Hosea 9:2
The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.
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(2) Winepress.—Read wine-vat (with margin), into which the tîrôsh, new wine (“ grape-juice “), flowed from the winepress. (Comp. Isaiah 5:2.) For “fail in her” read deceive her, with LXX. and Vulgate.

9:1-6 Israel gave rewards to their idols, in the offerings presented to them. It is common for those who are stubborn in religion, to be prodigal upon their lusts. Those are reckoned as idolaters, who love a reward in the corn-floor better than a reward in the favour of God and in eternal life. They are full of the joy of harvest, and have no disposition to mourn for sin. When we make the world, and the things of it, our idol and our portion, it is just with God to show us our folly, and correct us. None may expect to dwell in the Lord's land, who will not be subject to the Lord's laws, or be influenced by his love. When we enjoy the means of grace, we ought to consider what we shall do, if they should be taken from us. While the pleasures of communion with God are out of the reach of change, the pleasant places purchased with silver, or in which men deposit silver, are liable to be laid in ruins. No famine is so dreadful as that of the soul.The floor and winepress shall not feed them - God turneth away wholly from the adulterous people, and telleth others, how justly they shall be dealt with first for this. "Because she loved My reward, and despised Myself, the reward itself shall be taken away from her." When the blessings of God have been abused to sin, He, in mercy and judgment, takes them away. He cut them off, in order to show that He alone, who now withheld them, had before given them. When they thought themselves most secure, when the grain was stored on the floor, and the grapes were in the press, then God would deprive them of them.

And the new wine shall fail in her, or shall fail her - Literally, "shall lie to her." It may be, he would say, that as Israel had lied to his God, and had "spoken lies against Him" Hosea 7:13, so, in requital, the fruits of the earth should disappoint her, and holding out hopes which never came to pass, should, as it were, lie to her, and in the bitterness of her disappointment, represent to her her own failure to her God. The prophet teaches through the workings of nature, and gives, as it were, a tongue to them .

2. (Ho 2:9, 12).

fail—disappoint her expectation.

The floor; the corn which is gathered into the floor and that is threshed there, that plenty which these sottish idolaters have, and think they have it from their idols, the bread they eat. For here the floor is put for the corn, and the bread made of it.

The wine-press, by the same figure, put for the wine that is pressed out in it; though there is great plenty, and the vats overflow as well as the press full.

Shall not feed them; all this plenty shall not nourish and strengthen them. Since they think their idols give them their corn and wine, let them give also, what I will not give, a blessing on these that they may support and refresh them; they shall be lean and half-starved in their plenty unless their idols can do this for them, i.e. bless their food.

Them, who seek to idols for corn and wine, and praise their idols as givers of it. These I will blast, their provision shall be as theirs, Haggai 1:6.

The new wine shall fail in her; or lie unto her, or fail her expectation. Samaria and all Israel expect a fair and full vintage, but they expect it from their idols, which are a doctrine of lies, and in this, as in all other, will lie.

The floor and the winepress shall not feed them,.... Though their expectations from their worship of idols were large, they should find themselves mistaken; for there would not be a sufficiency of corn on the floor, nor of wine in the press, to supply them with what was necessary for their sustenance; either through a blight upon their fields and vineyards, or through the invasion of an enemy, treading them down, and spoiling and foraging them: or else supposing a sufficient quantity of corn and wine got in; yet those blessings should be either turned into curses, or carried off by the enemy, that they should do then, no good; or if they enjoyed them, yet they should receive no nourishment from them; but should become lean, and look like starved and famishing creatures in the midst of plenty; by all which it would appear that their idols could neither give them a sufficiency of provisions, nor make those nourishing to them they had:

and the new wine shall fail in her; in the congregation or land of Israel: or, "shall lie to her" (s); shall not answer their expectations, but disappoint and deceive them; whereas they expected great plenty from the promising prospect of the vines, these by one means or another should be destroyed, so that they would yield but little, and balk them; see Habakkuk 3:17.

(s) "mentietur in ea", Pagninus, Montanus, Zanchius; "mentietur isti", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Liveleus, Schmidt.

{c} The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.

(c) These outward things that you seek will be taken from you.

2. the winepress] Rather, the vat (within the press) into which the grape-juice or the oil flowed; comp. Joel 2:24.

shall fail in her] Rather, shall fall her (lit. ‘shall lie unto her’, as Habakkuk 3:17). There is a good various reading (supported by the versions and by the Babylonian codex) ‘in them’, but the same interchange of pronouns occurs in Hosea 4:19. Idolatrous Israel is personified as a harlot. Wine-drinking was, in fact, so closely connected with the customs of idolatry (comp. Jdg 9:27; Amos 2:8), that the Nazirites bound themselves by a vow of ‘total abstinence’ (Numbers 6:3).

Verse 2. - The floor and the wine-press shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her. Thus Israel was not to enjoy the blessings of the harvest; the corn and oil and new wine, or corn and wine, would not prove as abundant as they expected or plenty would be succeeded by scarcity; or, rather, the people would be prevented enjoying the abundant produce of their land in consequence of being carried away captive to Assyria, as seems implied in the following verse. The floor and press - whether wine-prom, or rather oil-press, as the mention of new wine follows - are put for their contents by a common figure of speech. The expression, "fail in her," is literally, "lie to her," and has many parallels; as, "The labor of the olive shall fail [margin, 'lie']," and Horace's "fundus mendax," equivalent to "a farm that belies his hopes." Hosea 9:2Warning against false security. The earthly prosperity of the people and kingdom was no security against destruction. Because Israel had fallen away from its God, it should not enjoy the blessing of its field-produce, but should be carried away to Assyria, where it would be unable to keep any joyful feasts at all. Hosea 9:1. "Rejoice not, O Israel, to exult like the nations: for thou hast committed whoredom against thy God: hast loved the wages of whoredom upon all corn-floors. Hosea 9:2. The threshing-floor and press will not feed them, and the new wine will deceive it." The rejoicing to which Israel was not to give itself up was, according to Hosea 9:2, rejoicing at a plentiful harvest. All nations rejoiced, and still rejoice, at this (cf. Isaiah 9:2), because they regard the blessing of harvest as a sign and pledge of the favour and grace of God, which summon them to gratitude towards the giver. Now, when the heathen nations ascribed their fights to their gods, and in their way thanked them for them, they did this in the ignorance of their heart, without being specially guilty on that account, since they lived in the world without the light of divine revelation. But when Israel rejoiced in a heathenish way at the blessing of its harvest, and attributed this blessing to the Baals (see Hosea 2:7), the Lord could not leave this denial of His gracious benefits unpunished. אל־גּיל belongs to תּשׂמח, heightening the idea of joy, as in Job 3:22. כּי זנית does not give the object of the joy ("that thou hast committed whoredom:" Ewald and others), but the reason why Israel was not to rejoice over its harvests, namely, because it had become unfaithful to its God, and had fallen into idolatry. זנה מעל, to commit whoredom out beyond God (by going away from Him). The words, "thou lovest the wages of whoredom upon all corn-floors," are to be understood, according to Hosea 2:7, Hosea 2:14, as signifying that Israel would not regard the harvest-blessing upon its corn-floors as gifts of the goodness of its God, but as presents from the Baals, for which it had to serve them with still greater zeal. There is no ground for thinking of any peculiar form of idolatry connected with the corn-floors. Because of this the Lord would take away from them the produce of the floor and press, namely, according to Hosea 9:3, by banishing the people out of the land. Floor and press will not feed them, i.e., will not nourish or satisfy them. The floor and press are mentioned in the place of their contents, or what they yield, viz., for corn and oil, as in 2 Kings 6:27. By the press we must understand the oil-presses (cf. Joel 2:24), because the new wine is afterwards specially mentioned, and corn, new wine, and oil are connected together in Hosea 2:10, 24. The suffix בּהּ refers to the people regarded as a community.
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