New American Standard Bible
O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit.
King James Bible
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
Darby Bible Translation
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? (I answer him, and I will observe him.) I am like a green fir-tree. From me is thy fruit found.
World English Bible
Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols? I answer, and will take care of him. I am like a green fir tree; from me your fruit is found."
Young's Literal Translation
O Ephraim, what to Me any more with idols? I -- I afflicted, and I cause him to sing: 'I am as a green fir-tree,' From Me is thy fruit found.
Hosea 14:8 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Ephraim shall say, what have I to do anymore with idols? - So Isaiah fortells, "The idols He shall utterly abolish" Isaiah 2:18. Aforetime Ephraim said obstinately, in the midst of God's chastisements; "I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink" Hosea 2:5. Now she shall renounce them wholly and forever. This is entire conversion, to part wholly with everything which would dispute the allegiance with God, to cease to look to any created thing or being, for what is the gift of the Creator alone. So the Apostle says, "what concord hath Christ with Belial?" 2 Corinthians 6:15. This verse exhibits in few, vivid, words, converted Ephraim speaking with God, and God answering; Ephraim renouncing his sins, and God accepting him; Ephraim glorying in God's goodness, and God reminding him that he holds all from Himself.
I have heard and observed him - God answers the profession and accepts it. I, (emphatic) "I Myself have heard and have answered," as He says, "Before they call I will answer" Isaiah 65:24. Whereas God, before, had hid His face from them, or had "observed" Hosea 13:7 them, only as the object of His displeasure, and as ripe for destruction, now He reverses this, and "observes" them, in order to forecome the wishes of their hearts before they are expressed, to watch over them and survey and provide for all their needs. To this, Ephraim exulting in God's goodness, answers, "I" am "like a green fir tree," i. e., ever-green, ever-fresh. The "berosh," (as Jerome, living in Palestine, thought) one of the large genus of the "pine" or "fir," or (as others translated) the cypress , was a tall stately tree Isaiah 55:13; in whose branches the stork could make its nest Psalm 104:17; its wood precious enough to be employed in the temple (1 Kings 5:22, 24 (1 Kings 5:8, 1 Kings 5:10, English); 6:15, 34); fine enough to be used in all sorts of musical instruments 2 Samuel 6:5; strong and pliant enough to be used for spears Nahum 2:3.
It was part of the glory of Lebanon Isaiah 37:24; Isaiah 60:13. A Greek historian says that Lebanon "was full of cedars and pines and cypresses, of wonderful beauty and size" . A modern traveler says, of "the cypress groves of Lebanon" ; "Each tree is in itself a study for the landscape painter - some, on account of their enormous stems and branches. Would you see trees in all their splendor and beauty, then enter these wild groves, that have never been touched by the pruning knife of art." This tree, in its majestic beauty, tenacity of life, and undying verdure, winter and summer, through the perpetual supply of sap, pictures the continual life of the soul through the unbroken supply of the grace of God. Created beauty must, at best, be but a faint image of the beauty of the soul in grace, for this is from the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.
From Me is thy fruit found - Neither the pine nor the cypress bear any fruit, useful for food. It is probable then that here too the prophet fills out one image by another and says that restored Israel, the Church of God, or the soul in grace, should not only have beauty and majesty, but what is not, in the way of nature, found united therewith, fruitfulness also. From Me is thy fruit found; as our Lord says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches" John 15:5. Human nature, by itself, can as little bear fruit well-pleasing to God, as the pine or cypress can bear fruit for human use. As it were a miracle in nature, were these trees to bring forth such fruit, so, for man to bring forth fruits of grace, is a miracle of grace. The presence of works of grace attests the immediate working of God the Holy Spirit, as much as any miracle in nature.
'O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 2. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. 3. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. 4. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Where to Find Fruit
The Covenant of Grace
Teach me what I do not see; If I have done iniquity, I will not do it again '?
"I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress,
"On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And birds of every kind will nest under it; they will nest in the shade of its branches.
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
"Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, 'Our god,' To the work of our hands; For in You the orphan finds mercy."
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