Hosea 8:8
Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
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(8) Vessel wherein is no pleasurei.e., worthless (comp. Jeremiah 48:38; Psalm 31:13; 2Timothy 2:20); a vessel devoted to vilest uses, or smashed up as worthless.

Hosea 8:8. Israel is swallowed up — Under this image the Hebrew language, the Greek, and our own, describe any sudden destruction, so complete as to leave no visible vestige of the thing remaining. The prophet speaks of what was future, as though it were already present; and signifies that the Israelites would be as certainly carried captives into Assyria, as if they were already gone thither into captivity. Now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel, &c. — In a short time they shall be despised, as a vessel or utensil that is broken, or become useless. For they are gone up to Assyria — Namely, of their own accord, as the original expression, המה עלו, seems to imply. So do also the versions of the LXX. and the Vulgate; the former read, αυτοι ανεβησαν εις Ασσυριους, ipsi ascenderunt ad Assur; they themselves have gone up to Assyria. This is not meant of their going into captivity. The captivity, though near at hand, was yet to come; but this going up was past. It was a voluntary going up, and a crime; a going up both for alliance, and also for idolatrous commerce. The captivity was to be the punishment. A wild ass alone by himself — The meaning is, that Ephraim was such; that is, as Archbishop Newcome interprets it, Ephraim was like the solitary wild ass, he was as untamed to the yoke, and traversed the desert as earnestly in pursuit of idols, as the wild ass in quest of his mates. “Though wild asses,” says Pocock, “be often found in the deserts in whole herds, yet it is usual for some one of them to break away, and separate himself from his company, and run alone at random by himself; and one so doing is here spoken of.” Ephraim hath hired lovers — He alludes to the flagitiousness of adulteresses hiring men to have commerce with them, to which he compares Israel’s procuring foreign allies with great expense, and relying on them, and not on God, for succour and protection. And the reference may be, not only to the bargain with Pul, but to the general profusion of the government in forming foreign alliances; in which the latter kings, both of Israel and Judah, were equally culpable, as appears by the history of the collateral reigns of Ahaz and Pekah. It must be observed, “every forbidden alliance with idolaters was a part of the spiritual incontinence of the nation.” — Horsley.8:5-10 They promised themselves plenty, peace, and victory, by worshipping idols, but their expectations came to nothing. What they sow has no stalk, no blade, or, if it have, the bud shall yield no fruit, there was nothing in them. The works of darkness are unfruitful; nay, the end of those things is death. The hopes of sinners will deceive them, and their gains will be snares. In times of danger, especially in the day of judgment, all carnal devices will fail. They take a course by themselves, and like a wild ass by himself, they will be the easier and surer prey for the lion. Man is in nothing more like the wild ass's colt, than in seeking for that succour and that satisfaction in the creature, which are to be had in God only. Though men may sorrow a little, yet if it is not after a godly sort, they will be brought to sorrow everlastingly.Israel is swallowed up - Not only shall all which they have, be swallowed up by the enemy, but themselves also; and this, not at any distant time, but "now." "Now," at a time all but present, "they shall be among the Gentiles, as a vessel wherein is no pleasure," or, quite strictly, "Now they have become, among the Gentiles." He speaks of what should certainly be, as though it already were. "A vessel wherein is no pleasure," is what Paul calls "a vessel to dishonor" 2 Timothy 2:20, as opposed to "vessels to honor" or honorable uses. It is then some vessel put to vile uses, such as people turn away from with disgust. Such has been the history of the ten tribes ever since: "swallowed up," not destroyed; "among" the nations, yet not of them; despised and mingled among them, yet not united with them; having an existence, yet among that large whole, "the nations," in whom their national existence has been at once preserved and lost; everywhere had in dishonor; the Pagan and the Muslim have alike despised, outraged, insulted them; avenging upon them, unconsciously, the dishonor which they did to God. The Jews were treated by the Romans of old as offensive to the smell, and are so by the Muslims of North Africa still. "Never," says a writer of the fifth century , "has Israel been put to any honorable office, so as, after losing the marks of freedom and power, at least to have the rank of honorable servitude; but, like a vessel made for dishonorable offices, so they have been filled with revolting contumelies." "The most despised of those in servitude" was the title given by the Roman historian to the Jews, while yet in their own land.

Wealth, otherwise so coveted, for the most part has not exempted them from dishonor, but exposed them to outrage. individuals have risen to eminence in philosophy, medicine, finance; but the race has not gained through the credit of its members; rather, these have, for the most part, risen to reputation for intellect, amid the wreck of their own faith. When Hosea wrote this, two centuries had passed, since the fame of Solomon's wisdom (which still is venerated in the East) spread far and wide; Israel was hated and envied by its neighbors, not despised; no token of contempt yet attached to them; yet Hosea foretold that it should shortly be; and, for two thousand years, it has, in the main, been the characteristic of their nation.

8. vessel wherein is no pleasure—(Ps 41:12; Jer 22:28; 48:38). In the former verse the prophet foretells the lost labour of such pains and seed as Ephraim bestowed; now he addeth somewhat more dreadful, the harvest is ruin and destruction to the seedsman, he is swallowed up; and this is the effect of the whirlwind, Hosea 8:7: ordinarily whirlwinds scatter the fruit, but here is one swallows up both labour and labourer.

Swallowed up, very soon and irreparably, as a man that is swallowed alive by a mighty, overgrown shark.

Now; ere long, within three or four years at most, as I noted on Hosea 7:11.

Shall they be among the Gentiles; carried out of their own country by Shalmaneser, and dispersed at the pleasure of the conqueror into Chalah, Habor, &c.

As a vessel wherein is no pleasure; as worthless and useless, cast out of doors; or if of any use, yet in basest and most contemptible: so shall these captives be among the nations whom they must serve; or Israel, impoverished by chargeable confederates, is now looked upon with contempt by them all, and cast off. Israel is swallowed up,.... Not only their substance, but their persons also, the whole nation of them, their whole estate, civil and ecclesiastic: it notes the utter destruction of them by the Assyrians, so that nothing of them and theirs remained; just as anyone is swallowed up and devoured by a breast of prey; the present is put for the future, because of the certainty of it:

now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure; when Shalmaneser took Samaria, and with it swallowed up the whole kingdom of Israel, he carried captive the inhabitants of it, and placed them among the nations, in "Halah, Habor, by the river Gozan", and in the cities of the Medes, 2 Kings 17:6; where they lived poor, mean, and abject, and were treated with the utmost neglect and contempt; no more regarded than a broken useless vessel, or than a vessel of dishonour, that is made and used for the ease of nature, for which no more regard is had than for that service: thus idolaters, who dishonour God by their idolatries, shall, sooner or later, be brought to disgrace and dishonour themselves.

Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
8. is swallowed up] i. e. is as good as swallowed up. Foreigners have already begun to absorb the precious morsel (cf. Hosea 7:8-9); complete destruction is only a question of time.

now shall they be …] Rather, now are they become among the nations, &c. Comp. Jeremiah 22:28; Jeremiah 48:38. ‘The coarse pottery of this country’, says Dr Thomson, ‘is so cheap that even poor people throw it aside in contempt, or dash it to pieces on the slightest occasion’ (The Land and the Book, p. 36). ‘Nations’ (as Hosea 8:10).

8–14. The judgment is already begun; Israel has drawn it upon himself, by dallying with Assyria, by religious abuses, and by a vain confidence in fortified cities.Verse 8. - Israel is swallowed up. Not only shall the productions of their land be swallowed up, but the persons of the Israelites shall be consumed; nor is the event far off in the distant future, though the Hebrew commentators translate the past as prophetic future; already has the process beam. Such is the extension of the punishment. Now shall they be (rather, are then become) among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure. The prosperity, population, property, and even nationality, are swallowed up - engulfed as in some abyss, so as to be undiscoverable to the present time; while their reputation has suffered so sorely that they are despised as a worthless household vessel - a vessel unto dishonor, never of much worth, but now cast away as entirely unfit for use. This verse has been very differently expounded. According to the example of Jerome, who translates it: et ponet faciem suam ut veniat ad tenendum universum regnum ejus, and adds to this the explanatory remark: ut evertat illum h. e. Ptolemaeum, sive illud, h. e. regnum ejus, many translate the words וגו בּתקף לבוא by to come in or against the strength of his whole (Egyptian) kingdom (C. B. Michaelis, Venema, Hvernick, v. Lengerke, Maurer), i.e., to obtain the superiority over the Egyptian kingdom (Kliefoth). But this last interpretation is decidedly opposed by the circumstance that תּקף means strength not in the active sense equals power over something, but only in the intransitive or passive sense, strength as the property of any one. Moreover, both of these explanations are opposed by the verbal use of בּוא c. ב rei, which does not signify: to come in or against a matter, but: to come with - cf. בּחיל בּוא, to come with power, Daniel 11:13, also Isaiah 40:10; Psalm 71:16 - as well as by the context, for of the completely subjugated south (according to Daniel 11:15, Daniel 11:16) it cannot yet be said מלכוּתו תּקף. Correctly, Theodot. translates: εἰσελθεῖν ἐν ἰσχύι" πάσης τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ; Luther: "to come with the strength of his whole kingdom." Similarly M. Geier, Hitzig, and Kran. The king of the north intends thus to come with the force of his whole kingdom to obtain full possession of the kingdom of the south. עמּו וישׁרים is an explanatory clause defining the manner in which he seeks to gain his object. ישׁרים, plur. of the adjective ישׁר, in a substantive signification, that which is straight, recta, as Proverbs 16:13, proba (Ewald's Gram. 172; while in his commentary he translates the word by agreement). עמּו, with him, i.e., having in intention. The sense of the passage is determined according to מישׁרים לעשׂות, Daniel 11:6 : with the intention of establishing a direct, right relation, namely, by means of a political marriage to bring to himself the kingdom of the south. ועשׂה forms a clause by itself: he shall do it, carry it out; there is therefore no need for Hitzig's arbitrary change of the text into יעשׂה.

The second half of this verse (Daniel 11:17) describes how he carries out this intention, but yet does not reach his end. "He shall give him the daughter of women." הנּשׁים, of women, the plur. of the class, as אריות כּפיר, Judges 14:5, a young lion (of lionesses); בּן אתנות, Zechariah 9:9, the foal of an ass (of she-asses). The suffix to להשׁחיתהּ (corrupting her, E.V.) is referred by many to מלכוּתו (his kingdom); but this reference fails along with the incorrect interpretation of the בּתקף as the end of the coming. Since in the first half of the verse the object of his undertaking is not named, but in Daniel 11:16 is denoted by אליו, the suffix in question can only be referred to הנּשׁים בּת. Thus J. D. Michaelis, Bertholdt, Rosenmller; the former, however, gives to the word להשׁחיתהּ the verbally untenable meaning: "to seduce her into a morally corrupt course of conduct;" but Hitzig changes the text, strikes out the suffix, and translates: "to accomplish vileness." השׁחית means only to destroy, to ruin, hence "to destroy her" (Kran.). This, it is true, was not the object of the marriage, but only its consequence; but the consequence is set forth as had in view, so as forcibly to express the thought that the marriage could lead, according to a higher direction, only to the destruction of the daughter.

The last clauses of the verse express the failure of the measure adopted. The verbs are fem., not neut.; thus the meaning is not: "it shall neither stand, nor succeed to him" (v. Leng., Maurer, Hitzig), but: "she (the daughter) shall not stand," not be able to carry out the plan contemplated by her father. The words תּהיה ולא־לו do not stand for לו (<) תּהיה ולא: "she shall not be to him" or "for him." In this case לא must be connected with the verb. According to the text, לא־לו forms one idea, as כּוח לא, impotent (cf. Ewald, 270): "she shall be a not for him" (ein Nichtihm), i.e., he shall have nothing at all from her.

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