Hosea 13:4
Yet I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt, and you shall know no god but me: for there is no savior beside me.
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(4) The LXX. have an addition which was not found by Jerome in any Hebrew copy of his day, and was pronounced by him to be spurious: “I am the Lord thy God, that establisheth the heavens and createth the earth, whose hands have fashioned all the host of heaven; but I did not show them to thee that thou shouldest go after them, and I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know,” &c.

13:1-8 While Ephraim kept up a holy fear of God, and worshipped Him in that fear, so long he was very considerable. When Ephraim forsook God, and followed idolatry, he sunk. Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves, in token of their adoration of them, affection for them, and obedience to them; but the Lord will not give his glory to another, and therefore all that worship images shall be confounded. No solid, lasting comfort, is to be expected any where but in God. God not only took care of the Israelites in the wilderness, he put them in possession of Canaan, a good land; but worldly prosperity, when it feeds men's pride, makes them forgetful of God. Therefore the Lord would meet them in just vengeance, as the most terrible beast that inhabited their forests. Abused goodness calls for greater severity.Yet - , (literally, and) I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt God was still the same God who had sheltered them with His providence, ever since He had delivered them from Egypt. He had the same power and will to help them. Therefore their duty was the same, and their destruction arose, not from any change in Him, but from themselves. "God is the God of the ungodly, by creation and general providence."

And thou shalt - (i. e., oughtest to) know no God but Me, for (literally, and) there is not a Saviour but me "To be God and Lord and Saviour are incommunicable properties of God. Wherefore God often claimed these titles to Himself, from the time He revealed Himself to Israel. In the song of Moses, which they were commanded to rehearse, He says, "See now that I, I am He, and there is no God with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand" Deuteronomy 32:39. Isaiah repeats this same, "Is there a God besides Me? yea there is no God; I know not any" Isaiah 44:8; and "There is no God else besides Me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none else. Look unto Me and be ye saved, for I am God and there is none else" Isaiah 45:21, Isaiah 45:2; and, "I am the Lord, that is My Name; and My glory will I not give to another; neither My praise to graven images" Isaiah 42:8. : "That God and Saviour is Christ; God, because He created; Saviour, because, being made Man, He saved. Whence He willed to be called Jesus, i. e., Saviour. Truly "beside" Him, "there is no Saviour; neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved" Acts 4:12. "It is not enough to recognize in God this quality of a Saviour. It must not be shared with "any other." Whoso associates with God any power whatever to decide on man's salvation makes an idol, and introduces a new God."

4. (Ho 12:9; Isa 43:11).

no saviour—temporal as well as spiritual.

besides me—(Isa 45:21).

Yet, though thou hast so revolted, and chosen other gods, it is not occasioned by any change in me,

I am what I was,

the Lord, the mighty God, the everlasting God, Jehovah. Thy God from the land of Egypt; thy God who alone brought thee out of Egypt, and who hath maintained thy lot; the calves and Baal were not known amongst you then. And since I alone brought thee out of Egypt, and saved thee with wonderful salvations many times since, why dost thou seek gods thou needest not, gods that cannot help?

Thou shalt know no god but me; I forbade thee to know any other god but me, in gratitude thou shouldst know no other; if there were any other, in point of interest thou shouldst have known, i.e. worshipped, trusted, and obeyed, none but me. And finally, by woeful experience thou shalt know that calves and Baal are no gods, they cannot save thee nor themselves; thou shalt know I am God alone, who can destroy those who would not obey me.

For there no saviour beside me; when thy idols cannot save thee out of the hands of those I deliver thee up to, then thou shalt see, what now thou wilt not, that there is no saviour but me; none who can deliver from all evil, and who can enrich with all blessings, who can pardon sin and save the sinner. Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt,.... Which brought thee out from thence, as the Targum; and ever since, from that time to this, had shown a regard unto them, as the Lord their God, both in the wilderness, as later mentioned, and in the land of Canaan, where they had been continued, and followed with instances of goodness to that day, and yet find sinned in so gross a manner; which argued great ingratitude in them, and forgetfulness of the Lord, and his mercies:

and thou shalt know no God but me; they ought to have known, acknowledged, and worshipped no other god, as was enjoined them in the law: or, "thou knowest not" (b); they did not know any other, which they in their own consciences were obliged to confess, if appealed to; however, they should know no other; by sad experience they would find that there was no other that could be of any service to them; their images and idols being unable to help them:

for there is no saviour besides me; that could save them out of their troubles, and deliver them out of their distresses; no other that is, or can be, the author, either of temporal or of spiritual and eternal salvation.

(b) "non novisti, vel cognovisti", Liveleus, Drusius, Rivet.

Yet I am the LORD thy God {e} from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

(e) He calls them to repentance, and reproves their ingratitude.

4. Yet I am the Lord thy God] Hosea persistently refuses to recognize that the god whom the Israelites worship is really Israel’s God, Jehovah. The use of an idolatrous symbol has so unspiritualized the object of their worship that the mere retention of the name Jehovah gives them no claim upon Hosea’s sympathy. The prophet therefore introduces Jehovah as expostulating with the Israelites for the abandonment of their hereditary religion.

thou shalt know no god but me] Rather, thou knowest, &c.; the experience of history bore witness to Jehovah’s help, and his alone. Comp. Deuteronomy 32:12. Hosea however does not deny the existence of other gods besides Jehovah; only their equality to Him in power. It was only by degrees that the truth involved in the revelation of Jehovah was fully realized. See Introduction.Verses 4, 5. - These verses make it evident that the punishment inflicted on Israel could not reasonably be accounted too severe; such had been the goodness of Jehovah and the gross ingratitude of Israel. Verse 4. - Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt. The prophet here commences a recital of God's favors to Israel from ancient times, all which they forgot, ungratefully and impiously turning aside from the worship of Jehovah. Jehovah had been Israel's God long before, but never before had the evidence of his power and love to his people been so signal and conspicuous as at the period of the Exodus and onward. And thou shalt know no god but me. The use of תֵדָע in the imperfect is to connect the future with the past. It may be rendered either

(1) "Thou knowest," viz. a God of such wonderful attestation thou knowest or findest not beside me - the opposite of the statement, "Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them" (Deuteronomy 13:3); or

(2) "Thou shouldest not know or recognize any god beside me." So Kimchi: "Thou shouldest not know other gods, nor serve them beside me, for ye see there is no helper Beside me." Likewise Rashi: "Thou shouldest not rebel against me." Also Aben Ezra: "How hast thou turned to kiss the calf, which does not save nor satisfy, and hast left him who has been thy God from ancient days, who has helped thee and knows all thy necessities." The word זוּלָחִי (from זוּל, which, as the cognate Arabic signifies, "to go forth or away") is synonymous with בִּלְתִּי. "And it comes to pass in that day, is the saying of Jehovah, thou wilt call, My husband; and thou wilt no more call to me, My Baal." The church will then enter once more into the right relation to its God. This thought is expressed thus, that the wife will no more call her husband Baal, but husband. Ba‛al is not to be taken as an appellative in the sense of master, as distinguished from 'ı̄sh, man, i.e., husband, for ba'al does not mean master or lord, but owner, possessor; and whenever it is applied to a husband in an appellative sense, it is used quite promiscuously with 'iish (e.g., 2 Samuel 11:26; Genesis 20:3). Moreover, the context in this instance, especially the Be‛âlı̄m in Hosea 2:19, decidedly requires that Ba‛al should be taken as a proper name. Calling or naming is a designation of the nature or the true relation of a person or thing. The church calls God her husband, when she stands in the right relation to Him; when she acknowledges, reveres, and loves Him, as He has revealed Himself, i.e., as the only true God. On the other hand, she calls Him Baal, when she places the true God on the level of the Baals, either by worshipping other gods along with Jehovah, or by obliterating the essential distinction between Jehovah and the Baals, confounding together the worship of God and idolatrous worship, the Jehovah-religion and heathenism.
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