power of their own, but by the ministry of a single prophet; "kept, in that great and terrible wilderness" Deuteronomy 8:15, wherein were "fiery serpents and scorpions and drought, where" was "no water," but what God brought out of the rock of flint; no bread, but what he sent them from heaven." All this, God did for them "by "a single "prophet; they" had many prophets, early and late, calling upon them in the name of God, but they would not hearken unto them." 13. by a prophet—Moses (Nu 12:6-8; De 18:15, 18).

preserved—Translate, "kept"; there is an allusion to the same Hebrew word in Ho 12:12, "kept sheep"; Israel was kept by God as His flock, even as Jacob kept sheep (Ps 80:1; Isa 63:11).

By a prophet, by Moses,

the Lord brought Israel, your forefathers, out of Egypt; where they had been bondmen two hundred and fifteen years, or near upon it, old slaves, or vassals for some descents.

By a prophet was he preserved in the wilderness: see Exodus 2 Exo 3, &c. Now the drift of the prophet herein to me appears to be this, to prevent their vain pride and boasting of their ancestors, their raiser sheltering themselves under ancestors’ merits against God’s just displeasure on them for their sins, and the sottish plea of what their fathers did at Beth-el and Gilgal. There are many things which arise on consideration of what their fathers were, suffered, enjoyed, and did, to aggravate their sins and insure them of punishment; but nothing to secure them against judgment to come, or to lessen judgments when they come. And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt,.... Or, "by the prophet"; the famous and most excellent prophet Moses, who, by way of eminency, is so called; him the Lord sent, and employed, and made use of him as an instrument to bring his people out of their bondage in Egypt; in which he was a type of Christ the great Prophet of the church, raised up like unto him, and the Redeemer of his people from sin, Satan, and the world, law, hell, and death, and all enemies:

and by a prophet he was preserved; by the same prophet Moses was Israel preserved at the Red sea, and in the wilderness; where they were kept as a flock of sheep from their powerful enemies, and brought to the borders of Canaan's land. Some understand this last clause of Joshua, by whom the Israelites were safely conducted through Jordan into the land of Canaan, and settled there; and particularly were brought by him to Gilgal, where the covenant of circumcision was renewed, and the first passover in the land kept, but now a place of idolatry, as before mentioned; and which sin was aggravated by this circumstance: but the design of this observation seems to be to put the Israelites in remembrance of their low estate in Egypt, and of the goodness of God to them in delivering them from thence, which they had sadly requited by their degeneracy and apostasy from him; and to him unto them how much they ought to have valued the prophets of the Lord, though they had despised them, since they had received such benefits and blessings by the means of a prophet.

And by a {m} prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

(m) Meaning Moses, by which appears that whatever they have, it comes from God's free goodness.

13. by a prophet] i.e. Moses (comp. Deuteronomy 34:10). Hosea contrasts the helplessness and the hardships of Jacob-Israel with the wonderful deliverance and preservation of his descendants. Comp. Isaiah 51:2, ‘I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.’ Note the double use of the term Israel in Hosea 12:12 and Hosea 12:13."And now will I uncover her shame before her lovers, and no one shall tear her out of my hand." The ἅπ. λεγ. נבלוּה, lit., a withered state, from נבל, to be withered or faded, probably denotes, as Hengstenberg says, corpus multa stupra passum, and is rendered freely in the lxx by ἀκαθαρσία. "Before the eyes of the lovers," i.e., not so that they shall be obliged to look at it, without being able to avoid it, but so that the woman shall become even to them an object of abhorrence, from which they will turn away (comp. Nahum 3:5; Jeremiah 13:26). In this concrete form the general truth is expressed, that "whoever forsakes God for the world, will be put to shame by God before the world itself; and that all the more, the nearer it stood to Him before" (Hengstenberg). By the addition of the words "no one," etc., all hope is cut off that the threatened punishment can be averted (cf. Hosea 5:14).

This punishment is more minutely defined in Hosea 2:11-13, in which the figurative drapery is thrown into the background by the actual fact. Hosea 2:11. "And I make all her joy keep holiday (i.e., cease), her feast, and her new moon, and her sabbath, and all her festive time." The feast days and festive times were days of joy, in which Israel was to rejoice before the Lord its God. To bring into prominence this character of the feasts, כּל־משׂושׂהּ, "all her joy," is placed first, and the different festivals are mentioned afterwards. Châg stands for the three principal festivals of the year, the Passover, Pentecost, and the feast of Tabernacles, which had the character of châg, i.e., of feasts of joy par excellence, as being days of commemoration of the great acts of mercy which the Lord performed on behalf of His people. Then came the day of the new moon every month, and the Sabbath every week. Finally, these feasts are all summed up in כּל־מועדהּ; for מועד, מועדים is the general expression for all festive seasons and festive days (Leviticus 23:2, Leviticus 23:4). As a parallel, so far as the facts are concerned, comp. Amos 8:10; Jeremiah 7:34, and Lamentations 1:4; Lamentations 5:15.

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