Hosea 12:4
Yes, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us;
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Hosea 12:4-5. He had power over the angel — Called God, Hosea 12:3, and Jehovah, God of hosts, Hosea 12:5, namely, God by nature and essence, and an angel by office and voluntary undertaking. He wept and made supplication unto him — He prayed with tears from a sense of his own unworthiness, and with earnestness for the mercy he desired. Jacob’s wrestling with the angel was, as has been just intimated, not only a corporal conflict, but likewise a spiritual one; from bodily wrestling he betook himself to spiritual weapons; he poured forth tears with earnest supplications and prayers, and strove, not so much for victory, as for a blessing: the only way for a feeble, impotent creature, to prevail over his Creator. The observations of Luther, upon this extraordinary conflict between Jacob and the person called the angel, are so excellent, that the intelligent reader will be glad to be presented here with a translation of them. “Different views are wont to be entertained concerning the nature of this wrestling. But the history shows that Jacob had come into imminent danger of his life, and was assaulted by an unknown antagonist with his whole power. He therefore himself also exerted his bodily strength to the utmost against this antagonist, that he might defend his life. Nevertheless, he did not contend only with the strength of his body; his faith also wrestled: and first, in such an immediate danger, he comforted himself that he had been ordered by God to return into the land of Canaan [to which country, in obedience to God, he was now journeying.] Then with his whole heart he laid hold on the promise made him by the Lord in Beth-el, where he was fully assured of the divine protection. When therefore he was in distress, and assaulted by an unknown enemy with all his might, although he used his own strength, yet he contended more strenuously by faith, beholding the promise, and concluding with certainty that God, according to his word, would be present with him in so great a danger, and would save him. And with this faith, [so to speak,] he prevailed over God; for although Christ tried Jacob in this conflict, nevertheless he could do nothing against, or contrary to, his word, on which Jacob relied.” Jacob’s supplication and tears, here mentioned, probably refer to those earnest prayers which he poured out to God, as is recorded Genesis 32:9-11. The conflict here spoken of, in which Jacob had power with God, ended in an assurance that his prayers were answered. He found him in Beth-el — This refers to God’s appearing to Jacob after the former vision, as is related Genesis 35:9; Genesis 35:14, when God renewed his promise of giving the land of Canaan to his posterity. The prophet takes particular notice of the place where God appeared to him: as if he had said, He appeared in that very place where you worship a golden calf as your god! And there he spake with us — Who were then in Jacob’s loins. The Alexandrian copy, however, of the LXX. reads, There he spake with him; as if the expression alluded to the above-mentioned passage, where God is said to have talked with Jacob. But the present Hebrew reading contains a very important meaning, signifying, that God did not only speak to him there, but likewise did, by so doing, instruct his posterity to the latest generation. Certainly the things spoken concerned Jacob’s posterity, as much, or more, than himself. Even the Lord God of hosts — He that appeared and spake, who promised the blessing, and commanded the reformation at Beth-el, was Jehovah, the eternal and unchangeable God; who can perform his promise, and execute his threat; who is a most terrible enemy, and a most desirable friend. The Lord is his memorial — That is, the name Jehovah is God’s memorial; his appropriate, perpetual, incommunicable name, expressing his essence; the name by which he will be known and remembered to all generations; the name which especially distinguishes him from all false gods, and sets forth his glory more than any other name whatsoever: see note on Exodus 3:14.12:1-6 Ephraim feeds himself with vain hopes of help from man, when he is at enmity with God. The Jews vainly thought to secure the Egyptians by a present of the produce of their country. Judah is contended with also. God sees the sin of his own people, and will reckon with them for it. They are put in mind of what Jacob did, and what God did for him. When his faith upon the Divine promise prevailed above his fears, then by his strength he had power with God. He is Jehovah, the same that was, and is, and is to come. What was a revelation of God to one, is his memorial to many, to all generations. Then let those who have gone from God, be turned to him. Turn thou to the Lord, by repentance and faith, as thy God. Let those that are converted to him, walk with him in all holy conversation and godliness. Let us wrestle with Him for promised blessings, determined not to give over till we prevail; and let us seek Him in his ordinances.He wept and made supplication unto Him - Jacob's weeping is not mentioned by Moses. Hosea then knew more than Moses related. He could not have gathered it out of Moses, for Moses relates the words of earnest supplication; yet the tone is that of one, by force of earnest energy, wresting, as it were, the blessing from God, not of one weeping. Yet Hosea adds this, in harmony with Moses. For "vehement desires and earnest petitions frequently issue in tears." "To implore means to ask with tears" . "Jacob, learning, that God Himself thus deigned to deal with him, might well out of amazement and wonder, out of awful respect to Him, and in earnest desire of a blessing, pour out his supplication with tears." Herein he became an image of Him, "Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared" Hebrews 5:7.

: "This which he saith, 'he prevailed,' subjoining, 'he wept and made supplication,' describes the strength of penitents, for in truth they are strong by weeping earnestly and praying perseveringly for the forgiveness of sins, according to that, "From the days of John the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Whosoever so imitates the patriarch Jacob, who wrestled with the Angel, and, as a conqueror, extorted a blessing from him, he, of whatever nation he be, is truly Jacob, and deserveth to be called Israel." : "Yea, herein is the unconquerable might of the righteous, this his wondrous wrestling, herein his glorious victories, in glowing longings, assiduous prayers, joyous weeping. Girt with the might of holy orison, they strive with God, they wrestle with His judgment, and will not be overcome, until they obtain from His goodness all they desire, and extort it, as it were, by force, from His hands."

He found him in Bethel - This may mean either that "God found Jacob," or that "Jacob found God;" which are indeed one and the same thing, since we find God, when He has first found us. God "found," i. e., made Himself known to Jacob twice in this place; first, when he was going toward Haran, when he saw the vision of the ladder and the angels of God ascending and descending, "and the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham and the God of Isaac;" and Jacob first called the place "Bethel;" secondly, on his return, when God spake with him, giving him the name of Israel. Both revelations of God to Jacob are probably included in the words, "He found him in Bethel," since, on both occasions, God did "find him," and come to him, and he "found" God. In Bethel, where God found Jacob, Israel deserted Him, setting up the worship of the calves; yea, he deserted God the more there, because of God's mercy to his forefather, desecrating to false worship the place which had been consecrated by the revelation of the true God; and choosing it the rather, because it had been so consecrated.

And there He spake with us - For what He said to Jacob, He said not to Jacob only, nor for Jacob's sake alone, but, in him, He spake to all his posterity, both the children of his body and the children of his faith. Thus it is said, "There did we rejoice in Him" Psalm 66:6, i. e., we, their posterity, rejoiced in God there, where He so delivered our forefathers, and, "Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham, for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him" Hebrews 7:9-10. And Paul saith, that what was said to Abraham, "therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness, was not written for his sake alone, but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead" Romans 4:23, Romans 4:4. There He spake with us, how, in our needs, we should seek and find Him. In loneliness, apart from distractions, in faith, rising in proportion to our tears, in persevering prayer, in earnestness, which "clings so fast to God, that if God would cast us into Hell, He should, as one said Himself go with us, so should Hell not be Hell to us," God is sought and found.

4. the angel—the uncreated Angel of the Covenant, as God the Son appears in the Old Testament (Mal 3:1).

made supplication—Ge 32:26: "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."

he found him—The angel found Jacob, when he was fleeing from Esau into Syria: the Lord appearing to him "in Beth-el" (Ge 28:11-19; 35:1). What a sad contrast, that in this same Beth-el now Israel worships the golden calves!

there he spake with us—"with us," as being in the loins of our progenitor Jacob (compare Ps 66:6, "They … we;" Heb 7:9, 10). What God there spoke to Jacob appertains to us. God's promises to him belong to all his posterity who follow in the steps of his prayerful faith.

He; your famous progenitor of whom you boast.

Had power; behaved himself as a prince with God, Genesis 32:28.

Over; with: the angel was willing to be conquered, or Jacob could not have gotten the victory.

The angel; called God, Hosea 12:3, and, Hosea 12:5, is Jehovah, Lord of hosts. He was no created angel, but the uncreated Angel Christ, the Messiah, eternal God by nature and essence, angel by office and voluntary undertaking.

And prevailed; got the victory, went out of the field a conqueror, but not by such arms and methods as you use. You are conquered by man because of your sins, he conquered with God by faith and prayer.

He, not the angel, as some through mistake, but your father Jacob,

wept: by this we know he prayed with tears, though the story say not so, with sense of his own unworthiness, with earnestness for the mercy he desired, and apprehensive of the majesty of him with whom he wrestled. But you, quite contrary, proud as if worthy, regardless of the best part of the blessing, and earnest only for the meaner part, seek it not of God, but idols.

And made supplication unto him: it is Christ who is here intended; it was no mere creature, Jacob might not have prayed to such, but it was the Creator of angels and the Redeemer of man, the blessed Jesus, to whom every knee ought to bow, Philippians 2:10.

He, God,

found him, Jacob, full of weariness, fears, and solicitude on his journey to Laban, Genesis 28:12,20, when prayers obtained a blessing; but with this, and more directly, when on his return after this wrestling bout, Genesis 35:1, &c., God appeared to him, Genesis 35:7-15, and blessed him. Beth-el; formerly called Luz, but by Jacob new named and called Beth-el, Genesis 28:19.

There he, God,

spake, renewed his promise and confirmed the blessing, with us: by the current of the words in their grammatical order it should be,

he spake to him; but it is, not without good reason, changed to the plural first person, us, as posterity were in Jacob’s loins, and blessed with him. Yet more, where God appeared to Jacob he commanded him to build an altar there to God, to restore religion and reform his family from idolatry, which he did, Genesis 35:4. But you, children of this Jacob by natural descent, are of another and far different humour; though you have been called and exhorted to leave your idols, yet these two hundred years you have kept them, and will, I see, keep them: this is your sin, and in it you are obstinate, and I will punish such a Jacob as you. Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed,.... This is repeated in different words, not only for the confirmation of it, it being a very extraordinary thing, and difficult of belief; but to direct to the history here referred to, where the person Jacob prevailed over is called a man, and here the angel; and so Josephus (u) calls him a divine Person; not a created angel, not Michael, as the Rabbins say, unless the Messiah is meant by him; nor Jacob's guardian angel, as Kimchi, every man being thought by some to have one; and much less Esau's evil angel, that was against Jacob, as Jarchi and Abarbinel; for of him he would never have sought nor expected a blessing; but an uncreated Angel, the Son of God, the same that went before the Israelites in the wilderness, and that redeemed Jacob from all evil, Genesis 48:16; called an Angel, being so not by nature, for he is superior to angels in both his natures, divine and human; but by office, being sent to reveal the will of God, and to do the work of God in the redemption and salvation of men; the same that is called the Angel of the great council in the Greek version of Isaiah 9:6; and the Angel of God's presence, Isaiah 63:9; and the Angel or messenger of the covenant, Malachi 3:1; the phrases used denote, as before, the power and prevalence Jacob had with this divine Person in prayer; whereby he obtained the blessing of him, even deliverance from his brother Esau, as well as others respecting him and his posterity;

he wept, and made supplication unto him; not the angel, entreating Jacob to let him go, as Jarchi and Kimchi, and so some Christian interpreters; who think that an angel in human form may be said to weep, as well as to eat and drink; and the rather, since this angel was not the conqueror, but the conquered; and since Christ, in the days of his flesh, both prayed and wept, and shed tears; but the case here is different; and though he was prevailed over, it was through his own condescension and goodness: but rather Jacob is meant, as Abarbinel and others; who wept not on account of the angel's touching his thigh, and the pain that might put him to; for he was of a more heroic spirit than to weep for that, who had endured so much hardship in Laban's service, in heat and cold; and besides, notwithstanding this, he kept wrestling with him, and afterwards walked, though haltingly: but he wept either because he could not get out the name of the person he wrestled with; or rather the tears he shed were for the blessing he sought of him; for it is joined with his making supplication, and is expressive of the humble, yet ardent, affectionate, fervent, and importunate request he made to obtain it; and here we have another proof of the deity of Christ, in that supplication was made to him, and he is here represented as the object of that part of religious worship, prayer, as he often is in the New Testament. This circumstance is not expressed in Genesis 32:1, though it may be gathered from what is there said; however, the prophet had it by divine inspiration; and the truth of it is not to be doubted of, being not at all inconsistent with, but quite agreeable to, that history;

he found him at Bethel; either the angel found Jacob in Bethel, as he did more than once, both before and after this time, Genesis 28:12; it is good to be in Bethel, in the house of God; happy are those that dwell there, and are found there living and dying, doing the will and work of God there: or rather Jacob found God or the angel in Bethel; God is to be found in his own house, there he comes and blesses with his gracious presence; here Christ the Angel of his presence is; here he meets with his people, and manifests himself unto them. There is in the words a tacit reflection on Israel, or the ten tribes, that bore the name of Jacob; the patriarch found God in Bethel, Christ the Angel of the Lord; but now, instead of him, there was a calf set up in this place, Israel worshipped; and therefore it was called Bethaven, the house of an idol, or iniquity, instead of Bethel, the house of God;

and there he spake with us; not with Esau and his angel, concerning Isaac's blessing of Jacob, as Jarchi; nor with Jacob and his angel, as the father of Kimchi; nor with the prophet, and with Amos, to reprove Israel there for the worship of the calves, as Kimchi himself; but with all the Israelites, of whom the prophet was one; who were then in the loins of Jacob, when he conversed with God, and God with him, at Bethel: or, as Saadiah interprets it, "for us" for our sakes, on our account; or "concerning us"; concerning the multiplication of Jacob's posterity, and the giving the land of Canaan to them, as the Lord did at both times he appeared to Jacob in Bethel; see Genesis 28:14; and it is in the house of God, where Christ is as a son, that he speaks with and to his people, even in his word and ordinances there.

(u) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 20. sect. 2.)

Yea, he had {e} power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: {f} he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;

(e) Read Ge 32:24-32.

(f) God found Jacob as he lay sleeping in Bethel Ge 28:12, and spoke with him there in such a way that the fruit of that speech appertained to the whole body of the people, of which we are.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. he had power over] Rather, he contended with.

he wept, &c.] (The subject is Jacob, not the angel.) This feature is not given in Genesis 32; it is however well adapted to the hortatory object of Hosea. The Septuagint has, ‘they wept’, &c.

he found him in Beth-el] (The subject is Jehovah.) Two visions of Jacob’s are recorded in explanation of the name Bethel (Genesis 28:10-22; Genesis 35:9-15). They proceed from different documents, and either of them may have been current in the circle to which Hosea belonged; the latter is of course pure conjecture. The Septuagint strangely has, ‘They found me in the house of On’ (i.e. Aven or Beth-aven instead of Bethel, comp. Hosea 4:15).

there he spake with us] i.e. ‘in the loins of Jacob’ (Horsley, &c.); comp. the twofold use of ‘Israel’ in Hosea 12:12-13. But this spoils the consistency of the historical picture. The Peshito, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, and probably the Septuagint (πρὸς αὐτοὺς), read with him, i.e. with Jacob. (This is better than assimilating the pronoun in the preceding clause, with a few Hebrew MSS.)Verse 4. - Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him. As Jacob's position at birth symbolized the pre-eminence which God's electing love had in store for him, and as in his manhood's prime he put forth such earnestness and energy to obtain the blessing, so Israel, by the example of their forefather, are encouraged to like strenuous exertion with like certainty of success. The example is more fully described and dwelt on in this verse for the purpose of more powerfully stimulating the Israelites of the prophet's day to imitate it. From this verse we learn the following facts:

(1) the nature of the conflict as of a spiritual kind;

(2) the visible embodiment of the invisible deity, so that the angel is not an entire identification with God in the preceding verse, but the organ of Divine manifestation; and

(3) the weapons used, or the means employed, namely, weeping and supplication, in a word, the instrumentality of prayer; and

(4) the true way of prevailing with God, which is real humility and sin-core supplication, not stiff, necked and defiant resistance to the Divine will and word, like that of Israel at the period in question. This verse "is," according to Aben Ezra, "an explanation how he put forth prowess with God." Kimchi regards it as "the repetition of the same thought for the put. pose of intensifying, for it was a great wonder for a man to wrestle with an angel." כָבָה

(1) commences a new clause; while

(2) the punctuation of it as a participle, בֹבֶח, and the connection of it with "prevailed," leaves the following clause isolated without any improvement of the sense. The rendering in this latter case would be "prevailed weeping," a somewhat awkward expression. But

(3) there is an exposition adopted by the Hebrew expositors and advocated by Hitzig, which appears to us to do violence to the true signification of the passage. Thus Rashi: "And the angel besought him, ' Let me now go. The end of the Holy and Blessed One is that he may reveal himself to thee in Bethel, and there shalt thou find him.'" Similarly Aben Ezra: "He (the angel) almost wept and supplicated him to let him go. And the signification of עי הש, Genesis 32:26, is: 'before the light strengthened, that Jacob might not be alarmed.'" Also Kimchi: "This is not mentioned in the Thorah; and the explanation is as if the angel wept and supplicated Jacob to let him go, as he said, 'Let me go, for' the day breaketh.'" Such exposition introduces into the text an intolerable anthropopathism. Jerome long before had given the correct explanation thus: "He wept and asked him, when he said, 'I will not let thee go, unless thou shalt have blessed me!' For the wrestling was that which he engaged in with the angel, holding him by prayers that he might bless him, not by the strength of work. If any one weeps and exercises penitence, and supplicates the Lord, he shall find him in the grief of his heart, and when he has invoked him, he shall hear him answering." He found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us. The prophet here records the result of Jacob's faithful wrestling. Them in Bethel, the very place where years after idolatry and immorality found a home, God had manifested himself to the patriarch. The fruit of Jacob's victory was that

(1) he found God at Bethel; not that

(2) God found him, as some explain it.

The historical basis of the prophet's statement is not Genesis 28:11, which narrates the appearance of God to the patriarch as he fled into Mesopotamia, but Genesis 35:9, when the new name of Israel, "prince with God," was confirmed to him, and the promise of all the families of the earth being blessed through his seed renewed. Of the two visions at Bethel the second is the one here referred to, as it comes after that at Penuel, the scene of the patriarch's wrestling with the angel; while the accompanying circumstances keep us to the right understanding of the expression, "He found him in Bethel," which we are considering. Jacob on that memorable occasion prepared himself and household for seeking God by putting away the strange gods that were among them, by ceremonial purifications, and putting on change of garments. Thus, seeking with holy purpose and prepared heart, he found the Lord at Bethel, and enjoyed heavenly fellowship with him there. Aben Ezra favors

(2) making Jehovah, not Jacob, the subject; thus: "As he was returning to his father, the angel found him there; and because the angel appeared to him twice in Bethel, behold the place is the gate of heaven; therefore I and Amos have prophesied about Jeroboam at Bethel, which is the place of his kingdom." Kimchi approves of the exposition of the angel finding Jacob, but mentions a modification of that of Jacob finding the angel; thus: "The angel found him in Bethel and also blessed him there; and the word ימי, equivalent to 'found him,' is the future instead of the past. But my lord my father, of blessed memory, explains it according to its literal import, that the angel said to him (when wrestling with him) that he would find him in Bethel The blessed God announced to him the good tidings that he would there manifest himself to him and call his name Israel." The last clause of this verse states the additional fact that God spoke

(1) through the patriarch to his posterity. "Let it be observed," says Lackemacher, as quoted by Keil, "that God is said to have talked at Bethel, not with Jacob only, but with all his posterity. That is to say, the things which are here said to have been done by Jacob, and to have happened to him, had not regard to himself only, but to all the race that sprang from him, and were signs of the good fortune which they either would or certainly might enjoy." Though the suffix of ימי, in the Massoretic text is well attested, yet, instead of

(a) the third person, Ewald reads it

(b) as the first plural, and consequently so renders the word that the clause implies, not a narrative of the past, but a prophecy of the future; thus:

(2) "He will find at Bethel, and there he will speak with us." The. Septuagint, again, with other Greek versions, as also the Syriac and Arabic, read in the last part of the clause עִמּו, equivalent "to him," instead of עִמָּנוּ, equivalent to "us," which identifies the patriarch with his posterity. The translation by which a relative is understood before immanu, equivalent to "Them he spoke to Jacob the things that are with us," or "happened us," or "pertained to us," is neither necessary nor in accordance with good taste. Kimchi understands the verb in the present tense that is, God speaks

(a) with us - Hosea and the other prophets, to reprove the idolatry rampant in Bethel;

(b) rather with the prophet and the people descended from the patriarch. On the words, "there he spake with us," Kimchi comments as follows: "These are the words of the prophet. He says, ' There in Bethel he (Jehovah) speaks with me and with Amos to reprove Israel for the worship of the calf in Bethel,' as Amos (Amos 5:4) says, 'Seek ye me, and ye shall live: but seek not Bethel.' But my lord my father, of blessed memory, explained 'And there he will speak with us' as the words of the angel. He (the angel) says to him (Jacob), 'The blessed God will find us in Bethel, and there he will speak

(c) with us, with me and with thee, in order to confirm to thee my blessing, and to call thy name Israel, saying, For as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.'" But others, as Saadia Gaon, explain the word, not in the sense of "with us," but

(d) "on account of us," or "about us." What the prophet announced in Hosea 1:2-2:1, partly by a symbolical act, and partly also in a direct address, is carried out still further in the section before us. The close connection between the contents of the two sections is formally indicated by the simple fact, that just as the first section closed with a summons to appropriate the predicted salvation, so the section before us commences with a call to conversion. As Rckert aptly says, "The significant pair give place to the thing signified; Israel itself appears as the adulterous woman." The Lord Himself will set bounds to her adulterous conduct, i.e., to the idolatry of the Israelites. By withdrawing the blessings which they have hitherto enjoyed, and which they fancy that they have received from their idols, He will lead the idolatrous nation to reflection and conversion, and pour the fulness of the blessings of His grace in the most copious measure upon those who have been humbled and improved by the punishment. The threatening and the announcement of punishment extend from Hosea 2:2 to Hosea 2:13; the proclamation of salvation commences with Hosea 2:14, and reaches to the close of Hosea 2:23. The threatening of punishment is divided into two strophes, viz., Hosea 2:2-7 and Hosea 2:8-13. In the first, the condemnation of their sinful conduct is the most prominent; in the second, the punishment is more fully developed.

"Reason with your mother, reason! for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband: that she put away her whoredom from her countenance, and her adultery from between her breasts." Jehovah is the speaker, and the command to get rid of the whoredom is addressed to the Israelites, who are represented as the children of the adulterous wife. The distinction between mother and children forms part of the figurative drapery of the thought; for, in fact, the mother had no existence apart from the children. The nation or kingdom, regarded as an ideal unity, is called the mother; whereas the several members of the nation are the children of this mother. The summons addressed to the children to contend or reason with this mother, that she may give up her adultery, presupposes that, although the nation regarded as a whole was sunken in idolatry, the individual members of it were not all equally slaves to it, so as to have lost their susceptibility for the divine warning, or the possibility of conversion. Not only had the Lord reserved to Himself seven thousand in Elijah's time who had not bowed their knees to Baal, but at all times there were many individuals in the midst of the corrupt mass, who hearkened to the voice of the Lord and abhorred idolatry. The children had reason to plead, because the mother was no longer the wife of Jehovah, and Jehovah was no longer her husband, i.e., because she had dissolved her marriage with the Lord; and the inward, moral dissolution of the covenant of grace would be inevitably followed by the outward, actual dissolution, viz., by the rejection of the nation. It was therefore the duty of the better-minded of the nation to ward off the coming destruction, and do all they could to bring the adulterous wife to desist from her sins. The object of the pleading is introduced with ותסר. The idolatry is described as whoredom and adultery. Whoredom becomes adultery when it is a wife who commits whoredom. Israel had entered into the covenant with Jehovah its God; and therefore its idolatry became a breach of the fidelity which it owed to its God, an act of apostasy from God, which was more culpable than the idolatry of the heathen. The whoredom is attributed to the face, the adultery to the breasts, because it is in these parts of the body that the want of chastity on the part of a woman is openly manifested, and in order to depict more plainly the boldness and shamelessness with which Israel practised idolatry.

The summons to repent is enforced by a reference to the punishment. Hosea 2:3. "Lest I strip her naked, and put her as in the day of her birth, and set her like the desert, and make her like a barren land, and let her die with thirst." In the first hemistich the threat of punishment corresponds to the figurative representation of the adulteress; in the second it proceeds from the figure to the fact. In the marriage referred to, the husband had redeemed the wife out of the deepest misery, to unite himself with her. Compare Ezekiel 16:4., where the nation is represented as a naked child covered with filth, which the Lord took to Himself, covering its nakedness with beautiful clothes and costly ornaments, and entering into covenant with it. These gifts, with which the Lord also presented and adorned His wife during the marriage, He would now take away from the apostate wife, and put her once more into a state of nakedness. The day of the wife's birth is the time of Israel's oppression and bondage in Egypt, when it was given up in helplessness to its oppressors. The deliverance out of this bondage was the time of the divine courtship; and the conclusion of the covenant with the nation that had been brought out of Egypt, the time of the marriage. The words, "I set (make) her like the desert," are to be understood as referring not to the land of Israel, which was to be laid waste, but to the nation itself, which was to become like the desert, i.e., to be brought into a state in which it would be destitute of the food that is indispensable to the maintenance of life. The dry land is a land without water, in which men perish from thirst. There is hardly any need to say that these words to not refer to the sojourn of Israel in the Arabian desert; for there the Lord fed His people with manna from heaven, and gave them water to drink out of the rock.

Links
Hosea 12:4 Interlinear
Hosea 12:4 Parallel Texts


Hosea 12:4 NIV
Hosea 12:4 NLT
Hosea 12:4 ESV
Hosea 12:4 NASB
Hosea 12:4 KJV

Hosea 12:4 Bible Apps
Hosea 12:4 Parallel
Hosea 12:4 Biblia Paralela
Hosea 12:4 Chinese Bible
Hosea 12:4 French Bible
Hosea 12:4 German Bible

Bible Hub






Hosea 12:3
Top of Page
Top of Page